The 2017 NBA Draft had two of the most talked about players in the first picks.
Point guards Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball were the first two picks in the Draft. Many are wondering if they will live up to all the hype., as they are being compared to players like Jason Kidd and Russell Westbrook. In order to do this, Ball and Fultz have to be analyzed in how they can play an NBA game.
First, let’s look at Fultz. He was truly a dynamic player at Washington, even though the team only won nine games. However, Fultz was the marquee event at these games due to what he did while playing. During his freshman year at the University of Washington, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists.
Now, let’s look at Ball. Ball’s freshman year at UCLA was very exciting as well. The difference between Fultz’s and Ball’s careers, however, was that UCLA actually went to March Madness. During his tenure at UCLA, Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 7.6 assists.
But how will these two do in their first year in the NBA? It’s very hard to tell since both players only played one year of college basketball. However, players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant didn’t even go to college to play, so when he was drafted it was hard to tell as well. Statistically speaking, Fultz is the better player than Ball, averaging more points and assists. Ball, on, the other hand, made the team around him better, as UCLA went to March Madness due in large part to his presence on the team. But will this translate well to a Laker team which seems to be rebuilding? And will Fultz’s exciting play translate well on a Sixers team that features Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons?
I believe that in the first year, Fultz will have more success due to the players that are going to be around him. Ball will still have success, but he is already being declared as the bonafide leader of the Lakers, even though he hasn’t played one game with them yet.