The Sacramento Kings enter the 2021-22 NBA season with the longest playoff drought in the league. The last time the franchise made the postseason was back in 2006.
Despite ample young talent on the current roster, the Kings' outlook for the upcoming year isn't all that favorable in a crowded Western Conference. A development on Tuesday could make Sacramento's road ahead even more difficult.
The Kings have reportedly informed former No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley that he will not be a member of the rotation for the team's season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The decision comes after Sacramento did not offer the 6-foot-11 big man a rookie contract extension before Monday's deadline, making him a restricted free agent next summer.
Although Bagley's production over the last three years has left something to be desired, removing him from opening night rotation was a shocking development. Bagley's agent, Excel's Jeff Schwartz, torched the Kings for sidelining his client completely on Tuesday evening.
"Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling. It's clear they have no plan for him in the future, and yet, passed on potential deals at last year's deadline and this summer based on "value". Instead, they chose to bring him back by no play him, a move contradictory to their "value" argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization," Schwartz
— excel sports (@excelsm) October 19, 2021
">said in a statement.
Bagley's first three seasons in the NBA have been frustrating for both him and the Kings. He's missed 108 of 226 games over the past three years, while fellow 2018 draft class members Deandre Ayton, Trae Young and Luke Doncic developed into some of the league's top stars.
When he has been on the court, Bagley's output on the offensive end has been solid. He's averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, but has struggled to stay consistent and hasn't developed into the defender that the Kings hoped he would be.
That's left Sacramento and Bagley at a standstill heading into Year Four together. Either the Kings will have to let him back into the rotation, or the NBA could witness yet another young player try to force his way out.