Terry Roberts

Draft Notes: Wembanyama, Coulibaly, Lewis, Clowney

Although Victor Wembanyama may be the best NBA draft prospect in 20 years, the Spurs understand that his body type carries a certain amount of injury risk, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. McDonald notes that foot injuries have interrupted or even ended the careers of numerous big men, such as Bill Walton, Yao Ming, Arvydas Sabonis and Greg Oden. The latest example is Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren, who suffered a foot fracture in an exhibition game last summer that forced him to miss his entire first season.

Wembanyama possesses an agility that has rarely been seen in someone so tall, and he has a team of advisors who have created a specialized training regimen to help him avoid stress injuries. Their prescription includes an all-natural diet with five meals each day, along with 10 hours of sleep.

“When you talk about a generational talent, it often times goes beyond your ability to make a shot or your ability to jump or put the ball on the floor,” Spurs general manager Brian Wright said. “As we’ve studied Victor, he’s very in depth with everything he does. It’s all those little details that go into becoming great.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Wembanyama is advocating for his French teammate, Bilal Coulibaly, to be selected in the lottery, relays NBA reporter Esfandiar Baraheni (Twitter link). “When I see the top 10 prospects announced at the draft, and for example the twins, Amen and Ausar Thompson, whose profile is similar to Bilal’s,” Wembanyama said, “I tell myself, very factually, that if these players are announced in the first five picks while playing in a league, Overtime Elite, whose level is light years away from what we experience here, then Bilal must be at least a top five.”
  • Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis, who worked out for the Trail Blazers on Thursday, views himself as a definite first-round pick, per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. “In my opinion, after just being in this environment, I feel like I’m a top-20 guy,” Lewis said. “We’ll see. Sky’s the limit.”
  • Alabama’s Noah Clowney is the 20th player to receive a Green Room invitation for draft night, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Washington State guard Justin Powell has upcoming workouts scheduled with the Rockets and Nets, tweets Adam Zagoria of NJ.com.
  • The Hornets are hosting six players on Sunday for a pre-draft workout (Twitter link). They are Kam’Ron Blue of Coppin State, GG Jackson of South Carolina, Terry Roberts of Georgia, Vincent Valerio-Bodon of Sopron KC, Jalen Wilson of Kansas and Isaiah Wong of Miami.

Draft Workouts: S. Henderson, Blazers, Howard, Nowell, Roberts

The Trail Blazers, who control the No. 3 overall pick, are holding a pre-draft workout Saturday with G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson, a projected top-three pick, tweets Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report.

Henderson has said in the past he thinks he’d be a good fit alongside Damian Lillard and he reiterated that again today, according to Aaron J. Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link).

Recent mocks have Henderson, who was a candidate for No. 1 overall at one point before Victor Wembanyama went to a different level this season, going No. 3 to Portland, with Alabama’s Brandon Miller going to Charlotte at No. 2.

Highkin recently said he thought the Blazers would trade their pick for an established star player, mentioning Jaylen Brown and Pascal Siakam.

Here are a few more 2023 NBA draft-related notes ahead of June 22:

  • Michigan wing Jett Howard will work out for the Magic Saturday, per Cody Taylor of Rookie Wire (Twitter link). The Magic control the Nos. 6, 11 and 36 picks in the draft, while Howard is currently ranked No. 17 on ESPN’s big board. The son of Juwan Howard, Jett is thought to be one of the better shooters in the draft.
  • Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell has workouts lined up with the Mavericks, Pacers, Suns and Clippers. He also worked out for the Jazz and Wizards the past couple days, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). The 5’8″ Nowell had a memorable performance in the NCAA tournament for the Wildcats, averaging 23.5 points, 13.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 steals on .446/.419/.920 shooting in four games (40.0 MPG) en route to the Elite Eight.
  • Georgia guard Terry Roberts worked out for the Nets this week and had a previous workout with the Rockets, a league source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Roberts had previous experience with Florida SouthWestern State College and Bradley before playing for the Bulldogs as a senior.

Mouhamed Gueye Among NCAA Players Testing Draft Waters

For a second straight year, Washington State big man Mouhamed Gueye will test the NBA draft waters, he tells Jamey Vinnick of CougFan.com (subscription required). Gueye also entered the draft pool in 2022 following his freshman year, but eventually withdrew and returned to the Cougars.

Gueye enjoyed a breakout season in 2022/23, averaging 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game across 33 appearances. He currently comes in at No. 48 on ESPN’s big board, making him a legitimate candidate to be drafted if he keeps his name in the 2023 pool.

Gueye also stated that he doesn’t intend to enter the transfer portal, so if he withdraws from the draft for a second consecutive year, it sounds like he’d be back with Washington State.

The following NCAA players are also declaring for the 2023 NBA draft, having made their announcements at some point within the last several days. Unless otherwise indicated, these players are simply testing the draft waters while maintaining their college eligibility for now.