The Top High School Prospect In 2018 Might Enter College A Year Early

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The 2017-2018 NBA season hasn’t even begun and, for a lot of teams, the 2018 NBA Draft can’t arrive quickly enough at this point. That is, of course, at least slightly unfair to the bottom of the league as a whole, but with the incredibly high upside of acquiring elite-tier talent in the draft, it isn’t crazy at all for teams projected to finish near the basement to be taking stock of the best prospects 11 months ahead of time.

With that in mind, names like DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic and Michael Porter Jr. keep popping up for the top spots in the 2018 draft class, and they are all extremely talented. That trio just might have some competition, though, in the form of Marvin Bagley III.

Bagley III is currently the top-rated prospect in the 2018 high school class and that would place him at the top of the heap for the 2019 NBA Draft. However, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports brings word that the 6’10 power forward could be looking to reclassify and, if he can pull it off, Bagley’s arrival on the scene could have massive implications for the 2018 draft.

As always, player evaluations for prospects in high school are very difficult, and it would be disingenuous to nitpick between high-end prospects like Bagley III, Porter Jr., Ayton and Doncic right now. Still, the consensus (including from Parrish himself) around the recruiting world is that Bagley III would immediately jump into the mix for the No. 1 slot in 2018 mock drafts, and that doesn’t even approach the recruiting war for his services at the college level.

It is (very) important to note that the CBS report only indicates Bagley III is considering the possibility of jumping to college a year early, and if he does, schools like Duke and USC (who has a hometown advantage with Bagley III going to school at Sierra Canyon) could have the edge to add him for the 2017-2018 season. In the big picture, Marvin Bagley III looks to be a player who will be in high demand whenever he arrives on the professional scene, but with the possibility that it could be in 2018, more eyes will be shifting in his direction in the coming days.