Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Fultz, Bamba, Porter Jr., Huerter Impressing NBA Scouts at USA Basketball
Before the USA Basketball U18 team heads off to the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Chile, they are training in Houston in front of NBA scouts.
One scout told SNY.tv that Markelle Fultz, Mohamed Bamba, Michael Porter Jr., and Kevin Huerter have impressed so far.
The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently projected as the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Fultz “is playing a lot on the wing right now,” said uncommitted Class of 2017 point guard Trae Youngwho is considering Washington along with Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas and others. “But he’s doing really well. It’s very fun the way, his game is so unorthodox to me. He’s going to be a crazy pro, he’s going to be so good, and I can’t wait to get to play with him, too.”
Ironically, if Fultz is one-and-done at Washington next season, he could be replaced in 2017 by the 6-9 Porter Jr., who is projected by one mock draft site as the No. 6 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
“Markelle Fultz and Michael Porter are outstanding offensive players,” the scout said. “Fultz and Porter can flat out score the ball.”
Porter Jr. — who on Friday committed to Washington as expected — went off for a game-high 33 points as MoKan Elite blew the doors off the PSA Cardinals, 93-65, last Sunday in the Peach Jam final.
“Fultz and Porter are the two best prospects here,” a second NBA scout said.
Meantime, the 6-foot-11 Bamba, whose PSA Cardinals lost to Porter Jr. and MoKan Elite in the Peach Jam final, has impressed as a long, athletic defensive presence.
“He is a long, active, rim protector,” the first scout said. “Bamba needs strength and offensive development but has great size and length and can shut the basket down at the defensive end with his shot blocking.”
Said the second scout: “Bamba is a few years away.”
Along with Porter Jr., Bamba could be a lottery pick in 2018. He plans to cut his list to 10 schools next month and is being courted by a Who’s Who of schools, including Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and more.
The 6-6 Huerter is headed to Maryland and has impressed scouts with his stroke.
“He’s a long-range shooter,” the scout said. “Huerter is easily the best shooter on the team.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.