NBA Mock Draft 2017: Point Guards


Point Guard / 6-2 / North Carolina State / Freshman

Smith going first might be going out on a limb considering he’s coming off a torn ACL injury and missed his senior season of high school. But you will remember we went out on a limb going into the season two years ago with a guy named Karl Anthony-Towns at 1, when everyone else projected Jahlil Okafor first. Smith is a rare lead guard with a combination of athleticism, point guard skills and leadership. He points to Chris Paul and Derrick Rose as players that he looks up to in the NBA and he’s sort of a combination of the two. Smith is a charismatic young man who has a strong belief in himself and great leadership. He’ll obviously need to prove that his knee is completely recovered, but we expect a huge freshman season from him and consider him as good a choice as anyone to project first going into the 2016-17 season. While he lost his senior year and all of the showcase games, he gained a year of perspective being around the Wolfpack team as he rehabbed his knee. His ability to slow the game down and make decisions on drives is special. If he gains consistency in his shot, watch out.

Twitter: @Dennis4Smith
Comparison: Chris Paul
Salary: $5,091,500*
Point Guard / 6-5 / University of Washington / Freshman

Fultz has been on a steady rise over the past year going from a Top 20 prospect to the very top of his class. He’s an extremely talented offensive player with the ability to score in a number of ways. While not a freak athlete, his body control, hand eye coordination, quickness and ball skills are all top notch. He’s an incredibly creative player who loves to make the fan-pleasing play, and more often than not makes these plays look easy. He should be an instant star at Washington and figures to be among the top handful of picks in next year’s draft. With his shooting ability and the shift to a lead guard dominated league, a big season could put him in the conversation to go first.

Twitter: @MarkelleF
Comparison: Dwyane Wade
Salary: $3,688,400*
Point Guard / 6-5 / Strasbourg IG (France) / 1998

Ntilikina has been on the radar since appearing in the Jordan Classic International game three years ago. While not a huge leaper, he’s got a great frame for a point guard with a 7-foot wingspan and very good quickness. His progress as a point guard has been surprising. He’s developed into a steady decision maker who shows the ability to make those around him better. With the success of Dennis Schroeder, whom the Hawks recently turned the keys of their offense over to in moving Jeff Teague, the confidence in International point guards has never been higher.

Comparison: Dante Exum
Salary: $3,340,000*
Point Guard / 6-3 / Kentucky / Freshman

Fox is aptly named as he is a clever player with extreme quickness. His ability to defend gives him a lot of intrigue and he’s sure to benefit playing in Kentucky’s system. Fox figures to be next in line of a very impressive lineage of floor generals to play and develop under Coach Cal. Fox may struggle out of the gate, but his speed and athleticism insure that he will be a handful for opposing point guards. When he starts to get a handle on how to run the show at the college level, and learns to cut down on mistakes and play under control, the sky is the limit. His shooting stroke, while still a weakness, is much more sound, giving him the slight nod over fellow freshman Lonzo Ball.

Twitter: @Swipathef0x
Comparison: Dennis Schroeder
Salary: $2,537,000*
Point Guard / 6-6 / UCLA / Freshman

Ball is one of the best passers to come through the high school ranks in the past 20 years. Drawing comparisons to Jason Kidd, Ball has innate point guard skills that just cannot be learned. He had a tremendous senior season leading his Southern California high school team to an undefeated record. While his shot is a major work in progress and may require completely overhauling the mechanics on it, he’s got tremendous size, defensive ability and point guard skills that should allow him to be a dominant college performer right away. He should also challenge to be a lottery pick in his freshman season.

Twitter: @ZO2_
Comparison: Ricky Rubio
Salary: $2,332,100*
Point Guard / 6-5 / Xavier / Sophomore

Sumner is a physical specimen showing great speed and athleticism at the lead guard position. If you’re extremely bullish on him, he’s a poor man’s John Wall. He shows combo skills and excels in attacking the basket off the dribble with his elite speed. His skill level and confidence are beginning to catch up to his talent. Whether or not he will make a big leap in production remains to be seen, but the talent is there for him to break out into one of the top players in the Big East, and point guards in the country this year.

Twitter: @edmondsumner
Comparison: Delon Wright
Salary: $1,547,100*

Key: (*) Standard salary for players selected with that pick in 2017-18.

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