There’s not one player that has gotten more scrutiny and criticism over the past year from Kings fans than Marvin Bagley. They had reasons to moan when Bagley missed the majority of the season with injuries while Luka Doncic, the pick the Kings passed on in favor of Bagley, blossomed into a bonafide MVP candidate. But going into a new season, Bagley is looking to shake off the bust stigma and prove to the league his value.
Bagley is a very talented big man and it’s a shame that he’s dealt with so many injuries early on in his career. He moves like a guard, he can jump through the roof, he can grab boards, he can work in the post, and he has a solid foundation for a jump shot that has high potential. All of this for a 21 year old who last played throughout the majority of a year where the Kings were drawing eyes with their up-tempo play.
It’s hard to argue that Bagley can’t put up big numbers this year; somewhere in the range of 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. If you think I’m crazy, note, last year in 13 games he averaged 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25.7 minutes with 12 of those games working his way back from injury.
The acronym MIP (Most Improved Player) has been thrown around with Bagley’s name attached in anticipation for his third year, and hopefully, one that is injury free.
I say, why not? I think Bagley has more than enough talent, not just to merely be in the conversation for MIP, but to win it in a landslide. With his injury history and raw skill, a healthy Bagley could have the award in the bag.
Although he hasn’t won the award (yet), those who are past winners have gone onto do great things. Past winners include Giannis, Kevin Love, Jimmy Butler, and Paul George, just to name a few. Bagley has what it takes to be in the same category as these current greats and though your judgement may be clouded with anger and disappointment, I ask you to trust me on this one.
The athleticism he has at his height is unmatched, and we have witnessed his game progress, even in the few minutes he’s played in his two preseason appearances.
Okay, Marvin Bagley
— Sanjesh Singh (@TheSanjeshSingh) December 18, 2020
He hasn't shown to be a shooter, but Marvin Bagley III does have pretty good touch around the rim. pic.twitter.com/6fX7sseeiZ
— Jackson Lloyd (@JLloyd952) December 16, 2020
Marvin Bagley has worked to refine his long range shot. Very consistent motion. He’s clearly put up a ton of shots in the offseason. pic.twitter.com/TRWFi7RGfs
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) December 16, 2020
He has even showed that he is willing to put in extra work to get better.
Marvin Bagley III getting some free throws up in an empty Golden 1 Center postgame pic.twitter.com/TRtTwJ7KlM
— Chris Watkins (@ChrisMWatkins) December 18, 2020
Although his defense needs improvement and his shooting is a work in progress, Bagley is ready to make a giant leap this season and show the league why he was the number 2 pick.
Bagley needs to focus on the now and put his past behind him. He is a gifted athlete and he has the talent to push the Kings to the next level and become a franchise cornerstone next to Fox. Bagley is poised to finally breakout, and that’s exactly what we should expect.