SACRAMENTO -- Deliberate. Calculated. Secretive. The Sacramento Kings held the NBA in suspense throughout the 2018 NBA Draft process. It wasn’t until Thursday morning that anyone knew for sure what Vlade Divac and his group were going to do and even then, there was a possibility of a last minutes swap.
With the second overall pick the Kings selected Duke big man Marvin Bagley III. According to Divac, Sacramento focused on the 19-year-old leaper early in the draft process.
“He’s a guy who works hard, wants to improve, learn, coachable, good teammate, checks all the boxes of what we want,” Divac said.
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Bagley tore up the ACC in his lone season as a Blue Devil and has been vocal about his want to be the first overall selection. He reiterated that desire on his post draft phone call with Sacramento media members on Thursday.
“That’s just the kind of player I am, I have confidence in my game,” Bagley said. “I still think I’m the best player in the draft and I stand by that. I put a lot of work into it and I’m glad I’ll be able to show it with Sacramento and I’m super excited.”
With Bagley in tow, the Kings now have six big men, including veterans Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos, as well as young players Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles. It’s a crowded frontline that Divac will need to adress, or maybe not.
“He can play small forward,” Divac said of Bagley. “He can play 3, 4 and 5. Marvin’s a unique talent. He can play multiple positions.”
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Whether or not Bagley can play the wing is unknown at this time. He played primarily at the power forward and center position at Duke. At 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, he is a lean athlete and he shot nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line last season.
Much to the ire of plenty of Kings fans, Sacramento’s front office passed on Slovenian star Luka Doncic. When asked about the decision, Divac made it clear where his group ranked Bagley.
"Marvin, for us is better fit, better player. Great talent. So it was an easy choice for us," Divac said.
Bagley will land in Sacramento Friday morning. The Kings will introduce him to fans during Music in the Park at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 5pm.
He will meet with the media on Saturday for his introductory press conference, and according to Divac, fans won’t have to wait long to see him in action. The plan is for Bagley to see action in both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer league tournaments beginning in early July.