2017 NBA Draft: Top Point Guard Prospects

The 2017 NBA draft could potentially field one of the best point guard crop in recent years. It’s five months before the draft but it’s never too early to evaluate talent.

2017 NBA Draft: Top Point Guard Prospects

5. De’Aaron Fox – 6’3″, Kentucky, Freshman

Kentucky’s prized recruit, Fox has shown that he is more than ready for college basketball.

Strengths: The athletic point guard has shown flashes of star potential. He has the type of speed and quickness that can get him to any spot on the floor. He has also shown that his court vision can become a weapon in the pros (6.7 apg). Great body control combined with solid handles allows him to easily break a college press.

Weaknesses: His jumpshot remains a big question mark (.129% from 3pt). Another concern is his frame, at 175 he’ll get bullied physically in the NBA. He also needs to limit his turnovers (2.4 per game) but that will come along if he starts playing under control.

4. Frank Ntilikina – 6’5″, France, 18 years old

The last couple of years have seen a handful of international prospects soaring through the board. And this year one of those prospects could be Ntilikina.

Strengths: Standing at 6’5″ with a 6’11” wingspan, it’s not hard to see why he’s highly touted. He is an excellent passer that works well in the pick and roll. At a young age he can already dictate the pace of the game. He is also a great defender, as his length helps him on that end of the court.

Weaknesses: Like Fox, he needs to add a little more muscle (190 lbs) which can also help finishing around the rim. A good shooter with consistency issues mostly because of his odd release. He is a little too quiet for a point guard and a bit too unselfish at times.

3. Dennis Smith – 6’2″, North Carolina State, Freshman

The Wolfpack star point guard has already shown that he belongs in the NBA. With his skillset he might have an easy time adjusting to the next level.

Strengths: An explosive guard with an elite level of athleticism, Smith has shown that he plays above the rim. Like the other two listed before him, he is more than a willing passer (6.4 apg). His ball handling allows him to get anywhere on the floor. Smith plays well in an isolation situation and is brilliant in the open court. He has a strong body that he skillfully uses to finish with contact.

Weaknesses: Smith is not as dedicated defensively, and he tends to gamble with steals. He is a decent shooter, but needs to be more consistent. His mid-range game tends to rely on his floaters and runners.

2. Lonzo Ball – 6’6″, UCLA, Freshman

Lonzo Ball was one of the well-known freshman entering this year’s college season. An internet sensation along with his brothers at Chino Hills Highschool.

Strengths: Ball has great size and length for a point guard. He is arguably the best passer listed here (8.0 apg). Ball has great court vision and play making ability. He is a great ball handler that thrives in transition. A standout athlete, he adds good shooting range to be a deadly scorer. Ball is a great rebounder on both ends of the floor. He can move his feet well defensively and has great anticipation for blocks and steals.

Weaknesses: While he has shown that he can knock down jumpshots, Ball has an unorthodox shooting form. He will also need to add more muscle if he wants to succeed in the NBA.

  1. Markelle Fultz – 6’4″, Washington, Freshman

Right now Fultz is the consensus number one prospect in the draft. He fits the mold of the modern point guard which is a score first guard that can do a little bit of everything.

Strengths: He is a combo guard with the ideal size and length. His body is already that of an NBA player (6’4″ 190 lbs). He is arguably the best scoring point guard in the college ranks (22.1 ppg). He has a great jumpshot with textbook mechanics (43.5 3pt%). Fultz has great slashing ability and can move well without the ball. He can get anywhere with the ball and can get a shot off the dribble. He doesn’t avoid contact instead he always seeks for one especially in transition (6.1 fta).

Fultz has great body control when finishing above the rim. He is also a good passer with decent court vision (6.4 apg). Fultz has very good rebounding mechanics for a guard (5.9 rpg). He is also a willing defender (1.3 bpg, 1.7 spg) which is a great sign for a young player. Fultz plays with confidence and has a professional demeanor.

Weaknesses: He needs to be more consistent with his jumpshot as he looks shaky at times. He needs to add a move in the lane because athletes in the NBA won’t allow him to easily finish above the rim. Fultz will need to be more vocal as a leader.

 

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