The Sacramento Kings drew first blood in the 2011 NBA Draft, but it may have been a self-inflicted wound. The Kings participated in a three-team trade before the draft began, somehow getting worse and ending up with a lower pick. But they made the most of their later picks and are definitely different than they were Wednesday.
Gained: Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt, Isaiah Thomas, John Salmons' contract.
Gave up: Beno Udrih.
Synopsis: The Kings traded Udrih, an affordable point guard with two years left on his deal, for Salmons, an underachieving wing on a bad three-year deal. The problem: the Kings traded down three picks for the honor. It made no sense when the Kings pulled the trigger, and it makes no sense now. The explanation will be that Salmons is solid and a better fit given the Fredette pick. But the Kings traded Salmons two years ago in a cap dump. He's older, worse and more expensive now. He can't be that good.
Fredette's a fit, so long as we're ignoring defense. Are we ignoring defense? OK, then. The Jimmer is a good fit.
Honeycutt was a steal at No. 35, and Thomas can make an impact from the No. 60 spot. But the Kings could have taken all of those players and Fredette without the needless, counterproductive Salmons-Udrih deal. The Kings tried to sort out a logjam on draft day, and failed.
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Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.