Kings' Ranadive Was Behind Drafting Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic, Says Ex-Staff

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 10, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 19: Owner and Chairman of the Sacramento Kings, Vivek Ranadive says a few words as the Sacramento Kings say goodbye to Arco Arena on March 19, 2022 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Sacramento Kings chairman Vivek Ranadive was reportedly one of the "driving forces" behind drafting Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 overall pick in 2018 ahead of Luka Doncic, a former member of the team's basketball operations staff told Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

The source credited Ranadive and assistant general manager Brandon Williams in leading the charge for Bagley. They felt the former Duke star was a "modern-day big who could run the floor with De'Aaron Fox."

Bagley never reached expectations and was traded to the Detroit Pistons in February, while Doncic already has three All-Star selections.

Through four seasons, Doncic has a value over replacement player of 19.7 points per 100 possessions, while Bagley is at negative-0.1, per Basketball Reference.

The one decision is a major reason the Kings have continued to struggle as a franchise, missing the playoffs for the 16th season in a row in 2021-22. 

There has been plenty of change in personnel, both on and off the court in this time, but the former staffer explained that Ranadive is the common link as someone who is "too involved."

Even when Vlade Divac served as general manager from 2015-20, he was reportedly often overruled by Ranadive, while different people in the front office held more power at different times, including special advisor Joe Dumars and assistant general managers Ken Catanella, Scott Perry and Brandon Williams.

Divac previously took the blame for drafting Bagley, but it now seems Ranadive and Williams had a bigger say.