With the 2016-17 NBA regular season almost over, the focus for many teams in the league will shift over to the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. This class is believed to be one of the more loaded ones, and the guy atop many people’s draft boards is Washington guard Markelle Fultz.
Most have Fultz neck-and-neck with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball as the top prospect in this draft class with Kansas’ Josh Jackson not far behind. Unlike Ball and Jackson however, Fultz did not experience team success as Washington finished only 9-22 and did not make the NCAA Tournament.
Despite that Fultz remains the top prospect to many, including himself as he told Jordan Hall of CSNPhilly.com:
“No doubt, no doubt,” Fultz said. “I believe I’m going to be the No. 1 pick, I think I’ve put enough work in to do that.”
Fultz has all of the tools to be a star in the NBA. He has an NBA-ready body at 6’4 with a 6’10 wingspan and weighing nearly 200 pounds. He is quick, strong, can handle the ball, and shoot from the perimeter. He also has the potential to be a good defender as well.
Some worry about his ability to really lift his team as Washington’s terrible record is concerning to some, but Fultz’s skills and work ethic are likely to override that. Him believing that he should be the top pick is expected. He should believe in himself, just like Ball believes the same thing for himself. Things won’t be settled until the draft takes place on June 22.
In his lone season at Washington, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three-point range.