Veteran guard Dwyane Wade came into the NBA in 2003 with arguably one of the most talented and successful draft classes in league history. Along with the three-time NBA champion being drafted out of Marquette, there are plenty of others that made their mark on the next level, most notably LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.
Wade, who is heading into the twilight of his basketball career, believes the 2017 NBA Draft class headlined by Lonzo Ball could be similar to the class in 2003. He said the following about this year’s draft class while answering a fan’s question on Twitter:
I'm a fan of most. This may be a special draft class like 03👀. It's hard to pick favorites at this point but Zo,Fox,Jackson,Tatum,D.Smith https://t.co/is961rh8CX
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 19, 2017
As seen during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this month, Ball is looking like the real deal as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship even with all the hype surrounding the UCLA product. Although Ball was impressive, to say the least, he wasn’t the only rookie to put his skills on display.
Jayson Tatum, Dennis Smith Jr., Josh Jackson, and DeAaron Fox all had their moments in Las Vegas. Meanwhile the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz, was shut down early by the Philadelphia 76ers due to an injury, but had some nice showings in the Utah Summer League prior to that
Living up to the success of the 2003 NBA Draft class will be a daunting task for all these promising young rookies, but there’s no doubt the talent in this year’s class has the potential to be special as Wade pointed out.
Only time will tell if these players can live up to expectations and thrive on the NBA level. One thing is for certain, they’ll have their opportunity to make an impact right away come October.