We could see up to four players from last year’s Michigan men’s basketball team being drafted Thursday night, while Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabate, Eli Brooks and DeVante ‘Jones are all pursuing their NBA dream. Two of them have been featured in many fictional drafts, as Houstan and Diabate were the Michigan Wolverines who are expected to go at the end of either round one or round two.
Neither are perfect prospects, which is why they are not expected to go to the lottery; both guys will have to go into franchises who can be patient and let them develop.
A day before the 2022 NBA Draft, here’s where the draft experts expect Houstan and Diabate to be drafted.
ESPN 2-round dummy project (Jonathan Givony)
Houstan chosen at no. 38 from Spurs of Sant’AntonioDiabate not selected
San Antonio would be a good choice for Houstan, as that franchise has been quietly able to develop young players while always staying in the mix for a playoff spot. Spurs have a nice group of young talent with Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson at the forefront. At his absolute level, Houstan could be a 3-ed guy in that group, with the advantage of doing even more.
Athletic’s fictional 2-round project (Sam Vecenie)
Houstan chosen at no. 34 from Oklahoma City thunderDiabate not selected
Oklahoma City hasn’t had much structure in recent years, but GM Sam Presti has a track record of being an excellent draftsman and Houstan would be able to play alongside one of the top three guys in this draft at Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. or Paolo Banchero.
Playing with one of those three guys, alongside quality young guards like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, could help Houstan’s development immensely.
USA Today’s The Rookie Wire (Cody Taylor)
Houstan chosen at no. 26 al Houston RocketsDiabate not selected
Taylor writes, “The Rockets acquired this pick from the Mavericks last week in the Christian Wood trade. Rumor has it that they are interested in packing this pick to potentially climb, but if they are unable to, they could bring Houstan here. As a former five-star recruit, he has the ideal physical tools and skills to succeed. Consequently, he should be a choice in the first round. The Rockets could take a chance here with the additional pick over a player and he fits the bill.
Yahoo Sports (Krysten Peek)
Houstan chosen at no. 30 from Denver NuggetsDiabate chosen in n. 56 from Wizards of Washington
Peek writes, “Houstan has a lot of advantages in the NBA and is a shooter with the lights out, even if he hasn’t been showcased during his year at Michigan. First-round teams love his size and the way he easily pulls on defense. He is not as athletic as other players of his size, but he is anything but a defensive responsibility. “
“Diabate was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and didn’t have many minutes to show off her talent during her year at Michigan. She is a great athletic who manages the floor well and can be productive after a couple of years of development at the NBA level. “
CBS Sport (Kyle Boone)
Houstan chosen at no. 24 from Milwaukee BucksDiabate not selected
Boone says, “Houstan had a freshman season high and low at Michigan, but he has all the physical tools to be a long, slender two-way winger in the NBA. He rated in the 79th percentile top scorer and shot the 35.5% from 3 points, which would translate well playing alongside Giannis in Milwaukee.
This is the first time I’ve seen Houstan mocked by the Bucks, and me LOVE the fit. Playoff teams can never have enough three-pointers and Milwaukee should be able to cover its potential weaknesses. He could at least get off the bench and do a few threes for them in a few years.
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo)
Houstan chosen at no. 32 from Magic of OrlandoDiabate not selected
If taken by the Magic, Houstan would have the chance to play the # 1 pick overall, alongside former Wolverines colleagues Franz and Moe Wagner. The Magic could use his three-point shot; they only made 33% of their three last season, the third worst in the league.
USA Today’s For The Win (Bryan Kalbrosky)
Houstan chosen at no. 33 from Toronto RaptorsDiabate not selected
This choice makes a lot of sense; Houstan would stay close to home and the Raptors would have the patience to develop it. They’ve had a history of finding diamonds in the rough, so perhaps Toronto can tap into its potential as a multi-level marker.
I understand why a lot of teases don’t have Diabate in the draft: he lacks a reliable outside jumper, he’s not super versatile on offense, and desperately needs to improve his hands. If he turns to the right organization, I really think Diabate could at least become a reliable support center.
Great men who can protect paint, stand in front of guards, and take lobs will always have a chance in the NBA. If he is not enlisted, as most experts predict, it is hoped that Diabate can find the right home and thrive with a stable organization.