Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

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Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by bobheckler on Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:16 am

http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2017/06/boston_celtics_draft_2017_why.html



Boston Celtics Draft 2017: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others


Updated June 16, 2017
Posted June 16, 2017







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In case you missed it (and if you did, are you sure you’re on the right blog?), the Boston Celtics have the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft courtesy of the Brooklyn Nets, with an opportunity to draft Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Fultz is widely considered the best prospect in this class, a transcendent point-guard talent with one of the most complete offensive games in recent memory.
Despite the noise recently, the Celtics will very likely call Fultz’s name on Thursday. So rather than breaking down a bunch of players Danny Ainge isn’t likely to draft, here’s a look at how some of the top prospects might fit in Boston … and why Fultz is better.    



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Lonzo Ball, UCLA
THE CASE

While Fultz is a complete offensive player, Ball is an intriguing talent. It’s not every draft in which you can select someone with the potential to be the absolute best at a certain skill, and Ball could wind up being the best passer in the NBA. Add to that his deep 3-point range and hyper-efficient scoring in college, and it’s easy to see why teams high in the lottery have fallen in love with Ball’s game.    

Why Fultz Is Better
As undeniably talented as Ball is, Fultz just doesn’t have any holes in his game. While Ball is a great passer, Fultz is a slightly-less-great-but-still-pretty-darn-great passer himself. Meanwhile, his traditional point-guard skills — pick-and-roll offense, finishing around the rim, shooting off the dribble — are at a much higher level. Ball can help bring a team together, but Fultz can be the cornerstone of a team himself. I’m not sure which is more rare, but the latter seems more valuable.



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Josh Jackson, Kansas
The Case

Look, I — just like the unnamed NBA GM in this report — can also spot the Josh-Jackson-to-Boston trope waiting to unfold. He’s athletic! Tough! Competitive! Versatile! He might not be able to shoot! He’s what Danny Ainge often loves, and if the Celtics hadn’t won the lottery, it would certainly seem plausible that they would take him.

Why Fultz Is Better
But, you know, the Celtics won the lottery. The holes in Jackson’s game won’t prevent him from becoming a productive starter at absolute worst, but Fultz’s floor and ceiling are both higher than Jackson’s. That’s not a guarantee that Fultz becomes better, but the odds are certainly good that he will. The Celtics know this.



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Jayson Tatum, Duke
The Case

If you close one eye and look at Tatum, you can see a future NBA star — a versatile scorer who can create from three different levels, get to the basket, get to the free-throw line and potentially stretch the floor as a positionless forward. Close the other eye, and you could see him disappointing — a wing who never develops a reliable 3-point shot and scores inefficiently, not unlike Rudy Gay.
Depending on which eye Ainge uses to evaluate Tatum, there certainly could have been some momentum toward him had the Celtics not won the lottery.

Why Fultz Is Better
A few reasons. First, Fultz’s offensive game is much more complete — he is a better shooter and much better at getting his teammates involved. Second, if the Celtics are looking for their guard of the future, this is a good draft in which to do acquire him — next season’s point guards aren’t as strong as the wings, making Tatum a tougher sell at No. 1. Tatum is a very good prospect, and he could be a 20+ point-per-game player in the NBA, but his potential isn’t as freakishly high as Fultz’s.


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De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky
The Case

Similar to the case for Jackson, the Fox-to-Boston trope is certainly there. He’s a good defender, a freak athlete, and a good teammate/passer with a super competitive streak … and he can’t shoot 3-pointers at all. Add to that his status as a point guard and the idea that Ainge loves point guards, and he certainly looks like a Celtics-type of prospect.


Why Fultz Is Better
Fultz fills every gap in Fox’s game. Whereas Fox can’t shoot, Fultz hit 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers and showed he can score off the dribble. Fox is rail-thin. Fultz looks like he has been subsisting on a diet of barbells and 45-pound plates since Washington’s season came to an end. Fultz still needs to show he can play NBA defense (Fox almost certainly will be able to), but in this case, the offensive potential thoroughly trumps the defense.


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Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
The Case

Isaac looks like he will be an elite role player — the type of defender that every GM covets, and the type of offensive threat that thrives when he is surrounded by stars. Stevens would love the way Isaac competes defensively, with his long arms, quick choppy feet and excellent versatility. He could be the type of defensive prospect who guards 1-5 on switches, and that has a ton of value in today's game.

Why Fultz Is Better
Once again, the offense is just simply too good. Isaac’s potential as an elite role player doesn’t surpass Fultz’s potential as a superstar. That’s just not how getting the No. 1 overall pick works.






Malik Monk, Kentucky
The Case

Malik Monk can shoot the absolute heck out of the basketball.

Why Fultz Is Better
Fultz can do that too, and also a lot of other really good things — passing, running an offense, having long arms etc. — that Monk likely won’t be able to do during his career.


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Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
The Case

Lauri Markkanen can shoot the absolute heck out of the ball.

Why Fultz Is Better
Again, because he can do a bunch of other things that aren't shoot.



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Dennis Smith, N.C. State
The Case

The list of players with ceilings comparable to Fultz in this draft is very low, but Smith might make the cut. With his athleticism and 3-point shooting, the star potential is there, especially given the bad team he played for in college and the fact that he was that athletic coming off an ACL tear.

Why Fultz Is Better
The chances of Fultz achieving his ceiling — or at least something close to it — are a whole lot better than the chances of Smith achieving his. Regardless of how high you are on Smith (and, as Jay King will tell you, I am sky-high on him), that needs to be carefully considered and almost certainly vaults Fultz higher.


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Paul George, Indiana/Jimmy Butler, Chicago
The Case

Paul George is a superstar right now. Jimmy Butler is a superstar right now. Markelle Fultz has a whole lot of potential, but he has played exactly as many NBA minutes as you have. You know, unless you are Paul George or Jimmy Butler.

Why Fultz Is Better (for the Celtics)
By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about these guys, but just to pull the old, tired talking points out to cover our bases: It makes very little sense for the Celtics to trade a future stud like Fultz to get better in the short term, only to get smoked in the Finals by the Warriors.

It’s not punting, exactly, it’s more maneuvering the very good assets wisely.



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Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
The Case

Davis is crazy talented, crazy young, and under contract for quite some time.  
 
Why Fultz Is Better (for the Celtics)
In this case, he isn’t. But the Pelicans have team control over Davis and will want to see if they can build around him before they look to move him. Don’t expect to see Anthony Davis playing for the Celtics next season.


But the consolation prize? Fultz probably will be. That’s one heck of a consolation prize.



bob


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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by red16russ11 on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:25 am

Great article. I'm convinced more now than I was before. Time to go to the prediction thread.....lol
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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by red16russ11 on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:25 am

Great article. I'm convinced more now than I was before. Time to go to the prediction thread.....lol
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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by bobheckler on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:30 am

red16russ11 wrote:Great article.   I'm convinced more now than I was before.  Time to go to the prediction thread.....lol



Red,

While he doesn't go into great depth on each option this might be the first time someone has put them all in one article, doing a comparison of Fultz vs the field.

Differences of opinion will still exist (for example, I don't think this or anything else will move the needle for Rmbone) but at least it's all right here in front of us at once.


bob


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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by red16russ11 on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:41 am

bobheckler wrote:
red16russ11 wrote:Great article.   I'm convinced more now than I was before.  Time to go to the prediction thread.....lol



Red,

While he doesn't go into great depth on each option this might be the first time someone has put them all in one article, doing a comparison of Fultz vs the field.

Differences of opinion will still exist (for example, I don't think this or anything else will move the needle for Rmbone) but at least it's all right here in front of us at once.


bob


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bob,
Unless he is "wowed" with an offer, I would say this. We have enough defenders, we need scorers. Fultz appears to be an elite scorer, a talent needed to compete against the CLE and GSW's of the world. Take the kid, unless he's "wowed", and don't look back. Rmbone will get used to it......lol
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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

Post by kdp59 on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:45 am

nice piece, I hope if he's Danny's pick he turns out to be everything the writer expects.

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Re: Why Markelle Fultz makes more sense than Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, others

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