Former Kansas Jayhawk Ochai Agbaji is widely projected to be a potential lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft, while Christian Braun is considered a potential late first-round pick (he can still return to school, too, though that is doubtful).
We now know what the entire draft order will be for this year following Tuesday’s draft lottery, so we have a better idea of where and when Agbaji and Braun could go off the board. Let’s take a look at where mock drafts have the two national champions going now that we’ve passed the lottery.
ESPN ($$): Agbaji to Charlotte (15th overall), Braun to Golden State (28th overall)
ESPN actually has the Big 12 player of the year sliding out of the lottery, although by just one pick. The Hornets took a big step in competitiveness this year but also just fired their head coach. Injecting Agbaji’s athleticism and shooting into that roster would be a welcomed addition, especially with another former Jayhawk, Kelly Oubre, in the last year of his contract. For Braun, he couldn’t ask for a better landing spot. His defensive intensity and positional versatility would likely get him immediate playing time, and he can continue developing his three-point shooting next to arguably the two greatest shooters ever.
The Ringer: Agbaji to Charlotte (15th overall), Braun out of first round
Same spot here for Agbaji as the previous mock draft, and it’s a place where he should see plenty of playing time from the jump. This is the first of several mocks that doesn’t have Braun as a first-pick (and they only did one round in their predictions), although it’s not publicly known yet if that could sway Braun’s decision in regard to his collegiate eligibility (however, rumors indicate it won’t).
CBS Sports: Agbaji to Portland (7th overall), Braun to San Antonio (25th overall)
Author Gary Parrish admits to being higher on Agbaji than most (this is also the highest spot mocked for Braun), which makes sense given how tied in he is with college hoops and how much he’s seen Agbaji play and develop. Portland is in especially fitting choice for Agbaji, given his relationship with perennial all-star candidate Damian Lillard. Plus, it’s another spot where he’ll to play a large role instantly. In Braun’s case, the Spurs could use another shooting threat on the wing (San Antonio was 18th in the NBA in three-point percentage this season), and his defensive skillset meshes well with coach Gregg Popovich.
Yahoo Sports: Agbaji to Oklahoma City (12th overall), Braun out of first round (second round to Indiana)
Plenty of mock drafts throughout this process have pegged Agbaji to Oklahoma City, which makes sense given how that team is trying to develop an especially athletic roster as it rebuilds into a competitive organization. The Thunder own the second pick of the draft, too, so this gives them a chance to add an already-developed piece to a young stud with superstar talent. This is another mock draft that has Braun out of the first round, although with the first pick in the second round you would still expect him to see a role early on with the Pacers.
Tankathon: Agbaji to Houston (17th overall), Braun out of first round (second round to Indiana)
This is the lowest spot mocked for Agbaji, although it fits with the principle listed above in regard to drafting a young player with a high ceiling along with the veteran wing (the Rockets own the third-overall pick, too). The All-American’s shooting touch would be a welcomed addition in Houston, which was 21st in three-point shooting last year. This is also the second mock draft in a row featuring Braun falling one spot short of becoming a first-round pick.