An incident earlier this week indicates that things may be more fractured than previously thought.
According to a report from ABC10’s Sean Cunningham, Bagley refused to check into Monday’s game against the Phoenix Suns when head coach Luke Walton called down the bench. He didn’t log a single minute in Sacramento’s five-point loss.
A corresponding video shows the Kings big man lingering on the sideline after Walton supposedly tried to sub him in.
CORRECTION: Monday’s game vs. Suns. Apologies.
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) November 11, 2021
Walton dodged questions on the incident involving Bagley on Wednesday, ahead of Sacramento’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
“Our guys all know. This is what is expected out of us as a group. Marv and I are constantly in communication and today was about San Antonio…” Walton responded when asked about the report. “He and everyone else knows. We need everyone this year and everyone has to be ready.”
When asked about it again, Walton refused to answer, saying “anything that happens in our group, is between our group.”
Luke Walton responds to the reports that Marvin Bagley III refused to check in to the game on Monday pic.twitter.com/Za9sOjaN7n
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 11, 2021
Monday’s incident contributes to a bizarre season in Sacramento and an increasingly rocky relationship between Bagley and the Kings.
The 2018 No. overall pick has played in just one game this season. He scored just two points and pulled down four rebounds in 10 minutes and 27 seconds against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 22.
Kings fans and media members weighed in on the drama involving Bagley after Cunningham’s report came out on Wednesday.
Marvin Bagley hasn’t even had a Jahlil Okafor-level season yet and he’s acting like Ben Simmons lmao
— Christian Rivas (@RadRivas) November 11, 2021
Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones thrived when Luke Walton called on them to close out Monday’s game. The comeback effort vs Phoenix doesn’t happen without them.
If Marvin Bagley III is refusing to play, it’s tough to argue why he deserves a full roster spot at this point.
— Franklin Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) November 11, 2021
It’s been _0_ days since the last Marvin Bagley incident. https://t.co/abcrD5qr7G
— Kevin Fippin (@kfippin) November 11, 2021
I have so many thoughts on the Bagley situation (I will share most tomorrow morning on @Sports1140KHTK), but to sum it up: I cannot wait for the day Marvin Bagley is no longer associated with the Sacramento Kings.
— JayMarZZ (@JayMarZZ) November 11, 2021
The latest Bagley incident comes just a few weeks after the Kings left the former No. 2 overall pick off of the opening night roster. The 22-year-old’s agent, Excel’s Jeff Schwartz, released a firm statement calling out Sacramento’s leadership for “mismanagement.”
“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 said in a statement.
Since he was drafted in 2018, Bagley has appeared in 119 games for the Kings, averaging 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. However, he hasn’t quite developed into the player that Sacramento hoped he would be, leading to the current tension.
Until Bagley is traded or released, it seems like his relationship with the Kings will continue to sour, making the situation in Sacramento one to watch in the coming weeks.