De’Aaron Fox May Just be the Best Draft Prospect of 2017
A couple of weeks ago, Washington Wizards star John Wall came out and said De’Aaron Fox is the best player in the 2017 NBA Draft – a comment many immediately laughed off.
De’Aaron Fox, the best player in the draft? Over Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz?
Or how about that Josh Jackson kid from Kansas? He ain’t bad either.
Also, why should it come as any surprise that Wall, a University of Kentucky alum, dubs the 19-year old Kentucky guard as the best NBA prospect of 2017? What would you expect Wall to say?
Whether it was allegiance which has clouded Wall’s decision-making or the purest form objectivity, Fox has not once been mentioned as the best point guard in a class, which carries the likes of Ball, Fultz, and even Dennis Smith. A top-five prospect no doubt, but really? Better than the other top guards in the 2017 class?
The fact remains that everyone is dying to see what happens to the hype machine that has become Lonzo Ball, or if Fultz can live up to the expectation of being named the best player in an overwhelmingly stacked draft. Even a guy like Jayson Tatum, a forward out of Duke University has heard his name float around the first overall pick rumour mill.
And De’Aaron Fox? Well, he is just there. Waiting to hear his name get called in the Top-five. Probably won’t hear it in the top-two. Maybe not even in the top-3. Maybe, the Los Angeles Lakers make the franchise-altering mistake of drafting Ball, the California-bread standout out of Chino Hills, with the second overall pick instead of taking the Kentucky player who torched Lonzo for a career-high 39-points in the NCAA Tournament.
With so many top prospect in one class, the 2017 Draft is a crapshoot, but there are some certainties. One of the being – De’Aaron Fox, the 6’3” explosive point guard out of the University of Kentucky, is the real deal.
So, with that being said, what is Fox really all about? What makes him the best prospect in the 2017 NBA Draft?
Funny enough, Fox is very similar to John Wall. The flash, the flare, the explosiveness, the athleticism, Fox may very well become a slightly better version of a John Wall. With great size and length for the position, Fox may be the most skilled prospect in the draft.
He has a 6’6.5” wingspan and a 8’4” standing reach, numbers very similar to those of the two point guards ahead of him on most, if not all draft boards, but yet, he doesn’t get the same recognition.
He can do everything NBA clubs want from a franchise point guard. Change speeds effectively, push an offense in transition, dictate an offense in general, and defend the other team’s elite point guard. With his lankiness, speed, and first step quickness, Fox can immediately become a solid defender on the NBA level even if it will take his offensive game some time to catch up.
Let’s keep in mind that Fox is only 19 and will not enter adulthood until next December, but the ceiling for this kid is scary high and he hasn’t even reached the surface.
Aside from his agile lower half and his ability to be an absolute blur in the open floor, what’s even more impressive is how mature his skillset really is. A left-handed guard, which already is something that NBA teams will favour towards, Fox has elite quickness, quick hands and great reaction time. Very crafty with the ball, Fox has good court vision and solid passing ability, with a great touch and soft hands.
For someone who plays at 100mph, Fox, even as a prospect has excellent body control, can create his own shot, and break down opposing defenses. Although a streaky shooter for the most part, Fox is a very good mid-range scorer, is capable of hitting the Russell Westbrook vintage pull-up jumper on the run, and has three-point range, projecting to become a solid three-point shooter.
With his athleticism and size, he is also an excellent rebounder for his position and has all the making of becoming a complete player on both ends of the floor.
Against UCLA, no one, not even Lonzo Ball had any answer for Fox defensively, but if UCLA versus Kentucky was the first time anyone has seen Fox play, that performance was no anomaly. Fox is the real deal. He is an electric scorer, a willing and creative passer, a gritty defender, and has the natural instincts and athleticism to eventually elevate himself into an elite NBA player.
On Draft night only one team will be lucky enough to pick the best player in a loaded 2017 class.
That team, will draft De’Aaron Fox.