When Ignas Brazdeikis left Michigan for the NBA after his freshman season in 2019, he became the primary one-and-done Wolverine in 19 years. This 12 months, two Michigan freshmen are considering the draft. Will they get picked?
Moussa Diabaté and Caleb Houstan each entered the draft and have through June 1 to withdraw and maintain NCAA eligibility.
Diabaté, who began 26 games and averaged nine points and 6 rebounds, participated in last week’s draft mix in Chicago. He did well within the agility drills and posted good numbers in his second and final scrimmage on Friday.
Houstan, a season-long starter who averaged 10.1 points and 4 rebounds and shot 36 percent from 3, didn’t attend the mix despite a reported invitation. That led to speculation that an NBA team had promised to draft him.
Several sources within the NBA provided the explanation why a player might skip the mix: an injury concern; a belief that he has shown enough on tape already; he’s planning to return to high school.
It’s unclear what Houstan was considering, but several draft prognosticators have modified their stance on him in recent weeks.
At ESPN, Jonathan Givony’s mock draft on April 25 didn’t include Houstan. His latest, released May 17, did. He has Houstan as the ultimate pick of the primary round, No. 30 overall, to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“One in all the massive mysteries surrounding the 2022 NBA draft can be where Caleb Houstan, a onetime projected top-10 pick, finally ends up,” Givony wrote. “Houstan declined his invite to the NBA mix, indicating there is perhaps something to the rumors of a first-round promise, or that Houstan has a landing spot he’s comfortable with. Houstan’s positional size, defensive awareness and perimeter shooting gives him a high floor as a prospect, despite his disappointing freshman season at Michigan.”
Diabaté didn’t appear on ESPN’s full two-round mock draft.
At SI.com, Jeremy Woo also projects Houstan to the Thunder, though with the thirty fourth pick. Woo has Diabaté at No. 44 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman pegs Houstan to the Detroit Pistons at No. 46. “Houstan’s decision to skip the mix has scouts wondering a few promise, though they think that’s unlikely,” Wasserman wrote. “Nevertheless, it only takes one team to see value in a 6′8″, 19-year-old shooter, even when he’s limited elsewhere.” Wasserman didn’t have Diabaté getting drafted.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has Houstan at No. 36 to Portland Trail Blazers, while Yahoo’s Krysten Peek has him at No. 44 to Atlanta. Neither has Diabaté of their mock drafts.
USA Today’s has neither of the Wolverines; same goes for the three mocks at CBS Sports, The Ringer, and SB Nation, though those only included the primary round.
The draft is June 23.
Here’s a recap of the aforementioned mock drafts:
ESPN: Houstan (30)
SI.com: Houstan (34), Diabaté (44)
Bleacher Report: Houstan (46)
The Athletic: Houstan (36)
Yahoo: Houstan (44)
USA Today: none
CBS Sports (three)*: none
The Ringer*: none
SB Nation*: none