Along with its 7th selection, Sacramento holds the 36th pick in the 2013 Draft. Now, get an inside look at how notable late-round picks have fared in team and League history.
While Kings starting point guard and Rising Stars Challenge participant Isaiah Thomas – the No. 60 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft – has emerged into one of the most successful late-round selections in NBA history, Sacramento has repeatedly landed outstanding talent and valuable contributors outside the First Round.
Forward Michael Smith, the 35th-overall choice in 1994, averaged 6.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game over three-and-a-half seasons with the team. “The Animal” placed 14th in the League with a career-high 9.5 boards per contest in 1996-97, and ranks third in career offensive- (11.8) and defensive-rebound percentage (22.0) in the Sacramento era (minimum 100 games).
Fellow 1994 draftee Lawrence Funderburke (51st overall) developed into one of the team’s vital reserves for six seasons after arriving from Europe prior to the 1997-98 campaign, averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds as a rookie. In seven career starts, No. 51 tallied 10.1 points on 55 percent from the field to go along with seven rebounds per contest.
With 47th overall pick In 1995, the Kings opted for lightning-quick point guard Tyus Edney, who notched 10.8 points, a team-leading 6.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his first season. The 5-foot-10 floor general earned an All-Rookie Second Team nod, as well as an invitation to the Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend.
Guard Anthony Johnson, taken 39th by the Kings in 1997, tallied 7.5 points and a team-high 4.3 assists per game while earning 62 starts as a rookie. During his second stint in Sacramento in 2007-08, the 13-year veteran averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 assists per 36 minutes.
Big man Jon Brockman – acquired from Portland via Draft-night trade after being selected 38th in 2009 – provided a spark off the bench as a ferocious rebounder, grabbing 11.7 boards per 36 minutes. Youngsters Hassan Whiteside (33rd in 2010) and Tyler Honeycutt (35thin 2011) similarly showed glimpses of future potential during their respective tenures in Northern California.
Along with uncovering late-round talent in the Draft, Sacramento has made deals for numerous effective Second-Round standouts, most notably guard Marcus Thornton (43rd in 2009). After averaging 7.8 points in 46 contests with the Hornets in 2010-11, No. 23 poured in a team-high 21.3 points per game with Sacramento after being acquired mid-season. In 2012-13, the LSU product connected on a team-leading and career-high 141 three-pointers, while twice scoring over 30 points off the bench.
Additional second-rounders who’ve exceled in Sacramento following trades include Carl Landry (31stin 2007) and Cuttino Mobley (41st in 1998), while free-agent signees Matt Barnes (45th in 2002) and Eddie House (37th in 2000) thrived as key role players.
Across the League, since the NBA adopted a two-round Draft format in 1989, 12 Second-Round selections have been named All-Stars – including 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol, Nick Van Exel and Cliff Robinson. Furthermore, four late-round picks – Manu Ginobili, Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer and Michael Redd – have also earned All-NBA Team honors.
In fact, in addition to Ginobili and Gasol, 2013 Western Conference Finalists San Antonio and Memphis are bolstered by six Second-Round choices in their respective rotations: Matt Bonner (45th in 2003), DeJuan Blair (37th in 2009), Danny Green (46th in 2009), Nando De Colo (53rd in 2009), Patrick Mills (55th in 2009) and Jon Leuer (40th in 2011).
As Sacramento’s and the League’s history shows, the Kings are in prime position to add a promising and impactful Second-Round prospect with the 36th pick on June 27.
What position would you like to see the team address with its Second-Round pick?