A day after he complimented Dallas Mavericks standout rookie Luka Doncic, Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger on Monday addressed the comments to clarify that he was not taking any shots at his own organization.
Before the Kings’ 120-113 road victory over the Mavs on Sunday, Joerger told the media that as good as Doncic is now, he has plenty of room for improvement.
“He’s got a lot of different skills, and I think he’s going to become a heck of a shooter,” Joerger said. “And when that happens, it’s going to make him quicker. He’s got good ballhandling 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.”
The comments raised some eyebrows as 1) the Kings passed on Doncic with the second pick in the draft to take Duke standout Marvin Bagley III, and 2) Joerger has reportedly been at odds with the Kings’ front office over the team’s direction and philosophy.
On Monday, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski quoted Joerger as saying “There’s no veiled shots at anybody,” in response to the reaction to his comments.
“When we drafted Marvin at 2, we were high-fiving like crazy. We got the right guy for us. This isn’t going to be a story in three days and it’ll be definitely buried five years from now when we have the next Durant-Westbrook. That’s how good they’re gonna be.”
The other half of that Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook comparison is second-year point guard De’Aaron Fox.
After a disappointing rookie season, Fox is averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds for the Kings, who are 16-13 and are tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings entering Monday’s play.