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Closer Look: Lucky No. 7

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Filed under Analysis, Big Post, Draft, Featured, Hoops.

Closer Look: Lucky No. 7

Check out how previous seventh-overall Draft picks, including Jason Williams and Lionel Simmons, have performed for the Kings.

From Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Chris Mullin to multi-time All-NBA Team members Bernard King and Kevin Johnson, lucky No. 7 in the NBA Draft has recurrently produced high-caliber talent.

In the Lottery era, four seventh-overall selections have been named All-Stars – Mullin, Johnson, Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng – while rising standouts Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon and Greg Monroe have been chosen in the position over the last five years.

Speedy point guard Damon Stoudamire, picked seventh in 1995, captured Rookie of the Year honors, averaging 19.0 points and 9.3 assists per game – the third-highest average by any first-year player in League history.

Sacramento – which holds No. 7 for the sixth time in the NBA Draft – has also consistently landed key contributors in the spot, nabbing three All-Rookie Team members in addition to one of the League’s sharpest outside scorers.

Lionel Simmons, 1990

Averaging a stellar 18 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per contest in his first season, Simmons earned two Rookie of the Month Awards and All-Rookie First Team honors, while finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting (Derrick Coleman).

The versatile 6-foot-7 forward averaged over 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game in each of his first four seasons, notching an eye-opening 29.4 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest during a seven-game stretch in 1990-91.

Prior to DeMarcus Cousins’ debut season, “L-Train” held the Sacramento-era rookie rebounding record (697) for 20 years, and remains the owner of the single-game Sacramento-era record for points by a first-year player (42).

Walt Williams, 1992

Williams poured in 17 points per game during his first-year campaign – the third-highest rookie scoring average in the Sacramento era – tallying a phenomenal 20.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game following the All-Star Break. On Jan. 2, 1993, “The Wizard” became only the second Kings rookie to score at least 40 points in a game, and remains one of two Sacramento players (Kevin Martin) to hit the 40-point mark off the bench since 1985.

A terrific outside scorer who holds a 37.9-percent career mark from behind the arc, Williams also exhibited range off the court, appearing in the 1996 film “Eddie” and in a music video for Hootie & the Blowfish’s hit song “Only Wanna Be with You.”

Bobby Hurley, 1993

A unanimous All-America selection in 1993 and two-time National Champion at Duke University, Hurley earned the starting point guard job to begin his first season with Sacramento. The N.J. native tallied five or more assists in 15 of the first 19 games of his career – including 11 points and 11 dishes on Nov. 19, 1993 – becoming the first Kings rookie since Kenny Smith to average over six assists (6.1) in a season.

While a tragic car accident on December 12, 1993 put Hurley’s NBA future in doubt, the 6-foot guard returned to the hardwood the following season. On March 3, 1995, Hurley recorded 14 points and a career-high 17 assists, and scored a career-high-tying 17 points in 22 minutes on Jan. 26, 1996.

Jason Williams, 1998

The flashy point guard made an immediate and unforgettable impact during his three-year stint in The River City, routinely electrifying crowds with incredible behind-the-back and no-look passes and sensational between-the-legs dribbling displays. Whether it was finding a cutting teammate for an easy basket or pulling up for a long triple on a fastbreak, No. 55 put on a show each time he stepped on the court.

Williams joined Smith as the second Kings rookie to average at least 12 points and six assists per game in the Sacramento era, while setting team records for three-pointers made (five) and attempted (eight) in a quarter.

The 6-foot-1 guard also tied Reggie Theus’ Sacramento-era single-game assists record (18) on Jan. 4, 2000, and ranks fourth in career dishes per game (6.3) in team history, behind only Theus, Smith and Spud Webb.

Jimmer Fredette, 2011*

Acquired in a multi-player, three-team 2011 Draft-day trade – which sent Sacramento’s No. 7 pick* to Charlotte – Fredette, who was selected 10th by Milwaukee, made an impact with the Kings, scoring in double-figures in two of his first three appearances and earning seven starts as a rookie.

Exhibiting a higher level of confidence and efficiency in his second season, the BYU product ranked 17th in the NBA in three-point accuracy (41.7 percent) in 2012-13. Fredette – continuously praised by the coaching staff for his preparation and professionalism – ranked fourth on the Kings in triples (65) and points per 36 minutes (18.4).

In 13 contests in which he earned at least 20 minutes of playing time, No. 7 averaged 13.4 points – including a season-high 22 against the Suns on Dec. 17, 2012 – while connecting on 24 of 48 of his attempts from behind the arc.

  • Tj Van Gelder

    I’m thankful for the spot and I’m thankful for the owners. I know their Working with coach Malone to get the best player that will produce the highest quality of production their is among the prospects. Each player should know how much responsibility is involved with their new carer. They have just become Mature Professional Athletes and they if chosen by Sacramento are Representing Sacramento and our Community. its all tied together when the Mayor and Owners and Coach’s and Players and Fans and Media work together we produce a Championship. We need to have pride in our team and carry our colors with an added respect. We need to see value in Supporting our Home Team as if it were a Cal game or a game that everyone raced to go to. We need to have an added Honor Swirling about Sacramento. That State employ’s would mention to one another “did you catch the game”.

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