The Washington Wizards have the eighth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series of draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
Name: Cam Whitmore
Weight: 235 lbs.
2022/23 stats: 26 G, 12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.3 bpg, 47.8 FG% (4.7/9.8), 34.3 3PT% (1.4/4.2), 70.3 FT% (1.7/2.5)
Player comparison: Jimmy Butler, De'Andre Hunter
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 5th, Ringer 4th, Athletic 5th, ESPN 6th, NBADraft.net 5th, Bleacher Report 8th, Yahoo! 5th
5 things to know:
*Whitmore is a very athletic, powerful wing who plays like a grown man despite being one of the youngest players in this draft class. He has a well-rounded offensive skillset with the ability to create his own shot off-the-dribble, drive to the basket, finish above the rim with power and be a threat from the outside. With the right development path, he has star potential as a high-flying wing who could someday score 20 points per game and be the face of a franchise.
*He has also drawn praise for his defense, particularly on the ball. Whitmore is a strong, physical player who has relatively quick feet and a high motor. With upside on both ends of the floor, Whitmore has a chance to develop into a true two-way player with the size and athleticism to be ideal for switchable defense.
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) December 8, 2022
*Two areas Whitmore will have to improve over time to maximize his potential are his outside shooting and his playmaking skills. He was a decent 3-point shooter in college, at 34.3%, but the better he gets as a shooter, the more effective he will be attacking off-the-dribble as teams will have to respect his range. He also has plenty of room to grow as a creator for others, as evidenced by his meager 0.7 assists per game.
*Whitmore grew up in Odenton, MD, played AAU for Team Melo and starred at Archbishop Spalding High School where he was a two-time Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year. He was a Wizards fan as a kid and would often attend games with his father.
*His father was a member of the U.S. Air National Guard. Whitmore's cousin, Bob, starred at DeMatha High School in MD and Notre Dame in the 1960s and was an NBA draft pick.
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 10, 2023
Fit with Wizards: Whitmore would arguably be a great fit with Washington for a variety of reasons. One is the position he plays, as the Wizards do not have a firmly entrenched starter at small forward and Deni Avdija is entering the final year of his rookie scale contract. Whitmore would likely have a path toward starting at the three his rookie year with the potential to lock down that role for a very long time.
Whitmore would also fit the Wizards in terms of style and skill. Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has said a few times this offseason he would like the team to add an athletic wing who can defend and make plays off the dribble. Whitmore checks off all of those boxes.
Whitmore's strength and physical style of play could also be a nice change of pace for the Wizards. They have a lot of skilled players, but not many who can push their weight around quite like Whitmore can. He could someday be a tone-setting force who would change the DNA of their roster with his attack mentality.
While Washington would arguably be a good landing spot for Whitmore, there is increasing doubt he will still be on the board at eighth overall. When the draft process began, he was projected to go in their range but has since enjoyed considerable momentum following the NBA Draft combine where he registered a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap.