Luka Doncic - performance discussion

Trae Young is making the stretch run of the 1st lap of this rookie marathon race rather interesting. The way Trae has been playing as of late, he may end up the best rookie after year 1.

I think it was @Gary that was the KF member most on board the Trae Young bandwagon. Trae is beginning to look an awful lot like the player he was in college last season. He very well could end up being Steph Curry with a lot more speed.
I was on board to draft Luka and trade Fox for Young I just believed there skill sets were can’t miss.

Still love Fox/Bagley combo though
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
I was on board to draft Luka and trade Fox for Young I just believed there skill sets were can’t miss.

Still love Fox/Bagley combo though
I agree that offensively that combo would have had a chance to be insane. (It would have had to be because defensively Luka and Trae and Buddy and Bogi would be getting toasted every single time down the court).

The thing with Trae though is that we've seen him have an absolutely hot streak like what he's doing now and then we've seen him fizzle out through the end of the college year and the first half of the NBA season. I'm pretty sure the real Trae is going to be somewhere in the middle between skinny guy who can't defend or shoot and the greatest shooter ever but I still don't know which side he'll eventually be closer to.
 
I'm pretty sure the real Trae is going to be somewhere in the middle between skinny guy who can't defend or shoot and the greatest shooter ever but I still don't know which side he'll eventually be closer to.
Defensive ability is always a big separator for me. It's one of many reasons I liked Swipa so much coming into the 2017 draft. I just prefer 2 way players, even if the offense will never be elite.

I realize MB3 had a lot of question marks about his defense -- and still does -- which is one of the reasons I wasn't high on him leading up to this draft. But after seeing him play for the KINGS extensively this season -- I became convinced that the defensive concerns were overblown and he has the ability to be very good on that end. We've seen flashes of it throughout the season. I don't believe Trae Young or Luka will ever be very good on that end. But I was willing to overlook it for Luka, which is why I wanted him initially.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
Former Bill Simmons disciple, Texas resident, and Morey apologist speaks highly of Doncic.

In other news, water is wet, winter is cold, and 21/6/5 is the new 20/5/5.
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
So, Luka is still really really good y’all.

The mild passive aggressiveness following that one bad game against The Kings is very silly, at least IMHO.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
So, Luka is still really really good y’all.

The mild passive aggressiveness following that one bad game against The Kings is very silly, at least IMHO.
Gotta disagree here on a personal VF21 level. This is a KINGS board and Kings fans have been subjected to a season full of Luka worship. When the two teams finally meet and Bagley and Doncic both play, it was clear who the better player was on that night.

I personally think Kings fans have shown remarkable restraint. Doncic did NOT look like the presumptive ROY on that night, but Bagley did.
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
A single night is just one single night though. To marginalize the amazing season he’s had because of one stinker is just silly.

A triple double against the champs in only 27 minutes tonight, BTW. Dude’s still a beast.

This isn’t even a Bagley/Doncic thing anymore. I’m happy with Bags. Love him. But to immediatly go and snark at Luka is, as I said, just silly
 
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VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
A single night is just one single night though. To marginalize the amazing season he’s had because of one stinker is just silly.

A triple double against the champs in only 27 minutes tonight, BTW. Dude’s still a beast.

This isn’t even a Bagley/Doncic thing anymore. I’m happy with Bags. Love him. But to immediatly go and snark at Luka is, as I said, just silly
Is it silly? Maybe. Is it predictable and understandable? Yep. That's all I'm saying. There's been a lot of snark on both sides, primarily from the Luka folk before Bagley even stepped onto the court. It makes the Evans-Rubio crap almost pleasant. :p

EDIT: I just had a thought. Can you imagine what Ailene Voisin would have been saying about Doncic? I shudder to think.
 
Now, more than at any time, he looks like a de facto PG who isn’t playing off the ball.

Gets gaudy numbers, but still questionable if you want that, unathletic PF, being the point of attack
 
@Ozymandias I couldn’t reply in the other thread but you and another poster brought up Luka/Bagley bruh similar 3 point shooting percent. Well one too 94 3s the other 511 just cause one shoots 31% and the other 32% doesn’t mean anything. Especially when Bagley 3s are all open
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
@Ozymandias I couldn’t reply in the other thread but you and another poster brought up Luka/Bagley bruh similar 3 point shooting percent. Well one too 94 3s the other 511 just cause one shoots 31% and the other 32% doesn’t mean anything. Especially when Bagley 3s are all open
I'm not Ozy, so you need not look upon my works and despair, but league average from three this year was .355, and league average eFG% was .524. Since Luka shot .327 from three and his threes had an eFG% of .490, every three he took was a less effective shot than the average shot taken across the league. Seeing as he took so many more "ineffective shots" than Bagley, at about the same rate of ineffectiveness, the argument can easily be made that Doncic's threes hurt the Mavs more than Bagley's threes hurt the Kings.

It's not necessarily praiseworthy to take and miss contested threes.

One could also point out that Bagley started out really badly missing his three, and found his stroke later in the season. After the all-star break, Bagley hit his threes at .390, while Luka hit his threes at .264. Obviously we will have to see how things pan out over their careers, but Bagley's stroke appears to be improving, while Luka, including Europe, has a longer (and not all too impressive) track record from long distance.
 
hi, sixers fan here, just thought I would get that out of the way lol
I'm a really like watching the kings (like everyone this year), but I'm also a big doncic fan and I really enjoyed reading this thread, I think the 'what if' of doncic on the kings is a fascinating thing to think about. If I'm out of bounds commenting here as a sixers fan, sorry just ban me.

Basically, I think the kings made a pretty huge mistake not drafting luka- don't get me wrong, I still like bagley and I still think the kings have a bright future! But missing on a top draft pick can have staggering implications.

I don't think bird vs malone is the best comparison to illustrate this concept (although I get that it was chosen because of player similarities). I think it would be better to look at MJ vs hakeem. Hakeem was ****ing awesome, one of the best centers ever, led the Rockets to a championship carrying the team really hard. Getting hakeem was amazing. But picking hakeem over MJ was a franchise altering mistake. Despite how amazing hakeem was, the gap between hakeem is gigantic- literally a 5 championship difference. Doesn't mean having hakeem is bad though, you could always end up drafting a sam bowie.

There's a general attitude among NBA fans that as long as you get a stud in the draft, you're good. But it's really the opposite- getting the right star is incredibly important. The difference between a dame lillard and a steph curry is the difference between being at best a 2nd round out and winning rings. I'm not saying that luka is MJ or curry, or that bagley is malone or lillard. I'm just trying to illustrate that just because you drafted a stud doesn't mean it's ok that you missed out on an even better prospect- the difference between a star and a superstar is what differentiates slightly above average teams and championship teams.

When it comes to fit, I really don't see why anyone would think luka wouldn't fit well with the kings. Jump shooting perimeter stars fit well on any team. If you think he would take the ball out of fox's hands, well, that's not really a bad thing. I think it's best to look at the rockets in this case. Harden is literally probably the best player in the league (besides maybe lebron) at putting his team on his back and carrying with an incredibly high usage, and yet he's always struggled in the playoffs when he's been without cp3. If carrying the load by himself is too much, how is fox supposed to do it?

Having multiple elite shot creators in the playoffs is the answer. 48 minutes is plenty long for fox to get tons of usage along with doncic. Having 2 primary initiators can push a team to the next level. Also, Doncic and fox can both be great offball player because a) they're both solid shooters b) really good ball dominant players are almost always talented enough to be good offball players too. The idea that the kings need bagley because they need an elite big man? Well, most elite teams have an elite big man, but it's usually a talented do-it-all defender, not an elite interior scorer.

The celtics have horford, the warriors have draymond (not exactly big but he fills the role), the rockets have capela, thunder have adams, pacers myles turner, bucks brook lopez, raptors marc gasol, jazz gobert, etc. The only elite teams with a star center are the nuggets, where jokic really plays point center and not back to the basket big, and the sixers with embiid. Embiid is a semi-transcendent center, and it's still not clear that he can carry the sixers deep into the playoffs.

Bagley is a tweener who doesn't protect the rim, isn't a particularly talented passer, and the jury is still out whether he can space the floor. He might end up being a super talented interior scorer, but is that the way to win in the modern nba? Having multiple perimeter creators with a do-it-all floor spacing/rim protecting defender ala JJJ seems to be the way to go.

Can we really know how good luka and bagley will be? Giannis averaged 7 points per game as a rookie, and evans averaged the same stats as doncic! Well, these guys are extreme outliers. For a rookie to have the stats of tyreke evans and then play worse for his entire career is incredibly unusual. There is definitely some variation in outcomes of 19 year old rookies, and we can't say with any certainty where these rookies will be in 5+ years. However, star players typically show their potential in their first couple of years. Great rookies usually become great players.

All in all, luka has a solid shot at being a high level superstar. His athleticism is a weakness (though not quite as big a one as many people think considering his size), and his shooting is not elite. These could prevent him from becoming a generational talent. However, his upside is incredible. There's a very good argument that no forward in the history of the sport has had luka's level of basketball iq and feel for the game as a teenager. He doesn't have wicked handles, but he's super talented and great at creating shots for himself. He's not an elite shooter, but he's probably an elite tough shot maker and an elite step back 3-point shooter. It's not unrealistic to imagine some combination of lebron and harden's weakness and strengths- harden's athleticism, pick and roll ability and step back shooting (although unlikely to reach harden's level on this one), lebron's height and basketball IQ, an ability to hit tough 2 pointers that neither lebron or harden has, and weaker than lebron and harden at the rim.

If you're not as high on luka as me, and you don't think he can become an all-time great, that's reasonable. Nothing's guaranteed, but I do believe it would be unreasonable to be put bagley and luka on the same tiers as prospects. Luka was a much more effective player as a rookie, played at an all-star level and easily would've been an all-star in the east, and has too many high level skills and traits of a future superstar. Luka could not develop into a high level star, just like tyreke, but it's unlikely and unreasonable to assume so. Age is generally a much better predictor of potential than experience. Discounting him because he's a high skill/iq player and not an athlete, and claiming that he doesn't have much potential left because he's already so skilled, doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there any evidence that incredibly skilled/high iq prospects mature worse than athletic ones? In fact, I'd be much more doubtful of the wiggins-esque prospects who are freak of nature athletes and decent shooters but have never really shown feel for the game, good decision making or the ability to learn new skills. To me, luka's skill is just proof that he knows how to improve his game, rather than simply relying on athleticism to coast through/dominate lower levels of basketball.

Bagley is a nice young prospect, but his weaknesses are significant, and he hasn't yet given any indication of elite upside. Kings fans shouldn't be sad, this team has a bright future! Fox and hield are a great duo, and again, bagley is a solid young player. However, doncic is on another level and would fit incredibly well as the other primary initiator next to fox. Picking bagley over doncic is the type of move that can cost you championships.
 
hi, sixers fan here, just thought I would get that out of the way lol
I'm a really like watching the kings (like everyone this year), but I'm also a big doncic fan and I really enjoyed reading this thread, I think the 'what if' of doncic on the kings is a fascinating thing to think about. If I'm out of bounds commenting here as a sixers fan, sorry just ban me.

Basically, I think the kings made a pretty huge mistake not drafting luka- don't get me wrong, I still like bagley and I still think the kings have a bright future! But missing on a top draft pick can have staggering implications.

I don't think bird vs malone is the best comparison to illustrate this concept (although I get that it was chosen because of player similarities). I think it would be better to look at MJ vs hakeem. Hakeem was ****ing awesome, one of the best centers ever, led the Rockets to a championship carrying the team really hard. Getting hakeem was amazing. But picking hakeem over MJ was a franchise altering mistake. Despite how amazing hakeem was, the gap between hakeem is gigantic- literally a 5 championship difference. Doesn't mean having hakeem is bad though, you could always end up drafting a sam bowie.

There's a general attitude among NBA fans that as long as you get a stud in the draft, you're good. But it's really the opposite- getting the right star is incredibly important. The difference between a dame lillard and a steph curry is the difference between being at best a 2nd round out and winning rings. I'm not saying that luka is MJ or curry, or that bagley is malone or lillard. I'm just trying to illustrate that just because you drafted a stud doesn't mean it's ok that you missed out on an even better prospect- the difference between a star and a superstar is what differentiates slightly above average teams and championship teams.

When it comes to fit, I really don't see why anyone would think luka wouldn't fit well with the kings. Jump shooting perimeter stars fit well on any team. If you think he would take the ball out of fox's hands, well, that's not really a bad thing. I think it's best to look at the rockets in this case. Harden is literally probably the best player in the league (besides maybe lebron) at putting his team on his back and carrying with an incredibly high usage, and yet he's always struggled in the playoffs when he's been without cp3. If carrying the load by himself is too much, how is fox supposed to do it?

Having multiple elite shot creators in the playoffs is the answer. 48 minutes is plenty long for fox to get tons of usage along with doncic. Having 2 primary initiators can push a team to the next level. Also, Doncic and fox can both be great offball player because a) they're both solid shooters b) really good ball dominant players are almost always talented enough to be good offball players too. The idea that the kings need bagley because they need an elite big man? Well, most elite teams have an elite big man, but it's usually a talented do-it-all defender, not an elite interior scorer.

The celtics have horford, the warriors have draymond (not exactly big but he fills the role), the rockets have capela, thunder have adams, pacers myles turner, bucks brook lopez, raptors marc gasol, jazz gobert, etc. The only elite teams with a star center are the nuggets, where jokic really plays point center and not back to the basket big, and the sixers with embiid. Embiid is a semi-transcendent center, and it's still not clear that he can carry the sixers deep into the playoffs.

Bagley is a tweener who doesn't protect the rim, isn't a particularly talented passer, and the jury is still out whether he can space the floor. He might end up being a super talented interior scorer, but is that the way to win in the modern nba? Having multiple perimeter creators with a do-it-all floor spacing/rim protecting defender ala JJJ seems to be the way to go.

Can we really know how good luka and bagley will be? Giannis averaged 7 points per game as a rookie, and evans averaged the same stats as doncic! Well, these guys are extreme outliers. For a rookie to have the stats of tyreke evans and then play worse for his entire career is incredibly unusual. There is definitely some variation in outcomes of 19 year old rookies, and we can't say with any certainty where these rookies will be in 5+ years. However, star players typically show their potential in their first couple of years. Great rookies usually become great players.

All in all, luka has a solid shot at being a high level superstar. His athleticism is a weakness (though not quite as big a one as many people think considering his size), and his shooting is not elite. These could prevent him from becoming a generational talent. However, his upside is incredible. There's a very good argument that no forward in the history of the sport has had luka's level of basketball iq and feel for the game as a teenager. He doesn't have wicked handles, but he's super talented and great at creating shots for himself. He's not an elite shooter, but he's probably an elite tough shot maker and an elite step back 3-point shooter. It's not unrealistic to imagine some combination of lebron and harden's weakness and strengths- harden's athleticism, pick and roll ability and step back shooting (although unlikely to reach harden's level on this one), lebron's height and basketball IQ, an ability to hit tough 2 pointers that neither lebron or harden has, and weaker than lebron and harden at the rim.

If you're not as high on luka as me, and you don't think he can become an all-time great, that's reasonable. Nothing's guaranteed, but I do believe it would be unreasonable to be put bagley and luka on the same tiers as prospects. Luka was a much more effective player as a rookie, played at an all-star level and easily would've been an all-star in the east, and has too many high level skills and traits of a future superstar. Luka could not develop into a high level star, just like tyreke, but it's unlikely and unreasonable to assume so. Age is generally a much better predictor of potential than experience. Discounting him because he's a high skill/iq player and not an athlete, and claiming that he doesn't have much potential left because he's already so skilled, doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there any evidence that incredibly skilled/high iq prospects mature worse than athletic ones? In fact, I'd be much more doubtful of the wiggins-esque prospects who are freak of nature athletes and decent shooters but have never really shown feel for the game, good decision making or the ability to learn new skills. To me, luka's skill is just proof that he knows how to improve his game, rather than simply relying on athleticism to coast through/dominate lower levels of basketball.

Bagley is a nice young prospect, but his weaknesses are significant, and he hasn't yet given any indication of elite upside. Kings fans shouldn't be sad, this team has a bright future! Fox and hield are a great duo, and again, bagley is a solid young player. However, doncic is on another level and would fit incredibly well as the other primary initiator next to fox. Picking bagley over doncic is the type of move that can cost you championships.
Welcome to the board! All are welcome. (except jerks)
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
hi, sixers fan here, just thought I would get that out of the way lol
I'm a really like watching the kings (like everyone this year), but I'm also a big doncic fan and I really enjoyed reading this thread, I think the 'what if' of doncic on the kings is a fascinating thing to think about. If I'm out of bounds commenting here as a sixers fan, sorry just ban me.

Basically, I think the kings made a pretty huge mistake not drafting luka- don't get me wrong, I still like bagley and I still think the kings have a bright future! But missing on a top draft pick can have staggering implications.

I don't think bird vs malone is the best comparison to illustrate this concept (although I get that it was chosen because of player similarities). I think it would be better to look at MJ vs hakeem. Hakeem was ****ing awesome, one of the best centers ever, led the Rockets to a championship carrying the team really hard. Getting hakeem was amazing. But picking hakeem over MJ was a franchise altering mistake. Despite how amazing hakeem was, the gap between hakeem is gigantic- literally a 5 championship difference. Doesn't mean having hakeem is bad though, you could always end up drafting a sam bowie.

There's a general attitude among NBA fans that as long as you get a stud in the draft, you're good. But it's really the opposite- getting the right star is incredibly important. The difference between a dame lillard and a steph curry is the difference between being at best a 2nd round out and winning rings. I'm not saying that luka is MJ or curry, or that bagley is malone or lillard. I'm just trying to illustrate that just because you drafted a stud doesn't mean it's ok that you missed out on an even better prospect- the difference between a star and a superstar is what differentiates slightly above average teams and championship teams.

When it comes to fit, I really don't see why anyone would think luka wouldn't fit well with the kings. Jump shooting perimeter stars fit well on any team. If you think he would take the ball out of fox's hands, well, that's not really a bad thing. I think it's best to look at the rockets in this case. Harden is literally probably the best player in the league (besides maybe lebron) at putting his team on his back and carrying with an incredibly high usage, and yet he's always struggled in the playoffs when he's been without cp3. If carrying the load by himself is too much, how is fox supposed to do it?

Having multiple elite shot creators in the playoffs is the answer. 48 minutes is plenty long for fox to get tons of usage along with doncic. Having 2 primary initiators can push a team to the next level. Also, Doncic and fox can both be great offball player because a) they're both solid shooters b) really good ball dominant players are almost always talented enough to be good offball players too. The idea that the kings need bagley because they need an elite big man? Well, most elite teams have an elite big man, but it's usually a talented do-it-all defender, not an elite interior scorer.

The celtics have horford, the warriors have draymond (not exactly big but he fills the role), the rockets have capela, thunder have adams, pacers myles turner, bucks brook lopez, raptors marc gasol, jazz gobert, etc. The only elite teams with a star center are the nuggets, where jokic really plays point center and not back to the basket big, and the sixers with embiid. Embiid is a semi-transcendent center, and it's still not clear that he can carry the sixers deep into the playoffs.

Bagley is a tweener who doesn't protect the rim, isn't a particularly talented passer, and the jury is still out whether he can space the floor. He might end up being a super talented interior scorer, but is that the way to win in the modern nba? Having multiple perimeter creators with a do-it-all floor spacing/rim protecting defender ala JJJ seems to be the way to go.

Can we really know how good luka and bagley will be? Giannis averaged 7 points per game as a rookie, and evans averaged the same stats as doncic! Well, these guys are extreme outliers. For a rookie to have the stats of tyreke evans and then play worse for his entire career is incredibly unusual. There is definitely some variation in outcomes of 19 year old rookies, and we can't say with any certainty where these rookies will be in 5+ years. However, star players typically show their potential in their first couple of years. Great rookies usually become great players.

All in all, luka has a solid shot at being a high level superstar. His athleticism is a weakness (though not quite as big a one as many people think considering his size), and his shooting is not elite. These could prevent him from becoming a generational talent. However, his upside is incredible. There's a very good argument that no forward in the history of the sport has had luka's level of basketball iq and feel for the game as a teenager. He doesn't have wicked handles, but he's super talented and great at creating shots for himself. He's not an elite shooter, but he's probably an elite tough shot maker and an elite step back 3-point shooter. It's not unrealistic to imagine some combination of lebron and harden's weakness and strengths- harden's athleticism, pick and roll ability and step back shooting (although unlikely to reach harden's level on this one), lebron's height and basketball IQ, an ability to hit tough 2 pointers that neither lebron or harden has, and weaker than lebron and harden at the rim.

If you're not as high on luka as me, and you don't think he can become an all-time great, that's reasonable. Nothing's guaranteed, but I do believe it would be unreasonable to be put bagley and luka on the same tiers as prospects. Luka was a much more effective player as a rookie, played at an all-star level and easily would've been an all-star in the east, and has too many high level skills and traits of a future superstar. Luka could not develop into a high level star, just like tyreke, but it's unlikely and unreasonable to assume so. Age is generally a much better predictor of potential than experience. Discounting him because he's a high skill/iq player and not an athlete, and claiming that he doesn't have much potential left because he's already so skilled, doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there any evidence that incredibly skilled/high iq prospects mature worse than athletic ones? In fact, I'd be much more doubtful of the wiggins-esque prospects who are freak of nature athletes and decent shooters but have never really shown feel for the game, good decision making or the ability to learn new skills. To me, luka's skill is just proof that he knows how to improve his game, rather than simply relying on athleticism to coast through/dominate lower levels of basketball.

Bagley is a nice young prospect, but his weaknesses are significant, and he hasn't yet given any indication of elite upside. Kings fans shouldn't be sad, this team has a bright future! Fox and hield are a great duo, and again, bagley is a solid young player. However, doncic is on another level and would fit incredibly well as the other primary initiator next to fox. Picking bagley over doncic is the type of move that can cost you championships.
first and foremost, welcome. This comment here is just not fair to Marvin or the Kings, this is way too premature to make such a comment.
 
L
hi, sixers fan here, just thought I would get that out of the way lol
I'm a really like watching the kings (like everyone this year), but I'm also a big doncic fan and I really enjoyed reading this thread, I think the 'what if' of doncic on the kings is a fascinating thing to think about. If I'm out of bounds commenting here as a sixers fan, sorry just ban me.

Basically, I think the kings made a pretty huge mistake not drafting luka- don't get me wrong, I still like bagley and I still think the kings have a bright future! But missing on a top draft pick can have staggering implications.

I don't think bird vs malone is the best comparison to illustrate this concept (although I get that it was chosen because of player similarities). I think it would be better to look at MJ vs hakeem. Hakeem was ****ing awesome, one of the best centers ever, led the Rockets to a championship carrying the team really hard. Getting hakeem was amazing. But picking hakeem over MJ was a franchise altering mistake. Despite how amazing hakeem was, the gap between hakeem is gigantic- literally a 5 championship difference. Doesn't mean having hakeem is bad though, you could always end up drafting a sam bowie.

There's a general attitude among NBA fans that as long as you get a stud in the draft, you're good. But it's really the opposite- getting the right star is incredibly important. The difference between a dame lillard and a steph curry is the difference between being at best a 2nd round out and winning rings. I'm not saying that luka is MJ or curry, or that bagley is malone or lillard. I'm just trying to illustrate that just because you drafted a stud doesn't mean it's ok that you missed out on an even better prospect- the difference between a star and a superstar is what differentiates slightly above average teams and championship teams.

When it comes to fit, I really don't see why anyone would think luka wouldn't fit well with the kings. Jump shooting perimeter stars fit well on any team. If you think he would take the ball out of fox's hands, well, that's not really a bad thing. I think it's best to look at the rockets in this case. Harden is literally probably the best player in the league (besides maybe lebron) at putting his team on his back and carrying with an incredibly high usage, and yet he's always struggled in the playoffs when he's been without cp3. If carrying the load by himself is too much, how is fox supposed to do it?

Having multiple elite shot creators in the playoffs is the answer. 48 minutes is plenty long for fox to get tons of usage along with doncic. Having 2 primary initiators can push a team to the next level. Also, Doncic and fox can both be great offball player because a) they're both solid shooters b) really good ball dominant players are almost always talented enough to be good offball players too. The idea that the kings need bagley because they need an elite big man? Well, most elite teams have an elite big man, but it's usually a talented do-it-all defender, not an elite interior scorer.

The celtics have horford, the warriors have draymond (not exactly big but he fills the role), the rockets have capela, thunder have adams, pacers myles turner, bucks brook lopez, raptors marc gasol, jazz gobert, etc. The only elite teams with a star center are the nuggets, where jokic really plays point center and not back to the basket big, and the sixers with embiid. Embiid is a semi-transcendent center, and it's still not clear that he can carry the sixers deep into the playoffs.

Bagley is a tweener who doesn't protect the rim, isn't a particularly talented passer, and the jury is still out whether he can space the floor. He might end up being a super talented interior scorer, but is that the way to win in the modern nba? Having multiple perimeter creators with a do-it-all floor spacing/rim protecting defender ala JJJ seems to be the way to go.

Can we really know how good luka and bagley will be? Giannis averaged 7 points per game as a rookie, and evans averaged the same stats as doncic! Well, these guys are extreme outliers. For a rookie to have the stats of tyreke evans and then play worse for his entire career is incredibly unusual. There is definitely some variation in outcomes of 19 year old rookies, and we can't say with any certainty where these rookies will be in 5+ years. However, star players typically show their potential in their first couple of years. Great rookies usually become great players.

All in all, luka has a solid shot at being a high level superstar. His athleticism is a weakness (though not quite as big a one as many people think considering his size), and his shooting is not elite. These could prevent him from becoming a generational talent. However, his upside is incredible. There's a very good argument that no forward in the history of the sport has had luka's level of basketball iq and feel for the game as a teenager. He doesn't have wicked handles, but he's super talented and great at creating shots for himself. He's not an elite shooter, but he's probably an elite tough shot maker and an elite step back 3-point shooter. It's not unrealistic to imagine some combination of lebron and harden's weakness and strengths- harden's athleticism, pick and roll ability and step back shooting (although unlikely to reach harden's level on this one), lebron's height and basketball IQ, an ability to hit tough 2 pointers that neither lebron or harden has, and weaker than lebron and harden at the rim.

If you're not as high on luka as me, and you don't think he can become an all-time great, that's reasonable. Nothing's guaranteed, but I do believe it would be unreasonable to be put bagley and luka on the same tiers as prospects. Luka was a much more effective player as a rookie, played at an all-star level and easily would've been an all-star in the east, and has too many high level skills and traits of a future superstar. Luka could not develop into a high level star, just like tyreke, but it's unlikely and unreasonable to assume so. Age is generally a much better predictor of potential than experience. Discounting him because he's a high skill/iq player and not an athlete, and claiming that he doesn't have much potential left because he's already so skilled, doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there any evidence that incredibly skilled/high iq prospects mature worse than athletic ones? In fact, I'd be much more doubtful of the wiggins-esque prospects who are freak of nature athletes and decent shooters but have never really shown feel for the game, good decision making or the ability to learn new skills. To me, luka's skill is just proof that he knows how to improve his game, rather than simply relying on athleticism to coast through/dominate lower levels of basketball.

Bagley is a nice young prospect, but his weaknesses are significant, and he hasn't yet given any indication of elite upside. Kings fans shouldn't be sad, this team has a bright future! Fox and hield are a great duo, and again, bagley is a solid young player. However, doncic is on another level and would fit incredibly well as the other primary initiator next to fox. Picking bagley over doncic is the type of move that can cost you championships.
Outstanding post!
 
hi, sixers fan here, just thought I would get that out of the way lol
I'm a really like watching the kings (like everyone this year), but I'm also a big doncic fan and I really enjoyed reading this thread, I think the 'what if' of doncic on the kings is a fascinating thing to think about. If I'm out of bounds commenting here as a sixers fan, sorry just ban me.

Basically, I think the kings made a pretty huge mistake not drafting luka- don't get me wrong, I still like bagley and I still think the kings have a bright future! But missing on a top draft pick can have staggering implications.

I don't think bird vs malone is the best comparison to illustrate this concept (although I get that it was chosen because of player similarities). I think it would be better to look at MJ vs hakeem. Hakeem was ****ing awesome, one of the best centers ever, led the Rockets to a championship carrying the team really hard. Getting hakeem was amazing. But picking hakeem over MJ was a franchise altering mistake. Despite how amazing hakeem was, the gap between hakeem is gigantic- literally a 5 championship difference. Doesn't mean having hakeem is bad though, you could always end up drafting a sam bowie.

There's a general attitude among NBA fans that as long as you get a stud in the draft, you're good. But it's really the opposite- getting the right star is incredibly important. The difference between a dame lillard and a steph curry is the difference between being at best a 2nd round out and winning rings. I'm not saying that luka is MJ or curry, or that bagley is malone or lillard. I'm just trying to illustrate that just because you drafted a stud doesn't mean it's ok that you missed out on an even better prospect- the difference between a star and a superstar is what differentiates slightly above average teams and championship teams.

When it comes to fit, I really don't see why anyone would think luka wouldn't fit well with the kings. Jump shooting perimeter stars fit well on any team. If you think he would take the ball out of fox's hands, well, that's not really a bad thing. I think it's best to look at the rockets in this case. Harden is literally probably the best player in the league (besides maybe lebron) at putting his team on his back and carrying with an incredibly high usage, and yet he's always struggled in the playoffs when he's been without cp3. If carrying the load by himself is too much, how is fox supposed to do it?

Having multiple elite shot creators in the playoffs is the answer. 48 minutes is plenty long for fox to get tons of usage along with doncic. Having 2 primary initiators can push a team to the next level. Also, Doncic and fox can both be great offball player because a) they're both solid shooters b) really good ball dominant players are almost always talented enough to be good offball players too. The idea that the kings need bagley because they need an elite big man? Well, most elite teams have an elite big man, but it's usually a talented do-it-all defender, not an elite interior scorer.

The celtics have horford, the warriors have draymond (not exactly big but he fills the role), the rockets have capela, thunder have adams, pacers myles turner, bucks brook lopez, raptors marc gasol, jazz gobert, etc. The only elite teams with a star center are the nuggets, where jokic really plays point center and not back to the basket big, and the sixers with embiid. Embiid is a semi-transcendent center, and it's still not clear that he can carry the sixers deep into the playoffs.

Bagley is a tweener who doesn't protect the rim, isn't a particularly talented passer, and the jury is still out whether he can space the floor. He might end up being a super talented interior scorer, but is that the way to win in the modern nba? Having multiple perimeter creators with a do-it-all floor spacing/rim protecting defender ala JJJ seems to be the way to go.

Can we really know how good luka and bagley will be? Giannis averaged 7 points per game as a rookie, and evans averaged the same stats as doncic! Well, these guys are extreme outliers. For a rookie to have the stats of tyreke evans and then play worse for his entire career is incredibly unusual. There is definitely some variation in outcomes of 19 year old rookies, and we can't say with any certainty where these rookies will be in 5+ years. However, star players typically show their potential in their first couple of years. Great rookies usually become great players.

All in all, luka has a solid shot at being a high level superstar. His athleticism is a weakness (though not quite as big a one as many people think considering his size), and his shooting is not elite. These could prevent him from becoming a generational talent. However, his upside is incredible. There's a very good argument that no forward in the history of the sport has had luka's level of basketball iq and feel for the game as a teenager. He doesn't have wicked handles, but he's super talented and great at creating shots for himself. He's not an elite shooter, but he's probably an elite tough shot maker and an elite step back 3-point shooter. It's not unrealistic to imagine some combination of lebron and harden's weakness and strengths- harden's athleticism, pick and roll ability and step back shooting (although unlikely to reach harden's level on this one), lebron's height and basketball IQ, an ability to hit tough 2 pointers that neither lebron or harden has, and weaker than lebron and harden at the rim.

If you're not as high on luka as me, and you don't think he can become an all-time great, that's reasonable. Nothing's guaranteed, but I do believe it would be unreasonable to be put bagley and luka on the same tiers as prospects. Luka was a much more effective player as a rookie, played at an all-star level and easily would've been an all-star in the east, and has too many high level skills and traits of a future superstar. Luka could not develop into a high level star, just like tyreke, but it's unlikely and unreasonable to assume so. Age is generally a much better predictor of potential than experience. Discounting him because he's a high skill/iq player and not an athlete, and claiming that he doesn't have much potential left because he's already so skilled, doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there any evidence that incredibly skilled/high iq prospects mature worse than athletic ones? In fact, I'd be much more doubtful of the wiggins-esque prospects who are freak of nature athletes and decent shooters but have never really shown feel for the game, good decision making or the ability to learn new skills. To me, luka's skill is just proof that he knows how to improve his game, rather than simply relying on athleticism to coast through/dominate lower levels of basketball.

Bagley is a nice young prospect, but his weaknesses are significant, and he hasn't yet given any indication of elite upside. Kings fans shouldn't be sad, this team has a bright future! Fox and hield are a great duo, and again, bagley is a solid young player. However, doncic is on another level and would fit incredibly well as the other primary initiator next to fox. Picking bagley over doncic is the type of move that can cost you championships.
Thanks for your input! It's always good to hear the perspective of fans who are outside of the Sacramento Kings media bubble. If you watch a lot of Kings broadcasts and read local media it eventually becomes difficult to remain unbiased. Your thoughts on the topic align pretty closely to my own. It was incredibly frustrating to watch this team acquire the highest pick they've had in the entire time I've followed them only to pass on one of the top 5 best all-around prospects I've seen in that same time period. Watching Doncic outplay even the sky high expectations I had for him this season didn't make that any easier.

Unlike you I do have a vested interest in seeing Bagley grow into a superstar now that he's our guy so I can squint and convince myself that the pick wasn't a total mistake. There are some here who flat out never liked Luka for whatever reasons and that's driven a lot of the discussion in this topic (and others...) but I think most of us are in the same boat of being hopeful that big things are coming for Bagley too so that eventually it might be difficult to say which is the better pro between the two. That's not my prediction, but that's what I would like to see happen (preferably with a few championships along the way).

Feel free to stick around and give your feedback on other topics as well. Thoughtful, well - written opinions are always welcome. Good luck on the playoffs with your Sixers this year! Brooklyn is no easy out but I think the more talented team is ultimately going to win and the Sixers are as talented as any team in the East right now.
 
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Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
I still maintain the opinion that the Mavs front office kinda has no clue what it's doing.


Middleton would be a perfect fit next to Zaps and Luka but Kemba???

He's a good off-the-ball player but (a) I think he's one of those Kyrie/Harden types that's more effective the more touches he gets, and (b) he's 28, which isn't old but doesn't particularly line him up with the primes of the other two members of the Mavs presumptive big 3 and (c) the Mavs apparently would be banking on Zaps's presence in the paint somehow covering ALL of their average to bad defenders' misses because some combination of Hardaway/Doncic/Kemba/Brunson doesn't really scream perimeter stoppers. Now, it could be that the Mavs are trying to follow the Rockets' blueprint but Kemba, while a flipping all-star, is not CP3 on D.

Plus Middleton has spent all season talking about re-signing with the Bucks so the Mavs wanting him is sorta a moot point.
 
Hey, uh, would Fox and Luka still fit together like Harden and Chris Paul? Just curious. Morey has to be the king of building teams that don’t fit together. How many iterations of star combos has this guy completely whiffed on?
 
Hey, uh, would Fox and Luka still fit together like Harden and Chris Paul? Just curious. Morey has to be the king of building teams that don’t fit together. How many iterations of star combos has this guy completely whiffed on?
Harden and Paul worked when Harden respected Paul's game. When Paul lost a step, which he clearly did this year, Harden pretty much said "watch me play old man". Reality is that if you can have two superstars most teams jump at it. Just look at AD and LeBron. Who knows how they will play off each other? But Scotty Pippen on TV last night already has them penciled in as finals favorites. Ludicrous.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Harden and Paul worked when Harden respected Paul's game. When Paul lost a step, which he clearly did this year, Harden pretty much said "watch me play old man". Reality is that if you can have two superstars most teams jump at it. Just look at AD and LeBron. Who knows how they will play off each other? But Scotty Pippen on TV last night already has them penciled in as finals favorites. Ludicrous.
Pippen has yet to hit the nail on the head IIRC. I honestly think he and the other guys who are so quick to jump on the LBJ/AD superwagon just might be in for a rude awakening. Superplayers need good role players...
 
Pippen has yet to hit the nail on the head IIRC. I honestly think he and the other guys who are so quick to jump on the LBJ/AD superwagon just might be in for a rude awakening. Superplayers need good role players...
The Lakers are trying so hard to be the Yankees. It's stupid. They only want to chase big names to put butts in the seats and hopefully compete. They are positively clueless when it comes to team construction.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
The Lakers are trying so hard to be the Yankees. It's stupid. They only want to chase big names to put butts in the seats and hopefully compete. They are positively clueless when it comes to team construction.
Laker fans are fickle. They don't give a crap about those big names unless they garner wins. The Lakers may end up putting those butts in the seats during Clippers games.