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June 27, 2022
Basketball

NBA Mock Draft Notes: Kings, Ivey, Murray, Pistons, Pacers, Mathurin, Blazers, Pelicans, Thunder, Presti, Sharpe, Wizards, Knicks, Spurs, Primo

Photo: Chris Schwegler/Getty Images

Many teams in the lottery could make moves on Thursday.

As the countdown to the draft continues, the pressure on the Sacramento Kings increases each day. My confidence in Sacramento trading this pick with Jaden Ivey as the intended target by multiple teams has been high for a few weeks now, but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports recently said that former Iowa star Keegan Murray is looked at in high regard by the Kings. For a team who has the league’s longest playoff drought combined with getting a number of draft picks wrong over the years, this is a move the Kings have to finally get right way more than the past.If the Kings do select Murray, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer writes that Ivey is the preferred pick for the Detroit Pistons at #5. And at #6, I think the Indiana Pacers would love drafting Bennedict Mathurin as their trusted guy, but wouldn’t be surprised at all if they move this pick (possibly in a package to Sacramento) based on all the rumors right now. Other teams like the Portland Trail Blazers (7th pick), New Orleans Pelicans (8th pick), and Oklahoma City Thunder (2nd & 12th picks) could also make a move. Like the Kings, the Blazers & Pelicans want to win now, and in OKC’s case, you can’t count out Sam Presti being extremely active as always. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (h/t to Real GM), the Thunder are interested in both Ivey and Shaedon Sharpe. Unfortunately, this leads me to believe that the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks probably aren’t going to make a big splash on draft day due to where they’re selecting/the lack of valuable trade pieces on their rosters (10th & 11th picks). The San Antonio Spurs are my wild card on Thursday, especially since they unexpectedly took Josh Primo last season and have three 1st round picks this year (9th, 20th, & 25th). They also have many players on their roster who fit in well on any team, so a possible trade could happen. However, if they do keep the picks, who they take at #9 should be a surprise.

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