As per usual, there has been plenty of debate about who should go No. 1 overall later this summer in the NBA Draft. For the most part, however, the discussion has centered around two prospects: Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. Both had stellar seasons, with Fultz putting up 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per night, and shooting over 41 percent from downtown, while Ball lead UCLA to the Sweet 16, and finished the season with averages of 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game, and also shot over 41 percent from deep.
For now, Fultz seems to be the consensus No. 1 pick, but this is an extremely deep and talented draft class, and nothing is certain just quite yet, especially when we haven’t had the lottery yet, which will let us know which teams are picking in what slots. As always, that will have an impact on where certain players get picked, as different teams have different needs.
Apparently, despite Fultz appearing to be the top guy, the lottery results could even impact who goes No. 1 overall. According to Sporting News’ Sean Deveney, Kansas’ Josh Jackson has lately entered the discussion. More from the Sporting News:
Jackson has been getting a lot of buzz as a potential No. 1 lately, especially if a team that doesn’t need a point guard lands with the top pick.
Jackson, the 6-8 swingman from Kansas, was excellent this season, scoring 16.3 points, grabbing 7.3 rebounds and handing out 3 assists a night. Like Fultz and Ball, he also showed a deft touch from outside, knocking down nearly 38 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Right now, the teams with the most likely odds of getting the No. 1 pick, are the Celtics (via the Nets), the Suns, and the Lakers. The Celtics, of course, have Isaiah Thomas, as well as a number of young guards, the Suns have Eric Bledsoe and an emerging Tyler Ulis, and the Lakers have D’Angelo Russell. Still, it’s hard to imagine any of those teams passing on the chance to take Fultz. You can always move other pieces around, but you don’t always have the chance to take a player who seems destined to be a future All-Star.
With so much posturing and constant leaks from both agents and teams once draft season starts to pick up, it’s hard to tell if this is supposed buzz around Jackson as a potential top pick is legitimate. Regardless, Jackson shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called on draft night.