BUFFS

Mock NBA Draft has Buffs freshman Cody Williams as first pick

Jan 23, 2024, 12:10 PM | Updated: 12:12 pm

This summer’s NBA Draft could see just about anyone taken No. 1 overall, it’s not a year with standout must-take player like Victor Wembanyama in 2023.

However, it seems Colorado Buffaloes forward Cody Williams may soon put his name next to Wembanyama. Yahoo Sports’ latest mock puts the Buffs freshman as the top pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Last month ESPN had Williams as the top college prospect in the country, but now some eyes are saying Williams is even better than the international options as well.

Williams rejoined the team earlier this month after sitting six weeks with a wrist injury. The freshman has played in 11 games, scoring 15.1 per contest on 59% shooting, 50% from three, with 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists as well. All it takes is watching Tad Boyle’s team to see that Williams is one of the most talented players in the history of Colorado Men’s Basketball. If Williams even leaves for the Draft which would obviously happen if he’s supposed to go No. 1, he would be the first one-and-done player of the Boyle era.

Williams is playing third fiddle to upperclassmen KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva and is using his 6-8 frame to stuff the stat sheet and play fantastic perimeter defense. Williams isn’t even Colorado’s top performer as Simpson is making noise as a possible Player of the Year candidate. The point guard carried the Buffaloes with Williams and da Silva sidelined at times.

Cody is the younger brother of Jalen Williams, who was one of the best rookies in the NBA last season, earning All-Rookie team honors from the NBA. The younger Williams was a member of the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Boys All-America Team and a McDonalds All-American who featured for Team USA this summer. As a five-star recruit, he led Arizona’s No. 1 ranked team to a 30-1 and a state championship in the state’s open division.

Williams is Colorado’s first five-star recruit since David Harrison and the highest-rated recruit in program history. If taken at No. 1 he would beat out Chauncey Billups’ 1997 selection for the highest-drafted player in school history. Scott Wedman went six and Cliff Meely was taken seven, both in the 1970s.

Right now, Yahoo has Williams ahead of Alexandre Sarr from the Perth Wildcats who hurt his hip last month. Fellow Frenchman Zaccharie Risacher is at No. 3, Ja’Kobe Walter from Baylor is at No. 4 and Ron Holland from the G League at No. 5. It is key to point out that it’s still early in this cycle and there should be a lot of movement.

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Mock NBA Draft has Buffs freshman Cody Williams as first pick