When the Kings moved up to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the excitement in Sacramento was palpable. General Manager Vlade Divac and the team’s management group could go in a couple of different directions, but European star Luka Doncic is expected to get plenty of consideration for a Kings team in search of a franchise player.
On Saturday, Doncic was named the Turkish Airlines MVP of the EuroLeague, which only adds more fuel to the fire in Sacramento.
“It’s amazing, it’s like a dream come true,” the 19-year-old Slovenian told media members on Saturday. “Still, we have one more game to go, which would make me so much more happier.”
The 6-foot-8 wing posted 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 25.9 minutes per game for Real Madrid.
Doncic and his Real Madrid teammates will face off with Fenerbahce in the European Cup Finals on Sunday. His 16-point, 7-rebound performance against CSKA Moscow on Friday helped propel his club into the championship game.
“It’s going to be really really hard,” Doncic said. “Fenerbahce has an amazing team, amazing coach, they have amazing fans. So it’s going to be a really hard game. We need to be focused 40 minutes, every possession and like a team. We need to play like a team.”
There is still a possibility that Doncic could unseat Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton for the top overall selection in the draft. He’s a versatile player that can play the point guard, shooting guard and small forward position and is considered one of the best prospects to come out of Europe in the last two decades.
Michael Porter Jr. - Small Forward - Missouri - Freshman
Age: 19 Height: 6-foot-10.75 Weight: 211
Stats: 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, .3 assists, 1.0 steals, .3 blocks, 30.0% 3-point
Player Comparison: Danilo Gallinari, Tracy McGrady
Porter is an incredibly gifted scorer that projects as a legitimate number one option at the NBA level. His handles need some work, but he can take opponents off the dribble, rise above defenders in the mid-range and shoot from deep. He’s also a solid rebounder for his position and has the size and athleticism to be an adequate defender.
Porter underwent back surgery after just two minutes of play during his freshman year at Missouri. He returned late in the season, but was limited to just 53 minutes of play for the Tigers. His shot selection will need work and he weighed in at just 211 pounds at the combine. He’ll need to get stronger and work the kinks out with his back issues if he hopes to fulfill his enormous potential.
If it wasn’t for the back issues, Porter would be the perfect addition for the Kings. He could start at the small forward position and slide over and player stretch four for stints. Sacramento could use a pure scorer like Porter, but health is a big concern.
Chance of going No. 2
Sacramento would love to take the gamble on Porter, but they’re going to need a clean bill of health. They attended his evaluation day last Friday, which reportedly went well. But with other options on the table, they are going to need assurances that the herniated discs issue was a one time thing.
In Europe, Luka Doncic is a star. It appears he would like to be one in the United States as well.
Fresh off a EuroLeague championship, as well as league and Finals MVP honors, the 19-year-old Slovenian-born wing showed a different side of himself in a video made by the folks over at Bleacher Report.
In an interview with Howard Beck, Doncic made a few of his wishes known, including his want for a signature shoe, a date with Jennifer Aniston and the future purchase of...a tiger?
"I just like tigers. I said if I go to U.S., I will buy a tiger—like Mike Tyson," Doncic told Beck.
Sacramento has Doncic on a short list of prospects they are considering with the second overall selection. He has high aspirations, both on and off the court.
It’s hard not to like the confidence and moxie of this prospect. Will he be a King come Thursday evening?