With the Washington Huskies essentially eliminated from any potential NCAA tournament play their star point guard Markelle Fultz declares himself eligible for the NBA draft in a video to his Huskie fans on Twitter:
Obviously this is a shock to no one as Fultz will likely be the top pick in a loaded front of this year's draft class. The Huskies season didn't quite go as well as they had initially hoped, as finishing 9-22 and missing out on any NCAA postseason play was certainly not in the plans with Fultz on board but that's through no fault of the promising NBA prospect. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game for the Huskies, but the talent surrounding Fultz was lackluster at best.
With the Celtics owning the right to swap picks with the Brooklyn Net's in the 2017 draft they will go into the draft lottery with the best chance to obtain the #1 overall pick, but I refuse to get my hopes up because we get burned in every draft lottery.
Asked about the potential of Fultz in the NBA Isaiah Thomas said he thinks Markelle is going to be a special player. Via Jay King of MassLive:
"He has all the tools," Thomas said. "He can shoot, pass, he's athletic. He's got nice size. He plays at his own pace. That's something you can't teach. Like, he's so poised in any type of situation."
Thomas got a chance to run some pickup ball with Fultz at Washington last summer (IT's home state) so he's already had the opportunity to play with the young point guard. When asked if he and Fultz could co-exist on the Celtics roster, given that they play the same position, Isaiah assured that it would be a good fit:
"I can play with anybody," Thomas said. "I can play off the ball, I can come off screens, I can catch and shoot. So I think that's, even going back to college, my first couple of years I was off the ball. And then I can play on the ball as well. So a lot of guys can't do both, but I'm fine with doing both."
In my eyes Fultz does make a great fit as the Celtics could ease him into the lineup next season, the same way they've done masterfully with Jaylen Brown this year, and then make decisions in terms of the roster construction going forward with both Thomas and Avery Bradley's contracts being up at the end of next season.
At 6'5 he can certainly play alongside Isaiah because he's big enough to guard NBA shooting guards, leaving the smaller guard for Thomas on the defensive end. Both of them can play off the ball, and it creates an interesting dynamic having two ball handlers on the floor that can both find their own shot. If the Celtics do land that #1 overall pick it's likely they hang onto it as Fultz is a slam dunk to be a very good player in the NBA.
Related: Countdown to the NBA draft: Boston 2017 second-round edition
Photo Credit - SLAMonline.com
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 3/11/2017 11:19:00 AM Tweet Edit