NBA Draft Profile: Markelle Fultz

markelle fultz 1 NBA Draft Profile: Markelle Fultz
Washington guard Markelle Fultz (20) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Washington 77-66. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Here at SportzEdge, we’re breaking down the NBA Draft prospects like no one else (OK, a lot of other people do this, but still). We’ll have profiles of the top players in this year’s draft, so you can determine which guys you’d like your team to choose, based on 3-minute highlight videos and your boy’s synopsis of their games. (It’s cool–we watch a lot of college hoops). Check it out:

Markelle Fultz

6-4, 195 pounds

Guard

Washington

STRENGTHS: This kid is like a more athletic Damian Lillard. He’s shifty, tough to stay in front of, has NBA moves, speed, excellent command of his dribble, and a reliable jump shot. Fultz shot 47.6% from the field last season and 41.3% from three. He’s a resourceful finisher around the rim, and is reminiscent of Steph Curry at times, where he’ll put up a circus shot around two much taller defenders and consistently get it to go.

Despite being 6-4 (he seems shorter than that), he’s a surprisingly good shot blocker, averaging 1.2 per game. This is mainly because of his terrific bounce and athleticism. Fultz is also blessed with long arms, and like many NBA players, his wingspan may be longer than his height. His arms and lift allow him to get shots off even over taller defenders.

Fultz is seemingly always in control of what he’s doing, and when he wants to pass, he’s shown terrific court vision.

WEAKNESSES: He’s listed as a point guard, but Fultz plays more like a scoring guard. He did average 5.9 assists per game last year, but passing seemed like a last-ditch option for him at times. He also didn’t show an innate gift for running a team and getting the right kinds of looks each time down the court. He’s definitely got a big learning curve coming, going from Washington’s streetball-type offense last year to running NBA sets.

Washington was so bad on defense last year (the Huskies ranked 333rd in the nation) that you almost feel obligated to throw that in here, and there were times when Fultz could have done a better job of communicating and directing the troops on that end of the floor.

BOTTOM LINE: This kid has the game and the physical gifts to become a perennial All-Star in the league. He also considers Lonzo Ball his rival, which automatically makes him likable. If he can figure out how to become more of a pass-first point guard and learn how to run an NBA offense, and if he takes on more of a leadership role on D, he’s got a chance to be a tremendous player. We might lead towards Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, or even Lauri Markkanen (seriously–he’s Porzingis Jr.) at No. 1 overall, but there’s a great chance whoever gets the first pick will take Fultz. He’s that type of talent.

SportzEdge.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s