SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Kings swung for the fences during the NBA Draft Thursday night. They filled holes, took a gamble and might have even come away with a steal or two in their four selections. There are major roster questions that still have to be answered in free agency or through trade, but here is a look at how the new faces fit into the current situation in Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox, point guard, University of Kentucky Sacramento let it be known early that Fox was a target. The speedy point guard put on a show in his lone season in Kentucky, averaging 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 29.6 minutes per game. He’ll need to improve his 3-point shooting (24.6 percent)
Luke Maye became a local hero during North Carolina’s 2017 NCAA tournament run after making the game-winning jumper to get past Kentucky in the Elite Eight. The legend of Maye will continue to grow after the junior forward knocked down another game-winning jumper against former North Carolina players during the summer Roy Williams Basketball Camp. North Carolina is hoping that Maye’s confidence and shooting carries into next season since they’ll need him to play a much larger part with the departures of Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley.
As a spectator sport, basketball has never been more popular. The NBA Finals had their best ratings since Michael Jordan’s last championship and the intrigue surrounding Thursday’s draft and upcoming free agency has never been higher. Still, the sports youth participation numbers are falling. “At a base level it surprises me that basketball participation is down, especially at the core level,” said Tom Cove, CEO of the Sport and Fitness Industry Association. The SFIA released individual reports on 24 sports this week, an extension of the activity overview released in April, and some of the numbers are concerning for the industry. And although basketball remains the most popular team sport in