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2017 NBA Draft: Player Comparisons

The 2017 NBA Draft is one of the most talented in recent memory. As a whole, the draft is extremely deep and has multiple players with superstar potential. As we’ve learned, many different factors play into just how great these players become. Health, coach, system, body and skill growth can all ignite a player to stardom. Comparing the draftees to superstar players is a dangerous game, especially with so much roster uncertainty in today’s league. Every player has a ceiling and a floor, which is what every NBA scout, coach, and GM is trying to figure out when they take a look at a possible candidate to be selected in the draft. There are high risk-high reward players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo but also international uncertainties who never pan out, like Jan Vesley. Here’s a look at our player comparisons for the top 12 prospects in 2017 draft:

Lonzo Ball PG UCLA

Ceiling: Jason Kidd

Few young players have the ability to make everyone around them better. Lonzo Ball does just that. He is one of the most unselfish players of the past decade. A true point guard that will always make the right pass. His funky shooting delivery somehow manages to find the bottom of the net more often than not and he has the perfect size and frame for a point guard in today’s NBA. His defense is a major weakness and will be his achilles heel throughout his first few professional seasons.

Floor: Ricky Rubio


Zach Collins C Gonzaga

Ceiling: Pau Gasol

Collins was a flash in the pan for the Bulldogs of Gonzaga during their run to the NCAA title game. Collins struggled to get big minutes on a veteran team but impressed with great footwork, post moves, and a mid-range game when he did see minutes. Collins is rising up draft boards rapidly in a draft that is mostly guard oriented.

Floor: Spencer Hawes


De’Aaron Fox PG Kentucky

Ceiling: John Wall

A better jump shot is probably the only thing preventing De’Aaron Fox from being a top 3 pick in the draft. Still, he is almost a guarantee to go in the top 6. He is by far the quickest prospect in the draft and has great size for the position. He took over games in the NCAA Tournament, most notably his 39 point drubbing of Lonzo Ball and UCLA. Still, there are concerns about both his strength and shooting ability at the next level.

Floor: Elfrid Payton


Markelle Fultz PG Washington

Ceiling: Penny Hardaway

The probable first pick of the draft, there isn’t many things Markelle Fultz can’t do on a basketball court. Fultz will quickly become one of the best point guards in the league and should be a perennial All-Star throughout a long and successful NBA career. He can score from both inside and outside, is a great passer, and contributes on the glass. Fultz has few weaknesses in his game.

Floor: Damian Lillard


Jonathan Isaac SF Florida St.

Ceiling: Paul George

Isaac was under-utilized while playing for the Seminoles, and that alone might cost him a spot in the top 5. He’s showed flashes of greatness and his length and size on the wing will be coveted by many teams. If he can develop offensively, there is no reason why Isaac can’t become a franchise player.

Floor: Otto Porter


Josh Jackson SF Kansas

Ceiling: Kawhi Leonard

Josh Jackson probably has the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. He is already an elite athlete and defender, showcasing the ability to defend almost every position on the court. Jackson must work to improve his shooting, especially from the free throw line, but there aren’t many holes in his game. Jackson has the makeup of an absolute stud at the next level for years to come.

Floor: Andre Iguodala

Justin Jackson SF North Carolina

Ceiling: Danillo Gallinari

Jackson’s ability to improve his game from year to year is why he has a chance to stick in the league. He became an assassin from beyond the arc as a junior and developed a killer instinct to take over games. Most likely a solid rotation player coming off the bench, Jackson will have to work to add weight to his skinny frame.

Floor: Thabo Sefolosha

Lauri Markkanen C Arizona

Ceiling: Kristaps Porzingis

Markkanen impressed in his one collegiate season. He has obvious great size but also can shoot the lights out. Seven-footers with legit three point range are becoming a necessity for most NBA teams and Markkanen will fit that role nicely for some team. His rebounding and shot blocking are suspect at times and he isn’t as athletic as some other bigs in the draft.

Floor: Kelly Olynyk


Malik Monk SG Kentucky

Ceiling: CJ McCollum

Monk is a bucket getter. His size might cause him to have a smaller ceiling that some other players in the draft. If he can develop his ball handling and passing skills, Monk can play both the point and wing position. A role as the microwave scorer coming off the bench might be his best fit to stick long term in the league.

Floor: Lou Williams


Frank Ntilikina PG France

Ceiling: Rajon Rondo

Ntilikina is mostly unknown. The talk surrounding him reminds me of the hype that surrounded Dante Exum. Ntilikina has faced stiffer competition throughout his career while playing in Europe and should project to have a better career than Exum.

Floor: Michael Carter-Williams


Dennis Smith Jr. PG NC State

Ceiling: Steve Francis

Smith is a classic scoring point guard. He struggles at times to make others around him better but he is a freak athlete and should be able to contribute right away.

Floor: Eric Bledsoe

Jayson Tatum SF Duke

Ceiling: Rudy Gay

Tatum will probably play both the wing and stretch-four position in the NBA. He is as talented a scorer as there is in the draft and matured quickly while at Duke. T

Floor: Jabari Parker


About Joe Stabach

Lead writer for the New York Mets and College Basketball. Fantasy Football enthusiast. Former college basketball player. Available on Twitter @JoeyS_7

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