Pac-12 Could Have Top-2 Picks in Upcoming NBA Draft

Two of the Pac-12’s talented freshman from last season could find themselves going to the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers respectively. Washington’s Markelle Fultz is the complete package to become a franchise player for the Celtics. UCLA’s Lonzo Ball can be an impact player but living up to the hype could be an issue for the Lakers.

In one season with the Huskies, Fultz averaged 23.2 points while shooting 41 percent beyond the arc. Defensively, the freshman nearly six rebounds per game. Fultz stood out in Washington, but the team finished with an overall 9-22 record with a 2-16 conference record. Washington will be in a rebuilding phase after Lorenzo Romar was dismissed as head coach. As a result, No. 1 prospect, Michael Porter Jr., opted out of his commitment and chose to play for Missouri this coming season.

History could potentially happen if Fultz is selected first overall by Boston. Kelsey Plum averaged 31.7 points per game in her final season for the women of Washington. She was chosen first overall in the WNBA Draft by the San Antonio Stars. Washington would be the first school to produce No. 1 pick in both drafts the same year.

(Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP)

Fultz appears destined to start his career on a winning note after the Celtics made an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals of this season. Boston seems primed for another run next season if Fultz joins the fold. Fatigue caught up with the team against Lebron James and Cleveland Cavaliers. Before the matchup with Cleveland, Boston faced Chicago and Washington where both series went to a decisive game 7.

The Lakers are all but certain to select Ball as the No. 2 pick to the delight of LaVar Ball. Since announcing his decision to turn pro, Ball’s father has been making headlines. If he is not touting how great Big Baller Brand is then he is saying how Lonzo is only working out for the Lakers. Whatever LaVar’s intention is, he is indeed promoting Big Baller Brand in a right or wrong way.

Side note: LaVar Ball said for those not wanting to buy the ZO2s then you are not a big baller. I love shoes, but I certainly will not drop $495 for a pair, period.

Magic Johnson can only hope the elder Ball stays out of what the Lakers are trying to accomplish and let Lonzo play basketball. At UCLA, the highly touted freshman averaged 14 points per game, third behind teammates TJ Leaf and Bryce Alford. His performance in the NCAA Tournament was not spectacular leaving question marks on if Ball is ready for the main stage.

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After the Lakers select Ball, their next selection could be a potential difference maker. Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey could fit in well if he is still available when the Lakers pick in the first round again at No. 28. Dorsey worked out for the Lakers can be a difference maker offensively. His play in the NCAA Tournament propelled the Ducks into the Final Four. Brandon Ingram and Ball can be the talkers while Dorsey can quietly play his game in scoring.

Pac-12 Basketball has been on the rise with the talent amongst the teams. Fultz and Ball may have been the featured attractions, but Oregon made the most noise. Along with Dorsey, Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell led the Ducks to a historic season and are ready to make the same impact in the NBA. Expect all these players to have successful careers for their respected teams once selected.

No matter if Fultz and Ball do not go to Boston and Los Angeles, the two are guaranteed to make an impact on any NBA team. This year’s NBA Draft has plenty of promising prospects who can turn pretenders into contenders.

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