By most accounts, it appears Marvin Bagley III will be a fine young player for the Sacramento Kings.
The 19-year-old, currently out for a week or two with a knee injury, is averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 53.6 percent for an upstart Kings team that is running some teams off the floor. Bagley is still young and has plenty of developing to do.
And yet, Bagley is always going to be linked to Luka Doncic thanks to the Kings’ big gamble at the 2018 NBA draft, and that narrative came up again Sunday thanks to his own coach:
Kings coach Dave Joerger on Luka Doncic: "Perhaps there was an idea that there was a ceiling on him. I don't see it, unfortunately for us. But he's great for them and he's great for our league."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 16, 2018
That probably isn’t praise you want to hear if you’re the Kings’ front office.
How are Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley comparing as rookies?
Unfortunately for Bagley and the Kings, comparisons to Doncic might not be very flattering in both the short- and long-term.
The 19-year-old Slovenian currently ranks a close second on the 15-13 Dallas Mavericks in scoring – his 17.8 points per game coming in just short of Harrison Barnes’ 17.9 – and is also contributing 6.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
There really aren’t that many NBA players who can both score and pass like this:
— NBA (@NBA) October 30, 2018
Doncic was considered by many as a possible NBA superstar after winning the EuroLeague’s MVP award as an 18-year-old, and he has done little to change those minds.
Joerger’s comment came before the Kings’ first game this year against the Mavs, which was missing a Bagley-Doncic matchup thanks to Bagley’s injury.
The Kings came out on top 120-113, but Doncic also dropped 28 points, six rebounds and nine assists for his 14th 20-point game of his rookie season. Sure seems like a player you don’t want to throw a ceiling on just yet.
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