NBA Draft

Markelle Fultz

Scouting Report

For a player who recently turned 19, Fultz has a game wise beyond his years. He's a do-everything point guard who is a terrific decision-maker with an uncommonly vast repertoire of moves and passing skills for such a young player, able to create his own shot just as easily as set up a teammate for a good one. It seems all but a given Fultz will go No. 1 overall to Philadelphia. Compared by some to James Harden, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds in his only season for a Washington team which was among the worst in the nation. His inability to elevate the Huskies, who went 9-22, is one minor concern about Fultz as he sometimes appeared lackadaisical or uncaring on the court - particularly at the defensive end. Moving to the pros will be a gigantic step up in the talent surrounding him, so the assist numbers could easily increase as he's flagged by better shooters and given more open space. Yet, Fultz doesn't need much room with which to work because he can drive by nearly anyone with a wide array of moves but also threads the needle with adept passing skills. He can stop on a dime to hit pull-up jumpers, use a deadly cross-over to penetrate or fire a bounce pass to the wing if a teammate is open. Fultz is no slouch from the 3-point line himself, burying a team-best 41.3 percent of his attempts, but he does need to work on his free-throw shooting after hitting just 64.9 percent. Another area in which he must improve is taking care of the ball as he'll sometimes get too cute with his passes and end up with unnecessary turnovers. With a 6-foot-10 wingspan, quick feet and great leaping ability, Fultz has the potential to be a terrific defensive player if the effort is there. He's already good at getting his hand into passing lanes, having averaged 1.6 steals, and he's quick off his feet so opposing guards have to be wary of his long arms getting in the way of their shot attempts. The third-team AP All-American sat out six of Washington's final eight games because of knee soreness, though some wondered whether that was more a way to just protect a superstar from having to play for a team going nowhere. Fultz is clearly going places, considered by some to be the best point guard draft prospect since Kyrie Irving.


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