The 2022 NBA Draft cycle was nerve-wracking for Washington State fans, with Efe Abogidi and Mouhamed Gueye declaring while entering the transfer portal. Ultimately, it ended with Abogidi heading to the G-League and Gueye returning to WSU.
If you were hoping for a less eventful 2023 draft season, don’t get your hopes up. Gueye is back for his sophomore season, but his name has already popped up in 2022 NBA Draft mock drafts. Yes, those are already a thing.
Jonathan Givony of ESPN projected Gueye as the No. 46 pick in the 2023 draft. Givony is about as plugged in as anyone when it comes to college and draft prospects. Now, being a mid-second-round pick in a mock draft 12 months ahead of the real thing is hardly a lock that Gueye will be headed to the NBA next season. However, as we saw this past cycle draft decisions aren’t always as black and white as they may seem.
Abogidi isn’t selected in that particular mock draft, but he figures to be in the mix as well next season, a development that should help WSU on the recruiting trail. Developing and sending players to the NBA will be huge for the Cougars, even if it comes with a stop in the G-League. Quotes like this from Abogidi are certainly going to play a role in future recruitments.
“Without him, any of this would not be possible,” Abogidi said of Kyle Smith via a terrific profile by Jon Krawczynski of the Athletic. “He believed in me when nobody did. They gave me a chance.”
The thought of NBA mock draft concerns in June might be a distressing one, but the fact WSU players are now continually in these conversations is a very good — even though exhausting — thing.
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