Marvin Bagley is not declaring for the NBA draft. Not right now, anyway.
Following Duke’s 85-81 overtime loss to Kansas in the Elite Eight on Sunday, the freshman phenom said that he is not thinking about his basketball future, but instead about the way the Blue Devils’ season came to an end.
“I’m not even thinking about (the NBA draft) right now,” Bagley told reporters. “This loss is tough, especially playing in a big tournament like this. This is all that’s on my mind right now. Whatever happens after this, we’ll see. We’ll sit down, talk about it and take it day by day.”
Marvin Bagley after loss: “I’m not even thinking about it (NBA) right now. This loss is tough, especially playing in a big tournament like this. This is all that’s on my mind right now. Whatever happens after this, we’ll see. We’ll sit down talk about it and take it day by day.”
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 26, 2018
Bagley is considered to be one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. Sports Illustrated has him ranked No. 3 behind Arizona big man Deandre Ayton and Slovenian Luka Doncic.
The 6-foot-11, 234-pound forward averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds in 33 games this season. He was the ACC Freshman and Player of the Year and is a John R. Wooden Award finalist.
While Bagley may take a couple of days to let his freshman year digest, it is almost a given that he will declare for the NBA draft. He is a sure-fire top-5 pick who could do little to improve his draft stock by returning for his sophomore season.
Freshmen Wendell Carter Jr., Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. may all declare for the draft as well.
That exodus of talent, however, does not mean that Duke will suffer a drop-off. The Blue Devils have the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for 2018, with commitments from R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish and Zion Williamson — the top three players in the class — and No. 9 overall player Tre Jones.