Top 2018 prospect Marvin Bagley III exploring enrolling in college a year early

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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — There is a possibility that Marvin Bagley III, the top prospect in the Class of 2018 and the heavy favorite to be the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, could end up reclassifying and enrolling in college this fall.

That would allow Bagley to play in college this season and, since he’s already 18 years old, make him eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft. He would get his guaranteed money a year earlier, enter free agency a year earlier and get an extra year of NBA money on the back end of his career, when stars are their most profitable.

The news was first reported by 247 Sports.

According to sources with knowledge of Bagley’s recruitment, there has not yet been a decision made either way. It is a realistic possibility, as is the chance that he will remain a member of the Class of 2018. Like I said, no decision has been made, but the option is being explored.

Bagley is a 6-foot-11 combo-forward. He’s skilled enough to play on the perimeter and has the size, the frame and the toughness to play in the post. Many scouts and recruiting analysts believe him to be the best prospect currently playing high school basketball. Duke, USC and Arizona are thought to be the favorites, while Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA are also in the mix. Bagley told reporters on Thursday that he will take his official visit to Duke after Peach Jam and that he will also take officials to USC and Arizona.