Marvin Bagley III has drawn some trade interest from the Detroit Pistons, as NBA Insider Marc Stein reported last week. Bagley had appeared in just one game this season going into Monday night's win, but was it a coincidence he saw a season-high in minutes while playing in front of a team and a front office reportedly eyeing a trade with him?
Kings coach Luke Walton said postgame he wanted to play a bigger lineup in Detroit given the team's recent rebounding woes and came away impressed overall with Bagley's minutes.
"He was good, he was active, he hadn't played in a while so there's naturally going to be a little bit of rust on there, but I thought his energy and his activity and his length were great for us tonight," Walton said after the 129-107 win.
Bagley ended up logging 17 minutes and 42 seconds, scoring seven points while shooting 3-of-9 from the field (1-3 from 3-point range) and grabbing three rebounds. In his only other appearance of the season, Bagley played 10 minutes and 27 seconds in a loss to the Utah Jazz.
Walton and the Kings of course would never admit they gave Bagley an extended run to essentially audition him for the Detroit front office. The Kings did jump out to a significant lead, as Bagley first checked in at the 2:31 mark of the first quarter, with Sacramento ahead 25-12.
The Kings' coaching staff has emphasized rebounding, again and again, this season, and Bagley certainly has the length to help in that regard.
Bagley reportedly refused to check into a game earlier this season against the Phoenix Suns, which Walton neither confirmed nor denied to reporters. The former No. 2 overall draft pick did not speak to reporters after the victory.
He looked to be engaged and invested on both ends when he was on the floor Monday night, and his low shooting percentage likely had to do with his not having played in nearly a month.
The Kings' road trip wraps up Wednesday with a visit to Minnesota, where they'll face a Timberwolves team that has gotten beat up on the boards all season.
If the Kings can get out to another early lead, perhaps we'll see Bagley again log some minutes off the bench. If he doesn't, however, that might indicate that Bagley's action Monday indeed was an opportunity for a potential trade suitor to evaluate the forward.