NBA Draft Prospect Profile: De'Aaron Fox

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

The Path
De’Aaron Fox enjoyed a spectacular high school career at Cypress Lakes High School in Texas, which led to a myriad of options at the college level.  The Louisiana native decided the University of Kentucky was the right spot to showcase his talent under the tutelage of head coach John Calipari.  As the nation’s top point guard recruit, Fox lived up to the hype by helping the Wildcats reach the Elite Eight before suffering a defeat to the eventual champs, the North Carolina Tar Heels.  After averaging 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, Fox put his name in the hat for the upcoming NBA Draft.

Strengths
Speed is the one word descriptor for Fox.  The 19-year old has drawn comparisons to former Kentucky point guard John Wall for his lighting speed end-to-end.  To own speed is one thing but to possess quickness and explosiveness as well makes Fox an elite prospect for the NBA.  Obviously, Fox is a handful in the transition game and when he pushes the pace, defenders are often back on their heels or left in his dust.  Fox does have an impressive change of pace game, considering his overall ability to blow by any defender.  The 6’3” point guard is a well-rounded ball-handler with all the tricks (quick crossovers, hesitation dribble, inside-out) needed at the next level.  Fox’s 6’7” wingspan allows him to play the passing lanes with aggression while also displaying a solid approach to on-ball defense against opposing guards.

Next Level
Fox’s size, pick-and-roll acumen on both sides of the floor, and tremendous speed places him in the top five in most mock drafts.  From an athletic standpoint, Fox fits the NBA mold at the point guard position.  Scouts would like to see some improvement in efficiency with his jumper despite solid shooting mechanics.  Teams looking to draft Fox will feel confident knowing the long list of super successful point men under Calipari.  Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Wall, and Brandon Knight is a pretty significant list of point guards with success in the NBA.

Statistically Speaking
Against Lonzo Ball and the UCLA Bruins in the Sweet 16 matchup, Fox exploded for 39 points in 36 minutes on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor.

What They’re Saying
“On top of his size, Fox possesses great explosiveness as a leaper and a degree of speed and quickness that made him next to impossible to stay in front of at the college level with the ball in his hands.” – Draft Express