The Orlando Magic seem to be headed towards another year of a top five lottery pick. Over the next few weeks, we will analyze prospects the team could potentially draft. First up, Markelle Fultz .
Name: Markelle Fultz
Team: Washington Huskies
Current Position: Point Guard
Expected NBA Position: Point Guard
Age: 18 years old
Stat Line: 23.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.4 bpg, 47.9 FG %, 42.1 3PT %, 64.4 FT%
Pro Comparison: Brandon Roy
Markelle Fultz began the college preseason as the number one NBA prospect. Fultz is a high risk, high reward type of prospect who should impress at the professional level.
Fultz is one of the best playmakers available at the point guard position in this upcoming draft, assuming he declares. As a freshman for the Washington Huskies, he is averaging 6.0 assists per game. Fultz is incredibly talented at anticipating the pass before he actually makes it leading his teammates to be in position for an easy score. At other times, Fultz will increase the degree of difficulty, with a nifty behind the back pass to catch the defense off guard. His ability to get his team involved will keep him in the top five conversation.
While passing is one of Fultz stronger areas, scoring will be his niche in the professional level. Currently scoring above 23 points a game, he can score in multiple ways which should only get better as he develops more into a NBA role. Fultz can use his dribble to get to the rim or to create his own shot. At the next level he will definitely be called upon to create his own shot.
Fultz combination of passing and scoring will help him succeed at the next level, but his potential on defense will cement him as a star, if he remains engaged. At 6’4, he has the length to become a very pesky defender. His 1.6 steals per game and 1.4 blocks per game show that he is capable of contributing to an elite team defense. He is strong enough to hold his own in the post area against bigger guards. With his blend of active hands and speed, he should be able to find fast break scoring opportunities often. For a team looking to increase its scoring in transition, Fultz is the right guy for the job.
While gifted offensively, Fultz does come with a few red flags that can’t be ignored.
As Fultz can simply be spectacular with his pinpoint passes, he can be incredibly reckless as well. At times, he becomes too much flash and tries to make a highlight play instead of making to simple play. This could be a huge issue against NBA defenses.
Outside of playing reckless, Fultz seems to have a flip switch that controls his motor. From a potential top five pick, you don’t expect to question whether he is going to his full capabilities or not. As competition stiffens against him, he has the tendency to relax from penetrating to the rim and settling for an inconsistent, contested jump shot. At the NBA level, expect teams to sag off of him a bit to see if he can become a more consistent shooter.
In terms of his shooting ability, experts are indicating Fultz to have broken shooting mechanics. While definitely capable of being a solid shooter at the NBA level, the main issue with Fultz shot is his release. He tends to release the ball too late or on the way down. His poor release affects his field goal percentage his free throw percentage as he is currently converting on 64 percent from the line. That’s definitely concerning when a primary scorer is not able to convert the freebies.
Fultz more than likely, will hold firmly to a top three selection barring any major injuries. If the Boston Celtics control the draft at pick one, expect them to pass on adding another scoring guard to a talented guard heavy team. Other teams near the top of the draft could use a floor general or could be looking to replace their current one.
*All videos used are the property of Mike Schultz for Draft Express.