Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Sacramento Kings made former number two overall pick, Marvin Bagley III, available in trade talks and were “turned down by the Detroit Pistons, having offered Bagley III for promising rookie Saddiq Bey”. That same report has stated the desire for Bagley to move on from Sacramento is mutual.
While Bey is a prospect with promise, it is telling of how much Bagley’s stock has fallen that the Pistons were unwilling to trade a rookie only averaging 10 points and four rebounds per game, and it speaks to a broader issue about Bagley. One has to wonder how low the price would be for a young player who, at one point, was selected ahead of Luka Doncic in the draft and if there is still any potential worth exploring.
Why the Dallas Mavericks should buy low on Marvin Bagley III
First, let’s assess Bagley’s history and see what the perceived upside was just a few years ago to have him selected over Doncic, Trae Young, and Jaren Jackson Jr. Coming out of high school in 2017, Bagley dominated for Sierra Canyon and earned his way to the top spot in ESPN’s Top 100 list after a senior year that saw him average 24.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Bagley was viewed as the crown jewel of yet another star-studded Duke freshmen class that included the likes of future NBA draftees, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and Trevon Duval. Grayson Allen was a senior for the Blue Devils that year. Yet, even with that accumulation of talent, Bagley stood out as the frontman and averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds leading to an ACC Rookie of the Year award, First-Team All-ACC honors, and an ACC Player of the Year award.
By draft time, it was heavily debated who was the best player in the class. It’s crazy to think about now, but there was a moment where it was argued between Deandre Ayton, Bagley, Luka Doncic, and Trae Young as to which player would go on to have the best NBA career.
Bagley’s length, burst, high motor, rebounding ability, and developing outside game drew comparisons to a modern-day Kevin Garnett. Unfortunately, he has failed to live up to those lofty expectations.
Next: Why is Bagley on the block?