Fox, Monk tabbed ‘potential NBA All-Stars’

Former Kentucky guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have not yet been drafted, but they may be NBA All-Stars one day.

ESPN NBA Draft insider Chad Ford rated the top NBA draft prospects on Wednesday based on six tiers (see below), and both Fox and Monk were among the eight players listed in tier two, which is labeled as “All-Star potential.”

“This is the largest Tier 2 we’ve ever had,” Ford wrote. “This tier is reserved for players with All-Star potential. However, each player in Tier 2 has a weakness that some teams believe will keep him from being a superstar.

De’Aaron Fox is projected to be the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in Chad Ford’s latest mock draft. (photo by Chris Reynolds)

“In Fox and (Josh) Jackson’s case, it’s the lack of a consistent jumper. … (Lauri) Markkanen and Monk are too one-dimensional right now.”

Ford said Fox, Jackson and Jayson Tatum received votes for tier one status, which is reserved for “potential superstars.” Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball were the only two players to earn tier one status.

Forward Bam Adebayo was one of 10 players placed in tier five, which is reserved for perceived “rotational players.” Ford wrote that “in this draft, that’s roughly picks Nos. 20-30.”

Tier one – Potential superstars (2)
Tier two – All-Star potential (8)
Tier three – NBA starters (5)
Tier four – Starters, high-level rotational players (4)
Tier five – Rotational players (10)
Tier six – Potential first-rounders (12)

Fox is projected to go to the Phoenix Suns as the fourth overall pick in Ford’s latest mock draft, which was updated Wednesday. Monk is projected to go to the New York Knicks at No. 8 and Adebayo to the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 20.

Malik Monk was put in tier two of Chad Ford’s ratings, which is reserved for “All-Star potential.” (photo by Chris Reynolds)

Kentucky head coach John Calipari was asked on the teleconference he held Tuesday about how Monk would fit in with the Knicks, and he said Monk could be one of those players who causes fans to feel the urge to come to Madison Square Garden.

“What I would say – just taking about Malik – what Malik is, (is) an elite, special athlete/talent,” Calipari said. “When he gets in a zone and he just locks it down, you just kind of sit there and say, ‘Oh my goodness.’ … He would be one of those guys for the Knicks that fans would pay to go see and say, ‘I gotta see what he’s gonna do today.’ ”

The 2017 NBA Draft will be held June 22 at 7 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on ESPN.