In just a few short days, two Kansas folk heroes will learn the next path of their basketball journeys as the 2022 NBA Draft kicks off this Thursday night.
Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun both have great chances at hearing their names called in the first round. If that happens, it will mark the first time since 2014 that Kansas has had two players go in the top 30.
Agbaji also has a shot at being the first lottery pick for the Jayhawks since Josh Jackson in 2017.
NBA.com has put together a consensus mock draft of lottery picks by compiling some of the most popular mock draft selections from various sites and publications on the web.
The most popular destination predicted for Agbaji is the Cleveland Cavaliers at pick No. 14 – the last pick of the lottery.
With Agbaji coming into the draft as a senior and having championship experience – combined with having an NBA-ready body – he should be an instant contributor for whichever teams take a chance on him.
The intangibles he possesses, such as his leadership skills and mature demeanor on and off the court, should make him a favorite of his future coaches, teammates, and fanbase as well.
Braun’s landing spot appears to be a little more unpredictable as various mock drafts have him going anywhere from No. 27 to No. 34 overall.
NBADrat.net lists Braun as the No. 35 player overall and ESPN has him at No. 29.
Wherever he lands, he is going to instantly make his team more competitive. Even if he doesn’t get a ton of playing time as a rookie, he’s going to push all of his teammates in practice to be the best versions of themselves.
Braun has room to grow as a shooter, but his defensive skills, rebounding ability, and work ethic should earn him some playing time in his first year as a pro.
We’ll find out our two national champions’ fates this Thursday as the NBA Draft begins at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN.