“I have not broken anything. What influenced his decision … for me, it remains a mystery,” Mozgov told Izvestia, according to a machine translation. “I don’t know any reason why I first lost my place in the starting five and then not playing even a minute. But it’s the head coach’s decision and he is responsible for result. I tried to speak to Atkinson but he was not able to give me answer. Anyway I m confident. Just want to play for Brooklyn or any other NBA team. I tried to talk to him, but I did not succeed in drawing out something intelligible.”
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.