clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

By the numbers: 2017 Point Guard Prospects

New, comments

This draft is loaded with prospects at the position the Kings most need.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs UCLA Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

This is the fifth of a five part series in which I analyze the 2017 NBA Draft by position. As a source I used DraftExpress's mock draft and for statistics I used both DraftExpress and Sports-Reference. All statistics used are for the prior college basketball season. Because of the lack of advanced statistic information and difference in playstyle for international leagues, I have only included NCAA players in this analysis. For information such as player position, school, height, etc. please click on the player's name and it will take you to their DraftExpress page with all that information.

The Kings have been searching for their Point Guard of the future ever since Mike Bibby left. At first it was going to be Beno Udrih. Then Tyreke Evans came along. Then the Kings actually found one in Isaiah Thomas but the Kings didn’t understand what was staring them in the face and let him go for nothing (yes, I’m still bitter).

Now the Kings have no Point Guards on their entire roster. Darren Collison and Ty Lawson are both unrestricted free agents with no guarantee that they’ll be back despite mutual interest. Fortunately, this draft is more loaded with high quality Point Guards than any draft since 2009.

Basic Stats

Name Class MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% TRB APG STL BLK TOV PF
Name Class MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% TRB APG STL BLK TOV PF
Markelle Fultz Fr. 35.7 23.2 .476 .413 (52/126) .649 5.7 5.9 1.6 1.2 3.2 2.5
Lonzo Ball Fr. 35.1 14.6 .551 .412 (80/194) .673 6.0 7.6 1.8 0.8 2.5 1.8
De'Aaron Fox Fr. 29.6 16.7 .478 .246 (17/69) .739 3.9 4.6 1.5 0.2 2.4 2.5
Dennis Smith Fr. 34.8 18.1 .455 .359 (55/153) .715 4.6 6.2 1.9 0.4 3.4 2.1
Jawun Evans So. 29.3 19.2 .438 .379 (36/95) .812 3.4 6.4 1.8 0.1 2.8 2.3
Derrick White Sr. 32.8 18.1 .507 .396 (57/144) .813 4.1 4.4 1.2 1.4 2.4 2.1
Frank Mason Sr. 36.1 20.9 .490 .471 (82/174) .794 4.2 5.2 1.3 0.1 2.4 2
Edmond Summer So. 31.7 14.3 .479 .273 (12/44) .737 4.2 4.8 1.2 0.7 2.6 2.3
Nigel Williams-Goss Jr. 32.8 16.8 .486 .368 (43/117) .867 6.0 4.7 1.7 0.1 2.1 1.6
Monte Morris Sr. 35.3 16.4 .465 .378 (54/143) .802 4.8 6.2 1.5 0.3 1.2 1.5
Kadeem Allen Sr. 30.0 9.8 .453 .427 (32/75) .741 4.0 3.0 1.6 0.6 1.9 2.4
Melo Trimble Jr. 32.1 16.8 .436 .317 (58/183) .789 3.6 3.7 1.1 0.2 3.0

Advanced Stats

Name PER TS% FTR ORB% DRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg Team SoS
Name PER TS% FTR ORB% DRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg Team SoS
Markelle Fultz 27.9 .558 .383 4.0 13.9 35.5 2.4 3.1 13.4 31.4 116.3 110.8 63rd
Lonzo Ball 24.7 .673 .286 3.2 14.3 31.4 2.8 2.1 18.6 18.1 131.3 100.7 74th
De'Aaron Fox 22.6 .548 .471 2.0 12.2 28.6 2.7 0.7 13.7 27.6 113.4 96.8 19th
Dennis Smith 23.1 .563 .476 2.7 11.5 34.2 3.1 1.2 17.3 27.2 112.2 109.1 55th
Jawun Evans 27.3 .535 .396 2.8 10.9 43.6 3.3 0.5 13.6 32.7 118.7 108.2 1st
Derrick White 27.3 .627 .450 3.5 10.5 28.6 2.2 4.9 14.2 25.3 124.9 104.0 73rd
Frank Mason 25.5 .622 .484 2.0 10.4 26.1 2.0 0.2 12.4 25.6 128.4 103.4 8th
Edmond Summer 21.2 .570 .649 1.8 13.6 30.2 2.3 2.7 17.4 24.0 113.8 104.0 9th
Nigel Williams-Goss 25.2 .594 .400 2.2 15.6 25.6 2.9 0.2 13.1 24.6 122.0 86.3 89th
Monte Morris 24.7 .555 .239 3.7 11.3 32.0 2.4 0.8 7.5 22.8 126.1 103.0 3rd
Kadeem Allen 16.7 .570 .492 1.5 13.8 17.8 3.1 2.3 18.3 18.1 111.3 96.3 59th
Melo Trimble 19.2 .560 .424 1.0 11.4 25.2 2.0 0.5 16.8 28.5 107.8 102.2 54th

It’s easy to see why Markelle Fultz is considered the safe pick at #1 even if he doesn’t get quite the same level of hype as other #1 picks have in the past that seemed like surefire stars. Fultz is big and athletic for a PG, and he can also shoot the ball, making over 40% of his threes his freshman season. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise abysmal season for the University of Washington, playing with talent that won’t come close to what he’ll play next to in the NBA. Fultz showed last year he was able to excel despite a lack of talent around him. Going to the NBA, likely to a team that already is one of the best in the NBA, will just serve to further his development.

Lonzo Ball is a very interesting prospect because his numbers are both ridiculous and don’t make any sense. He was the primary ballhandler for the best offense in the country, and yet his usage rate was an absurdly low 18.1%. Part of this was due to UCLA’s offense focusing so much on getting out in transition, with Ball being the leader in that regard, pushing his team to run, run, and run some more. Ball was also exceedingly efficient as a scorer, posting a True Shooting % of .673, way higher than any of his peers. That’s largely because most of Ball’s points came off transition layups or spot-up shoots; He didn’t spend all that much time in halfcourt sets creating shots for himself, and he didn’t get to the line all that much either. For being such a good shooter from three, it’s surprising to me that Ball shot just 67.3% from the line. That might have something to do with his unorthodox shooting form.

De’Aaron Fox is the prospect that Kings fans are most hoping falls to them at 5, but statistically he doesn’t stand out as much as some of his other peers. We all know he’s a poor shooter, and his True Shooting Percentage was lower than everyone else aside from Jawun Evans. Fox’s assist rate also wasn’t super high for a PG, but Calipari had him splitting ballhandling duties with guys like Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe at times, and he’ll be more in charge at the NBA level. One place where Fox does stand out is on defense, where he clearly made his team better. Fox also got the line fairly frequently, and actually shot well from there at 73.9%. Fox will need to add strength and consistency to his shooting at the NBA level.

Dennis Smith is a player that like Fultz was stuck on a very bad team but managed to play well despite it. While Smith wasn’t as good of a shooter as Fultz or some of the other prospects, he at least showed respectable range and should get better as time goes on. Smith’s defense has been a question mark, but he has one of the higher steal rates, and his team, while terrible on that end, was slightly better when Smith was on the floor.

Jawun Evans is the best passer in this draft class, posting a very good 43.6% assist rate and an over 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Evans was not only the primary playmaker for his team, but also the primary scorer, averaging 19.2 points a game. He also played the toughest schedule in college basketball. Evans doesn’t have the greatest size, but he’s got a decent wingspan and posted the highest steal rate of any guard. He looks like someone who can contribute in the NBA, but he’ll likely need to focus more on his playmaking than scoring in the NBA, especially when he was one of the least efficient scorers in this group. Maybe that efficiency goes up when he isn’t the primary focus of other team’s defensive schemes however.

Frank Mason III is a player that is extremely easy to root for and one of the best players in college basketball last year. While he doesn’t possess great size, he’s got great athleticism and possesses great scoring instincts. He averaged 20.9 points a game his senior year while shooting an extremely efficient 49% from the field and 47.1% from three point range. For a score-first point guard, that’s really, really good.

Monte Morris might just be Jerry Reynolds’ favorite player in the draft because he lives by the phrase “value the ball”. Morris had just a 7.5% turnover rate, the kind of rate you see from guys who barely handle or pass the ball, yet he was his team’s primary ballhandler. Morris had an assist to turnover ration of over 5 to 1, which is unheard of.

I don’t know if the Kings will find their Point Guard of the future from this bunch, but they definitely have a wealth of options to choose from. At the very minimum, the Kings should be able to come out of the draft with at least one young PG to develop, if not more.