Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

By: Steven Wilson

by Katie Cracchiolo

Analysts around the league think Sacramento – which owns the eighth-overall pick in the 2014 draft – will select one of five players including favorites Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott and Aaron Gordon.

As Sacramento landed the No. 8 pick for only the second time in team history at the May 21 Draft Lottery, NBA analysts began releasing mock drafts, forecasting where they believe top collegiate and international prospects may be land in the June 26 NBA Draft.

As many factors including; individual and group workouts, one-on-one interviews and hours of film-review will play key roles in each team’s decisions, notable pundits evaluated Sacramento’s roster needs and have submitted their Draft-day predictions.

Although there are many differing opinions around the league, including some who think the Kings will trade the pick away, several experts believe the Kings are in the market for a multi-faceted forward or a playmaking point guard.

We are still four weeks away from Sacramento’s final decision, but check out who NBA writers believe the Kings will select with the team’s eighth-overall pick.

What pundits are saying...

Marcus Smart – PG, Oklahoma State – 4 votes

“The Kings probably aren't keeping this pick, but if they don't find a deal that works for them in acquiring a veteran, and they're truly worried about the restricted free agency market for Isaiah Thomas, Smart would be a good insurance policy. He can score, he can run the point some, and a backcourt of Smart and Ben McLemore could be explosive.” – Zach Harper, CBSSports.com

“It doesn't seem unlikely that Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart will fall past No. 8. He appears most often in the 6-7-8 range.” - Drew Peckham, NBA.com

Aaron Gordon – F, Arizona – 3 votes

“Gordon is a unique athlete who averaged 12.4 points and eight rebounds in one year of college, and he grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds in the Wildcats' loss to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight. He'll likely be capable of playing either forward position in the NBA.” – Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com

“Aaron Gordon has always been viewed as a sure-fire NBA prospect because of his athleticism, but it's what he does with his physical attributes that could make him a dynamic professional. Through seven Pac-12 Tournament and NCAA Tournament games, Gordon averaged 12.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, a sign of his versatility that is even more finely tuned on the defensive end.” – Kevin Zimmerman, SB Nation

“The hyper-athletic answer to Cousins' raw power.” – Matt Moore, CBSSports.com

Doug McDermott – F, Creighton – 3 votes

“The Kings are taking the ‘best-player-available’ approach, but a strong outside shooter will be tempting… McDermott admits he needs to work on his defense because he'll have to defend athletic small forwards in the NBA rather than power forwards in college.” – Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee

Noah Vonleh – PF, Indiana – 1 vote

“[He’s a] skilled big man with nice range on his jumper. [He’s] not a great athlete and perhaps still a little soft, [but, he’s] just 18 years old with a big upside.” – Sam Amico, Fox Sports Ohio

Dario Saric – F, International – 1 vote

“If Saric had entered the draft last year, he likely would have been a lottery pick. He improved his stock this year by leading the Adriatic League in scoring (16.7 points) and rebounding (9.7) and adding 3.2 assists for Cibona in Zagreb, with whom he won league MVP and Finals MVP honors. Saric is a point-forward type with terrific passing and playmaking skills.” – Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated

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