Decision day looms for Michigan forward Caleb Houstan in NBA draft
It’s the last day of May, which means NBA prospects have just hours left to decide whether to stay in the draft or return for another year of college basketball.
The NCAA has established an withdrawal deadline of 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 1 for players to withdraw from the NBA draft and maintain their eligibility. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Michigan forwards Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate there are less than 36 hours to decide.
Both Houstan and Diabate were invited to the NBA Draft Combine in mid-May, but only the latter was in attendance. Diabate, unsurprisingly, has tested very well at the Combine and has completed several additional training sessions with teams – including one as recently as Monday. Houstan declined his Combine invitation and trained in Las Vegas; otherwise, there has been very little solid news on how NBA teams rate the Canadian.
Let’s look at the impact if Houstan were to stay in the 2022 NBA Draft or return to school:
Stay in draft:
For an NBA that’s increasingly reliant on 3-point shooting, Houstan is a natural fit on paper. He’s a 6-foot-8 winger with an excellent track record as a shooter. He started all 34 games as a rookie at Michigan and averaged 10.1 points per game as he led the Wolverines by 3 points. He buried 47.7% of his 3-point attempts at Crisler Center. And he’s only 19, which means his physical peak is probably yet to come. While Houstan struggled at times with Michigan, he showed his talents at Montverde Academy and while helping lead Team Canada to a bronze medal at the FIBA U-19 World Cup 2021.
Several draft simulations brought Houstan to the end of the first round or the start of the second. Whether or not there is any validity to the rumors of a draft promise, it’s reasonable to believe that an NBA team would shoot Houstan with the belief that his struggles in Michigan were an outlier, not the norm. . ESPN’s Jonathan Givony last fictional draft, released Tuesday, a Houstan goes 25th overall at the San Antonio Spurs. The analyst notes that “Houstan’s positional size, defensive awareness and perimeter shooting give him a high floor as a prospect.”
Return to Michigan:
For a 3-point sniper, Houstan’s numbers away from the Crisler Center (29% on the road; 26.2% at neutral sites) were concerning. While his defense has improved throughout his freshman campaign, he was relatively one-dimensional as an offensive weapon and needs improvement in shooting the dribble and attacking the rim. Showcasing that progress would almost certainly boost his 2023 draft stock. Houstan was once projected as a lottery pick, and it would be worth millions of dollars to be selected later in the first round. NBA teams will almost certainly take a flyer on a sniper (see: Duncan Robinson), but defensive and physical limitations can quickly lead to diminished minutes (see: Duncan Robinson). In Michigan, Houstan would be guaranteed 30-plus starts and a high volume of shots.
What he said :
Houstan has not spoken publicly since Michigan’s season ended in the Sweet Sixteen.