Summer of Bagley: Marvin Bagley Shows Off Skills in First Summer League Game
By Matthew McQuade
God bless Sacramento Kings fans. For a franchise that may be as hopeless as any in sports, they sure know how to keep it optimistic. The beauty of the NBA is your team can always be winning in stages. Golden State fans are still celebrating an NBA championship, LA Lakers fans are still celebrating the LeBron James Free Agency sweepstakes, and with Marvin Bagley and company, the Sacramento Kings are celebrating the early frontrunner for most exciting Summer League team. It may not be much, but at this point Kings fans will take what they can get.
The Starting 5
The excitement is due to a Summer League starting 5 that resembles a recent College All-American roster:
De’Aaron Fox Kentucky Follow @swipathefox
Frank Mason Kansas Follow @FrankMason0
Justin Jackson UNC Follow @JJacks_44
Marvin Bagley Duke Follow @MB3FIVE
Harry Giles Duke Follow @HGizzle1
Speed, athleticism, length, and size. Something to root for is a welcome change for a team that has whiffed with its lottery picks for nearly a decade. In drafting athletic big man Marvin Bagley with the 2nd overall pick this year, the Kings have their most promising player since drafting DeMarcus Cousins 5th overall in 2010.
The Kings of the early 2000’s played some of the most attractive and entertaining basketball we have ever seen. The passing and movement is echoed today with teams like Golden State and San Antonio. With Marvin Bagley, Sacramento finally has a player with the size and skill to run, pass, and shoot their way out of a perennial lottery situation. Let’s get to the clips
Marvin Bagley Highlights vs LA Lakers
Marvin Bagley looked great in the 1st Quarter of his first Summer League game. He showed several facets of a well-rounded skillset. Although he had understandable moments of awkwardness as he adjusted to his first pseudo-NBA action.
Marvin Bagley in the Post
Bagley showed some polished post moves. I like this play because Bagley shows no hesitation after getting the ball. He is decisive and confident with his move. The finish is a little unorthodox, ideally you would expect him to finish with a right handed jump hook as he exits his spin. A longer defender would probably block this shot he takes from a low angle with his left hand. He exposes too much of the ball but this is nitpicking as he did well to finish an athletic 1-on-1 move.
Marvin Bagley Runs the Floor
In this play, Marvin Bagley runs the court as the trailer, catches the ball on the move, shows outstanding body control and skill to get a dribble down, smoothly transitions into an under control jump stop, then elevates over overmatched defender, Moritz Wagner Follow @moritz_weasley for a dunk. (sorry homey, had to throw you under the bus)
The dunk was the ESPN highlight but the exceptional part of the play was a player Bagley’s size gathering the ball without traveling and maintaining control in traffic to complete the play on the move without charging or turning it over. This type of skill and athleticism combined with his size is what makes him rare.
Marvin Bagley Tests His Range
Soon after, Bagley showed his range and his comfort at the top of the key, as he stepped into a rhythm three point shot.
This is the type of big man NBA teams are thirsting for, a player who can stretch the defense with the three, and dominate the boards and interior game too. Bagley’s biggest need for development is his defensive game. A player his size will be expected to protect the rim. This is an area of his game that has been criticized in comparison to players like Mo Bamba, and Jaren Jackson Jr. Keep an eye on how Bagley’s game develops as he continues his summer league experience on Thursday July 5. The Kings fans will be watching too, with visions of Webber, Divac, and Bibby dancing in their heads….