Since the day Marvin Bagley III was drafted No. 2 overall, his tenure with the Sacramento Kings has been riddled with questions. Why did they draft him over Luka Doncic? Can he stay healthy? Does he even want to be here?
After a rookie season where he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, Bagley has played just 68 games in the last three seasons. He caught the injury bug early and has never been able to shake it.
Along with injury, he also had many issues with former head coach Luke Walton that resulted in him residing on the bench. The feud was made public when Twitter posts were sent out by those close to Bagley saying things he likely shouldn’t have.
However, the narrative has begun to change since Alvin Gentry took over the coaching mantle. In his eight games played under Gentry, Bagley III has provided the Kings with much-needed help, averaging almost 10 points and 7 rebounds per game. Though the numbers aren't crazy, he has added some depth to a very shallow Sacramento team.
His morale has also seemed to improve and with it, the rest of the team’s has too. But does that mean the Kings should consider keeping Bagley around long-term? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Although this is his fourth season in the league, Bagley is actually one year younger than Kings rookie Davion Mitchell. People in sports usually tend to write off athletes with a lot of hype at too young of an age. Bagley could still end up becoming a premiere big in the league once he reaches his prime. It’s too early to say whether or not he is a bust.
He also has the skill set of the modern day big. He can run, shoot, and dribble the ball well. If he improves on his defense and consistency on offense, he could be what the Kings need to turn things around. That’s the main argument for keeping Bagley around: upside.
Will he stay healthy? So far this year he has thankfully been able to stay on the court for extended stretches, though he has a very limited sample size. If Bagley is to have any value to the team as a player, or even as a trade asset, he will need to prove his durability.
Another big question is whether or not Bagley’s relationship with the organization is too fractured for him to stay. No team likes when their player and/or their family makes public statements calling them out. Even if those comments didn’t leave a bad taste in the organization’s mouth, it soured many fans and the Sacramento faithful already had a love/hate relationship with the Bagleys.
The Kings run a risk of letting the Bagley saga leak into free agency, where he has the potential to become unrestricted, so it would be smart of them to try to get something out of this ordeal.