It’s the middle of June and the NBA Finals are over, meaning we’ve officially entered the offseason in the basketball world. With the NBA Draft on the horizon, the Big 12 looks to again boast a successful night by showcasing the top talent from college basketball’s best conference in 2017-18.
According to Sports Betting Dime’s NBA Draft Rankings Tracker, two of the top seven prospects in the entire draft are from Big 12 schools – Texas’ Mohamed Bamba at No. 5, and Oklahoma’s Trae Young at No. 7. Both players possess remarkable athleticism and very high ceilings, and the opportunity is there for both to blossom into NBA All Stars. The Big 12 hasn’t had multiple top-10 selections since 2014, when Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Marcus Smart were all chosen in the top six picks.
Bamba and Young are the Big 12’s best blue-chip prospects, but there are plenty of other players from the league that should hear their name called at some point on draft night. Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Malik Newman, Zhaire Smith, Keenan Evans, Jevon Carter, and Kenrick Williams all could potentially be picked next Thursday night, which could give the conference nine potential draft picks, which would be a record.
The Big 12’s representation during the NBA Draft is always prominent, but this year could be the most successful night for the league in recent memory.