Kings

Bagley’s Camp Dampens Enthusiasm; Kings Still Optimistic

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Just when it looked like the Sacramento Kings were headed in the right direction, Marvin Bagley‘s agent has rocked the boat.

On the eve of the team’s season opener, Jeff Schwartz criticized the Kings on their handling of Bagley after Schwartz says the team informed Bagley he is not in the opening-night rotation.

This is not the first time Bagley’s camp has expressed displeasure with the way the Kings have handled their former No. 2 pick.  Numerous times they have asked the Kings to trade Bagley.

For his part, Bagley has played hard.  He has practiced hard.  Bagley himself has not criticized the Kings nor caused any problems with coaches or teammates.

At 22 years old, Bagley is oozing with talent and has the potential to be a very solid player in the NBA.  Not many players have his athleticism and physical skills.

Bagley made tremendous strides last year on both ends of the floor, but his big bugaboo is staying healthy.

During the preseason, Bagley played two games, then missed the final two due to knee soreness.

Head Coach Luke Walton started last season with a rotation of only 8-9 players.  De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes and Bagley were the starters.  Tyrese Haliburton, Cory Joseph, Hassan Whiteside and Glenn Robinson III came off the bench.  Only Haliburton, who was in the running for Rookie Of The Year, is back.

Lineup Tinkering

Walton says he has 12-13 players that he feels comfortable playing, but he would like to tighten the rotation to eight, maybe nine players.

Haliburton is expected to start next to Fox in the backcourt.  Moe Harkless, or Hield, is a possibility at small forward with Barnes moving to Power Forward next to Richaun Holmes.  If Hield doesn’t start, he would come off the bench with impressive rookie Davion Mitchell, Tristan Thompson, Alex Len, Terence Davis and Bagley.

The Kings will probably play often with three guard lineups with Haliburton, Fox, Hield, Mitchell and Davis all deserving of playing time.

Summer League championships and a 4-0 preseason are meaningless, but the Kings have reason for optimism this season because the team is deeper, stronger and they should play better defensively, which was their Achilles heal last year.

The Kings have weathered dissension from the Bagley camp before.  It’s usually much ado about nothing.  For now, Bagley is a member of the Sacramento Kings.  Nobody really knows what will happen in the future.

Maybe Bagley is traded.  Maybe he stays.  No matter, the Kings are optimistic that this will be the season they finally end their 15-year playoff drought.

Follow us on Twitter @Kings_Lead for the latest Kings news and insight. 

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About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

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