The Sacramento Kings are in a bad way right now. Even with all the young prospects they’ve acquired, they have yet to find their franchise cornerstone — the superstar talent that will change everything.
Luka Doncic could have been that guy had Sacramento drafted him in 2018. Picking second, they had the chance to draft him. Instead, they elected to go with Marvin Bagley III, a decision that still draws a lot of questions in NBA circles.
Why did the Kings pass on Doncic that day? According to Shams Charania, it was about finding the best fit for the guys they already have.
Throughout the Kings’ pre-draft process in 2018, the Kings scouted Doncic heavily, including a dinner with the young prodigy led by Ranadive that also included Vivek’s son, Aneel, and Divac; the gathering was shared on Aneel’s social media. There was ownership support for the drafting of Doncic at No. 2 overall, but Divac, along with then-assistant general manager Brandon Williams and Stojakovic had concerns about his upside compared to Bagley’s, sources said. As The Athletic reported last month, the belief that Doncic’s ball-dominance would limit Fox’s ability to grow and that they were better suited pairing him with a talented big like Bagley were driving forces behind the decision.
It is true that neither Doncic or Fox would have likely reached their full potential having to share the ball. But knowing who Luka is now, it’s likely they would have picked him up regardless. He’s averaging 28 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.7 assists.
Begley ha snot exactly lived up to expectations as the third overall pick, and the Kings are feeling quite a bit of frustration over the issue.
Things would likely be very different had they made a different choice that day.