While the NBA’s hiatus is not a good thing for the Sacramento Kings franchise, one of their important pieces is benefitting from the time off.
We’ve been doing our best to find the positives of the NBA’s current hiatus and how they pertain to the Sacramento Kings. The team was in the middle of an exciting (albeit unlikely) playoff push when the league suspended play, and it looks increasingly likely that the regular season will not be finished in any capacity.
So while the franchise may not be benefiting from the current situation, it might be just what the doctor ordered for one member of the Kings’ young core.
Marvin Bagley was enduring a very difficult season in which he appeared in just 13 of a possible 64 games due to various injuries. In the games that he did play, he often looked uncomfortable, and he certainly wasn’t making the team any better with his inconsistent production. His numbers decreased across the board despite an increase in both usage and playing time.
It can be assumed that Bagley was looking forward to the offseason and stepping away from the Kings bench to clear his head and focus on his game or his body or his music. Aside from the much-traveled Harrison Barnes, there might not be anyone on the roster who needed a break from the grind than Bagley.
The second-year big man out of Duke should be recovered from the nagging injuries that caused him to miss so much time. He often fires off Instagram posts of him working out or dunking. I’m no social media doctor, but he looks to be putting plenty of weight on that foot.
While it was Bagley’s starting spot to lose last season, he could see the benefits of a thinner front line next season. It is likely that one of Harry Giles or Alex Len will be gone, and there’s a chance that it could be both of them. If the Kings are still completely sold on Bagley’s upside, he might still be their interior centerpiece to build around. It will be interesting to see how the rotations will work with Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica also in the mix.
It seems as though Bagley is motivated as well. He heard all of the criticism. He read the headlines and saw what people were saying on social media. He knows how good Luka Doncic is. We know that he paid attention due to his suspicious (yet very temporary) deleting of his accounts. During the current hiatus, he has posted pictures with captions that hint at his desire to prove the people wrong:
“A wise man once said nothing at all,” was written under a well-produced hype video.
“It is what it is. Control what you can control,” under another.
With a new season could also come a new set of expectations. Many of us Kings fans have already grown frustrated with the lack of on-court development, and some of us have accepted that he probably won’t live up to the careers of those drafted around him.
So maybe we can expect a little bit less from Bagley this coming season and beyond. Maybe he isn’t going to be the franchise cornerstone that we thought, or the superstar that was worth the capital spent on him. But perhaps he can shore up Sacramento’s front line and be a serviceable starter and third scoring option.
And hey, maybe he will eventually develop in to the player we all hoped that he would be. We just hope that he does that here in Sacramento.