Bagley’s promise as a high-level athlete who was going to score plenty at the NBA level has never panned out in Sacramento, in part due to injuries, and it cost Vlade Divac his GM job. For three seasons the Kings gave him chances and Bagley averaged a little over 14 points a game, shot at the league average or below, but most importantly didn’t defend well (that kept him on the bench). This season he fell completely out of the rotation, and when asked to enter the game earlier this week he said no.
According to multiple reports, the Kings are open to a trade, and the Detroit Pistons are eyeing Bagley.
There is this from Marc Stein in his newsletter:
While in Detroit, I was advised to put the Pistons down as a team to watch as a trade suitor for the Kings’ disgruntled Marvin Bagley III… The Pistons, though, have been tracking Bagley since last season, league sources said — long before the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft fell completely out of favor in Sacramento.
Per sources, the Pistons have kept an eye on Bagley and his situation in Sacramento for some time…
Edwards: I know [the Kings and Pistons] talked about Bagley to Detroit for Saddiq Bey last season. The Pistons, smartly, weren’t interested. Listen, I think Bagley is the type of player rebuilding Detroit should be looking at in a trade — young, talented and in need of a change in scenery. However, I’m not sure they’d give up anything of substance for him. Definitely don’t see them giving up a first-round pick — not one expected to convey in the near future, at least. Also, they don’t have an open roster spot. A player would have to be involved.
Jones: That’s the problem the Kings have run into. Last season, Sacramento did not want to settle for a second-round pick or two in exchange for the second pick in the draft three years ago.
Bagley would be smart roll of the dice by the Pistons — he has No. 2 pick athleticism, and maybe a change of scenery out of Sacramento will do him good (it has for other players in the past). Especially considering the Detroit will be without Kelly Olynyk for at least six weeks, adding another big man to the rotation makes sense. It’s a low-risk, high-reward kind of play for Detroit (Bagley is a restricted free agent at the end of the season).
For the Kings, it’s time to give up on the idea of getting a high-quality player or a decent pic coming back in a Bagley trade. Once Dec. 15 comes and most players signed this summer become eligible to be traded, the Kings need to finalize a deal and move on, whether that trade is with the Pistons or some other team.
Either way, expect the Bagley trade rumors to ramp up as we move past mid-December and toward the trade deadline in February.