Marvin Bagley: Future Star
The Sacramento Kings were in one of the most difficult positions during the 2018 NBA Draft. With the second pick, the franchise’s highest pick since 1989, the Kings had limitless options. Do they take Trae Young, Oklahoma standout with a limitless range? Do they take Luka Doncic, a European superstar? Do they take Jaren Jackson Jr., a defensive superstar who was a monster for the Spartans? In the end, they selected Duke’s best player and the best player in HS, Marvin Bagley III. People immediately criticized the Kings for going the safe route with Bagley and missing out on the eventual ROY in Doncic long before Bagley could even prove himself.
Bagley struggled in the early season, mostly due to his lack of playing time during the heated Divac-Joerger debacle, in which Divac criticized Joerger’s lack of minutes for young players and a focus on the few veteran members of the team. However, Bagley eventually turned it around. By the end of the season, Bagley averaged 15 PPG, 7 RPG, and 1 BPG while coming off the bench for 58 of his 62 games last season. However, I believe this is only the beginning for Bagley.
Marvin Bagley III 2018-2019 Stats
Bagley’s potential is just now being discovered. Bagley’s skills are definitely suited for the NBA style of play. Bagley has an incredible motor, a factor that is often forgotten about in the modern day. At almost 7 feet, having such a high-level motor makes him a constant threat. He can score on the fast break, off of cuts and drives, and finish in traffic with his strong arsenal of athletic moves. He also fits the blueprint of a modern day forward with his well-developed jumper and surprisingly strong handles. However, Bagley’s improvements that will make him an easy all-star candidate are all built on his existing characteristics. His rebounding, although solid at 7.6 RPG, could be improved upon. As Bagley gets stronger, his already elite vertical will make his rebounding improve year after year as he builds muscle. His jumper will improve, and his NBA IQ will develop over time as well. With the departure of Willie Cauley-Stein, Bagley’s minutes will see an increase and this augmented experience will give Bagley a better opportunity to develop himself and adjust fully to NBA game.