For me, it's
Bagley is one of those prospects who did everything anyone asked of him, but he came in the season with such hype that now everyone nitpicks his game.
Somehow, different narratives formed around him that have prevented him from being at the top of this year's draft. Here are my responses:
1. He doesn't have elite length. The truth is, he has great length, but he doesn't have Bamba/Ayton length. His length is comparable to Horford and Love.
2. He isn't a great shooter. The truth is, he shot 40% from three at Duke this season.
3. He isn't a great defender. The truth is, while he doesn't have the gaudy block numbers other prospects have, he plays good position defense. He is every bit as versatile of a defender as Jackson, without the block numbers inside.
4. He is too left-hand dominate. The truth is, no one says that about right-handed players at a similar stage of development, but it is more noticeable when the player is left-handed. He has an elite knack for finishing in a variety of different angles with his left-hand. Any player with that kind of feel will be successful at the next level.
5. He is not a great passer. The truth is, I've watched enough of him this year to know that he makes advanced reads on the opposing defense. He isn't fully developed, but the raw ability is definitely there. The problem was that Duke struggled to capitalize due to their poor outside shooting.
Bagley is a full 8 months younger than Ayton, has a higher free throw rate than any player in the top 10 (including Ayton), and did all of this stuck on a Duke team that had terrible spacing issues.
About his length, I'm gonna add a few thoughts. He has better or comparable wingspan (with similar or greater height) than Horford, Griffin, Gordon, Anthony, Randle, Kuzma, Markannen, Saric, Portis, Morris, Olynyk, Kaminsky, Johnson, Collins, and Lyles. That's 15 of the top 30 scoring power forwards this year in the NBA. He also has better or comparable wingspan than Love, Kanter, Sabonis, Powell, Plumlee, or Zeller. That's 6 of the top 32 scoring centers this last year.
It's not that wingpsan doesn't matter -- it definitely helps. It's just that it is pretty overblown. What matters is feel and skill. Bagley has both, and I'd suggest he has more than any other big man prospect in this draft.