NBA

Marvin Bagley III To Begin Season Outside Of Luke Walton’s Rotation

Oct 19, 2021, 3:51 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 26: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings looks on agains...
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Jeff Schwartz–Bagley’s agent–shared the “baffling” news on Tuesday night

It was a quiet offseason for the Sacramento Kings–until the very last night.

After speculation that forward Marvin Bagley III could begin the season on the bench, Bagley’s agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports confirmed that the number-two overall pick in 2018’s NBA Draft will indeed begin the year on the outside of head coach Luke Walton’s rotation.

“SACRAMENTO HAS INFORMED MARVIN BAGLEY HE IS NOT IN THE OPENING NIGHT ROTATION.
WHICH IS COMPLETELY BAFFLING. 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”. 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’s agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports – October 19, 2021

Walton told the media on Monday morning that he was looking at beginning the season with an eight-to-nine person rotation, meaning that two of Bagley, guard Terence Davis and center Alex Len would begin the year on the outside looking in.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Walton said of the team’s depth during practice on Monday afternoon. “Ideally, you’re at eight (players in the rotation), maybe eight-and-a-half, nine in my opinion, and we have 12-to-13 guys here that I feel confident to go out there and help us win.”

Speculation surrounding Bagley’s status began after Thursday night’s preseason finale when Walton shared that the 22-year-old was active, but was not part of that night’s gameplan.

The dark cloud that has been hanging over the Bagley-Kings marriage appears to have grown even larger, as the news of Bagley’s benching comes just 24 hours after the rookie scale contract extension deadline passed without a deal between the two parties.

Bagley will become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, but the Kings will have the right to match any offer sheet that the forward signs if the extend a qualifying offer.

As far as that process goes, there is a catch, per James Ham or NBC Sports:

Bagley’s qualifying offer will be $14.8 million if the Kings decide to extend the offer, but that number will drop to $7.22 million (Ham later clarifies the updated figure) if the former Duke star does not start in at least 41 games or play 2,000 minutes this season.

Whether or not Bagley remains on the team throughout the season remains to be seen, but the disconnect between Bagley and the Kings front office has been messy for as long as one can remember.

Just last season, Bagley’s father publicly requested a trade–on several occasions. Earlier in the offseason, Bagley was seen ‘liking’ a tweet that read “We gotta to get Bagley outta Sac, man”.

With Bagley out of the rotation, it has become crystal clear that the Bagley-Kings marriage is all but officially over. Walton is opting to run with a rotation that includes defensive minded players like Moe Harkless and Tristan Thompson, citing that defense is the priority this season after an abysmal 2020-21 season.

Sacramento bolstered its defense by drafting guard Davion Mitchell with the ninth-overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, reuniting with center Alex Len and bringing back Harkless and Davis after both players performed well at the end of last season.

Bagley’s defense has always been a massive question-mark and one that appears to be the deciding factor in holding him out of the rotation.

The opening night rotation for Sacramento will likely appear as follows:

  • PG: De’Aaron Fox
  • SG: Tyrese Haliburton
  • SF: Harrison Barnes
  • PF: Moe Harkless
  • C: Richaun Holmes
  • PG: Davion Mitchell
  • SG/SF: Buddy Hield
  • SG/SF: Terence Davis
  • PF/C: Tristan Thompson

Be sure to get all of your opening night Kings vs Blazers coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with pregame coverage beginning at 3:00pm PST on The Jason Ross Show.

NBA

NBA great Bill Russell gets introduced to the crowd during the NBA Europe Live Tour presented by EA...
Joseph Jarosz

NBA To Retire Bill Russell’s Number 6 Across League

For the first time in NBA history, a player’s number will be retired across the entire league. The NBA announced Thursday the league will honor the late Bill Russell by retiring his number 6 across the entire league. He will be the first player to hold this honor. Russell died on Sunday, July 31. Best […]
18 hours ago
Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warr...
Joseph Jarosz

ESPN’s NBA Insiders Think Sacramento Kings Miss The Playoffs In 2022-23 Season

ESPN’s NBA Insiders don’t have as much faith in the Sacramento Kings making the playoffs as the hometown fans and we at Sactown Sports do. While the Kings improved over the offseason, the Western Conference runs deep. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis can stay healthy and gel with Russell Westbrook, things will look different […]
2 days ago
Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after a teammate scored a basket against the Mi...
Joseph Jarosz

Sacramento Kings Open Preseason Against Los Angeles Lakers

The Sacramento Kings announced the dates of four preseason games ahead of the 2022-23 season. The Kings will play two games at home and two games on the road. The team opens its preseason schedule on Monday, Oct. 3, against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings wrap up their preseason with a home game against […]
2 days ago
Quinn Cook of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball up court during the first quarter against the...
Joseph Jarosz

Sacramento Kings Sign Veteran Guard Quinn Cook, Reports Say

Quinn Cook is moving from Stockton to Sacramento. According to Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears, Quinn Cook has agreed to a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings. Cook played for the Kings’ G League team, the Stockton Kings, last season. Cook is expected to battle Matthew Dellavedova for the team’s third point guard spot. NBA teams […]
4 days ago
Kevin Durant backs up Jaylen Brown in the post....
Arizona Sports

Report: Kevin Durant tells Nets owner to pick him or coach, GM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reportedly met with team owner Joe Tsai in London on Saturday and reiterated his trade request, although with a caveat. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports Durant told Tsai he does not believe in the team’s current trajectory but told the owner that Tsai must choose between him or the leadership duo […]
4 days ago
Forward Kent Bazemore warms up for the Los Angeles Lakers....
Joseph Jarosz

Kent Bazemore Signs Contract To Return With Sacramento Kings, Reports Say

The Sacramento Kings have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent forward Kent Bazemore to return to the team.
4 days ago
Marvin Bagley III To Begin Season Outside Of Luke Walton’s Rotation