Sacramento Kings: Re-drafting the team’s last 4 first-round picks

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images /

2017 (No. 15 Overall): Justin Jackson > Kyle Kuzma

Much like Giles, Justin Jackson hasn’t quite lived up to the hype since he arrived in Sacramento. Sure, he’s had some solid outings and is a decent offensive threat, but he hasn’t been the dependable force on the wing the Kings thought they were getting.

Need proof? How about the 6.7 points per game he’s averaging this season? Or maybe his 32.4-percent career conversion rate on 3-point shots will do the trick? Either way you look at, Jackson has been an underwhelming addition for the Kings through the first season and a half.

You know who hasn’t been a disappointment? Kyle Kuzma.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ surprise star has turned the scouting world upside down. Somehow, nearly every NBA team missed the boat on this kid, passing up the Utah product until he fell to Magic Johnson and Co. at No. 27 overall. Since then, he’s been nothing short of sensational — relative to his draft status, that is.

So far in 2018-19, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Although his 3-point percentage (30.2) isn’t great, he makes up for it with a keen basketball IQ and feel for getting to the rim. Even alongside LeBron James, he hasn’t lost his way as one of the NBA’s premier young scorers.

Would you pass on the opportunity to make the swap? I hope not, because Jackson doesn’t hold a candle to the talent Kuzma has proven himself to be.