With college basketball season just around the corner, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has an updated 2023 NBA Mock Draft to share. Four Kentucky Wildcats made the cut, two in the first round.
Givony has Cason Wallace going at No. 13 to the New Orleans Pelicans and fellow freshman Chris Livingston going No. 27 to the Memphis Grizzlies (draft order is based on ESPN’s projections). Oscar Tshiebwe is listed in the second round at No. 39 (Denver Nuggets via Washington) and Daimion Collins at No. 42 (Boston Celtics via Portland). After watching Kentucky play in the Bahamas, I’d be stunned if Jacob Toppin isn’t drafted, maybe even in the first round.
If you’re curious, Givony’s top three players do not compete at the college level. He has French basketball star Victor Wembanyama going first, followed by Scoot Henderson (G-League Ignite) and Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite). Wembanyama’s French club and the G-League Ignite actually play each other this weekend in Vegas, giving scouts a chance to see the two on the same floor.
Practice for the 2022-23 season just started, so these projections will change a million times before next June; however, the last time more than three Kentucky players were taken in the NBA Draft was 2018. Add Toppin to the mix and there’s a good chance it happens again next summer.