Why Marvin Bagley is the next NBA Superstar
Duke freshman Marvin Bagley is a one of those once in a generation prospects, with his size, athleticism, quickness, and skill which makes the star big man a force to be reckoned with. That is also why Bagley is projected to be the first pick in the draft this year, and labeled a “franchise changing” player. It’s hard to argue with them, in college right now Bagley is averaging 22.1 points and 11.8 rebounds, which he shouldn’t have a problem translating into the NBA. If there wasn’t a player in college basketball named Trae Young right now, we would be saying Bagley is the best freshman, possibly even best player, in college basketball this season. However, what separates Bagley from everyone else in college basketball is his incredible potential combined with a high floor. Bagley is a double-double waiting to happen, in the NBA he will be a guy who puts up double-doubles night in and night out. If we look at his game, we could compare him to Kevin Garnett and/or a young Chris Bosh. You can see the similarities with both if you watch Bagley play for one minute; he has energy, he communicates on defense, he can guard multiple positions, he moves his feet, he’s active on both the offensive and defensive glass, he has a great post game, and the list goes on and on. However for this article we are going to narrow it down the scope to his defense and scoring ability, and where that relates to how NBA superstardom is unavoidable.
Bagley is one of the best defensive players in college basketball, he is a dream for any basketball coach. As a big man, Bagley is able to protect the rim with his athleticism, but he is also able to switch onto guards and keep them in front of him if needed. Multiple times this year, I have seen Bagley step out onto a guard and keep him in front of him without any help. Defensively, I compare Marvin to Kevin Garnett. Throughout Garnett’s career he could step out and defend guards and wings, and protect the paint as well. Another similarity to Garnett is their energy level. I haven’t seen anyone play as hard as Bagley from the post position since Garnett, their activity and communication sets them apart from a lot of other talented big men. Bagley is also able to rebound the ball, which helps close out defensive possessions. Bagley is extremely active on the glass and not afraid to do the dirty work. All these skills make Bagley the complete package on defense.
Bagley is one of the most talented scorers to come out of high school in years and you can see it in his game. He puts up 20 points easily every night it seems. His scoring mostly comes from the paint and free throw line. Bagley is old school, he has a back to the basket and mid-post game which is similar to Chris Bosh when he played in Toronto. While Bagley hasn’t completely mastered the jump shot quite yet, he is still a capable shooter. Paired with his ability to finish around the basket, nice post moves, and athleticism, Bagley is a lethal offensive weapon. Bagley also runs the floor like not many big men do, at times you see him outrunning guards and in return he gets an easy layup or dunk. With his scoring package, it is easy to see why Bagley has NBA teams drooling over his game.
Overall, Bagley is one of the brightest prospects to come out in the last decade, his ability to score at ease paired with his incredible defense makes it easy to see. In the NBA Bagley should translate to an all-star easily, but he could be much more. If Bagley continues to improve his game, there is no limit to his potential. In his own words “If you don’t want to be the best, why play the game?” shows Bagley has a great work ethic. Enjoy his one year in college before he goes to the NBA, because we are looking at a potential superstar, MVP, hall of famer, or even legend in the making.