There is a weird turn of events for the Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley going on. First, the team did not offer a contract extension to him and then proceeded to take him out of rotation in their first game of the season. What's happening to Bagley, and what's next for him?
Sacramento freezes out Bagley in the opening night rotation
When the Kings submitted their lineup rotation, the sheet was missing Marvin Bagley's name, which confused the fans and prompted his agent Jeff Schwartz to call the situation "baffling." After all, the power forward is only three years in the NBA. Schwartz released a statement posted on Excel Sports' Twitter account.
"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 last year's deadline and this summer based on "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."
The agent has a point there. If the Kings don't see Bagley as part of their future, they should have entertained trade talks before. Sacramento is not short on big men, with Tristan Thompson, Richaun Holmes, Alex Len, and Damian Jones crowding the frontcourt. Is Bagley that bad to have other big men take up his slot? What should he do next?
What's next for Marvin Bagley
The power forward should stay professional and ready when his number is called. It's hard to prove that he could still play and improve if not given playing time. Two of his Draft-Class mates have received super-max extensions earlier: Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Both Doncic and Young were picked after Bagley, who was selected as the 2nd overall in 2018. Meanwhile, other members of the same Draft, Michael Porter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander signed 5-year deals. Jaren Jackson Jr. also recently signed a 4-year deal. The Kings have not offered an extension to Bagley, which means he could walk away in the summer if he is not re-signed or traded this season.
Are the Kings avoiding a potential contract dilemma with Bagley? It's clear that he has failed to live up to his potential so far. The former Duke star struggled to get his game going in Sacramento. The fans claiming that the Kings drafted the wrong guy is not helping either. Bagley, when healthy, is a decent player. He has averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his career so far. What Marvin needs to do is to stay healthy and in shape. The big man suffered various injuries such as fractured hand and right foot injury, which delayed his progress and affected his rhythm.
All he needs to do is be professional and improve on his game by hiring world-class trainers. His Draft peers may have secured long-term deals, but they earned them. Bagley needs to earn his minutes and a long-term contract if he wants to flip the narrative in Sacramento.