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Mock Draft Roundup: Where Kobe Bufkin, Jett Howard are projected on Draft Day

Many analysts have them both going in the first 20 picks.

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NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Day is finally here, and most NBA writers and analysts project Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard in the top-20. Fourteen Wolverines have been drafted in the past decade, with the highest picks being Nik Stauskas (2014) and Franz Wagner (2021) at No. 8. In Juwan Howard’s tenure, four players have been drafted, including two in each of the last two drafts.

Hours before the San Antonio Spurs are on the clock, here’s where Bufkin and Howard are projected to be picked, with some analysis on where they fit in those situations.

Jonathan Givony & Jeremy Woo, ESPN+ ($)

Bufkin to Toronto Raptors at 13, Howard to Los Angeles Lakers at 17

Toronto has been solid at developing talent the last few years, and as the guys at ESPN point out, Bufkin is a great fit next to their young cornerstone in Scottie Barnes.

The Lakers could use more shooters for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to kick to, and Howard can contribute right away in that role.

Zach Harper, The Athletic ($)

Bufkin to Orlando Magic at 11, Howard to Indiana Pacers at 26

The Magic have a young core and a clear direction, and also lead the league in Wolverines on their roster with both Wagner brothers and Caleb Houstan. Bufkin can contribute at the 2 right away there.

This is the latest I’ve seen Howard get mocked, but he could thrive playing next to an elite shot creator like Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana.

Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation

Bufkin to Oklahoma City Thunder at 12, Howard to Memphis Grizzlies at 25

I love Bufkin going to Oklahoma City; he could be an excellent defensive guard and moves great without the ball, making him a solid player to pair up with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.

It would be interesting to see Howard on a Grizzlies team that’s looking to win right now. They could use more shooting, but a win-now situation may not be best for his development as an offensive player.

Colin Ward-Henniger, CBS Sports

Bufkin to New Orleans Pelicans at 14, Howard to Brooklyn Nets at 22

The Pelicans’ future is a little in flux right now with Zion Williamson trade rumors, but they have a lot of encouraging young pieces and Bufkin adds to that.

Brooklyn already has a lot of wings, so I don’t love this pick for Howard, but playing with a budding star in Mikal Bridges could help Howard gain more confidence in the pros.

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

Bufkin to Washington Wizards at 8, Howard to Sacramento Kings at 24

This is the highest I’ve seen Bufkin picked, but Washington may not be a great spot for him. He’d get a lot of playing time, but after trading their two best players in Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, that team might be bound to win just 20 games.

The Kings would be an awesome fit for Howard; they thrived playing fast and shooting a lot of threes this season, which is a style he can excel in.

Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports

Bufkin to Thunder at 12, Howard to Nets at 21

We’ve already covered both these fits for Bufkin and Howard, but it would be cool to see each guy on a rising young team that’s bound to make the playoffs. The postseason is always more fun to watch when you have Michigan players to root for.

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report via

Bufkin to Raptors at 13, Howard to Pacers at 26

The Raptors are in a bit of NBA no-man’s land right now, since they’re not good enough to do much in the playoffs but not bad enough to get a top-five pick in the draft. Whichever direction they choose to go, Bufkin can be a reliable guy on both ends for them.

The Pacers are rebuilding and can use all the young talent they can get; adding Howard and letting him cook in the second unit could help develop him as a solid NBA scorer.

Kyle Irving, The Sporting News

Bufkin to Atlanta Hawks at 15, Howard to Miami Heat at 18

Bufkin would add to the Hawks’ guard depth and could give much needed help defensively.

Miami might be the best possible destination for Howard; they have a great track record for developing young players, they can afford to be patient, and it would put Howard in the area where he grew up. I’m sure his dad would be thrilled with his son playing for the organization he spent time as a player and an assistant coach.

Bufkin to Pelicans at 14, Howard to Portland Trail Blazers at 23

If Bufkin ends up in New Orleans, C.J. McCollum could be a great mentor for him as a savvy vet who has stuck around at the 2 spot.

Howard would be going to McCollum’s former team in this, and would launch a lot of threes playing next to Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons.