3 Zags selected in the second round of ESPN’s latest 2023 mock draft

The 2022-23 college basketball season is still one month away, but that has not stopped mock draft analysts from predicting who will get selected in June’s NBA draft.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released his latest mock on Tuesday, the same day expected top two picks Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson squared off in an exhibition game.

Givony had a trio of Zags getting selected in the second round, which would be a record for Mark Few and the Bulldogs.

First up is point guard Nolan Hickman, who goes No. 33 to the Orlando Magic – the current home of former Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs.

Hickman is expected to step into a bigger role as Gonzaga’s point guard in his sophomore season. He’ll compete with Malachi Smith for minutes at the one, and a strong season should land him on draft boards by the end of the year.

Givony has forward Julian Strawther going two picks later to the San Antonio Spurs at No. 35, where he would also unite with a former Zag in Zach Collins.

Strawther was in the second round range last year, but opted to return to college in an attempt to boost his draft stock. It would not be a surprise to see the 6’7 forward climb into the first round, much like Corey Kispert did two years ago.

Finally, big man Drew Timme goes No. 50 to the Brooklyn Nets to round out Gonzaga’s mock draft selections. Timme has been one of the best players in all of college basketball the past few seasons, but his game lacks critical skills necessary to thrive in the modern NBA, namely consistent outside shooting and lateral mobility on defense.

Malachi Smith and Hunter Sallis have showed up on previous mock drafts as well, giving the Zags as many as five potential draft picks to keep an eye on as the season gets underway.

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