The Pistons are considered a team to watch as a possible suitor for Kings big man Marvin Bagley III, according to Marc Stein. Within his latest Substack column, Stein cites league sources who say Detroit has been tracking Bagley since last season, before the forward fell out of favor in Sacramento.
The second overall pick in the 2018 draft, Bagley had a promising rookie year for the Kings, averaging 14.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 62 games. However, his production hasn’t improved at all since then and his role has been reduced. Last month, the Kings informed Bagley that he wouldn’t be part of the club’s rotation to open the season, prompting agent Jeff Schwartz to put out a statement blasting Sacramento for its handling of his client.
“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,'” Schwartz said in that statement. “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.”
Bagley has appeared in just one game so far this season, logging 10 minutes of action on October 22 in a loss to Utah. A report earlier this week suggested that the 22-year-old refused to check into Monday’s game when head coach Luke Walton called his number.
While the Kings would presumably welcome the opportunity to trade Bagley, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, Stein says a deal is unlikely to be made until sometime after December 15, when more players become trade-eligible.
It’s unclear what the Pistons would be willing to give up for Bagley. The team only has three players earning over $6MM this season — Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, and Cade Cunningham. Grant and Cunningham obviously wouldn’t be in play for Bagley, and I doubt the team would want to give up Olynyk just months after making a significant commitment to him in free agency.
In order to match Bagley’s $11.3MM salary then, the Pistons may have to package a couple lesser-paid players, including perhaps Hamidou Diallo ($5.2MM), who doesn’t currently have a regular role in the club’s rotation. Diallo can’t be dealt until January 15.