UPDATE: Earlier this month, we speculated that Michael Carter-Williams may be the perfect fit for Sacramento franchise trying to establish a new identity under a) a new ownership group, b) a new general manager, c) a new head coach, and d) a new coaching staff. With defensive guru Mike Malone selected as the man to lead the Kings from the bench, drafting a long 6-foot-6 point guard like Carter-Williams would seem to be a great place to start.
Today, ESPN's NBA draft expert Chad Ford agreed with this line of thinking, projecting Carter-Williams to go to the Kings in his updated Mock Draft. Here's Ford with more on why it'd make so much sense.
With trade rumors centered around Sacramento's tiny point guard Isaiah Thomas in recent days, the question must be asked: Who is the Kings' point guard of the future?
Sacramento owns the No. 7 pick of the draft, and it's a spot where they will have a number of interesting options. New coach Mike Malone has made it clear that upgrading defensively is one of the team's most pressing priorities, and we have to wonder if the Kings could address this need by going after a bigger point guard like like Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Thomas allowed opponents to score 0.896 points per play this season, which ranked in the 33rd percentile in the league. Adding a 6-foot-6 pass-first point guard like Carter-Williams whose length enabled him to be one of the nation's leaders in steals (2.8 SPG) as a sophomore could provide immediate dividends for Malone in what would be a revamped backcourt. We have to believe this is something the Kings could strongly consider.
Carter-Williams is expected to still be available when the Kings make their selection, and so too might be Trey Burke, whose draft stock has slowly declined in the months following his incredible tournament run with Michigan. However, Burke's lack of size may be put the Kings in a similar situation they've been in with Thomas running the team the past two seasons -- forever struggling to slow down opposing point guards.
"The good news: The Kings finally have a general manager in Pete D'Alessandro. The bad news: He started on Monday, which is after the Kings had completed workouts with most of the prospects in their range. So, either the Kings drag players back to Sacramento, or new coach Mike Malone and owner Vivek Ranadive will be heavily influencing the call. From what I can gather, UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad had the best workout, though the Kings weren't particularly high on him prior to that. The team loved Carter-Williams before he came in, but weren't impressed with his workout. Sounds as if Trey Burke isn't particularly high on their list, either. Ditto for C.J. McCollum. I'm not sure what to make of all that, but here's the best I can do: One of the biggest reasons the Kings hired D'Alessandro was because of his analytics work. Muhammad looks horrible in virtually every analytics model I've seen. Carter-Williams looks good in almost of all of them."