Exclusive: Freshman Star Markelle Fultz - A Mavs Draft Dream - Declares For NBA. Our Evan Daniels Has The Scoop.
Washington freshman Markelle Fultz will enter the 2017 NBA Draft, he tells Scout.com,
"I'm excited and I'm just ready for the next chapter," Fultz said. "I've put in a lot of work to get here."
Although a lot can happen between now and June, Fultz is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in June, according to multiple NBA sources. This would be no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks, who think highly of Fultz. Of course, as the Mavs continue to climb in the standings (they play host to Brooklyn tonight at the AAC, with the GameThread discussion here, along with the news that Nerlens Noel is out ... oh, and get to know the two 10-day newcomers here), the idea of drafting that high this spring fade.
But somebody has a shot at somebody special.
“He's got the total package, size, athleticism, feel, can dribble, pass and shoot,” one NBA executive told Scout. “There's not really anything not to like.”
Fultz, 18, had a sensational individual season for the Huskies, averaging 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 assists a game. Fultz missed Washington’s last four games of the year.
“There isn't much that he can't do well from passing to shot blocking,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar told Scout. “His love and passion for the game I believe sets him apart. [He’s a ] great teammate and very unselfish.”
"I think I had a good season," Fultz said. "There was some stuff I could have done better. Overall I think I did a great job of sticking with it and being a leader. I think I became a much better player. I played an all around game, not just offense or scoring or passing.
What's the next step in Fultz's development?
"Everything," he said when asked what he wanted to focus on leading up to the Draft. "I want to work on my ball handling, my shooting, my speed, getting bigger and eating right. I want to get better on the ball screens and stuff like that. Just starting on the basics and building everything back up."
Fultz hasn't settled on an agent or his pre-draft plans.
"This is just the first step and I'm just happy about this right now," Fultz said.
Washington’s season ended on Wednesday with a loss to USC in the PAC-12 tournament. The Huskies finished just 9-22.
Fultz has a unique basketball story, as he played Junior Varsity his freshman and sophomore seasons at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic, before breaking out as a junior in high school.
Futlz ended up being selected as a McDonald’s All-American and played for USA Basketball in the FIBA u17 Americas this past summer.