Rate the Rookies: And Down the Stretch They Come!

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

So there's this kid playing for this team in Sacramento. Maybe you've heard of him. Marvin Bagley? Averaging over 30 minutes a night in February (Yogurt!) and amassing almost a double-double in the process at 18.7 / 9.7. He still has his rookie moments, most notably when he puts his head down and full-steam-aheads to the basket, eschewing wide open teammates along the way. But for 19 years old (until March 14th, anyway)? Oy gevalt!

As recently as a month ago, Bagley was in a battle with guys like Wendell Carter, Jr. and Jaren Jackson for 1st team all-rookie honors. But in this past month I think that he has created a little separation for himself, and he may be putting together the 3rd best season among the rookies. Now, little of this speaks to who might be the best out of this rookie group three years down the line, but in the here and now the Kings (and their fans) can at least hold onto the more and more real hope that they landed a future pearl with the #2 pick in this draft. Will he be a top two player? Higher? Lower? Only time will tell, but his developing range and right hand certainly are ripe with promise and potential. What might Marvin Bagley look like with the summer of 2019 under his belt? Given his motor, would anyone be willing to bet that he cannot overtake DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic as best in class next season? I have not yet changed my draft day mantra of "Would have taken Doncic, OK with Bagley," although it should at least be amended to "Would have taken Doncic, more than OK with Bagley." Love the motor. Looooooove the motor.

If the season ended today, I would rate the rookies as follows, with the first five earning 1st team honors:

  1. Doncic
  2. Ayton
  3. Bagley
  4. Trae Young
  5. Carter
  6. Jackson
  7. Collin Sexton
  8. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  9. Kevin Knox
  10. Mitchell Robinson
Now, I would not quibble with anyone that wanted to shuffle Young, Carter and Jackson in any order. Nor would I put up a fight over taking Knox off the list and replacing him with Alonzo Trier or Rodions Kurucs. And Miles Bridges is my pick for a guy that may not make 1st or 2nd team but will vault past several of the guys that do next year - just a hunch.

This is a helluva place to be right now, given that coming out of summer league I would have placed Harry Giles as a real ROY candidate (Giles could be another list-jumper next year), with concerns that Bagley's rookie campaign could go full Stromile Swift. Bagley has done a Marv-elous job of developing (put that in there just in case Jerry Reynolds is reading this), and credit should go to his work effort, as well as the efforts of the coaching staff to help bring him along so far, and so fast.

Collective breaths were held leading right up to the moment that the Kings selected Marvin Bagley with the #2 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Once he was the selection, the unfair (but accurate) assessment that the organization would swim or sink with that pick was put into place. And right now, the Sacramento Kings and Marvin Bagley are bouyant, and for the first time in over a decade they are treading water instead of taking it on.

K, your turn. Rank the rookies on their 2018-19 campaigns, and feel free to hazard a guess as to who might move up / down your list over the next few seasons.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)