The drama continues in the saga between the Sacramento Kings and Marvin Bagley III.
The latest installment of the ordeal came prior to opening night of the 2021-22 season when the forward was informed he would not be starting for the Kings. That decision prompted a reaction from the player’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, who is one of the most prolific agents in the league.
Schwartz manages nearly three dozen NBA players whose contracts are worth over a combined $450 million.
Why did the Kings bench Marvin Bagley?
Head coach Luke Walton’s decision to bench Marvin Bagley, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 Draft, seems to have come by way of electing to play smaller lineups.
Those smaller lineups have seen rookie Davion Mitchell, the No. 9 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, receive time alongside established starters in De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.
|PG||De’Aaron Fox||Davion Mitchell||DJ Steward|
|SG||Tyrese Haliburton||Buddy Hield||Robert Woodward II|
|SF||Harrison Barnes||Terrence Davis||Louis King|
|PF||Moe Harkless||Tristan Thompson||Marvin Bagley III||Chimezie Metu|
|C||Richaun Holmes||Alex Len||Damian Jones|
By playing small, the Kings hope to snap their 15-year playoff drought – the longest active postseason drought in the NBA.
When asked to address this matter prior to the Kings’ opener in Portland, coach Walton declined to comment on Schwartz’s tweet.
Marvin Bagley’s history as a starter
Several injuries have bothered Bagley in the first three seasons of his career, forcing him to miss as many as 108 games.
In the 119 games he has represented the Kings, Bagley has averaged 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25.4 minutes. Last season was his most promising, as 42 of his 52 career starts were recorded as part of the 43 games he played during the 2020-21 season.
While he was ruled out of the rotation prior to the first game, coach Walton did insert Bagley off the bench in the team’s second game of the season. He finished with two points and four rebounds in 10 minutes of action.
History of Bagley-Kings drama
Despite using a top-five pick on the 6-foot-11 forward, the franchise wasn’t receiving the returns they may have hoped for three years later. It should come as no surprise that this isn’t the first time there has been off-court drama surrounding Bagley in Sacramento.
This past June, Bagley liked a tweet suggesting that he should be out of Sacramento. Earlier in January of 2021, Bagley’s father tweeted, “PLEASE trade Marvin Bagley III ASAP!” before later deleting the post once it made waves on social media.
The Kings reportedly almost traded the big man to the Detroit Pistons during the 2020-21 trade deadline, but couldn’t close out the deal.
Entering his fourth season, where he is set to earn $11,312,114, according to Spotrac, Bagley is likely playing his final season with the Kings given that no announcement of any extension was made before the Oct. 18 deadline.