Parrish: I Would Take Bagley No. 1

DeAndre Ayton is expected to go No. 1 in the NBA Draft, but Gary Parrish thinks Marvin Bagley III could be a Hall of Famer

Reiter Than You
June 20, 2018 - 8:35 am

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The general consensus is that DeAndre Ayton will be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft on Thursday. CBS Sports college basketball columnist Gary Parrish, however, would go in another direction.

He would go with Duke’s Marvin Bagley III.

“I know I’m in the minority here, but I love him and I would probably take him first in this draft,” Parrish said on Reiter Than You. “I have watched him play consistently for years. This might sound wild, but I think it’s true: I’ve never seen him in a basketball game where he’s not the best player on the court. Ever. In his life.”

Bagley was highly productive in his only season at Duke, averaging 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor, including 39.7 percent from three. 

“When he was 15 years old, he was widely regarded as the best 15-year-old basketball prospect in the world,” Parrish said. “Same thing at 16. Same thing at 17. Reclassifies, goes to Duke, no adjustment period whatsoever. Averages 21 points, 11 rebounds, shoots about 40 percent from three-point range, does it for a top-three team in the country according to KenPom, ACC Player of the Year, first-team All-American, and now he’s not even in the conversation for going first overall? I don’t understand it.”

Many experts have Ayton going No. 1 to Phoenix, with Slovenian Luka Doncic and Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. following shortly thereafter.

“To be clear, I get what people love about DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic and Jaren Jackson and everybody else,” Parrish said. “But you give me an elite-level athlete who also plays hard all the time, who’s done nothing but be productive and overwhelming basically every time he’s ever stepped on a basketball court, I’m going to bet on that guy every time. If you told me he’s going to be a six-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer, I’m not ruling that out at all. I’m a big fan.”