The ONE AND ONLY Luka Doncic discussion thread

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
And always remember Luka was the FOURTH pick. 3 teams passed on him. ATL went out of their way to trade him to Big D.
Luka was the third pick, not the fourth. The fact that he was traded after being picked does not make him fourth, nor Trae Young (actually fifth) the third pick. Atlanta didn't necessarily prefer Young to Doncic, they preferred Young and a high unprotected first rounder (that they used to draft Cam Reddish) to Doncic. Given that a #5 and a #10 pick have about 158% the value of the #3pick alone (actual calculation based on history, not just pulled out of my butt), it wasn't necessarily a bad bet, even if they liked Doncic. And, keep in mind, most people expected the Dallas pick in 2019 to be quite a bit better than #10 which would only sweeten the pot more.
 
You're comparing two different situations. LeBron was the clearest of clear number 1 picks since I can't even remember who. NOBODY was going to pass on him, not ever. Doncic was drafted and traded. Vlade wasn't the only person who skipped on him.
Luka was the clearest of choices too, just not with dumb front offices. That's why I made that comparison. If Vlade chose Bosh, nobody could justify it. And to many, passing on Luka can't be justified using any reasoning you want to drum up. Talent level, future potential, chemistry fit, whatever. Its wrong. All of it. Which brings me to my previous point: if online forum goers and fans have better insight than the front office, the front office needs to go. Suns included.
 
Luka was the clearest of choices too, just not with dumb front offices. That's why I made that comparison. If Vlade chose Bosh, nobody could justify it. And to many, passing on Luka can't be justified using any reasoning you want to drum up. Talent level, future potential, chemistry fit, whatever. Its wrong. All of it. Which brings me to my previous point: if online forum goers and fans have better insight than the front office, the front office needs to go. Suns included.
Unlike the Kings, the Suns have at least some semblance of an excuse similar to those teams with bad draft picks I mentioned before.

Luka was NOT a generational talent coming out. It was a two-player draft with Ayton and Luka flip-flopping between 1 and 2. As the 2nd pick in a two-player draft, all the Kings had to do was pick the other guy the Suns didn't pick. When it became clear that Ayton was going #1, it was even better as to top it all off Luka was the BPA and fit their biggest need. Instead they passed on the one remaining great talent in that draft and took a guy at least one tier below as a prospect, if not more who fits their team worse. If they got #1 and picked Ayton, they would've at least had the Oden/Durant excuse as it was a two horse race.

Passing on him at #2 is an even worse mistake than passing on him if they won the lottery, because by getting that #2, it was set up perfectly in every conceivable way that no other pick would have done.

That's why for the Suns and Hawks, it's just a really bad draft miss. While for the Kings, it's the worst in NBA history.
 
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Unlike the Kings, the Suns have at least some semblance of an excuse similar to those teams with bad draft picks I mentioned before.

Luka was NOT a generational talent coming out. It was a two-player draft with Ayton and Luka flip-flopping between 1 and 2. As the 2nd pick in a two-player draft, all the Kings had to do was pick the other guy the Suns didn't pick. When it became clear that Ayton was going #1, it was even better as to top it all off Luka was the BPA and fit their biggest need. Instead they passed on the one remaining great talent in that draft and took a guy at least one tier below as a prospect, if not more who fits their team worse. If they got #1 and picked Ayton, they would've at least had the Oden/Durant excuse as it was a two horse race.

Passing on him at #2 is an even worse mistake than passing on him if they won the lottery, because by getting that #2, it was set up perfectly in every conceivable way that no other pick would have done.

That's why for the Suns and Hawks, it's just a really bad draft miss. While for the Kings, it's the worst in NBA history.
Wait, why should the verdict on the Hawks be any different than for the Kings? If it indeed a 2 man race and one of those falls to 3 is it not also an equally bad miss to not take him?
 
I have a feeling that hubris had a lot to do with passing on Doncic. This strange compulsion to try and prove that you are really smart, when in reality your basketball operations IQ and evaluation of NBA talent, is way below average.

Part of “NBA 3.0” is attempting to prove other experienced experts wrong. The risk of a pipe dream of success by going against conventional wisdom, is somehow worth more than making the obvious consensus pick in a franchise changing draft.

It’s just pure stupidity, fueled by hubris
 
Luka was the clearest of choices too, just not with dumb front offices. That's why I made that comparison. If Vlade chose Bosh, nobody could justify it. And to many, passing on Luka can't be justified using any reasoning you want to drum up. Talent level, future potential, chemistry fit, whatever. Its wrong. All of it. Which brings me to my previous point: if online forum goers and fans have better insight than the front office, the front office needs to go. Suns included.
But he wasn't according to most "expert" opinion out there. Even the mock drafts had him anywhere from 1 to 5. Ayton was the consensus number 1 pick on almost all mocks near the end.
 
But he wasn't according to most "expert" opinion out there. Even the mock drafts had him anywhere from 1 to 5. Ayton was the consensus number 1 pick on almost all mocks near the end.
Indeed. It's easy enough for those who wanted the Kings to draft Luka to say, "Look! See how right I was?!" But the fact of the matter is that GM's at the top of the draft were skeptical of Doncic, not because his talent wasn't obvious, but because there has never been a player like him coming from overseas. Hell, there aren't many players like him coming from US soil, either. It was difficult to know with any certainty how his uniqueness would translate once he stepped foot on NBA parquet.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so those who were firmly in the "draft Doncic" camp now get the opportunity to crow, while the rest of us have to eat it. Personally, I was on the fence when it came to Doncic. I saw the merits of drafting both Bagley and Doncic, and while I was leaning towards Bagley at the time, I was content with either selection.

Obviously, I feel very differently now. Bagley may yet turn out to be a special player, but Doncic is made for these times. He is the perfect player for the contemporary NBA, and it's become very clear that the league's current rule set has basically acted like a red carpet for Doncic's arrival. If Bagley has all-star potential, it will be an uphill battle for him to achieve it. The NBA of 2019 doesn't have as much use for players like Marvin Bagley (or DeAndre Ayton, for that matter), and it's a shame that the Kings front office didn't have the wisdom to see that on draft day 2018. I expect to be wrong quite often in my evaluation of NBA talent. But I also expect that NBA decision-makers have access to better scouting tools than I do.

I do find it curious, though, that so many Kings fans through the years have been clamoring desperately for "team basketball," and are likewise slobbering all over themselves while watching Luka Doncic play for the Mavs, especially as many of the same people have spent a lot of time bemoaning the likes of James Harden across the last several seasons. Harden's usage rate is mocked as unsustainable for a true championship contender. His propensity for pounding the ball is denigrated. His parade to the free throw line is seen as unworthy of "real" NBA basketball. He "doesn't play the right way." He is what so many fans characterize as "wrong" with today's game.

Make no mistake, Luka Doncic is that kind of player. He is as close to Harden 2.0 as you're going to find in the NBA. Many saw the comparisons before he was drafted. It's even clearer now. He's going to be near the top of the league in usage rate every season. He's going to pound the ball like crazy. He's going to suck up all of his team's oxygen, leaving very little room for everyone else. Both his counting stats and his efficiency are going to skyrocket through the roof. And his defense is going to leave much to be desired, but it won't matter, because it's the Luka Doncic Show. It's his world, and his teammates are just living in it. He'll undoubtedly manage to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs repeatedly. But his off-games are going to be problematic, just like Harden's off-games have derailed Houston's ability to get over the hump. It's hard to win it all when one player so thoroughly subsumes an entire team's identity.

Now, I'm not saying these are good reasons to have passed on Luka. If the Kings could redraft 2018 over again, I would be clamoring for Doncic the same as everybody else in this thread. I'd ride with his Harden-esque game as far into the promised land as it could take the Kings, and I'd be thrilled the entire way. That said, I do think there's a bit of a strange compulsion among NBA fans to pick which of the NBA's darlings are most deserving of praise. I don't see how fans can trash Harden's style of play while lionizing Luka's at the same time, as if there is some canyon of difference between their styles of play. There's not. Harden is a "generational" offensive talent. He makes the NBA's rule set work for him, much to the chagrin of the rest of the league. Luka's the same kind of "generational" offensive talent. He's smart and sly like a fox. In only his second year (and under the tutelage of one of the NBA's best head coaches), he's managed to figure out how to leverage the NBA's systemic leeway for playmakers on the wing into unprecedented success for a second-year player.

All of that said, it's got to feel good to be the Mavericks. Not just because they drafted a player who's flashing MVP potential in his second season, but because he's a legitimate MVP candidate at 20 years old. That's the scary part; if Doncic never gets any better, he'll still be in the MVP conversation for the next decade. Considering how difficult it's been for the Kings to acquire top shelf talent since the franchise arrived in Sacramento, I'd certainly like to be able to lock down a guy who's in that mix. No use crying over spilled milk, and all that. But it certainly does seem like the Kings are fated by the basketball gods to never rise above the mediocrity they've been mired in since 2006. Maybe the "letting go" of Rick Adelman was the team's "original sin" that they're cursed never to recover from. It's been one sh*tstorm after the other ever since...
 
Indeed. It's easy enough for those who wanted the Kings to draft Luka to say, "Look! See how right I was?!" But the fact of the matter is that GM's at the top of the draft were skeptical of Doncic, not because his talent wasn't obvious, but because there has never been a player like him coming from overseas. Hell, there aren't many players like him coming from US soil, either. It was difficult to know with any certainty how his uniqueness would translate once he stepped foot on NBA parquet.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so those who were firmly in the "draft Doncic" camp now get the opportunity to crow, while the rest of us have to eat it. Personally, I was on the fence when it came to Doncic. I saw the merits of drafting both Bagley and Doncic, and while I was leaning towards Bagley at the time, I was content with either selection.

Obviously, I feel very differently now. Bagley may yet turn out to be a special player, but Doncic is made for these times. He is the perfect player for the contemporary NBA, and it's become very clear that the league's current rule set has basically acted like a red carpet for Doncic's arrival. If Bagley has all-star potential, it will be an uphill battle for him to achieve it. The NBA of 2019 doesn't have as much use for players like Marvin Bagley (or DeAndre Ayton, for that matter), and it's a shame that the Kings front office didn't have the wisdom to see that on draft day 2018. I expect to be wrong quite often in my evaluation of NBA talent. But I also expect that NBA decision-makers have access to better scouting tools than I do.

I do find it curious, though, that so many Kings fans through the years have been clamoring desperately for "team basketball," and are likewise slobbering all over themselves while watching Luka Doncic play for the Mavs, especially as many of the same people have spent a lot of time bemoaning the likes of James Harden across the last several seasons. Harden's usage rate is mocked as unsustainable for a true championship contender. His propensity for pounding the ball is denigrated. His parade to the free throw line is seen as unworthy of "real" NBA basketball. He "doesn't play the right way." He is what so many fans characterize as "wrong" with today's game.

Make no mistake, Luka Doncic is that kind of player. He is as close to Harden 2.0 as you're going to find in the NBA. Many saw the comparisons before he was drafted. It's even clearer now. He's going to be near the top of the league in usage rate every season. He's going to pound the ball like crazy. He's going to suck up all of his team's oxygen, leaving very little room for everyone else. Both his counting stats and his efficiency are going to skyrocket through the roof. And his defense is going to leave much to be desired, but it won't matter, because it's the Luka Doncic Show. It's his world, and his teammates are just living in it. He'll undoubtedly manage to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs repeatedly. But his off-games are going to be problematic, just like Harden's off-games have derailed Houston's ability to get over the hump. It's hard to win it all when one player so thoroughly subsumes an entire team's identity.

Now, I'm not saying these are good reasons to have passed on Luka. If the Kings could redraft 2018 over again, I would be clamoring for Doncic the same as everybody else in this thread. I'd ride with his Harden-esque game as far into the promised land as it could take the Kings, and I'd be thrilled the entire way. That said, I do think there's a bit of a strange compulsion among NBA fans to pick which of the NBA's darlings are most deserving of praise. I don't see how fans can trash Harden's style of play while lionizing Luka's at the same time, as if there is some canyon of difference between their styles of play. There's not. Harden is a "generational" offensive talent. He makes the NBA's rule set work for him, much to the chagrin of the rest of the league. Luka's the same kind of "generational" offensive talent. He's smart and sly like a fox. In only his second year (and under the tutelage of one of the NBA's best head coaches), he's managed to figure out how to leverage the NBA's systemic leeway for playmakers on the wing into unprecedented success for a second-year player.

All of that said, it's got to feel good to be the Mavericks. Not just because they drafted a player who's flashing MVP potential in his second season, but because he's a legitimate MVP candidate at 20 years old. That's the scary part; if Doncic never gets any better, he'll still be in the MVP conversation for the next decade. Considering how difficult it's been for the Kings to acquire top shelf talent since the franchise arrived in Sacramento, I'd certainly like to be able to lock down a guy who's in that mix. No use crying over spilled milk, and all that. But it certainly does seem like the Kings are fated by the basketball gods to never rise above the mediocrity they've been mired in since 2006. Maybe the "letting go" of Rick Adelman was the team's "original sin" that they're cursed never to recover from. It's been one sh*tstorm after the other ever since...
This time a million! And the top 2 teams had Devin Booker, De'Aaron Fox, and Bogdan Bogdanovic on their teams already. Vlade already made it clear, they liked their guard lineup. Mistake? Possibly leaning towards probably. I have no doubt that Doncic and Fox could work together but, and I'll borrow your italics :p, Doncic simply wouldn't be this Doncic. Just as Westbrook is not that Westbrook next to James Harden.

That said for me, in terms of value, fit, talent, style, and everything I was on the Doncic bandwagon with Bagley right behind him but to me unless moving down was an option Vlade better had come out with Bagley if not Doncic. Now we see what Bagley can do. I can't be super mad at Vlade for staying in the consensus area. And yes, part of that is propped up because of how horrendous the Kings previous regime was. Being a good GM doesn't take supreme intellect, it takes common sense. Sometimes intellect gets in the way of that.
 
This time a million! And the top 2 teams had Devin Booker, De'Aaron Fox, and Bogdan Bogdanovic on their teams already. Vlade already made it clear, they liked their guard lineup. Mistake? Possibly leaning towards probably. I have no doubt that Doncic and Fox could work together but, and I'll borrow your italics :p, Doncic simply wouldn't be this Doncic. Just as Westbrook is not that Westbrook next to James Harden.

That said for me, in terms of value, fit, talent, style, and everything I was on the Doncic bandwagon with Bagley right behind him but to me unless moving down was an option Vlade better had come out with Bagley if not Doncic. Now we see what Bagley can do. I can't be super mad at Vlade for staying in the consensus area. And yes, part of that is propped up because of how horrendous the Kings previous regime was. Being a good GM doesn't take supreme intellect, it takes common sense. Sometimes intellect gets in the way of that.
He wouldn’t be a 30-9-9 guy but I’m more than certain he’s be a 20-8-6 guy next to Fox right now. Add in his all world ability to run an offense and I sont care how good Fox is but he’d had to fit with Luka or get traded Luka is the franchise player not Fox. This wouldn’t have changed no matter who Luka’s teammate was, if LeBron/Kyrie can coexist so could this pair. Next to Fox Luka gets more catch and shoot 3s while Fox gets more chances to attach teams off the help
 
Indeed. It's easy enough for those who wanted the Kings to draft Luka to say, "Look! See how right I was?!" But the fact of the matter is that GM's at the top of the draft were skeptical of Doncic, not because his talent wasn't obvious, but because there has never been a player like him coming from overseas. Hell, there aren't many players like him coming from US soil, either. It was difficult to know with any certainty how his uniqueness would translate once he stepped foot on NBA parquet.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so those who were firmly in the "draft Doncic" camp now get the opportunity to crow, while the rest of us have to eat it. Personally, I was on the fence when it came to Doncic. I saw the merits of drafting both Bagley and Doncic, and while I was leaning towards Bagley at the time, I was content with either selection.

Obviously, I feel very differently now. Bagley may yet turn out to be a special player, but Doncic is made for these times. He is the perfect player for the contemporary NBA, and it's become very clear that the league's current rule set has basically acted like a red carpet for Doncic's arrival. If Bagley has all-star potential, it will be an uphill battle for him to achieve it. The NBA of 2019 doesn't have as much use for players like Marvin Bagley (or DeAndre Ayton, for that matter), and it's a shame that the Kings front office didn't have the wisdom to see that on draft day 2018. I expect to be wrong quite often in my evaluation of NBA talent. But I also expect that NBA decision-makers have access to better scouting tools than I do.

I do find it curious, though, that so many Kings fans through the years have been clamoring desperately for "team basketball," and are likewise slobbering all over themselves while watching Luka Doncic play for the Mavs, especially as many of the same people have spent a lot of time bemoaning the likes of James Harden across the last several seasons. Harden's usage rate is mocked as unsustainable for a true championship contender. His propensity for pounding the ball is denigrated. His parade to the free throw line is seen as unworthy of "real" NBA basketball. He "doesn't play the right way." He is what so many fans characterize as "wrong" with today's game.

Make no mistake, Luka Doncic is that kind of player. He is as close to Harden 2.0 as you're going to find in the NBA. Many saw the comparisons before he was drafted. It's even clearer now. He's going to be near the top of the league in usage rate every season. He's going to pound the ball like crazy. He's going to suck up all of his team's oxygen, leaving very little room for everyone else. Both his counting stats and his efficiency are going to skyrocket through the roof. And his defense is going to leave much to be desired, but it won't matter, because it's the Luka Doncic Show. It's his world, and his teammates are just living in it. He'll undoubtedly manage to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs repeatedly. But his off-games are going to be problematic, just like Harden's off-games have derailed Houston's ability to get over the hump. It's hard to win it all when one player so thoroughly subsumes an entire team's identity.

Now, I'm not saying these are good reasons to have passed on Luka. If the Kings could redraft 2018 over again, I would be clamoring for Doncic the same as everybody else in this thread. I'd ride with his Harden-esque game as far into the promised land as it could take the Kings, and I'd be thrilled the entire way. That said, I do think there's a bit of a strange compulsion among NBA fans to pick which of the NBA's darlings are most deserving of praise. I don't see how fans can trash Harden's style of play while lionizing Luka's at the same time, as if there is some canyon of difference between their styles of play. There's not. Harden is a "generational" offensive talent. He makes the NBA's rule set work for him, much to the chagrin of the rest of the league. Luka's the same kind of "generational" offensive talent. He's smart and sly like a fox. In only his second year (and under the tutelage of one of the NBA's best head coaches), he's managed to figure out how to leverage the NBA's systemic leeway for playmakers on the wing into unprecedented success for a second-year player.

All of that said, it's got to feel good to be the Mavericks. Not just because they drafted a player who's flashing MVP potential in his second season, but because he's a legitimate MVP candidate at 20 years old. That's the scary part; if Doncic never gets any better, he'll still be in the MVP conversation for the next decade. Considering how difficult it's been for the Kings to acquire top shelf talent since the franchise arrived in Sacramento, I'd certainly like to be able to lock down a guy who's in that mix. No use crying over spilled milk, and all that. But it certainly does seem like the Kings are fated by the basketball gods to never rise above the mediocrity they've been mired in since 2006. Maybe the "letting go" of Rick Adelman was the team's "original sin" that they're cursed never to recover from. It's been one sh*tstorm after the other ever since...
Yes, their style of play is similar. But Luka makes his teammates much better, although he steals the show and it translates to winning at 20 surrounded by bunch of no name players and there’s even a talk about MVP? c’mon.. And he’s not afraid of contested rebounding. If Zinger gets back to his form and they get 3rd reliable go to guy or a cutter his share of load would be reduced, because he’s been playing in team oriented Euro style since his childhood. These are the differences that would make him to reach the final sooner than Harden.

At this stage you could say Harden’s style of play is similar to Luka’s.
 
But he wasn't according to most "expert" opinion out there. Even the mock drafts had him anywhere from 1 to 5. Ayton was the consensus number 1 pick on almost all mocks near the end.
I wasn't a fan of Ayton due to his defense. Thought there was no way he should be picked #1 and then the more I started reading others opinions about him, the more I became convinced he was good. My initial thought was that there really aren't any good teams anchored by bad defending big men so why would you waste a #1 pick on something that isn't proven?

Never again will I entertain the thought that you should use a top 5 or maybe even top 10 pick on a big man that can't play defense. Doncic should have clearly been the #1 favorite due to the obvious possibility that he would be a triple double threat in the NBA. I thought at worse he would be a poor shooting James Harden and even that is better than a poor defending big man.
 
Yes, their style of play is similar. But Luka makes his teammates much better, although he steals the show and it translates to winning at 20 surrounded by bunch of no name players and there’s even a talk about MVP? c’mon.. And he’s not afraid of contested rebounding. If Zinger gets back to his form and they get 3rd reliable go to guy or a cutter his share of load would be reduced, because he’s been playing in team oriented Euro style since his childhood. These are the differences that would make him to reach the final sooner than Harden.

At this stage you could say Harden’s style of play is similar to Luka’s.
I won’t tolerate Luka slander and disrespect by comparing his game to the clown in Houston. Absolute disrespect!
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Indeed. It's easy enough for those who wanted the Kings to draft Luka to say, "Look! See how right I was?!" But the fact of the matter is that GM's at the top of the draft were skeptical of Doncic, not because his talent wasn't obvious, but because there has never been a player like him coming from overseas. Hell, there aren't many players like him coming from US soil, either. It was difficult to know with any certainty how his uniqueness would translate once he stepped foot on NBA parquet.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so those who were firmly in the "draft Doncic" camp now get the opportunity to crow, while the rest of us have to eat it. Personally, I was on the fence when it came to Doncic. I saw the merits of drafting both Bagley and Doncic, and while I was leaning towards Bagley at the time, I was content with either selection.

Obviously, I feel very differently now. Bagley may yet turn out to be a special player, but Doncic is made for these times. He is the perfect player for the contemporary NBA, and it's become very clear that the league's current rule set has basically acted like a red carpet for Doncic's arrival. If Bagley has all-star potential, it will be an uphill battle for him to achieve it. The NBA of 2019 doesn't have as much use for players like Marvin Bagley (or DeAndre Ayton, for that matter), and it's a shame that the Kings front office didn't have the wisdom to see that on draft day 2018. I expect to be wrong quite often in my evaluation of NBA talent. But I also expect that NBA decision-makers have access to better scouting tools than I do.

I do find it curious, though, that so many Kings fans through the years have been clamoring desperately for "team basketball," and are likewise slobbering all over themselves while watching Luka Doncic play for the Mavs, especially as many of the same people have spent a lot of time bemoaning the likes of James Harden across the last several seasons. Harden's usage rate is mocked as unsustainable for a true championship contender. His propensity for pounding the ball is denigrated. His parade to the free throw line is seen as unworthy of "real" NBA basketball. He "doesn't play the right way." He is what so many fans characterize as "wrong" with today's game.

Make no mistake, Luka Doncic is that kind of player. He is as close to Harden 2.0 as you're going to find in the NBA. Many saw the comparisons before he was drafted. It's even clearer now. He's going to be near the top of the league in usage rate every season. He's going to pound the ball like crazy. He's going to suck up all of his team's oxygen, leaving very little room for everyone else. Both his counting stats and his efficiency are going to skyrocket through the roof. And his defense is going to leave much to be desired, but it won't matter, because it's the Luka Doncic Show. It's his world, and his teammates are just living in it. He'll undoubtedly manage to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs repeatedly. But his off-games are going to be problematic, just like Harden's off-games have derailed Houston's ability to get over the hump. It's hard to win it all when one player so thoroughly subsumes an entire team's identity.

Now, I'm not saying these are good reasons to have passed on Luka. If the Kings could redraft 2018 over again, I would be clamoring for Doncic the same as everybody else in this thread. I'd ride with his Harden-esque game as far into the promised land as it could take the Kings, and I'd be thrilled the entire way. That said, I do think there's a bit of a strange compulsion among NBA fans to pick which of the NBA's darlings are most deserving of praise. I don't see how fans can trash Harden's style of play while lionizing Luka's at the same time, as if there is some canyon of difference between their styles of play. There's not. Harden is a "generational" offensive talent. He makes the NBA's rule set work for him, much to the chagrin of the rest of the league. Luka's the same kind of "generational" offensive talent. He's smart and sly like a fox. In only his second year (and under the tutelage of one of the NBA's best head coaches), he's managed to figure out how to leverage the NBA's systemic leeway for playmakers on the wing into unprecedented success for a second-year player.

All of that said, it's got to feel good to be the Mavericks. Not just because they drafted a player who's flashing MVP potential in his second season, but because he's a legitimate MVP candidate at 20 years old. That's the scary part; if Doncic never gets any better, he'll still be in the MVP conversation for the next decade. Considering how difficult it's been for the Kings to acquire top shelf talent since the franchise arrived in Sacramento, I'd certainly like to be able to lock down a guy who's in that mix. No use crying over spilled milk, and all that. But it certainly does seem like the Kings are fated by the basketball gods to never rise above the mediocrity they've been mired in since 2006. Maybe the "letting go" of Rick Adelman was the team's "original sin" that they're cursed never to recover from. It's been one sh*tstorm after the other ever since...
Incredibly well said, Padrino.
 
Indeed. It's easy enough for those who wanted the Kings to draft Luka to say, "Look! See how right I was?!" But the fact of the matter is that GM's at the top of the draft were skeptical of Doncic, not because his talent wasn't obvious, but because there has never been a player like him coming from overseas. Hell, there aren't many players like him coming from US soil, either. It was difficult to know with any certainty how his uniqueness would translate once he stepped foot on NBA parquet.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, so those who were firmly in the "draft Doncic" camp now get the opportunity to crow, while the rest of us have to eat it. Personally, I was on the fence when it came to Doncic. I saw the merits of drafting both Bagley and Doncic, and while I was leaning towards Bagley at the time, I was content with either selection.

Obviously, I feel very differently now. Bagley may yet turn out to be a special player, but Doncic is made for these times. He is the perfect player for the contemporary NBA, and it's become very clear that the league's current rule set has basically acted like a red carpet for Doncic's arrival. If Bagley has all-star potential, it will be an uphill battle for him to achieve it. The NBA of 2019 doesn't have as much use for players like Marvin Bagley (or DeAndre Ayton, for that matter), and it's a shame that the Kings front office didn't have the wisdom to see that on draft day 2018. I expect to be wrong quite often in my evaluation of NBA talent. But I also expect that NBA decision-makers have access to better scouting tools than I do.

I do find it curious, though, that so many Kings fans through the years have been clamoring desperately for "team basketball," and are likewise slobbering all over themselves while watching Luka Doncic play for the Mavs, especially as many of the same people have spent a lot of time bemoaning the likes of James Harden across the last several seasons. Harden's usage rate is mocked as unsustainable for a true championship contender. His propensity for pounding the ball is denigrated. His parade to the free throw line is seen as unworthy of "real" NBA basketball. He "doesn't play the right way." He is what so many fans characterize as "wrong" with today's game.

Make no mistake, Luka Doncic is that kind of player. He is as close to Harden 2.0 as you're going to find in the NBA. Many saw the comparisons before he was drafted. It's even clearer now. He's going to be near the top of the league in usage rate every season. He's going to pound the ball like crazy. He's going to suck up all of his team's oxygen, leaving very little room for everyone else. Both his counting stats and his efficiency are going to skyrocket through the roof. And his defense is going to leave much to be desired, but it won't matter, because it's the Luka Doncic Show. It's his world, and his teammates are just living in it. He'll undoubtedly manage to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs repeatedly. But his off-games are going to be problematic, just like Harden's off-games have derailed Houston's ability to get over the hump. It's hard to win it all when one player so thoroughly subsumes an entire team's identity.

Now, I'm not saying these are good reasons to have passed on Luka. If the Kings could redraft 2018 over again, I would be clamoring for Doncic the same as everybody else in this thread. I'd ride with his Harden-esque game as far into the promised land as it could take the Kings, and I'd be thrilled the entire way. That said, I do think there's a bit of a strange compulsion among NBA fans to pick which of the NBA's darlings are most deserving of praise. I don't see how fans can trash Harden's style of play while lionizing Luka's at the same time, as if there is some canyon of difference between their styles of play. There's not. Harden is a "generational" offensive talent. He makes the NBA's rule set work for him, much to the chagrin of the rest of the league. Luka's the same kind of "generational" offensive talent. He's smart and sly like a fox. In only his second year (and under the tutelage of one of the NBA's best head coaches), he's managed to figure out how to leverage the NBA's systemic leeway for playmakers on the wing into unprecedented success for a second-year player.

All of that said, it's got to feel good to be the Mavericks. Not just because they drafted a player who's flashing MVP potential in his second season, but because he's a legitimate MVP candidate at 20 years old. That's the scary part; if Doncic never gets any better, he'll still be in the MVP conversation for the next decade. Considering how difficult it's been for the Kings to acquire top shelf talent since the franchise arrived in Sacramento, I'd certainly like to be able to lock down a guy who's in that mix. No use crying over spilled milk, and all that. But it certainly does seem like the Kings are fated by the basketball gods to never rise above the mediocrity they've been mired in since 2006. Maybe the "letting go" of Rick Adelman was the team's "original sin" that they're cursed never to recover from. It's been one sh*tstorm after the other ever since...
The point I made after I really started watching Luka play in his last season with Real Madrid is that he was the spitting basketball image of James Harden and James Harden had just won the MVP award by transforming himself (with Mike D'Antoni's help) from a chucker to a facilitator. A guy who puts up a Kobe-esque 24 shots a game might be helping you win if their shooting percentages aren't terrible but they might also be a ball hog chasing stats at the expense of the team. But I don't see how you can argue that a player who is averaging 30 points and double digit assists is not helping you win. You only get an assist if somebody scores points. That means at minimum a player averaging 30 and 10 is accounting for 50 points for their team which is an insane level of scoring output. The knocks on Harden have always been: (1) He gets so many of his points from the line on bail out calls. (2) He's not fun to watch. (3) He doesn't play any defense. Let's look at those points individually...

(1) He gets so many of his points from the line on bail out calls. Okay so he lives at the line. This is just the way the game is called now. Are Steph Curry's points somehow cheaper because the league created a rule which said that shooting from distance is worth 3 points instead of 2? The same rules apply equally to everyone on the court. There's nothing flukey about what Harden is doing, he gets 10 or 11 FTA per game every single season. Until the rules change, it's a legitimate way to score points.

(2) He's not fun to watch. I don't really like watching Harden stumblebum his way into the paint either but you can't argue with it's effectiveness. He's working on his third consecutive season of leading the league in scoring. Absolutely he's a guy that you hate if he's on the other team but who doesn't like watching their team win? Maybe there's an argument to be made that one player can't win the whole thing for you but I've seen Harden beat the Warriors at their peak almost entirely by himself. Lebron did it in the Finals with Cleveland. It is possible, albeit rare. But more importantly, these players are in the playoffs every single year giving their team a shot.

(3) He doesn't play any defense. Yeah, the defense thing is a problem but I don't think it's as big of a problem as we (the fans, media, talking heads coaches, et al) make it out to be. Houston was 6th in defensive rating in the 17/18 season with Harden starting 74 games and Ryan Anderson starting 50 games. You can find 3 guys who can play solid team defense far easier than you can find one guy who can get you 50 points of offense. Yeah it'd be great if Harden were Lebron and also happened to be an all-NBA defender, but I'll take a league MVP however I can get them and try to mitigate their weaknesses with coaching and roster construction.

The points people were making about Luka all apply to Harden as well. Neither guy is fast enough to just blow by people, but they have the handle and situational awareness to create space and get by people anyway. Neither guy is going to win any awards with their defense. Both guys are going to have the ball in their hands a lot because they know how to put the ball in the basket and they create good shots for other players. The big difference is that Luka is doing this at 20 years old while James Harden didn't really become a superstar until his mid-20s but that's almost beside the point. If you have the opportunity to draft a guy who might be another James Harden and James Harden just won the freaking MVP award, maybe you should swallow your biases about style of play and ideal roster construction and just take that guy?

I do want to respond to the last bit though... it's probably for the best that Rick Adelman wasn't retained when you consider everything that happened afterward. He got a chance to compete in Houston and try to build a team in Minnesota and we had owners who were actively sabotaging the team. The only curse we'r suffering from is an inexperienced owner learning how to run an NBA team on the fly. It's rough but a lot of fan bases go through this. This is unfortunately just going to have to be another learning experience for us.
 
the Kings, without Bagley, are a better team than the mavs without luka. Plug in doncic and the kings would have a better record than the mavs now . No doubt about it. Imagine the state of this kings fan base if doncic was doing what he’s doing now here in sac. Omg.......

Vlade has completely ruined this franchise for the next decade and a half. You suck vlade. IMO, Whatever you did for this franchise in your playing days has been cancelled out tenfold by you passing up on doncic. That’s how egregious this decision was.

Do us a favor and fire yourself like you said you would.
 
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luka ties Jordan for longest streak of 20-5-5 since the nba/aba merger.
doncic entered today averaging 30.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.2 assists.
Of course he has the opportunity to pass Jordan Sunday against the kings. How fitting. Enjoy watching greatness from the tunnel vlade. I can’t describe how disgusted I am.
 
Lol, they're the 2nd seed.

Anyone still want to talk about their record? Anyone? The only thing to really do now is to call him names I guess; we're clean out of excuses and flimsy rationalizations.
Holy crap I did not know they were 2nd **** this kid really has them that high with that weak roster, unbelievable

I stand by my Luka over Anthony “overrated” Davis comment.
 
Lol, they're the 2nd seed.

Anyone still want to talk about their record? Anyone? The only thing to really do now is to call him names I guess; we're clean out of excuses and flimsy rationalizations.
But they lost to the Knicks twice........lol

That argument was being made a few weeks ago. And of course many others such as Rick Carlisle being a horrible coach.

We're now almost a year past the "Luka is fat and will eat his way out of the league" nonsense that was being said predraft and early his first season.

Most of the Luka naysayers have exited this thread by now. If you are one of them what do you even say at this point? All their predictions, excuses, and twisted rationale continue to fall apart. It looks worse and worse with each passing week.

Gotta be tough being Vivek (if he had any preference towards Luka). How could be not look at the Mavericks and think....that could have been us with even more talent?
 
2 weeks before the draft I think the mock drafts are mostly trying to predict the order of the actual draft and not so much rate the prospects. They are trying to accurately predict the order of the draft so they can say they had it right.

I remember that reports the Kings were honing in on Bagley started coming out a few weeks before the draft.

A month or two before the draft I remember seeing Luka ranked as the #2 prospect on most boards and sometimes #1.
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
2 weeks before the draft I think the mock drafts are mostly trying to predict the order of the actual draft and not so much rate the prospects. They are trying to accurately predict the order of the draft so they can say they had it right.

I remember that reports the Kings were honing in on Bagley started coming out a few weeks before the draft.

A month or two before the draft I remember seeing Luka ranked as the #2 prospect on most boards and sometimes #1.
I was thinking maybe I just retroactively mind-tricked myself into thinking this as well, but I’m pretty convinced Ayton/Luka were 1/2 all year long until the Bagley reports started trickling out in the weeks before the draft.
 
I was thinking maybe I just retroactively mind-tricked myself into thinking this as well, but I’m pretty convinced Ayton/Luka were 1/2 all year long until the Bagley reports started trickling out in the weeks before the draft.
Ayton/Luka were definitely 1/2 and often 2/1 on all the boards and talent rankings several weeks and months before the draft.

It's just once the reporters and mock draft websites start hearing rumblings of who is going where do they really try to predict the actual draft since that's what a mock draft is a prediction of how the draft will turn out.