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|Marvin Bagley III has heard just about enough about how Deandre Ayton is the favorite to become the Phoenix Suns‘ choice as the No. 1 pick in this month’s NBA draft.
Bagley thinks he Tarell Basham Jersey , not Ayton, deserves to be at the top of the draft and got a chance to make his case in an individual workout with the Suns on Friday.
”I definitely believe I’m the No. 1 pick,” Bagley said, ”and if the Suns take me I’ll definitely show them why.”
Ayton took it a step further when he worked out for the Suns on Wednesday, saying ”I know I’m going No. 1.” He said that Phoenix would be his only pre-draft workout.
Bagley, on the other hand, said he will work out for the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, the teams with the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively.
”Deandre, he’s going to do what he’s going to do. That’s his plan,” Bagley said. ”All I can do is control what I can control and do what I love to do and just show different teams what I’m capable of doing. I can’t really worry about what other people are doing at this point. This is an important time in my life right now, something I’ve been working toward my whole basketball career.”
Bagley hears all the speculation that Ayton will go No. 1 and said he uses it as motivation.
”It’s disrespectful and I use it as drive every single day,” he said. ”At the end of the day, this is all talk right now. Eventually we’ll have to go on the court and we’ll have to play. That’s where all the talking ends.”
Asked if he would have a ”life-long” chip on his shoulder against the Suns if Phoenix didn’t pick him, Bagley answered, ”I’m a competitive person. You never want to come in last. You always put the work in to be great and to get to that next level. That’s just the type of player that I am. So, to answer the question, yes.”
Fans in Phoenix have known about Bagley for years. He grew up in suburban Chandler, leading his high school to the state championship as a ninth grader. From there, Bagley shifted to other basketball-oriented schools. He and Ayton were even teammates for a season at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Bagley finished his prep career at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California Kemoko Turay Jersey , before his one outstanding season at Duke.
He and Ayton are 19 years old and very big but with different games.
Ayton, 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds, is seen as strictly a center by the Suns. Bagley, 6-11 and 234 pounds, is a power forward who might someday play some at center in the NBA, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said.
So their individual workouts were different.
”We probably had Marvin do a little more ball-handling and a little more perimeter shooting and a little bit less around the basket than Deandre did,” McDonough said.
The Suns plan more workouts with No. 1 candidates this weekend. McDonough didn’t say who would work out when but he mentioned Mohamed Bamba of Texas and Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State as players being considered for the top spot. Another is European sensation Luka Doncic, who is playing professionally in Spain.
”It seems like there are multiple guys who are worthy,” McDonough said. ”Some years, to be honest with you, probably don’t have any guys who deserve it but somebody has to go one.”
Bagley certainly has the credentials. He was the ACC player of the year, averaging 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
He believes he is best in an up-and-down, open-court game.
”Being able to get the ball and go off of rebounds and pushing,” Bagley said. ”There’s a lot more space now than there is in college. Just being able to play in open space and getting out and running. I think that’s where my best is when we’re running and everybody’s not thinking and having fun.”
He said he wants to show NBA teams ”that I’m an overall player.”
”I can do a lot inside and out, offensively and defensively,” Bagley said. ”I just want to be able to have that mindset of coming in and showing everybody a full game, a full package.”
The stunning turnaround by the Jacksonville Jaguars shows best in the NFL standings – and the All-Pro Team.
Rarely do the Jags have members of the elite All-Pro squad. For 2017, they have two: edge rusher Calais Campbell and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
”It’s huge,” Campbell said. ”That’s a big testament to the work we put in. We don’t just show up and perform. We grind day in and day out to be the best. This defense is very special, so I’m glad to see us get some accolades for our hard work.”
Added Ramsey of The Associated Press All-Pro Team announced Friday:
”I can go on and on about corners I respect and I think are really good in the league. But I think (the voters) realize that I cover No. 1s every week, that I’m still putting up high numbers Miles Killebrew Jersey , still playing very well in my role and doing what I have to do.”
What Campbell and Ramsey did was help the Jaguars rank first in pass defense and second overall, earning their first playoff berth since the 2007 season.
One player, Antonio Brown, was the only unanimous choice for All-Pro. The brilliant wide receiver of the Pittsburgh Steelers drew all 50 ballots from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Brown missed the last two-plus games with an ankle injury.
He was among four players to make a fourth All-Pro squad, joining New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly and Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker.
The repeaters from 2016 were Brown; Rams interior defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who got 49 votes, and punter Hekker; and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his third All-Pro team.
In their own turnaround season, the Rams led the way with six All-Pros, including two more specialists: kicker Greg Zuerlein and kick returner Pharoh Cooper. Running back Todd Gurley and left tackle Andrew Whitworth were honored.
”Dang, that’s crazy. It means a lot, honestly,” said Gurley, who likely would have led the league in rushing had he played in LA’s finale. ”It’s a blessing. I’ve got so much respect for everybody in this league, and to be in this position just means so much to me.
”I’ve been following people around the NFL my whole life, and to be considered as an All-Pro, man, God is good, honestly. Honestly.”
Three Steelers joined Brown on the roster: Le’Veon Bell as the flex, interior defensive lineman Cam Heyward, and right guard David DeCastro. No other team had more than two All-Pros Pernell McPhee Jersey , with the stronger NFC getting 18 players and the AFC 10.
Two rookies made it: punt returner Jamal Agnew of Detroit and special teamer Budda Baker of Arizona.
Also chosen: Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson and center Jason Kelce; Panthers left guard Andrew Norwell; Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins; Saints edge rusher Cameron Jordan; Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones; Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith; Detroit defensive back Darius Slay; and Titans safety Kevin Byard.
First-timers made an impression on both sides of the ball, with 15 on the team: Byard, Slay, Rhodes, Jones, Jordan, Ramsey, Campbell, Hopkins, Norwell, Kelce, Johnson, Agnew, Baker, Gurley, and Cooper.
Wagner is on his third All-Pro squad.
”When you get voted for these types of awards,” he said, ”it shows you all the work you do in the offseason, the grinding, all the things you push through … when you get this, when people say this is not AFC Stephen Hauschka Jersey , NFC, this is the league, this is who we deem the best at their position in the league, that says a lot. And you see the guys before you, the things they were able to accomplish, you’ve seen those things and you want those things. It’s part of that mindset of wanting to be great and understanding what comes along with that, and wanting that kind of acknowledgment.”
While making All-Pro has become almost natural for Wagner, Jordan finally got there in his seventh pro season.
”I’m definitely trying to push myself to be better than I was the year previous,” he said. ”I think I had a really good year last year. Of course, sack numbers won’t show that, but in terms of playing the run, in terms of getting after the passer I thought last year was one of my better years (7 1-2 sacks, 17 tackles for loss). So what I wanted to do this year is, of course, push myself to be better than last. That probably only poses the problem of where I go next year. Now I’ve got to shoot for more than what I did this year.”
AP Sports Writers Mark Long, Tim Booth, Brett Martel and Greg Beacham contributed to this report.
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