MBB: Checking Draft Projections While We Anxiously Wait
Hunter Dickinson, Moussa Diabate, and Caleb Houstan all have yet to determine whether they'll enter the NBA Draft. Also, a look at roster movement and team needs around the Big Ten.
The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft is four days away. Michigan still awaits the decisions of Hunter Dickinson, Moussa Diabate, and Caleb Houstan.
The outlook for the 2022-23 team — and what Juwan Howard needs to address this offseason — will be shaped over the upcoming weeks. If any Wolverines declare, they’ll have until midnight on June 1st to withdraw and maintain their college eligibility.
The three players with draft decisions haven’t made any strong indications one way or the other about which way they’re leaning. They all seem to be seriously weighing their options. Let’s check the mock drafts before going over roster movement in the Big Ten so far this offseason.
The Mocks: Michigan-Free
Houstan was Michigan’s top 2022 draft prospect entering the season. His disappointing freshman year combined with Diabate’s clear need for development has resulted in mock drafts that don’t include any U-M prospects.
Two-round mock drafts at NBADraftNet, Bleacher Report, ESPN, and Tankathon don’t project Dickinson, Diabate, or Houstan to be selected. ESPN’s top 100 prospects for 2022 has Houstan 67th, Diabate 73rd, and Dickinson unlisted. Yesterday, Bleacher Report named Houstan as one of six prospects slipping down draft boards [emphasis mine]:
Despite an attractive archetype as a 6'8" shooter (60 3PTM, 35.5 percent), scouts haven't given him a pass for being 19 years old. They don't see enough upside for the patience he'll require.
Mostly a one-dimensional forward, Houstan showed minimal shot-making versatility, hitting eight of 37 attempts off screens and five of 23 pull-ups.
Aside from a few nice ball-screen passes, he struggled in creation situations (5-of-19 pick-and-roll ball-handling, zero isolation FGs). And without much explosion, he graded as one of the nation's worst finishers at the rim (44.8 percent).
As the season went on, it became evident that he doesn't possess the off-the-dribble skills or athleticism (eight blocks in 1,088 minutes) to excite NBA teams.
That report doesn’t mince words; it’s also a fair assessment of Houstan’s play.
If a Michigan player enters the draft, they’ll be hoping to catch on as a late 2nd-round pick or undrafted prospect barring some sort of promise from a particular franchise, which seems unlikely with this group. There’s always the G League and overseas routes, though those may be less palatable now that college athletes have name, image, and likeness rights.