USA TODAY Sports tracks every pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – College freshmen were selected 1-2-3-4-5 in Thursday’s NBA Draft, marking the first time in draft history that that has happened.
The Philadelphia 76ers took Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick, the Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA guard Lonzo Ball at No. 2 and the Boston Celtics drafted Duke’s Jayson Tatum with the third pick.
At No. 4, the Phoenix Suns took Kansas’ Josh Jackson, and at No. 5, the Sacramento Kings selected Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.
As many as 20 freshmen were expected to be selected in the draft, including as many as 16 in the first round. The league set a record last season when 14 freshmen were selected in the first and second rounds and 13 freshmen were selected in 2015.
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Gonzaga’s Zach Collins was a top-30 recruit as a high school senior in 2016 and was not a projected 2017 first-round pick one year ago. Even late during his freshman season at Gonzaga, Collins planned on returning to college for his sophomore season, but he had a great NCAA tournament and turned into a projected first-rounder.
“When I got to Gonzaga for that first summer session, I wasn’t a one-and-done player,” Collins said. “The way they put in the time with their players to develop them, I don’t think it’s matched. I can’t speak for other schools, but the way they did it at Gonzaga was so special. You really had no choice but to get better because they were so enthusiastic about it – that whole year, them developing me and my whole game, the mental side too.”
In the 2014 draft, the first four picks were freshmen, and in 2008, four of the first five were one-and-dones. But this is…