Three players at three different positions — Duke center Dereck Lively II, Metropolitans 92 wing Bilal Coulibaly, and Santa Clara guard Brandin Podziemski — have seen their stock go up over the past few months.
Lively, who was ranked No. 25 on ESPN’s list on May 20, is up to No. 12 overall and goes 14th overall in Givony’s updated 2023 mock draft with Jeremy Woo of ESPN (Insider link). Lively is picked 12th overall in Jonathan Wasserman’s latest mock for Bleacher Report.
A former top high school recruit, Lively had a very narrow offensive role for the Blue Devils, attempting just 3.4 field goals (65.8 FG%) per game and averaging 5.2 points in 34 contests (27 starts, 20.6 minutes). However, he’s an active 7’1″ center who averaged 2.4 blocks as well, making him one of the top rim protectors in a class without many true big men beyond Victor Wembanyama. Lively also impressed during his pro day, per ESPN and Bleacher Report.
Coulibaly is Wembanyama’s teammate with French club Metropolitans 92, and he’s one of the youngest early entrants. Coulibaly, who turns 19 in late July, is considered a strong athlete who has two-way potential, according to Wasserman, who says there are rumors the guard/forward might have a lottery promise, with teams in the late lottery showing interest (he has Coulibaly going 13th to the Raptors).
Coulibaly’s range might be a bit wider than that though — he goes 21st in ESPN’s mock and is ranked No. 22 on their board. Woo writes that Coulibaly has shown flashes, but it’s a small sample size and he has improved his stock by helping the team win in France’s LNB Pro A, as opposed to private and public workouts for college prospects. Coulibaly was No. 26 on ESPN’s list when he declared as an early entrant in April, so he has improved either way.
Lastly, Podziemski was No. 39 on ESPN when he declared in late March (No. 20 at Bleacher Report). He’s up to No. 27 overall at ESPN now thanks to a strong combine appearance, while Wasserman reports that the Rockets (No. 20) like the combo guard’s “creativity, shot-making and playmaking.” Wasserman says Podziemski could go as early as the late teens.
Here are a few more draft notes:
- Sources tell Wasserman that some members of the Hornets‘ front office view Brandon Miller as a “star wing.” That’s not exactly surprising, as he’s No. 2 prospect on both mock drafts now, but noteworthy that he goes before Scoot Henderson (No. 3).
- Wasserman has also heard from sources who say Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, twin brothers from Overtime Elite, are both getting “heavy consideration” from the Rockets at No. 4. Although both Wasserman and Woo have Amen going to Houston, Woo notes that with rumors of James Harden possibly returning to the Rockets, it might not make sense for them to draft another guard.
- Washtington State guard Justin Powell has had workouts with the Knicks and Thunder, and has upcoming workouts with the Bulls, Cavaliers, Sixers and Hawks, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Zagoria previously reported Powell had worked out for four other teams.