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Dave Joerger says the Kings have the next Durant-Westbrook duo in Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox. What say you?
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Steve Aschburner: Be careful what you wish for. You want all that drama? You want to have traded away a scoring leader and a future Kia MVP in order to afford your two stars? You want a breakup of the tandem itself eventually? Maybe the Kings think they can have all the goodness of Durant-Westbrook with none of the down side, using Oklahoma City’s experience as a blueprint for things to avoid. But they and their young potential stars have a long, long way to go. I’ll leave it at that, except to say, I remember when the NBA standards for duos were Gary Payton-Shawn Kemp, John Stockton-Karl Malone and Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen. (Bob Cousy-Bill Russell and Jerry West-Elgin Baylor were before my time.)
Shaun Powell: I say Joeger needs to step away from the Jager. It's far too early to put a pair of young up-and-comers in the same sentence as a pair of MVPs; isn't that what coaches and players criticize the media (and fans) for doing? And ask Kings fans to put their hands on a Bible and say they'd rather have Bagley instead of Luka Doncic, whom the Kings passed in the draft. That said ... Fox is a straight-up baller and Bagley looks promising. Give them time first and then, if they've earned it, give them their due.
John Schuhmann: I say that Mr. Joerger is overcompensating for his previous comments about how good Luka Doncic is and will be. I know he's talking about the pair being the foundation for the franchise going forward, but any comparison to Durant is kind of silly. Bagley has some nice skills (good hands and good feet) around the basket. As a rookie, he's one of 16 players (a list that includes two other rookies) who have shot better than 70 percent on at least 100 shots in the restricted area, and he should eventually be a versatile big man who makes an impact on both ends of the floor. But Durant led the Thunder to The Finals at the age of 23 and may just be the best one-on-one scorer in NBA history, with a impossible-to-stop combination of size and skills. That's a name to avoid when making comparisons to young players.
Sekou Smith: I'd love to know who spiked Joerger's egg nog. That said, I appreciate any coach who champions the cause of his young players and attempts to set the bar as high as Joerger has for Fox and Bagley. Player comparisons are my least favorite aspect of the ongoing evaluation of NBA players. We get locked into a narrative about who and what a player is supposed to be, which often distorts the clearer view of what's really going on in these youngsters' growth and development. The Kings have some quality, young talent on their roster. They finally look ready to turn the corner and I don't want anything to get in the way of that progress. But if Joerger is right, and the Kings do have a dynamic duo capable of playing, winning and just operating at the elite level Durant and Westbrook have enjoyed over their careers? If that's true, good for them. Their fans certainly deserve to dream big like that.