All options on the table
Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley has decided to test the NBA waters, he announced his decision Tuesday on his Twitter account.
In his freshman campaign, Bagley posted a stat line of 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 blocks and a three-point field goal percentage of 35% on 72 attempts.
A local product from Phoenix, Arizona, Bagley has yet to hire an agent, which would make his declaration official. The door to return to Arizona State is still open, and he would be the featured player on a rebuilding Sun Devil team in 2021-22. The NBA has set the deadline to withdraw for July 19. Which way he decides to go likely comes down to where he believes he will be drafted.
Bagley’s draft stock sits in an interesting position. Optimistic views on the freshman have him selected in the mid-to-late 20s, where he would become a role player for an NBA playoff team. Others place Bagley midway through the second round, which would give the 6-foot-8 forward a principle role on a rebuilding squad.
What makes Bagley’s draft stock so volatile is his limited sample size of on court play. He came to Tempe as the other half of the anticipated dynamic freshman duo with five-star recruit Josh Christopher, who is mocked in the middle of the first round.
But the pair battled injuries throughout, Christopher missed the remainder of the season after a back injury suffered in a home game against Oregon. Bagley only played in one game after hurting his ankle in a January game against Stanford.
In the rare instances the pair was healthy, they put on a show. On the road against Oregon State in mid-January, Bagley and Christopher slashed through the Elite Eight Beavers for 33 combined points, routinely utilizing the pick-and-pop offense that is so popular in today’s NBA game.
Bagley’s college tape only includes 12 games, but he displayed an incredibly polished game for a 19-year-old. He doesn’t yet have the skills around the basket to work amongst the powerful rim protectors in the professional ranks, but can rebound against anyone. His ability to step out and knock down three-pointers is something every NBA team could use in abundance. He is not a shot creator, but has a high basketball IQ that also shines through on defense. He is prone to getting into foul trouble, and that will be something he needs to clean up. If his defense improves, he can assume a Trevor Ariza type of role at the next level.
The younger brother of Sacramento Kings forward and former No. 2 overall pick in 2018, Marvin Bagley III, Bagley will lean on his close relationship with his brother as he assimilates into the league.
While injuries stunted what might have been one of the best freshman seasons in recent Sun Devil basketball history, Bagley possesses the skills and the talent to make it at the next level. He also continues the encouraging trend of Bobby Hurley pupils populating the NBA ranks.