Last night we witnessed every hoop phenom dreams coming true. In addition, we shall all get to find out what franchise did their homework and who just pulled a “half sleep Phil Jackson” move during draft evaluation.
As the 76ers was able to come up with a major deal to acquire the first overall pick, we all know that more than likely, it will be Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz. But it’s from picks 2-60 that all fans will keep their eye on as this years draft has the makings to dictate how exciting the 2017 NBA off-season will be. The Source Sports will be tuning to provide full coverage of each pick from each team.
As expected, the first overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft is University of Washington’s freshman guard Markelle Fultz. Fultz is an dynamic scorer who averaged 23.2 PPG for the Huskies. His all around scoring ability has been compared to Houston Rockets franchise guard James Harden. Expect the Maryland bred point guard be a major asset into the “trust the process” movement Joel Embiid has started as he rounds out a core of young talents as he joins Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
Magic Johnson decided to stay home and drafted Lonzo Ball from out of UCLA with the #2 pick. Some may say this pick can be controversial as scouts and experts believed that with Lonzo comes a package deal being his loud, obnoxious, highly opinionated father, LaVar. But don’t get it twisted ladies and gents, Ball can Ball hard on the court. Leading his Bruins to an Sweet 16 appearance, Lonzo averaged 14.6 points and 7.0 assists a game. Don’t be surprised you get comparisons to Jason Kidd when you see Lonzo hoops as his height, athleticism and high basketball IQ made him an can’t missed prospect. Big Baller Brand is in takeover mode in tinseltown.
The Boston Celtics made an impressive pick by selecting Jayson Tatum from Duke University. The freshman sensation averaged 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds for the ACC powerhouse. An 3rd team All-ACC selectee, Tatum proves his worth during the latter stretch of the season as he put up huge numbers during the ACC and NCAA tournament. An excellent isolation scorer, Tatum will take major scoring loads off of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Al Horford during Boston’s 2nd attempt to dethrone Cleveland as the kings of the east.
The Phoenix Suns selected Josh Jackson from Kansas University. The San Diego native is an 2nd team All-American who averaged 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds for an Kansas squad who had an incredible season cut short in the NCAA tournament. Long and athletic, Jackson will bring speed and athleticism to an promising young Suns squad who will give team fits come 2nd half of the NBA season.
The Sacramento Kings decided to select a guard with the 5th pick as they chose De’Aaron Fox out of Kentucky. An sensational quick, elusive playmaking guard, Fox averaged 16.7 points and 4.6 assist a night for Coach Cal. He had some seriously impressive performances for the Wildcats, one included an 39 point game against Ball’s UCLA Bruins. Experts and scouts compares his game to Orlando Magic’s guard Elfrid Payton but Fox will show fans why he is one of the most exciting guards in this class.
The Orlando Magic decided to stay home and drafted an Seminole. Florida State’s own Jonathan Isaac was drafted with the 6th pick. The 6 foot 11 forward averaged 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in his lone season for the Seminoles. An All-ACC Freshman First Team selectee, the Magic may landed a gem in this pick as Isaac possess a freakish 9’0.5” standing wing span. With a quick first step and a solid outside shooter, Isaac could be transformed into a poor man’s Kevin Durant depending how Orlando is attempt to utilize his talents.
The Minnesota Timberwolves decided to their draft rights of the 7th pick to the Chicago Bulls. So Minnesota decided to drafted Lauri Markkanen from the Arizona Wildcats and send him with Kris Dunn for superstar Jimmy Butler. But what the Timberwolves gave up is an outstanding rebounder and an physical center who loves to battle in the post. Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 9.0 assists for the Wildcats which went as far as the Sweet 16. An outstanding outside shooter, Markkanen will help take the load off of Nikola Mirotic as the stretch forward that opens up the defense with their long range bombs.
Already under a lot of scrutiny, Phil Jackson has decided to follow the trend that the Knicks been known for around this time of the year. With the 8th pick, they selected Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, an explosive slashing point guard who possess an wingspan of 7ft, Ntilikina is an guard who can be an perfect fit to Phil’s signature triangle offense. Expect to see a lot of Ntilikina out there to run the show if Rose’s injury prone ways continues to keep him sidelined.
The Dallas Mavericks selected Dennis Smith Jr. from out of NC State with the 9th pick. Mark Cuban’s latest selection is arguably the most explosive guard in this draft class. Coming out of the same town as J. Cole, the ACC Rookie Of The Year went on an tear; averaging 18.1 points, and 6.2 assists a game for the Wolfpack. An shifty, crafty guard who got the explosiveness and athletic ability to finish strong at the rim, Dennis will have an solid rookie campaign for an struggle Dallas squad looking for an upstart player like Dennis to find an identity.
The Portland Trailblazers selected center Zach Collins from out of Gonzaga University. His name didn’t ring bells til his outstanding performances in the NCAA tournament. In fact, Collins dropped 14 points while grabbing 13 rebounds, hitting some clutch three pointers en route to another national championship appearance for the Zags. Zach possess the ability to be an great mobile forward who can run the floor, knock down threes when you need them and protect the rim at all costs. This pick is a very solid pick for Sacramento; as they became owner to the rights of Collins and Portland’s #20th pick in the draft. No Boogie, no problem. Zach is the man to help turn things around in Sac town.
Michael Jordan‘s latest pick was a interesting one that may bring even more excitement to Charlotte. Fresh from landing All Star center Dwight Howard, the Hornets used their 11th pick to draft Malik Monk out of Kentucky University. Monk is an guard who can score at will as he was able to set the Kentucky freshman single game scoring record for most points scored in a game against eventual national champs UNC. With a solid mid range and excellent feel to the game, Malik can provide major back court help for Kemba Walker as Charlotte are planning to up the anti in the aspect of controlling the tempo of the game. If you would have to compare Malik’s game, the most reasonable similarity you can go with is Houston Rockets Lou Williams. Undersized but crafty scoring guards that will give defenses fits.