Thunder NBA Draft Prospect Series: De’Aaron Fox

Mar 4, 2017; College Station, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard De'Aaron Fox (0) brings the ball up the court during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; College Station, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard De'Aaron Fox (0) brings the ball up the court during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
De'Aaron Fox
Mar 26, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Edrice Adebayo (left) and guard De’Aaron Fox (right) react in the lockeroom after losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the finals of the South Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum. North Carolina won 75-73. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

In our latest edition of the Thunder NBA Draft Prospect Series, we take a look at Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox.

After spending just one season playing for John Calipari at Kentucky, De’Aaron Fox decided he was ready to take on the next level. In a draft full of talented point guards, Fox is considered one of the best available.

Teams looking for a point guard with electric speed and the ability to make plays on both sides of the ball will definitely have interest in Fox. Based on the current rankings, it appears that Fox could very well be a Top-5 pick in this draft.


Height: 6’3
Weight: 171
Wingspan: 6’6 1/2′
Position: Point Guard
Age: 19 years, 5 months
Statline: 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.2 blocks
College: University of Kentucky (freshman)
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Current Rankings:

(note – rankings are taken on day of article posting and therefore may be listed at a similar rank as previously posted prospect reviews)

Chad Ford, ESPN: 5th overall prospect
DraftExpress: 5th
NBA DraftNet: 4th
Scott Howard-Cooper 5th
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor: 5th
CBS Sports: 6th
Basketball Insiders: 5th
Sean Deveney of Sporting News: 5th
Hoops Hype: 4th
Jeremy Woo, The Crossover: 5th


Unlike other prospects in this draft class, Fox possess the typical size that NBA teams look for in a point guard. He also has explosive speed that is very hard to match.

The left-hand dominant point guard is very good at pushing the tempo, but also can be effective when the pace of the game slows down. When involved in the pick-and-roll game, Fox is very capable of creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Fox’s defensive ability is the strongest area of his overall game.  He gives just as much effort on the defensive side of the ball as he does offensively, and is a very capable defender both on and off the ball. He plays an aggressive style of defense, but also plays smart and avoids picking up costly fouls.

As per Draft Express: 

"“Fox’s intrigue at the next level starts with his tremendous size and speed for a point guard. Standing 6’4 in shoes with a 6’6 wingspan, Fox is both taller and longer than the average point guard selected in the NBA Draft Lottery among those our extensive measurements database covers. 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 on his hands. If there is a knock against Fox from a physical perspective, it is his wiry frame. Tipping the scales around 185 with spindly legs, the Houston native is stronger than he looks on first glance, but handles contact far better sometimes than others on both ends.” – Source: ©DraftExpress"


Although he has the ideal height and wingspan of a point guard, Fox is very skinny in nature. His smaller body might have difficulty when he is matched up against the likes of NBA talent.

Fox struggled shooting the basketball in his only season in Lexington, especially from beyond the three point line. He shot just 24% from three during his freshman campaign, which just won’t cut it in the NBA. Even though he struggled, Fox did show signs of improvement throughout the season, which could give hope to NBA teams that he can turn his shooting woes around.

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Honors and Awards:

  • SEC All-Rookie Team- 2017
  • SEC All-Conference First Team- 2017
  • McDonald’s High School All-American- 2016
  • Texas High School Player of the Year- 2016
  • Jordan Brand Classic Most Valuable Player- 2016

Pro Comparisons: 

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the best-case scenarios in regards to NBA player ceiling comparisons for Fox include Mike Conley, Elfrid Payton and John Wall.

All the comparisons make sense, considering all three players are playmakers who can impact the game on both sides of the floor. When thinking of these comparisons, these are the traits Fox has that are similar to each player:

  • Conley- Both have high basketball IQs and are above-average left-handed ball handlers
  • Payton- Both are strong defensive players who have a similar body type
  • Wall- Both players possess explosiveness and strong playmaking abilities

The Fit:

With Russell Westbrook on the roster, moving up into the lottery picks to select a point guard would make little sense. A player with Fox’s playmaking abilities would definitely be a great addition to the Thunder’s second unit, but it’s likely the organization will look to address the need for a backup point guard later on in the draft or through free agency. If the Thunder are going to trade up in the draft, it would likely be to address other needs on the roster.