The Sacramento Kings are reportedly "exploring the market" to see what power forward Marvin Bagley III could land in a potential trade during the 2021 NBA offseason.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Wednesday that Bagley could be expendable if the Kings pull off a deal to send shooting guard Buddy Hield to the Los Angeles Lakers that could include fellow forward Kyle Kuzma as part of the return package.
Bagley attracted attention in early July when he liked a Twitter post that suggested he should leave Sacramento and removed mention of the Kings from the biography of his social media websites.
"First of all, it's my Twitter, bro," Bagley said. "It's my Twitter. It has my name on it. I can like whatever I choose and please, and whatever I feel like liking."
He then expanded on how the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young led to his Twitter actions:
"That just came from frustration. I wouldn't even say frustration, just that built-up fire. I think I did it after watching Trae go for 50 in the playoffs and they're winning. As a competitor, that just makes me want to get to that and I need to be there. I want to be there bad. I think, doing that, it was just one of those things where the competitor came out in me, like I've got to be there. I've got to do whatever I've got to do to be in this position."
Bagley has been a reliable performer across three seasons with the Kings, averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 50.0 percent from the field in 118 appearances, but he hasn't yet developed into the superstar the front office was hoping for when it selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018.
What he can't afford at this stage of his development is being reduced to a minor role as part of a more crowded frontcourt rotation if the Kings acquire Kuzma from the Lakers.
The problem for Sacramento is trying to move him at this stage after three run-of-the-mill seasons would likely lead to a reduced return compared to the investment of a top-five pick just three years ago.
Bagley is heading into the final season of his four-year, $50.9 million rookie contract. He'll be a restricted free agent after the 2021-22 campaign with a $14.8 million qualifying offer.
So, depending on what kind of offers the Kings receive, they may try holding onto the forward for another year to see if he can bolster his value for a possible sign-and-trade deal next year.
A lot depends on whether the rumored deal with the Lakers comes to fruition and how the frontcourt shapes up as they move through the offseason.