- ESPN.com NBA writer since 2010
- Covered Cleveland Cavs for seven years
- Author of two books
The high-powered agent who represents Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley issued a rare public rebuke of the team’s treatment of his client on the eve of his final season under contract.
“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling,” Jeff Schwartz said in a statement. “It’s clear they have no plans 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 but not play him, a move completely contradictory to their “value” argument.”
The statement stopped short of demanding a trade, which would’ve likely drawn a fine from the league. However, Schwartz has attempted to get Bagley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, traded for more than a year without success, sources said. Last season Bagley suffered a broken wrist a month before the trade deadline which might’ve affected his trade market.
As they guard their depth and monitor their new smaller style of play to start the season, the Kings aren’t actively looking to trade Bagley, sources said.
It’s an unusual step for an agent to make such a statement, and especially for the typically low-key Schwartz, whose three dozen NBA clients are under contract for more than $450 million, making him the most prolific agent in the league.
Kings coach Luke Walton has elected to play smaller lineups this preseason, mostly to feature three-guard lineups, and it has squeezed Bagley’s playing time for the time being. First-round draft pick Davion Mitchell has gotten playing time, along with established starters De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.
Sacramento, which opens the season Wednesday in Portland, went 4-0 in the preseason.
Bagley, who has been bothered by a series of injuries over his first three years in the league, did not sign an extension with the team before Monday’s deadline for players on their rookie scale contracts. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds last season, starting 42 of the 43 games he played for the Kings in 2020-21.
“This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization,” Schwartz said.
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