Where local college products are projected in the 2023 NBA Draft

Four local college products should expect to hear their name called at some point during...
Four local college products should expect to hear their name called at some point during Thursday night's 2023 NBA Draft.((AP Photos))
Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 10:56 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - When the picks come in at this year’s NBA Draft, a few local faces should expect to hear their names called.

One-and-done Kansas product Gradey Dick has the greatest consensus projection among mock drafts and Tuesday, Kansas coach Bill Self echoed the same idea to reporters.

“It’s been very positive,” Self said of his communication with NBA personnel. “I’m not going to make any bold predictions but it’s been very positive that people like Gradey a lot. And they like him all throughout the lottery, not just at the end of it.”

Self said he will be in Brooklyn Thursday night to witness the big moment for Dick and forward Jalen Wilson.

“There’s a lot of rumors out there that nobody knows how it’ll fall because there could be some trades that disrupt what people perceive to be the consensus on how certain franchises are thinking. But everyone that I’ve talked to is really high on Gradey.”

READ MORE: Kansas basketball’s Zach Clemence returns to Jayhawks roster

Dick averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game during his 36-game stint with the Jayhawks. Here’s where consensus mock drafts have the Sunrise Christian Academy product and Wichita, Kansas, native, along with other local products projected to be selected Thursday night.

Kansas freshman wing Gradey Dick, 6-foot-8, 205 pounds

  • Yahoo! Sports: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • ESPN’s Dick Vitale: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • SB Nation: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • The Ringer: No. 19 overall -- Golden State Warriors

Kevin O’Connor’s reasoning: “Dick landing here would be a bit of a surprise since he’s gotten some top-10 hype. But all it takes is one or two surprises... and then someone has to slide. It’d be a blessing for the Warriors, since Dick could help immediately in Steve Kerr’s motion-based offensive system. Dick offers more than shooting, though, because of his playmaking ability and at-rim finishing, making him a higher-upside player than people give him credit for.”

  • ESPN’s Jonathon Givony: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • CBS Sports: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • 24/7 Sports: No. 11 overall -- Orlando Magic
  • The Athletic: No. 14 overall -- New Orleans Pelicans

“If the Pelicans pick at No. 14, they’d be tickled to get a movement shooter with some size into their system, as shooting has been a near-constant issue for New Orleans,” The Athletic’s John Hollinger wrote.

Kansas State senior forward Keyontae Johnson, 6-foot-6, 230 pounds

The Third Team All-American was cleared by the NBA’s medical personnel after a physical evaluation at the NBA Combine in May. He averaged 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds during his lone season in Manhattan, and is widely expected to be a second-round pick Thursday night.

  • Yahoo! Sports: No. 41 overall -- Charlotte Hornets
  • SB Nation: No. 49 overall -- Cleveland Cavaliers
  • The Ringer: No. 45 overall -- Memphis Grizzlies

Kansas senior forward Jalen Wilson, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds

Wilson was a First Team All-American during his fourth season at Kansas. Projections for him vary from late first round to the middle of the second round after he averaged 20.1 points per game and a Big 12-leading 8.3 rebounds during his final season in Lawrence.

“Obviously, he won’t go as high as Gradey,” Self said Tuesday, “but he’s had impressive workouts and I’ve talked to some teams that have said he’s shot it as well as anybody who has come through there. He’s ultra-competitive and people see that and know that.

“If he can sneak into the late-first round that would be fantastic.”

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  • Yahoo! Sports: No. 40 overall -- Denver Nuggets
  • CBS Sports: No. 28 overall -- Utah Jazz
  • SB Nation: No. 43 overall -- Portland Trail Blazers
  • The Ringer: No. 49 overall -- Cleveland Cavaliers

Missouri senior forward Kobe Brown, 6-foot-8, 250 pounds

  • Bleacher Report: No. 38 overall -- Sacramento Kings
  • Yahoo! Sports: No. 45 overall -- San Antonio Spurs
  • SB Nation: No. 46 overall -- Atlanta Hawks
  • The Ringer: No. 54 overall -- Sacramento Kings

“Brown completes a run of wing/forward selections to help Sacramento beef up the roster around Fox and Sabonis,” Kevin O’Connor wrote while comparing the Missouri forward to Paul Millsap and David Roddy. “He also brings playmaking skills.”