Countdown to the NBA Draft: To Fultz, or not to Fultz - who goes #1?

First things first, a reminder this series is a collaboration with the CelticsLife reader's hive-mind, where we use our collective abilities and interest to take deep dives into the sea of prospective talent available to be selected by the Boston Celtics, with this being the final iteration of the series, covering the first pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. We provide you with EIGHT options (and the ability to write in suggestions) with a poll, the winner and top three prospects of which will then be accompanied by extended analysis colored by whatever facts, stats, video or other evidence you help source. 
If conventional wisdom made the selection, we all know it would be Markelle Fultz suiting up for the Celts this fall - but that's not the point of this series; quite the opposite, actually. We want to know what YOU, the reader, thinks about the cream of this year's draft class, and whether the popular choice among talking heads and analysts is also the people's choice. We've even given you the option to write in a candidate, should your guy have missed the cut of this collection of top-tier talents. So with that out of the way, let's dive right in, with some minimal analysis for each prospect:


Malik Monk - Kentucky
Why he should NOT go #1: Overconfident and out of control at times, a lack of length may be an issue also.
Why he SHOULD go #1: An offensive monster, he can explode and put points up from nearly anywhere.

Lonzo Ball - UCLA
Why he should NOT go #1: Wants to play with the Los Angeles Lakers, comes with a free media circus.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Transcendent play-maker with size and swagger.

Lauri Markkanen - Arizona
Why he should NOT go #1: Needs work on core strength and footwork to guard the 5 and 3, respectively.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Smoothest shot since Shuttlesworth - but almost a FOOT taller release point.

Josh Jackson - Kansas
Why he should NOT go #1: Appears to have added a jumper to his arsenal, similar to Jaylen Brown.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Small sample size, maybe too similar to Brown. Character issues also a worry.

Markelle Fultz - Washington
Why he should NOT go #1: Takes shots with double, even triple coverage almost anywhere on the court.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Makes shots with double, even triple coverage almost anywhere on the court.

DeAaron Fox - Kentucky
Why he should NOT go #1: Maybe the worst perimeter shooting one in the lottery at 24.6% - and thin too.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Lightening quick, able to change speeds, see the floor, and has the ball on a string.

Jonathon Isaac - Florida State
Why he should NOT go #1: Rail thin, needs to bulk up to compete against longer, stronger NBA forwards.
Why he SHOULD go #1: High motor + defensive AND offensive versatility make him a difficult matchup.

Jayson Tatum - Duke
Why he should NOT go #1: Defense, shooting, passing all need work to play at the NBA level.
Why he SHOULD go #1: Athletic scoring combo forward with handles and solid defensive skills.

THE POLL - pick ONE selection from the following for whoever you think Boston should take #1:
Based on the best available resources for evaluating this year's class of prospects, it seems these are the eight most likely players to have a shot at being the first selection in this year's draft. Is Fultz really a lock for the selection? Are there scenarios where he might drop a slot in favor of another player? If so, what would be the reasoning? Make your choice for the first pick, and leave whatever evidence or argument you might have below in the comments. Any especially good arguments for any of these prospects may find their way on our next podcast!

For more articles on CelticsLife about the NBA Draft, click here. For more by Justinclick here.

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