Joe Maloof confident Kings will land first pick

Tue, May 18

How long has it been since the Sacramento Kings owned the first pick in the NBA draft?

You have to go back to a year when "Field of Dreams" was in theaters and Tone Loc was pillaging the Billboard charts. Kings guard Tyreke Evans, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, wasn't born yet.

It was June 1989, and unfortunately for the Kings, it was a remarkably weak draft class. They chose Pervis Ellison, and subsequently traded him after one injury-plagued season.

Kings co-owner Joe Maloof hopes to rewrite some of that history on Tuesday night as the team sends Evans to represent the franchise at the NBA draft lottery in Secaucus, N.J.

Sacramento has a 15.6 percent chance of landing the top pick in this year's draft, but Maloof is brimming with confidence. He's been saying a novena, a devotional prayer repeated on nine consecutive days, in preparation for the lottery.

"I don't care. I'm going to pray for the first pick," Maloof said with a laugh during a Monday visit to ESPN. "I do think we're going to get the first pick. I've never had this kind of a feeling. ... Of course, everyone thinks they're going to get the first pick, but I really do think we're going to get the first pick this year."

Are you listening, John Wall?