SACRAMENTO -- The 2018 NBA Draft is just around the the corner and the action is heating up. Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadivé traveled to Spain last week to watch Luka Doncic suit up in a Real Madrid uniform. Sacramento’s front office made their way to Chicago on Friday to kick the tires on forward Michael Porter Jr. and they intend to visit the forward again later this week.
On Monday morning, power forward Marvin Bagley III dropped by Golden 1 Center to workout for the Kings. It’s an open race for the second overall selection and the Kings are doing their best to cast a wide net.
Media members were allowed in at the tail end of Bagley’s work out as he banged in the post against assistant coaches Phil Ricci and Bob Thornton. The athletic big out of Duke held his own, using a variety of moves with both his right and left hands to score over Ricci and Thornton.
“I can do a lot of different things, I’m not just one-dimensional,” Bagley said when asked why he thinks he’s the best player in the 2018 draft class. “I can go inside and out and create for my team. I can be a positive leader, lead by example. Most importantly, compete. I like to compete and win and just go hard every single day.”
Word coming out of Sacramento is that Bagley looked good in his workout. Known as a high-motor player, the 19-year-old showed ball-handling and shooting skills that he wasn’t able to showcase during his time with the Blue Devils. His incredible leaping ability and versatility shined through as well.
“I don’t want to label myself as a position, I want to be able to fit in where coach needs me and be able to do it well,” Bagley said. “I just try to go out and work on every aspect of my game and be ready for that moment.”
Whether he did enough to persuade the Kings into drafting him No. 2 is another story. Sacramento has plenty of options at the four and five positions, including another Duke product in Harry Giles. If the Kings decide to choose Bagley, there will have to be corresponding moves.
In his lone season at Duke, the 6-foot-11, 235 pound big posted huge numbers, including 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for coach Mike Krzyzewski. He’s relentless on the glass and would instantly improve a Kings team that ranked 28th in the NBA in rebounding last season.
Bagley has only worked out for the Kings and the Phoenix Suns, although he still intends to visit the Atlanta Hawks between now and next Thursday’s draft. While he hasn’t visited a lot of NBA cities, his initial impressions of Sacramento were good.
“I love it here, just being around all the people I’ve seen so far and met so far, just walking around the city, it’s a cool environment to be in,” Bagley said of his visit. “Not only that, on the court, I feel like it’s a place where I can definitely focus, lock in and get better. And that’s the main goal for me, to continue to grow as a player and get better.”
Bagley met and hung out with Giles and point guard De’Aaron Fox on Sunday evening. He stayed overnight in Sacramento before working out with the Kings on Monday morning.
The Kings will continue working out prospects throughout the week as they prepare for the draft. They’ve focused on a small group of players, but a lot can change between now and June 21.