Vlade Divac defends his choice of Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic

Sport

No one single thing got Vlade Divac shown the door as GM of the Sacramento Kings; it was a culmination of many of his moves that led to Sacramento’s playoff drought reaching 14 years. There were questionable coaching hires, trades that left other team executives shaking their heads, and odd contract decisions.

However, one Divac decision stands out above them all: Using the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Marvin Bagley instead of Luka Doncic.

That’s one Divac defends, as he said,

“That was my decision,” Divac said. “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. But in this league, you need to produce right now. People don’t have patience but I’m OK with that.”

The bubble summed up where things stand with these players: Luka Doncic got bubble MVP votes and made First Team All-Seeding Games team; Bagley did not play due to injury.

Divac believed Bagley’s ceiling was higher than Doncic’s — other scouts thought that as well — and that the Duke big man fit better with budding star De’Aaron Fox. He believes he will ultimately be vindicated.

For Kings fans it has the feel of taking Sam Bowie in front of Michael Jordan (because Portland had Clyde Drexler and didn’t need a wing player). It’s too hard to get elite players in this league and the Kings missed their best chance at one in many years.

Divac stepped down gracefully, a classy move by the veteran player and GM.

Joe Dumars has taken over as interim GM but may sit in the big chair for a year before a new GM is named.

Until a new guy is found, Dumars has a lot of work to do.