SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings are on a mission to interview every player available for the 2019 NBA Draft...or at least the players expected to go in the second round or later.
Thursday's workout of six prospects was the team's 14th of the pre draft session and they aren't even close to done. The Kings are expected to host three more groups over the next five days, which will drive their total well over the 100 mark.
It's a stunningly thorough search that requires all hands on deck. During the latest workout, one of the prospects couldn't play, so the Kings turned to one of their player development coaches and a former D-1 prospect, Achaki Okugo, to fill the spot.
Following the session, the Kings brought Okugo over for a mock interview and a special guest came over to ask a few questions.
.@buddyhield had some tough questions for Asst. Player Development Coach Akachi Okugo 😂📲 pic.twitter.com/E73ZgQopXa— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) June 12, 2019
"Last question, what impact can you bring to the NBA game or the G League game?," Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield asked.
"My toughness and I don't back down from anybody," Okugo responded.
Hield, who just returned to Sacramento after a trip to Italy, has great respect for Okugu. He's a constant at the Kings' practice facility, working with players at all hours.
The former Jesuit High School and Grand Canyon University player can often be seen playing one on one with the players after practice. He's a feisty defender, although he plays well below the rim.
Daily dose of dunks. @justwatchkach filling in with the "attempt" pic.twitter.com/BP1iYWDZ1h— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) June 12, 2019
"His game is good, he's a hard working guy, that's what we like about him," general manager Vlade Divac said after the session. "High confidence, it's very rare. He's a good kid, working hard, I'm happy for him."
In addition to Okugo, Josh Reaves from Penn State, Skyler Flatten from South Dakota State, Cody Martin from Nevada, Tyus Battle from Syracuse, Cameron Jackson from Wofford and Isaiah Pineiro out of San Diego worked out for Sacramento.
"It was good, man, a lot of competition, basically just got up and down the whole time, played a lot of half court," Martin said. "They just wanted to see us play, communicate, talk on defense - things like that. It was fun."
Cody and his twin brother Caleb played for former Kings head coach Eric Musselman the last four seasons at UNR. Cody isn't the scorer that his brother is, but he found a way to fill up the stat sheet for the Wolf Pack.
Pineiro came over and spoke to the media as well. The 23-year-old guard is a local kid that grew up in Auburn, California. He graduated from Placer High School before starting his journey college at Sierra College in Rocklin.
The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 18.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game for the Toreros and earned All-WCC honors as a senior.
Sacramento has workouts scheduled for Thursday, Friday and possibly Monday as they prepare for the June 20 NBA Draft. The Kings hold picks No. 40, 47 and 60, although it's unknown at this time if they will hold onto all three selections.