BUFFS

Cody Williams becomes rare Buffs player taken high in NBA Draft

Jun 26, 2024, 7:09 PM | Updated: 7:14 pm

Cody Williams #10 of the Colorado Buffaloes...

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes have had their first player drafted in the top ten this millennium, as Cody Williams went No. 10 in the NBA Draft on Wednesday to the Utah Jazz.

Williams was at one point trending toward being the top pick. The two-way player who flashed a strong three with big-time athleticism had his lone college season shortened by injury. The 6-foot-7 one-and-done played in 24 college games, starting 18 while he averaged 11.9 points, 3 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 55% shooting and 59% from three. The younger brother of Thunder breakout guard/forward Jalen Williams is a higher-rated prospect and is being eyed as a possible defensive weapon.

The Jazz are in the midst of a rebuild but have some strong younger players centered around former All-Star Lauri Markkanen, former Team USA member Walker Kessler and last year’s first-rounder Keyonte George. Williams will have a chance to play right away as a backup forward and may even slot into the staring lineup at small or power forward.

Williams was Colorado’s first five-star recruit since David Harrison and the highest-rated recruit in program history. Chauncey Billups’ going No. 3 in the 1997 draft remains as the highest-drafted player in school history. Scott Wedman went six and Cliff Meely was taken seven, both in the 1970s.

The Buffs won two tournament games this past season, advancing past the First Four and into the Round 32 before falling to Marquette. The Tad Boyle team set a program record with 26 wins.

Williams is one of three Buffs players expected to be selected in the 2024 NBA Draft, teammates KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva should both go tonight or tomorrow. The Buffs have only had four first-round picks since the turn of the millennia—Harrison, Alec Burks, Andre Roberson and the last being Derrick White in 2017. Spencer Dinwiddie, George King, Tyler Bey and Jabari Walker are the only other players selected from the Tad Boyle era of hoops in Boulder. If the plan plays out, it looks like the trio of Buffs leaving Boyle’s roster are about to make history for a single draft class at CU and will leave the NBA littered with Buffs—with as many as seven active players by next NBA season’s start.

Burks was also selected by the Jazz.

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