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Today, we start off by looking at who the top shooting guards are in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. This is a point guard heavy draft, but there are still plenty of talented shooting guards in this upcoming draft.
Without further ado, here are the top 3 shooting guards in the 2017 NBA Draft:
1. Malik Monk Kentucky
Malik Monk is the easy choice here as the best shooting guard in this draft. Malik Monk is universally known as an obvious top 10 pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. I’m not nearly as high on him as many others are, but there’s no doubting his talent and potential.
He was clutch throughout the season and in the NCAA Tournament for Kentucky. Monk’s main strength is his jump shot. He has a great, quick release that looks very smooth. He doesn’t need much separation to get his shot up, but at the next level, he’s going to need to have that ability to separate himself.
I don’t think he has elite level ball-handling abilities yet. But, with that being said, he has shown that he is capable of beating players with his handles:
Malik Monk has a lot of work to do. We often forget that he’s only 6’3!! He’s an undersized two-guard who doesn’t have the handles or the blow by speed yet. He has shown an athletic prowess with his hops, but if he can’t get to the rim at the next level, that won’t matter.
Monk needs to be able to become a prolific runner off of ball screens. That’s where he would succeed in the NBA. We already know that his shot is very, very good. He just needs to work on the other components of his game to take his abilities to the next level.
2. Terrance Ferguson International
It’s always hard to critique someone who has played overseas and only averages around 4 points per game. Terrance Ferguson is no exception. The first thing you notice when you watch tape from Ferguson is how lean he is. He has great height at 6’7 but is only listed at around 190 lbs. He’s going to need to bulk up.
From watching his game, I can see the potential. He has an average shot, but can come off picks well and is a great post-up guard. The problem right now is that he won’t be able to back down many players at his frame at the next level. Like I said if he bulks up that could solve that problem.
He’s definitely got the hops:
If Terrance Ferguson went to college in the United States instead of playing overseas, I think he would not have had as much hype surrounding him. The one thing that I like Ferguson above all else is that he has proved that he can contribute when he is not the main ball-handler. I can’t say that about many of the other guards in this draft class.
I don’t think Ferguson would ever become one of the top players on a team, but I think he could work well in a reserve role. He won’t ever be a dynamic scorer but should be very efficient at the next level if he can continue to accept a minor role in an offense.
3. Luke Kennard Duke
This was the hardest pick for the top 3. Malik Monk is clearly the best and I believe Ferguson is clearly the closest to him at this point. Dwayne Bacon and Josh Hart were two guys I was strongly considering to put in this spot. Ultimately, I decided to go with Luke Kennard, but those two aren’t off by much at all.
This draft class features many average shooting guards and Kennard is one of them. Luke was so great this year for Duke. He shot 49% from the field, 44% from beyond the arc, and around 86% from the line. Those are unbelievable numbers. But, will they translate?
For those type of numbers to translate, Luke is going to have to find the right system. He can’t be the primary ball-handler in the starting lineup but can command an offense. Maybe he could immediately take a Ron Baker type role where he can help take up the ball with the 2nd unit? Possibly, but he still is going to need to score the ball either way. He won’t be able to shoot over the defender so easily as he did in college. 6’5 is a solid height for a shooting guard, but he won’t be one of the taller guards as he was at Duke.
Luke will need to continue to utilize moves like this:
The pump fake is what got him the little separation he needed and then he immediately drove to the basket with the defender on his hip. That’s what James Harden is so great at, and Luke Kennard will need to integrate that into his game if he’s going to find success in the NBA.
Josh Hart and Dwayne Bacon could realistically become better NBA players than Luke Kennard, but as of right now, Kennard is the better prospect because of his shooting touch.