In advance of the 2018 NBA Draft, there was plenty of debate. It became clear very early in the process that the Phoenix Suns centered on Arizona big man Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 pick but, in the age of debate, that didn’t slow anyone down in arguing in favor of other players for the top spot.
Luka Doncic, now a member of the Dallas Mavericks by way of a trade with the Atlanta Hawks was perhaps the player most frequently placed in the top spot by scouts, but Duke big man Marvin Bagley III wasn’t far behind in the eyes of many. In fact, Bagley III landed with the Sacramento Kings with the No. 2 overall selection and, while not everyone loved that choice, it is easy to see the upside with the youngster.
This week, though, Bagley garnered some notoriety in saying plainly that he believes he’s better than Ayton.
“I would say myself,” Bagley said to Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports. “Obviously I have confidence in my game. I love Deandre like a brother, but, I’m gonna have to go with myself. I think I’m the better player.”
It has to be said that this doesn’t matter. Most — if not all — top prospects enter the league with overflowing confidence and many of them would say something similar on the record when promoted. It is noteworthy to some degree that Bagley answered the question directly but, in terms of overall importance, there is very little here.