NBA mock draft: Who Kings are projected to pick at Nos. 13, 45

Author:
NBC Sports Bay Area

After Sunday’s NBA draft lottery, the Kings are now locked into the No. 13 and 45 overall selections. With Sacramento coming off a season where they regressed and missed the playoffs, general manager Monte McNair nailing his selections in the 2024 draft will be crucial to righting the ship both in the present and the long term.

Will Malik Monk depart in free agency and create a more pressing immediate need with his exit? Is there a young player that can slot in with Keegan Murray and Keon Ellis to provide a youthful spark behind the one-two punch of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis?

Here is how the experts project the Kings will use their first- and second-round selections in the upcoming draft.

Krysten Peek, Yahoo! Sports

No. 13 overall: G/F Tidjane SalaunFrance

A bit of a raw prospect, Salaun is averaging 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game in 51 appearances for Cholet Basket of the LNB Pro A – the top flight of professional men’s basketball in France. Salaun is just 18 years old but offers dynamic upside for Sacramento to pair on the wing with Murray as the Kings build a long-term path to sustaining their recent success.

“Salaun is far from a finished product, but has improved tremendously over the season in many areas, including his shot selection and quick decision-making when the ball is in his hands,” Peek wrote.

No. 45 overall: G/F Harrison Ingram – North Carolina

Ingram spent his first two seasons at Stanford before transferring to North Carolina, averaging 11.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and one steal in 102 career college games. At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds Ingram offers an intriguing wing option that would give Sacramento much-needed length on the perimeter.

While no pick in the second round ever is a slam dunk, Ingram’s extensive collegiate experience suggests he might enter the NBA with a strong floor even if the long-term upside remains a mystery.

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo, ESPN

No. 13 overall: Ja’Kobe Walter SG/SF – Baylor

With Monk’s impending unrestricted free agency looming large, Sacramento could be in desperate need of replacing the key minutes it has counted on from its sixth man over the last two seasons. Walker averaged 14.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for Baylor during the 2023-24 season and flashed noteworthy offensive potential during his lone collegiate campaign.

 “A movement shooter such as Walter who can run off screens and bring high-level intensity defensively makes plenty of sense’” Givony wrote. “He also has plenty of upside to grow into at 19 years old.”

No. 45 overall: Keshad Johnson PF – Arizona

An Oakland, Calif., native, Johnson makes a return to Northern California in this mock after the Kings grab the Arizona product in the second round. Johnson spent four seasons at San Diego State before transferring to Arizona, tallying 149 total collegiate appearances in his career.

The 22-year-old forward averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Wildcats during the 2023-24 season, shooting the ball at an efficient 53 percent clip. Johnson’s abundance of collegiate experience is a plus, while his 6-foot-7, 225 pound frame might make his NBA positional fit a bit of a mystery as he falls between the protypical size for a small forward and a power forward.

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

No. 13 overall: Devin Carter G – Providence

Carter appeared in 96 games for the Friars across three seasons, averaging 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his final collegiate campaign. The 6-foot-3, 195 pound guard can fill out the stat sheet, but also boasts noteworthy defensive pedigree. O’Connor pointed to the importance of Carter’s two-way ability should he be thrust into a role replacing Monk if the latter were to depart this offseason.

Keon Ellis became a major difference maker for the Kings last year because of his defense,” O’Connor wrote. “Now imagine if a lockdown presence like Carter were replacing Malik Monk, who could leave in free agency. Sacramento would get the two-way players it needs, and the entire outlook of the team could change.”

No. 45 overall: Harrison Ingram F – North Carolina

“After selecting a defense-oriented player in the first round, let’s have the Kings double-dip here but at a different position,” O’Connor wrote. “Ingram’s playmaking ability could also be a perfect fit with Sacramento’s motion system.”

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