This draft class is loaded in the backcourt. Here is a look at the five best lead guards in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The 2017 NBA Draft is inching closer and closer by the minute and is filled with players that could make an immediate impact to the teams to which they’re drafted. The lead guard position in the NBA has changed so much over the past decade. Gone for the most part are the pass-first point guards who manage a half-court offense and keep the tempo going and things of that nature. They’ve been replaced by point guards like Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, all of whom can drop 40 on you in the blink of an eye while still somehow managing to dish out seven or eight assists per night.
This a guard-heavy NBA Draft full of prospects that can light it up from the perimeter and get to the lane in an instant. Some like Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson from Duke or Donovan Mitchell from Louisville work best moving without the basketball and finding their spots but the best guards in this draft are those that frequently have the basketball in their hands and can either score themselves or make a play for somebody else, the true definition of a lead guard.
Here are the five best lead guard prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft.
5. Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 175 lbs.
- 2016-17 stats: 19.2 PPG, 6.4 APG, 3.4 RPG, 44.8 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 81.2 FT%
With the number of great guards at the top of this NBA Draft, somebody is going to get very lucky when Jawun Evans lands in their lap. The All-Big 12 selection and All-American honorable mention isn’t a big guard by any stretch of the imagination at just 6-foot and 175 lbs., but what he lacks in size he makes up for with ability. Remember when everyone passed on Isaiah Thomas? I’m certainly putting Evans in that category just yet but he can put up points in a hurry and also has the skill set to adapt to any style of basketball.
His quickness makes him a big threat when running the open floor as he could just blow by a defender to get to the basket or find the open man for a spot-up 3-pointer. He also works well in the pick-and-roll. If he ends up in a switch, he can easily get past any big man he encounters to get to the rim and has no problem taking contact to get to the foul line.
On the flip side, he may not be quick enough just yet to get past some of the guards at the next level and he does sometimes have a tendency to force bad shots in the paint. He has a decent jump shot with solid mechanics and will make defenders have to come up on him on the perimeter. He tends to pass on the 3-point shot, which could be a problem in today’s NBA, but if he finds the right fit, his willingness to dish the basketball to the open man — he’s one of the best in this NBA Draft with 8.8 assists per 40 minutes — is a real asset.
Defensively, Evans can contribute. He’s much stronger than he looks and while his height may be an issue to start, his willingness to get physical is going to help him gain respect from his teammates at the next level.