Dallas Mavericks: Why the Mavs should buy low on Marvin Bagley III

Dallas Mavericks Marvin Bagley III Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Marvin Bagley III Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Mavericks, Marvin Bagley
Dallas Mavericks Marvin Bagley III Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

Why is Marvin Bagley on the trading block for the Dallas Mavericks to acquire?

His numbers have essentially looked identical from years one to three with career averages of 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field. That budding outside shot has never materialized as he only shot 31.8 percent from 3-point range for his career.

Also, as energetic as Bagley is, he’s never been viewed as a plus defender. Apart from never being able to average more than one block per game in either college or the pros, his defensive rating has gotten progressively worse year on year. From 111 to 114.6 in years one and two, Bagley is now averaging a porous 119.3.

Why the Dallas Mavericks should acquire Marvin Bagley III?

When it comes to trading for Bagley, it comes down to the price. When you view him through the lens of a top-two pick you’d hope to build your franchise around, Bagley falls far short of that billing, but is it hard to imagine him filling a role in the second unit for Dallas and providing a spark off the bench? After all, he provides rebounding that’s sorely lacking from the second unit and the Mavs as a whole. Per 36 minutes, Bagley averages 10.4 rebounds, higher than anyone on the Mavericks squad not named Boban Marjanovic.

His 3-point stroke has been a bit of a disappointment in his first two years, but it’s finally starting to come along in year three as he’s averaging a respectable 35.4 percent. That is just shy of Dallas’ team average of 36.3 percent, so he wouldn’t be dragging down the team’s spacing either.

What’s even better is that Dallas already has a role suited for Bagley in replacing Dwight Powell. He’s a high-energy, rim-rolling big who grabs boards and you hope to give life to your second unit, only he does it much better than Powell. In almost every per 36 stat like points (19.4 vs. 11), rebounds (10.4 vs. 8.1), or shooting splits (50.2 field goal/35.4 three-point percentage vs. 47.4 field goal/18.2 three-point percentage), Bagley is simply better.

Bagley is cheaper too. Over the next two years, Bagley’s salary averages out to $10.1 million, less than Dwight Powell’s $11 million. It’s a small amount of savings, but it would come with a player that’s seven years younger, is currently better, and still possibly has an upside yet to be discovered if put in the right situation.

Next: What would a Bagley trade look like?