With the 2022 NBA Draft accomplished on Thursday it’s time for, well, 2023 draft discuss with begin.
Jonathan Givony is taken into account to be the godfather of NBA Draft coverage and his mock drafts at ESPN are the industry standard for where athletes are projected to be chosen. Givony just released his 2023 mock draft, which you possibly can see here.
Down at pick 44, you’ll see a Florida Gator chosen.
Alex Fudge, power forward.
This might come as a surprise to you given the incontrovertible fact that Fudge’s freshman season at LSU didn’t go exactly as planned. He averaged 3.3 points and three.2 rebounds in 14 minutes per game, and in LSU’s final eleven games he only saw meaningful minutes in one in every of them. Nevertheless, NBA scouts are projecting an enormous leap and that needs to be exciting to Florida fans.
As a highschool recruit Fudge was already getting NBA attention and it’s easy to see why. At 6’8” with long arms he has the frame that teams are on the lookout for and offensively he flashed elite shot making capabilities which are essentially what the trendy NBA is built on. Things didn’t go in accordance with plan in his one 12 months at LSU, however the incontrovertible fact that Givony has him getting drafted in 2023 suggests that perhaps at Florida we’ll see the Alex Fudge that had him as a fringe 5-star.
Regardless that he was often known as an enormous time scorer in highschool, at LSU he completely modified roles and was more of a defensive weapon utilizing his length and anticipation to be disruptive within the high-pressure defensive system the Tigers utilized. Now he’s established as a top quality defender, and if he starts to flash the shot making he was known for in highschool then he’ll look an entire lot like an NBA player.
All reports from camp have been that Fudge has looked outstanding which was also the word from non-Florida workouts and pickup games he attended this offseason. While you begin to draft your depth charts for the 2022-23 season, perhaps it’s start time to not only consider Fudge as a starter, but additionally a significant contributor. Looking up and down Florida’s roster, there are proven college players that will likely be expected to form a solid core that can seem like an NCAA Tournament team, and that wouldn’t even be factoring within the x-factor of Alex Fudge. If he becomes an NBA-caliber forward, Florida’s ceiling just became an entire lot higher.
After all, the NBA doesn’t draft on college production. They’re all about projections, and quite frankly we have now seen numerous teams take probabilities on players that were downright ineffective in college. There may be a probability that Fudge could play well, but not great, and still be drafted within the second round based on his physical gifts and touch alone. We saw this with Scottie Lewis getting drafted who never played to his full potential at Florida but was still drafted as a result of his physical gifts, work ethic, and pedigree as a top level highschool player.
If there’s one thing we all know needless to say it’s that there will likely be loads of NBA scouts with eyes on Florida games. Along with Fudge there has also been attention given to Kowacie Reeves as a young player that oozes potential, and in fact Colin Castleton has already had multiple NBA workouts and teams will likely be maintaining a tally of him. Riley Kugel and Will Richard could even have some NBA looks down the road, so you can see scouts in Gainesville loads of times this season.
It also helps that the SEC is loaded with NBA talent, especially with Arkansas’ Nick Smith, Anthony Black, and Jordan Walsh all getting lottery consideration. Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston (Kentucky), Julian Phillips (Tennessee), and Brandon Miller (Alabama), may also get looks for prime picks in the primary round, so in most of Florida’s conference games you possibly can bet there will likely be scouts within the constructing or no less than watching from afar.
Getting an NBA draft pick early in Todd Golden’s tenure could be huge for the staff. There may be a matter nearly every high-level recruit asks when considering a college and it’s “what NBA players have you ever produced?” It was a matter that Mike White needed to work to get a solution for, and if Golden was capable of get an NBA player in his first 12 months it could be huge for recruiting.
Fudge getting named within the ESPN mock draft shows just how talented this Florida roster is and so they might have the ability to make some noise within the 2022-23 season.