1. Marvin Bagley III
The Kings used the second overall pick in 2018 on Bagley III with Luka Doncic sitting on the board. There were rumors they passed on Luka because of GM Vlade Divac’s relationships with his dad. Perhaps the Kings valued a big man over a ball-handler after drafting De’Aaron Fox fifth overall one year earlier. It was ultimately one of the key reasons Divac was let go in 2020.
Bagley averaged 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 24.8 minutes per game over his three-and-half seasons with the Kings. He was far from a star and struggled to stay healthy. The 6’10 big man has been more rotation piece than a starter during his NBA career as Doncic has made first-team All-NBA five straight years.
The Kings traded Bagley to Detroit in 2022 as part of a four-team deal that brought Donte DiVincenzo to Sacramento. It was not the worst trade, but swapping the second overall pick for the reserve guard and two bench players would have looked foolish. It was a massive miss by the Kings, especially with a superstar looking right at them.
The Sacramento Kings made a plethora of roster miscues during their 16-year playoff drought, but none was bigger than this. They regretted acquiring plenty of talent and must avoid similar mistakes if they are going to jump into title contention.