Former Denver Nugget and current ESPN college basketball analyst LaPhonso Ellis thinks so highly of Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox that he compared him to two of the NBA’s best point guards: John Wall and Russell Westbrook. Ellis joined Gil Whiteley on Mile High Sports Radio Monday to share his opinion of the NBA-bound guard.
“I think De’Aaron Fox, if not right away, within the first three or four years is going to explode onto the scene,” Ellis said. “He’s got John Wall-type speed and quickness. I think he’s a better shooter even now than John Wall was.”
Ellis didn’t end his high praise for Fox there. He compared Fox’s speed and defensive prowess to that of Westbrook, a potential MVP.
“When you have they kind of speed that he has, and the ability to be able to pick guards up 94 feet, he’s a little bit like Russell Westbrook from that standpoint,” he said. “I’m not saying that he’s a Russell Westbrook-type talent, but I am saying he’s Russell Westbrook-like with his ability to be able to defend you.”
Fox averaged 16.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in his one and only collegiate season, and was a huge factor in Kentucky’s Elite Eight run in the NCAA tournament, during which he averaged 21.3 points per game. He’s currently the fifth best player in Chad Ford’s top 100, and Ford has him as a top 10 pick in June’s draft. Fox declared for the draft Monday and plans to sign an agent.
If the season ended today, the Nuggets would finish with the 13th-worst record, and have little chance to land a high draft pick. With Fox’s stock rising, it would be unlikely that they’d get a chance to pick him.
Listen to the whole interview, including Ellis’ thoughts on this year’s Nuggets team, in the podcast below.