By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
The Sacramento Kings’ brass made Marvin Bagley’s stay in the city uncomfortable after it was reported that he would not be a part of the team’s rotation right before the start of 2021-2022 campaign.
Kings head coach Luke Walton made a firm decision not to discuss Bagley’s situation right before the team played their first game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers on the road.
“I’m not getting into any of that,”Walton said during his pregame interview in Portland. “For me, look, we’re a team, we have a plan, we know that plan is, and we need everyone this season. We’re focused on playing (this season) and really that’s it.”
Bagley played in two of the Kings’ four preseason games while other players from the 2018 class received contract extensions, including No. 5 draft pick Trae Young. The former Oklahoma guard reportedly signed a five-year, $207 contract.
In addition, the No. 3 draft selection Luka Doncic, who Bagley will be forever linked to, also received a supermax extension at $207 over five years from the Dallas Mavericks. The Kings passed on Doncic, settling for Bagley.
Bagley’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, shared the Kings intentions of going a different direction with the roster through a written statement via Twitter. The sports agent stated the Kings are mishandling the 22-year-old’s situation
“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling. It’s clear they have no plans for him in the future, and yet, passed on potential deals at least year’s deadline and this summer based one ‘value.’ Instead, they chose to bring him back but not play him, a move completely contradictory to their “value” argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”
When Bagley is on the floor he consistently shows that he could be a top caliber player in the league. He has averaged 14.5 points and 7.4 rebounds since donning a Kings’ jersey. While displaying a ton of athletic potential, the former Duke star has spent more time in triage than on the floor. Injuries have hampered his career. Truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he played in 13 games in the 2019-2020 season due to a broken right thumb. Bagley also missed time with a right foot injury.
Over a three-year period, Bagley has played 118 professional games and was in the starting lineup for 52 contests. Bagley’s father Marvin Bagley Jr. had requested that the team trade his son last January.
The elder Bagley posted his thoughts on social media but later deleted his comment.
“@SacramentoKings PLEASE trade Marvin Bagley III ASAP! Love – Coach Bagley,” Marvin Bagley Jr. posted on Twitter.