SACRAMENTO -- Balls bouncing, sneakers squeaking and loud music playing. The Kings are back home after a long trip and before facing the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday afternoon, they had had a chance to get in a practice on Tuesday.
There was a welcome sight on the near court when the media was allowed into the practice facility. Rookie big man, Marvin Bagley III, was working on his 3-point stroke alongside shooting guards Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Marvin Bagley shooting with the guards today after practice. pic.twitter.com/qUqqwz9GX8— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) January 29, 2019
The 19-year-old wasn’t perfect, but if you want to be a better shooter, practicing with two of the best on the team is a decent place to start.
“We’re just trying to help him a little bit, get his confidence up,” Buddy Hield said. “That’s the thing about being teammate, me and Bogi, I think it’s good for him to shoot with two good shooters."
Hield is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. Although no formal announcement has been made, he is expected to participate in the 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend next month.
In his third NBA season, Hield is currently shooting 45.7 percent from behind the arc on 7.4 attempts per game. He is just seven 3-point makes away from setting a new career-high, which he set last season at 176.
He currently ranks fourth in the league in makes, behind James Harden, Paul George and Steph Curry and he also ranks fourth in the league in 3-point percentage.
Bogdanovic isn’t the pure shooter that Hield is, but he’s currently hitting 35.6 percent from long range, down from the 39.2 percent he shot last season. Like a few other Kings, Bogdanovic has struggled with his shot in the month of January where he’s shooting just 32.9 percent from deep.
Bagley is learning. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA draft shot 39.7 percent from long range in his lone season at Duke, but that was in limited opportunities and from the college 3-point line.
At the NBA level, the rookie’s struggled, shooting 26.8 percent (11-for-41), but again, the sample size is small.
“He looked good, really good, he shot the ball really well,” Hield said. “It’s part of getting better.”
A point is coming in the season when Bagley is going to assume a starting role. It might not happen until after the All-Star break, but the Kings are going to need him to improve from the perimeter or teams will sag off of him and clog the running lanes for De’Aaron Fox.
This is part of the development of a young player. It's good to see Hield and Bogdanovic taking an active role in Bagley's mentorship.