Since we're now past the quarter point of the NBA season, it's easy to make some quick assessments of the rookie class. The easiest is likely for Rookie of the Year, where Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic is the heavy favorite. The 6'7" basketball savant has been so impressive, Kings coach Dave Joerger said he likely has "no ceiling" ahead of his team's clash with the Mavs on Sunday.
"He's got a lot of different skills and I think he's going to become a heck of a shooter," Joerger told ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "And when that happens, it's going to make him quicker. He's got good ball-handling and he knows how to play. Perhaps there was an idea that there was a ceiling on him. I don't see it, unfortunately for us. But he's great for them and he's great for our league."
His comments sound like a major subtweet aimed at Sacramento's front office, who selected Marvin Bagley with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 Draft, despite the fact that most projections Luka at No. 1 or 2 in their pre-draft rankings. On top of that, early reports of a rift between Joerger and Kings management, specifically assistant general manager Brandon Williams, lends credence to the idea that the comments were aimed at his own team's front office.
Despite a hot start to the season that has the surprising Kings in sixth place in a crowded Western Conference, there have been reports of a fissure between Joerger and Williams, according to a Yahoo Sports report that Joerger's job was in jeopardy.
Later, sources informed Sam Amick of The Athletic that Joerger believes Williams has been looking to replace him as far back as last season, but the hot start to the year has rendered any such maneuvering moot. It reportedly got so bad between the two, that Joerger allegedly asked that Williams not attend the team's shootaround before Sacramento's game against the Clippers.
All the bickering meant Kings GM Vlade Divac had to release a statement meekly understating the internal strife. "I have advised my front office and coaching staff to not focus on drama and rumors, but instead to focus on continuing to develop our young and exciting team," Divac said. "And that’s what we’re going to do."