Top NBA Draft prospect Marvin Bagley III explains why he isn't worried about adjusting to the modern NBA

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  • Duke big man Marvin Bagley III is expected to be one of the top picks in the NBA Draft.
  • Bagley spoke to Business Insider about adjusting to the modern NBA, the draft process, and his off-court interests.

Duke big man Marvin Bagley III is expected to hear his name called early on Thursday at the NBA Draft. Rumours suggest Bagley is likely to be taken with the second pick to the Sacramento Kings.

Bagley is a skilled, classic big man, with a variety of moves around the basket and the ability to face up and hit the midrange jumper. There are concerns about his ability to adjust to the modern NBA, in which big men are often asked to shoot three-pointers, defend the rim, and switch onto smaller, quicker opponents.

Bagley, however, isn’t worried about any of it. Speaking to Business Insider from St. Nicholas Park in Harlem, New York, to promote his partnership with Mountain Dew, Bagley explained why he isn’t worried about anything – from where he’ll be drafted, who he’ll face on the court, and what role he’ll have to fill.

Scott Davis: Is there a Duke player you want to play most next year?

Marvin Bagley III: “Anybody we come across it will be exciting to play against and be out there competing and playing the game I love. I’m excited about that.”

Davis: Anyone in the NBA you’re most excited to face?

Bagley: “Anybody. Like I said, anyone who’s on the opposite side than the team I’m with, I’ll be excited about it.”

Davis: Is there anyone in the NBA you compare your game to most?

Bagley: “Nah, I try not to compare myself. I try to stay away from comparisons. Just being myself. Studying the game obviously, but just being myself. I have my own style of play a little bit.”

Davis: Do you have any plans for what you’ll do on the road? Some people say the NBA can be a little boring.

Bagley: “I mean, writing songs, writing music, watching movies and different shows. Different things like that. I’ll figure out something.”

Davis: Are you a gamer at all?

Bagley: “I might play a little bit of Madden, 2K, stuff like that. Nothing too serious.”

Davis: Everyone talks about the evolving role of the big man in the NBA. Do you see yourself as a 4 or 5? Can you plan to fit into the kind of position-less style of basketball that’s played today?

Bagley: “I’m a basketball player. I don’t like saying I’m a position. When I get out and play and do what I do … I’m a basketball player, and that’s what I pride myself on being.”

Davis: Do you have any aspect of your game you plan on working on most going into your rookie year?

Bagley: “Just adjusting to the game. Getting used to everything, the speed. I feel like once I get adjusted and know a little bit, get comfortable, and know how everything works; I think I’ll be fine.”

Davis: Did you watch the playoffs this year? There was so much switching on defence that some people say the post-up is very important again because teams have to take advantage of mismatches. What are your thoughts on that and do you think you can take advantage of that?

Bagley: “That’s a big part of my game. If I got a bigger guy on me, bring it on my side, use my quickness and athleticism to get by him. If I’ve got a smaller guy on me, mismatch, take him to the post and get a bucket on the inside. Being able to do both. I pride myself on that, and I work on that every single day I’m in the gym.”

Davis: Do you think about what city you’ll land in during the draft? Do you pay attention to the reports and rumours?

Bagley: “I mean, you never know what can happen. … You just gotta be patient, come ready, open mind on Thursday, and whatever happens at the end of the night, so be it. You just gotta be ready to work hard.”

Davis: Does market size matter to you? You have a lot of off-court interests and business projects. Do the size and market affect your thinking at all about what you want to do off the court?

Bagley: “Nah man. Everything will handle itself. Everything will take care of itself, go how it’s supposed to go. My only job is to get better and play basketball and do what I love. That’s what I wanna do. I’m excited about it.”

Davis: What should people know about your shoe with PUMA?

Bagley: “Nothing yet. Still in the works, so I can’t really discuss that now.”

Davis: Are there any athletes you look up to from a business standpoint? Guys you want to emulate off the court?

Bagley: “I just learn from a lot of people. Not necessarily athletes, but people who are successful. I’m just trying to learn any way I can and [talk to people who can] help me as a business person off the court.”

Davis: What drew you to Mountain Dew?

Bagley: “It’s a brand that allowed me to be myself. I see a lot of the commercials with Kevin Hart, a lot of the NBA guys who do stuff with Mountain Dew. They’re able to be themselves and express themselves in different ways. That’s something I’m looking forward to working with them.”

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