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NBA Mock Drafts: Where Holmgren and Nembhard are expected to land

The NBA Draft begins Thursday at 4:30 PM PST. Find out where former Zags Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard are projected to land.

SPOKANE, Wash. — We're under 24 hours away from the start of the NBA Draft and a pair of Gonzaga Bulldogs will be taken.

It's just a matter of when and who chooses them.

So, let's take a look at when you can expect the two to be drafted.

Chet Holmgren

Credit: AP
Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren before an NCAA college basketball game against Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

For a long time, it was thought Chet Holmgren was a lock to be the number one pick in the NBA Draft.

I mean, a seven-footer who projects as a future Defensive Player of the Year that can score close to the basket and knock down the three ball? What's there not to like!? 

Well, after the NBA draft evaluation process, Holmgren's lack of bulk is the thing holding him back. Teams are reportedly skittish about a seven-footer weighing under 200 pounds. Specifically, the Orlando Magic who hold the number one pick. They are said to be very high on Auburn 6'10" forward Jabari Smith.

The Projections
ESPN: 1st Round, Pick 2 - Oklahoma City Thunder
CBS Sports: 1st Round, Pick 2 - Oklahoma City Thunder 
Bleacher Report: 1st Round, Pick 2 - Oklahoma City Thunder
Locked On Podcast Network: 1st Round, Pick 2 - Oklahoma City Thunder 

Across the board, it is unanimous on where projections have Holmgren landing. ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and Locked On Podcast Network all have the WCC Newcomer of the Year winding up in Oklahoma City with the Thunder with the second pick in the draft, all of which also have the Magic passing on Holmgren for Smith.

Is it possible the Magic decide to take Holmgren and reunite him with his high school teammate Jalen Suggs in Orlando? Of course. But, it's seeming unlikely, as ESPN's Jonathan Givony reports "Every NBA team we've talked with expects Smith to end up being the pick here -- any other scenario would be a major surprise to league executives."

Andrew Nembhard

Credit: AP
Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard controls the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tarleton State, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

As for Andrew Nembhard, he likely will not be a lottery pick, but he does have a shot at going in the late 1st round.

The Projections
ESPN: 2nd round, pick 31 - Indiana Pacers
Bleacher Report: 2nd round, pick 32 - Orlando Magic

ESPN projects the point guard to land with the Pacers with the first pick in the second round. Bleacher Report has Nembhard going a pick later with the 32nd pick in the draft to the Orlando Magic.

Both outlets mention Nembhard as a possibility to go in the late first round. 

ESPN's Jonathan Givony says the Bucks at pick No. 24 is a real possibility.

"The Bucks are said to be exploring a host of options with this pick, with names including Andrew Nembhard... the team is exploring "older" players who can help the team win now while its championship window is open," Givony said.

Of course, Nembhard has four years of college experience.

For now, it's a waiting game until Thursday's Draft which begins at 4:30 PM PST.

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