In advance of the 2021-22 season, the Sacramento Kings largely retained the key pieces of their 2020-21 roster. De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton headline the squad in the backcourt alongside lottery pick Davion Mitchell, and the Kings have solid pieces in the frontcourt with Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes. At times last season, Sacramento was feisty and competitive and, on the right evening, the Kings looked to be a team on the rise. However, much of the team’s progress took place in the relative absence of former No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III, who is set to enter his fourth season in the NBA.
With that in mind, the Kings are in an interesting position with Bagley III, particularly after retaining Holmes and spending resources to land depth in Tristan Thompson and Alex Len up front. Many have wondered what Sacramento’s plan is for Bagley III, who is scheduled to earn more than $11 million this season before hitting free agency, and Bagley III’s agent Jeff Schwartz didn’t hold back in addressing the situation on Tuesday.
Schwartz, in a statement released by Excel Sports Management, ripped the Kings for their “mismanagement” of Bagley III, and he also revealed that Sacramento does not plan to deploy Bagley III in their rotation to open the season.
“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling,” the statement reads. “It’s clear they have no plans for him 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 but not play him, a move completely contradictory to their ‘value’ argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”
On one hand, Schwartz has a clear and vested interest in Bagley III seeing the court, particularly as the former Duke standout attempts to find his next contract after the season. Through that lens, it is easy to see the frustration that might set in, particularly amid various reports that Bagley III has been on the trade block at multiple times over the last several months.
At the same time, this is a step that isn’t often taken in a public setting by an agent, as Schwartz was very aggressive in criticizing the Kings. Bagley III has clearly disappointed on the floor when compared to expectations and, with an eight-figure salary, it isn’t necessarily an automatic that he could moved in the near future. Perhaps the goal is to push the Kings into dealing Bagley III but, in the process, Schwartz also may hurt Sacramento’s leverage by bringing to light that Sacramento seemingly doesn’t see a present or future between the two parties.