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Marvin Bagley III says he’s a great defender, but has a lot to learn

The Duke product was in Sacramento for a pre-draft workout with the Kings on Monday

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Kansas vs Duke Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The athleticism, low post moves, rebounding, offensive instincts and motor of Marvin Bagley III are all considered strong points of his game. These skills are so strong that most NBA mock drafts have him projected to go in the 2-3 spots in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The 6’11, 235-pound forward is a versatile offensive player drawing comparisons to Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire. Bagley averaged 21 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists last season at Duke.

The question marks are on the other side of the ball, however, as most analysis on his game points out the holes on defense. Bagley has trouble with rim protection and going up against size. In its most recent breakdown, DraftExpress discussed concerns over Bagley’s fundamentals and instincts on defense.

On Monday, following his pre-draft workout with the Sacramento Kings, Bagley was asked what his best asset on defense is.

”I think overall, I’m a great defensive player. There’s a lot that I could learn, obviously. I don’t know everything about the game, but I think overall, I’m a great defensive player and that’s really where I stand with that,” Bagley said. “You hear a lot of the talk about defense all year, but I was really trying to lock in and focus on trying to help my team in whatever way that I could.”

Bagely said he has been working on his footwork on defense and watching film. With his athleticism and drive on the floor, he certainly has the potential to improve defensively.

This trip to Sacramento was Bagley’s second workout. He said the Kings, which have the second pick in the Draft, did a lot of perimeter and ball handling drills, working on various types of reads. The part of the workout that the Sacramento media was privy to, included some post drills. Here are some extended clips from the workout via the Kings:

In addition to commenting on his defense during his session with the media, Bagley said he prefers not to label himself as a specific position to play in the NBA because he doesn’t want to limit himself. He sees himself as being able to play all over the court and plans to fit in however his future coach would like him to.

Further, he doesn’t consider himself a one-dimensional player, saying he can play inside-out. And his desire to put in the work necessary was communicated by him expressing how he considers himself to be a leader and competitor who finds it hard to accept failure. That specifically comes through in his response to why he was such a productive rebounder in college:

”Heart. That’s pretty much it. Having the will to want to go out there and play your hardest. If you see the ball bounce off the rim, go get it no matter what,” Bagley said.

Bagley, who hung out with Kings forward Harry Giles and guard De’Aaron Fox Sunday night leading up to his Monday workout, said he loves Sacramento, including all of the people he met during his trip, and the environment around the city.

Bagley will next meet with the Atlanta Hawks, which have the third pick in the Draft.