Pistons’ Big Plans For Marvin Bagley III In Free Agency

Marvin Bagley III, Detroit Pistons, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

When the Sacramento Kings selected Marvin Bagley III second overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, they were taking a huge risk. Bagley was highly regarded coming out of Duke, but an international prospect was all the rage heading into the draft. That prospect? Luka Doncic.

Doncic would end up landing with the Dallas Mavericks after a draft-night trade with the Atlanta Hawks, who ended up with Trae Young. It isn’t Bagley’s fault that he was selected ahead of those players and Jaren Jackson Jr., but he is certainly fighting an uphill battle.

His tenure with the Kings wasn’t too bad, as he averaged at least 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during his first three seasons in the league. But, he wasn’t making All-Star teams like his peers and was struggling to stay healthy.

In need of a change of scenery, Bagley looked to get traded but the Kings held onto him. He was in and out of the rotation during the 2021-22 season until he was finally traded to the Detroit Pistons. With more consistent playing time, Bagley performed relatively well again, just as he did his first three seasons in the NBA.

In 18 games in the Motor City, Bagley averaged 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He made 55.5 percent of his shot attempts, making a good impression on his new team. Now, they would like to keep him this offseason in free agency.

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According to James Edwards III of The Athletic, the Pistons are hoping to re-sign Bagley to a three-year deal.

“Per sources, the Pistons want to sign Bagley to a multiyear deal. They don’t just want him locked up for a season. A three-year deal is what Detroit would like to get done.”

Bagley’s game is certainly a solid fit for Detroit, where his strengths can be highlighted. Bagley isn’t the greatest defender, but the Pistons could certainly use his efficient scoring and solid rebounding in their frontcourt.

Depending on how their offseason progresses, Bagley looks like he will at least be the first big man off the bench should he remain in Detroit. If Jerami Grant is traded, Bagley would find himself with a spot in the starting five at power forward.

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Finding more consistency with his jump shot and improving defensively would go a long way in Bagley cementing himself as someone that can play closer to 30 minutes per game and help a team win more games. 

Marvin Bagley III can’t help where and who was selected ahead of him. Instead, he just needs to focus on improving his own game and carving out a path for himself. The Detroit Pistons seem ready to help him do that if they are going to commit a three-year to him.