Rival executives say Bagley III is up for discussion in trade talks, but the interest in him is widely seen as minimal because of his struggles these past two seasons.
Fox, however, is outspoken like his father Aaron, and had no problem squashing the notion that players’ parents could lead to beef in the locker room or disrupt play on the court. “I don’t think anybody’s out there playing basketball worried about two tweets,” Fox said. “And if you are, this ain’t what you should be doing because muthafuckas gonna tweet you every day of your life while you’re playing in this league. If that’s what you’re worried about, then I don’t know what to tell you.”
Fox, who is about as engaging as any Kings player on social media, said there’s nothing hanging over the team because of the tweets. “One, it hasn’t been brought up,” Fox said. “Me, Marvin, Luke talked for five seconds because it wasn’t a big deal. But like I said, when you’re playing basketball if you’re thinking about what somebody said on Twitter, then this ain’t for you. I’m 100 percent completely honest with you when I tell you nobody’s thinking about that while we’re on the court.”
Fox was asked if it would have cleared things up in the locker room had Bagley dismissed the trade talk when he spoke to the media Sunday. “I doubt 95 percent of the team has seen the interview so I don’t think that would have changed what happened tonight,” Fox said. “We just didn’t play well.”
The Kings would tell you there is no correlation between the tweets and their worst loss of the season. “No, I don’t think so,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “I don’t think that was part of our play tonight. We just played bad basketball tonight.”
The Kings’ third-year big doesn’t want to talk about his father popping off on Twitter and demanding that his son be traded. “Before we start, I just want to say that if there are no questions about the game tomorrow or what we’re going to do tomorrow, please don’t ask, I don’t want to give any extra information on nothing,” Bagley said on Sunday to open his media availability. “If you don’t have any questions about the team and tomorrow’s game, then hold off.”
This, of course, puts Bagley III, who did not speak to the media after the game, in a tough situation. He has often expressed his love and admiration for his father and family and would not want to say anything to disparage them. But if he says anything other than “I do not want to be traded,” he would appear to be co-signing on the unhappiness of his father. That has simmered since his rookie season, according to league sources, when Bagley Jr. did not like the coaching of Dave Joerger.
Q: I’m a long-suffering Knicks fan disgusted by the Kristaps Porzingis deal. If the target was salary-cap relief, future draft picks and a top young player, surely there had to be more viable options on the table. I have two suggestions myself: Why didn’t the Knicks try to make a similar deal with Sacramento to get Marvin Bagley — or with the Clippers to get Shea Gilgeous-Alexander? — Michael Saponara STEIN: Let’s use your proposed deals. I’m told that the Knicks, for starters, tried to engage Sacramento on the Bagley trade concept you suggest. But much like their attempts to engage the Kings in De’Aaron Fox discussions, those inquiries were flatly rejected.
April 17, 2021 | 1:45 am EDT Update
The pool of teams that will have the salary-cap space to make a run at Markkanen is limited, but multiple executives and scouts anticipate the San Antonio Spurs will make a strong offer this summer. Without LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio has a need for a stretch big with Markkanen’s size and skill set.
Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22 if he doesn’t reach an extension agreement in the offseason with the team. However, he doesn’t sound like someone eager to test free agency. Asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) how much of a priority it is to spend his entire career in Golden State, Curry affirmed that’s his plan. “It’s always been a priority,” Curry said. “When you look at guys like Dirk (Nowitzki), Kobe (Bryant), that I played against and have heard them talk about what that’s meant, they don’t speak on it lightly. There’s a reverence for that club.
“You never know what can happen, obviously, but I feel like that’s always been something that would mean so much to me. You want to stay competitive, you want to stay in that fight where you’re winning championships. If I can accomplish both, that’s the ultimate goal.”
Convincing Zach LaVine the Bulls are building a playoff contender is important when you consider the 26-year-old’s “big focus” coming into the season was to get Chicago into the playoffs. That’s why rival executives anticipate the Bulls will try to lock up LaVine with a contract extension (he will make $19.5 million this season and next) but know he’ll likely let his deal lapse, become an unrestricted free agent and sign what will be a more lucrative multiyear max pact.
“That’s why them getting Vooch was a really big deal,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “Players want to get paid, just like we all do. But they also want to win, and guys like Zach have been around the block long enough to know they can’t win in this league by themselves. LeBron’s the best to do it, and he couldn’t win it all by himself. Even he needed help.” The exec added, “Them getting Vooch sent a clear message to Zach that yes, Chicago is serious about trying to put together a winner here and now.”
The patience has paid off to a relative degree, as now the Wizards are in position to possibly make the playoffs. Beal feels like he has been somewhat vindicated by the experience. “It speaks volumes. It’s always tough because when my name was buzzing, that’s all I heard early in the year is ‘trade Beal, trade Beal.’ It wasn’t anything other than that,” Beal said. “So, me knowing who I am and just sticking through it, that’s a testament to what we did as a team this year.”
Ian Begley: On The Putback this week: Dennis Schroder among PGs on NYK radar for 2021 free agency; he reportedly turned down a 4-yr, $80M-plus extension from LAL.
Brunson, who scored 15 points with seven assists and five rebounds in a win over the Knicks on April 2, has a non-guaranteed year left on his pact. The Mavericks, whom the Knicks visit on Friday night, could let Brunson become a restricted free agent and match any offer this summer. Or they could let him become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. The guard is the son of former Knick Rick Brunson. The Knicks have had their eye on Jalen Brunson, whose father was one of Thibodeau’s assistant coaches with the Bulls and Timberwolves.