The Kings‘ decision to let Marvin Bagley III stay away from the team while he recovered from a broken bone in his left hand raises questions about his future with the organization, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Bagley, who hasn’t played since March 15 when he suffered a fracture of his fourth metacarpal, rejoined his teammates Thursday on their road trip.
Jones states that letting Bagley be on his own for so long with an injury that wasn’t season ending appears to be “more of the coddling and enabling of players” that the Kings have gotten a reputation for. Team officials stayed in touch with Bagley during his absence, but Jones suggests he could have benefitted from taking part in game preparation and other day-to-day activities.
Bagley still has a splint on his hand and is not close to returning to action, according to coach Luke Walton (Twitter link). When he does return, his performance over the remainder of the season may help the Kings determine his future. Bagley will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, but he has only played 50 combined games over the past two seasons. League sources tell Jones that Sacramento made Bagley available before this year’s trade deadline, but the front office didn’t receive any offers it liked.
There’s more on the Kings:
- De’Aaron Fox has been the one constant on a Sacramento team that has posted a five-game winning streak and a pair of nine-game losing streaks this season, notes Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Fox is carrying the Kings’ offense every night and averaging a career best 25.2 PPG. “Just from the hours that he puts in and watching him this summer, (we knew) that something different was about to happen — we saw how locked in he was,” teammate Richaun Holmes said. “It’s honestly been amazing to watch. … He’s so vocal on and off the floor, and just his mindset is to attack.”
- Lindsey Harding, who is in her second season as an assistant with the Kings, has been named head coach of the South Sudan Federation women’s team, Jones tweets.
- In case you missed it, the Kings will sign Damian Jones to a second 10-day contract. His first one expired Friday night. With Holmes injured, Jones has been the team’s starting center in the past two games.