Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

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Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III suffered a bone bruise and right knee sprain and is expected to be out for 3-4 weeks, the team announced on Wednesday. Bagley sustained the injury during the Pistons’ preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night.

The injury occurred in the first quarter when the Pistons were trying to get back on defense in transition. It appeared that Bagley slipped, perhaps on a wet spot on the court, and immediately began grabbing at his right knee. The former No. 2 overall pick needed to be helped off the court and to the locker room.

Bagley was shortly after ruled out for the game, as the Pistons announced he would undergo an MRI. While Bagley will miss the start of the season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Pistons were relieved that the injury wasn’t more serious. This latest bump in the road is another example of Bagley’s career not going the way many expected it would when he was taken No. 2 overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2018. While he avoided a serious knee injury, missing time is the last thing Bagley needs as he aims for a new start with the Pistons, who, somewhat perplexingly, game him a three-year, $37 million contract extension this past summer after trading for him from Sacramento last February. 

Bagley played just 18 games for Detroit after the trade, starting eight. In 27 minutes a night, he averaged 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, but those numbers are deceiving. They were meaningless games, and Bagley looked more or less like the same flawed player (bad shooter and worse defender) that he was with the Kings. 

Two-big lineups with Bagley become very cramped for spacing. One smart thing the Pistons did with him was play him at the five and closer to the basket. He trimmed his 3-point attempts and traded them in for paint looks, which is really the only spot from which he’s a threat to score. 

The Pistons start their regular season against the Orlando Magic next Wednesday, and they’ll be taking the floor without Bagley who will miss at least the first month of the season.





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