3 2023 NBA Draft Combine risers for the OKC Thunder to pay attention to

Jordan Walsh #13 of the Arkansas Razorbacks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jordan Walsh #13 of the Arkansas Razorbacks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Brandin Podziemski #22 of the Santa Clara Broncos (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Much like the success from picking up Razorbacks, the OKC Thunder have seen success with Santa Clara risers in the NBA Draft.

History often repeats itself, and it is doing so here in the 2023 NBA Draft. The Santa Clara Broncos have another versatile player that quietly dominated college and is now raising eyebrows at the NBA Draft Combine.

Last year, it was Jalen Williams who not only tested well at the combine but dominated the competition at the scrimmages. He eventually heard his name called at pick 12 to the OKC Thunder, becoming a lottery pick out of Santa Clara.

Williams has tried to warn the OKC Thunder fanbase (and media) about Podziemski, and this week in Chicago, his fellow Bronco made it clear he has arrived.

Podziemski was Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin in 2021, headed to Santa Clara, where he averaged 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists while swiping nearly two steals per game. Podziemski shot almost 44 percent from beyond the arc, 48 percent from the floor, and 77 percent at the charity stripe.

At the NBA Combine scrimmage, he followed in Jalen Williams’s footsteps, nearly posting a triple-double. Podziemski put up 10 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds during the Wednesday scrimmage.

The Santa Clara product has received extremely positive feedback from NBA teams, announcing he will stay in the NBA Draft and not return to school. Already meeting with 10-15 teams, and more to come throughout the process.

While shooting from beyond the arc is his calling card, Podziemski will surprise people with his athletic ability and playmaking skills at the next level. He views himself as a point guard in the NBA, and I do not see why he could not handle playmaking duties.