Last week, 60 fantastic players were drafted into the best basketball league in the world as their dream became a reality. However, what many did not notice was that five of the first nine picks were point guards, including the first two. In what is now a point guard-driven league the NBA may have just inducted its most talented point guard class in history. All five of the point guards selected have superstar potential:
- Dennis Smith Jr.-Dallas Mavericks
Highly acclaimed out of high school, Smith suffered a setback tearing his ACL before his senior year. Nonetheless, he seems to be back to 100% now as evident with his 48 inch vertical demonstrated in pre-draft workouts. Not only is he athletic, but Smith is a play maker. He makes those around him better and can also create his own shot if he needs.
- Frank Ntilikina-New York Knicks
The Frenchman is a little bit of a question mark, but his potential is undeniable. At 6’5” with a 7’ wingspan, Ntilikina’s length is an asset. Not even 19 yet, and groomed in a top club at France, he has time to develop strength and adjust to the NBA, while also coming in with arguably the best experience in the draft. Ntilikina is a young gun whose ceiling could be the highest in the draft.
- De’Aaron Fox-Sacramento Kings
Sacramento reportedly declared they wanted Fox well before the draft and there is plenty of reasons why. For one, Fox is regarded as undoubtedly the quickest player in the draft. His speed along with his court vision allows opens passing lanes for him to play make. He also has solid length at 6’4” with a 6’6 ½” wingspan. His matchups going up against Lonzo Ball head to head last year demonstrate what he is capable of.
- Lonzo Ball-Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball has the tools and potential to become an all-time great. Sure, Lavar Ball tampers people’s perception of Lonzo so much so that he is pervieved as greedy or cocky, but the way 6’ 6” point guard plays on the floor is the opposite. His creativity and preference to make those around him better clarifies his selflessness. Lonzo can score if he needs, but better yet, pass. Many compare his skillset to Jason Kidd, and if his game does transition to the NBA level he could have a superstar-esque career.
- Markelle Fultz-Philadelphia 76ers
With fantastic talent and depth at the point guard position in this draft, the 76ers still traded up to draft Fultz. Although he found himself on an inadequate Washington team that did not even make the NIT, Fultz showcased his capabilities throughout the season. At 6’4” with a 6’9” wingspan, Fultz’ length, agility, and athleticism is difficult to match. Because of these qualities, he excels at getting to the hoop. Fultz’ shot is also regarded as better than all the point guards drafted behind him. Now, with undoubtedly talented players around him such as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Fultz could be lethal.
The 2017 NBA Draft class is a talented and deep one. With 5 point guards in the top 9 picks, all with unique skill sets that result in a high ceiling, it could be the best point guard class of all time-only time will tell.
By Brandon Pollack Photo Credit: NBA.com