2017 NBA Draft: Cheat Sheet
I’m a long time college basketball junkie and this draft has the chance to have more than one superstar in it. It feels like fans are clearly on one side or the other, Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball. Living on theWest coast this past year, watching the Pac12 Conference very closely, Lonzo Ball wowed me. The way the NBA style is trending, Ball fits the new style of professional basketball perfectly. But the way it sounds, the Celtics like Fultz and the Lakers like Ball. As a Celtics fan, I’ll be forced to root for Fultz over Ball. As a basketball critic, I favor Lonzo Ball or even De’Aaron Fox heavily. I just hope the Celtics don’t fumble away this great opportunity. If the Lakers are in the NBA Finals before the Celtics specifically because of this draft, I’ll be sick to my stomach.
For those of you who aren’t college basketball junkies, here’s an insider look at some of this year’s draft:
LONZO BALL, PG- Celtics Fit: A+ Model: Jason Kidd/ Reggie Miller Hybrid
Six foot six inch point guards don’t grow off trees. Ball can play with smaller guards with his size and style. He adds length and play making on offense, Reggie Miller like range. Amazing court vision, great touch on his passes and shots around the rim. All options are open on his pick and roll and he’s a step or two ahead of everyone else, his best quality. He must be more aggressive going to the rim and needs to take things more personal on the court. One negative that seems to be growing and growing is the father factor. His dad is a pain in the ass and teams have to factor that in when they make their decision on him. If the Lakers get their hands on him it will be tough to root against him, I’ll still do it though.
MARKELLE FULTZ, PG- Celtics Fit: B+ Model: Stephon Marbury
Watched this guy live, consistent shooter, can make all the NBA shots, looks the part. Lacks defensive effort, emotionless, knee Injury concerns, not a good communicator on defense, (9-22 team record, sorry I hold that against him)
JOSH JACKSON, PF/ SF- Celtics Fit: A- Model: Larry Johnson
This player gives you more inside scoring at his position, an upgrade over Crowder and Brown. Teams can play him at both forward positions. Plays with his back to the basket, can back you down and hit jumpers. More consistent at 3 point shots as season went on, vicious shot blocker especially on help defense
DeAaron Fox , Kentucky ,PG- Celtics Fit: A Model: John Wall
Great fit, fastest end to end dribbler in the draft. Ferocious and relentless to the basket, plays with intensity on both ends. Holds the ball slightly less than Wall, which I love. Not the best long range shooter but doesn’t have a conscious.
Malik Monk, Kentucky, SG- Celtics Fit: A Model: Allan Houston
Best all-around scorer in the draft, a spot up shooter and can come off screens similar to what Klay Thompson does. Can put up 40 any given night but can give you 10 on the next. Take this player in a second, better young guard than anyone the Celtics have.
Justin Patton, Creighton, C- Celtics Fit: A+ Model: Clifford Robinson
May take a year for this player to develop but Patton is a versatile Center that can hit jumpers. Great instincts in the paint, good body control, can pass out of the post and even put the ball on the floor and drive from the top of the key. I think he would be a great fit in a Celtics system that allows their big men to shoot from outside. Big time upgrade over Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynik, Zeller, etc. Needs to gain some muscle and teams need to be patient with him.
Edrice “BAM” Adebayo, Kentucky, C/PF – Celtics Fit: B Model: Dwight Howard
Big and powerful, lots of muscle, pushes people around in the paint. Great intensity and his dunks have an edge to them. He has old school, low post moves with a nice hook shot. Sometimes picks up too many offensive fouls, he’s 6’9’’ and zero outside shooting touch.
TJ Leaf , UCLA, PF- Celtics Fit: A- Model: Tom Gugliotta
Excellent low post skills, active rebounder and great on tip ins. Can shoot fade away jumpers, plays back to the basket and great in the pick and roll game. Oh, he can shoot 3’s in rhythm like Gugliotta and Laettner. Can be muscled around a bit on the boards, I’d like him to have a relentless edge to him.
Justin Jackson, North Carolina, SF- Celtics Fit: B+ Model: Richard Hamilton
I know he had a terrible shooting day in the championship game but I still believe in him. He’s great at coming off of screens, streaky shooter. Plays tall, and shoots over everyone. Play him at guard or forward, good rebounder and solid man to man defense. Had a great career at UNC, he should fall in draft with the bad championship game performance.
Lauri Markannen, Arizona, PF/SF: Skilled shooter and versatile. Detlef Schrempf type
Dillon Brooks, Oregon, SG: Clutch shooter, Paul Pierce type moves to the basket
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue, C: Intimidating presence, Zach Randolph type
Jason Hart, Villanova, SG: Veteran, makes the right play, Danny Green type, perfect San Antonio Spur
Luke Kennard, Duke, SG: Snipe Shooter, JJ Redick off screens but should be better off the dribble.
Sleeper: Juwan Evans, Oklahoma St. PG: A smooth dribbler, very good pull up shot, pure scoring point guard, Isaiah Thomas type.