LaVar Ball is not going to be happy.
Despite not appearing in the NCAA March Madness tournament, Markelle Fultz remains the prohibitive favorite to be drafted first overall in this year’s prospect pageant, according to ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, who polled a bunch of scouts:
Based on conversations with NBA scouts, it looks like Markelle Fultz has a very slight edge on Lonzo Ball as the No. 1 choice for most teams. For the Celtics, Fultz’s ability to play multiple positions has value given their stocked roster.
This makes a lot of sense. A team, be it the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers, could take Lonzo Ball No. 1 and justify it, but there are questions about his ability to get off his jumper at the pro level. Fultz enters the Association as the more polished prospect, with the more NBA-ready frame.
Of course, there is a lot of time between now and June. The draft order also depends heavily on which team actually wins the No. 1 pick. But Fultz and Ball play the same position. If you’re a rebuilding team looking to draft a point guard or the best player available, Fultz, who put up 23.2 points and 5.9 assists while drilling more than 40 percent of three-pointers at Washington, remains the clear choice.