Where Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard are going in latest NBA mock drafts
The NBA draft combine kicked off a few days ago and both Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard are participating to show the scouts what they are capable of in a game setting.
Jett Howard left Michigan basketball after one season in which he averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, two assists, and shot 36.8% from 3. The other guard, Kobe Bufkin, left Ann Arbor after his sophomore campaign which was a breakout one. Bufkin was one of the top bucket-getters for the Wolverines. Bufkin averaged 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and shot 35.5% from behind the arc.
The draft positioning for both varies in different mock drafts you may look at. We are going to show you multiple mock drafts and where the draft experts project both Michigan guards in the 2023 NBA draft.
For The Win
In the latest mock draft from For The Win, they have a two-round mock draft.
Bryan Kalbrosky has Kobe Bufkin going 14th overall to the New Orleans Pelicans.
All-Big Ten guard Kobe Bufkin was highly impactful for his team, averaging 14.0 points and 4.5 rebounds with 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Michigan outscored opponents by 9.9 points per 100 possessions when Bufkin was on the floor, per Pivot Analysis. They were outscored by 11.8 points per 100 when he was not featured. According to CBB Analytics, that swing ranked sixth-best among all high-major players.
He also has Jett Howard going with the 31st pick (first pick in the second round) to the Detroit Pistons.
Big dropoff in this mock draft for Howard. A once-projected lottery pick going in the second round is not what Howard had in mind when he left Michigan after one season.
Sam Vecenie with The Athletic updated their mock draft on May 16 and he also believes Kobe Bufkin is a lottery pick.
He has Bufkin going 14th overall to the New Orleans Pelicans. Vecenie gave a full scouting report on the 6-foot-4 guard.
I’m placing a bet that Bufkin ends up rising through the pre-draft process. He’s one of my favorite prospects, and the tape is quite strong. Over his last 12 games, he averaged 17 points per game in Big Ten play while shooting 52 percent from the field, 45 percent from 3 and 89 percent from the line. He also grabbed six rebounds, had three assists and about two steals. That’s the point in the year when he started to get more usage consistently. He averaged only 9.6 shots per game for Michigan’s first 18 games as the Wolverines used more Hunter Dickinson/Jett Howard sets. In those last 15, Bufkin took nearly 13 shots per game and got far more high-leverage opportunities. There just aren’t many holes in his game. He’s a great finisher and a good shooter from the midrange and 3. He makes high-level passes. He’s strong on the ball and can help defensively. He’s just well-rounded.
Switching gears to Jett Howard, he has the Michigan freshman going 22nd overall to the Brooklyn Nets.
I’m a bit lower on Howard than most, but let’s mention the good first on why he’s projected to be taken in the first round. He’s a tremendous shot maker and shooter who has some of the best shot prep in this draft, which allows him to be a genuine threat off NBA-caliber actions. Michigan ran a ton of Zoom and Pistol actions, using him in dribble handoffs. The Wolverines ran him off screening actions regularly to try to get him loose. He’s a teenager who averaged 14 points and hit 37 percent from 3 on high volume and also showcased the ability to relocate and score from the midrange. Here’s the issue: Michigan was about seven points per 100 possessions better when Howard was off the court because he was such a negative defender. He can’t move in space and also isn’t strong enough now to guard down the lineup. He has a ways to go on that end.
I feel as if this would be a good spot for Howard. The Nets traded away most of their assets last season by getting rid of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Howard could play his way into a role with the young Nets.
John Fanta with Fox Sports updated their projections on Thursday.
Fanta has Jett Howard going right outside of the lottery round. He believes the Atlanta Hawks will scoop him up with the 15th overall pick.
After being among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, the Hawks need to address perimeter shotmaking to help support their superstar, Trae Young. While Dick or Hawkins could be lead options, they’re tracking to not be around by the time the Hawks pick at No. 15. Howard, a 6-8 wing who is 19 years and the son of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, would fill the hole on the perimeter in Atlanta. Between the positional size and the desire to be a playmaker, there’s some upside to him at this slot.
Fanta has Kobe Bufkin joining Jordan Poole and the Golden State Warriors. He thinks the Warriors may take Bufkin with the 19th pick.
While the Warriors have taken some projects in recent years in the midst of the reign of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, getting a two-way talent who can add something defensively to a group that really struggled this season seems like a very logical move. The 6-4 Bufkin has a really good feel for the game and the athleticism to help the Warriors or another team in a variety of capacities. His speed and ability to move without the ball are positives, and he showed that he could finish at the rim in the Big Ten, averaging 14 points per game. The pull-up game off the dribble is another quality trait, and Bufkin’s midrange was really solid with the Wolverines. He uses his quickness to defend and for someone at his size, he’s a quality defender. While he could be turnover-prone at Michigan, there’s no question he can come into an organization and help in some capacity on both ends. Golden State needs to add depth and athleticism.
The trio of Kyle Boone, Gary Parrish, and Adam Finkelstein all have their own first-round mock draft up on CBS Sports.
Boone had Kobe Bufkin going to the Utah Jazz with the 16th pick. He also has Jett Howard going to the Memphis Grizzlies with the 25th overall selection.
Parrish believes Howard will go to the Jazz with that 16th pick. He has Bukfin landing with the Houston Rockets with the 20th overall pick.
Finkelstein is higher on Howard than the other two. He has him going in the lottery to the Toronto Raptors with the 13th pick. Bufkin on the other hand, Finkelstein has him going to the Rockets with that 20th pick.
USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports came out with their updated 2023 NBA mock draft.
In this mock, Kobe Bufkin is going right outside the lottery, going to the Atlanta Hawks with the 15th pick.
A second year in college proved to be huge for Bufkin, who can score from all over and is especially good at attacking the rim and finishing through contact. He’s a tough on-ball defender, too.
The outlet has Jett Howard going to his dad’s former team, the Miami Heat with the 18th pick.
A versatile playmaker who loves the pressure of a big moment and has a high basketball IQ, Jett is the son of former NBA All-Star and Michigan coach Juwan Howard.
Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire