NBA draft lottery: Sacramento Kings vault to No. 4 pick; Orlando Magic awarded No. 1 pick

·2 min read
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Lady Luck smiled on the Sacramento Kings at the NBA draft lottery Tuesday in Chicago and team representative Domantas Sabonis smiled back.

The Kings vaulted three spots from their pre-lottery position to secure the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NBA draft. They will have an opportunity to select one of the top prospects in the draft, a list that includes Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, Auburn forward Jabari Smith, Duke forward Paolo Banchero, Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe and Iowa forward Keegan Murray.

The Orlando Magic was awarded the No. 1 pick in the draft followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 2 and the Houston Rockets at No. 3.

The Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards will round out the top 10. The New York Knicks will have the No. 11 pick followed by the Thunder, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Kings went into the lottery with the seventh-best odds after posting a 30-52 record, missing the playoffs for an NBA-record 16th consecutive season. They had a 32% chance of landing a top-four pick with a 7.5% chance at No. 1, at 7.8% chance at No. 2, an 8.1% chance at No. 3 and an 8.5% chance at No. 4.

Under the current lottery format, there was no chance of Sacramento receiving the No. 5 or No. 6 picks. The most likely scenarios involved the Kings holding their pre-lottery position at No. 7 (19.7%) or slipping to No. 8 (34.1%), although there was a possibility of the Kings sliding to No. 9 (12.9%), No. 10 (1.3%) or even No. 11 (0.03%).

The Kings were in the lottery for the 15th time in 16 years since making their last playoff appearance in 2006. The only year they didn’t have a lottery pick was 2019, when their No. 14 pick was conveyed to the Boston Celtics after it was originally sent to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a 2015 trade.

The Kings were represented by Sabonis, a 26-year-old two-time All-Star who came to Sacramento in a February trade with the Indiana Pacers. This is the best lottery result for the Kings since they jumped five spots to select Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in 2018. The only other time they’ve had a top-four pick over the past 16 years was 2009, when they used the No. 4 pick to select Tyreke Evans, who went on to become Rookie of the Year.

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