The prize of the 2017 NBA Draft is Washington Huskies point guard Markelle Fultz.
It’s early, sure, and Lonzo Ball of UCLA could make it a two-way competition for the top pick, but Fultz is the clear leader at the moment.
Fultz is dominating the competition, particularly at the offensive end of the floor. He’s not a bad shooter, but he’s most effective when driving to the basket. It helps when you’re 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and have great upper body strength.
Fultz is averaging 23.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game for Washington. He’s scored 20 or more points in 14 of the Huskies’ 19 games, and he’s hit the 30-point mark in three straight. Fultz is a pretty good playmaker, too, and effectively runs the pick-and-roll.
The Washington star is the type of well-rounded player who can enter the pros and make an immediate impact.
Here’s our third NBA mock draft of the season (draft order based on standings as of Jan. 24).
1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
3. Miami Heat: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
5. Dallas Mavericks: Jonathan Isaac, PF, FSU
6. Philadelphia 76ers: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
8. Sacramento Kings: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
9. Orlando Magic: Harry Giles III, PF, Duke
10. New Orleans Pelicans: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Edrice Adebayo, C, Kentucky
12. Denver Nuggets: Lauri Markkanen, C, Arizona
13. New York Knicks: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
14. Detroit Pistons: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
15. Milwaukee Bucks: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
16. Chicago Bulls: Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M
17. Indiana Pacers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California
18. Charlotte Hornets: Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany
19. Washington Wizards: Jonathan Motley, PF, Baylor
20. Memphis Grizzlies: Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, SF, Australian League
22. Atlanta Hawks: Justin Paton, C, Creighton
23. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics): Hamidou Diallo, Prep School
24. Utah Jazz: Marques Bolden, C, Duke
25. Toronto Raptors: Omer Yurtseven, C, NC State
26. Los Angeles Clippers: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
27. Cleveland Cavaliers: Josh Hart, SG, Villanova
28. Houston Rockets: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson
29. San Antonio Spurs: Kostja Mushidi, SG, Germany
30. Golden State Warriors: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
Thumbnail photo via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images
Jan 14, 2017; Stanford, CA, USA; Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (20) signals a play against the Stanford Cardinal in the second half at Maples Pavilion. Stanford won 76-69. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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