Analyzing the most underrated and overrated prospects at each position in the 2017 NBA Draft
The 2016 NBA Draft is the time when the best college and international basketball players in the world get their chance to join the NBA fraternity.
Every draftnik has their own opinions about specific players, and I am no different. Here are the most overrated and underrated prospects ranked by position in this year’s NBA Draft.
Overrated: De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
The De’Aaron Fox hype train has been out of control recently. He’s a great player and is worthy of a top 10 selection, but there’s been rumors that he’s ahead of Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball on some draft boards. That’s ludicrous.
Fox has great size and athleticism, which should make him a handful for opposing point guards. He’s an average playmaker, but should improve over time as he gains experience. But what separates Fultz and Ball from Fox is shooting. Fultz and Ball can both shoot the ball from distance, which is something that Fox hasn’t mastered yet. If he becomes a consistent jump shooter, then he might be the best point guard from this draft class.
But that’s not a given, and it’s crucial in today’s NBA that point guards can shoot. Fox is seventh on my big board, and the fourth ranked point guard behind Fultz, Ball, and Dennis Smith Jr. I like his skill set, but I think it would be a huge mistake if he gets drafted ahead of Fultz or Ball.
Underrated: Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan
As a senior point guard that took four years to become an NBA caliber prospect, Derrick Walton Jr. isn’t getting much praise from the draft community. Most NBA players establish themselves as NBA prospects early into their college career.
There are occasional late bloomers, but they usually don’t become impact players as professionals. Teams are also aware that some players dominate as seniors because they are more physically developed than their younger opponents, which is an advantage they won’t have in the NBA.
Although these are valid concerns, I think Derrick Walton Jr. can break the mold and become a solid backup point guard. He won’t be a first round pick and likely won’t get drafted, but he should make an NBA roster. He’s a bit undersized and isn’t a great athlete, but he’s extremely skilled. Walton is a great shooter and makes plays for his teammates. If I was running a team, I’d take a second round flier on Walton.