For fans of certain NBA teams, is it too early to panic? A one or two-game sample size certainly isn't much to go off of, but it can reaffirm fears that fans may have already had involving players or weaknesses that the team did not address in the offseason.
The war between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers has gone nuclear. Marvin Bagley III's agent isn't happy he's out of the rotation in Sacramento. Kristaps Porzingis (11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in a 26-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks) still doesn't look the part of the No. 2 option next to Luka Doncic.
There's also the Kyrie Irving saga in Brooklyn, with the 1-1 Nets looking like they very much need the All-Star point guard or, at least, move him for some full-time help.
Although just a few days into the 2021-2022 regular season, it's OK to start thinking about some potential trades before situations become even more desperate.
Kings Trade Bagley to Thunder...
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: PF Marvin Bagley III
Sacramento Kings Receive: 2023 second-round pick (via Washington Wizards), $11.3 million trade exception
After starting 42 of his 43 games for the Kings last season, Bagley is out of the rotation entirely for a Sacramento team that seems ready to move on.
Bagley's agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, called the situation a "case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization," mentioning that Sacramento passed on deals at the 2021 deadline and this offseason.
Kings fans should be willing to see Bagley traded before he potentially leaves in free agency next summer, although the return isn't going to be great at this point.
The Thunder are rebuilding and should be interested in Bagley, 22, based on his remaining potential alone. They also possess a $12.8 million trade exception, one that's large enough to absorb Bagley's $11.3 million salary.
OKC has more picks to part with than any other franchise, so dealing a future second is well worth the risk.
For Sacramento, moving Bagley into an exception creates a new one for them to use at his salary amount of $11.3 million, which would be good for one calendar year. Getting any draft compensation back is a bonus.
...or Move Him to Orlando for Wing Help
Orlando Magic Receive: PF Marvin Bagley III, 2023 second-round pick (via Atlanta Hawks)
Sacramento Kings Receive: SF Terrence Ross
If the Kings prefer some immediate help before they inevitably fall out of the playoff picture, moving Bagley to Orlando in a deal for Ross would be a good solution.
Ross, 30, likely isn't going to survive the Magic rebuild, and it's somewhat surprising Orlando didn't move him this offseason after parting with so many veterans at the deadline. He's become one of the best bench scorers in the league and could compete for the starting small forward job in Sacramento.
Orlando already possesses two of the top seven draft picks of the 2018 NBA draft and could add another infinity stone to the collection with Bagley (selected second overall). With projected starting power forward Jonathan Isaac still out, recovering from a torn ACL, and his durability a major concern (he's topped 34 games in a season just once), Bagley would give the young Magic some depth in the frontcourt.
While Sacramento would be receiving draft compensation and a trade exception from OKC, they'd likely have to include a pick or player in addition to Bagley in order to land Ross.
Tacking in a future second-round pick should be enough, and the Magic get a year to evaluate Bagley before he becomes a restricted free agent.