BOSTON (CBS) — Markelle Fultz is already setting some pretty high expectations for his rookie season.
The 19-year-old has made it clear he wants to be the first overall pick in next week’s NBA Draft. He did his part by having an outstanding season at Washington, and all the pundits believe his name will be called before anyone else’s.
That decision is out of his hands and firmly rests on Celtics president Danny Ainge, but barring a draft night blockbuster, there’s a really good chance that Fultz will be wearing Green to start his NBA career. And when that career finally gets underway, he won’t be satisfied with being the first player picked five months prior.
Fultz recently worked out with former NBA star Tracy McGrady — a seven-time All-Star during his 15-year NBA career — and while the two getting ready for a game of 1-on-1, McGrady asked Fultz if he had set any goals for his rookie season.
“I got big goals for myself,” Fultz replied. “Rookie of the Year, winning MVP.”
McGrady nodded in approval at Fultz’s lofty aspirations:
Fultz certainly has the talent and scoring prowess to win the Rookie Of The Year, even if he’s forced to come off the bench for a contending Celtics team. There will be plenty of competition from the likes of Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson, but the battle for NBA MVP will be a little more difficult, of course, with LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just about any member of the Golden State Warriors vying for that honor on an annual basis.
Only two players have ever claimed both the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, Wilt Chamberlain in 1960 and Wes Unseld in 1969, so Fultz will have his work cut out for him if he wants to bring home that pair of trophies in his first NBA season. But it’s great to see the kid setting the bar high for his own personal expectations.