It was another when the Sacramento big himself liked a negative tweet about the Kings last month:
— Unhand me. (@NottCedd) June 22, 2021
After facing backlash in Sacramento, Bagley explained the like.
“That’s my Twitter, bro,” Bagley said. “It’s my Twitter. It has my name on it. I can like whatever I choose and please. Whatever I feel like liking.”
Bagley is right: He can do whatever he wants on social media.
But Kings fans care about it. That interest drives NBA players’ high salaries.
Fans especially care when Bagley appears to endorse the idea leaving Sacramento. His liked tweets are public. He could have bookmarked the tweet or responded to the fan a different way if he didn’t want everyone to see it.
It’s reasonable for Bagley to be frustrated. The players drafted around him in 2018 are flourishing. No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton is playing in the NBA Finals with the Suns. No. 3 pick Luka Doncic has already made multiple All-NBA teams with the Mavericks. No. 4 pick Jaren Jackson Jr. has shown promise with the Grizzlies. No. 5 pick Trae Young just led the Hawks to the conference finals.
Meanwhile, Bagley – the No. 2 pick – is stuck in a limited role on the losing Kings.
Like most players in similar situations, he probably believes he’d fare better elsewhere. And he might be right. Sacramento has not been a well-run organization. Bagley was caught in the middle of the mess. He never chose the Kings. They drafted him.
But Bagley hasn’t done his part, either. He just hasn’t played well enough.
Unfortunately for Bagley, he can’t control whether Sacramento trades him. He’s under contract for next season. The Kings can make him a restricted free agent in 2022.
However, Bagley can control his approach toward improving. And maybe the 22-year-old is doing all the right things.
But liking that tweet doesn’t suggest he’s holding himself accountable for his shortcomings.
It might not be fair Bagley has to get past Sacramento’s dysfunction. But blaming the Kings will get him only so far. Other players – like De'Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes – have found ways to make the most of their time in Sacramento.