An old video of former Kings GM Vlade Divac has re-emerged, where he explains why they picked Bagley over Doncic.
The Kings parted their way with their GM this August. The Sacramento Kings own the longest ongoing streak playoff drought. It’s been 14 years since they last were in the post season.
Vlade Divac has stepped down as general manager of the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings missed the playoffs for a 14th consecutive season this year, extending the NBA’s longest active playoff drought.
Their drought is the 2nd-longest all-time, behind the Clippers from 1976-91. pic.twitter.com/N1QDc5xNvy
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 14, 2020
All of this could have been different if only the Kings had picked a different player back in the 2018 draft. Back then, the Kings had the second pick in a loaded draft class.
The Suns took DeAndre Ayton as the first pick. The Kings had the second pick. They picked Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic and Trae Young.
“Better Player, Better Fit”: Vlade Divac justifies his draft selection
According to Vlade Divac, he picked Bagley over Luka Doncic because he was a better fit for the Kings roster. Divac also mentioned that picking Doncic may have hampered De’Aaron Fox’s growth.
“That was my decision. I still believe Marvin has big upside. But I needed more time to prove it. I’m sure Marvin is going to prove everybody wrong.
– Vlade Divac on passing on Luka Doncic in the draft
(The Sacramento Bee) pic.twitter.com/aBJNEbGWzK
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 16, 2020
Everyone in the league believed that Doncic is a sure pick for the Kings. It was because the GM Divac himself is a Serbian national, and he knew Luka’s father Sasa.
Later there were reports that Divac doesn’t hold Sasa in high regard, and that may have had something to do with the draft selection. These rumors were discredited by Sasa.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 26, 2019
Whatever the case may be, the Kings missed a chance to draft a sensational player.