NBA Draft Profile: Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz

6-4, 195 pounds



STRENGTHS: This kid is like a more athletic Damian Lillard. He’s shifty, tough to stay in front of, has NBA moves, speed, excellent command of his dribble, and a reliable jump shot. Fultz shot 47.6% from the field last season and 41.3% from three. He’s a resourceful finisher around the rim, and is reminiscent of Steph Curry at times, where he’ll put up a circus shot around two much taller defenders and consistently get it to go.

Despite being 6-4 (he seems shorter than that), he’s a surprisingly good shot blocker (averaging 1.2 per game). This is mainly because of his terrific bounce and athleticism. Fultz is also blessed with long arms, and like many NBA players, his wingspan may be longer than his height. His arms and lift allow him to get shots off even over taller defenders.

Fultz is seemingly always in control of what he’s doing out there, and when he wants to pass, has shown terrific court vision.

WEAKNESSES: He’s listed as a point guard, but Fultz plays more like a scoring guard. He did average 5.9 assists per game last year, but passing seemed like a last-ditch option for him at times. He also didn’t show an innate gift for running a team and getting the right kinds of looks each time down the court. He’s definitely got a big learning curve coming, going from Washington’s streetball-type offense last year to running NBA sets.

Washington was so bad on defense last year (the Huskies ranked 333rd in the nation) that you almost feel obligated to throw that in here, and there were times when Fultz could have done a better job of communicating and directing the troops on that end of the floor.

BOTTOM LINE: This kid has the game and the physical gifts to become a perennial All-Star in the league. He also considers Lonzo Ball his rival, which automatically makes him likable. If he can figure out how to become more of a pass-first point guard and learn how to run an NBA offense, and if he takes on more of a leadership role on D, he’s got a chance to be a tremendous player. We might lead towards Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, or even Lauri Markkanen (seriously–he’s Porzingis Jr.) at No. 1 overall, but there’s a great chance whoever gets the first pick will take Fultz. He’s that type of talent.

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