Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman joins B/R’s Howard Beck and Jordan Brenner on The Full 48 podcast to preview the 2017 NBA draft.
Wasserman dives into the league’s annual talent assemblage by breaking down prospects Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox and more. He also looks at what the Boston , Los Angeles and, yes, Brooklyn will do this June.
Afterward, Beck and Brenner discuss the future of , vs. , and the upcoming 2017 NBA Awards on TNT.
Subscribe to The Full 48 on iTunes here.
On The Scouting Process
… you try to watch these kids starting out in high school … there’s a lot of events out there that we are invited to … whether it’s the Jordan Brand Classic, the McDonald’s Game, the Nike Hoop Summit, so you get to see these kids grow from when they’re 16—and I know everyone thinks that it starts when they get to college, but it doesn’t—you get to see their progression from when they’re 16 to when they’re 20, 21 when they actually get drafted.
On How Much Influence Agents Have On The Draft
I think it comes down to the particular team. Some teams won’t care. The Boston —I don’t know what they’re thinking right now—if they thought Lonzo Ball was the best player in the draft, and Lonzo Ball didn’t work out for them, I still think would take Lonzo Ball. So I think it really comes down to every team has a different strategy, every team looks at the draft through a different lens.
On Lonzo Ball vs. De’Aaron Fox As No. 2
I’d give the edge to Ball just based on the fact that I know he’s gonna come in, I know he’s gonna pass, I know he’s gonna make guys better. I don’t know if he’s the next ; my question with Lonzo Ball is: Can you be an All-Star point guard in this league? He only averaged around 14 points a game, because I think that’s really what his scoring ceiling is. He’s not a guy who’s gonna take over, but you scout him not in the traditional way. Ball is a very interesting prospect, very different from the other point guards.
On Teams Worried About LaVar Ball
I think you gotta leave the dad out of it. I mean, I would not allow LaVar Ball to dictate who I’m gonna take in the draft. Lonzo‘s a good kid, and that’s really the most important thing here is that Lonzo is the guy you’re drafting; you’re not drafting LaVar Ball. … I assume the are gonna wind up taking Lonzo Ball—I assume they’re also gonna have a sit down with LaVar before and tell him “Listen, you can’t go on these talk shows every day and run your mouth.”
On Why The Having a Sit Down With LaVar Ball Is Going To Do The Trick
If anyone is going to be able to silence him, I would think it’s the team that he’s praying his kid goes to.
On Josh Jackson
Josh Jackson just covers a lot of ground. I really don’t have many questions about his transition to the NBA. I love his game and having seen him since high school I think he’s really improved in a lot of areas and I expect him to continue to improve in those areas, particularly perimeter scoring—not just shooting, but creating his own shot … to the defensive versatility, a guy who can cover multiple positions. I just think there’s no risk with Jackson, but a ton of upside.
On This Year’s Draft Sleeper
For me, it’s from North Carolina. This is a late thing for me. I wasn’t always on the train. Played two years at North Carolina, and I thought he was pretty underwhelming. Big-time HS player but never put it all together, and then finally this year it just clicks … I don’t want to make comparisons, but went No. 11 overall and I see similar aspects in their game where these are guys who can put up a lot of points without using a lot of dribbles.
On Fans Having Hope at No. 8
The hope is that they’re gonna get a good player. He’s not gonna save this team. No fan should head into this draft thinking that they’re going to find their next . They’re gonna get a good player … and the need players, they need talent, and I’ve been mock-drafting Frank Ntilikina from France to New York since January. I think if the are serious about looking for a guy who fits their triangle offense, Ntilikina is exactly what they go for.
On Boston No. 1 Pick vs. Trade Dilemma
I don’t think it’s a question. I think they take Fultz at No. 1. I don’t think they even look to trade the pick. I think they can play together, I think he can replace long term. So much flexibility with Fultz, and he can also play 2-guard because he’s 6’5″, he’s long and he can shoot the three and [be] a spot-up guy off the ball.
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