Today’s media conference with Marvin Bagley III got off to a slow start, with the first few questions asking Marvin to detail his reaction to Deandre Ayton already claiming the #1 spot in the Draft, and by extension being taken by the Phoenix Suns.
“It’s disrespectful,” he said. “I use it as drive every single day.”
Bagley (6’11”, 230 pounds, 7’1” wingspan) visited the Phoenix Suns today, with a one-hour one-on-zero workout very much like the one Deandre Ayton got on Wednesday as part of his official two-day predraft visit with the team.
The Arizona native not only wants to go #1, but he really really wants to play for the Phoenix Suns.
“I’d say it’s more of the connection,” he said when I asked him to compare being #1 overall to the connection of playing for the Phoenix Suns. “I grew up here. It would mean the world to me to come back.”
He talked about family and friends watching Suns games “back in the day”. Being only 19, his day included the SSOL years.
I also asked him which Suns players his game would remind us of, and he named Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson.
“I remember how, just watching them, how Jason Richardson would just dunk and do crazy athletic things during the game, and I remember Stoudemire doing the same thing. If I had to pick two players, it would be those two.”
McDonough had previously compared him to Amare but also Shawn Marion with his quick second jump. McDonough said it’s incredible how Bagley is going back up on a second jump as other players are still coming down from their first. Marion was famous for that, getting him rebounds and put backs throughout his career. Bagley will
Earlier, McDonough went through questions on Bagley’s candidacy for the choice at #1, and McDonough emphasized that Bagley is one of “5 or 6” deserving players who could be taken #1 this year.
Did I get the feeling that Bagley has a good shot at #1? No. I’m pretty sure Bagley won’t be picked #1 overall by the Suns.
It won’t be because of Bagley’s position, and how his selection would create triplication across the front line. If Bagley was the best prospect, McD wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
“I think for us, we’re trying to focus on getting the best available player,” McDonough answered. “If that leads to a lesser role for the guys on our roster, then so be it.”
Comparing players, you see a talent in Marvin Bagley who posted 20/10 averages in a loaded lineup at Duke under Coach K. The other two at draft time: Chriss put up 15/6 on a struggling Washington team desperate for scoring while Bender barely played for his Euro team. Bagley is clearly the most accomplished and likely to succeed among the three.
But still, there’s almost no chance Bagley goes #1. And even he knows it. Unfortunately, Bagley spent half the interview talking about Deandre Ayton.
It didn’t help that media had already compared McDonough’s description of Bagley’s workout to Ayton’s two days ago, before Bagley even took his first question.
McDonough on Ayton's workout: "Phenomenal."— scott bordow (@sbordow) June 8, 2018
McDonough on Bagley's workout: "He did very well."
Read into that what you will
And this as well.
Noooooot quite the same turnout for Marvin Bagley today.... pic.twitter.com/eQHvMxJnPw— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) June 8, 2018
The room filled up after that, but let’s hope they took Marvin’s phone from him while he was in the building.
Overall, the mood today was different. Bagley and McDonough just couldn’t pull off any attempt to act like Bagley could go #1.
Maybe tomorrow’s guest will capture McDonough’s fancy. It’s likely either Jaren Jackson Jr. or Mohamed Bamba, with the other being slated for Sunday. Word in the room today was that tomorrow’s visitor is certain, while Sunday’s is more up in the air. My guess is Bamba tomorrow.
See you then!