On Oct. 3 the NBA released its annual GM survey, with two Sacramento Kings players finding themselves named in it.
Every year, the NBA releases a survey of all 30 general managers, covering everything from their MVP picks, toughest player in the NBA, Rookie of the Year, biggest offseason move and everything in between. Then, per tradition, NBA Twitter goes at each other’s throats debating the merits of you pick or another. Last season, three Sacramento Kings players, Garrett Temple, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic, made appearances, down to just two this year.
While it’s not a surprise that no Sacramento Kings players received votes for MVP, best defensive player or best offseason move, two players received votes for Rookie of the Year, Best Rookie in Five Years and Fastest Player With The Ball.
17 percent of general managers (roughly 6/30) pegged Sacramento Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III as the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year. The 17 percent of votes garner by Bagley was good enough for second among all rookies, behind only Luka Doncic (sorry, Kings fans) and tied with the Chicago Bulls’ Wendel Carter Jr.
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Bagley’s 17 percent of votes is much better than the three percent chance ESPN gave him earlier in the offseason.
This year’s top overall pick by DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix) finished fourth with just 13 percent of general managers pegging him to win RoY.
Bagley III also garnered support for “Best Rookie in Five Years”, nabbing 13 percent of the vote (4/30). That 13 percent was good enough for fourth among all rookies, finishing behind DeAndre Ayton (#1, Phoenix) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (#4, Memphis) with 27 percent each and behind Luke Doncic (#3, Dallas) who had 17 percent of the vote.
If you’ve watched part of a Kings game in the last 12 months, you might be aware that second-year point guard De’Aaron Fox is fast. At least one NBA GM would agree with you, as Fox finished with one vote for NBA Fastest Player With Ball in Their Hands.
Fox finished behind Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), John Wall (Washington) and Kyrie Irving (Boston). It’s worth noting that Fox’s one vote wasn’t from Kings GM Vlade Divac, as GM’s aren’t allowed to vote for their own players or personnel.
Two players, Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and Ish Smith (Detroit), also finished tied with Fox with both garnering one vote.
Somewhat (un)surprisingly, Sacramento did not receive one vote for “Best Young Core”. In that category, the Kings were (beaten out (rightfully so) by the likes of Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver and Utah.
That isn’t to say Sacramento doesn’t have a solid collection of good young players. It’s more that the Kings young players need to prove they’re worthy of that respect on the court first.
At the very least, it’s a good sign that other GM’s are as high on Marvin Bagley’s potential as the Kings front office is. While Bagley has struggled in preseason play thus far, he represents the Kings future. Sacramento will need him to develop into a star-caliber player if they want to return to the playoffs.
As for Fox, it’s hard to think he won’t turn some GM’s on his side after this season. Fox is already one of the most electric players in the NBA and another season of De’Aaron Fox speed highlights should lead to a better showing next year.