The Sacramento Kings selected Duke forward Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Sacramento Kings selected Duke's Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Bagley was named to the All-USA Boys Basketball First Team for the 2016-17 high school season. He was considered the top recruit in the class of 2018 before he announced he would be graduating with the class of 2017 and foregoing his senior year. He chose to attend Duke over USC and UCLA.
The ACC Player of the Year averaged 21.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game while shooting 61.4% from the field. He helped lead the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament before Kansas squashed their hopes of a national championship in overtime.
Jeremy Woo's grade: B
The Kings made a relatively safe choice here with Bagley, who many in their front office coveted him all along. There was debate about Luka Doncic and trading down for Michael Porter, but ultimately Bagley’s athleticism and production won the day, given the Kings have a greater need for a frontcourt scorer than a playmaker in the backcourt with De’Aaron Fox in place. Sacramento may come to rue passing on Doncic, the most accomplished international prospect ever to enter the draft, but Bagley will give them production early and still has room to grow as a scorer and on the defensive end. Bagley wasn’t the sexy pick, but as many around the league expected earlier in the week, the Kings ultimately stayed put.
SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down Bagley's strengths and weaknesses.
• 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.