There wasn’t much that could have happened during Wednesday’s embarrassing blowout loss in Phoenix to make things worse for the Kings. But the ankle injury suffered by Buddy Hield didn’t help much and the more serious thumb injury suffered by Marvin Bagley III could be devastating to the Kings’ hopes of getting off to a fast start.
An MRI Thursday morning showed that Bagley has a non-displaced fracture in his right thumb and would be out 4-6 weeks. That was relatively good news for Sacramento because the injury will not require surgery. Hield, meanwhile, is listed as questionable for Friday’s home opener against Portland. Both injuries happened in the fourth quarter of the loss in Phoenix.
The injury is likely to cost Bagley about 18 games at a position in which the Kings are lacking depth. Moreover, the question of why coach Luke Walton had Bagley (and Hield and De’Aaron Fox for that matter) on the floor in the wrap-up phase of a blowout loss has been bothersome to Kings fans.
Kings Projected Starting Lineup vs. Blazers
C– Dewayne Dedmon
PF– Nemanja Bjelica
SF– Harrison Barnes
SG– Buddy Hield
PG– De’Aaron Fox
The injury figures to be an opportunity for forward Nemanja Bjelica, in his second season with the Kings after averaging 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds last year, shooting 40.1 percent from the 3-point line. Like most of his teammates, he struggled on Wednesday, posting five points on 2-for-6 shooting.
Hield is a question mark, too. It is likely that Bogdan Bogdanovic would start if Hield can’t go.
Kings Roster for the 2019-20 NBA Season
Here is a look at the current Kings roster and depth chart.
C– Dewayne Dedmon, Richaun Holmes, Harry Giles (injured)
PF– Nemanja Bjelica, Caleb Swanigan, Marvin Bagley III (injured)
SF– Harrison Barnes, Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel (two-way)
SG– Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin James, DaQuan Jeffries
PG– De’Aaron Fox, Cory Joseph, Yogi Ferrell, Kyle Guy (two-way)
Bagley’s Development Critical to Kings’ Future
After the Kings brought Bagley along slowly last year under coach Dave Joerger—too slowly for some in the Sacramento front office—this was expected to be a season in which Bagley would get more freedom and accelerate his development.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Walton told reporters Thursday. “He’s been making a lot of progress in the short amount of time we’ve been together. It will be up to him to make sure he’s still getting his conditioning in and learning what we’re doing so when he’s back and cleared that he’s ready to get right back in the mix of things.”
Bagley, who is still only 20 years old and was the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, averaged 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds last year. He missed 20 games last season, mostly with a bone bruise in his knee.