Life hasn't always been easy for the Sacramento Kings. Small market teams are never going to have a whole lot of pulling power when it comes to the free agency market, making the draft all the more important, and a lot of the Kings' woes, particularly in recent times, can be attributed to their misses on the draft board. But while they have historically been pretty average on draft day, they've still managed to make plenty of good picks over the years. These are the eight best draft picks in Kings history.

8. Kevin Martin (Pick 26, 2004)

Kevin Martin's first season wasn't exactly filled with promise. In 45 games, he averaged 10.1 minutes, 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds, and didn't exactly look like the diamond in the rough he ultimately proved to be. But the former 26th pick upped his game significantly in both his second and third season, and by the latter was averaging 20.2 points. He bumped that up even further over the next couple of years to the point where he was one of the better scorers in the league, averaging 24.6 points and shooting 41.5% from three-point range in 2008-09. In all, Martin played five and a half years of his 12-year NBA career in Sacramento, and for a 26th pick provided them with plenty of output.

7. Jack Twyman (Pick 8, 1955)

Heading back a few years now, to when Jack Twyman was selected with the eighth pick by the then Rochester Royals. Though he was overshadowed by a couple of bigger names on the team, Twyman carved out a fantastic career for the team, playing all of his 11 seasons in the league in Sacramento and ultimately having his jersey retired by the franchise. A 6x All-Star, Twyman's most productive season came in 1959-60, when he averaged a huge 31.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists on a struggling team. His numbers didn't ever reach those heights again, but he played a key role on the Kings as they worked their way back into relevance over the next few seasons.

6. Peja Stojakovic (Pick 14, 1996)

Peja Stojakovic is one of the better picks this franchise has made in the Sacramento Kings era, playing over seven seasons with the team after being drafted with pick 14. He averaged 8.4 points in his first season and 11.9 in his second, but after that he would go on to average over 19 points in each of his next five seasons with the team. He was twice an NBA All-Star with the Kings and was voted to the All-NBA Second Team in 2004, and the sharpshooting that saw him max out at 43.3% from three in 2003-04 saw him twice win the Three-Point Contest. Stojakovic went on to have a good career elsewhere after his time at the Kings came to a close, but nonetheless his number 16 hangs in the rafters at the Golden 1 Center.

5. DeMarcus Cousins (Pick 5, 2010)

DeMarcus Cousins' time in Sacramento is, unfortunately, synonymous with a distinct lack of success, with the team never winning more than 33 games in a season during his six full seasons with the team. But while his stats may have been bolstered by the lack of support he had around him, there's no denying just how significant an impact Boogie had on the team. The domineering big man provided long-suffering Kings fans with a reason to tune in during a very difficult era, consistently averaging in the mid-high 20s, double-figure rebounds and a few assists per game to boot. He was a 4x All-Star and twice on the All-NBA Second Team, and by far the best years of his career came while he was in Sacramento, with injuries derailing him after he left.

4. Isaiah Thomas (Pick 60, 2011)

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Isaiah Thomas didn't have a long career in Sacramento, but in terms of value for pick number he could be at number one on this list. The 5'9″ point guard slipped all the way down the draft board largely because, well, he was 5'9″, but with the last pick of the draft, the Kings gave him a chance. At his height life was always going to be difficult in the big league, but he found a way to make his mark during his three seasons with the Kings, and in his third of those averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists. But the popular point guard's career in Sacramento ended there as he was shipped off to Phoenix, but it was at his next stop in Boston where he made the biggest impact. With the Celtics, he was a 2x All-Star and in 2017 was a member of the All-NBA Second Team for his 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game – not bad for a pick 60.

3. De'Aaron Fox (Pick 5, 2017)

When De'Aaron Fox was drafted in 2017, the Kings hadn't made the playoffs for over ten years. It's safe to say they were in desperate need of a win on draft day, and Fox has certainly filled that need. In his first five seasons he showed consistent improvement, but unfortunately the team didn't, extending their playoff drought to 15 years. But with Domantas Sabonis joining the fray and a number of other good pieces around him, he has developed into a high level NBA player, and in 2022-23 led the team back to the playoffs at long last. Fox won a host of accolades that year – he was an NBA All-Star, voted to the All-NBA Third Team, and won the NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award for his league-leading last quarter numbers. Fox's career still has a long way to go, but at just 25 years of age he has the opportunity to develop into one of the greats of the franchise.

2. Nate Archibald (Pick 19, 1970)

Even if he was selected with pick one, Nate Archibald would be right at the top of this list – the fact that the then Cincinnati Royals got him at pick 19 makes this selection even better. ‘Tiny', as he was affectionately known, would go on to have a Hall of Fame worthy career, ending as a 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, and NBA champion. Unfortunately that championship didn't come with the Kings, but nonetheless the six years he spent with the franchise was enough for him to go down as one of the greats. The diminutive point guard didn't take long to make his mark on the league – after a solid first season, he went on to average 28.2 points and 9.2 assists in his second, and an incredible 34.0 and 11.4 in his third. Those are historic numbers, and though he wouldn't ever repeat them, he continued to put up big numbers every year for the rest of his time with the team. He would go on to play for three other franchises, most notably the Boston Celtics, but never was he as influential as he was during his initial years with the Kings.

1. Oscar Robertson (Pick 1, 1960)

Could this ever have been anyone else? Oscar Robertson might have been an easy selection for the Royals, but the extraordinary career he would go on to have with them makes him an obvious number one on this list. The Big O would go on to play ten seasons with the franchise, and it's safe to say they were pretty good ones. He dominated from the outset, averaging an incredible 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists in his first season in the league, while he went even better the next year with 30.8, 12.5 and 11.4. The original triple-double machine, Robertson led the team to six consecutive playoff appearances between 1962 and 1967, though unfortunately they never made it past the Division Finals in that time. Robertson ended his career as one of the most decorated players in league history, a 12x All-Star, 9x All-NBA First Team member, and league MVP. He got the championship he deserved with the Bucks in 1971, and had his jersey retired by both teams for which he was such a dominant force.