2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks land difference-maker, Victor Wembanyama heads East

2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama
2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
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9. Utah Jazz grab Cam Whitmore

The Jazz are in the early stages of a rebuild, and it will be interesting to see what Danny Ainge does this summer. He traded off pieces before the deadline to ensure Utah was in the lottery. Will the franchise try to keep Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, and Talen Horton-Tucker, or is a further teardown in the future?

Expect the Jazz to select the best player available, and that happens to be a 6’7 forward with a seven-foot wingspan. Cam Whitmore had an inconsistent lone season at Villanova where he averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 27.3 minutes per game. The 18-year-old shot 47.8 percent from the field, 34.3 percent on his threes, and 70.3 percent from the free throw line.

Whitmore’s ceiling is as a strong two-way forward that scores well and can guard multiple positions. He has the size to play two through four, and the athletic ability to switch on any player. His plus athleticism has scouts intrigued with his on-ball defensive potential.

Whitmore averaged just 0.7 assists per game last season, and there are questions about his jumper. He is a score-first player, but can he hit enough shots to earn respect from defenses? Expect the 6’7 teenager to be a top ten selection that could go in the top five on draft night.