Marvin Bagley III NBA Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Sacramento Kings' Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 21, 2018

Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) reacts following a basket against Syracuse during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings have selected Marvin Bagley III in the 2018 NBA draft. 

His combination of bounce, quickness and developing skill led to per-game averages of 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds in 2017-18. He finished with seven 30-point double-doubles. Loaded with upside at 19 years old, Bagley appears to have a limitless ceiling, though there are certain improvements he'll have to make along the way.

        

Quick hitters

Size: 6'11"

Weight: 234 pounds

Wingspan: 7'0"

Reach: 8'9"

Pro-player comparison: Amar'e Stoudemire

               

Offensive strengths

Bagley did most of his work in the post, where he ranked in the 78th percentile in points per possession, showing good footwork and balance while creating and making shots over the shoulder. Otherwise, a combined 33.1 percent of his offense came off putbacks and offensive rebounds. He tapped into his motor and athleticism around the basket and shot 73.4 percent at the rim. With space, he's shown he can face up, beat his man and finish on the move, having converted 10-of-15 drives to the basket out of spot-ups. He was also a competent three-point shooter on limited attempts, demonstrating the ability to catch and shoot in rhythm by making 23-of-58 threes.

      

Offensive weaknesses

Outside of going over the shoulder, Bagley doesn't have any go-to moves, often leaning on his first step, body control and coordination. His perimeter shot-creating skill is limited, and despite the solid three-point percentage, he only made 62.7 percent of his free throws, which raises red flags about the legitimacy of his jumper. Bagley also registered a 24.4 percent turnover percentage when double-teamed in the post, and his overall 8.8 assist percentage was low for a focal point of an offense.

         

Defensive outlook

Bagley struggled defensively most of the season, showing poor instincts when it came to making reads or contesting shots. Despite his speed and explosiveness, he only managed 1.0 blocks per 40 minutes, an unusually low number, even if he did play power forward next to Wendell Carter Jr. He has the quickness to be a switchable defender, but he'll need to improve his defensive IQ, particularly given his lack of relative length.

        

Rookie-year projection

Bagley will be good for routine baskets just from running the floor, cutting and crashing the glass. He'll rack up double-doubles and bring energy to the paint. He'll lean on his hook shot and various one-handers in the key, but we'll also see flashes of open, spot-up shooting. Bagley could struggle to score in the half court, though, especially if he's playing power forward against quicker, more agile defenders. In addition, his team defense seems unlikely to be strong. It was a likely reason Duke switched to zone late last season. 

          

Projected role: Quality starter 

Bagley has as much upside as anyone in the draft. However, to maximize it, he must dramatically improve his ball skills, jumper and defense. He could experience the same issues Julius Randle did in his first full year in 2015-16. But Bagley is closer athletically to Stoudemire, and he has the time and room to become a similar scoring threat. The active lefty should fall somewhere in between, in terms of impact. He'll most likely become a productive quality starter whose defensive issues and unpolished one-on-one game weigh on his overall value.

           

Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and Sports Reference.com. Measurements courtesy of NBADraft.net.

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