NBA Draft
Potential first-round draft picks stand together for a photo at Barclays Center before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NBA Draft Recap: Multiple SEC Players Selected; Castleton and Fudge Join Lakers

Ten players from the Southeastern Conference were selected in the 2023 NBA Draft Thursday. Additionally, two former Florida players signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Two Gators Join Lakers

Despite not being selected in the draft, former Gators Colin Castelton and Alex Fudge are joining the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Castleton is signing a two-way contract while Fudge is signing an Exhibit-10 deal.

Castleton had an impressive career with the Gators, averaging 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in his three years with the team. Fudge transferred to Florida from LSU last season and averaged 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

SEC Dominance

Players from Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and South Carolina were selected, with Arkansas having the most selections with three.

The Charlotte Hornets decided on Alabama small forward Brandon Miller with the No. 2 pick. As the second overall pick by the Hornets, Miller joined Antonio McDyess as the highest draft pick of an Alabama player since 1995. McDyess was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 2 overall pick in 1995.

The Orlando Magic selected shooting guard Anthony Black with the sixth overall pick. Black averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game during his one season at Arkansas. Black was the first of three Razorbacks players to be selected.

History for Florida Programs

Former Gator Keyontae Johnson was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 5oth overall pick. Johnson has had a remarkable journey after collapsing in a game with the Gators against Florida State in 2020. He was told he may never play again after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Johnson spent two years off the court before being medically cleared and transferring to Kansas State for his final season. He was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, averaging a career-best 17.4 points per game, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

When the Utah Jazz selected forward Taylor Hendricks ninth overall, the University of Central Florida made history. With the selection, Hendricks became the first lottery pick in program history. Hendricks joins Jermaine Taylor and Bennie Shaw as the only other UCF players to be selected in NBA Draft history.

Hendricks averaged 15.1 points per game with  seven rebounds and 1.4 assists.

About Preston Hays

Check Also

Tennessee Men’s Hoops Ready To Face St. Peters in NCAA Tournament

The two-seeded Tennessee Volunteers take on the 15th-seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks in the NCAA Men’s …