NBA Draft

Bagley ready to get started in Sacramento: 'I've worked my whole life for this'

Bagley ready to get started in Sacramento: 'I've worked my whole life for this'

SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to sunny Sacramento, California, Marvin Bagley III. The Kings' prized rookie made his way to the Capital City following Thursday night’s draft. On Saturday afternoon, he dropped by Golden 1 Center for his first official media appearance.

While being flanked by his general manager, Vlade Divac, and his head coach, Dave Joerger, the 6-foot-11 big man was all smiles as he held up his new No. 35 Kings jersey.

“To know that I’m going to be in Sacramento, building something and just getting better as a player, it kind of gives me a chance to focus in and lock in on everything I need to get better at,” Bagley said. “I’m definitely excited.”

[WATCH: Marvin Bagley III's full introductory press conference]

Kings fans showed up in force to greet Bagley at the airport Friday afternoon and again at a "Music in the Park" gathering Friday evening. The passionate fanbase that is already embracing the 19-year-old rookie.

“The reaction from the fans everywhere I’ve been so far, it’s been great, it’s been great,” Bagley said. “It makes you feel good and it makes you want to work harder and get ready to go out and play in front of fans like that who have your back.”

Building up to the draft, Bagley told his inner circle not to tell him where he was going. He wanted the moment to be a surprise.

“I was just anxious, I wanted to find out for myself,” Bagley said. “Hearing my name being called, it was kind of an outer body experience, I would say. I’ve worked my whole life for this.”

After bouncing around during his high school career and playing just one season at Duke, Bagley is looking for some stability. He’s moving his entire family out to California with him, including his two younger brothers, who will attend school in the Sacramento area.

Bagley is familiar with a few of the young players, including De’Aaron Fox and Harry Giles, who he played against on the AAU circuit. The trio spent a little bit of time together during the draft process while Bagley was visiting the Kings’ facility.

The plan is for the young Kings players to reconvene on Thursday for a mini-camp leading up to the summer league schedule. It’s a test run for what should be an interesting season of Kings basketball. 

Sacramento will continue to develop their young roster than now includes nine players on rookie-scale contracts. Bagley is expected to see major time in his rookie year as Joerger “takes off the training wheels” for this season.

Bagley likes the nickname MB3Five or MBIII, although he’s leaving it open for suggestions. He’s also been in the studio cutting a track or two.

“Music is a way to express myself,” Bagley told NBC Sports California.“A lot of people see me as a player, only on the court playing basketball. Music gives me a platform to kind of express myself and share my story of how I got here.”

Bagley is an engaging young man with tremendous upside. The Kings hope they landed a future All-Star level player with the second overall selection.

The rookie will make his debut in a little over a week at the California Classic at Golden 1 Center. The three-day tournament over July 2, 3 and 5 will feature the Kings summer league roster, along with teams assembled by the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

Bagley is also schedule to play in the Las Vegas Summer League in the first week of July.

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

nunnap.jpg
AP

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

OAKLAND -- Within hours of adding a draft pick, the Warriors were making another move in their summer of roster tweaking, having decided to waive two-way big man Chris Boucher.

There will be several other moves in the coming weeks as the defending champs seek an infusion of youth for next season.

The dismissal of Boucher on Friday opens up both two-way slots for next season, in addition to four to six additional roster spots that could be available.

The Warriors definitely intend to fill both slots. The two-way designation was implemented last season to give teams more roster flexibility. Two-way players are assigned to G-League teams and are limited to a maximum 45 days in the NBA.

“We’re still learning about the position,” general manager Bob Myers said of the two-way designation. “What’s the best way to utilize it? We learned that for our team, we might need more guys that can step in and less development. But that’s what we have to figure out.”

Boucher, 25 and coming off major knee surgery, was signed last June as a development project. The team did not sign another two-way player until October, when it added guard Quinn Cook, who shined in the G-League and eventually earned a standard NBA contract.

Though the Warriors failed in their attempts to purchase a second-round pick in the draft Thursday night -- first-round choice Jacob Evans III, a wing from Cincinnati, was their total haul -- the team continues to actively pursue free agents that may be available for Summer League play next month.

Oakland University guard Kendrick Nunn has, according to multiple sources, agreed to a partially guaranteed deal. He averaged 25.9 points per game last season, ranking behind only NCAA scoring leader Trae Young of Oklahoma.

Also in line to join the Summer League roster are Oregon guard Elijah Brown, son of Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown, and Georgetown power forward Marcus Derrickson.

The Kings are the Kings, Myers can't swindle in second round and thesaurus reigns supreme

The Kings are the Kings, Myers can't swindle in second round and thesaurus reigns supreme

When the biggest news to emanate from the NBA Draft is Adrian Wojnarowski’s thesaurus, you have a bad draft.
 
When the second biggest news is Sacramento bowing to the wishes of Luka Doncic (and the Kings did just that, we are sure) as another reminder of its place in the basketball universe, you have a bad draft.
 
When the third biggest news is that nobody wanted to talk to Bob Myers about selling their second-round pick to the Golden State Warriors because . . . well, just because, you have a bad draft.
 
When the fourth biggest news is which draftee’s mom is the hottest, you have a bad (and oddly creepy) draft.
 
And when the most compelling stories coming out of the draft are still LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Dwight Howard, you have a bad draft.
 
In ten years you may find, of course, that this was actually a 2009-level (as in great) draft for future stars, and all the other stuff will no longer matter. But that is the case of most things these days – they seem like big deals for about 24 hours and end up being nothing of import.
 
In short, as entertainment, this NBA Draft was that rare flatliner. The league is apparently much better at roasting money, the time for which begins shortly, or maybe our tastes as voyeurs are changing.
 
The Warriors got in Jacob Evans, the 6-6 wing from Cincinnati, a sort of poor man’s Draymond Green (which is a compliment, and an almost rave review for a 28th pick), but the greater development Warriors-wise was Bob Myers’ inability to sweet-talk a second-rounder out of money-hungry competitors. This may be a sign that nobody wants to touch the Warriors as a trading partner, at least until they are no longer considered enemies of the people, or maybe people are coveting draft choices more than they used to do.
 
As for the Kings, they went for Marvin Bagley III largely because he was the highest rated player who went for them. Doncic was largely considered the superior choice, and Michael Porter’s troublesome back worried too many teams (he ended up falling to 14 and Denver), but Bagley wanted to be the second pick if he couldn’t be first, which made his appeal to the Kings clear.
 
But it did nothing to dispel the largely held notion by many players and/or agents that Sacramento is to be avoided by any means necessary, and not because the city is demonstrably worse than any of about 20 other NBA outposts. It is because the perception remains that ultimately, the Kings are gonna King.
 
Thus ends another NBA show, with minimal effervescence or lasting effect. It was a great draft for the purist, if that matters to you, but the truth remains that LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard are going to blot out the sun this summer. It is a victory for the status quo.
 
That is, unless you have a rooting interest in the Adrian Wojnarowski-fought-the-law story line, and frankly, you shouldn’t.