The NBA draft is now just weeks away and with it comes one of the most exciting times for college basketball and the NBA’s future superstar prospects. After years of training — from playing at home, shooting hoops in the front yard — to finally making the college team, the next few weeks are the most vital for all those with dreams of becoming the next LeBron James.
Some of these young prodigies will no doubt go onto greatness in the 2022/23 season where sites such as OddsChecker will provide NBA betting odds on these stars of the future. Here, we’re taking a look at those whom the fans and pundits alike think will obliterate the draft and become the NBA’s biggest new stars.
Top College Basketball Prospects for the NBA Draft
Chet Holmgren needs no introduction. At just 20 years old and seven feet tall, Holmgren was ranked the number-one player in the 2021 class. Despite his exceptional height and skinny frame, Holmgren has shocked countless opponents with his sheer speed and power, with many saying he plays more like a guard than a big man.
Basketball runs through Holmgren’s genes. His father, Dave Holmgren, who also stands at a ginormous seven-foot, also played 57 games of college basketball for Minnesota from 1984 to 1988. However, it’s at Gonzaga where Chet has made a serious name for himself going into the draft, securing the number one rank on ESPN’s list of the 100 Top Prospects.
Holmgren is a complete powerhouse on the court, and in his college team’s final regular-season games, he blew the minds of opponents and teammates alike with averages of 15.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game.
Jabari Smith Jr.
Next up, we have Jabari Smith Jr. Despite being just 19-years-old, Smith already has an abundance of accolades to his name. While still in high school, he was named Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, Mr. Georgia Basketball, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Classification Player of the Year.
After high school, Jabari was ranked alongside Holmgren as one of the top players in the 2021 class, and when he committed to play college basketball for Auburn, he cemented his position as the highest-ranked player to commit to the college in the modern era of recruiting.
At 6’10”, Jabari is extremely athletic, mobile, and versatile. He’s one of the best shooters in the game and as if that wasn’t enough, he’s an exceptional rim protector. Again, like Holmgren, Smith’s father, Jabar Smith Sr was also a basketball prodigy, playing four seasons in the NBA.
The 2022 winner of the Karl Murray award as the US’ best Power Forward, Keegan Murray is another huge prospect going into the draft. At 21-years-old and 6’8″, Murray is an absolute workhorse on the court, emerging as one of the nation’s top scorers and one of the most exciting up-and-coming stars Iowa has produced.
Murray is feared by most of those who come up against him, proving repeatedly that he can score from more or less the entirety of the court. Not only that but Murray is also a fantastic passer and dribbler so keep your eyes peeled for him.
And last but not least is AJ Griffin. A potential top-five pick going into the NBA draft, Griffin played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils of the ACC. Another prospect who has a rich basketball heritage, Griffin’s father, the legendary Adrian Griffin, played ten seasons in the NBA before he later became a coach.
Griffin is one of the strongest players on this list, with broad shoulders and a seriously powerful frame. While he may look a little rigid at times on the court, Griffin’s pros massively outweigh his cons. Known for his exceptional body control and his shooting technique, Griffin is the last on our list, but certainly not one to miss out on come draft time.