After spending time at three different high schools, Marvin Bagley III reclassified to skip his senior year and attend Duke, where he put together a prolific statistical case as one of the draft’s top prospects and helped the Blue Devils to the Sweet 16.
Known for his high-energy game and unusual athleticism, Bagley continues to improve and expand his skills and could become a mismatch problem at the next level. His defensive struggles were somewhat exposed last season, but he remains a prospect with significant upside and room for growth. Bagley is the grandson of former NBA and ABA All-Star Joe Caldwell.
The Crossover’s Front Office breaks down Bagley’s strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparison and more in its in-depth scouting report.
Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6’11” | Weight: 235 | DOB: 3/14/99 (19)
Stats: 21.2 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 61.4% FG
• Terrific athlete. Coordinated. Moves like a wing and can face-up and get by opposing defenders. Strong body and runs the floor for easy baskets.
• Good finisher in traffic. Explosive enough to elevate over defenders and catch lobs.
• Elite offensive rebounder (averaged 4.0 per game). Aggressive in pursuit of the ball off the glass and rarely takes plays off. Quick first and second jump off the ground.
• Skill potential. Has a functional handle and shooting ability at an early stage of his development. Room to grow.
• Athletic enough to defend one-on-one in space. Potential to guard on the perimeter with more experience and coaching.
• Poor defensive awareness. Has a tendency to ball-watch. His struggles in this area were a big part of Duke’s need to play a 2-3 zone.
• Not a rim protector. Averaged less than a block per game. Average wingspan (7’0”) for his height may leave him unable to defend NBA centers.
• Extremely lefthand dominant. Finishes almost everything going back to his left. Tall, athletic defenders may be able to sit on it.
• Has a hard, flat jumper. Made 39.7% of threes but just 62.7% of free throws. Touch is just OK. Without stretch-offense component, could end up stuck between positions.
The Case for Marvin Bagley as the draft’s prize jewel (August 2017)
Comparison: Amar’e Stoudemire
Bagley’s ability to run the floor and do damage around the basket are evocative of Stoudemire, another hyperathletic big who could be overpowering on offense but struggled defensively.