Former Kansas guard Johnny Furphy’s dream: ‘To hear my name called’ in 2024 NBA Draft

Various experts continue to consider former University of Kansas shooting guard Johnny Furphy a likely first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, slated for June 26-27 in New York.

“It would just mean the world to hear my name called. It would be a dream come true,” Furphy, a 6-foot-7 1/2 (without shoes), 188.8-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, said in an interview with Andy Katz on the analyst’s “Get to Know Series”.

The 19-year-old Furphy currently projects as the No. 18 overall pick of the Orlando Magic in’s most recent mock draft. He’s projected to be taken No. 19 overall by Toronto in the latest mock draft of

In all, there are 30 picks in round one of the draft to be held at Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. The second round, to consist of 28 selections, will take place at ESPN’s Seaport District Studio.

“With a little hard work I’ve put in over the years, it would be a true testament to my work ethic and my resilience,” Furphy said of being selected in Round 1, in which all player contracts are guaranteed.

Furphy averaged 9.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his one-and-done season at KU. He hit 46.6% of his shots including 35.2% from 3. In Big 12 play, his numbers improved to 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. He hit 49.6% of his shots and 36.5% of his 3s.

“As you know, I was a late addition to the roster. It took me a couple months to kind of find my feet, get in rhythm with the team, the dynamic with everything in Kansas,” Furphy told Katz.

“I saw a big improvement in minutes when I was given a bigger role. I was able to take that opportunity.”

Furphy sees his strengths at this time as “primarily being able to play without the ball. I think I did a good job impacting the game without being a primary ballhandler,” he said. “Rebounding is a big one, showing people I can rebound offensively and defensively. It’s a big part of my game. Also being able to defend and play in transition are things I’d say (are my) best.”

A possible negative for teams with lottery picks (first 14 selections) to consider?

“You look at me, the impression is, ‘He’s pretty small, pretty skinny,’ but I think I surprised a lot of people with how willing I am to take on physicality and not be affected by it. I’ve been playing against bigger, older people my whole life,” Furphy told Katz.

Asked for a comparison to a current NBA player, Furphy said, “Cam Johnson (of the Brooklyn Nets) comes to mind. I think we have a lot of similarities. That’s it right now. I feel there are a lot of things I can improve on. I don’t really know what kind of player I’ll be in a couple years.”

Players from Australia currently in the NBA include Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets as well as Josh Green and Dante Exum of the Dallas Mavericks. Seven Australians have won NBA titles: Andrew Bogut, Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Jack White and Matthew Dellavedova.

Furphy said “Australians pride themselves on being tough. I think a lot of that comes from playing Australian football. It is a sport a lot of people are not familiar with. It is a sport kind of like rugby, like American football, very physical. No pads (but) a mouth guard. I think it has definitely helped us and helped me for sure being able to not avoid contact and embrace it.”

Furphy said he did play Australian football growing up.

“I was more a forward so kicking goals (was his strength). It is a sport everyone grows up playing,” he said.

Of his one season at KU, Furphy told Katz: “I enjoyed it. It definitely happened very quickly. Things kind of flew by. I wasn’t really able to comprehend it, but now that the season has ended being able to kind of step back and reflect, it definitely was a season I won’t forget. I worked my way up and then getting an opportunity and taking it.”

Gary Parrish of explained his prediction of Furphy to Toronto this way: “Toronto ranked 27th out of 30 teams in 3-point field-goal percentage this season, which is something Furphy could improve in time. The 6-8 guard is young and a work in progress but undeniably talented and a sensible option for a Toronto franchise rebuilding.”

The Raptors, by the way, have a pair of KU guards — Gradey Dick and Ochai Agbaji — on the roster.’s Jeremy Woo wrote: “Furphy’s decision to turn pro went down to the wire as he weighed a return to Kansas but ultimately felt comfortable enough with his prospect status to remain in the 2024 draft. Furphy has been a bit divisive from team to team, with some scouts highly intrigued by his shooting, size and physical skills at his age, and others concerned with his defense and the fact it might take him some time to contribute.

“This is a situation that should bear out in the coming weeks, as Furphy schedules additional workouts with teams drafting in the first round.”