No matter who you are, the jump to the NBA is a huge one. LeBron James was sensational as a rookie, but it took him a few years to learn how to assert himself.
Zion Williamson had injuries and limitations due to Covid and other stuff that limited him and even now, in a most dazzling season, he clearly has things to work on.
To the best of our memory, the only rookies who have ever been so profoundly great they led their teams - not just won but led - their teams to NBA championships are Bill Russell and Magic Johnson.
So it’s not a huge surprise for young players to take some time to figure the league out. Toss in injuries and it’s a much more difficult situation.
Like Justise Winslow, Brotherhood member Marvin Bagley has struggled some due to injuries. The #2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bagley has been slowed by his injuries. This article calls his future “murky,” although the writer says that the Sacramento Kings have decided to sign him to his option year anyway but only because they couldn’t get enough back in trade value.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
However, we know what we saw from Bagley in Durham. He’s a tremendous natural athlete who is still just 22. He has time to develop and become a force for the Kings or, really, for any team that he might end up with down the road.
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