Kings coach Luke Walton and general manager Monte McNair will have a number of lineup and roster decisions to make over the next nine days as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
Walton has to make an immediate change in the starting lineup after Marvin Bagley III suffered a broken hand in Monday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets, a devastating blow that came a day after his 22nd birthday. Walton’s first inclination might be to start Nemanja Bjelica, but league sources told The Sacramento Bee that Bjelica is likely to be traded before the deadline. In addition to finding a new home for Bjelica, McNair will have to make some big-picture decisions regarding veteran players such as Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes.
These are critical days in Kings Land. The injury to Bagley complicates the situation and cripples what little depth the team had. Bagley broke his hand in a 122-116 loss to the Hornets at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, where rookie teammates sang happy birthday to him after practice a day earlier. Bagley left the game shortly before halftime and did not return.