The NBA held its annual draft lottery last Tuesday to determine the winner of the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 7’5 French phenom will be heading to San Antonio, as the Spurs secured the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft.
While the lottery did not impact the Golden State Warriors, who own the 19th overall pick, draft season is officially underway, and scouts have already begun examining this year’s prospects at the Draft Combine.
Let’s look at three players that should be on the Golden State Warriors’ radar as they take the 19th overall selection to the 2023 NBA Draft.
3. Jett Howard
Averaging 14.2 points per game during his freshman season at Michigan, Jett Howard offers a ton of upside as a mid-first-round pick. The son of Michigan head coach and former NBA All-Star Juwan Howard, Jett is a 6’8 wing with a silky smooth jump shot and a versatile offensive skill set.
In 29 games as a Wolverine, Howard averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, shooting 41.4% from the field, 36.8% on threes, and 80.0% from the free-throw line. Equipped with all the makings of a premier 3-and-D player, Howard’s game should easily translate at the NBA level and the 20-year-old will be looking to make an impact immediately.
Howard was a prolific three-point shooter at the collegiate level and he was unafraid to let it fly during his freshman season, punishing teams in a myriad of ways from behind the arc.
With Hunter Dickinson and Kobe Bufkin demanding the lion’s share of touches for the Wolverines, Howard spent most of his time as a floor spacer. Many players struggle to make themselves useful without the ball, especially in college, but Howard remained opportunistic, constantly relocating to openings along the perimeter and making defenses pay for forgetting about him.
While he mostly thrived in an off-ball role, Howard did showcase some creation chops of his own. He was decisive with the ball in his hands and more often than not, he made the right basketball play. Howard boasts an impressive handle for somebody with his frame and he utilized it well, generating high-percentage looks for himself in the midrange and finding his teammates for open looks when the defense overcommitted.
Howard has room to grow as a rebounder and defender, and he will have to learn how to maximize his physical advantages, but the Warriors could use another ‘big wing’ who threatens at all three levels offensively. Howard would fit into the Warriors’ motion-heavy offense like a hand in a glove, and under the tutelage of Steve Kerr, he’d be ready to contribute to a playoff team in no time.