The Kings made their pick. They made a lot of their fans angry or despondent. Read Kings Twitter or Sactown Royalty message boards and you can glean that the fanbase is as low as it’s been in the Vivek era. Luka Doncic was the consensus smart pick among fans, pundits, and draft experts. Some had him has the best player in the draft due to his skillset, polish, and accomplishments at such a young age.
But the Kings decided on Marvin Bagley III. In the post-draft press conference, General Manager Vlade Divac defended the selection.
“Marvin for us is better fit, better player and great talent. So, it was an easy choice for us,” Divac said. Divac also believes that Bagley can play the 3, a position no one on the team is currently equipped to do, and that with Bagley the Kings “will play smart and fast.”
I have questions:
- If it was an easy choice, why were there numerous reports they were considering Porter Jr. and Doncic?
- Why would Bagley play the 3 when he never played it in college and is projected to be a power forward or center by, oh I don’t know, everyone else?
- Does Dave Joeger know they’re going to play fast? The Kings had the lowest pace in the league last year. And that team had De’Aaron Fox!
If you want to give this team the benefit of the doubt, you go ahead. But I would ask you to use this little thing called your brain to wonder why they deserve it. It’s not like they have a sterling record, even in the draft. Even Fox, the best pick Vlade has made, doesn’t look like a surefire all-star. And according to Carmichael Dave, one of the reasons they passed on Doncic was because they didn’t want to take the ball out of Fox’s hands. First of all, Dave Joeger will make sure it comes out anyway when he calls for a dozen dump-offs to Zach Randolph’s embalmed corpse in the post. And secondly, what about Fox’s rookie season made you think that this guy should dominate the ball so much? I like Fox a lot, but you don’t pass on a talent like Doncic for Fox. Even then, you could have multiple high level playmakers on the court if they both pan out. The league demands that amount of playmaking anyway.
As for Bagley, he is a good prospect; he’s super athletic (like seriously, he apparently jumps like four times before other dudes get up for a second jump) and he has a high motor, according to the scouts. He averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds in his lone season at Duke. I’m sure Dave Joeger had his input on this pick, considering his fetish for playing two big men at once, which runs contrary to pretty much every good team in the league. Bagley also contributed to a defense so porous, Duke had to switch up their scheme. A big who sucks at defense and only uses his dominant hand doesn’t scream “nba star” to me. But again, I’m just some asshole with a blog nobody reads. Doncic has his weaknesses, too.
But he has far more skills more translatable to the modern league and he was the favorite among pretty much everyone else, like I said. Bagley has to be better than him to justify this risk. He has a lot of work to do, not just because of his flaws but because of the team’s fucked up structure. They are still woefully short on wings, with Justin Jackson being the only guy with the size and length to play small forward. This team’s defense is going to likely be godawful for a while.
All this negativity being said, I’ll still root for the guy. It’d be a dick move to root against a 19 year-old who, by all accounts, is a high-character guy just trying to make his living. And if he turns out to be a baller, then I will gleefully admit I was wrong and adopt him as my child (Buddy Hield is the only competitor for that so far).
But if Doncic is everything we thought he’d be over the next couple years, and Bagley underperforms, then I will cry a river of tears for what could have been for my sweet Slovenian Son.
The Prophecy has been Shunned.
More Draft Notes
- The Hawks traded down from 3 to 5 and grabbed an additional first round pick from Dallas, who picked Luka Doncic while the Hawks picked Trae Young. This isn’t a bad move for either team, to be honest. Atlanta gets the worse prospect, but an additional pick in a long rebuild.
- I WISH THE KINGS FUCKING TRIED SOMETHING LIKE THAT, GODDAMNIT
- Michael Porter Jr., the guy the Kings had at the top of their board until like a few days ago, slipped all the way to Denver at 14. Porter is a fine gamble for a team that’s already got most of its pieces and could use another stud scorer.
- As a guy with chronic back pain himself, I hope it works out for MPJ, because I know it sucks but also because I might need surgery, too.
- Vince Staples, who is the best fucking follow on Twitter by the way, killed the draft by threatening to kill his favorite team’s coach…and @’d him in the process
Ima kill you @DocRivers
— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) June 22, 2018
- The real winner of the draft was Woj, who undercut ESPN’s demand for him to not spoil picks by spoiling picks in increasingly creative ways