Luka Doncic: ‘I Honestly Thought [Kings] Were Going to Pick Me’

by January 19, 2020
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Luka Doncic was convinced the Kings would nab him with the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Instead, they went with Marvin Bagley III, leading to plenty of heartache in Sacramento while Doncic blossomed into a superstar for the Dallas Mavericks.

The Luka blunder was one of several thorny issues former Kings head coach Dave Joerger and general manager Vlade Divac did not see eye-to-eye on.

Per The Athletic:

According to two sources who witnessed the interaction, Joerger told Divac, in a passive-aggressive jest, that he had negotiated an in-season trade with the Mavericks that would finally bring Doncic their way.

So Divac, unamused by his coach’s barb, fired back. “Do I get their coach, too?” he said in reference to the Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle.

“They came to Madrid (to see him play for Real Madrid and to share a dinner on June 5, 2018),” the 20-year-old Doncic told The Athletic about the Kings’ contingent’s visit during the draft process. “They came with the owner. Everybody came, so I honestly thought they were going to pick me.”

So, I asked, was it ever made clear to him why they didn’t?

“I mean, I think it’s because of Euroleague; it’s different basketball,” Doncic said. “I was averaging in Europe — in the Spanish League — like 12 points (per game). And in Euroleague 14 (points per game). So it’s different basketball.”

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