It was a busy week for Marvin Bagley III. The six foot, one inch forward was selected number two overall by the Sacramento Kings and arrived to the capital city just days later. Bagley, who played collegiately at Duke, took to the podium on Saturday, June 23 alongside team General Manager and Kings legend Vlade Divac and Head Coach Dave Joerger at Golden1 Center.
Escorted by his family, Bagley proudly held up the purple jersey with the number 35 on it. Once the cameras stopped flashing on the iconic moment, the three took their seats and began the rookie’s press conference.
“Marvin is a guy who will definitely make us better and we are excited to have him here,” Divac said.
Coach Joerger also expressed his excitement level on Bagley; “Obviously we are very excited to have this young talent on our team. I am excited to have him go out there and play, he comes from a great family.”
The 19-year-old Bagley played 33 games for the Duke Blue Devils, where he averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. During his lone season at Duke he was named to the First Team All-American honors.
“I’m excited to be here, I can’t wait to get started,” said Bagley.
He arrived in Sacramento on June 22 to a large number of fans welcoming him.
“The reaction of the fans was great, it is great. It felt good coming off the plane and coming around the corner to all of the fans greeting you, and making you feel wanted. They were excited to see me and (that) makes me want to get better and play hard for them.”
The fans were not the only ones to welcome the number two overall pick; teammates De’Aron Fox, Harry Giles III and Nigel Hayes all reached out to Bagley.
“I’ve known De’Aron and Harry for a while now and they both texted me shortly after I was selected. I saw Nigel in the locker room not too long ago and he welcomed me to the team as well,” noted Bagley.
Less than 48 hours after being selected Bagley recalled the draft process.
“Going back to Thursday, I was very anxious to figure out where I was going to go and be playing the next couple of years of my life. I told my family and agent not to tell me where I was going. You know I was sitting there and waiting for the pick to come in. When my name was called, it was an out of body experience; I worked my whole life for this. “
The Kings have not reached the playoffs since the 2006 season and finished the 2017-2018 season with a 27-55 record; fourth in the Pacific Division. Sacramento’s current roster is filled with a mix of young talent and veterans who have taken on mentor roles for these up and coming stars.
This summer Bagley and the Kings have work to do if they want to contend in the Western Conference. In their division alone they have the two-time defending world champion Warriors and on Saturday, July 1 the Los Angeles Lakers signed free agent LeBron James.