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Kings draft Duke’s Marvin Bagley III with second-overall pick, pass on European star

The Kings selected Duke forward Marvin Bagley III with the second-overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday.

Bagley, a consensus All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year as a freshman, impressed the Kings with his size (6-foot-11, 234 pounds), supreme athleticism (40 1/2 inch vertical leap), aggressive style of play and the fact that he's a student of the game who loves the weight room and film study.

"I had a good feeling about this team, the city, the direction they're trying to go," Bagley said. "I was just trying to hear everybody out and do whatever I could to have a good workout and I'm glad they picked me."

Drafting a big has become an annual affair under Kings general manager Vlade Divac. The Kings have acquired a power forward or center in the first round of each of the last four drafts. Some would argue that goes against the NBA's trend of playing smaller, more skilled athletes and ignores the glaring need the Kings have for a wing.

Sacramento passed on Slovenian guard/forward Luka Doncic, who is perhaps the best playmaker in the draft and could have filled a void at small forward.

Bagley is an elite rebounder, which is a weakness of the Kings, and the team believes Bagley has the versatility to play power forward or center, so he can play with the bigs already on the roster.

He'll join another former Blue Devil in the Kings frontcourt. Harry Giles, who sat out last season while recovering from knee injuries, is expected to make his much-anticipated debut July 2 in the California Classic at Golden 1 Center.

On offense, the Kings see Bagley as a big man who can score out to the 3-point line and will be a good offensive rebounder.

"I'm just looking forward to showing every aspect of my game," Bagley said. "I'm an all-around player and how comfortable I am with the ball, dribbling the ball, handling it, creating for teammates, making the right basketball play, just playing the game."

Bagley averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds for Duke, one of only four players to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in the NCAA last season. Bagley became just the third player (Horace Grant, Tim Duncan) to lead the ACC in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage. He shot 61.4 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from 3, and 62.7 percent at the free-throw line.

Doncic, 19, is the youngest EuroLeague MVP ever and one of the most accomplished players at his age in that league's history. In addition to leading Real Madrid to the EuroLeague championship, Doncic recently led the Spanish team to the Liga ACB title.

The Kings also considered Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. He was perhaps the top high school player in the country two years ago and, like Doncic, would have filled a need at small forward.

Porter, however, played only three games for the Tigers due to back surgery, which has scared off some teams.

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