After fans labeled him a project during a rough summer league, and after dumb writers begged the Sacramento Kings to simplify his offensive usage, Marvin Bagley III is not only thriving, but showing new development on a nightly basis. In the Kings 146-115 beatdown of the Atlanta Hawks, Marvin Bagley had 18 points and 5 rebounds on 7-10 from the floor. And more importantly, he flashed something Kings fans have been begging to see; his right hand.
The Kings got Bagley space, and he delivered a hook over the outstretched arms of fellow rookie Omari Spellman. No awkward switch-back to the left, no bad stutter-step—just a smooth, fluid hook shot with his right hand. That’s great to see from the rookie; he knows what the right play is, and he delivers it. (Side note: look at De’Aaron calling for Bagley to get the ball on that possession. Even off ball, De’Aaron is seeing the right play.)
That wasn’t the only impressive move of the night for Bagley; check out this beautiful Eurostep, where the rookie showcases his fluidity in transition. When Bagley’s offensive balance reaches some equilibrium in a season or two, that fluidity is going to make him a problem for a wide range of defenders.
Bagley gives the Kings something they otherwise lack right now; a consistent scorer off the bench. in just 23.3 minutes a night, he’s averaging 13 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on 55.4% from the field and a 60% true shooting percentage. Aside from Kosta Koufos and Skal Labissiere (both have played less than 40 minutes this season), Bagley is the lone Sacramento bench player with a shooting percentage over 40%. Even when the Kings aren’t running plays for him, Bagley is keeping himself involved by moving exceptionally well off the ball. The true highlight of the night was this dump-off pass from Buddy Hield. Look how quickly Bagley re-positions himself; he recognizes Buddy has gotten into a tough spot, gets himself into good spot, and gets rewarded for his effort.
Kings fans have a lot to be optimistic about during this win streak, and the steady development of Bagley should be a big part of that. He keeps himself involved by being a force off-ball and on the glass, and is also flashing solid development in the post. His growth curve is exactly what you want to see from a No. 2 overall selection.