Just last week, Michigan Wolverines forward Caleb Houstan was invited to the 2022 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. However, he pulled an interesting move and decided to not participate despite having no draft stock, at least in the current NBA Mock Drafts.
Some fans speculated Houstan had pulled his name from the combine because he received the feedback he needed and was going to come back to Michigan. But others believed it was because a team, or teams, had already promised Houstan he would be picked by them in the first round. And now ESPN’s Jonathan Givony is backing that up with things he is hearing around the combine.
“Only four draftable players declined invites to Chicago: Yannick Nzosa, whose season ended Sunday in Spain; Kris Murray, who appears to be headed back to Iowa for his junior year; USC’s Isaiah Mobley, whose agency typically has its own draft strategy outside of the combine; and Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, who some NBA teams speculate already has a promise in the first round.”
This would be a huge blow to the 2022-23 Michigan Wolverines. Despite being inconsistent throughout the year, Houstan led the team in three-pointers and did still manage to score around 10 points per game. He also started and played in every game — they do say the best ability a player can have is availability, and he certainly brought that last year.
A quick glance of NBA Mock Drafts published within the last day, a whopping zero of them have Houstan going in the first round still. This list of top 100 players in the draft has Houstan at No. 64; his teammate Moussa Diabate is just above him at No. 62.
If a team, or teams, have truly promised Houstan they would pick him if he is available to them in the first round, I’d imagine we start seeing mock drafts in the near future with him being taken in the first round. If so, the fat lady may as well start tuning up her voice.