Development in the NBA takes time and so does getting used to new teams and environments. You can’t rush someone’s process, but sometimes you just have to accept when a situation is not working out for either side.
That is often hard to accept, however, especially with high draft picks. No team wants to admit that they made a mistake and selected the wrong player. The same goes for expensive free agency signings or star trades that just don’t work out as planned.
Teams cling to players, hoping that all the pieces will fall into place after all. So, let’s look at three players the Kings held on to for too long.
3. Marvin Bagley III
The Kings had the second pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. That pick carries a lot of weight and often has the power to change a franchise for the better. The Kings selected Marvin Bagley III and received mixed results.
Bagley made the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2019 and averaged around 14 points and 7 rebounds over his first three seasons. The Kings were still losing, however, and Bagley never quite had the impact they imagined he would. He also never played more than 62 games a season.
That being said, Bagley did not live up to the high expectations that came with his draft position, and his relationship with the organization quickly deteriorated. Before the 2021-22 season tipped off, the team informed him that he would not be playing after failed contract negotiations.
The situation escalated so far that Bagley even refused to check into a game when asked to play, and his dad took to Twitter to request a trade for his son. Defined by injuries, the failure of not living up to expectations, and a bad relationship with the organization, Bagley's time in Sacramento was a mess.
In 2021-22, he only played 30 games for the Kings, averaging career lows all over the place, and this was not unexpected. Despite the failed negotiations for a contract extension, the Kings didn’t trade Bagley until February 10, 2022.
Trades are not always available, but waiting so long to move on from Bagley created a lot of chaos that could have been avoided with an earlier trade.