By Sam Dunham
After an exciting end to the 2017 NCAA season, all college basketball fans are looking to June 22nd: the 2017 NBA draft.
I previously wrote about the influx of talented freshmen in this year’s season, and how this freshmen class could be the greatest in decades. Accordingly, the talent going into the NBA next year could be game-changing. While other draft classes may have one or two major talents with perhaps half a dozen players behind them with good potential, the depth of this year’s draft pool is scary. From top to bottom, draft is absolutely stocked with talent. There is no clear number one overall pick like last year with Ben Simmons, but there are still several players at the top who could be potential stars within a few years.
Currently, the number one overall pick seems to be between three players. Star freshmen Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson are the current favorites to fill the top spots. Additionally, Kentucky star freshmen De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are predicted to be top ten picks and have shown dazzling talent, most notably Monk’s 47-point eruption versus North Carolina. Dennis Smith Jr., Lauri Markkanen, Jayson Tatum, and Jonathan Isaac are more “one-and-dones” that are predicted to go high and could be major players at the next level. These are only some of the draftees who could make a big impact on the next level.
Aside from the astounding amount of players who could be great draft choices this summer, what really stands out is the talent of these young athletes. There are perhaps 10 players this year who all could have gone in the top 2 or 3 in years previous. While not everyone will pan out at the next level, there is no doubt that a good number will be success stories. The legendary 1984 draft with the likes of Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and John Stockton (all now in the Hall of Fame) has been deemed by most as the greatest draft class ever. While it remains to be seen if these young players can reach that Hall of Fame level, there is no doubt that the potential is there for June 22 to be one that will go down in history.