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Arizona St. freshman Bagley entering NBA draft

Arizona State freshman Marcus Bagley will declare for the 2021 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Tuesday.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to inform the NBA of my intentions and preparing for the draft,” Bagley told ESPN. “There’s so much about my game that I believe the basketball world hasn’t seen.”

Bagley is “keeping all options open,” at this stage and has not yet hired an agent, his father, Marvin Bagley Jr., told ESPN.

Bagley, the No. 27 prospect in the ESPN 100 NBA draft rankings, emerged as a one-and-done candidate early in the season with strong showings in nonconference outings at Mohegan Sun, a hub for early-season games. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in 29 minutes over 12 games while shooting 35% from beyond the arc, missing a large chunk of the season due to COVID-19 pauses and ankle and calf injuries.

“This season, like any other season, had its ups and downs, but I believe it was very beneficial for me and my game,” Marcus Bagley said. “I think teams were able to see a little bit of my versatility on both ends of the floor. I stepped out and defended guards, but I also was down there being physical with the bigs in the paint. And on the offensive end I played out of my position at the 4, but I showed glimpses of what I look like at my natural position at the 2 or 3. I can’t wait to show my entire game to teams.”

The brother of Sacramento Kings power forward Marvin Bagley III, Marcus Bagley is intriguing to NBA teams in his own right due to his strong physical tools at 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, and dynamic perimeter shooting ability, being capable of shooting off movement both with his feet set and off the dribble. He shows outstanding footwork, mechanics and touch on jumpers, which is very intriguing when combined with his size, length, athleticism and defensive versatility. Bagley is a switchable wing with quick feet and a strong activity level who has looked equally adept at defending smaller players on the perimeter as he is putting a body on bigger players inside.

The NBA announced this week that the NBA draft will be conducted on July 29, and has scheduled its draft combine for June 21, featuring competitive 5-on-5 action “subject to public health conditions.”

Bagley told ESPN he is looking forward to the opportunity to improve his standing in the eyes of NBA teams in the pre-draft process now that he is fully healthy.

“I think I will be able show more of my offensive package and my ability to create off the dribble for myself and my teammates. Due to team needs and my size, I was asked to play more at the 4 position which limited what I could do but I look forward to showing teams that I am not just a shooter and I have a very versatile offensive package”

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