As the Rockets pulled away from the Kings in the fourth quarter Saturday with Marvin Bagley III on the bench, his father posted a trade request on Twitter, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. The elder Bagley deleted the tweet, but the message that his son is unhappy with his current situation in Sacramento had already been sent.
It’s the second incident this week involving the Team Bagley account, Jones notes. On Tuesday, Bagley didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter of a game against Denver and the account retweeted an old post of Lakers fans expressing their anger at current Kings coach Luke Walton.
Asked about the situation after Saturday’s game, Walton explained that he had planned to put Bagley back on the floor, but decided to stick with Richaun Holmes because he was playing well. He suggested Holmes would have understood if the roles were reversed, adding that his decisions aren’t affected by anything that happens on social media.
“My message is always the same: We don’t listen to any of that,” Walton said. “It’s us within these walls, us within this locker room. We’re in this together. Good or bad, whatever people are saying, we’ve got to do everything we can to not let that affect what we’re trying to get done here.”
Bagley didn’t talk to the media after the game, but sources tell Jones he’s had a simmering feud with the organization since his rookie season. It began with a clash with former coach Dave Joerger, who was fired after Bagley’s first year, in part for not communicating better with his players.
The Kings took Bagley with the second pick in the 2018 draft, passing on Luka Doncic and Trae Young, two game-changing guards who have already become All-Stars. Bagley’s progress has been slowed by injuries that limited him to a combined 75 games in his first two seasons. He played just 13 games last year, breaking his right thumb in the season opener and spraining both feet along the way.
Bagley is off to a decent start this year, averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per night. The Kings have already picked up his $11.3MM option for next season.
“He’s been great as far as actively learning, actively searching out to become better and get a better understanding of some of these types of things,” Walton said. “There’s mistakes happening, for sure, but as long as the player is trying and willing to do the things we’re asking, you live with those mistakes from young players. It’s the way our league is and the best teacher is always going to be experience, so the more he goes through things, the more he’ll pick them up. Like I said, he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”