The Sacramento Kings currently have the No. 6 overall pick in this years draft. Assuming they won't trade up or down, they are primed to discover the best possible talent coming out of college, high school or international leagues.
Despite not winning a championship since 1950, there has been some of the NBA's greatest talent selected by the Kings in the draft. Now with a young core of Demarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore among others, they could be one or two pieces away from becoming a playoff-contending team.
With the NBA draft just weeks away, let's take a look at the Kings history books and discover who really were the best players the Kings have claimed in the draft.
5. Peja Stojakovic (Round 1, Pick 14 of 1996 Draft)
Fan-favorite Stojakovic was a terrific King. He owns the franchise record for most three pointers made in a season (240) and he made three-straight all-star games as a King. Despite grabbing Sojakovic at No. 14, the Kings could have picked Steve Nash instead, who was still on the board at the time. Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen and Marcus Camby were also picked in the first round that year. Stacked.
4. Tiny Archibald (Round 2, Pick 19 of 1970 Draft)
A member of the Hall of Fame, Archibald was picked by the Kings late in the second round. That may seem like a late pick, but with the 1970 draft being 19 rounds comprised of 239 players, he was a top pick for the the Cincinnati Royals. Archibald had his best season with the Kings in 1972-73, putting up 34 points, 11.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He also made the all-star team three years as a King, and three more years later in his career as a part of the Celtics.
3. Jerry Lucas (Territorial Pick 1 of 1962 Draft)
Back in the day, teams had "territorial" picks, where they could forfeit their first round pick to pick a player within a 50-mile radius. The Kings (still in Cincinnati at the time) did just that by selecting Ohio State University prospect Jerry Lucas. He was actually prepared to sign with the Cleveland Pipers in the American Basketball League (ABL) but they folded before the draft. He ends up being picked by the Royals in the NBA, wins Rookie of the Year, joins six-straight all-star teams and the rest is history.
2. Otis Thorpe (Round 1, Pick 9 of 1984 Draft)
The Kings passed on some small shmuck named John Stockton, but they still picked a pretty good player in Thorpe. His best years were along Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston where he won a championship, but he did spend his first four seasons as a King. One of the NBA's premiere rebounders, Thorpe ranks 17th and 29th in offensive and defensive rebounds respectively.
1. Oscar Robertson (Territorial Pick 1 of 1960 Draft)
One of the all-time greats, Robertson was selected by the Cincinnati Royals much like Lucas was two years later. A product of Cincinnati University, the "Big O" spent all ten seasons with the Royals as an all-star. Much like many great Kings players, Robertson went on to win a championship with another team later in his career, but his best years were in Cincinnati. Now a Hall of Fame member, Robertson is still considered the greatest King (or Royal) to ever play the game.
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