Marvin Bagley III’s size and athleticism are obvious to fans and scouts alike, but it’s his mindset that left an impression on the Kings.
Bagley, who was selected by Sacramento with the second pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, said he’s eager to pick coach Dave Joerger’s brain. If you ask Joerger, the 6-foot-11 forward from Duke is “hungry to learn” and already began that process during his pre-draft workout with the Kings on June 11.
“One thing that I appreciated the most is he wanted to learn whether we were in video or out on the court,” Joerger said Saturday during Bagley's introductory news conference at Golden 1 Center. “I did not do exactly an (easy) workout for Marvin, I don’t know how many other ones (he) did, but I put him in some spots to make him uncomfortable to see how he handled it and … he has an appetite and a desire to learn and just soak stuff up, and I enjoyed that the most.”
Joerger has already been thinking about ways to utilize Bagley’s skills on the court.
“He’s extremely athletic, he’s a very willing learner and ... we certainly want to get up and down the floor — we are athletic with our bigs position — and try to open up the court a little bit for De'Aaron (Fox) to have a little bit more space in transition and play fast with some of that athleticism,” Joerger said.
Kings general manager Vlade Divac, who said he’s excited to bring in a talent of Bagley’s caliber, also raves about the 19-year-old’s ability to learn and ask questions.
Bagley said his mind is on his workouts and putting on a Kings jersey for the first time in summer league, which begins with the California Classic at Golden 1 Center on July 2.
The Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year will be tasked with trying to help a Kings franchise that has suffered an NBA-leading 12-year playoff drought when the 2018-19 season begins in four months.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Bagley said. “You want to win and you want to get (into the playoffs), but I understand that it’s a long process.”
That process began Friday, as Bagley said he began working out in preparation for his rookie season in Sacramento.
“It feels good knowing that I’m going to be a part of this for a long time,” Bagley said. “I can’t wait to get in there and get to work and learn as much as I can … and do whatever I can to help us win, so I’m definitely excited.”