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NBA Draft projections for Jordan Hawkins, Andre Jackson, Adama Sanogo
At least two (maybe three) Huskies are expected to be drafted next week.
The 2023 NBA Draft is a week away, and three former Huskies are eagerly awaiting its results. Here’s what the mock drafts and projections are saying about Jordan Hawkins, Adama Sanogo, and Andre Jackson.
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Hawkins is projected by most to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. In the latest mock draft from CBS, Colin Ward-Henninger has him going 17th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. Ward-Henninger cites the Lakers’ shooting needs as a driving reason for selecting Hawkins: “A JJ Redick-esque shooter who can knock them down on the move or spotting up, Hawkins can fit seamlessly next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He also has some playmaking and defensive upside that could eventually turn him into an elite shooting guard.”
On ESPN, Hawkins was projected to be picked 13th overall by the Toronto Raptors, a team that has struggled with three-point shooting. Jeremy Woo writes, “He's expected off the board somewhere between picks 11 and 19, offering NBA-ready movement shooting skills that many teams feel they can utilize immediately.”
Woo continued: “The Raptors were near the bottom of the league in 3-point shooting last season and would certainly help address that need with Hawkins, whom teams view as a plug-and-play type of talent.”
In The Athletic’s 2023 NBA Draft Guide, Sam Vecenie projects Hawkins at no. 18 to the Miami Heat.
Citing Hawkins’ fluid shooting ability, Vecenie states that Hawkins “has a case as the best shooter in the draft class.” He notes that Hakwins has been improving on his offensive driving, both on-and-off the ball.
Vecenie writes, “If you close out too heavily, he at least can beat you off the bounce now and get inside the 3-point line. If the defender is attached, he’ll curl off the screen and get into midrange for a potential shot.”
While Hawkins is quick on his feet, Vecenie believes that his size could be viewed as a potential weakness. With this thin frame, Hawkins is more susceptible to getting knocked off the ball or being considered a liability on defense. Veceine writes, “While the defense is active and aggressive, he does get bullied in the paint regularly.”
If Hawkins can build some strength this summer and continue working on his game outside of shooting, he could be an impressive addition to the Heat, who just lost in the NBA Finals after an incredible run through the Eastern Conference.
Although some mock drafts have omitted Sanogo, many others see him as a second-round prospect.
Although there may be some concerns regarding his defense at the next level, Sanogo’s low-post skill set and scoring, along with his high work ethic and character, have helped him remain on many teams' radars.
His scouting report states, “His production, skill, and success in college could be enough for a team to bet on him in the second round.” It continues with, “There are some defensive concerns as he’s not the quickest player, but Sanogo can likely play small ball center at the next level. If he can develop more forward skills, he could also play the four situationally depending on matchups.”
In the 2023 NBA Draft Guide by The Athletic, Sanogo is projected to go 48th overall by the LA Clippers. In his evaluation of Sanogo, Vecenie wrote about Sanogo’s strength and power when it comes to offense. He notes that his 7-foot-3 wingspan is something that helps him when it comes to securing rebounds and being a dominant presence in the paint. Valuing his touch, balance, and coordination, Vecenie believes that Sanogo could go anytime in the second round, and has him ranked higher than most.
While Sanogo is known best for being a finisher in the paint, his footwork and movement on the floor allow him to get open shots around the rim. Vecenie writes: “Sanogo is elite around the basket. Despite being a below-the-rim finisher, Sanogo’s numbers stack up with anyone in the class because he has arguably the best interior touch to come through the draft process in at least five years.”
Compared to other centers in the draft class and the league, Sanogo is rather small as well. When it comes to squaring up against other centers in the league, Vecenie questions if Sanogo has the power and ability to stop them and wonders how his defense will translate over into the NBA especially when it comes to defending wings around the perimeter.
Vecenie states, “While I think Sanogo’s a bit mobile in ball screen defense and got quite good at hedging and recovering in Connecticut's scheme, I’m just a little bit worried about what he looks like in space when strung out against better perimeter players in the NBA.”
Photo: Ian Bethune
Andre Jackson is predicted to be selected in the second round by many, but some have the junior guard going late in the first round.
Jackson raised his draft stock during UConn’s title run with his movement on and off the ball. Whether it was scoring easy points in the paint or making good plays in transition, Jackson showcased his dynamic playmaking ability all throughout the NCAA Tournament.
With some concerns about his shooting ability, Jackson is projected to either be a late first-round pick or an early second-round pick. NBADraft.net has Jackson projected at no. 34 overall by the Charlotte Hornets.
Bleacher Report’s mock draft has Jackson going at no. 35 by the Boston Celtics (via the Trailblazers). Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report writes, “While teams acknowledge Jackson's shooting woes, scouts have still found a way to love his athleticism, passing, and intangibles for a unique two-way playmaker role.”
In their most recent mock draft, ESPN projected Jackson to be selected early in the second round by the Pacers at no. 32. However, in The Athletic's 2023 NBA Draft Guide, Sam Vecenie has Jackson projected to be a late first-round pick, at 29th overall by the Indiana Pacers.
“Has elite feel for the game,” Vecenie writes. “One of those guys who just knows where to be all the time and knows how to make winning plays. That can’t be emphasized enough.” Jackson excels defensively as well and often took the toughest defensive assignment while at UConn.
Vecenie states, “It’s hard to beat him one-on-one because of how quick he is, how long he is, and how disciplined his fundamentals are.”
While Jackson excels in athleticism and defense, shooting is a major concern.
“The weakness here is simple and direct: It’s going to be difficult for Jackson to score in the half court in the NBA,” Vecenie writes. He adds that with Jackson’s poor shooting and his lack of scoring, the former Husky will most likely have to be a role player without shooting impact.
Photo: Ian Bethune