Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley III Declines To Discuss Father’s Tweet

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.

Marvin Bagley’s Father Tweets Trade Request

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.”

Marvin Bagley Missed Training Camp Workouts With COVID-19

Kings big man Marvin Bagley III contracted the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Arizona ahead of Sacramento’s training camp, and as a consequence was unable to participate in individual workouts, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC10 Sacramento (via Twitter).

As he continues to go through COVID-19 protocol, the oft-injured center/power forward does not expect to play in the Kings’ first preseason game scheduled for this Friday, Jason Jones of the Athletic tweets.

Bagley said that he dealt with a headache and body aches during his first few days with the coronavirus, comparing it unfavorably with the flu, Cunningham notes in a separate tweet. However, he has since recovered and has been observing team practices and talking with coaches on the sidelines, Jones notes.

“I’m feeling great, man,” Bagley said, per James Anderson of the Sacramento Bee“I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt in a while. I took time this offseason to put more time into my body, just do everything in can control to make sure I’m on the court and available to my team.”

Drafted with the second pick in 2018 ahead of 2020 All-Stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Bagley has appeared in just 75 games for the Kings. In that time, he has flashed potential as a scoring force. He holds career averages of 14.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG in just 25.3 MPG.

Kings Pick Up Bagley’s Fourth-Year Option

The Kings have picked up the fourth-year option on Marvin Bagley III‘s contract, Jason Jones of The Athletic tweets.

Bagley, who has an $8.96MM salary during the upcoming season, will make approximately $11.3MM in the 2021/22 season. He’ll be a restricted free agent in the summer of ’22 if the team extends a $14,762,309 qualifying offer.

Bagley, the second overall pick of the 2018 draft. is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he appeared in just 13 games. Bagley averaged 14.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 25.7 MPG. Bagley missed the restart due to a right foot injury and also missed time during last season due to left foot and thumb ailments.

He saw action in 62 games as a rookie, averaging 14.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 25.3 MPG. However, Bagley has yet to solidify a starting role, which pales in comparison to the blazing starts that two of the three players taken right after him, Luka Doncic and Trae Young, have enjoyed in their young careers.

Pacific Notes: Howard, Nnaji, Bjelica, Hield

Veteran center Dwight Howard, who will be back on the free agent market after the Finals, is thankful the Lakers took a chance on him, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Howard was moved into the starting lineup during the conference finals. “It’s been the hardest road to get back here. I’m very grateful,” he said. “I’ve never given up on myself.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Power forward prospects Zeke Nnaji and Jalen Smith have interviewed the Suns, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Nnaji, who played at Arizona, is ranked No. 35 overall by ESPN, while Maryland’s Smith is considered first-round material at No. 20. The Suns currently own just one pick in the draft, the No. 10 overall selection.
  • The Kings’ decision on whether to retain forward Nemanja Bjelica could hinge on how much new GM Monte McNair values Marvin Bagley III, as well as the team’s financial constraints, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. The Kings hold a $7.15MM option on Bjelica’s contract next season but re-signing Bogdan Bogdanovic is an even bigger priority, Jones continues. If Sacramento drafts another power forward, the team may find Bjelica expendable, Jones adds.
  • The Knicks, Sixers, Grizzlies and Hornets are some of the teams that might be willing to absorb Buddy Hield‘s four-year, $106MM extension and make a deal for the Kings‘ shooting guard, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype speculates. All four of those teams could benefit from the outside shooting of Hield, who had a somewhat disappointing season after signing his extension, which kicks in next season.

Kings Notes: Divac, Bagley, Ranadive, Perry

In an interview with Marcos Breton of The Sacramento Bee, former Kings general manager Vlade Divac discusses his most controversial moves, including the draft day decision from two years ago that likely ended his time with the franchise. Divac got a phone call Friday from owner Vivek Ranadive telling him that Joe Dumars was taking over the front office, but Divac’s fate was probably sealed when he used the second pick in the 2018 draft to take Marvin Bagley III instead of Luka Doncic.

Bagley has played 75 combined games in two injury-filled seasons, while Doncic has quickly become an All-Star. Divac admits the decision became a source of tension with the owner, explaining that he saw Bagley as a better fit and remains confident he has a bright future.

“That was my decision,” Divac said. “I still believe Marvin has big upside. But I needed more time to prove it. I’m sure Marvin is going to prove everybody wrong. But in this league, you need to produce right now. People don’t have patience but I’m OK with that.”

Also in the interview, Divac talks about his decision not to pick up Harry Giles‘ option, the hiring of Luke Walton as head coach and Buddy Hield‘s frustration with his reserve role.

There’s more Kings news this morning:

  • Divac turned down Ranadive’s offer to remain in the front office and share power with Dumars, according to Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic. After conducting exit interviews with Kings players, Divac spoke with Ranadive again later in the day, but the owner hadn’t changed his mind. Sources tell the authors that Divac will be paid for the remainder of his contract, which runs through the 2022/23 season, and that Walton’s job remains safe.
  • Knicks general manager Scott Perry may be a candidate to replace Divac, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. Perry spent a short time with the Sacramento front office before coming to New York and reportedly left on good terms. He also has experience working for Dumars in Detroit. Knicks president Leon Rose recently exercised Perry’s option for next season, but he may not have much job security with a new management team in place.
  • The Kings will take their time finding a new general manager, and the search could extend into next season, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill thinks Dumars might opt for a younger executive, similar to his experience with the Pistons when he took over the front office at age 37.

Pacific Notes: Rubio, Suns, Holmes, Bagley

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since entering the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus, Suns guard Ricky Rubio acknowledged that his delayed arrival was a result of testing positive for the coronavirus, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. As Lopez writes, Rubio said he’ll have to be careful about ramping back up to game speed after not just enduring a four-month hiatus but dealing with the virus as well.

“I’m good. I don’t have symptoms,” Rubio said. “Now that I’m back playing, after being out for three or four months, your legs feel it, your lungs feel it. That’s something I have to work on and figure out how to give my best to the team and focus on my health too.”

As Lopez relays, Rubio didn’t say when he first tested positive for COVID-19, but admitted that it was hard on him to have his family back in Spain while he dealt with the virus in Phoenix.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Suns officials said this week that the team’s new $45MM practice facility is on track to be completed by late August or early September, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The team had to use its old arena, the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, for individual workouts in the weeks leading up to the trip to Orlando as construction progressed on the new facility.
  • Kings center Richaun Holmes, who was subjected to a 10-day quarantine period at Walt Disney World after inadvertently crossing the campus line, explained his mistake to reporters on Wednesday. “Ordered some wings and went to grab the wings, but I really wasn’t too aware of the borders,” Holmes said, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “I kind of knew what was going on, but the specific area I was in, I wasn’t aware. So, yeah, I stepped out and grabbed the food and came back, and they just let me know they wanted to be as safe as possible. They had to enforce the rules and I completely understand that, so I won’t make that mistake again.”
  • Despite an injury-plagued sophomore season for Marvin Bagley III, the Kings‘ support for the former No. 2 overall pick hasn’t wavered, Anderson writes in a separate Sacramento Bee story. “We know what kind of player he’s going to be,” head coach Luke Walton said of Bagley, who is out for the season with a foot injury. “He’s going to have a great career. And we’ve got to keep him healthy and he’s got to continue to work, which he’s proven to do since I’ve been here as far as every time that he’s gotten injured. So it’s going to be a big offseason, but I’m confident that he’ll attack that with everything he has.”
  • In case you missed it, we rounded up a series of updates on all five Pacific teams on Wednesday, and earlier today passed along word that Lakers forward Markieff Morris has cleared quarantine at the NBA’s Orlando campus.

Marvin Bagley III Ruled Out For Season Restart

Kings big man Marvin Bagley III has officially been ruled out for the NBA’s season restart due to a lateral sprain in his right foot following an MRI on Sunday evening, according to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of the Athletic (Twitter link). He is expected to be in a walking boot for the next two weeks, Charania tweets.

A press release from the team indicates that Bagley suffered the injury in a team scrimmage on Sunday (h/t to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area who first tweeted the announcement).

Bagley, the No. 2 pick in a loaded 2018 draft that has already yielded two All-Stars, posted 2019/20 season averages of 14.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG across just 13 games in 25.7 MPG. He also missed 20 games during his 2018/19 rookie season.

Bagley had previously missed most of his second season as a result of a left foot sprain and a thumb injury. This right foot sprain is a new injury. In addition to this being a long-term situation to monitor for the 6’11” Duke alum, this also spells bad short-term news for the Kings. Teams can only replace players afflicted with COVID-19 when on the Disney World campus, not players who get injured on-site.

Bagley is not the only current absent player for the Kings. Forward Harrison Barnes has yet to report to the NBA’s campus after contracting the coronavirus earlier this month. Starting point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to non-contact drills with the team today as he continues to recover from a less severe ankle injury.

At  28-36, the team is the eleventh seed in the Western Conference and was thus already a long shot to make the playoffs even before these absences.

Kings Await MRI Results On Bagley Foot Injury

Kings forward/center Marvin Bagley III underwent an MRI on Sunday night after suffering a right foot injury during practice, the team announced today in a press release. Sacramento is awaiting the results of that MRI.

It’s possible the injury won’t be a significant one, but if it forces Bagley to miss some time, it’ll be a tough break for both the team and the former No. 2 overall pick.

The Kings have already been affected by some bad luck in recent weeks, as four of their players – Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker, Alex Len, and Harrison Barnes – have tested positive for the coronavirus. De’Aaron Fox also suffered a sprained ankle, while Richaun Holmes was subjected to a 10-day quarantine period at Walt Disney World after accidentally crossing the NBA’s campus line.

Hield and Parker have since returned to practice, Len has cleared his quarantine period (per Jason Jones of The Athletic), and Holmes is close to doing so. Additionally, Fox’s ankle injury doesn’t appear serious. Still, the Kings haven’t had a full roster since reporting to Disney earlier in the month.

As for Bagley, he missed most of his sophomore NBA season with a foot injury, appearing in just 13 games this season. The hope was that he’d be back to full health and ready to contribute this summer, but that’s now up in the air. For what it’s worth, Bagley was sidelined for much of the season by a left foot ailment, so this is a new injury.

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Clippers, Lakers, Morris

The Kings were one of 22 teams chosen to play in the NBA’s restart, which begins in a couple of weeks in Orlando, Florida. The Kings are currently 3.5 games behind Memphis for the eighth seed and could make the playoffs if they can play how they did before the season was suspended.

That will hinge not only on how De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield play, but also how Kings head coach Luke Walton utilizes second-year big man Marvin Bagley. This past weekend, Walton was asked about where does the former Duke standout fit on the court and responded by saying that Bagley is a position-less player.

“We see Marvin as a player that, down the road, is going to be pretty much a position-less type of basketball player,” Walton said. “For now, and getting him back, we got him getting most of his reps at the five and the four.”

Richard Ivanowski of The Sacramento Bee disagrees with Walton’s assessment and opines that Bagley should be considered a center or big man. Ivanowski points out that the former second overall pick struggles to shoot from three-point range (28.8%) and is not someone who can initiate the offense. Instead, Bagley is better around the rim and is an adequate defensive rebounder.

Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers guard Terance Mann, who is the team’s NBPA rep, told reporters on Tuesday that the players’ decision to play was “a pretty long process,” per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk (Twitter link). The Clippers, who will be back in action on July 30 against the Lakers, had several Zoom conversations about the restart before deciding to participate, Mann said.
  • Mann also told reporters that he is back to full contact after undergoing hand surgery in March, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Anthony Slater and John Hollinger of The Athletic discussed the current state of the Lakers and where they’ll go from here. The Athletic duo talked about how Los Angeles did in free agency last summer, what to do with Kyle Kuzma (who is eligible for an extension this offseason), and Anthony Davis‘ future.
  • According to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link), veteran forward Markieff Morris, who has an excused absence, is expected to join the Lakers soon in Disney World.