2023 NBA Draft: Who is Cam Whitmore?

Cam Whitmore, Villanova (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Cam Whitmore, Villanova (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2023 NBA Draft is just a day away, and the excitement surrounding the big event is palpable. Fifty-eight players will see their lives transformed as they are selected by one of 30 NBA teams. One player whose name is likely to be called very early in the draft is Villanova’s Cam Whitmore. But who is the young prospect, and why are so many teams interested in him?

A five-star recruit out of Maryland, Cam Whitmore ranked 22nd but would soon vault up the draft boards. Choosing Villanova over Alabama, UNC, and Maryland, Whitmore found himself drawn to the sense of unity and competitive drive he found with the Wildcats. After missing the first seven games of the season with a thumb injury, Whitmore made his debut against the Oklahoma Sooners, scoring seven points in 20 minutes of action. From there, he only proved more and more why he deserves to be a top pick.

Whitmore finished the season averaging 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while displaying some of the best athleticism of any 2023 prospect. The Wildcats may not have made the tournament, and his performance on both ends of the may have been shakey at times, but Cam Whitmore has proven he has the tools to succeed at the next level; he just needs to grow as one expects such a young player to do.

Effectively a battering ram offensively, Whitmore strikes fear into the hearts of the opposing defense. At 6’6″ and weighing 235 pounds, the power that Whitmore possesses is extremely rare for an 18-year-old.  Pair that power with his explosive leaping ability, and there is already a player worth being excited over. In addition to his stellar physicals, Whitmore is a solid pull-up shooter from deep, an always sought-after skill. That, like the rest of his offensive arsenal, must continue to develop, however, if he is going to make a meaningful impact at the next level. There’s no denying Witmore’s potential, but there also lies risk.

Cam Whitmore offers strong boom or bust potential heading into the 2023 NBA Draft.

It’s true that he’s one of the most athletically gifted players in this draft class; however, he is also far from the most polished. Grit and determination certainly make up for that uncertainty in some regard; however, there is a history of defensive ineptitude. Whitmore seems to lack, at least at this present moment, the cerebral ability to defend in a meaningful fashion. As a help defender, he gets lost. As an on-ball defender, he’s athletically able to keep up but solely due to those athletic traits. Can he improve on this? Absolutely, but the possibility that he does not is the risk one takes in drafting him.

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Cam Whitmore is expected to be drafted between the fourth and ninth pick on Thursday night.