Markelle Fultz vs. Lonzo Ball

(Jennifer Buchanan - USA TODAY Sports)

This year’s NBA Draft is highlighted by a crop of franchise-changing lottery picks. While Dennis Smith Jr., Josh Jackson, and Jayson Tatum are great additions to any team, all eyes are focused on two specific players, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. Fultz has shown an NBA toolset by putting up ridiculous numbers this season, while Ball has proven to be the point guard leader every team needs. Here we analyze the pros and cons of their games!

Markelle Fultz

Age: 18 (May 29, 1998)

Height: 6’4 (6’9.75 wingspan)

Weight: 195 lbs

Stats: 23.3 PPG, 47.6% FG, 41.7%  3P, 5.9 RPG, 6.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG

Strengths: One of Fultz’s biggest strengths is the physical tool he possesses. An above average athlete, Fultz has an NBA-ready body at only the age of 18. He’s is long enough to be one of the best guard finishers in the league. Fultz loves to push the ball in transition and is a threat to pull-up, as he is one of the best shooters off the dribble. He runs the pick and roll to perfection and is more than comfortable shooting mid-range jumpers, something that is common for every great scorer.

Weaknesses: The only “real” weakness in Fultz’s game is the slight inconsistency in his jumper. It will be very interesting to see how he adapts to the NBA 3 pointer.

Lonzo Ball

Age: 19 (October 27, 1997)

Height: 6’6 (6’7 wingspan)

Weight: 190

Stats: 14.9 PPG, 55.5% FG, 42.4% 3P, 6.2 RPG, 7.8 APG, 2.0 SPG

Strengths: Ball is possibly the smartest player in college basketball, as shown by his incredibly efficient stats. He is a selfless player who can control the pace of the game with his passing alone, averaging a nation-leading 7.8 APG. In addition to a solid 3 point shot, Ball has extreme athleticism, which allows him to take it to the rack and finish in space. He has also shown signs of becoming an elite defender, averaging 2.0 steals per game.

Weaknesses: Possibly the biggest criticism of Lonzo Ball are his shot mechanics, which make it very difficult to create shots going to his right. While he has a solid left side step back and pull up game, there is very few footage of him pulling up going towards his right.

Fultz has the complete offensive and physical package, while Ball is the type of player to elevate his teammates’ game. With both prospects projected to be the top two picks of the 2017 NBA Draft, the question comes down to who will be the first overall pick?

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