Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Kings' Marvin Bagley III says 'I'm right where God wants me to be' despite trade rumors

Sacramento Kings power forward Marvin Bagley III has been the subject of speculation and a number of trade rumors for nearly a year, including a trade request made by his father via Twitter in January. But with the start of the 2021-22 NBA season nearly upon us, Bagley remains in a Kings uniform.

And he says he’s completely content with that.

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“I’m blessed,” Bagley told the media this week. “I woke up today. I’ve got my family. I’ve got my friends. I’ve got people who are close to me who support everything I do, that love me, so I can’t complain about nothing. I’m in a good spot. I’m right where God wants me to be and I’m ready to start off another year and continue to show the world what I can do.”

 

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The upcoming season will be Bagley’s fourth in the NBA, all with Sacramento. He was drafted by the franchise out of Duke with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but his first three years in the league have been marred by a variety of injuries. He missed all but 13 games in 2019-20, and a fractured bone in his left hand derailed his progress last season.

Overall, Bagley has averaged 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 118 career games. It may not be quite the production the Kings were hoping for, but the 2019 NBA All-Rookie first-team selection said that he’s still with the team for a reason and he’s going to continue to trust God’s plan for his life.

“I don’t stress about things I can’t control,” Bagley told the media. “I pray every day, before I go to sleep, when I get up, and God put me in a position where He wants me. At the end of the day, it’s God’s will. It’s not what I want. It’s not what anybody else around me wants. It’s only about what God wants.

“I’m just going to continue to pray and ask God to show me the way. I’m here. I’m in a Kings uniform and, if that’s where God wants me, then that’s where God wants me, so I’m going to give it all I’ve got. Every day I wake up, I’m going to put everything into this game that I love to play. This is where I’m at and I’m excited to be here.”

Bagley lists the Bible verse Proverbs 17:24 in his Instagram and Twitter bios, a verse which says, “A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.”

In declaring for the 2018 draft, he thanked Jesus for giving him the gift of playing basketball, and in late 2017 on the CBS Sports Flagrant Two podcast, he said he prays nightly.

“I just thank God every single day before I go to sleep,” he said, “just say a prayer, just keep thanking Him for these gifts because I still can’t believe I’m playing basketball and doing this. I’m just blessed, man. I can’t take anything for granted.”

Bagley and the Kings are gearing up for four preseason games, the first of which is at home against the Phoenix Suns at 10 p.m. ET Monday. Sacramento’s first regular-season game will be at the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 20.

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