Marvin Bagley III – Duke
CPP Big Board Ranking: #1 Overall (#1 PF/#1 C)
Weight: 221 lbs
Age/Birthday: 19 (3/14/99)
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
High School: Sierra Canyon HS
(Grant Kobrin – 1/20/18)
Marvin Bagley III excited the world of college basketball when he committed to Duke University during August of this past year. As the number one ranked player in the ESPN 100 for the High School Class of 2017, Marvin Bagley III has lived up to all of the hype. He is averaging a convincing double-double, with a very high shooting percentage from the floor in just his freshman year this season. He has showed a solid all around game this season and has been a key leader and contributor for the Blue Devils. Marvin Bagley III is far from a finished product and has an incredibly high ceiling, despite his already high skill level. It will be interesting to see how Bagley III continues to play against top talent and how he will perform come March. Duke has the potential to win the National Championship this year, despite their youth and inevitable lack of experience. But Marvin Bagley III will need to help lead them along with senior Grayson Allen. Overall, Bagley III should be a top three pick in the 2018 NBA draft and has the potential to be the first player selected.
Strengths: Marvin Bagley III is gifted physically with his size and length, which will translate to the NBA quite well. Regardless of whether he plays power forward or center, it won’t make much of a difference. Additionally, Bagley III has an incredible skill set for someone of his size and age. He has great footwork underneath the basket and has demonstrated an array of finishes. He has a quick jump and is an explosive athlete so he can throw it down when he has even the smallest amount of room around him. Additionally, he has shown flashes of a great drop step as well as a turn around hook shot in the lane. Bagley III doesn’t shy away from contact and doesn’t seem to settle either as he is a threat attacking the lane from the high post as well. He has solid mechanics on his jump shot and has been a threat from deep this season as he is shooting around 33% from around the arc this season. This is impressive, but his jump shot still needs some work, as exemplified through his poor free throw percentage. Additionally, Marvin Bagley III has solid court vision and an elite set of ball handling skills for a big man, even at the next level. Bagley III usually brings the ball up on a fastbreak for Duke, and seems to make good decisions with the ball. He is also a force on the defensive end and has proven to be a solid rebounder, which will definitely translate to the NBA level. He is averaging over a block a game and is pulling in close to 12 rebounds a game at the college level. Bagley III should prove to be more of a threat as a shot blocker through his quick feet and explosiveness at the NBA level, but he is already doing a decent job with that at Duke this season. Lastly, Marvin Bagley III has an unfounded set of confidence and intensity level for a freshman. He plays like a ten year NBA veteran sometimes for Duke and never shies away from the big moments and always wants to take the big shot. This is something that he should be able to showcase more to NBA scouts come time for March.
Weaknesses: Marvin Bagley III seems to sometimes get pushed off the block from players of his size. This indicates that Bagley III would need to put on more weight and continue to get stronger at the next level. He doesn’t have the biggest frame out there but he certainly has the ability to get stronger with the facilities they have at Duke and his future NBA home. This will be very important for Bagley III when he is going against top NBA big men, such as Demarcus Cousins, Lamarcus Aldridge, Joel Embiid, and others. Additionally as mentioned above, Bagley III has room to grow on his jump shot but has shown great growth in that aspect over his short time at Duke. He is currently only shooting 61% from the free throw line at Duke which will need to improve to around 70% or more at the NBA level to prevent teams from purposely fouling him at the end of games like teams would do to Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. Lastly, there are some questions surrounding Bagley’s shot selection from outside the paint, but that should be cleared up through an NBA offense. Regardless, he is shooting over 61% from the field in his freshman campaign and that is obviously very high. Bagley III has a few weaknesses in his game, but the good news is that they can all be fixed very quickly.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Joel Embiid/Chris Bosh
It is definitely a good thing when your being compared to NBA All Stars such as Joel Embiid and Chris Bosh. Bagley III has a similar size and skill set to both of these guys. While Bagley is shorter than Embiid is, Bagley has shown the same kind of raw skill set that Embiid had when he came into the league. Embiid came into the league with great athleticism, defensive intensity, and a jump shot in the making. Embiid has exceeded all expectations in his short stint for the Sixers, and has one of the best jump shots out of big men in today’s modern day NBA. Bagley III could easily develop into a smaller and thinner version of Joel Embiid. Additionally Bagley III has similar qualities to a young Chris Bosh who was threat in the lane through his length and on the baseline as a lethal shooter. If Bagley III continues to develop his outside game, he could look like a more defensive minded version of Chris Bosh.
Bagley’s fate in the NBA draft should be largely based on his performance the rest of the season as well as how he plays during the ACC tournament, and NCAA tournament. Regardless, Bagley’s wait during the NBA draft should be very short lived and he should almost be a lock for a top three selection, and may possibly be the first big men selected in the upcoming draft. Marvin Bagley III should make a significant impact in his rookie campaign and should get significant minutes as a starter for whatever team he lands on. He will be an immediate contender for NBA rookie of the year in his rookie season.
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