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Marvin Bagley did not fare well in ESPN’s NBA Sophomores Ranking

ESPN doesn't believe Marvin Bagley has lived up to his pre-draft potential. Yet.

The 2018 NBA Draft was an unfortunate watershed moment for the Sacramento Kings. We've hashed this saga out hundreds of times before, so to make a long story short: Vlade Divac had an opportunity to draft Luka Doncic and effectively erase his reputation as a poor general manager while being directly responsible for turning this franchise around, and he just missed on it. He didn't think Luka Doncic was as good as everyone else did.

Divac selected Marvin Bagley with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and after a promising rookie season, Bagley's sophomore campaign has been littered with injuries and setbacks.

At this stage in Bagley's career, considering how much court time he's missed, it's hard to project what his prime looks like. He'll be the single most intriguing King when the NBA returns at the end of July, and for better or worse, how he performs in those 8 games in Orlando will heavily influence his career narrative as the organization heads into an immensely important offseason for this young core.

ESPN's Kevin Pelton and Mike Schmitz took a fresh look at the 2018 NBA Draft by ranking sophomore players by star potential.

Both Pelton and Schmitz agree that Luka Doncic is in a class of his own. He's probably the best young player in the entire NBA regardless of draft class. Zion Williamson is the only other player in the conversation.

Where analysts rank Doncic among young NBA players isn't very compelling. We all know the answers there.

Where analysts rank Marvin Bagley is much more interesting as I often find myself wondering the same thing. We know Bagley isn't Doncic, but what can he be, and is that worth building around? These are questions the Kings have to answer, and topics Kings fans discuss all the time.

Pelton and Schmitz both ranked their top-10 NBA sophomores. Pelton didn't have Bagley on his list at all, opting for Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jaren Jackson Jr., Deandre Ayton, Devonte' Graham, Mitchell Robinson, Donte DiVincenzo, Duncan Robinson, and Mikal Bridges over the Duke big man.

Schmitz gave Bagley the nod at no. 10 on his rankings.

I went with Bagley at No. 10. I wasn't all that high on him as an elite prospect heading into the draft, as bigs who don't make 3s consistently, create for others or defend at a high level aren't what teams tend to look for. Still, I think Bagley has a bright future as a mismatch, scoring center given his rare fluidity and ability to handle at 6-foot-11. Although not always efficient, he's still averaging 21.0 points (49.7% FGs), 10.8 rebounds (3.1 fouls), and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes through 75 NBA games. Watching him push off the break and spin past Rudy Gobert for a finish makes me wonder what he could look like in a year or two once he improves as a shooter and decision-maker.

I can't disagree with the assessment from Schmitz here. That is the conundrum with Bagley. He's best utilized as an interior center offensively, but he doesn't have the strength or defensive skills to put him in that position for significant stretches. If you play him with another interior center like Holmes or Len, you can hide his defensive deficiencies, but all of your offensive spacing goes away with it.

The Kings have tried to find a solution to this problem. Dewayne Dedmon was supposed the be the defensive floor spacer that would allow Bagley to focus on what he can do while hiding what he can't, but Dedmon seemingly forgot how to play basketball here. There just isn't an abundance of modern NBA bigs that can space the floor and defend the rim, and the emergence of Richaun Holmes at center on a team friendly contract complicates optimizing Bagley even more.

I wouldn't take Pelton or Schmitz's word as gospel, but I find value in reading outside voices whether I agree with them or not. It's important to check your perception once in a while. In this case, it seems like the majority agree on Marvin Bagley: It hasn't always been great, and the injuries complicate everything, but it's too early to call.

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Rik Smits
7 days ago

I’m trying, but I just don’t see Marvin as a Center. He lacks the frame and strength, and I think if he somehow develops it, he likely won’t retain his speed, explosiveness and agility. Defensively, he’s hard to watch because he lacks the court vision and BBIQ to be a good team defender and a plus defender in general.
 
His best shot is at PF, IMO, but he must have a reliably outside shot for that to happen. And that is definitely possible. Some passing ability/willingness would help too.
 

as bigs who don’t make 3s consistently, create for others or defend at a high level aren’t what teams tend to look for. 

Someone held Vlade’s beer…
 

Fifth Mookie
7 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

 he lacks the court vision 

 
is basically my main critique of MBIII as an NBA player from start to finish.

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

He also lacks other abilities that are vital in today’s NBA.

Adam Dieter
7 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

I could see him being used at center but only if he is paired with a jack of all trades stretch four/wing. Think Stoudemire on the Suns. He definitely needs to get better defensively, but I do think that area is more improvable than his ability to stretch the floor.
 
Not that I’m advocating for it but if the Kings could get Winslow and put him at the 3 and move Barnes to the four, it could work. Although grossly overpaid, Tobias Harris is another option. It would take moving Buddy, but a lineup of Fox, Bogi, Barnes, Harris, and Bagley could have a future. Again, this is all determined on Bagley’s defense.

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  TonyXypteras

I think Markkanen is a pretty interesting buy low-ish candidate if he, in fact, is seen as a piece to move by the Bulls. But I really don’t see a future timeline where he and Bagley ever develop into anything but a complete defensive disaster as a front court pairing.

Maxwell Huss
6 days ago

What about Mo Bamba? I have no idea if he’ll be available, but Orlando does have quite a few big men. Bamba has defensive upside, and has shown some ability to shoot the 3.
 
I have no idea what a trade for Bamba could look like, but just purely from a fit perspective that’s the type of trade I would be looking for if the FO wants to maximize Bagley.

Rik Smits
7 days ago
Reply to  TonyXypteras

is turning him into a perimeter player the best use of his skill set?

There is no “best use” for his skill set in today’s basketball, IMO, and that is exactly the problem, especially at the spot you got him.
 
Also, without an outside shot that defenders will respect, it will be that much harder for him to take guys off the bounce, especially if he can’t go right.

Ray Yund
6 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Exactly my thoughts since before we drafted him. Just very difficult to find a spot on the floor for him in the modern game.

test name
6 days ago
Reply to  TonyXypteras

We could surround him with all pro shooters, but it won’t matter much if he won’t pass it to them imo. I am sure there is a strategic argument that says spacing is good regardless of (lack of) passing, but I can’t make it. Can someone else?

Rob Hessing
7 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Yep, yep, yep. Whether he is called a 4 or a 5, a perimeter game and floor vision will be a must.
 

Uche Igwe
7 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

And tbh if I had to choose between those two skillsets developing I think I’d rather have the floor vision. I just salivate over the idea of bagley being able to get open shots for his teammates from the paint (or high post) while still calling his own number when appropriate.

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  Ifeanyi

Unfortunately, I don’t really believe things like floor vision can really be meaningfully improved at this point in his development.

Uche Igwe
6 days ago

your probably right 😭

Jeromy Simonoff
6 days ago
Reply to  Ifeanyi

I just salivate. Which, according to my supervisor, is very unprofessional…

David Sheehy
6 days ago
Reply to  Sacto_J

And I hear it may be a new COVID-19 symptom.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Now that Grant is gone, will anyone defend this draft selection?

John Navickas
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

No one will dare break rank with management. If they try V&V will use 8 game tape delay thing to have old clips of Napear reasoning/defenses dubbed over any dissent. Sort of like 1954 Godzilla film!

Ars Legendi
7 days ago

I will die mad about this.
 
We shouldn’t be talking about how to pair what should be a cornerstone player with a better version of himself to hide his flaws. We should be wearing purple jerseys with Doncic on the back.

Dennis Allen
6 days ago
Reply to  ArsLegendi

i would buy one of those

Ars Legendi
5 days ago
Reply to  ArsLegendi

If that’s Coach Bagley going through and downvoting everyone in here, in my defense, I do own a Bagley jersey.

Tom Cutter
7 days ago

There just isn’t an abundance of modern NBA bigs that can space the floor and defend the rim
 
Cousins could probably fit in another life?

Hong Kong Kings Fan
7 days ago

My opinion on Bagley-
He suits as PF, and Just don’t let him handle the ball, just let him to be assisted…
Look at the top 10 play from Brewer, almost half were assists to Bagleycomment imagecomment imagecomment image
 
If Bagley don’t touch the ball, his weakness(tunnel vision, low BBIQ, bad ball handling skill) can be hidden.
 
Most ideal case: Bagley becoming Bosh…….

Eric W
7 days ago

I think this underrates elements of Bosh’s game a bit. I don’t see Bagley ever coming close to Bosh’s 11-12 Assist rate, nor do I think he’ll get especially close to Bosh as a defender. In general, Bosh was a pretty high BBIQ player. A guy you could actually run your offense through a bit.
 
Bagley is more like Amare (in terms of extreme high end ideal comparisons, though Bagley doesn’t have the violent athleticism, strength, and aggression of Amare. He’s obviously an elite athlete, but his is more built on agility and control). A guy you really just want finishing plays (or quickly attacking closeouts) and crashing boards.
 

Last edited 7 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
T D
6 days ago

Sportsball history is weird. Bosh’s run with the super-Heat team has created this strange and misguided collective memory of him not being an elite level player.

Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  1951

Which is funny, because to me that’s just a sign of what an incredible team player he was and how high his BBIQ was.

Rob Hessing
7 days ago

The difference between bestcomment image
and bustcomment image
is ucomment image
 
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by RobHessing
Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

If you were a GM:
 
Think about what you would have to give up in a trade for Luka Doncic.
 
Think about what you would have to give up in a trade for Marvin Bagley.

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

I mean, there probably isn’t a trade package that gets you Doncic right now.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Doncic for a Covid-19 vaccine. Who says no?

T D
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

comment imagev

T I
6 days ago
Reply to  1951

I’m not saying this is the most perfect gif response ever, but it is.

Rik Smits
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Think about what you would have to give up in a trade for Marvin Bagley.

All hope?

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Depending on what the Kings got for Bagley, a Bagley trade could give me hope.

T D
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

I’d settle for whatever sad return gets us a new GM! 😉

Dean S
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Crazy to think that there are STILL fans who would draft Bags over Luka TODAY. I don’t know why, but I find their IQ offensive. Correct answer is plain as day and yet they refuse to acknowledge it.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  Chef

The purple tinted glasses are VERY strong for some people.

Tom Cutter
6 days ago

They are prescription .. I have to wear them

Eric Snyder
6 days ago
Reply to  Chef

this cannot be true.

John Navickas
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Correction?
 
Think about what you would have to give up in a (to) trade for Marvin Bagley.
 

Ican Hascheezburger
6 days ago
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

Ah, touché!
 

Last edited 6 days ago by Kosta
John Navickas
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Honestly I don’t think he is that bad,I just couldn’t resist. I hope for his sake he is able to get his mind around what he is, and what he can be in the NBA. Fingers crossed for the young man, more than for the franchise.

Trey C
Reply to  RobHessing

you could have said EU, which still works as Vlade is from the EU
 
edit. NVM Serbia has only applied for EU membership

Last edited 7 days ago by infierno_de_baloncesto
G Naps
7 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

I can point out another difference, look at the difference in “game day” attire in those pictures.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  G-naps

Cold-blooded, damn! 🙂

Rob Hessing
7 days ago

On the bright side, at least the Kings were included in a national NBA article. Progress!

Blake Ellington
Admin
7 days ago

Hey all – the embed functionality for tweets and YouTube links is working again.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  Blake

Thanks, Blake!
 
Hmm, that probably makes it difficult for us to Rickroll.

Anthony Gibbs
7 days ago

What a horrible, horrible miss. I’ll forever be pissed off about this.

Alek Bohigian
7 days ago

*deep breath* I think Bagley’s a bust. I hope he isn’t but I thought he’d be a bust when we drafted him, I got a couple glimmers of hope his rookie year and then this year between the injuries and some of the worst court vision and passing ability I’ve ever seen, I think it’s a wrap. I would love to be wrong, but I think any time spent trying to build around Bagley is ultimately going to be a waste of time.

Eric W
7 days ago

“Bust” is just such an amorphous term to me. He’s a bust in that I don’t think he’s likely to be anywhere close to the 2nd best player in his draft class. But I think he’s pretty likely, if health allows, to be a useful, productive NBA player. Honestly, the biggest “swing factor” IMO is probably developing a willingness to embrace a non-star role.
 
Maybe that’s what Fox was talking about.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Yeah, to me it’s relative. People don’t discuss wether someone picked lower in the draft is a bust or not. He’s the 2nd pick in a good draft. To me that matters.
 
Getting a “useful, productive player” when several players picked after you are playing better is closer to the bust end of the spectrum.
 
But if the term “bust” is a problem, how about “draft failure”?
 
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by Kosta
Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

This makes it more of a criticism of Vlade and the front office, rather than Bagley himself.
 

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

I think the FO is mostly to blame for what will probably be a draft failure, but what seems like Bagley’s “me 1st” attitude also contributes to the failure.

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

The decision to draft Bagley at 2 is absolutely a draft failure. I guess I just see that as more of a comment on the front office than on the individual player.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Yeah

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Is there an accepted universal definition of “bust”?
 
People have probably been arguing with different definitions ever since the term became popular. Like you said, “amorphous”
 
(Thanks for making me use the dictionary today, sir!)

T D
7 days ago

This. Bust refers to the realized return on draft value. I don’t see Bagley ever recouping the draft value they had at the No. 2 spot.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  1951

Pete D’Allessandro: “Vlade, I may have traded away Isaiah Thomas for peanuts, but he was the 60th pick!”

Dean S
6 days ago
Reply to  1951

At this point. I wish we never were in a position to draft Luka. Would have been much easier to live with.

Rik Smits
7 days ago

a useful, productive NBA player

Like, a Quincy Acy?
If you lower your expectations enough, you will never get disappointed!

T I
7 days ago

Completely agree. He’s got enough of a skillset to be a solid NBA player. Anything above that would be a bonus, IMO, and his value to the franchise should be analyzed accordingly.

Rik Smits
7 days ago
Reply to  Otis

This completely ignores things such as context and opportunity costs.
A pretty defeatist viewpoint, IMO.
Sorry if that sounds harsh.
 

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Not at all. But again, those are comments on the front office more than the player.

Alek Bohigian
7 days ago

I’m just not sure he can actually be productive in a way that meaningfully impacts winning and I’m not sure he currently has the mindset to except a support role on a team. To me bust simply implies that he will drastically under perform his draft slot in a very good draft. There’s a solid chance that every other player in the top-5 will be an all star (2 already have) at some point and other lottery players like SGA are already significantly better players. Right now Bagley is Darko and hopefully that can change.

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago

Darko, eh?
 comment image

Tom Cutter
7 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

KingsHerald T-Shirts .. anyone ..
 
comment image

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  ZillersCat

Is that you under the hood?

Tom Cutter
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

I let my whiskers grow out in the pandemic.

Eric W
7 days ago

I mean, despite differing skill sets, and like all comps it isn’t perfect, but its really hard to come up with a better parallel than the ’84 draft at this point. From the draft positions to the court positions. Heck, if you really wanted to you could relate Young to Stockton. Though their draft positions are way off.

Alek Bohigian
7 days ago

Yeah I mean it really seems eerily similar at this point with the caveat that I don’t think the high end will be as high (that would be almost impossible).

Adam Dieter
7 days ago

I wouldn’t compare him to Darko. At this point he is closer to Greg Oden. Fun fact…Oden played 82 games in his first two season played (he sat out his “rookie” season), Bagley played in 75. Also, Oden statistically had a better sophomore season than Bagley.

Alek Bohigian
7 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t mean Darko from a skill stand point or anything like that. I just mean the player taken number 2 in the draft that looks like a massive outlier among the other top-5 picks. And right now Bagley is the turd in the top-5 punch bowl of the 2018 draft.
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by ForKingsandCountry
Adam Dieter
7 days ago

Ahhh, got ya! I think one could also state Hasheem Thabeet as another example. The other 4 taken around him were Griffin, Harden, Tyreke, and Rubio.
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by Adamsite
Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah sadly there are lots of other examples at the number two pick. We just seem to be adding to that (not so) storied history of mistakes.

Carl Spackler
6 days ago

I’m just not sure he can actually be productive in a way that meaningfully impacts winning and I’m not sure he currently has the mindset to except a support role on a team.

This. Bagley may never actually help a team win until he gets over his massively inflated view of himself.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  Carl

Yeah I think he’s probably talented enough to be productive and help a team win but not until he completely changes his game and mindset. And does anybody really think that’ll happen with the Kings? I sure don’t.

TheEffortPolice
6 days ago
Reply to  Carl

And that’s never going to happen. You can develop a three point shot, you can develop defensively (sort of, he’s never going to be anything more than serviceable, but he can get better).
 
But he’s never going to develop a passing mentality. You can tell his camp has been bludgeoning the selfish playing style into him his entire life, and he seems to relish that environment.
 
He’s not going to change.

Rob Hessing
7 days ago

Pervis Ellison was a bust for the Kings, but not a bust when you look at his overall career.
I don’t see a scenario where Bagley goes on to have a productive but pedestrian career for the Sacramento Kings. He will either ascend to a higher level of play or become and NBA journeyman, fetching little in trade. In that regard he will be boom or bust for the Kings, regardless of what he goes on to do elsewhere. But much like Ellison, he may wind up only regarded as a bust in Sacramento.

Adam Dieter
7 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Yup, I fully expect him to be wearing another uniform in the coming seasons and putting up numbers he never approached while in Sac. Just watch him pull a Jermaine O’Neal.

Carl Spackler
6 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t see it. O’Neal never got a chance to play any minutes until his fifth season. Bagley has played plenty of minutes when healthy and has shown little aside from inefficient high volume scoring. Right now, Bagley is Jabari Parker.
 

Last edited 6 days ago by Carl
Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

He’ll probably be considered a bust by everyone. Unless his career is much better than I expect it to be, he’ll probably be mentioned alongside Bowie & Darko (though he’ll probably be better than Darko).

TheEffortPolice
6 days ago

See, I think he will end up a productive player at first glance, but won’t actually be useful.
 
Sort of like Okafor, Randle empty calories. He might polish up the things he’s all about, but it won’t lead to anything. There’s no scenario in my mind where his skillset becomes useful in today’s NBA, even if he is putting up counting stats.

Eric W
6 days ago

Randle is a useful player if used correctly. Okafor’s issue is that he’s a space killer and doesn’t defend at all.
 
Like I said, the key to Bagley being useful is if he’s able to embrace a non-star role. I suspect, as others have suggested, that’s unlikely to happen early in his career or in Sacramento.

Richie J
6 days ago

In such a strong draft (& Luka obviously being the best choice at #2 even before the draft), only being “a useful, productive NBA player” would make Bagley a bust. I’m not even sure if he’ll even be “a useful, productive NBA player” (unless you mean that he’ll be a good bench scorer, which is an outcome I can envision).

T D
7 days ago

Dear ViVlade:
 comment image

Greg Wissinger
Admin
7 days ago

Honestly all I want is for Bagley to be good enough for us to say “Yeah he isn’t Luka and that sucks but he’s really good and he helps the Kings.” What’s sad is I’m not sure if or when he’ll get there.

G Naps
7 days ago
Reply to  Greg

At what point is the line drawn in the sand where fans can come to somewhat of an agreement with “yeah hes good for the Kings” or “he is not good for the Kings”?
 
 
Personally I give him 20 games into next season. If he isnt playing 15 of those first 20 games then in my eyes he “is not good for the Kings”

Alek Bohigian
7 days ago
Reply to  Greg

I mean right now we have almost zero evidence he’ll get there. The thing that’s weird to me is that AT THE TIME the comps to Jabari Parker and Michael Beasley and some of these other power forwards who can’t shoot or defend were really obvious and yet the Kings still took him second.

T D
7 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Image retaining a FO for which that is the current bar for measuring performance: “Well, they may have royally screwed up, but there is still a slim chance for some mitigation, so we are all good!”
 
I mean, how many independently fireable offenses can one GM’s regime have?
 comment image
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by 1951
Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  1951

Vivek’s answer to your question: “Google.”

Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  1951

Setting comically low bars for this org (and still not meeting them) is one of the defining characteristics of the Kings and us fans.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago

I feel like in these times of turmoil, the KANGZ Scale of grading this organization is the only constant in my life.
 

Last edited 6 days ago by ForKingsandCountry
Tom Cutter
7 days ago

Bagley .. and being successful .. not so much.
comment image
 

Last edited 7 days ago by ZillersCat
Tim Maxwell
Admin
7 days ago

My top 10
 
1. Doncic
2. Young
3. Jackson Jr.
4. Gilgeous-Alexander
5. Ayton
6. Sexton
7. Bagley
8. Robinson
9. Graham
10. Miles Bridges

Ican Hascheezburger
7 days ago
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Hey, didn’t we originally have the 7th pick anyway?
 
Just pretend we never won the 2nd pick in the lottery and we’re good!
 
 
 

Last edited 7 days ago by Kosta
Adam Dieter
7 days ago
Reply to  TonyXypteras

Yup, God granted us the #7 pick, but Satan moved us up to #2.

Rob Hessing
6 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

The Lawd gifeth, and the Vlawd taketh away.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

At what point does the Vlawd stop takething away?

Ican Hascheezburger
6 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Giveth away, even. 🙂

Eric W
7 days ago
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

I’m with you through the top 5. But if we’re ranking by star potential Porter Jr would absolutely be in there. And I probably wouldn’t have Sexton or Miles.

T D
7 days ago
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

So, you take Bagley over Carter and Porter right now?

Adam Lane
6 days ago
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

This list looks more like a how good are they now and puts no importance on upside. Alexander is a great example of that. Does anyone think Alexander will ever dream of sniffing an all star appearance? I don’t. Don’t get me wrong he is a great fit in player who is above average on everything with no elite skill. Players like Bagley and Ayton still have way more upside then him. I think Bagley has a great chance at getting back into this top 5 next year. Bagley is averaging 20 and 10 per 36 in his short career. It is hard to argue with people who say that even if he puts up these numbers for a season that they will be empty stats. Just so I can understand people on that side of the argument ill ask you this question. Is there anyone in the NBA right now who is averaging 20 and 10 that you think Gilgeous-Alexander is better than?

Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  Lucky_Guy

I don’t see any reason to think Bagley has any more upside than SGA. SGA is roughly the same age, significantly better now, has better positional size, offers more versatility, and plays more important NBA roles as a playmaker and plus defender across all perimeter positions.
 
Since there are only 2 NBA players that are averaging 20/10 right now (Jokic and Giannis), I suppose no, SGA isn’t better than any of them. But we also know Bagley doesn’t show any of the playmaking and/or defensive abilities that make those guys special. If we were to play the ridiculous pts/rebs-per-36-and-ignore-everything-else game, then we get luminaries like Boban & Tacko. In fact, here’s the complete list. Worth noting, Bagley doesn’t technically qualify this year (19.9/10.5).
 
Tacko Fall (in 24 total minutes!)
Boban
Giannis
Jonas Valanciunas
Embiid
Ayton
Metu
Vucevic
KAT
Jokic
Love
Collins
Porzingis
Ibaka
Randle
Wood
Luka
 
I’d say 5 of those guys are clearly better than SGA (Giannis, Embiid, KAT, Jokic, Luka). Maayyyybbbeee Vucevic. But all of those guys offer some combination of defense, passing, and spacing that Bagley has yet to hint at.
 
Ultimately, a player, any player at any position, that doesn’t create (for self and others) and/or defend at a high level simply has a cap on their ceiling. And Bagley hasn’t shown much aptitude for either. At the moment, because he hasn’t shown any reason to think he’ll ever be much of a passer or any more than a vaguely average-ish defender, he’s looking like his cap may very well be something Julius Randle-y without the passing. How valuable is that?
 
 

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  Lucky_Guy

I think Alexander will absolutely make an all star team and regardless of his upside, he’s already so much better than Bagley that I struggle to see him not being a better player.

Vincent Serrato
6 days ago

I thing Bagley can be a top 5 PF in the league type, although he needs to be able to stay on the court and still develop his game. Not comparing him to his draft class at all because that’s useless now, he still has loads of potential. He has to become a 33-35% deep shooter, average 20/10/3 and be neutral on defense.
 
The problem is, the Kings NEED another playmaker in the starting lineup because Fox alone is not enough to run an offense through. This is why I am so high on Avdija, he can really complement this team. I would also look to keep Alex Len and see if he can go back to shooting 3s.

Adam Dieter
6 days ago
Reply to  Chent

This is why I like Bogi as the starting two guard.

Vincent Serrato
6 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Same here, but Bogi is limited, I like him as a perimeter shooter/pnr threat, but I dont think Fox alone can be the only guy able to get into the paint with ability to playmake. Avdija with his size/ballhandling/passing can give us that third option, unfortunately that may not be realistic.

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  Chent

He’ll need to shoot better than 33-35% from 3 to be a good floor spacer. I don’t think it’s likely that he’ll ever be a top 5 PF. JJJ’s the most likely player from his draft class to reach that goal (if Memphis plays JJJ at PF).

Vincent Serrato
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

Yea top 5 may be a little ambitious, maybe top 10? I didnt really think of Giannis/AD/Kawhi types that can all play the 4. My point is I think he can be really good, we just need to see him play way more than he has and actually improve, which should be a possible outcome. It’s hard to remember how young and gifted he is, and how much raw talent and ability he has already displayed (rookie year). Although flawed as a player he has had some great games as a rookie against good competition.

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  Chent

I wish I had your optimism, but I don’t. He’s very athletic, but that’s the only strength I’ve seen. He might’ve become a star if Joerger was still the coach, but I think the current odds of him becoming a star are low.
 

Last edited 6 days ago by richie88
Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

Yeah, he’s all physical projection at the moment.
 
He’s an elite athlete with uncommon agility for his size. His other elite attribute is his hands. I don’t think he gets enough credit for how soft his hands are both in catching passes/rebounds and shooting inside. He also has a great motor (which I put a lot of stock in).
 
But the BB specific skills and BBIQ we’ve seen from him in college and the pros aren’t special at this point.

Rory Cornell
6 days ago
Reply to  Chent

It’s sad that Vlade chose Bagley because he didn’t think Fox/Doncic would work. In actuality Fox/Bagley is probably worse since they’re both lack girth needed on defense and can’t stretch the floor on offense.

Richie J
6 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Is that the official reason they didn’t draft Luka? That’s idiotic. I like Fox, but Luka’s far better. Additionally, they probably could’ve coexisted well enough to be successful.
 
I think that Fox & Bagley could both become good enough at shooting 3’s to stretch the floor. However, that wouldn’t be enough to fix the FO’s mistake.
 
 

Last edited 6 days ago by richie88
Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

There have been about 8 official reasons why they didn’t draft Doncic and all of them are officially stupid.

Kevin Lam
6 days ago

comment image

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  Klam

But I was told you could play basketball outside in Sacramento in the winter time!

Ican Hascheezburger
6 days ago
Reply to  Klam

Don’t let Vlade go picking out a Christmas tree all by himself!comment image

Kevin Lam
6 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Vlade surrounded by the other NBA GMs:
 comment image

Rob Hessing
6 days ago
Reply to  Klam

comment image
“There’s poop in my bag, Lee.”

Graham Caplan
6 days ago

I feel like Holmes is far beyond what we could’ve hoped for from Bagley. He’s just better in every way, maybe a little less agile but hard to know since we never see Bagley. IMO, focus on resigning Holmes and trade Bagley for literally anything.

Eric W
6 days ago

Fun fact:
Today, Deron Williams received his last paycheck from the Nets. He last played for them on May 1st, 2015. That’s 5 years and 2 months of dead money. In case you’re wondering. The Nets paid him $5,474,787 for the 2019-20 season.

G Naps
6 days ago

That reminds me of the Ralph Sampson contract. His last year in the league was 1992.
 
From espn: https://www.espn.com/nba/news/story?id=2059499
 

Court documents in the 2003 case showed Sampson was paid $539,060 in 1999 and $134,765 in 2000 by the Sacramento Kings.

T D
6 days ago

Fun fact: The Kings are still paying Matt Barnes $2m for this season!

T D
6 days ago
Reply to  1951

Looking that up led to this fun fact realization:
 
Kent Bazemore and Corey Joseph are two of the Kings highest three paid players this year! H. Barnes rounds out the top three at No. 1!
 
My spaghetti monster. I mean, how many wins would you predict for a team that I told you had Barnes, Bazemore and Joseph as the top three highest paid players! Yikes! 😉
 
 

Last edited 6 days ago by 1951
John Navickas
6 days ago
Reply to  ScottyPop

HAHAHAHAHAHA, That is hilarious, good for Steve!

6 days ago

Ayton/Bagley are both a glimpse into the inner workings of bad franchises. Each team is looking to the past to find their next franchise pillar. Very tall very athletic bigs who can work inside out and steal possessions with solid board skills.
Dearest Suns/Kings, zone defense is legal and any paintbound big who can’t pass/shoot threes is a sixth man. Your franchises spent precious top two picks in sixth men and the whole of the league knows. Your backward facing ideals will keep you out of any relevance for the foreseeable future.
 

Last edited 6 days ago by Gabriel_Bonito
Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  Gabriel_Bonito

Not that I think he was a good pick, but Ayton is in a different class than Bagley. He took a significant step forward as a defender this year. Even as a bit of an anachronism, Ayton is still much impactful more impactful than Bags.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago

Yeah I didn’t like the Ayton pick either but at least Ayton is probably going to be really good. I just don’t think a big center that needs touches is helping you all that much in today’s game. But at least he was making a positive impact on the court by the end of the season. Bagley has been a pretty large net negative every second he’s on the court.

Richie J
6 days ago

In terms of star potential, I’d rate Bagley 7th in his draft class (behind Luka, Young, SGA, JJJ, Ayton & M. Robinson). I don’t think he’s likely to become a star, but his ceiling is higher than some of the players on those lists (though he’ll probably be worse than some of the players w/lower ceilings).
 

Last edited 6 days ago by richie88
Eric W
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

I don’t see why his ceiling would be higher than Porter’s. Porter is basically the same size, but with developed perimeter skills and a plus 3pt shot. I can see doubting his health, but if we’re just talking ceilings I don’t see an argument for Bagley over him.

Richie J
6 days ago

I forgot that Porter was in the same draft as Bagley. That drops Bagley down to 8th.

Alek Bohigian
6 days ago
Reply to  richie88

To be perfectly honest I don’t believe Bagley has any star potential. He certainly hasn’t shown any of that potential through two years as a King. As with everything Kings related, I would love to be proven wrong.

Richie J
6 days ago

I thought he had star potential after his rookie season (though his ceiling wasn’t nearly as high as Luka’s ceiling). His injuries & poor play this season make me feel it’s much less likely that he’ll be a star, but I think there’s still a small chance that he’ll be a star (from an offensive standpoint).

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