The Sacramento Kings should consider targeting Elijah Hughes in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Of course, they may end up picking a marquee option with their 12th pick, but that wouldn’t mean they got the ‘steal’ of the draft, right? Instead, why don’t we direct our attention to the second round?
“With the 35th (or 43rd) pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select Elijah Hughes from Syracuse University.”
It may be the Syracuse fan in me, but this pick isn’t too far fetched. Multiple draft boards including an ESPN mock draft project him to go at 43. Hughes to Sacramento is a real thing, and it could be this year’s steal. If you’re unfamiliar with Hughes, let me get you acquainted.
Standing tall at 6-foot-6, the 22-year-old shooting guard showed promise going into his final year at Syracuse. Fans were hopeful that he would follow up on the class act that Tyus Battle left behind from the previous season.
Safe to say, he exceeded expectations.
In the 2019-20 season, Hughes averaged 20.7 points and 5.3 rebounds on 34 percent shooting from three. Not only was he the MVP of the Orange, but he was a standout player in one of college basketball’s strongest conferences.
He was the ACC’s leader in points per game, points, field-goal attempts, and minutes played. Oh yeah, to top it all off, he finished the season with a first-team All-ACC selection.
Hughes is going to go get his on the offensive end, and he can do it by himself if he has to. According to NBA.com, he ranked fourth in the NCAA and first in the ACC in isolation scoring (4.0 ppg), along with third in the ACC for transition scoring (4.3 ppg).
He’s a proven offensive commodity that can beat you off a tight dribble package, or a step back dagger from three straight in your grill. Not only is the offense there, but his defensive prowess needs acknowledgment as well.
Due to Jim Boeheim’s coaching style, Hughes played the majority of his defense on the low block of Syracuse’s famous 2-3 zone.
Despite that, fans still got the chance to see the potential of his defensive ability through shot-blocking. His above-average athleticism helped him reach 26 blocks on the season, ranking 19th in the ACC, and third amongst guards.
Hughes is a do-it-all type player with a high ceiling and a pretty high floor. He’s proven in a tough conference top to bottom, which is a special quality certain wing players in this draft can’t flaunt.
Elijah Hughes would be a perfect fit for the Sacramento Kings.
If taken by Sacramento, he would fit well into Luke Walton’s fast-paced, 3-and-D style. He’s got NBA talent, and not a lot of press behind him at the moment, which is a good thing.
Sacramento has done a great job of flying under the radar with their young core. It could be due to their lack of recent playoff experience, but not a lot of people are talking about them.
Hughes has always been part of an underdog story at ‘Cuse and would fit right into Sacramento’s mold. The Kings are looking for that last piece or two to get back into the postseason.
Stealing the draft with this pick could help them reach a goal that’s long overdue.