Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Freshmen dominate NBA Draft

Freshmen dominate NBA Draft

A bevy of cameras and National Basketball Association advisers were shuttling Markelle Fultz from interview to interview, running down the back hallways of the Barclays Center on Thursday night at a frenzied, fast-break pace.

Wade is a loser because he's now stuck on the Jimmy Butler-less Chicago Bulls, but we might reconsider it a week or two.

The deal was first reported on Saturday and when it was apparent the trade was going to occur, Fultz quickly worked out for the 76ers after a short drive from Maryland.

To open the Draft the Philadelphia 76ers took Markelle Fultz as the overall No. 1 pick. "An All-ACC Freshman First Team selectee, the Magic may landed a gem in this pick as Isaac possess a freakish 9'0.5" standing wing span.

"It was unbelievable, really", said Fultz when asked about the feeling of crossing the stage after being announced as top pick. "I just realized that I was doing stuff that other kids weren't doing and it just started to work out for me".

The Sixers made that well-known fact official when they took Fultz with the overall No. 1 pick.

Last season, the 76ers held the top pick for the first time since drafting Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in 1996 and selected Ben Simmons. As a college freshman in 2016-17, he broke the UCLA record for most assists in a season.

Stepping into the ring, Ball will replace the former second overall pick from 2015 in D'Angelo Russell.

He joins a young squad that features Australian forward Ben Simmons, another top draft pick who missed all of last season with a foot injury; Jahlil Okafor and 2017 National Basketball Association rookie of the year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. Despite their continued losing, they finally seem to have their fans and players believing in "The Process", as they continue to stockpile young talent through the draft.

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Shortly after the Philadelphia Sixers drafted Markelle Fultz with the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft last week, Joel Embiid approved a new nickname for the team's young core: "FEDS". An 3rd team All-ACC selectee, Tatum proves his worth during the latter stretch of the season as he put up major numbers during the ACC and NCAA tournament.

Lavar Ball may have pressured the Lakers into drafting his son, but there's no way he could force them to make Lonzo into their team leader. Derrick White, who went to the Spurs, and Josh Hart, who went to the Lakers, had to wait until the last two picks of round number one to hear their names called. Still, there were teams making moves and, for the most part, the moves were pretty good value.

"The thing you realize when you study Markelle's game is that he has the ability to be a significant ball-carrier", Brown said.

After the announcement of Ball's selection by the Lakers, he said he "just wants to get on the court".

The Sacramento Kings made a decision to select a guard with the 5th pick as they chose De'Aaron Fox out of Kentucky. Can the preternaturally talented 1.98m-tall point guard prospect grab the reins of a storied franchise that has struggled for relevancy in the post-Kobe Bryant era?

While this year's draft class has had National Basketball Association scouts and executives drooling for years, the timing of the record-setting freshman class has certainly been affected by the Warriors - and to a lesser extent - the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sixers view Fultz as the ideal fit alongside 6-foot-10 guard Ben Simmons, last' year's No. 1-overall pick who's been compared to Magic Johnson because of his floor vision and ability to run an offense at his size.

During the first round of the Draft on Thursday 16 freshmen were chosen setting a new record.

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