It was an exciting day in Brooklyn for the Sacramento Kings, as they added four new faces to the roster.
Sacramento made three selections in the first round – selecting Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox at No. 5 overall, North Carolina forward Justin Jackson at No. 15, Duke forward Harry Giles at No. 20, with Frank Mason III rounding out the newest class of Kings rookies at No. 34 in the second round.
Fox shared insight into what his emotional state was like in the moments leading up to his selection.
“You’re sitting there anxious waiting to hear your name called, and once it’s called, it’s like the world lifted off your shoulders, like there’s zero gravity. I feel like I’m flying out,” said Fox.
Fox, who was the highest full-time point guard drafted by Sactown since Jason Williams was taken at No. 7 in 1998, will be looking to translate his elite speed and ability to get to the rim, but the guard discussed how he felt that his offense wasn’t the only thing that made him stand out to teams.
“Defensively I feel like I really separated myself because I go at people not only offensively trying to score and get my teammates involved, but defensively I’ve always been trying to lock someone up,” said Fox.”For me I wanted to come in and be able to affect the game right away. A lot of people say I could be a franchise changer, and that’s what I really want to be.
The Texas-native further shared his excitement about joining the Kings while donning his newest lid.
“Actually I asked for a visor with every team, and Sacramento heard it, and they blessed me by giving me a visor,” Fox added. “It looks good, doesn’t it?”
While the Kings came into Draft Day holding the No. 10 overall selection, they would trade that pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for both the 15th and 20th selections.
At No. 15, Sactown was able to snag Jackson, who is on the heels of a NCAA Championship with the Tar Heels – capping off a standout junior season at North Carolina.
“It’s an honor to be picked by [Sacramento], knowing I’m going to an organization that I can get right to work,” said Jackson. “And hopefully I’m going to bring somebody that comes to work each and every day extremely hard and does whatever he needs to do to try to be successful, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jackson will be reuniting with De’Aaron, after the two were teammates on their AAU team in Houston back in 2013 and shared his thoughts on the connection.
“Yeah, it’s going to be good to at least have kind of a familiar face out there,” Jackson said. “Sacramento is a long ways away, so to have somebody that I’ve been around and I know really well, that’ll be great.”
At No. 20, Sacramento went with big man Harry Giles, who was one of the most touted prospects heading into his freshman season with the Blue Devils.
Giles, who chose to spend Draft day with his family in North Carolina, tweeted out a note of gratitude.
To top off the newest batch of Kings, Sacramento took Mason with pick No. 34. The fiery guard was recognized in his final season at Kansas with the John R. Wooden Award, presented to the most outstanding player in all of college basketball.
This means that the Kings will now roster the two most recent Wooden Award winners as Buddy Hield took home the hardware after his 2016 season at Oklahoma.
Mason also took to Twitter to express how he was feeling following his selection.