Speaking to the media on Sunday for the first time since his father published a tweet asking the Kings to trade him, Marvin Bagley III made it clear he didn’t want to discuss that tweet, which apparently stemmed from Bagley’s lack of recent fourth-quarter playing time and has since been deleted.
“Before we start, I just want to say that if there are no questions about the game tomorrow or what we’re going to do tomorrow, please don’t ask, I don’t want to give any extra information on nothing,” Bagley said on Sunday, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “If you don’t have any questions about the team and tomorrow’s game, then hold off.”
As Jason Jones of The Athletic writes, Bagley’s statement to open his media session didn’t stop one reporter from asking whether his father’s comments were a distraction or whether the third-year big man wanted to directly dispel the notion that he may want a trade. However, Bagley ignored the question and continued to discuss Sacramento’s next game.
The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement calls a fine for any player who publicly requests a trade, so it comes as no surprise that Bagley didn’t sign off on his father’s message. Still, his non-answer figures to fuel further speculation. If he’s happy in Sacramento, it would have been easy enough for Bagley to tell reporters that his father doesn’t speak for him and that he wants to stay, notes James Patrick of The Sacramento Bee.
Another Kings dad entered the social media fray on Sunday night, with De’Aaron Fox‘s father writing “Trade him” in reply to a tweet about Bagley, as Sean Cunningham of ABC10 Sacramento relays (via Twitter).
While the developments over the last 48 hours appear somewhat ominous for the Kings, Bagley continues to maintain an open line of communication with head coach Luke Walton, which is an improvement on his relationship with former Kings coach Dave Joerger, according to Jones. Bagley never connected with Joerger, but appears to be on good terms with Walton and spoke on Sunday about wanting to be a good teammate.
“We’ve had very honest talks,” Walton said. “Things we talk about I’m going to keep between us but throughout my time here we’ve had a lot of good talks about honest things which I believe a coach and a player should have. Nothing different, nothing new. But with him and all the guys I coach, I try to make that a high priority. Understanding that not everyone is always going to be happy, but the communication will always be there and always available.”
Bagley, 21, has posted 11.8 PPG and 8.0 RPG in six games this season, but is shooting just 37.5% from the floor and has played a total of two fourth-quarter minutes in Sacramento’s last three games.