Don’t mess with Marvin Bagley’s agent.
Jeff Schwartz, a high-profile NBA agent with Excel Sports Management, put the Sacramento Kings on blast Tuesday in a statement that claimed the team decided to bench his client for the season-opener on Wednesday.
The Kings selected the 6-foot-11 forward No. 2 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.
“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling,” Schwartz said in a statement posted to the Excel Sports Management Twitter account.
“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. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”
Bagley, 22, averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 43 games (42 starts) last season. His apparent diminished role could be a direct result of Kings coach Luke Walton’s guard-heavy, smaller approach to lineups in preseason, during which Sacramento went 4-0.
Schwartz’s statement came after more than a year of failed attempts to find Bagley a trade, according to ESPN. The Kings are reportedly not actively looking to trade Bagley, who’s entering the fourth and final year of his contract in Sacramento. During a Kings game in January, Bagley’s dad took to Twitter to beg the Kings to trade him, writing, “PLEASE trade Marvin Bagley III ASAP!”
Monday marked the deadline for players to sign their rookie scale extensions, and Bagley did not sign his — an indication the Duke product wants out of Sacramento, where he’s been riddled by injury since entering the league. He will become a restricted free agent this summer.
The Kings open their season against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.