Just days after the 2023 NBA Draft, scouts and analysts are already thinking about next season’s class. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony published his early mock draft and featured two Colorado Buffaloes.
Cody Williams was #6 on Givony’s mock, going to the Utah Jazz in this hypothetical scenario. Williams is a 6’8 combo guard who has risen exponentially in the past 12 months and figures to be Colorado’s first ever one-and-done draft pick. His game is tailor-made to the NBA, since every team is looking for wings who can defend in space, make plays off the dribble and have an overall high feel for the game. His brother Jalen starring for the Thunder is a good idea of what Cody will look like. If Williams sures up his major weaknesses — so-so three-point shooting and a lack of physical strength — he should continue his climb and challenge for the top overall pick.
Tristan da Silva might surprise folks as the #37 pick in this mock, going here to the San Antonio Spurs. (I would immediately buy his jersey, for what it’s worth.) Da Silva tested the waters this draft cycle and decided to come back to Boulder after averaging 16 points while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from deep. The Bavarian forward is a savvy shot creator, a selfless ball mover and an improving shooter, although he isn’t the most explosive athlete or the best on-ball defender. Teams will value his combination of smarts and skills, especially now that the new CBA will incentivize teams drafting ready-made contributors like Jaime Jaquez, Kris Murray and Hunter Tyson.
It’s unfortunate that the Buffs weren’t able to bring in an experienced guard who could hit threes and space the floor — Javon Ruffin’s injury hurts too — but this should be a very good team with the players they have. The Buffs haven’t had multiple draft picks in the same year under Tad Boyle and that’s not considering plus starters KJ Simpson and Eddie Lampkin Jr. The expectation should be the NCAA Tournament, with a ceiling of a Sweet Sixteen appearance if the squad comes together and everyone stays healthy.