The 2022 NBA Draft is now behind us, and as we look towards 2023, Arizona Basketball could have a quiet draft next season.
Well, the 2022 NBA Draft came and went, and Arizona Basketball had an eventful evening, seeing three draft-eligible players selected all within the first 33 picks.
However, with all that past us, the focus for Tommy Lloyd and the Wildcats is now on the 2022-23 season and beyond.
Coming in, it is clear that this next year’s team does not quite have the star power that this past year’s team had. The Wildcats saw Benn Mathurin develop into a Top 10 pick, while Christian Koloko and Dalen Terry made significant jumps and got NBA teams to buy in on their athleticism and potential.
For 2022-23, this team should be well-balanced from top-to-bottom with no true, clear-cut stars. Now, that does not mean that no one on the roster currently can’t make a sizable jump from now until next March; however, this roster will look a bit different.
At this point, Arizona Basketball should have a quieter NBA Draft in 2023 barring anything drastic.
Coming into the 2022-23 season, the Wildcats do not have any clear NBA picks; however, the two to me that may have the best probability of making an NBA impression are Azuolas Tubelis and incoming freshman Henri Veesaar.
Position: Power Forward
Weight: 245 pounds
Arguably the top returner, and one of the few veteran players on this roster, Azuolas comes into 2022-23 as the best draft-eligible prospects the Wildcats have in my opinion.
Tubelis has his deficiencies, but when he is on, he is on. He is a good passer and facilitator, he is a good rebounder, and has a nice shot that extends beyond the arc.
Unfortunately, he is the most athletic player, but when healthy, he’s pretty consistent. With continued development, he is Arizona’s best chance at having a player drafter in 2023.
Position: Power Forward/Center
Weight: 200 pounds
He’s a bit unknown player; however, coming in as one of the top international prospects from 2023, Henri has the potential to surpass a lot of Arizona’s top returners.
He is an aggressive and confident player that can score at all three levels. He moves well for a player of his size, and already he seems to have a solid grasp of playing defense as he proved to be an excellent shot blocker at the U18 tournaments.
Right now, he is not projected to go in the draft next year; however, if he comes in, adds strength, and showcases his skills as he did in Europe, Henri could very well impress enough scouts to potentially be drafted as well.
Outside of that, there could always be another surprise; however, at this point, look for the Wildcats to have a quieter draft in 2023.