The 2017 NBA Draft is currently airing on ESPN, and after months of guessing, rumors, speculation, and everything in between, the top-3 picks have officially been announced by NBA commissioner, Adam Silver.
1. Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz (Washington G): Fultz has long been projected as the consensus No. 1 overall selection, and he is now the newest Philadelphia guard. Fultz was incredible during his lone freshman season at Washington, to the tune of 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds. There is no doubt in my mind that his athleticism and vision will lead him to multiple All-Star appearances. After the Boston Celtics swapped the No. 1 pick for the No. 3 pick and future assets, the 76ers jumped all over Fultz, for good reason. They now have one of the most exciting young cores in the league, led by back-to-back top picks Ben Simmons and Fultz, alongside Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball (UCLA G): Ball has been in the spotlight, far more than Fultz ever was, namely because of his father, LaVar Ball. However, even though his game seems like style over substance at times, Ball has genuine talent. He proved his ability to pass the ball with the best of them, during his lone season at UCLA. Also, Ball turned a 15-win team into a 31-win team, proving that he makes players around him better. The Lakers traded former No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov earlier this week, to the Brooklyn Nets, for the No. 27 selection and Brook Lopez. Now that Russell is gone, Ball has a clear opportunity to take the starting point guard spot, as Los Angeles prepares for Paul George signing next summer.
3. Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum (Duke F): Tatum was either going to be the No. 3 or No. 4 pick, and the Boston Celtics decided to snatch him up with the former, after trading their No. 1 pick to Philadelphia earlier in the week. He has been one of the best scorers in the entire country since his high school days, continuing last year at Duke, and he’ll be an important aspect of the Celtics’ plans going forward. Although, the Boston frontcourt is somewhat crowded now with Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Tatum, and a possible signing of Gordon Hayward during the offseason.
Photo Credit: CBS Sports.