No. 40 pick: Justin James
The Sacramento Kings acquired the 40th overall pick during last year’s draft after drafting and then trading Gary Trent Jr. to the Trail Blazers for cash and both a 2019 and 2021 second round pick. The Kings would receive the more favorable of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ and Los Angeles Lakers’ second round picks in 2019.
The Kings used this pick to select Justin James from Wyoming. James is a 6’7″ swingman who can score in a variety of ways. He possesses above-average athleticism and is an adequate playmaker. However, James has trouble taking care of the ball and is a questionable decision-maker.
The King might have to find a replacement for Harrison Barnes sooner than they imagined would be necessary. If Barnes leaves for a new team, then the Kings will need to fill the hole he would leave. James, while being a second round pick, might be able to develop into a Barnes-lite.
Since it was the second round, where prospects can be more difficult to predict, it is difficult to tell who the Kings might’ve missed on this early. However, from what is known about James’ game, he could be just what Sacramento needs.
The Kings drafted what they needed, and while there were some similar options on the board that may or may not be better than James, they certainly could’ve done worse.