Following the Sacramento Kings disappointing 95-124 season opening loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night, fans were more focused on whether the team could bounce back during their home opener on Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Or perhaps, the health of their starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, who both limped off the court late in the game.
However, no one could have predicted this.
Power forward Marvin Bagley will miss four to six weeks with a non-displaced fracture of his right thumb. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter when a Suns player swiped down to dislodge the ball and came down hard on his hand.
The injury does not require surgery as a non-displaced fracture is a crack in the bone that will heal on its own if immobilized.
Injuries are nothing new for Marvin during his short NBA career. As a rookie, he missed 20 games do to various injuries caused by freak incidents on the court. This shouldn’t be an indication of his fragility, but he is a little snake-bitten.
Filling in for Bagley as the starting power forward would likely be Harrison Barnes or Nemanja Bjelica.
Barnes could slide over from the small forward spot and provide an effective small-ball option for the Kings. At 6’8” he might be a little over-powered at times, but on offense he can punish the opposing defense with his inside and outside games.
Bjelica started 70 games for the Kings last season and at 6”10” could provide some size at the position along with his long-range threat. He is also a decent rebounder for a stretch 4 but could hurt the team a little on the defensive side.
Whatever happens, the 2019-20 season isn’t starting off very well, but this team is deeper than any Kings squad in recent years and such a setback might not hurt the team as much as it could have.