Since being drafted just ahead of Luka Doncic, Kings fans have held a little resentment towards Marvin Bagley. It’s the kind of resentment that reveals more and more of itself as the fans slowly lose grasp of any concept of patience. Although it wasn’t really his choice as to where he’d be drafted, Bagley has received much of the fan ire for the blunders made by a knucklehead GM.
While Bagley played well in his first year and even made the All-Rookie First Team for a then-up and coming Kings team, the gap in career trajectory began to chasm shortly thereafter. It didn’t provide Bagley any coverage that Doncic went on to win Rookie of the Year and became a bonafide star one season later.
Since then, Bagley has struggled with injuries mightily, missing most of his sophomore season with a broken thumb and foot problems.
As Doncic blossomed into a star, Bagley rode the bench with a boot on his foot. It was only natural that Kings fans took their frustration out on Bagley with one fan going so far as to make death threats towards the big man.
Anyone that tweeted Bagley a 20 year old kid, personal attacks regarding race or death threats you should be ashamed of yourself. This is a game. A GAME pic.twitter.com/s5JZxz8VDY
— Jillian Adge (@JillAdge) February 5, 2020
At the start of his third season, Bagley came into the year healthy but saw his role limited in close games due to his defensive shortcomings. Not pleased with his son’s lack of playing time, Bagley’s dad posted and then quickly deleted a tweet demanding his son be traded.
With Bagley choosing not to speak on the matter, it almost felt like he concurred with his dad’s statement, building only more displeasure in the fanbase.
At the trade deadline, Monte McNair made Bagley available in trade talks and even offered him to the Pistons for Saddiq Bey straight up, to which Detroit declined.
As no surprise to anyone, Bagley finished off the year mostly on the sideline, playing in just 6 of the team’s final 32 games.
Sacramento missed the playoffs yet again while Kings fans have had to watch other members of the 2018 draft shine in the postseason in such a fashion that the class was granted some recognition as possibly one of the best ever.
With Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and other players passed up by Sacramento showing that they’re the upcoming faces of the NBA with dazzling playoff performances, Bagley only sticks out even more like a sore thumb while his classification as a bust gains only more merit.
Last Wednesday night, Bagley may have laid down his final straw in Sacramento as he liked a tweet suggesting he should leave the Kings in addition to also removing “Sacramento King” from his Twitter and Instagram bios.
Unfortunately for Bagley, he won’t be traded for nothing as he still has some value to his stock. The Kings will probably be better off holding until the trade deadline to deal the big man in hopes his trade worth increases by then.
But for now, Bagley is making it known that he is over playing in Sacramento, and the way he’s played the past three seasons, it’s hard to imagine the front office thinks of him as a key piece of the Kings’ future.
Bagley doesn’t deserve all the hate he receives, and fans — like some fans do — have been excessive in their animosity of the big man at some points. Of course, it’s expected to view Bagley’s antics as immature and annoying, but beyond that basic disgruntlement, the bounds by which some have expressed frustration have been extreme.
Most will agree that Bagley’s time in Sacramento may not come to a screeching halt, but the ground has been laid for quite some time and we are approaching the inevitable end. One can only hope for the best for both Bagley and Sacramento, and sometimes that means it is just better for both parties to go their separate ways.