To say that the season has been a frustrating one for the Sacramento Kings would be an understatement. Currently at 21-31, the Kings are ranked all the way at 12th in the Western Conference.
There was a lot of promise in this squad following an impressive 2018-19 campaign, where they finished ninth overall in the West. Unfortunately for them, Sacramento has failed to live up to pre-season expectations, as they continue to struggle at this point in the season.
The same can be said for the highly-touted Marvin Bagley III, who the Kings selected second overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. One of the most promising pre-season narratives for the Kings was Bagley’s supposed breakout campaign this season. He struggled with injuries in his rookie year, missing a total of 20 games last season. And sadly, it has pretty much been the same story this year.
Out of Sacramento’s 52 games played thus far, Bagley has only featured in 13 of them. Earlier in the season, the 20-year-old had to sit out 22 contests due to a thumb fracture. Which was then followed by a foot injury just a few weeks later. This mid-foot sprain cost him eight games in late December/early January. But in just his fourth game back from his second spell on the sidelines, he re-aggravated the injury. Bagley has been out of commission since, and at this point, Sacramento should seriously consider shutting him down the rest of the way.
For starters, it’s not as if the Kings are going to make a run at the title this season. Currently, they are five games outside the playoffs picture in the West. And while an unlikely postseason berth is still not completely out of the question, it is clear that this team has no business competing against the elite teams in the conference.
In this respect, it just wouldn’t make sense bringing back Bagley unless he is one hundred percent healthy. And judging by what we’ve seen from him this season, we’re not entirely sure this is something achievable for him — at least for this campaign.
In a recent interview, Bagley opened up about his current injury situation. And even he remains uncertain about his rest-of-the-season outlook.
Kings F/C Marvin Bagley III updates his foot injury and isn't sure if he'll return to action this season.
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) February 9, 2020
More importantly, though, what Bagley has shown us in his first couple of seasons in the NBA is that his durability still remains to be questionable. Something just doesn’t look right, and perhaps having him sit out the remainder of the season is just what his body requires to sort things out.
There’s no doubt that Bagley is one of the most promising youngsters in the league today. But it is also clear that the Kings have to be extremely cautious with their prized forward.