Welcome to 20Q, a variation on our usual 30Q series. With the abbreviated time until the season begins, we'll just do 20 questions this season finishing up right before the season begins on December 22nd.
The sum of myriad questions encompassing Marvin Bagley's third season in the NBA is at the forefront for the Sacramento Kings. The former second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has seen his career derailed with various injuries, all affecting distinct parts of his body. As we witnessed last season specifically, Bagley failed to assemble a string of games together before a fresh injury spoiled a potential run; the same situation prevailed before the commencement of the Orlando Bubble.
So, can Bagley stay healthy? Before Bagley can patch up the expectations that arrive as a #2 overall pick, maintaining good health is the foundation for any potential success this season, if any. But what other questions loom for Sacramento's biggest mystery box?
Positing that Bagley can endure the game's physicality, the complications of Bagley's positional situation remain imperative in discussing his potential contributions this season. Can he prove he can attach a reliable three-point shot to his promising interior game? While last season accompanies small sample sizes for Bagley, his 15% (3/20) three-point percentage is quietly distressing. Bagley can certainly be effective without a materialized three-point jumper, but his game could ascend to the next level if that rocket launches.
Can he defend the more towering bigs of the league and develop into a consistent, switchable defender? Bagley moves well for a 6'11 big, but those are two key defensive aspects of his game he must unlock to contribute on that end of the floor.
This season bears substantial consequences for both the Kings and Bagley depending on how things progress during the season. If Bagley can stay healthy, the Kings can feel good about including Bagley in the potential triumvirate young core of De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, with the possible insertion of another talented prospect in a deep 2021 draft class.
However, if last season replicates itself, the waters become significantly murky; Bagley's contract contains an $11,312,114 club option at the end of the year. Former general manager Vlade Divac exercised Bagley's option in October 2019, but if obtrusive injuries continue to linger, Monte McNair could have an interesting situation on his hands - one that involves the shadow of his infamous predecessor.
A return to health could completely change the narratives around Marvin Bagley, but another season lost to injuries could cement a different narrative forever.
The craziest thing I keep hearing is people saying yes, he should be fine to start the season. He sprained his ankle like 18 months ago. If it’s even questionable, that’s a huge red flag.
Was it even an ankle? Last I heard it was a “foot injury.” Did we ever get an actual medical diagnosis from when he injured his foot while in the bubble? Hell, it could have been a stress fracture for all I know.
I honestly don’t even know. They were always vague with any details. I was just exaggerating.
Sprained foot is the most detail I can find.
Which can be a lingering issue, and can also easily be code or a common early misdiagnosis for a stress fracture.
With all of these medical professionals and state of the art equipment for MRI’s, X-ray, CT scan, etc., it baffles me that a possible misdiagnosis can still happen. Millions of dollars are on the line, and it needs to done accurately.
Good medicine stills says to assume the most likely differential diagnosis. Usually, they would assume spring then, if it doesn’t heal the way a sprain should, then they look deeper (ie. do more imagining).
I know you meant imaging…
Ha. Yes. And maybe a little imagining. Nothing better than a physician with an imagination.
If I recall correctly, both Bagley and Holmes were given vague injuries and they said they would be day-to-day/minor injuries, and then after going a long time not hearing anything they all of a sudden came out with “oh, they actually sustained this injury and will be out for a long time.”
No! On to 19Q.
Scary, he does remind of Mr Glass!
Its make or break time for Bagley. For his sake I do hope he stays healthy for the majority of the season. If not, Monte has an interesting situation in his hands.. Do you package Bagley with one of the remaining vets in Buddy, Cojo and Barnes? Or do you keep him and sign him to a decent contract ala Stephen Curry during his first rookie extension.
He needs to hire whoever Curry hired to help him strengthen his ankles.
I’m not sure though if the problem is his ankle. I think its the foot which is really concerning since Bagley relies on his athleticism rather than skill.
The problem is not just his foot, or ankle, or any one piece. It’s the entire system, from back to legs to knees to ankles to feet. Remember, he had a significant back injury his rookie season.
Does Sean Bean survive his movies?
Honestly, it’s more than health that he needs to show to be worth picking up that option. There needs to be reason to believe he’ll ever be worth that much. So far he hasn’t shown it. It really is a pivotal season for him. He has to stay healthy and prove he’s more than a rotational player with a good left hand and is bouncy. He’s definitely got some elite skills, but also some glaring weaknesses. His defense needs to tighten up and he needs to not be such a ball stopper.
This is really my question. I agree that clearly staying healthy is step 1, as without that nothing else matters. But then, once healthy, he needs to show that he can be more than a one-way athletic play finisher, one dribble close-out attacker, and rebounder.
He certainly didn’t show it last season. But I’d argue he showed something his rookie year (under a decent HC, for sure).
He showed some usefulness. And I’m confident a healthy Bagley will be a useful NBA finisher and rebounder. What I’m waiting so see is some decent evidence that his ceiling is higher than skinny Zach Randolph.
Yeah, completely agree. We really do need him to be much more than that, even.
If his ceiling is Zach Randolph, you keep him all day. If his ceiling is Tristan Thompson…move on.
Sure, depending on the cost and how much you can convince him to play a team-oriented role. Randolph spent most of his career as an overpaid, high-usage/low-efficiency chucker. His only real standout skill was his rebounding.
minor correction: The Ringer said one of Bagley comps was “Slim Zach Randolph”
It’s still the best comp I’ve seen in terms of impact on a game.
Bagley’s longest game streak is 21, and those were the first 21 games of his career. His next longest streak is 20, which came roughly midway through his rookie season. Since March 2019 he has been unable to string more than 9 games. Here’s hoping for a 180 degree turn in Bagley’s health.
A guy could really injure his leg doing a quick 180.
Or in Bagley’s case, un-injure it.
“Perhaps we can help you un-injure that leg.”
Sounds like he got off the wrong foot to start his career.
I’m not a huge Bagley fan right now, but that 180 alley-oop dunk still amazes me when I think about it.
The ease with which he did it was stunning. I’m not sure that everyone realized how difficult it was. Just effortless.
I think half of the 20Q’s could be about Bagley himself.
Obviously, he needs a huge improvement in staying healthy. Next, he needs to show he’s actually been working on improving his game so he doesn’t just rely solely on his athletic ability. Bulking up some to handle being in the paint some would also be nice since he’s missed so much time. Lastly, he needs to not develop into WCS where he thinks he deserves something without putting in the work. These all need to be conditions meet before his next option is picked up.
This part is a bit confusing:
Are you saying that you think there’s a possibility that McNair won’t exercise Bagley’s club option for 2021-2022? That seems like a pretty far-fetched scenario. I think the deadline to exercise club options for players on rookie scale contracts needs to be made at the end of this month.
If that is the case, I don’t see how they don’t pick up that option. The only way I see that scenario happening is if Bagley injures himself pretty badly in camp or preseason.
Typically, the decision needs to be made at the end of October. That’s basically like 5 games into the season. I assume that means the deadline will be the end of December this year, but I haven’t seen anything official. Point being, they won’t be able to see how this season plays out before deciding on the club option. His health this season will have an impact on the decision to offer an extension next offseason. My gut feeling is that all party’s will find it beneficial to let Bagley become a RFA though.
I was going to make this point. All rookie scale, i.e. 1st round picks, are picked up a year prior to the players actually playing that season.
In otherwords, you pick up a rookie option for the 3rd season after the rookie year and the 4th year option after the 2nd year (or in the next month, whenever the deadline is).
Sanjesh got this one wrong. Via that Larry guy:
Here’s the link (it won’t let me link it normally on my tablet): http://cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q47
I didnt say anything about cable you obnoxious fake Bratz.
a lot of people don’t know that Larry the Cable Guy is a CBA expert.
I have done been learned correctly.
You’re still an obnoxious fake Bratz though.
I see no way they don’t pick up the option on Bagley.
At this point, I won’t hold my breath. But I still consider him part of the young “core.” I do hope he turns it around though.
Also not saying this is or will be indicative of his career but Greg Oden has played more games than Bagley in his first two playing seasons than Bagley has. It’s somewhat concerning.
At the moment, I think Kings young core consists entirely of Fox. Hopefully Haliburton and Bagley show that he belongs in there too. Obviously, Woodard and Ramsey showing out would be great too, but I’m not going to hold my breath on them forcing their way into the core discussion in their first season.
Agreed, and I still think Bagley is talented. Just very raw. The next two seasons may determine who he really is or will be.
Excited about Woodard and Ramsey and I hope they turn out to be great role players.
I keep dreaming of Ramsey becoming a microwave oven 6th man coming off the bench behind Fox and Tyrese while Woodard develops into a starting caliber 3 and D type. If Bagley can stay healthy and realize his true potential, that’s a real strong start on a future contender. But then again…..that’s a lot of “Ifs.”
How many games did each team play last season?
All of them.
Yeah, there’s a little manipulation in there. First using the first two playing seasons. Obviously, Oden sat out his entire first season. Basically, in their first two seasons, Bagley played 75 of 154 possible. Oden played 61 of 164 possible in his first 2 seasons. And 82 of 164 in his first 2 playing seasons.
So the details aren’t fully accurate, but the fact that there’s even a comparison to be made is sad.
I “like” to use the Sam Bowie comparison, as the Jordan / Doncic component makes for a nice dose of lemon juice in the open wound. Bagley has played in 75 / 154 games over his first two seasons, or 48.7%. Bowie played in 114 / 164, or 69.5%.
Separate but related, LeBron James has averaged 76 / 82 games over his 17 year career (not counting playoffs), an amazeballs 92.6%. He has only missed >10 games in a season twice, and >20 games once. Jeebus!
And while we’re at it, Buddy Hield has played in 314 / 316 games (99.4%!), including the last 219 straight. Hield’s current streak is more than 10x Bagley’s best streak.
Sam Bowie is also a good comparison. Honestly just makes you sigh every time you hear about that.
Also Buddy Hield is insane.
Don’t forget Pervis “out of service” Ellison, 110 games in his first two seasons.
How good of a player was Pervis? I never really looked into his career as he was one of those #1 picks who never really truly justified where they were picked.
Sam Bowie is a bad comparison, actually. Bowie played in a far higher percentage of games than Bagley has. Womp womp womp.
Hield could possibly be the one to break Jason Thompson’s all-time record of 541 games played as a Sacramento King in a couple of years if he doesn’t get traded or get ________________.
(I dare not jinx it by mentioning the other horrible possibility)
Yea and I know that it’s kinda clickbaity to put that in but it just puts into perspective the gravity of his injuries, and yes it is sad and I really fully wish that he eventually becomes an all-star caliber player.
In my opinion, this is the our most important question. IF he can stay healthy, he should be a 15/10 guy, easy and a big part of the future. If not, he needs to go.
The thing is 15/10 doesn’t mean much without know how many shots it took him to get those 15, how he works in the flow of the overall offense, how he impacts the defensive end, etc. I have no doubt he can put up 15/10. I wonder if he can put up 15/10 in a way that positively impact overall team performance.
Right, Hassan Whiteside is a 15.5/13.5 guy; so basically that would make Bagley worth less than a one year minimum deal guy?
People need to stop focusing on counting stats.
Good examples of out-of-context “15/10” guys are Enes Kanter and Jahlil Okafor.
If feet and ankles are an issue the best part of his game is in jeopardy – quick 2nd jump !
Hopefully he can get in at least 50 games this year to provide some rest minutes for our main bigs. That’s my mark for a successful season from him. Mainly because I’ve seen nothing from him that shows he’ll ever be more than a mid-to-back of bench player.
Well, Bagley’s health and development should at least help us determine if we need something closer to a true rebuild, or if it really will be just a soft reset. As good as I hope Fox will be, I can’t imagine he will ever be good enough to carry the team without at least a second All-Star beside him. Bagley’s got the talent to be that good at least a 20-10 guy if he can realize it. If he can’t, we’re likely staying mediocre to bad for quite awhile, short of getting a star in the upcoming draft and Halliburton exceeding expectations.
As I said, people need to stop focusing on counting stats. Derek Coleman was a 20-10 guy and not conductive to winning basketball.
Too long ago? Andre Drummond averaged 17.7 and 15.2 and he’s a 2-time All-Star; but good luck building a team around him.
Derick Coleman was the best player on a playoff team 3 of his first 4 seasons! And made the playoffs 7 times.
But, yes, judging players by out-of-context PPG is silly.
Having his best season at 45 wins and losing the first round in these 3 season is not what I really view as winning basketball. But YMMV.
I mean, it’s above .500 and making the playoffs. It’s definitively winning and significantly more “winning basketball” than anything we’ve glimpsed in Sacramento in nearly decade and a half.
Yes, like I said, YMMV. And using the Kings as bar is the lowest of low bars. Unfortunately.
My point is really that, while Coleman was certainly not a great player, I think the narrative has gotten a bit out of control. To use another player in this thread, he was much better than Zach Randolph. Basically, he was equally inefficient with his scoring and an equivalent rebounder, but was a much better passer and defender.
Now that’s a bar we might be able to climb over!
Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a winner, just means he wasn’t a superstar. Kind of like IT or Mitch Richmond. The teams they played on would have been worse without them.
I have been hard on Bagley and truly hope he gets healthy, and has a great season so he can get out from the shadow of Doncic. I know he won’t ever be a Doncic impact type player, but hope it won’t sting as badly if he develops. My fear is something you are alluding too, I don’t think he is a guy that makes a team better, he doesn’t look to pass, he doesn’t set screens, he seems to a be a all about my stats type of player. I hope I am wrong..
i used 20-10 as a short hand for a productive player, hence the at least. I would hope that were Bagley to realize his potential, he’d become much more. Preferably, I’d like him to become a decent enough shooter to spread the floor, I’d like him to maintain and expand his interior scoring talents, and I’d like to use of his athleticism smartly enough to defend out to the perimeter while using his jump of his to intimidate on the interior. I do think he has the ability to all that, whether or not he realizes it. I also would like him to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds a game on top of the other things, because he can do things and because it’s hard to win basketball games with scoring points and grabbing rebounds.
My opinion of Bagley is not a popular one. It’s not his fault that he was selected before Luka. It’s really not his fault that he’s often injured. He went from being overrated to somewhat underrated now. This might be the best thing for him. I think his success and team success will really come from him playing within a clearly defined role. I don’t want him out there forcing things just trying to prove that he is worthy of that pick. Take the shots defense gives him, keep the ball moving, focus on setting good picks, play hard on defense and go after every rebound. In my opinion, he could get us more wins without scoring more than 10 points a night by just doing all of the other things better.
my only concern is, with his narrow frame, I just don’t see him ever playing the 5 which might be his natural position. He can still be a really productive player as long as we can find a younger version of serge Ibaka to play next to him.
I wouldn’t say that’s an unpopular opinion at all. In fact, I’d guess most of that is closer to the majority opinion around here.
I agree completely. All of the vitriol directed at him for being selected at #2 makes about as much sense as screaming at a baby because the kid’s father nailed your wife.
There are places that people end up through no fault of their own. As with most things, this is a VD issue.
Venereal diseases really can be blamed for most things.
Evan Mobley comes to mind. Perfect modern big who can basically do it all. Grab rebounds, block shots, have a good low post game, has a mid range shot and a three point shot .
Totally agree. The simple fact of the matter is that after Bagley’s first season we were all extremely excited about the guy. He can play, we just haven’t seen it in a while and many of us have forgotten. But when Bagley is on the floor he’s a real impact guy on the offensive glass and can go out and get his own shot, too. Defense and passing still a concern, but he seems like a high character, hard-working type of dude who wants to get better and it frankly isn’t his fault that his body hasn’t given him the opportunity to prove it. As upset as we all are that he can’t stay on the floor, I’m sure nobody is more frustrated than Bagley himself.
Left mid foot sprain in December 2019 and non-specified right foot injury in practice in July 2020. Maybe it is vague to protect his value as a prospect?
This is going to be unpopular for sure but here is the link to a sactown royalty article grading Marvin’s rookie year in May of 2019
I post this just to show that a lot of people graded Marvin’s rookie season as a success and believed he had a solid upward trajectory. I think IF, and i mean IF, he stays healthy, then he can possibly continue that upward trajectory.
I was very encouraged by his rookie season. Unfortunately he is now a full year behind in his needed growth, as his second year was a complete write-off. He went from 1st team all-rookie to arguably not being in the top ten (at least the top 7-8) of his draft. So in that regard, he has to do a bit more than just trend upward. He needs to close the gap on all of the players that have left him behind.
That thread is a reminder of how much better the threads on TKH are.
Plain and simple, I go by the 3 strikes rule…. 3 strikes and you’re out. Since Bagley was a Vlade pick, and McNair has no sentimental attachment to him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bagley gone after this season if he can’t stay healthy.
Considering McNair’s bargain bin shopping spree on centers, Marvin’s health, and poor defense, Marvin has a lot to prove to the new FO.
“bargain bin shopping sprees” – too accurate lol
I wonder if there is any precedent of players who were good at low post scoring and rebounding with very little assist rate coming into the league and somehow improve greatly in that assist department later. Bagley can’t defend effectively nor pass the ball happen to be the two skills you can’t really teach. He’ll have a long career in the league as the Julius Randle type player but won’t ever impact the team in overall success
Randle gets his numbers, but when he was on a decent team (I guess only the Pelicans), he really made them better. If Bagley produces at that level, that’s a pretty decent career. Hopefully he can stay healthy, and will make real strides as the roster becomes more coherent over the next few years. He’s still just 21.
Also, has anyone heard anything about Marvin adding muscle since Orlando? He has to get stronger, but not so bulky that it diminishes his mobility