The Undefeated’s top 10 college basketball players for the 2016-17 season
Everything you need to know on the top players — with the help of NBA scouts
Excitement for the deep 2017 NBA draft will start beginning to boil with the arrival of NCAA college basketball this week.
The 2017 NBA draft is expected to be front-loaded with freshman talent, per usual. But there is a far from normal depth in talent that will make first- to middle-round draft picks more valuable than normal. Led by University of Kansas freshman small forward Josh Jackson with University of Washington freshman point guard Markelle Fultz on his heels, check out The Undefeated’s top 10 NBA college prospects of the 2016-17 season determined with a little help from a few anonymous NBA personnel.
“The 2017 NBA draft class is deeper than last year’s draft, especially at the point guard position, which is pretty loaded,” one NBA scout said. “It’s going to be the type of draft that even if you draft in late teens or early 20s, you’ll get the typical lottery talent. The depth of this draft will push some talent outside the lottery.
“There is a lot of talent in this draft. This draft should be as good as it’s been in a while, but this time of the year, you are little more excited.”
1. Josh Jackson, Freshman, SF, Kansas, 6-foot-8, 203 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “He’s tough with a winning spirit. His skill is developing, but he has a feel for how to play. His shot is getting better. He’s got the DNA to build around.”
2. Markelle Fultz, Freshman, PG, Washington, 6-foot-4, 195 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “Can play both guard positions and has great size for a point guard. He has the ability to shoot, get to the basket. Athletic. Great feel for the game.”
3. Dennis Smith, Freshman, PG, North Carolina State, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “He’s athletically explosive and can get anywhere he wants to on the court. Great handle. Gets his own shot. Appears to have recovered from knee injury.”
4. Harry Giles, Freshman, PF, Duke, 6-foot-11, 222 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “This kid has top 5 talent, but his knee health will determine if he stays there. If he is healthy, he is in the conversation for the top pick overall in the draft.”
5. Jayson Tatum, Freshman, SF, Duke, 6-foot-8, 204 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “He has great size at his position. He has a smoothness to his game and can produce offensively. Decent athleticism. A Paul Pierce-type of guy.”
6. Bam Adebayo, Freshman, C, Kentucky, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “He is going to be more ready physically than anything else. He has a very athletic and strong body. He is developing offensively. A very imposing athlete.”
7. Jonathan Isaac, Freshman, SF, Florida State, 6-foot-11, 205 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “He’s a stretch power forward. He’s also very athletic. He’s a great kid who could stay in school. He may need to be pushed to go to NBA if he does well.”
8. Ivan Rabb, Sophomore, PF, California, 6-foot-10, 215 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “A fundamentally great player. He doesn’t beat you with his athleticism. He beats you with his head and hands. Has worked really hard to improve his jump shot.”
9. Lonzo Ball, Freshman, PG, UCLA, 6-foot-6, 190 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “Excellent size for point guard. Very good passer who has a good feel for distributing the basketball. Needs to dramatically improve his perimeter shooting.”
10. De’Aaron Fox, PG, Freshman. Kentucky, 6-foot-4, 171 pounds
NBA scout’s comment: “A jet with the ball. Helps his teammates by breaking down the defense on the dribble. He and Malik Monk might be best freshman backcourt of all time.”
Honorable mentions: Jarrett Allen, C, freshman, Texas; Lauri Markkanen, F, freshman, Arizona; Malik Monk, G, freshman, Kentucky; Edmond Sumner, PG, sophomore, Xavier.