The Sacramento Kings were once a powerhouse of passing, talent, fun, and all other things you’d want in a team.

This was until the referees doomed the 2001 Kings in their playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. For those who don’t remember this, please google it.

Afterwards, the franchise spiraled down into a burnout that would last for close to a decade.

Then, after another terrible season, Sacramento went into the 2010 NBA Draft. They had done poorly in this for years, and to be frank, have done pretty terribly ever since.

That one day though was a glimmer of hope that continues to identify the franchise to this day. This was the day they drafted DeMarcus Cousins.

That 2010 NBA Draft will go down as one of my personal favorites with such stars as:

  • John Wall
  • Derrick Favors
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Greg Monroe
  • Gordon Hayward
  • Paul George
  • Eric Bledsoe

It also signified the year where a major college (Kentucky) had 5 players drafted within the first round:

  • Patrick Patterson
  • John Wall
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Daniel Orton

Where this story goes after 2010 is the interesting part in my eyes, because in the following two years, certain choices by Sacramento’s management decided their fate:

2011 Draft: Bismack Biyombo (Kemba Walker would have been ideal but not a terrible reach to add defense next to Boogie)

2012 Draft: Thomas Robinson (passing on Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes)

After giving them a pass in 2011 even though Kemba Walker was fresh off leading UConn to a national championship and was a natural leader, we have to really start questioning their decisions making here.

Thomas Robinson was a dominant college player at Kansas, but as we all know college success does not always equate to NBA glory. (sorry Jimmer Fredette & Adam Morrison)

Robinson however was an undersized power forward with no real skill set to play small forward. So instead of drafting a 22 year old Lillard who had killed it for little known Weber State, or North Carolina stud Harrison Barnes who would have been IDEAL running mates with the previous two picks, they pulled a 76er and went big once again.

via GIPHY

For years the Kings have tried to pair Boogie with a star guard/wing (Isaiah Thomas not included, letting him go was another amazing goof), and as good as Rudy Gay has been, both Dame and Barnes would have been better.

What if the Sacramento Kings drafted Damian Lillard?

What if they now had two legit stars in Lillard and Cousins?

Would Boogie be as angry considering they should be winning?

Would other stars want to come to the ugly child of California hoops?

Overall, I feel this one choice was the difference between a team we’d be seeing in the playoffs versus a team that makes the NBA look dysfunctional. Boogie is a great player who just wants to win, and to me his frustration is justified by the team’s inability to surround him with talent. I would dare to say this is the worst management group in the league by a long shot.

At least the Knicks throw money at players (Noah/Rose), even if they are only a shell of their former selves…

The ‘What IFs?’ drive our imagination. My column covers trades that never happened, contracts never signed, and draft picks never taken. Wednesdays I play architect to a glorious hoop world that could have been.