Markelle Fultz, Year Three: He's back! Big....?

PedroKsBambino

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I know the Fultz angle is a side point but I think the following relates to how we view almost every deal, including the Irving trade.

That Danny said or intimated that he had Tatum over Fultz might be true. His actions are consistent with that. But it's also possible that he viewed them as equals, or as Fultz having slightly more upside but not being as valuable as Tatum plus extra consideration.

Whatever these guys -- Ainge, Gilbert or the intern who is currently acting as Cleveland's GM -- say isn't necessarily what they believe. It's what they think is the best message for the public, the players, agents and future free agents. It may also might have the benefit of being true from time to time. But taking any of these comments as wholly candid is unwise in my view.

As applied to this deal, Gilbert has to know that he's taking a PR beating, and whatever he's saying now is his best effort to stem that and accomplish whatever other objectives he deems important.
Right, though I think Ainge's actions suggest pretty clearly he did not have much of a gap between Tatum and Fultz (whoever was first) which is really the point for the exchange I was having with DeJesus.

I am pretty much the SoSH champion of 'don't automatically believe what is reported' commentary, but when actions and words match it does increase the confidence some.
 

Koufax

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This is laughably wrong.
Trading for Ray Allen and making a bet that would entice KG to join the team was miles more bold and risky than either of these moves.
Hindsight is 20/20 but trading KG and The Truth to Brooklyn was more bold and risky than both of these moves.

I don't understand the line of thinking that Ainge will be remembered solely for these moves if they don't work out. That's just not true. The man constructed the "Big 3" and put a championship banner up. Unless Markelle Fultz becomes a Hall of Famer AND both Tatum+Kyrie fail spectacularly, this series of moves will not be remembered before the banner
Yes, and this whole train of though assumes dramatic events that are no more likely to occur than dramatic events going the other way. What if Fulz blows out both knees in the pre-season and is never the same again? What if he dies of a cocaine overdose? What if Tatum grows another 2 inches and develops a killer three point shot? By making outlier assumptions you can develop any result you'd like from Ainge is a wizard to Ainge is a doofus. How does that advance the ball regarding what we can surmise now based upon the facts as they exist?
 

mauf

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Yes, and this whole train of though assumes dramatic events that are no more likely to occur than dramatic events going the other way. What if Fulz blows out both knees in the pre-season and is never the same again? What if he dies of a cocaine overdose? What if Tatum grows another 2 inches and develops a killer three point shot? By making outlier assumptions you can develop any result you'd like from Ainge is a wizard to Ainge is a doofus. How does that advance the ball regarding what we can surmise now based upon the facts as they exist?
I went through this in another thread, but the median assumption for a player of Fultz's caliber (consensus #1 pick in a draft that isn't weak at the top) is that barring injury, he'll be at least as good a baller as Blake Griffin, if not better (obviously apples and oranges, as BG is a completely different player, but you get my point). That's not "assum[ing] dramatic events"; it's a sober assessment of how good guys with that pedigree who don't get seriously hurt end up being.

Tatum has the highest floor by far of any of this year's first four picks (barring injury, an athletic 6-8 guy who was a star in college and can shoot the rock won't fail to be a useful NBA player), but the conventional wisdom says his median projection isn't on par with a consensus #1 pick like Fultz. So while anything could happen, Danny is making a big bet against the conventional wisdom.
 

Rough Carrigan

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I went through this in another thread, but the median assumption for a player of Fultz's caliber (consensus #1 pick in a draft that isn't weak at the top) is that barring injury, he'll be at least as good a baller as Blake Griffin, if not better (obviously apples and oranges, as BG is a completely different player, but you get my point). That's not "assum[ing] dramatic events"; it's a sober assessment of how good guys with that pedigree who don't get seriously hurt end up being.

Tatum has the highest floor by far of any of this year's first four picks (barring injury, an athletic 6-8 guy who was a star in college and can shoot the rock won't fail to be a useful NBA player), but the conventional wisdom says his median projection isn't on par with a consensus #1 pick like Fultz. So while anything could happen, Danny is making a big bet against the conventional wisdom.
Wasn't there a degree of worry about Fultz that he seemed to be too comfortable with his team sucking and getting their asses kicked game after game?
 

mauf

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I know the Fultz angle is a side point but I think the following relates to how we view almost every deal, including the Irving trade.

That Danny said or intimated that he had Tatum over Fultz might be true. His actions are consistent with that. But it's also possible that he viewed them as equals, or as Fultz having slightly more upside but not being as valuable as Tatum plus extra consideration.

Whatever these guys -- Ainge, Gilbert or the intern who is currently acting as Cleveland's GM -- say isn't necessarily what they believe. It's what they think is the best message for the public, the players, agents and future free agents. It may also might have the benefit of being true from time to time. But taking any of these comments as wholly candid is unwise in my view.
Building on this, Ainge's willingness to travel to California at the 11th hour to see Josh Jackson work out at least suggests that Danny's public statements of Tatum-love since the draft might be overstated.
 

mauf

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Wasn't there a degree of worry about Fultz that he seemed to be too comfortable with his team sucking and getting their asses kicked game after game?
Maybe that's too harsh a way to put it, but I think you're spot-on.

Ball and Tatum were the best players on top-15 teams. Fultz had an inferior supporting cast, but it's fair to question why a point guard who is supposedly even better than those two couldn't coax better than a 9-22 record out of his team. I think Danny weighed this much more heavily than his fellow GMs.

The reason I keep belaboring this point about Fultz in a discussion of the Kyrie/IT trade is because I think that trade reveals that Danny didn't pass on Fultz because he thought IT was the team's point guard of the future.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I'm sure it's been much pondered here, but what's the absolute upside of Fultz? In NBA history, the upside of true, normal-sized PGs is at least somewhat limited. The best ever who fit that description are probably Curry, Nash, Stockton and Paul; and it seems highly unlikely Fultz will be the greatest shooter ever like Curry, or have the handles/vision/passing/doggedness/IQ of the other three. And even if he does reach that level: Curry's the only guy of those four who's been good enough to be the best player on an NBA champion.

Yeah, Fultz is a bit bigger than all those guys, but he's not Jordan-big or even James Harden big. I'm not sure he has the physical profile it would take to be the type of versatile, tough wing defender you need to be to break past the "generic PG" ceiling — let alone the mentality it takes to be a great defender. Indeed, lack of defensive effort and tools seems to be the biggest knock on him.

Seems to me like the realistic upside is a poor man's James Harden, which doesn't seem like anything to get all hot and bothered about.
 
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Building on this, Ainge's willingness to travel to California at the 11th hour to see Josh Jackson work out at least suggests that Danny's public statements of Tatum-love since the draft might be overstated.
I don't believe that was the case. Reports about Jackson cancelling came out around the time of the draft, but I believe the actual cancellation took place weeks before the draft, here's a link suggesting that (http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2017/06/josh_jacksons_camp_canceled_bo.html). I believe it's been reported elsewhere as well.
 

nighthob

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I'm sure it's been much pondered here, but what's the absolute upside of Fultz? In NBA history, the upside of true, normal-sized PGs is at least somewhat limited. The best ever who fit that description are probably Curry, Nash, Stockton and Paul; and it seems highly unlikely Fultz will be the greatest shooter ever like Curry, or have the handles/vision/passing/doggedness/IQ of the other three. And even if he does reach that level: Curry's the only guy of those four who's been good enough to be the best player on an NBA champion.

Yeah, Fultz is a bit bigger than all those guys, but he's not Jordan-big or even James Harden big. I'm not sure he has the physical profile it would take to be the type of versatile, tough wing defender you need to be to break past the "generic PG" ceiling — let alone the mentality it takes to be a great defender. Indeed, lack of defensive effort and tools seems to be the biggest knock on him.

Seems to me like the realistic upside is a poor man's James Harden, which doesn't seem like anything to get all hot and bothered about.
He's very Hardenesque, and I'd put his floor as a poor man's James Harden rather than his ceiling. But he's just a normal first pick level player, so a lot of what he turns into is going to be environmental. Just as landing on the TSJ Era Wizards delayed John Wall's growth there's a real risk that being in Philly could do the same for Fultz (I'm assuming that this is why they've finally started signing vet players there). But there are still a lot of kids there more worried about their second contracts than winning.

I think it would have been less of an issue on a strong veteran team like Boston, just as I suspect that Tatum's going to get a lot closer to his ceiling (which I see as being a longer Paul Pierce) in this environment than he would have in Philly, or Phoenix, or Sacramento or wherever he dropped to without the trade.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I went through this in another thread, but the median assumption for a player of Fultz's caliber (consensus #1 pick in a draft that isn't weak at the top) is that barring injury, he'll be at least as good a baller as Blake Griffin, if not better (obviously apples and oranges, as BG is a completely different player, but you get my point). That's not "assum[ing] dramatic events"; it's a sober assessment of how good guys with that pedigree who don't get seriously hurt end up being.

Tatum has the highest floor by far of any of this year's first four picks (barring injury, an athletic 6-8 guy who was a star in college and can shoot the rock won't fail to be a useful NBA player), but the conventional wisdom says his median projection isn't on par with a consensus #1 pick like Fultz. So while anything could happen, Danny is making a big bet against the conventional wisdom.
You're confusing 'expected projection for first overall pick' and 'expected projection for Fultz' though. The question you are speaking to is "should I keep first overall pick or trade it without knowing the players involved". The actual question Ainge faced was "should I pick Fultz, Ball, Tatum or make a trade"

It is true that historically you should (in a generic sense) expect more from consensus number one pick than any other pick. And I imagine you're thinking "well, that is true of this year too in a projection sense" which is also true...if you get a large enough sample to work from. The trick with a draft is you only get one number one pick, and so you don't know whether you're getting the 'average' number one guy or not.

Certainly, historical performance of consensus number one picks (and some are overstating the degree to which that is true of Fultz, but he was one to some degree) matters, but it is not the case that it is always better to pick the consensus pick than the guy you have rated highest. And it seems clear Ainge either didn't have Fultz rated highest, or had him so close to others that the gap was less than what he could get in trade.
 

mauf

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I'm sure it's been much pondered here, but what's the absolute upside of Fultz? In NBA history, the upside of true, normal-sized PGs is at least somewhat limited. The best ever who fit that description are probably Curry, Nash, Stockton and Paul; and it seems highly unlikely Fultz will be the greatest shooter ever like Curry, or have the handles/vision/passing/doggedness/IQ of the other three. And even if he does reach that level: Curry's the only guy of those four who's been good enough to be the best player on an NBA champion.

Yeah, Fultz is a bit bigger than all those guys, but he's not Jordan-big or even James Harden big. I'm not sure he has the physical profile it would take to be the type of versatile, tough wing defender you need to be to break past the "generic PG" ceiling — let alone the mentality it takes to be a great defender. Indeed, lack of defensive effort and tools seems to be the biggest knock on him.

Seems to me like the realistic upside is a poor man's James Harden, which doesn't seem like anything to get all hot and bothered about.
A shorter James Harden who is defensively competent would be an absolutely transcendent player. I'm not saying Fultz will get there, but that's the tantalizing potential that made him the consensus #1 pick. Ball and Tatum are widely seen as not having that high a ceiling.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Fultz is a 6'4, 200lbs point guard at age 18 with a 6'10 wingspan. That's not really a "normal size" point guard, is it?

The average NBA point guard in 2016 was 6'2 and his wingspan is well above the average for NBA point guards.

It also seems that some here are vastly underrating Fultz's athleticism. He's an elite NBA level athlete. Given that, his size and wingspan, I'm not sure where the idea that he lacks the "physical profile" to be a good defender comes from.
 

Sam Ray Not

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It also seems that some here are vastly underrating Fultz's athleticism. He's an elite NBA level athlete. Given that, his size and wingspan, I'm not sure where the idea that he lacks the "physical profile" to be a good defender comes from.
I think it's more that he lacks the physical profile to be an elite defender in the Jordan/Pippen/Kawhi mold — the type of guy who can lock down 1-2-3 and even smallball 4s. To me, that's the defensive versatility that can take you out of the mold of "generic, offensively elite PG who puts up numbers" (something the league is pretty well glutted with right now) and into the realm of "centerpiece of a championship contender."

Also: at least based on the Nate Duncan / Danny Leroux breakdown I heard, Fultz, despite good length, seems to lack the lateral quickness and effort/motor of a great (or even decent) defender. At this point, I don't think it should be a given that he'll be better on that end than Harden, though I guess if we're talking about upside we can safely put him, at age 19, above the Beard.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I went through this in another thread, but the median assumption for a player of Fultz's caliber (consensus #1 pick in a draft that isn't weak at the top) is that barring injury, he'll be at least as good a baller as Blake Griffin, if not better (obviously apples and oranges, as BG is a completely different player, but you get my point). That's not "assum[ing] dramatic events"; it's a sober assessment of how good guys with that pedigree who don't get seriously hurt end up being.
You mentioned this before and I think you might want to rethink this. Here's the list of #1 overall picks who are guards since 1979 (complete list in the spoiler; I picked 1979 arbitrarily since that's when Magic was drafted).

Fultz
Wiggins
Irving
Wall
Rose
Iverson
Magic

If you agree that Fultz isn't Magic, the median level of achievement for Fultz is a multiple-time All-Star, which ironically is what we just traded for (as someone else pointed out when you first brought this up). Now you may say that Rose could have been more than that if he hadn't gotten injured but I would respond that Fultz isn't nearly the athlete that peak Rose was.

Fultz is going to be a really good NBA player. He can score from 3 levels, he has great handles, and he can hit amazing over the head shots. But unlike the most transcendent guards, it does not appear yet that Fultz can get wherever he wants to get no matter who is guarding him.

More to the point, there aren't a lot of drafts since 1979 where Fultz would have been the #1 pick.

Sure there's a chance that Fultz turns out to be Stephen Curry. But there's also a chance that Tatum turns out to be Paul Pierce. I don't think the fact that Fultz was (more or less) the consensus #1 pick means that Fultz is destined for greatness.

Markelle Fultz
Ben Simmons
Karl-Anthony Towns
Andrew Wiggins
Anthony Bennett
Anthony Davis
Kyrie Irving
John Wall
Blake Griffin
Derrick Rose
Greg Oden
Andrea Bargnani
Andrew Bogut
Dwight Howard
LeBron James
Yao Ming
Kwame Brown
Kenyon Martin
Elton Brand
Michael Olowokandi
Tim Duncan
Allen Iverson
Joe Smith
Glenn Robinson
Chris Webber
Shaquille O'Neal
Larry Johnson
Derrick Coleman
Pervis Ellison
Danny Manning
David Robinson
Brad Daugherty
Patrick Ewing
Hakeem Olajuwon
Ralph Sampson
James Worthy
Mark Aguirre
Joe Barry Carroll
Magic Johnson
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think it's more that he lacks the physical profile to be an elite defender in the Jordan/Pippen/Kawhi mold — the type of guy who can lock down 1-2-3 and even smallball 4s. To me, that's the defensive versatility that can take you out of the mold of "generic, offensively elite PG who puts up numbers" (something the league is pretty well glutted with right now) and into the realm of "centerpiece of a championship contender."

Also: at least based on the Nate Duncan / Danny Leroux breakdown I heard, Fultz, despite good length, seems to lack the lateral quickness and effort/motor of a great (or even decent) defender. At this point, I don't think it should be a given that he'll be better on that end than Harden, though I guess if we're talking about upside we can safely put him, at age 19, above the Beard.
6-4 with Fultz' wingspan is enough size to be a terrific defender at three spots....Marcus Smart is a good example of that. Jordan and Pippen at best defended three spots as well (Jordan wasn't truly an elite PG defender, imo).

Fultz' game doesn't suggest that will happen, as you note, which I think is the more important part of the analysis.
 

DavidTai

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Could also be just a coaching fit... Maybe they think Tatum, coached by Stevens, has a better shot at reaching his potential than Fultz under Stevens.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Fultz is a 6'4, 200lbs point guard at age 18 with a 6'10 wingspan. That's not really a "normal size" point guard, is it?

The average NBA point guard in 2016 was 6'2 and his wingspan is well above the average for NBA point guards.

It also seems that some here are vastly underrating Fultz's athleticism. He's an elite NBA level athlete. Given that, his size and wingspan, I'm not sure where the idea that he lacks the "physical profile" to be a good defender comes from.
If you are saying that Fultz has NBA level athleticism, I'd agree with that.

If you are saying that Fultz's athleticism is elite even when compared to the NBA level athletes who play in the association, I would disagree with that. He was widely seen as not having the athleticism of a DSJ or Fox, not to mention standouts like Wall and Westbrook etc.

BTW, while it remains to be seen how athletic Tatum is, people should remember that he had the third highest Max Touch - 11'7.5" - in this year's draft, behind uber-athlete Jarrett Allen (12'1") and Zach Collins (11'8").
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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If you are saying that Fultz has NBA level athleticism, I'd agree with that.

If you are saying that Fultz's athleticism is elite even when compared to the NBA level athletes who play in the association, I would disagree with that. He was widely seen as not having the athleticism of a DSJ or Fox, not to mention standouts like Wall and Westbrook etc.

BTW, while it remains to be seen how athletic Tatum is, people should remember that he had the third highest Max Touch - 11'7.5" - in this year's draft, behind uber-athlete Jarrett Allen (12'1") and Zach Collins (11'8").
I didn't mention Tatum. Not comparing the two.

But I think people are underselling Fultz's athleticism. He may not be elite relative to the entire NBA, but I think his athleticism will slide comfortably into the top 10% of point guards. Almost all of his scouting reports mention his elite athleticism. Whether that's relative to his draft class, position, or the entire NBA can be hard to decipher, but regardless I think it's safe to say he has the athleticism to be a really strong defender if he puts in the work.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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I think it's more that he lacks the physical profile to be an elite defender in the Jordan/Pippen/Kawhi mold — the type of guy who can lock down 1-2-3 and even smallball 4s. To me, that's the defensive versatility that can take you out of the mold of "generic, offensively elite PG who puts up numbers" (something the league is pretty well glutted with right now) and into the realm of "centerpiece of a championship contender."

Also: at least based on the Nate Duncan / Danny Leroux breakdown I heard, Fultz, despite good length, seems to lack the lateral quickness and effort/motor of a great (or even decent) defender. At this point, I don't think it should be a given that he'll be better on that end than Harden, though I guess if we're talking about upside we can safely put him, at age 19, above the Beard.
I'm not sure I follow. You think you need to be an elite wing defender on par with Jordan/Pippen/Kawhi to be more than a generic point guard? Chris Paul doesn't have that sort of athleticism -- or anything close to it -- and he's an elite defender at his position. In fact, I'm not sure I can think of a single point guard that does.
 

nighthob

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But I think people are underselling Fultz's athleticism. He may not be elite relative to the entire NBA, but I think his athleticism will slide comfortably into the top 10% of point guards. Almost all of his scouting reports mention his elite athleticism. Whether that's relative to his draft class, position, or the entire NBA can be hard to decipher, but regardless I think it's safe to say he has the athleticism to be a really strong defender if he puts in the work.
I think people sleep on it because he plays like Harden, where he relies on a combination strength and shiftiness to get by people. But watch his chase down blocks and you realise just how athletic he is.
 

mauf

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Here's the list of #1 overall picks who are guards since 1979 (complete list in the spoiler; I picked 1979 arbitrarily since that's when Magic was drafted).

Fultz
Wiggins
Irving
Wall
Rose
Iverson
Magic
When all is said and done, Wiggins will probably be the only non-HOFer on that list. (Maybe D-Rose too, but if so he'll be the first MVP in a really long time who wasn't enshrined. Wall will get there if he stays healthy; so will Kyrie if he wins a title in Boston.)
 

Cesar Crespo

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Wiggins could still get in himself. Barring injury, he's going to score a shitload of points even if they are all empty.
 

CreedBratton

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When all is said and done, Wiggins will probably be the only non-HOFer on that list. (Maybe D-Rose too, but if so he'll be the first MVP in a really long time who wasn't enshrined. Wall will get there if he stays healthy; so will Kyrie if he wins a title in Boston.)
If Derrick Rose makes the hall of fame they better just shut it down for good.
 

DJnVa

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Breaking out the Fultz digression from the Kyrie/IT discussion -- I'm sure I didn't do it perfectly, but I think the patient will survive the operation.
I don't know. Word is he may not pass the physical...
 

LondonSox

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I'm sure it's been much pondered here, but what's the absolute upside of Fultz? In NBA history, the upside of true, normal-sized PGs is at least somewhat limited. The best ever who fit that description are probably Curry, Nash, Stockton and Paul; and it seems highly unlikely Fultz will be the greatest shooter ever like Curry, or have the handles/vision/passing/doggedness/IQ of the other three. And even if he does reach that level: Curry's the only guy of those four who's been good enough to be the best player on an NBA champion.

Yeah, Fultz is a bit bigger than all those guys, but he's not Jordan-big or even James Harden big. I'm not sure he has the physical profile it would take to be the type of versatile, tough wing defender you need to be to break past the "generic PG" ceiling — let alone the mentality it takes to be a great defender. Indeed, lack of defensive effort and tools seems to be the biggest knock on him.

Seems to me like the realistic upside is a poor man's James Harden, which doesn't seem like anything to get all hot and bothered about.
He's actually potentially a lot like Kyrie, not ridiculously fast but shifty and hard to stay in front of especially with his pull up/ step back ability.
The scouts who loved him compared him to kyrie, except with better size and better tools defensively. More questions sure, but similar. He also can play off play off ball supposedly. We shall see.
He's as good a prospect (PROSPECT) as Kyrie or Wall.

Fultz is a 6'4, 200lbs point guard at age 18 with a 6'10 wingspan. That's not really a "normal size" point guard, is it?

The average NBA point guard in 2016 was 6'2 and his wingspan is well above the average for NBA point guards.

It also seems that some here are vastly underrating Fultz's athleticism. He's an elite NBA level athlete. Given that, his size and wingspan, I'm not sure where the idea that he lacks the "physical profile" to be a good defender comes from.
He's not an elite athlete in fairness, he's a a solid NBA athlete though, not some plodder.

a


You mentioned this before and I think you might want to rethink this. Here's the list of #1 overall picks who are guards since 1979 (complete list in the spoiler; I picked 1979 arbitrarily since that's when Magic was drafted).

Fultz
Wiggins
Irving
Wall
Rose
Iverson
Magic

If you agree that Fultz isn't Magic, the median level of achievement for Fultz is a multiple-time All-Star, which ironically is what we just traded for (as someone else pointed out when you first brought this up). Now you may say that Rose could have been more than that if he hadn't gotten injured but I would respond that Fultz isn't nearly the athlete that peak Rose was.

Fultz is going to be a really good NBA player. He can score from 3 levels, he has great handles, and he can hit amazing over the head shots. But unlike the most transcendent guards, it does not appear yet that Fultz can get wherever he wants to get no matter who is guarding him.

More to the point, there aren't a lot of drafts since 1979 where Fultz would have been the #1 pick.

Sure there's a chance that Fultz turns out to be Stephen Curry. But there's also a chance that Tatum turns out to be Paul Pierce. I don't think the fact that Fultz was (more or less) the consensus #1 pick means that Fultz is destined for greatness.

Markelle Fultz
Ben Simmons
Karl-Anthony Towns
Andrew Wiggins
Anthony Bennett
Anthony Davis
Kyrie Irving
John Wall
Blake Griffin
Derrick Rose
Greg Oden
Andrea Bargnani
Andrew Bogut
Dwight Howard
LeBron James
Yao Ming
Kwame Brown
Kenyon Martin
Elton Brand
Michael Olowokandi
Tim Duncan
Allen Iverson
Joe Smith
Glenn Robinson
Chris Webber
Shaquille O'Neal
Larry Johnson
Derrick Coleman
Pervis Ellison
Danny Manning
David Robinson
Brad Daugherty
Patrick Ewing
Hakeem Olajuwon
Ralph Sampson
James Worthy
Mark Aguirre
Joe Barry Carroll
Magic Johnson
All the questions about record ignore a terrible coach and bad team, and his defense was poor, but it's unclear how much of that was due to the team plus carrying all the load on the other end.
We shall see.

The whole he wouldn't be number one in a other drafts is pretty dubious. It was a widely regarded good draft, at the top especially. He was an almost consensus number 1, in a deep draft. Now the consensus might be wrong but it was nearly universal, he would be in the running for most years, ex brow and the like.
This he's not a clear number one, he's not that great is hindsight supporting Ainge rationalization. He was a clear consensus number one in a good draft, this is not as common as you make it out, and there aren't a ton of misses (eg Bennett was not a clear consensus number one and not a good draft).
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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He's actually potentially a lot like Kyrie, not ridiculously fast but shifty and hard to stay in front of especially with his pull up/ step back ability.
The scouts who loved him compared him to kyrie, except with better size and better tools defensively. More questions sure, but similar. He also can play off play off ball supposedly. We shall see.
He's as good a prospect (PROSPECT) as Kyrie or Wall.



He's not an elite athlete in fairness, he's a a solid NBA athlete though, not some plodder.



All the questions about record ignore a terrible coach and bad team, and his defense was poor, but it's unclear how much of that was due to the team plus carrying all the load on the other end.
We shall see.

The whole he wouldn't be number one in a other drafts is pretty dubious. It was a widely regarded good draft, at the top especially. He was an almost consensus number 1, in a deep draft. Now the consensus might be wrong but it was nearly universal, he would be in the running for most years, ex brow and the like.
This he's not a clear number one, he's not that great is hindsight supporting Ainge rationalization. He was a clear consensus number one in a good draft, this is not as common as you make it out, and there aren't a ton of misses (eg Bennett was not a clear consensus number one and not a good draft).
He's as good a prospect as Wall, but he's not an elite athlete? Isn't that exactly what Wall is? I'm just a bit confused on how you're comparing them.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He's as good a prospect (PROSPECT) as Kyrie or Wall.
As someone who was bullish on both Kyrie and Wall coming out of college I don't have Fultz in that same space. The main difference is that he isn't nearly as explosive or quick athletic as they are which is an enormous factor in evaluating today's scoring PG's.



This he's not a clear number one, he's not that great is hindsight supporting Ainge rationalization. He was a clear consensus number one in a good draft, this is not as common as you make it out, and there aren't a ton of misses (eg Bennett was not a clear consensus number one and not a good draft).
Agreed that these guys never miss and I don't think Fultz will "miss" per se.......but he can still not miss and also not be in the Kyrie/Wall league. If I had to guess he lands in the tier below them with the Kemba grouping. That isn't a miss.....but not Kyrie/Wall either.
 

Eddie Jurak

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My brother, a track coach who views everything through the lens of athleticism, was higher on Fox than anyone in this draft.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The whole he wouldn't be number one in a other drafts is pretty dubious. It was a widely regarded good draft, at the top especially. He was an almost consensus number 1, in a deep draft. Now the consensus might be wrong but it was nearly universal, he would be in the running for most years, ex brow and the like.
This he's not a clear number one, he's not that great is hindsight supporting Ainge rationalization. He was a clear consensus number one in a good draft, this is not as common as you make it out, and there aren't a ton of misses (eg Bennett was not a clear consensus number one and not a good draft).
I think the majority of us are in agreement. Fultz, barring injury, is going to be a multiple time All-Star but likely will not be a generational talent (i.e., a guy who could be the best player on a championship team; e.g., LBJ, KD, Davis, etc.). That's not a knock against Fultz.

I was responding to a post by Maufman that said that DA was bucking CW by trading a consensus No. 1 pick because of "how good guys with that pedigree who don't get seriously hurt end up being" (Maufman compared him to Blake Griffin, who I think has underperformed his expectations but in part due to injury).

My point is that Fultz was the consensus (more or less) No. 1 of a deep draft, not a generational one, so I think DA's move for Tatum isn't as, well, contrarian as Maufman seems to make it. Particularly since a lot of Fultz's strengths are also shared by Tatum (great footwork and an ability to score at 3 levels).
 

Eddie Jurak

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Shouldn't he have been highest on DSJ?
He liked DSJ, too. I just went back and checked old text messages from before the draft (mostly from after Ainge tradied the #1 and before the draft). Summary here:
  • Fultz: really good, really skilled. Not as explosive as DSJ, not as light on his feet as Fox, but really really good.I like ainge's move though. Hard to draft a guard #1 unless he's an off-the-charts athlete. Surprised he's viewed as a definitive 1 actually
  • Ball: very good but not high elite athlete. Whips the ball around effortlessly in several different ways - reminds me a little of bird like that. Ball's a wildcard to me. Hard to support him over what are clearly better athletes, but his ball skills - no pun intended - are elite/unique. A better basketball guy could evaluate him better. Ball might have otherworldly passing ability; I'm just not as good at evaluating that.
  • Tatum: Okay, I'd stop short of calling Tatum a high elite athlete; we're not talking about Garnett here. But he's a very good athlete, functionally very strong, and is comfortable scoring in a whole slew of ways. Reminds me of Carmelo Anthony when he was at Syracuse. If Pierce/Carmelo is your thing, he's perfect. I think Tatum might be the safest pick in the draft.
  • Jackson: Okay I might not be quite as high on Josh Jackson as the consensus. Really good athlete - though not quite the athlete Wiggins was - and if he gets space in either a half court spread or the open floor, he can be lethal. Don't love his shot compared to some of these other guys. Moves with more fluidity than Jaylen Brown. Might put him in 5-10. I def don't like him over Tatum, and I think I might prefer Isaac. Man I'd have a hard time taking Josh Jackson over De'arron Fox - couldn't do it actually. Fox is the far more rare player. Might like DSJ better than Jackson too. He's young so he could keep getting better, but in general I didn't care for [Jackson]. Be interesting to see who has the better career, Josh Jackson or Jonathan Isaac
  • Fox: not exactly sure how to put it, but his feet interact with the ground more effortlessly than any player I've ever seen, including Jordan/Payton. Def doesn't have the freakish strength/exlosiveness of MJ/Westbrook, but his feet just look miles ahead of what he'll see in the NBA. Worth watching his YouTube highlights to see what I mean. Defensive potential must be off the charts. Plenty of ball skill & ability to change direction ability is elite. He can drive so well defenders will have to concede some space, so whether he can stick that shot consistently will determine a lot of his success. I cannot overstate the quality of Fox's feet. We're talking Deion Sanders here.
  • Isaac: How tall is Isaac? His highlights are really good - superb coordination in both sides. Form on outside shot could be a little better, though he prob has the coordination to fix it (most guys don't). I could see a team liking him. He's 6'11"? Holy shit...hes not projected top 5?
  • Ntilikina: really good movements on the court and a nice looking shot imo. I don't see the explosive first step that Fox or Smith has, and that's why I prob have him at the bottom of the guy's I've seen so far. Light, long and athletic though, so plenty to like.
  • DSJ: Okay, Smith is really good, though prob the worst current Celtics fit. Stronger, more mature offensive game than Fox. Still prefer Fox bc I think at worst you've got a game changing defender, and this kid def isn't that. Offense comes really easily to him though. Tough to bet on an NC State kid; that program is a hell hole. Very good player though. Can certainly see him as a top 10 type.
  • Monk: a little more difficult to evaluate a shooter bc when you only see highlights, you don't see him moving w/o the ball. Awesome shooter, and can score in a bunch of other ways too. Had no idea he had that many dunk finishes. Would have liked to have seen more examples of him setting his shot up off the dribble. Inconclusive there. Doesn't look like a great defender, but also not the type of shooter who's a complete liability in that regard either.
 

LondonSox

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He liked DSJ, too. I just went back and checked old text messages from before the draft (mostly from after Ainge tradied the #1 and before the draft). Summary here:
  • Fultz: really good, really skilled. Not as explosive as DSJ, not as light on his feet as Fox, but really really good.I like ainge's move though. Hard to draft a guard #1 unless he's an off-the-charts athlete. Surprised he's viewed as a definitive 1 actually
Kyrie isn't an insane althete he gets to his spot via handle and guile just like fultz. He's not a wall type althete but his shot is better form and his size is better which does partly offset. (In response to others too). I think that people are too dismissive of huge consensus number 1 in a good draft myself. But I understand people don't mean he's bad.
  • Ball: very good but not high elite athlete. Whips the ball around effortlessly in several different ways - reminds me a little of bird like that. Ball's a wildcard to me. Hard to support him over what are clearly better athletes, but his ball skills - no pun intended - are elite/unique. A better basketball guy could evaluate him better. Ball might have otherworldly passing ability; I'm just not as good at evaluating that.
Fultz is clearly a better athlete than ball. Ball has good top end speed, but his upside is his shot and passing of course. May not need althleticism
  • Tatum: Okay, I'd stop short of calling Tatum a high elite athlete; we're not talking about Garnett here. But he's a very good athlete, functionally very strong, and is comfortable scoring in a whole slew of ways. Reminds me of Carmelo Anthony when he was at Syracuse. If Pierce/Carmelo is your thing, he's perfect. I think Tatum might be the safest pick in the draft.
Tatum has slow twitch. He's not strong enough (yet) to mess with 4s and he's not quick enough to handle fast wings. I think he will be ok, but he's inflexible. Where Fultz has body control and flexibility, Tatum is stiff. This will hurt him defensively and finishing at the rim. I think Tatum has lots of upside but he's an average to slightly plus althete for me.
  • Jackson: Okay I might not be quite as high on Josh Jackson as the consensus. Really good athlete - though not quite the athlete Wiggins was - and if he gets space in either a half court spread or the open floor, he can be lethal. Don't love his shot compared to some of these other guys. Moves with more fluidity than Jaylen Brown. Might put him in 5-10. I def don't like him over Tatum, and I think I might prefer Isaac. Man I'd have a hard time taking Josh Jackson over De'arron Fox - couldn't do it actually. Fox is the far more rare player. Might like DSJ better than Jackson too. He's young so he could keep getting better, but in general I didn't care for [Jackson]. Be interesting to see who has the better career, Josh Jackson or Jonathan Isaac
I think he's close to the althete Wiggins is, but he's his shot is a mess and his iq is dubious. He is elite athletically but I'm not sure what he's good at.
  • Fox: not exactly sure how to put it, but his feet interact with the ground more effortlessly than any player I've ever seen, including Jordan/Payton. Def doesn't have the freakish strength/exlosiveness of MJ/Westbrook, but his feet just look miles ahead of what he'll see in the NBA. Worth watching his YouTube highlights to see what I mean. Defensive potential must be off the charts. Plenty of ball skill & ability to change direction ability is elite. He can drive so well defenders will have to concede some space, so whether he can stick that shot consistently will determine a lot of his success. I cannot overstate the quality of Fox's feet. We're talking Deion Sanders here.
Fox is fast. I think this is a mistake to say fast equals athletic. He's not just not strong, he's weak. He's 170 pounds in gear. I mean... He got knocked off his shot with minimal contact and shot experts suggest his strength and that inability to absorb any contact at all is a factor in his horrendous shooting given the form
Training experts suggest he can improve of course, but his frame isn't easy to pack muscle on. I'm highly dubious he can get stronger enough to be a star. If he can't shoot his pace is mitigated but ability to sag.
  • Isaac: How tall is Isaac? His highlights are really good - superb coordination in both sides. Form on outside shot could be a little better, though he prob has the coordination to fix it (most guys don't). I could see a team liking him. He's 6'11"? Holy shit...hes not projected top 5?
Isaac projects as ridiculous defensively, but in classic cognitive bias we think of him as a good shooter because he started hot and finished soft his numbers look good. I think he can be a great spacing and defensive big.
  • Ntilikina: really good movements on the court and a nice looking shot imo. I don't see the explosive first step that Fox or Smith has, and that's why I prob have him at the bottom of the guy's I've seen so far. Light, long and athletic though, so plenty to like.
Better size than most esp wingspan but athleticism is not his strength would agree.
  • DSJ: Okay, Smith is really good, though prob the worst current Celtics fit. Stronger, more mature offensive game than Fox. Still prefer Fox bc I think at worst you've got a game changing defender, and this kid def isn't that. Offense comes really easily to him though. Tough to bet on an NC State kid; that program is a hell hole. Very good player though. Can certainly see him as a top 10 type.
As I mentioned for fox his strength matters on defense too, and I totally don't see a game changing defender. Not least because the on ball defender on the PG in the NBA needs to be ridiculous to be game changing.
DSJ athletic ability is imo top in the draft (which is why I had him 2/3) and keeps improving as he gaisn confidence post knee injury.
System is a perfect fit, as is Noel. I made some money on Roy betting but took profit because price is about right now and others like Simmons too low.
Fox over DSJ is a big error for me.
  • Monk: a little more difficult to evaluate a shooter bc when you only see highlights, you don't see him moving w/o the ball. Awesome shooter, and can score in a bunch of other ways too. Had no idea he had that many dunk finishes. Would have liked to have seen more examples of him setting his shot up off the dribble. Inconclusive there. Doesn't look like a great defender, but also not the type of shooter who's a complete liability in that regard either.
This makes me doubt a lot of the rest anyway tbh, scouting highlights is not scouting.
Regardless he's a much better althete than people think (assumption seems to be skinny shooter). With a handle improvement I think he's got real upside, but I have the most confidence in his shot in the draft which helps as a floor.
My thoughts from a LOT of tape watching and reading ahead of the draft.
But again I do think such a high consensus on a good draft is more significant than you guys think. We shall see. We are splitting a small difference anyway so not really a big deal

I mean there was as much debate on Simmons Vs Ingram as fultz Vs field. And Simmons Vs Ingram isn't remotely close. People get paid to write what about stories on the draft and really no one had anything but fultz 1 until ainge shook it up.

I do get the point though that no one in this draft was a no warts no flaws almost guaranteed super duper star. Many drafts don't have one, esp at 19/20
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I realize Ingram didn't exactly knock people's socks off, but given that Simmons has yet to, ya know, actually play a game in the NBA because of a pretty significant injury, I continue to find your homerisms comical, especially when combined with your stones caste at Celtics fans out of he other side of your mouth. #trusttheprocess

Edit: @LondonSox for clarity
 
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LondonSox

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I realize Ingram didn't exactly knock people's socks off, but given that Simmons has yet to, ya know, actually play a game in the NBA because of a pretty significant injury, I continue to find your homerisms comical, especially when combined with your stones caste at Celtics fans out of he other side of your mouth. #trusttheprocess
Simmons is a different level prospect. His combination of size, strength, speed, handle and passing is pretty unique. Said it before the draft, Ingram has been worse than expected including in the areas like shooting which weren't meant to be a question. I don't see an obvious reason to change Simmons view because he landed on someone's foot. Esp as everything supposedly went fine.
The only thing worse than being hurt a d not playing is being healthy and absolute trash.
And as for fultz I expressed these views before any trades and was openly saying the Celtics were getting a great player and I was jealous.

I want to be clear that I was as high on fultz when I thought the Celtics were getting him. So yes what homerism.

I'm happy to have homerism pointed out. But I wasn't high on a player when my team was likely to draft him and down when not.
My only change to analysis from team to team is fit.
 

mauf

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I realize Ingram didn't exactly knock people's socks off, but given that Simmons has yet to, ya know, actually play a game in the NBA because of a pretty significant injury, I continue to find your homerisms comical, especially when combined with your stones caste at Celtics fans out of he other side of your mouth. #trusttheprocess

Edit: @LondonSox for clarity
@LondonSox is a Sixers fan, but I think his opinions are in line with the conventional wisdom on this issue -- Simmons would go #1 in a redraft; Ingram would probably drop behind Brown and Murray.
 

Big John

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Let's wait to see how well Simmons and Fultz can defend a competent NBA backcourt, say Irving and Hayward, Lowry and DeRozan or Wall and Beal. Even Schroeder and Bazemore will present a challenge to them, since Schroeder is way quicker than either one and they will have to bring in someone like T.J. McConnell to keep him in check.

I expect Simmons to run the offense from the sf position, but that cuts into Covington's minutes.
 

LondonSox

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He hopefully mainly plays the 4 defensively to maximize his plus rebounding and ability to grab and go and up the pace and get more transition opportunities

I think the starting sixers lineup (defensively)
Fultz, redick, Covington, Simmons, embiid
Bench
TJ, bayless, saric, sauce, Anderson, Holmes, Johnson and korkmaz (though he might be in g league a fair bit) oh and okafor lol I try to forget him
 

Big John

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Well, Fultz/Redick will not be an outstanding defensive backcourt either. I guess Saric and Covington will fight for minutes, depending on which forward position Simmons plays.
 

lovegtm

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Well, Fultz/Redick will not be an outstanding defensive backcourt either. I guess Saric and Covington will fight for minutes, depending on which forward position Simmons plays.
I'd assume Saric comes off the bench, since his scoring ability seems to project well in a 6th man/super-sub role?

Covington seems like a guy who would match up better in the starting lineup, since he doesn't really create his own shot, but is a strong defender.
 

LondonSox

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Yup I think saric is sixth man, tough matchup for backups potentially.
And yeah fultz redick back court is bad defensively most likely (longer term I see optimism for fultz to be ok and redick isn't awful but likely this year fultz will be schooled), but Covington and embiid help a lot and TJ is fine defensively and TLC has lots of promise there. So
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yup I think saric is sixth man, tough matchup for backups potentially.
And yeah fultz redick back court is bad defensively most likely (longer term I see optimism for fultz to be ok and redick isn't awful but likely this year fultz will be schooled), but Covington and embiid help a lot and TJ is fine defensively and TLC has lots of promise there. So
You passed the homerism test by recognizing that a Redick/Fultz starting backcourt will be awful. :)
Coming from an unbiased source I'm guessing "awful" is the best case this year for them.
 

jmm57

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NBA.com NBA gm poll
Which rookie will be the best player in 5 years?
Josh Jackson 24%
Markelle Fultz 21%
Jayson Tatum 21%
Lonzo Ball 14%
Ben Simmons 14%
Others receiving votes: Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr

Maybe Fultz wasn't as consensus #1 as mock draft sites would have us believe?

http://www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2017#/
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