2017 NBA Draft had the most 1-and-dones ever picked in 1st round

The one-and-done era might end soon, but it’s alive and well on Draft Night 2017.

The NBA broke its record for the most freshman selected in the first round on Thursday. Duke’s Harry Giles became the 14th one-and-done player taken in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft when the Sacramento Kings picked him No. 20. That broke the 2015 record of 13 freshmen picked in the first round.

The 2017 draft also marked the first time in league history in which the top five picks (Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, and De’Aaron Fox) were all freshman. Nine of the first 10 picks were freshmen — the only exception was French guard Frank Ntilikina, chosen No. 8 by the New York Knicks.

The one-and-done era may be coming to an end, however. NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said he feels the league’s age minimum is no longer working for prospects, college basketball, or NBA teams. The players’ union has rejected overtures to increase the age minimum to 20 — requiring two years of post-high school time — so the NBA may leverage its developmental league to work out a compromise.

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OG Anunoby could be the steal of the NBA draft, if healthy

OG Anunoby is a raw talent, but could pan out as the biggest steal in the 2017 NBA draft

OG Anunoby might be the biggest steal of this draft class after Toronto took him with the 23 in the 2017 NBA draft.

Anunoby tore his ACL in January this past season, but was just catching his stride on both ends at Indiana. He isn’t the most polished player and has lots of work to do to improve his game, but if he pans out, he could be just the 3-and-D forward Toronto is looking to have.

Anunoby averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season in 25 minutes of play, but still managed to shoot 56 percent from the field. He also averaged 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game last season.

He isn’t the perfect player, but that’s not what the Raptors are looking for. He spent two years in Indiana, but is just 19 years old, so he has plenty of room to grow into the future. (Team) should be very satisfied with this pick.

Why should Raptors fans be excited about Anunoby

He can be a terror defensively

At 6’8 and 232 pounds, Anunoby remains nimble and quick. He has a 7’2 wingspan with quick hands and reflexes that will make him difficult to get by at the next level.

We know this because he’s done it against NBA-level competition. As a freshman, Anunoby made his name by shutting Jamal Murray down in the NCAA tournament.

He used his quicks and speed to follow Murray around baseline screens and denied him of backdoor lanes by staying just a step behind. Murray has an incredibly quick shot release, but Anunoby was able to counter that because of his length and footwork defensively.

He can stay with the quickest perimeter players despite being a heavier small forward because of that athleticism and frame. That is an invaluable skill that will be put to great use by Toronto the moment he gets minutes.

Switchability

Anunoby gets the job done defensively on the perimeter. His quickness and length are both assets NBA teams value. When he’s caught in the pick-and-roll or in dribble handoff action, he’s able to stay with guards.

But that isn’t all he can do. Even if he’s stuck down low in the post, he’s still able to hold his base on the ground and force big men into tough shots with his length. (Video via Draft Express)

He doesn’t have the greatest height in the world at 6’8, but his wingspan makes up for any size he lacks against bigger assignments. And as a 215-pound sophomore, Anunoby was able to hold his ground against bigger opponents in the post.

At the NBA Combine, he measured out at 232 pounds and will have even more of a base to work with. It’s going to be hard to score on this guy.

Athleticism

Anunoby’s quickness and length have been well-documented here, but he also has the athleticism that comes along with that package. He’s very explosive off the ground and will be a great lob finisher at the next level.

He can go up and get most passes thrown in his direction. His wingspan coupled with his springy legs makes for a dangerous combination for defenses.

So even if defenses choose not to guard him on the perimeter, he’s still lethal as a slasher. If the defense takes their sights off of him for a few seconds, late in possessions he’ll be able to make them pay by finishing above the rim and through contact.

His bounce also translates into his rebounding. Anunoby averaged nine rebounds and 2.8 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes in his last season at Indiana. He’s shown the ability to go up and get the ball on both ends, and extending possessions is a huge skill in today’s NBA.

Is there any reason to be nervous about Anunoby

His offensive game is still a work in progress. Anunoby is a very raw prospect with tons of length and athleticism. More often than not, that’s what he uses to score on his opponents.

He’s a solid finisher around the rim and on the inside. He shot 70 percent on his two-point shots last season, so that isn’t an issue. The problem is he can’t create his own shot and has shown he’s inconsistent from three.

Him not being able to create a shot wouldn’t be an issue if his three-point shot wasn’t problematic. He likely won’t be relied on as a lead ball handler in any capacity at the next level, but he is going to have to knock down shots if he wants any consistent playing time.

He shot 31 percent from three last season at Indiana in heavy minutes. He did shoot 45 percent in his freshman year, but he barely played and only hoisted up one attempt per game.

Tell me something else about Anunoby

Anunoby has great feet and quickness, so of course he’s a good dancer!

There was a danceoff at the 2015 Maui Invitational, and lets just say Anunoby did not disappoint.

He might not be John Wall, but those are pretty slick moves there. There should be some stat that indicates whether good dancing translates to good basketball, because I certainly feel like it does.

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Young College World Series fan barehands two foul balls down right field line in same game

We’re not sure of his college offer sheet yet.

Louisville and TCU are currently locked into a slugfest elimination game in the College World Series from Omaha, and runs have been at a premium. Not so for foul balls, though, which have flown aplenty.

And so with that many hits flying out of play, it’s only proper that one young fan should find his way to a pair of them. He didn’t bring a glove to the park on Thursday, because he’s a true hero.

And then the second in the sixth:

The infinite nature of hitting baseballs to special spots with baseball bats allows for a very, very small probability of two hits reaching this fan twice in the same game. We won’t pause to calculate those statistics here, only to point our that our man hauls in both — the first one not so clean, the second perfectly clean — and that he’s a hero of the first base line stands.

TCU currently has a tenuous 4-3 lead over Louisville in the fifth inning. The loser here goes home.

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Markelle Fultz was excited to go to (City) after being picked by (team name)

You gotta secure the blanks in the prewrite, fam.

Markelle Fultz posted a photo on his Instagram of him in his Philadelphia 76ers hat after being selected No. 1 overall in the NBA draft. It was a big moment for Fultz, who apparently has an endorsement deal with Tissot of some sort, based on the caption.

The only proble, is that he didn’t fill in the blanks on what appears to be a prewritten caption based on the “(team name)” and “(City)” blocks.

He would get it right, after deleting the original post:

Whoever is handling Fultz’s social media is smart for having it pre-written, but it’s a tragic mistake to fire off a prewrite with blanks in it.

Part of me likes to imagine that he did it himself, and he’s got a little bit of a blogger in him.

That’s not No. 1 overall talent in the Blog Draft, though.

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Terrance Ferguson’s year overseas should have him well prepared to fit in with Thunder

Terrance Ferguson will be a worthwhile role player for OKC after a bit of seasoning in the league

Fans of the Thunder can get really excited about Terrance Ferguson. In a league where three-point shooting and players with low usage are necessary, the No. 21 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft will find a way to shine.

Ferguson turned down a chance to play at Arizona to compete professionally in Australia. He didn’t put up gaudy numbers last season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League, only scoring 4.4 points per game last season with the 36ers in 15.1 minutes of play. But he was a young player on a professional team, so it was difficult for him to find minutes.

With the Thunder, he won’t need to touch the ball. He’ll find a way to produce, whether it’s just spotting up on the floor and knocking down threes, playing tough defense, or slashing to the basket. Ferguson can be a solid prospect moving forward.

Why should Thunder fans be excited about Ferguson

He will be able to shoot on the next level

Shooting is at a premium in today’s NBA, and Ferguson has the goods. He only shot 31 percent from deep last year, but that was in limited minutes with limited attempts. He has good form and gets the ball off quickly. (Video via William Crouch)

And he’s 6’7 with a 6’9 wingspan, so he’s able to get his jump shot off over the lengthiest defenders.

Ferguson isn’t going to be a star on the next level, but this certainly is a special skill most teams would love to have. Oklahoma City will work with him to continue to develop.

His explosion

Ferguson is rail thin and lanky at just 184 pounds, so he isn’t going to run through anyone. But he certainly will be able to jump over some of them. His explosion mixed with his length and wingspan make him a dangerous athlete when he gets a straight line to the rim.

Teams already have to worry about Ferguson stretching out to the wing and springing three-pointers on them, but his athleticism and ability to finish above the rim make him even more of a threat in transition. If teams don’t keep track of him in the open floor it’s an easy bucket for Ferguson.

Is there any reason to be nervous about Ferguson?

He can’t really create shots for himself or others. As a wing player, it really isn’t a requirement to be able to create your own offense, but it is a huge plus.

In Ferguson’s case, he may be so bad at it that it becomes an overwhelming negative. Ferguson averaged one turnover per game in Australia, but couldn’t register a full assist. He turned the ball over more than he created for others, and that’s not a good thing for a wing player even if creation isn’t a requirement.

When Ferguson attacks a hard closeout, the defense will know exactly what he’s going to do. If he tries to pass the ball, it’ll probably result in a turnover.

Tell me something else fun about Terrance Ferguson

Like Brandon Jennings, Ferguson opted to play basketball professionally overseas for a year rather than going to the NCAA. He had a verbal commitment to the University of Arizona, but thought better of it.

Here’s more on that:

Ferguson believes other players should follow his path.

“Most one-and-done players only spend a few months in college. You have to do schoolwork and all this other stuff. You go overseas, you spend the same amount of months, but you’re focusing straight on basketball. I feel like more players should do it,” he said after a workout with the Charlotte Hornets.

“At college, the only people making money off you are the coaches. You’re not making anything off your jersey sales, ticket sales. Not anything. So go overseas, the way I did, and get your money’s worth. Get paid for what you’re doing.”

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LaVar Ball guarantees Lonzo will take the Lakers to the playoffs his first year

Lonzo had been in the league for about five minutes before his dad started making promises.

LaVar Ball was pumped up after his son, Lonzo, was finally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. He knew it was coming, since Zeus and Jesus apparently told him.

When he talked to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman after the selection, he was so pumped and he said that the Lakers were finally going to make the playoffs.

“Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs his first year,” LaVar said. “Come see me when he does. I’ll have another hat on that says ‘I told you so.’”

Lakers head coach Luke Walton pumped the brakes on LaVar’s prediction ever so slightly:

LaVar also claimed the Big Baller Brand hat that he was wearing in Lakers colors was made back when Lonzo was born. That’s 19 years ago, and he will be 20 on October 27, for those who want to get specific.

The most famous family in college basketball is finally at the professional level and hasn’t let us down so far.

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