The Sacramento Kings made a somewhat controversial move when they selected Duke product Marvin Bagley III with the second overall pick in June’s NBA Draft. While most expect Bagley to be a solid pro, the general consensus was that Luka Doncic, who ended up going third, then was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, has a chance to be a once-in-a-generation type talent.
The player who went ahead of both of them, however, Deandre Ayton, has the physicality and skill set to be a franchise-changing big man for the Phoenix Suns. As the draft neared it was clear that the Suns preferred Ayton, but according to Bagley, they should have spent a little more time looking at him.
Our Reid Forgrave asked Bagley on CBS Sports HQ who’s the better player, him or Ayton, and Bagley didn’t hesitate with his response. Watch the full interview here or in the video player above.
“I would say myself,” Bagley said. “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.”
This really isn’t much of a surprise — most rookies likely think they’re the best player in the draft — but Bagley could have waffled and kept the sentiment to himself. The fact that he feels slighted, even as the No. 2 overall pick, could serve as motivation as he embarks on what should be a long and fruitful NBA career.
For what it’s worth (not much), Ayton is averaging 22.5 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in two preseason games. Bagley had seven points, two rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in his only preseason game, which happened to be against Ayton’s Suns.
The Kings and Suns are in the same division, so we’ll get to see plenty of matchups between Ayton and Bagley this season and beyond. Bagley’s comments will make us pay a little bit closer attention to the individual battle.
Courtesy: CBS Sports