Coming into the 2020-21 season, there was perhaps no bigger question than how Marvin Bagley III would respond after a disappointing and injury-riddled sophomore season. It was clear early on that the Kings were going to give him every opportunity they could, even inserting him into the starting lineup from Day 1. Unfortunately for both Bagley and the Kings, his season left more questions than answers.
Bagley once again missed a significant chunk of time, playing just 43 of the team's 72 games. After suffering a broken hand midway through the season, Bagley proceeded to miss the next month and a half, and in a curious move that still hasn't been made clear, decided to rehab away from the team back home in Arizona. Reports seemed to indicate that the Kings were preparing to potentially move on from Bagley, with one rumor suggesting that the Detroit Pistons rejected a straight up swap of Bagley for rookie Saddiq Bey.
After the trade deadline came and went, it was unclear if Bagley would ever return to the lineup, but return he did, playing six games in early May. These six games included perhaps his best performance yet, a 31 point, 12 rebound game against the Indiana Pacers in which he dominated the 1st half.
That performance was followed up by a 4 point and 2 rebound dud against the Spurs in a must-win game however, and in his next game, he suffered a groin injury that knocked him out for the final four games of the season.
Even without focusing on the various injuries, Bagley didn't show enough improvement this season to warrant a whole lot of optimism. His statistics from this season are nearly identical to his rookie year:
2018-19: 14.9 PTS, .504 FG%, .313 3P%, 7.6 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 1.0 BLK in 25.3 MPG
2020-21: 14.1 PTS, .504 FG%, .343 3P%, 7.4 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 0.5 BLK in 25.9 MPG
The one area where Bagley did seem to have noticeably improved was with his three point shot, especially from the corner. But other parts of his game seemed to drop off. His touch near the basket, left a lot to be desired. Per basketball-reference, he shot just 38.3% from the field between 3-10 feet. Compare that to the ultra efficient Richaun Holmes, who made 55.2% of his attempts in that range.
Defensively, Bagley continued to be one of the worst defenders in the entire league. Sacramento's league worst defense was even worse when Bagley was on the floor. Per NBA.com, opposing players shot 2.7% better when guarded by Bagley. It's hard to dump too hard on Bagley for this though. The Kings as a whole were a nightmare on defense, and that's not on any one individual player.
It's possible, maybe even probable, that Marvin Bagley III has played his last game in a Sacramento Kings uniform. It seems clear that both sides want a fresh start, and Bagley will be on the books for $11.3 million next season that the Kings would probably want to allocate elsewhere.
Personally, I believe moving on from Marvin Bagley would be the right choice for all parties. For the Kings, getting out of his salary might allow them to retain a player like Richaun Holmes. For Bagley, the weight of "2nd pick" and "should have picked Luka" will be off his shoulders, at least partly. Would it suck to see him flourish elsewhere? Sure. But will he? History hasn't been kind to top picks that failed to get it going in their first few seasons. Here's every top-10 pick from the last 15 years who was traded away or let go by their former team before their rookie contract was over:
- Adam Morrison (2006 Pick No. 3)
- Tyrus Thomas (2006 Pick No. 4)
- Shelden Williams (2006 Pick No. 5)
- Randy Foye (2006 Pick No. 7)
- Patrick O'Bryant (2006 Pick No. 9)
- Mouhamed Sene (2006 Pick No. 10)
- Greg Oden (2007 Pick No. 1)
- Jeff Green (2007 Pick No. 5)
- Yi Jianlian (2007 Pick No. 6)
- Corey Brewer (2007 Pick No. 7)
- Brandan Wright (2007 Pick No. 8)
- Spencer Hawes (2007 Pick No. 10)
- Michael Beasley (2008 Pick No. 2)
- Danilo Gallinari (2008 Pick No. 6 - Part of trade for Carmelo Anthony)
- Eric Gordon (2008 Pick No. 7 - Part of trade for Chris Paul)
- Joe Alexander (2008 Pick No. 8)
- Hasheem Thabeet (2009 Pick No. 2)
- James Harden (2009 Pick No. 3 - Oklahoma City received two 1st round picks and Kevin Martin in return)
- Jonny Flynn (2009 Pick No. 6)
- Jordan Hill (2009 Pick No. 8)
- Evan Turner (2010 Pick No. 2)
- Derrick Favors (2010 Pick No. 3 - Part of trade for Deron Williams)
- Wesley Johnson (2010 Pick No. 4)
- Ekpe Udoh (2010 Pick No. 6)
- Al-Farouq Aminu (2010 Pick No. 8 - Part of trade for Chris Paul)
- Derrick Williams (2011 Pick No. 2)
- Enes Kanter (2011 Pick No. 3)
- Jan Vesely (2011 Pick No. 6)
- Brandon Knight (2011 Pick No. 8)
- Jimmer Fredette (2011 Pick No. 10)
- Dion Waiters (2012 Pick No. 4)
- Thomas Robinson (2012 Pick No. 5)
- Austin Rivers (2012 Pick No. 10)
- Anthony Bennett (2013 Pick No. 1)
- Victor Oladipo (2013 Pick No. 2 - Part of trade for Serge Ibaka)
- Nerlens Noel (2013 Pick No. 6)
- Trey Burke (2013 Pick No. 9)
- Nik Stauskas (2014 Pick No. 8)
- Noah Vonley (2014 Pick No. 9)
- Elfrid Payton (2014 Pick No. 10)
- D'Angelo Russell (2015 Pick No. 2 - Traded for Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez)
- Jahlil Okafor (2015 Pick No. 3)
- Mario Hezonja (2015 Pick No. 5)
- Emmanuel Mudiay (2015 Pick No. 7)
- Stanley Johnson (2015 Pick No. 8)
- Brandon Ingram (2016 Pick No. 2 - Part of trade for Anthony Davis)
- Dragan Bender (2016 Pick No. 4)
- Kris Dunn (2016 Pick No. 5 - Part of trade for Jimmy Butler)
- Buddy Hield (2016 Pick No. 6 - Part of trade for DeMarcus Cousins)
- Marquese Chriss (2016 Pick No. 8)
- Jakob Poeltl (2016 Pick No. 9 - Part of trade for Kawhi Leonard)
- Thon Maker (2016 Pick No. 10)
- Markelle Fultz (2017 Pick No. 1)
- Lonzo Ball (2017 Pick No. 2 - Part of trade for Anthony Davis)
- Josh Jackson (2017 Pick No. 4)
- Dennis Smith Jr. (2017 Pick No. 9 - Part of trade for Kristaps Porzingis)
There's no doubt in my mind that Marvin Bagley can have a nice, long career in the NBA. It just remains to be seen if that will be in Sacramento.
Beat me to same GIF. Haha
This is going to be a fun, level-headed discussion.
I don’t think there is going to be much debate in this thread. Are there any of us left that still think Bagley is a keeper and will be cornerstone to this franchise?
If you separate those questions, I’d say yes (for next season) and of course not.
Nope. Marvin Bagley is bad
I spy quite a bit of players the Kings drafted. 😉
You’ve got a point.
Bravo! But the main thing is.
Bagley is a 21 year old $11M expiring contract this season – the trade market should be reasonably ok between teams that want to take a flier and/or teams that want cap relief heading into next summer so there’s no reason to give him away.
If they can’t trade him for at least a prospect or a late first (or part of a larger package) then hang onto him until the trade deadline.
Not at the Cool Kids table with this, but I am not totally out on Bagley.
Frustrating as hell, sure. Do I scrutinize him way more than other players, on practically a possession to possession basis? Hell yes. Fair, probably not.
I’d be willing to roll with him this last contract year and see what he can do. For the Kings to get good, they need an unexpected contributor to come from some current unforeseen place. Whether that be a second round pick or unexpected development of current players. I feel that’s as likely to happen with Bagley as it is with a late first round pick or whatever similar level of compensation you might get for him this off season.
If it doesn’t pan out, then yeah, it’s expiring and moving on. In terms of helping to retain Holmes, I’m not really in the Holmes for 14-15 mill a year camp anyway, so that doesn’t move the needle for me.
Here’s to hope…
I hear you. I hope bags can make it big still, but it just might not be here. Nothing solves problems like success, so I hope he makes a big jump next year and stays healthy.
Bags epitomizes all the mistakes the Kings make. Compiling a horrible pick at 2 by hanging on to useless/bench big would be another.
Bags is not going to improve that much or at all. He’s not gonna be good anywhere else. If he has such upside why didn’t other GMs agree to trade for him.
Get rid of him. Move on. Unfortunately, we can’t get rid of Vivek so all the issues will still be here.
The problem I see is Bagley would need to make the jump of most likely MIP to be a difference maker on this team. Basically he’d have to go from about 6th best player on the team to second best player on the team within the next 6 months if the Kings are to make the playoffs with him. That is a tall task.
I’m not really sure that setting the threshold for Bagley’s progression at the player with league-wide consensus as the guy who made the largest year-over-year leap is a reasonable place to set the bar. Assuming that he’s still here opening night, if he can stay healthy, and show real progress as a defender, that would complicate things as he reaches RFA status.
I don’t know that he’s ever going to play to the standard that people assign to a #2 pick, or even if such a standard is fair. I agree with you that he could still have a productive NBA career, and if so, that it’s likely to be elsewhere. I watch pro sports to watch exceptional athletes do amazing things, and I hate when injuries rob the player of the chance to make fans say, “Did he just do what I think he did?”
And the thing about Bagley not traveling with the team during part of his recuperation is, frankly, just dumb. A global pandemic was still killing a couple thousand Americans a day, but it’s more important to camaraderie that he sit behind the bench in street clothes while significantly increasing his chances of being exposed? There are plenty of valid criticisms of Marvin Bagley, but this is a “Major Biden crapped on the floor at the White House and so hates America” level of nothingburger.
Possibly. I think if he could just be 30-32 minutes and able to earn consistent 4th quarter minutes and be a 3rd or 4th option, I think they could hunt the playoffs. Assuming they could be below average on defense and not historically bad. Which Bagley would have to be a big part of.
What this person said.
Yeah I’m with the uncool kids on this one too. We gave PF minutes to Daquan Jeffries, Glenn Robinson, Metu, Bjelly, Jabari Parker, Chris Silva, and several other G-League guys last year. Bagley absolutely does not need to be an above-average starter to raise the team’s floor if that is our bench. We have exactly one decent forward on this roster in Barnes.
If we draft Mobley, keep Barnes, and add two other competent forwards in free agency, then sure we can flip Bagley to the highest bidder or let him expire if he’s so bad there are no takers.
For both the Kings and his sake it’s time to cut him loose and move on. Will he be injury prone for his entire career? Who knows. His defense sucks and while he shows flashes of promise with a 30 point game, he follows it up with a 4 point turd. I’m in the camp of trying to move him along with Buddy and use the proceeds to resign Holmes and maybe help pay for a free agent.
The best thing I can say at this moment about Bagley is:
Bagley > Porzingis
Setting aside contract considerations, I am going to need you to show your work on that take.
My take is based completely on their contracts, I guess everyone missed that.
I’d rather have Bagley than KP based off their contracts.
We should trade him for Giannis. Who says no?
Agree. He ain’t improving much or at all. 3 years in the league and same shit.
This attitude of thinking The Kings crap -Walton, Bags, same players will become a playoff team/contender is fucking ridiculous.
Bags and this team/org are shit and I’m sick of the false hope of turning a corner while relying upon trash.
On one hand I feel bad for the guy, I genuinely do. I cannot imagine how being the asterisk in a draft that is looking to be one of the best in a decade must mess with you.
But he also has that lethal combo of absolutely zero self awareness. An ego that has never been earned.
I actually don’t share the feeling that he will have a long and successful NBA career because here is the only and last place that is going to showcase him. If he wasn’t the #2 pick and this org was desperate to show that he’s not a bust we all know that he wouldn’t be getting even a fraction of the minutes he’s getting.
Also I have never seen a player so one sided even in sac which is saying something. Most if not all of his good games that he was a presence on the boards it was him getting his own rebound.
We all need to move on.
I think most of this is fan-generated:
It’s fun to talk about, I suppose – just not sure it’s as big of a deal as we make it out to be. I have no problem with young players being overly confident.
Was in process of responding same type of thing. Papa Bagley…yeah lack of self awareness. Marvin hasn’t said much out of line. He doesn’t openly bitch about coming off the bench or 4th quarter minutes. He made the one comment people like to really attach to him about trying to be MVP his rookie year…comment from a 19 year old. If he was making comments this year like that then OK…but haven’t seen it, unless I just missed it.
He sure as hell knows a big pay day is on the line this season. He made efforts to improve in defense (Charges, rotations etc), use his right hand a bit more. Was he still bad at it? YES…but doesn’t mean he is not aware that’s what his viewed flaws are and wants to show improvement.
Yeah, as long as it doesn’t breed complacency, then it’s fine. Heck, you could argue that a hyper-inflated and resilient over-confidence is vital for people in that type of position.
Annie Savoy quotes should be auto-rec’s.
I totally agree and I didn’t mean his off court persona but his on court one. As in he has no idea what to do when the ball isn’t in his hands.
I was specifically channeling the spurs game where he was constantly standing around then clapping for that pass that wasn’t coming. Also the flex after the put back that he got 3 of his own rebounds on.
Trade him for Marvin the overqualified robot in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The brain the size of a planet .. Fifle
Technically that Marvin is a paranoid android, FWIW.
In the book, he’s neither paranoid nor an android. He has the best lines too.
Never even bothered to watch the show because part of what made the first book so great was its narrative style, and the author ran out of gas about halfway through the sequel.
I could swear Marvin was a paranoid android in the original BBC recordings, but I’d have to re-read the book again. It’s been a long time, and I never actually finished any of the books beyond Hitchhikers.
It’s okay to say Douglas Adams, especially if you are going to parse details as to whether or not Marvin was paranoid, android, robot, etc etc. But I’m not a Hitchhiker junkie either so I don’t much care…
The first book is a classic. I’m actually sort of bummed the cartoon ruined Marvin if what you’re telling me is true.
Marvin the Paranoid Android came from someone writing a prologue to the 5 book in 1 edition. (I forgot who it was and I’ve since lost the book by accident.) It never came from the movie whatsoever. I don’t know why you keep saying that.
I saw an interesting trade proposal of bagley for mo bamba and this year’s 2nd round pick from the magic. Who says no?
I’m wondering who says yes…
I don’t see the point in moving him at this time. If his market value is that of a late 1st rounder, it would be foolish to make a move. You’re not going to get much value on the court from a late 1st rounder unless you get really really lucky. And it may take a few years. Let him play out his contract, and then determine where we’re at with him.
I’m in this camp. If for whatever reason, he is the extra guy that a team wants in a trade for a good to great player (here’s looking at you CJ McCollum) then ok. Otherwise, keep him and cross your fingers for improvement.
This is reasonable. I think the argument you could make is that with that 1st round pick you could go for a player with a more ready made NBA role player. My issue with Bagley has always been that if he doesn’t make the major developmental leaps to become a star, he doesn’t offer a ton. If all you’re going to contribute is scoring, then you have to be absolutely elite at it to be a difference maker. Anything short of that you’re either depending on him developing abilities that haven’t been in evidence as long as I’ve been watching him (passing, high level defense, team-based skills in general) or he’s a small ball C/rim runner type. Which is nice to have, but easier to come by on the cheap. So assuming you could get a 1st for him, I could see someone preferring to go with a player that might have a lower ceiling, but more ready-made NBA role. Like a 3-and-D guy like Edwards or Duarte. Or a frontcourt floor spacer like Murphy or Todd. Or a second unit ball-handler like Mann. Or an interior bruiser like Sharpe. And to have those guys on a new, late-1st rookie scale deal.
I disagree entirely on his value, there is no way anyone is giving up a late 1st for Bagley, he’s not even worth a couple of 2nds considering his salary/production. We can’t even trade him for a late 1st rounder from last year’s draft.
Unless he is cut, he is here throughout his contract. Its possible he gets thrown into a deal, but I doubt it.
IMO, this “Bagley is worth a late 1st rounder” nonsense is just wishful thinking but I hope I’m wrong.
People are ignoring the fact that any other GM is smart enough to see what Bagley is.
Disagree on the value all you want. The point remains and is even strengthened talking about a 2nd rounder. The Kings especially, are not going to get 14pt 7rb from a 2nd round pick.
At best he plays half of the games in a season. How much does he really contribute?
When he does play and add 14 pt and 7 reb he gives up at least thirty in three quarters.
Not likely. Any stats to back that up that assertion? He’s a -8 with offense and defensive rating combined. But his defensive rating is better than Barnes, Buddy, Fox and Halliburton.
Just watch every team go at him without any resistance. Bagley has trouble figuring out if he is playing offense or defense. You can watch him box out guys instead of contesting shots.
He is clueless on defense.
You’d think that it’d bear witness in the Defensive Rating stat, measuring points given up per 100 possessions. He’s had games were he actually looked pretty good on defense, and games were he looked pretty bad on defense. The problem has been with consistency and small ball lineups where he’s guarding a 3. And sometimes the best play is to box out and try and get a possible miss, instead of contesting and possibly giving up an AND1. It’s situational.
Respect your opinion but in my opinion the situation for his defensive failure is every time he puts his shoes on.
His teammates are not much better.
That list just set me off. We suck at scouting soooo much. Starting in 2011, jimmer, 2012- t rob, 2013 b-Mac, 2014 sauce castillo, 2015 calley- Stein, 2016 marquis chriss (traded draft night), 2017 got lucky with fox, 2018 bagley. All lottery picks. Further proof that this is basketball hell for sure.
While I wasn’t eager to move on before the season because I was hoping Bagley could turn it around, I don’t think he can be salvaged in Sac at this point. Some things just can’t be rescued. I would say the same with Buddy, for that matter.
I’m just not eager to see the Kings give Marvin Bagley away, either. It’s a tough spot to be in. I’m hoping the Kings can find a way to use Bagley to get a talented player, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Proof, as always, is in the pudding.
Bags is starting to mature into a full grown man and a professional basketball player. I’m for keeping him as part of the core. In other news, here is an accurate assessment that teams relying on ball hogging will never win a championship despite the hog’s stats. https://sports.yahoo.com/dallas-mavericks-solve-luka-doncic-100000182.html
Lol, ok. Glad we dodged that bullet.
I think the issue is there has more to do with the lack of talent around him than it does Doncic himself, even at the tender and still learning age of 22(!). To wit, Doncic has career usage of 34%. LeBron is not too far behind at 31.5%, and an Anthony Davis would likely bring Doncic’s usage down a bit.
That said, at least Doncic has seen the playoffs (twice) in his first three seasons. I guess that Bags has had the advantage of summers off to mature into a full grown man and professional basketball player.
LOL. Makes an argument about ball hogging to defend a guy that’s averaged 1 assist a game during his career.
I think it’s funny so many can’t stand any sort of legit criticism of their Golden Boy Doncic. I’m glad he’s not a King. I wouldn’t sell my basketball soul for wins. I hate hero ball, ball hogging, and players that constantly whine to the refs.
I don’t think Bagley has any value at all other than maybe a reclamation project.
I’m all for buying him out just to get his contract off the books for next year. He is a bust of pick, he provides little to no production on the court. Hopefully for him, he’ll get a shot again elsewhere.
I could be wrong, our cap gurus can correct if so, but I don’t think buying him out this summer saves the Kings on the cap. Saves owners actual dollars, but not the cap. Not a ton of incentive to do that if that’s the case.
Bagley was part of a starting lineup that in over 400 mins had a +7 rating, one of the better marks for lineups that played significant minutes this season…Suns starting lineup for example was +4. He has flaws, some of them major. But he is not a useless player.
I’m pretty sure that you’re right, Wiz. There have been no shortage of “just cut him” takes, as if that would be the end of it. Crazy that no one on here has been offered a GM job yet.
It terms of cutting him (buying him out), it has to be done this year or his $11.3M salary will still count against the cap next year (if he were to be bought out next year instead of during this year). There is no actual savings in money because he is unlikely to accept anything other than a full payout, its just whether or not it counts against the cap next year.
There might be a cap hold for ’22-’23, but there’s no actual cap issue related to Bagley, assuming Sacramento doesn’t sign him to a new deal.
I feel like you generally have to go with a truncated mean approach when referring to opinions on message boards.
I’m trying to be considerate, and keep them under ten thousand words. In regard to Bagley specifically, and Hield to a lesser degree, there have been so many cut him/trade him for anything comments that there really isn’t a lot to say in response.
If that is the kind of strategy that some feel would result in improvement of the product, it strikes me as a rather incomplete understanding of how professional sports function, and in theory, capitalism itself. There may be a way to get rich giving away assets for no return, but I am unaware of it.
“If that is the kind of strategy that some feel would result in improvement of the product, it strikes me as a rather incomplete understanding of how professional sports function, and in theory, capitalism itself. There may be a way to get rich giving away assets for no return, but I am unaware of it.”
As suggested here, it would involve the creation of a new form of social relations influenced by pre-capitalist norms.
Kinda upset nobody has offered me a job, honestly.
He is useless on the majority of NBA teams, he might be useful to a team like the Sixers where he could come off the bench as a Harrell-type point getter and the Sixers could hide his horrendous defense, but they aren’t going to give up anything for him. Besides, you could get the actual Harrell for 75% of Marvin’s salary.
Full disclosure: While Bagley may be a contributing factor to the following, it is the front office and above that wears the responsibility for these results.
There were nine teams in the 2018 draft with sub-30 wins: The Suns, Griz, Mavs, Hawks, Magic, Kings, Bulls, Nets and Knicks. The following is the net increase / decrease in their winning percentage three seasons later:
Made playoffs this season
Missed playoffs this season
Again, Bagley is just a contributing factor here of a larger issue, but we have seen moribund teams such as the Suns, Mavs, Hawks and Griz turn themselves around while the Kings founder along with the Bulls.
There are no conversations in Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta or Memphis as to whether Ayton, Doncic, Young or Jackson should stay or go. And the fault for that is far north of Marvin Bagley, and perhaps even north of the front office.
Has this been discussed previously?
The Hawks went from a 62(?) win team, into the gutter, and back into the playoffs within 5 years. And I really don’t think they are much better than the Kings if at all now so its frustrating. There clearly is a huge issue outside of Bagley.
I’m having trouble grasping this. The Hawks won their first round series and have a good chance of making the Eastern Conference Finals. But, I do agree, this is much bigger than Bagley. I put little, if any, blame on him for the poor performance of the team. He didn’t make the Kings draft him, and doesn’t make the Kings put him out on the floor.
Excellent quantification of something that should have been apparent. When all is said and done, kids who get drafted generally have no say in where they end up.
I still think this lands on VD, trying to show how brilliant he was by going against the grain.
Since McNair wasn’t here until the last offseason, I wouldn’t consider the current FO a factor (unless you count Vivek as part of the FO, which could be reasonable IMO).
100% with you on McNair. This off-season is huge for McNair, though. And it always was going to be.
I’ll trade Marvin Bagley for a vinyl copy of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it up
haha! this is good
The only rebounds Bagley gets are from his own missed shots. He should be humbled with some time in the G league
Send him to the G league and see if he can play more than 5 games in a row.
Let him know that he needs to earn minutes now. They handed him a starting role based on his fantasy potential and ignored the fact that he is the worst defensive player in the league.
Time for Bagley to deal with reality.
Should you, nothing forbid, ever suffer a debilitating injury, I’m confident that you’ll gain some insight into what that sort of thing does to focus the mind on the present reality.
Being available to play is part of being a legitimate NBA player.
His final groin injury is questionable at best. In my opinion he quit.
If he can be part of a deal that returns good value, I have no problem dealing him this offseason. If he can’t, then so be it. Best case in him staying here is that he can actually stay moderately healthy for once and contribute to the team. Worst case, he’s mostly injured again, other players get newfound playing time for us to take a look at, and he’s gone next summer.
I’m perfectly fine with any of the above. The one thing I hope we don’t see, is him putting together a bunch of sloppy, no-impact 14/7/0 games and keeping a spot in the starting lineup because of his draft position.