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:
- Trae Young
- Collin Sexton
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Kevin Knox
- Mitchell Robinson