Analysts have projected Markelle Fultz as the top pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He’s arguably the most gifted player in all of collegiate basketball, but does that make him an NBA superstar?
There is a lot of uncertainty with Fultz. Without question, he’s shown the ability to play at an NBA level. However, Washington has two wins in PAC-12 play, and while Fultz has done all he can to lead the Huskies, his team isn’t getting the victories.
A losing record for Washington can’t be pinned on Fultz. Without him running the show it’s almost unfathomable to think how bad this team might be. The question I have is, “does he have that leadership ability to take an NBA team to a Championship?”
Despite what the title to this article might suggest, Fultz does indeed have all the tools necessary to be an NBA superstar. The Washington Huskies are a very poor team, despite featuring two outstanding sophomores in David Crisp and Noah Dickerson. Fultz is a jack of all trades, with averages of 23 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
There should be no debate about what kind of player Fultz can be at the NBA level. His leadership shouldn’t be questioned, as he’s without doubt what keeps the Huskies somewhat competitive in games. As mentioned before, could you imagine what this Washington team would be without him? Give Fultz a few years in the league, and he will no doubt be the most talented player, but also the vocal leader of the locker room
So, what kind of player can Fultz be at the NBA level? He’s a leader and an all-around talent that gives you just about every stat. Truthfully, there is only one option, James Harden.
Fultz has been compared to Harden by many draft experts. Those are big shoes to fill for the freshman, but he’s got a lot of similarities to the Rockets guard. Fultz has the size of your ideal NBA guard, with a 6’4 frame. Like Harden, Fultz excels at slashing to the basket and drawing the foul. He’s also able to knock down the three-point shot.
What’s most interesting about Fultz is that he’s a late bloomer. Playing on junior varsity his sophomore year of high school, he’s still not fully grown into his game. This makes any NBA team that drafts him extremely lucky, as there is all this untapped potential they can get out of him.
It’s not the fault of Markelle Fultz that Washington is a bad team. Just because he’s not leading the Huskies to wins doesn’t mean there is no hope at him succeeding in the NBA. Who knows what kind of leader Fultz will be at the NBA level, but if he puts up numbers as good as his freshman season, it might not even matter.
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