“We’ve got lots of guys who can take on that job [of defending LeBron James],” Kerr said. “It’s a group effort, anyway, guarding LeBron. So K.D., Draymond, Klay [Thompson], Shaun Livingston, they’ll all see time on him.” Green recently told The Undefeated: “K.D. guarded him a ton last year. Sure, I will see some of him. We will mix things up. Hopefully, we can get ’Dre back.”
June 20, 2018 | 4:52 pm EDT Update
Gary Washburn: Marcus Smart, having endured much adversity in his life, put restricted free agency in perspective: “I’m 24 years old, the first one in my family to graduate from college and we’re sitting here talking about possible teams that’s going to pay me. That’s a good thing to have.”
Bagley’s counterpart, dynamic Arizona center Deandre Ayton, appears all but a lock to the Suns. Yet Bagley, a Phoenix native, is a competitor by nature—you don’t average 13.1 rebounds per 40 minutes in the ACC by chance—and has yearned to be minted the NBA draft’s top overall selection since his youth. “To be able to play in Phoenix, to have it all come full circle, from where I started playing basketball to be there as a professional, it would be a dream come true,” Bagley says.
Sacramento is only a short flight away. And Bagley genuinely views the Kings at No. 2 as a terrific consolation prize. He smiles wide when being congratulated on his likely No. 2 selection. “Sacramento is a great place,” he says. “When I say I want to go No. 1, it’s not a knock on any other team in the draft. If I end up going two, I’ll love being in Sacramento. Being a part of that team and that franchise, that’s a big plus.” That enthusiasm is a primary reason why teams picking in the top 10 of Thursday’s draft view Bagley as the Kings’ likely selection. He was the only premier prospect to visit Sacramento during the pre-draft process.