Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks front office look like geniuses for making the draft day trade to acquire Luka Doncic. On the other hand, the Sacramento Kings could be ruing the day they passed on the young superstar. And thanks to some new intel courtesy of ESPN's Tim MacMahon, we may know why.
The Sacramento Kings had the second pick in the 2018 draft, but instead of grabbing Doncic, the Kings elected to move forward with Marvin Bagley. Doncic had a lot of hype coming into the draft as he was just named the EuroLeague MVP at 19-years-old. Some may have wondered why the Kings' general manager, Vlade Divac,—who is well connected with EuroLeague hoopers—decided to take the Duke freshman over Doncic. But according to MacMahon, Vlade had some unresolved issues with Luka's dad.
"My understanding is that [Divac] being so close to Luka and knowing his dad so well factored into their decision," MacMahon told The Woj Pod. "Basically, he didn’t think a whole lot of Luka’s dad, and the whole like father like son … well … no, this is a different dude. You messed that one up, Vlade."
Luka's dad, Sasha Doncic, is a professional basketball coach and former EuroLeague player. Along with playing for teams in Slovenia and France, Doncic also played for clubs in Vlade's native Serbia. That makes it possible that the two crossed paths during their time on the EuroLeague circuit.
From a pure basketball standpoint, it does make sense that the Kings took Bagley over Doncic. The year prior, the team selected De'Aaron Fox, who is now the Kings' primary ball-handler. And as we've seen so far, Doncic loves having the ball in his hands.