6’11”, 235 pounds
Big Board Ranking: 8 OVR, 5 BIG
Bagley was a five-star recruit in the class of 2018 playing at Sierra Canyon before he reclassified to the class of 2017. He had a dominant freshman season with the Blue Devils, averaging 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Bagley was named the ACC player of the year and a consensus first-team All American. The Blue Devils fell out of the tournament in the elite eight to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Bagley is a very good athlete and an imposing physical specimen. He is an explosive athlete and a fluid mover at the same time. Bagley is the best rebounder in this draft. He uses his excellent strength and frame to muscle out opposing bigs and has an elite second jump, making him a weapon on the offensive glass. He runs the floor like a guard and is a lob target in transition. Bagley has shown some ability to stay with perimeter players.
Bagley is an explosive finisher at the rim and uses his strength and athleticism to score down low. He has shown good touch with his left hand on drives and on hook shots, which has become his best offensive skill. Bagley has shown flashes of jump shooting ability, hitting the college three at a high clip (39.7%) on 1.8 attempts per game and using the face-up jump shot to his advantage. He is comfortable bringing the ball up the floor and making the right pass to open teammates. Bagley is very coordinated and has good footwork in the post. He is ideal for a small ball five in the NBA.
Bagley’s 7’0″ wingspan will have him struggle to guard NBA big men. He gets outmuscled by bigger, stronger scorers down low. He is an N/A rim protector (0.9 Blocks per game) and hasn’t shown much ability to contest as a primary defender in the post or on the perimeter. Bagley doesn’t box out very well and has poor positioning on rebounds at times, relying on his athleticism and neglecting good technique.
His defensive instincts and overall ability are really bad. Duke played zone for most of the season in part because Bagley cannot defend the pick and roll (see Duke vs Texas). He struggles to make the right decision in PNR defense and often gets way out of position, allowing for easy scores. He gets caught ball watching often and gets beat on the weak side. Bagley has a poor eye for weak side help and rotating on defense.
Bagley has struggled from NBA range and isn’t a threat from the free throw line (62.7%). At times, he gets tunnel vision and neglects the easy pass; he isn’t a natural playmaker. Bagley can get out of control when attacking the rim, resulting in bad shots and turnovers. He is almost fully reluctant to make use of his right hand, even if it is capable. He goes left almost 100% of the time and finishes with the left when driving right, resulting in some awkward, off balance, very difficult shots.
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Bagley reportedly “loves it” in Sacramento and his workout went very well. Sacramento has tried and failed many times to draft a big man to replace DeMarcus Cousins, from Willie-Cauley Stein to Skal Labissiere. Each time, they’ve struck out on their quest for a star. Bagley’s athleticism and offensive upside could see him providing valuable scoring and rebounding for the Kings and eventually become the face of the franchise for Sacramento.
Marvin Bagley is a perfect fit for the timeline and culture of the Memphis Grizzlies. He fits in with the grit-and-grind, tough, no-nonsense, hard-working culture that the Grizzlies have built. This Memphis team has been reluctant to rebuild and with Bagley, they are in playoff contention. Playing next to an excellent defensive big in Marc Gasol, he won’t be taxed too much on that end. He provides a scoring spark outside of their two stars.
The Atlanta Hawks already struck gold on a big man last year with John Collins. He had an excellent rookie year, showing off his athleticism, rebounding, and defense. Bagley’s floor spacing potential, rebounding, and scoring ability fits well next to Collins and would form one of the best young frontcourt duos in the NBA in a few seasons. Atlanta has done a good job acquiring young talent recently and Bagley could be the next step in this plan.
The general population overrates Bagley in my opinion, with many people believing he is a top-three prospect in this class. His upside is undeniable; he has incredible athleticism, a solid jump shot, and a good offensive skillset. He is the best rebounder in this class. However, Bagley is atrocious on the defensive end and has plenty of polishing to do with his game. A team will likely draft Bagley very high, giving him significant bust potential. Despite my qualms, Bagley could be a superstar if he lands in the right situation.