Parise: Bagley Could Be Better Than Ayton

Did Phoenix get it right? Should Philly have kept Mikal Bridges? Vin Parise recaps an action-packed NBA Draft

Taz and the Moose
June 22, 2018 - 9:47 am

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DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III went first and second, respectively, to the Suns and Kings in the NBA Draft on Thursday. Both are top-notch prospects, of course, but don’t be surprised if Bagley winds up being a better pro.

“He can give you some things that Ayton does,” Fox Sports and SNY college basketball analyst Vin Parise said on Taz & The Moose. “Ayton was the obvious pick. Obviously we know what he looks like physically. He could dominate offensively as a big man. He could be a lot better defensively in the league than he was in college. He’s able to control the paint more. But I don’t know. Could you build around a big man in the NBA the way you did 10 years ago? I don’t know.”

Ayton and Bagley put up similar numbers at Arizona and Duke this past season, but Bagley is a more complete offensive player.

“I just think Bagley gives you so many things offensively, and he’s so ahead of his age when you talk to scouts during the year,” Parise said. “Duke was like the second- or third-best offensive team in college basketball this year, and he was by far, hands down, their best offensive player. I think in the league you could hide guys defensively, but think about how many stud guys have been drafted in the last couple of years that we said we’re work in progress offensively as bigs. So to get Bagley to produce right there, you’re ahead of the game if you’re the Kings.”

The 76ers, meanwhile, were the feel-good story of the first round when they drafted Villanova star Mikal Bridges 10th overall. Only they traded Bridges to the Suns later in the evening. 

“I thought they should have kept him – and not just because of the nostalgia Philadelphia reasons,” Parise said. “Covering Bridges so closely at Nova, he’s ready to roll. This kid just is so ready. His wingspan, it’s over 7-foot for a 6-7 guy. He has all those old-school Scottie Pippen attributes. He can dribble, pass, shoot for his size. He shot 44 percent from three-point land, and they go with a very raw option (in Zhaire Smith).”

Parise isn’t alone. Many analysts felt the Sixers should have kept Bridges. In fact, they considered Bridges a great value pick at 10.

“I would have even liked Bridges to the Knicks (at No. 9),” Parise said. “There were so many young guys in this draft, and now you got this guy with a little more experience under his belt that has to get stronger – but at least you knew what you were getting.”