The Brew Hoop community shows their penchant for a new point guard with the fourth pick in the draft. A near-consensus top-5 pick sporting impressive athleticism and explosiveness despite a meager shot from range, the next player off the board is De’Aaron Fox - PG, Kentucky.
Fox is the first of a handful of Kentucky Wildcat freshman expected to be drafted this year, and he’s also the first of our prospects to attend the 2017 NBA Draft Combine where he measured 6’2” with a 6’6½” wing span. Physically he fits the Bucks rangy template, and defensively, he couples an instinctual feel for the game with an elite quickness. When he’s focused, Fox is an elite defender capable of recovering in space and sticking with quick guards like John Wall or Isaiah Thomas types. However, weighing in at a minute 169.6 pounds, the second lowest weight at the combine, brings up questions of switchability, durability and sturdiness. On the perimeter and in space Fox can hang, but against contact or in the post Fox may struggle with larger guards.
The same instincts that accent him defensively highlight his offensive prowess on the other end. Fox averaged 22.6 points and 4.6 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes in college with a 27.6 usage rate, the highest on his successful Kentucky team. Fox’s quality defensive rebounding numbers suggest a desire to grab-and-go. In transition Fox is an elite scorer, zooming by defenders to the tune of 5.9 points per game on the break according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Questions about Fox’s offensive game remain though. An extremely spotty jump shot make him enigmatic for the modernizing NBA, shooting 24.6% on 69 three-point field goals with an unstable shooting form on the season. As a pull-up jump shooter the southpaw struggled from behind the arc where only 13 of his 17 made 3s were assisted. Compare that to his midrange game where he shot 36.2% on 163 2-point jumpers; of those 59 jumpers only 10 were assisted, according to Hoop-Math.com. These numbers give a clear snapshot of Fox’s game.
Fox’s speed and proclivity and success at the rim are a more frightening threat to defenses so they’ll gladly back up and give Fox an open three pointer off the dribble. When the swift guard attacks off the dribble to attack the rim, where 80.4% of his made shots were unassisted, he presses the defense and opens up multiple opportunities: go to the hoop himself, step back for a midrange jumper where he’s more successful, or dish to another shooter or big man inside. Although his playmaking skills in the pick and roll need refinement Fox still had a 28.6% assist percentage en route to averaging 6.2 assists per 40 minutes.
Fox is a very talented prospect with upside and room for improvement on both ends of the floor, but his size leaves something to be desired as well. He’ll get bodied up and bullied defensively while offensively it remains to be seen if his body will hold up through a full season of banging bigger bodied behemoths at his preferred real estate near the rim. His physical tools and athleticism have Fox pegged as a pure point guard, and he offers what Bucks fans are looking for in a point guard. His precarious jumper and role as primary ball-handler makes him a difficult fit in Milwaukee alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he’ll be a feisty player with a good heart on whatever team he lands on.
The 2017 Brew Hoop Draft Board
- Markelle Fultz - PG, Washington - DraftExpress Profile
- Lonzo Ball - PG, UCLA - DraftExpress Profile
- Josh Jackson - SF, Kansas - DraftExpress Profile
- De’Aaron Fox - PG, Kentucky - Draft Express Profile
My Pick for the #5 spot on the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Jayson Tatum - SF, Duke
Malik Monk - SG, Kentucky
Jonathan Isaac - SF/PF, Florida State
Dennis Smith - PG, N.C. State
Lauri Markkanen - PF, Arizona
Frank Ntilikina - PG, Strasbourg
Trade the pick!