The current sports hiatus leaves us pondering the past, so we decided to explore three “what if” scenarios for the Sacramento Kings this last season.
The 2019-’20 season was quite a roller coaster for the Sacramento Kings. They came in to the year with higher expectations than they had had in many years, but fell flat in the beginning and never really had a chance to recover.
Seasons like the one they just endured are full of “what ifs” and dream scenarios, and we did some thinking ourselves, and came up with a short list of three made-up scenarios for the Kings to ponder what could have been.
#1. What If Marvin Bagley Stayed Healthy?
One of the biggest question marks and disappointments of the season for the Sacramento Kings was Marvin Bagley. There were high hopes for the second overall pick in 2019 after a solid rookie season, but the basketball gods had other plans. In the waning minutes of the opening game of the season, Bagley fractured his thumb and missed 22 games. He returned, played eight games, and then left Golden 1 Center in a walking boot.
Sacramento played another eight games without Bagley before his second comeback. His second comeback was short-lived. During his fourth game since returning, he left the floor complaining of pain in his foot. It would be the last we would see of him for a long time.
So what would things have been like had Bagley remained at least relatively healthy? The Kings had trouble finding their footing initially, and it is unlikely that Bagley would have been the one who would have righted the ship. But he was missing when the team started to gel and work their way out of a hole, and the lack of cohesion with him teammates showed when he was actually available. The offense didn’t flow the same way when Bagley was on the floor, and there were times when he seemed to be trying to force himself in to a rhythm. This often caused the team to suffer.
Hopefully for Sacramento, the uneven play is only an issue because of the amount of important development time that Bagley has missed so far in his career. If his below-average performance thus far is any indication of what is to come, then the 2018 Draft looks worse and worse for the Kings with each passing day.
So would Bagley really have changed anything this last season? It’s hard to say. From what it looks like today, he doesn’t seem to be the type of player that would be the catalyst for a successful mid-season turnaround. There are plenty of reasons why Kings fans should be wary of his development and his future, but until he gets his fair shake of healthy minutes, we should hold back on complete judgement.