Sacramento Kings

Doncic, Porter or Bagley? Sacramento media weigh in on Kings draft prospects

Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) celebrates after making a 3-point basket during the second half of a regional final game against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) celebrates after making a 3-point basket during the second half of a regional final game against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Omaha, Neb. AP file

As the Kings' front office prepares for the NBA draft on Thursday, three names have risen to the forefront as favorites to be taken at No. 2 overall.

The names Luka Doncic, Michael Porter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III are circulating throughout the city as the anxiety increases around a team that is pressing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Here's a sampling of insights from around Sacramento sports media on whom they think the Kings should pick and whom the team should absolutely avoid.

Leo Beas, Cowbell Kingdom

Pick: Luka Doncic

“I’ve been scouting Luka Doncic since November very heavily and watching lots of games. I just believe he fits the mold of this new era of NBA basketball with his passing, shooting, playmaking ability and just overall feel for the game. He makes everyone better around him and ... this guy is a true leader. He’s been doing it since he was 16 years old at a high level at Real Madrid.”

Pass: Michael Porter Jr.

“Obviously, if he's healthy then I would be comfortable drafting him even No. 1 overall, but he’s a guy I would stay away from in the top five. The Kings just went to go scout him in Chicago and he could not get out of bed because his hip was in so much pain. To me that’s a huge red flag especially because he’s 19 years old. Again, with Harry Giles they took a risk with him at (No. 20) last year and that’s the correct way to go about guys with a lot of talent, but injury question marks, so I would not touch him in the top five.”

Jim Crandell, FOX40

Pick: Marvin Bagley III

“I haven’t seen, to be honest, any of these guys play in person and I haven’t even seen a lot of video on a lot of them, but from what I do know about Bagley, he’s a ferocious rebounder who wants to be a good rebounder, he’s very strong around the rim, he’s athletic, he can run the floor, which is obviously what the Kings appear to want to do. The concern about him is his perimeter shooting, and that’s such a big part of the NBA game today, that is definitely a check in the negative column for him, but I just think … he’s the surest bet to be a success in the NBA.”

Pass: Michael Porter Jr.

“I definitely would not take Porter Jr. — I just don’t think they can’t afford to do that. They can’t take another guy who is iffy physically and I don’t care what the doctors say, nobody can say for certain this guy’s back is going to be great.”

Sean Cunningham, ABC10

Pick: Marvin Bagley III

“(Michael Porter Jr. is) an elite scorer, but if you have question marks over his back, that’s definitely a red flag. So Marvin Bagley, who I look at as an elite rebounder, a very good scorer, terrific size and … I do think he’s also the best player available for them.”

Pass: Jaren Jackson Jr.

“The reason I would stay away from Jaren Jackson has nothing to do with health, but almost to do with his ability. I think he’s an elite defender, he’s also a freshman, very young, much like a lot of these players in the draft, but the thing that scares me about Jaren Jackson is the fact that I’m not so sure that he, outside of defense, is elite in any other level.”

Whitey Gleason, ESPN Radio 1320

Pick: Michael Porter Jr.

“Michael Porter is a really good fit for them because, for one thing, he has the most upside or appears to have the most upside, and they really need to hit a home run with this pick given that they don’t have a first-round pick next year, which I know we don’t like to talk about, but there’s no way around that. Also they don’t really have the luxury of being able to pick a player because of the position he plays, however, one of the beautiful things about Porter from the Kings’ perspective is that he may have the most upside, and he happens to fit a need as well. ... They’re not going to pick a guy who is going to the chiropractor every day, but assuming that the medicals are promising, which they appear to be, then I think he’s the best pick for them.”

Pass: Luka Doncic

“I’m not sure his game is going to translate, completely, to the NBA. My biggest concern with him is he really is not a very good shooter right now.”

James Ham, NBC Sports Bay Area

Pick: Michael Porter Jr.

“He can line up and play the small forward position and at 6-10 and three-quarters, he can also slide over and play a stretch four. To me, those are the two positions that this Kings team need the most. They’ve got plenty of holes to fill, but he kind of fits your biggest needs. He also is probably the best scorer in this draft and that’s another thing the Kings could really use. They could really use a top-flight, No. 1 scoring option.”

Pass: Marvin Bagley III

“He’s a guy that I know the Kings are very interested in, but at the end of the day, No. 1, he doesn’t play defense, No. 2, he’s not a stretch four, and I don’t think he can defend stretch fours. I do think that he would help the Kings as a rebounder because I think he’s got an incredible sort of mindset for rebounding and a spectacular, quick jump, but I just think his minuses outweigh the pluses. And if you draft a player like Bagley, you have to turn around and move off of some other young players that you’ve spent a couple years developing, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to give up on some of the young players, but especially for a player who doesn’t really fit either one of your biggest needs.”

Jason Jones, The Sacramento Bee

Pick: Michael Porter Jr.

“They need someone who‘s dynamic, who can be a scoring threat on the wing to kind of go with this team. They’ve got a lot of guards, they’ve got some young bigs, but they don’t have a guy on the wing where you’d say that guy can be a guy who could score 20 points a night, and if Porter is healthy and develops the way people tell me he could, he can end up being that guy who can be a special type of player.”

Pass: Mo Bamba

“I don’t know if there is anyone they should avoid because I think all the guys can help them in a different way. … I mean I wouldn’t maybe take Mo Bamba at two, but if they were at five and they took him, if they traded back to five, I wouldn’t I have a problem with that."

We break down the five biggest booms and five biggest busts at the No. 2 overall pick in NBA Draft history. The Sacramento Kings have that spot for the 2018 draft.

Mark Kreidler, ESPN Radio 1320

Pick: Luka Doncic

“He just strikes me as a guy with an unbelievable amount of upside. So you have a versatile, potentially multi-positional player who is a great ballhandler and is a team-oriented player and a playmaker, which by the way doesn’t mean he can’t play with another playmaker like (De’Aaron) Fox — he clearly can — who also has room to grow.”

Pass: Michael Porter Jr.

“The reason I wouldn’t take Porter is I don’t have his medicals … but as we sit here with what we know, there’s no way I would pull the trigger on Porter with the second pick in the draft."

Grant Napear, Sports 1140 KHTK

Pick: N/A

“It doesn’t really matter to me, and the reason for that is I don't think there’s anyone that’s living on the planet that can say who is going to be the best pick for the Sacramento Kings right now. It’s not an exact science, there are mistakes made every year. I think that there are several players in this draft that could come in and help the Kings out immediately, and being at No. 2 gives you a lot of options, so I can’t say who would be the best player for the Kings.”

Pass: N/A

“Out of the top-five guys, I hate to be a cop-out here, but I don’t know how anyone could say definitively who the Kings should avoid because almost all the experts feel that the top four to five players in this draft are going to be really, really good and those names we know who they are: DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mo Bamba, so I wish I could tell you who the Kings should avoid because the reality is if the Kings make a mistake with this draft pick, it’s going to set the franchise back five years."

Lina Washington, ABC10

Pick: Marvin Bagley III

“I’ve known of him since he was in eighth grade because he actually played for my high school and … he transferred to an academy and then went on to become ACC Freshman of the Year at Duke, but I think that he has the biggest upside of the players that will be available with the second-overall pick. The concern is his skill on defense and what he will be able to produce at an NBA level and I think ... he has room to grow in that area.

“He just has instincts around the rim that I think the Kings need, and I think that he already has gone on the record saying he feels like he’s a good fit here, so why not take a guy who's already feeling the vibe and wanting to grow and contribute to a team that is in the rebuilding process with other young players that he’s familiar with, that he’s competed against his whole young career?”

Pass: Michael Porter Jr.

“I don’t know if he’s not necessarily a good fit, but I think that with the health concerns surrounding Michael Porter Jr., I just think it’d be best for the Kings to go with somebody they know can produce and is healthy and they don’t really have to question if they’re able to compete and transition into the NBA and the pace that comes with that."

Draft prospect Michael Porter Jr. is "motivated" to prove he's ready for the NBA.

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