Sacramento Kings big man Marvin Bagley III is mixed up in trade rumors as a result of his father’s social media activity. Bagley Jr. is looking like LaVar Ball turned up to 11, and while some of the history between him and former head coach Frank Joerger is hilarious, the situation is becoming a distraction for the team. If Bagley III is available, would he make sense for the Cavs, both from an on-court and off-court perspective?
Bagley was the third overall pick in 2018, selected over Luka Doncic, a decision the Kings have certainly been regretting for a while now. Bagley had a promising rookie season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. He started just four of 62 games, with Joerger breaking a promise he had made to start Bagley by the All-Star break, which was not a great way to begin that relationship.
Thumb and foot injuries sidelined him for all but 13 games in 2019-2020, and he’s played in seven contests this season, so he’s really been unable to find a consistent role with Sacramento but won’t turn 22 years old until March. He’s still very young and it’s not like the decision to take him over Doncic was a poor one at the time. He averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in his lone season at Duke, and entered the NBA at 6-11 235 pounds with a 7-1 wingspan and exceptional athleticism for his size.
The issue is that Bagley hasn’t developed as the team had hoped. Through 82 career games, he’s shooting 49% from the field and 29% from beyond the arc, and isn’t a very good defender. The question is whether this is due to Bagley’s work ethic (which Coach K praised during the draft cycle), his lack of ability, the Kings coaching and development staff, or simply a lack of playing time. The answer is more than likely a combination of those four, which is why he could make sense as a sort of reclamation project. He can’t be called a bust, but he has been disappointing, although, again, he hasn’t played very much.