I feel for Sacaramento Kings fans and especially DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings did it again with one of the most puzzling selections in history by selecting Georgios Papagiannis out of Greece with the 13th pick in the draft.
The 18-year-old Papagiannis is 7-2 center who averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG while playing in 29 games with Panthinaikos in the Greek league. Most mock drafts had Papagiannis pegged as a late first round or early second round pick.
The Kings were not done making some questionable decisions during the draft by trading the 8th pick to the Suns for the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic, the 13th pick and the 28th pick. The Kings selected Sacramento's own Marquese Chriss for the Suns with the 8th selection, someone who would have fit perfectly playing next to Cousins. Sacramento proceeded to take Skal Labissiere the power forward out of Kentucky with the 28th pick, a player who has potential but is skinny, raw and looked soft in college. Think of him as the next Perry Jones. Right now we have no clue how these picks will pan out for the Kings or any team in the NBA, but if you look at the Kings roster they continue to make some of the worst and most confusing draft selections.
They already have DeMarcus Cousins as their franchise center. They drafted Willy Cauley-Stein a seven-footer with great defensive skills and have another Greek big man in veteran Kosta Koufos. It seems hard to imagine Pappagiannis and Labissiere getting playing time over those guys, which is fine because they are both young players and can develop. I personally don't understand how though a team can consistently draft guys at the same position over and over and over. Pappagiannis can't play alongside Cousins. Cousins is not a power forward and Papagiannis is a 7-2 center.
The Kings' bad draft picks started in 2012 when they selected Thomas Robinson, a power forward who they traded midway through his first season. In 2013 they drafted Ben McLemore out of Kansas who has at best been an average player in the league as a shooting guard. Nik Stauskus another shooting guard was up next in 2014 and he is not on the team any more. Then, last year, the team took Willy Cauley-Stein who did not show much improvement in his weak offensive game last season. This year the Kings did it again by trading Marco Bellinelli for the 22nd pick, which ended up being Malachi Richardson, another shooting guard who, if not for his 5-game breakout in the NCAA tournament with Syracuse, would probably not have declared for the draft.
All this adds up to the Kings struggling year after year. Cousins has always been one to express his frustration and last night he apparently tweeted out his displeasure with the team’s selection of Papagiannis. Cousins told reporters that the tweet was not directed at the draft selection, but the timing was suspect.
It's the same old losing story for the Kings who have been under a new ownership group for 4 seasons and also have had 5 coaches in 5 seasons. The Kings talk about winning right now but the way they have been drafting only signifies that they are building towards the future or have no clue what they’re doing.
Owner Vivek Randive doesn't seem to have a clear idea on what direction he wants the Kings to go in other than continuing to lose. He hired former Kings player Vlade Divac in March 2015 to be the team’s vice president of basketball and franchise operations and so far the team has continued to draft the same position players again and again.
The Kings are stuck in neutral right now and i don't see it getting any better anytime soon. Cousins is clearly upset, frustrated and wants to be traded, there is a new coach in Dave Joeger and the team keeps drafting shooting guards and centers early in the draft.