Injuries in his first three seasons have made it difficult to see exactly how Marvin Bagley III fits in the Kings’ future — or if he’s even a fit.
It’s a reason why the final games of the season for the Kings matter.
Bagley was back for his second game after missing 22 with a fractured bone in his left hand, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and three assists in Sacramento’s 111-99 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at American Airlines Center.
Bagley’s name was discussed a lot as the trade deadline approached in late March. League sources and multiple reports said the Kings were open to trading Bagley, who has been dogged by injuries in his first three seasons after being selected second overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The final eight games of the season are chances for Bagley to showcase the improvements he’s made this season.
Injuries have stalled Bagley’s development every season, the latest coming March 15 at Charlotte, but he was determined not to let the injury end his season.
“Obviously nobody plans to get a hand caught in a jersey and break your hand, but you can’t control things like that,” Bagley said. “What I could control was how I prepared to come back and things that I was doing to make sure I was ready when I did come back.”
This season was about Bagley building up trust with the coaching staff as the front office looked at how he fit long-term with core players like De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, who are also still on rookie deals this season.