Thursday night figures to be a very exciting night for Marquette men’s basketball.
The 2023 NBA Draft is on Thursday, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and it appears that we will see a Marquette player’s name called from the podium one way or another for the first time since 2016. Olivier-Maxence Prosper is in the draft pool, and not only does it seems like a lock that he will be drafted by one team or another, it seems that it is bordering on a lock that he will be a first round draft pick. As it happens, Marquette’s last draft pick was a first round pick as well, with Henry Ellenson going #18 overall to the Detroit Pistons back in 2016.
Why does it seem to be a lock that the 6’8” Canadian will be a first round pick? Well, as much as we could lean on mock drafts to prove our point here, the fact of the matter is that the NBA did a lot of heavy lifting on the topic for us. Prosper is one of 25 players who received an invite from the league to spend the draft in the green room with their families. In theory, that list of 25 players is based on a consensus of all 30 NBA teams telling the league office exactly which players they believe are first round picks. It’s in the league’s interest to have the most likely top prospects as close to the draft stage as possible, so they’ll want to know who the teams are looking at. In this case, it seems the consensus from the teams is that Prosper is a top 25 pick in a draft with 30 first round picks.
NEWS: Marquette's Olivier-Maxence Prosper has received a green room invite to attend the NBA Draft with his family on June 22nd, a source told ESPN. Prosper, now ranked No. 20 in the ESPN mock draft, has seen his stock skyrocket in the pre-draft process. pic.twitter.com/oPBKkoajrs— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2023
As for what the mock drafts are saying, here’s a sampling of some of the more notable ones as of Wednesday afternoon:
Bleacher Report: #18
The Athletic: #21
The Ringer: #20
USA Today: #20
CBS Sports (Kyle Boone): #26
CBS Sports (Gary Parrish): #27
Yahoo Sports: #20
SB Nation (Ricky O’Donnell Big Board): #33
SB Nation (Staff Mock Draft): #30
As for who has those picks, well, this year’s draft is particularly weird in that regard. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks pointed out on Wednesday morning, 10 of the NBA’s 30 teams hold 34 of the 58 picks in this year’s draft. That was before Denver put together a deal to acquire Indiana’s picks at #29 and #32 — prime Prosper real estate for the newly crowned champs, potentially — but that still leaves the Pacers on Marks’ list of teams with at least three picks in the draft.
10 teams occupy 34 out of the 58 picks pic.twitter.com/bgFSCzkRXZ— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 21, 2023
I’m left with the feeling that there could be a number of draft day trades as teams make use of their collection of picks. That could lead to wild swings up and down the draft board as different teams make picks in different spots, and that could lead to Prosper going anywhere from perhaps 15 to 45. It also means things like the Utah Jazz, picking at #28, had to do their homework on Prosper..... but they still pick at #9 and #16, and if they really liked what they saw, what’s stopping them from burning a pick much earlier than we’re expecting?
2023 NBA Draft
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2023
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Television: ESPN and ABC