Sports

After hitting game-clinching free throws, Doncic told former Kings GM ‘He should have ‘drafted me'”


Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings

This story starts in June 2018, when the NBA draft was like this:

1. Phoenix: Deandre Ayton
2.Sacramento: Marvin Bagley three,
3. Atlanta: Luka Doncic
4. Memphis: Jaren Jackson Jr..
5.Dallas: Trae Young

While Atlanta’s trade of Doncic for Young will forever tie the duo together, in Sacramento, the draft was considered a swing and miss that set the team back years. How did then-Kings general manager Vlade Divac — a man who knew the international game — pass up on Luka Doncic? (Or, really, any of the next three players would be a better choice).

The Kings are almost certain to advance to the play-in round after Dallas swept Sacramento in two games on Friday night. Luka Doncic sealed the game with a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds left, then waved to Divac where he could see him and said, “He should pick me.”

Really cold.

There have long been rumors that Divac didn’t want to draft Doncic because of his feud with Doncic’s father. Divac strenuously denied the claims.

The more likely reason is that Divac violated one of the cardinal rules of the NBA draft: select the best player, regardless of position (how much role ownership played in this decision is up for debate).A year ago, Divac and the Sacramento Kings drafted a future All-Star/All-NBA point guard De’Aaron Fox, so instead of picking a ball-handler like Doncic or Young, Divac went position-wise and chose Bagley as the big man to pair with Fox. Bagley never developed in Sacramento, and this pick set the team back a step until it had to give up a high-upside player. – Quality players (Tyrese Haliburton) Find a big man that fits Fox Domantas Sabonis.

Whatever the reason, like all Doncic greats, he turned an obvious slight into fuel for the fire, and the King paid the price.





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