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Report: Pacers offered Duarte, 6th pick for Kings' selection originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Kings drafted Keegan Murray with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but there reportedly was a lot more intrigue to it than a simple selection.
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, citing sources, reported that at least four teams – the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks – were interested in trading up with the Kings in order to select Purdue's Jaden Ivey or Murray.
No trade materialized, and Ivey went one pick later to the Detroit Pistons at No. 5.
Woo reported that the Kings were rumored to have been offered Chris Duarte along with the No. 6 pick from the Pacers to swap for the fourth overall selection. The trade would have given the Kings an additional young talent in Duarte – who made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team last year – along with a lottery pick.
The Pacers and Kings had trade history stemming back to the February deal that included Domantas Sabonis going to Sacramento in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton. But Woo reported that the Pacers didn’t want to include Duarte in that trade, but were willing to put him in this deal because they also wanted to draft Murray.
But Woo reported that the Kings “genuinely loved, did a ton of homework on, and valued highly” Iowa's Murray, and obviously didn’t think any trade offer was good enough to warrant passing on the 6-foot-8 forward.
The other intrigue with the Kings’ pick was that they had both Ivey and Murray on the board to choose from. Woo said they chose Murray partially because Ivey “wasn’t a good fit for their roster” and had a similar skillset to that of point guard De’Aaron Fox.
The Kings, under new head coach Mike Brown, are in win-now mode as they hope to snap their 16-season playoff drought next year. That put them in an interesting position of whether to even use their pick in the draft or trade it for pieces that could make a bigger immediate impact.
Ultimately, Sacramento decided to draft Murray, with the hope that he can contribute right away while also developing into a core piece of the franchise’s future.