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Will any Sun Devils hear their names called in the NBA Draft?


With the NBA Draft coming up tonight, the Sun Devils have three players who are eligible to be selected. Will we hear any of their names called? Here is some in-depth analysis of the three Sun Devils and their current projections:

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Marcus Bagley

Bagley’s three years with Arizona State came to a rough end after off-the-court drama after only two games were played last season. However, he might be the Sun Devil with the best chance to hear his name tonight.

The 21-year-old Bagley kept his name in the NBA Draft as an early entrant, and he was only the only Sun Devil to stay in the draft prematurely after Frankie Collins opted out of the draft process. Despite not getting a combine invite, he is currently on some draft boards as a late-second round pick, but if not he will likely get a summer league opportunity or sign as an undrafted free agent somewhere.

Arizona State’s Marcus Bagley to remain in NBA Draft

From previous article:

“Bagley was a top-30 recruit coming out of high school in 2020. He also declared for the 2021 NBA Draft after his freshman year when he started 11 of the 12 games he played in, averaging 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. Draft projections had him as a late first round or second round pick.

However, he ended up coming back to ASU, as he loved Tempe and Bobby Hurley’s system. He looked to improve his stock and solidify his legacy at the school where his grandfather, “Jumpin’” Joe Caldwell, starred.

Bagley scored 12 and 18 points in the team’s first two games of the 2021-22 season, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game.”

After saying in the offseason that he wanted to be “consistently available” this past season, Bagley left the program after an altercation with Bobby Hurley (see more in article above).

Across the 17 games Bagley did play for ASU, he averaged 10.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG and 1.6 TOPG on splits of 38/35/69.

Bagley certainly has the talent to play well at a high level, as he is listed at 6-foot-8 and 217 pounds and can score on all three levels. He is an above-average defender and rebounder, as well as a capable playmaker. He has all the tools to succeed in terms of talent, but his injury and behavior concerns will likely deter teams from selecting him.

If he does get a shot in the NBA, he will play alongside or against his brother Marvin Bagley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and current Detroit Piston forward.

The reported teams that Bagley has worked out for are the Hawks, Hornets and Pacers.

In the pre-draft interview with the Pacers above, Bagley says he has “matured a little bit off the court especially after this past year. It was a tough time, so I learned a lot about myself off the court and, ultimately, it helped me on the court. So, I’m just taking it day-by-day just trying to become a better all-around basketball player and let the cards fall where they may.”

If he is past all of the off-the-court issues, Bagley certainly has a chance to make a name for himself and stand out amongst his peers given an opportunity. He posted on his Instagram story a few days ago that he was still a “Sun Devil for life.”

Desmond Cambridge Jr.

The player best known for the “Miracle at McKale” showed a lot of promise in his one season with ASU. Whether it was enough to get drafted into the NBA or not will be seen, but I would expect Desmond Cambridge Jr. to at least land a summer league gig. If he stays in the NBA, he could definitely make the most out of playing in the G-League. 

The 24-year-old Cambridge took over Bagley’s starting job after he left the program. In his last season of college eligibility, Cambridge led the Sun Devils in scoring (13.6 points per game) and steals (1.7 per game) in 34 games played. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.5 blocks and 1.4 turnovers. His shooting splits were 39/32/83.

Before Arizona State, Cambridge, listed at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, played two seasons at Nevada after starting his career at Brown. Through five collegiate seasons played, Cambridge appeared in 147 games, starting 144 of them. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, one block and 1.7 turnovers on 40/34/79 splits for his college career.

Though his shot selection was questionable, he proved to be a microwave on offense and capable of making any type of shot no matter the difficulty. He also impressed on the defensive end for ASU, as is evidenced by his steals average.

Cambridge was not invited to the combine, but played in one of the top pre-draft tournaments, the Portsmouth Invitational, where he worked to show off that he could not only score, but be a playmaker.

The reported teams that Cambridge has worked out for are the Suns and Hornets. Some boards have him as a late-second pound pick, and despite his impressive stats, his age and inconsistent shooting are the biggest question marks for Cambridge entering the draft.

Ahead of the draft, Cambridge declared on his Twitter last month “I still haven’t played my best basketball…”

If Cambridge does get a shot in the NBA or summer league, many Sun Devil fans will be tuned in to see where his career takes him, as he had arguably the greatest shot in ASU basketball history.

Luther Muhammad 

Luther Muhammad is the only other Sun Devil who exhausted all of his college eligibility after last season. I would expect him to sign a G-League or overseas if he continues to pursue a basketball career.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Muhammad transferred to Arizona State in 2021 after being a consistent starter with Ohio State from 2018-2020. He did not have as big of a role with the Sun Devils, but started 11 games out of 30 played in 2021-22. However, he only averaged 10 minutes a game last season for ASU, averaging 3.7 points, one rebound, 0.4 assists and 0.3 steals on 37/21/86 splits.

For his career, Muhammad played in 130 career games (67 starts) and averaged 5.8 points, 2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.8 steals on 36/30/81 splits.

Coming out of high school from Hudson Catholic in Jersey City, NJ in 2018, Muhammad was rated as a four-star prospect in the 247 Sports composite ratings, the No. 79 overall player in his class and the No. 14 shooting guard.

Muhammad, who turned 24 on June 17, showed his ability to control the pace of the game in the minutes he played, usually guarding the other team’s best player defensively. On offense, he was very shifty with the ball, impressing multiple times with his ball-handling skills, which were a staple for him in high school.

Muhammad took a lot of sacrifices for ASU and was unfortunately on the short end of the stick in terms of his minutes played his senior year because of the depth the Sun Devils had at the guard position. His contributions should not be overlooked, and he could very well end up getting a chance somewhere.

Muhammad attempted to enter the transfer portal after this season, but was denied as he had no remaining college eligibility. He has no reported pre-draft workouts.

Other ASU NBA Draft Notes

  • In 2021, Josh Christopher was the last Sun Devil selected in the NBA Draft. He was picked 24th overall by the Houston Rockets, the team he still plays for.
  • Since James Harden was drafted in 2009, Carrick Felix (2013, Round 2, Pick 33) and Christopher are the only Sun Devils who have heard their names called in the NBA Draft.
  • After one season with ASU, Lu Dort went undrafted in 2019, but has made the most of his opportunity in the NBA, as he signed a 5-year, $82.5 million contract with the Thunder last offseason.
  • ASU has a reported 43 players ever drafted into the NBA, according to Real GM.

Footprint Center to play host to ASU, Arizona men’s and women’s teams on Dec. 20

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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