The rollercoaster of a relationship between Marvin Bagley III and the Sacramento Kings franchise at large seems to have come to a screeching halt since the firing of Luke Walton on Nov. 21. The addition of Bagley into Sacramento’s lineup in the Alvin Gentry era has been an improvement in measurable moments, both reading the box score and passing the eye test.
In six games under Gentry, Bagley has played meaningful minutes that have contributed to the the Kings’ recent success, as well as his own individual trajectory.
The last three games have been a stellar improvement on both ends of the floor, with Bagley stroking the 3-ball in Wednesday’s victory over the Magic and serving up a double-double in Sacramento’s second consecutive win over the Clippers on Dec. 4. Bagley is averaging 6.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in just nine games played this season.
It’s not a pat on the back or a “job well done” for Bagley just because he’s finally producing at a level he could — and should — be head and shoulders above, but holding Bagley to a higher level of scrutiny based on the strange start to the season his team has had seems inadequate to what lies behind the curtain.
Bagley seems to be invested, playing with joy and supporting his teammates, despite the DNP-CDs peppered into the first 25 games of the season. No cryptic tweets have emerged from the Bagley family, and his agent seems to have kept the Twitter fingers at bay. For now, things appear to be a peaceful quiet in where Bagley’s development has picked up, something all parties can appreciate.
Where he goes after Sacramento remains to be seen with the trade deadline fast-approaching. But one thing the Kingdom can find solace in is Bagley’s willingness to engage and play at a competitive level while his days here are, more likely than not, numbered.
Will the Luka decision follow Sacramento until the end of his tenure? Absolutely. But the limited product we’ve seen from Bagley in these four fast years has show both promise and peril, with an abundance of talent not being utilized correctly since Walton stepped on the scene. Now, Bagley has the opportunity to put it together, if only for a few games.