Looking forward to the 2017 NBA Draft, experts try to predict which prospect’s game will translate the smoothest to the next level. Looking at recent years, it seems like the rookie who averages the most points will win the award. Over the past 5 years, all 5 previous winners have led their class in scoring.
There’s many aspects to projecting who will be the best scorer in their class. The main deciding factor will be team, which will limit other prospects from showing their talent. Looking at Bleacher Report’s latest mock draft, they project Tatum to be selected by the Phoenix Suns at the 4 spot. This would give Jayson plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the hoop while the defense worries about Rising Star Devin Booker and Guard Eric Bledsoe.
Understandably, fans will think players selected by the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Orlando Magic will have easier chances, but think again. The Lakers will most likely take playmaker Lonzo Ball out of UCLA. Lonzo could have a great chance to end the “best scorer gets ROTY” but unlikely. Unless they trade Guard D’Angelo Russell, there is a possibility Lonzo won’t even start at the beginning of the season. Also, Ball hit 2 midrange pull-up jumpers at UCLA. This could be concerning as NBA offenses like the Lakers are pick-and-roll dominate and teams can easily back away from his jumper.
The Sixers, Kings, and Magic will all select from Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox. As non-shooters, it’s unlikely Jackson or Fox will be able to win this award unless their athleticism and play making ability blows away the league. Monk however is also a good candidate, especially if he can stay more consistent. His height could be an issue in the pros, unlike Tatum.
Notice how Markelle Fultz’s name hasn’t been said. The projected 1st overall pick will most likely be going to the Boston Celtics. The issue for Boston is their guard heavy as is and it will be difficult to see Fultz playing more than 28 minutes consistently on a team that just made the Eastern Conference Finals.
Back to Tatum now, a fair NBA comparison is Carmelo Anthony. They both were the best isolation players in their lone season in college. Their strength and ability to create from anywhere on the court will make it tough for NBA defenses to read him, and with Booker and Bledsoe, it’s fair to see a decent playmaker sense tloo. I can see a rookie stat line of 16 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds. Great things can happen for Tatum and he looks like the most NBA-ready prospect not just by me, but other NBA analysts as well.