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Marvin Bagley III – 6’11” Power Forward, Duke, 19 Years Old
Marvin Bagley III enters the NBA Draft as a potential top-five pick. During his one and only season with Duke, Bagley opened plenty of eyes. The 6’11” power forward played 33 games and was a key player, helping Duke reach the Elite Eight. After the Blue Devils lost to Kansas, Bagley announced he would forgo his sophomore year and enter the NBA Draft.
Bagley averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game in college, shooting 61 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. Alongside Grayson Allen and Wendell Carter Jr., Bagley was a leading contributor. Named ACC Player of the Year in 2018, his play led to the one-and-done forward to become one of this year’s top prospects.
A player with many strengths, Bagley is well equipped to succeed at the NBA level. Quick, fluid, and mobile, he moves like a wing at the power forward position. Bagley is an explosive player and can get up with relative ease. Coming from a winning culture at Duke, Bagley isn’t afraid of the ball. In fact, the former five-star recruit wants the ball in the big moment. His high motor will serve him well in the NBA.
Bagley’s footwork is excellent for a player his age. This will come in handy when attacking his matchup one-on-one. The former Blue Devil is also a good passer, whether he’s set or on the move. He makes an impact on the glass; his rebounding efforts are relentless. Bagley is an efficient scorer who doesn’t waste possessions by taking bad shots. This helped the 19-year-old shoot over 60 percent from the field at Duke.
Despite his 7’1” wingspan, Bagley struggles to block shots effectively. He can lack focus at the defensive end. Bagley is very reliant on his left hand offensively, similar to Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle. This will lead to teams forcing him to attack with his right, due to his predictability. He also must improve his screen game, as he currently lacks physicality. There are question marks about Bagley’s three-ball. Shooting 40 percent from distance is good at any level. But whether or not Bagley’s shot translates to the NBA game is the real question. Another area of Bagley’s game that needs to improve is his free throw shooting. This isn’t a major worry, but having a respectable percentage at the line can only help a player in the NBA.
If Bagley can develop a reliable shot, he has All-Star potential. He has the tools, the smarts, and the attitude to be successful. His mix of athleticism, footwork, and size make him an ideal starting power forward in the NBA. His three-point shooting and defense will determine how far his potential will carry him. But as of right now, Bagley is already a skilled big man who should contribute in the NBA for many years.
NBA Player Comparison
Bagley has the size and shooting potential to become a Chris Bosh type player. Capable of playing either power forward or center, Bagley is versatile enough to make an impact at either spot. However, if he fails to develop a respectable jump shot, Julius Randle is also a comparable player. Bagley ticks a lot of boxes and should achieve great things in the NBA, as the teenager possesses everything a young player needs to succeed.
Look for Marvin Bagley III to be a top-five pick on draft night, and be sure to stay updated with our complete coverage of the 2018 NBA Draft!
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