Marvin Bagley III Talks 2018 NBA Draft After Duke’s Loss in NCAA Tournament

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts against the Kansas Jayhawks during the first half in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at CenturyLink Center on March 25, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke Blue Devils star Marvin Bagley III has yet to decide whether he’ll enter the 2018 NBA draft following Duke’s 85-81 overtime defeat to the Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Sunday.

I’m not even thinking about [the NBA] right now,” Bagley said, per’s Jeff Goodman. “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.”

Bagley averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds in his freshman season with Duke. He made a strong account for himself in the NCAA tournament as well, putting up 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and shooting 68.9 percent from the field.

In his most recent mock draft before the start of the Big Dance, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Bagley to go fourth overall to the Orlando Magic.

The pursuit of a national championship could be enough to persuade Bagley to come back to Duke. He could also use the opportunity to establish himself as the clear No. 1 overall prospect in 2019—a distinction he’s unlikely to earn in this year’s draft class with Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic available.

But Bagley would warrant top-five consideration in June, so his draft stock can’t climb all that much regardless of how well he’d play as a sophomore. He would have little to gain and a lot to lose by putting the NBA on the back burner for a year.