College basketball fans hardly got to know Cam Whitmore during his freshman season at Villanova as he made a late debut due to injury and then starred for a Wildcats’ team that missed the NCAA Tournament. But those who followed the Big East or Villanova closely saw the makings of a potential NBA star as Whitmore validated his five-star prospect rating in just 26 games of college ball.
At 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, Whitmore boasts an NBA-ready frame and the game to match it. He can defend multiple positions and score in a variety of ways. He also answered some questions about his athleticism at the NBA Draft Combine by tying for third in max vertical leap at 40.5 inches behind only Julian Phillips and Mojave King, who are both much leaner.
Between the tools and the skill he demonstrated at the college level, Whitmore has a chance to be Villanova’s earliest selection since 1950 when the draft rolls around on June 22. Paul Arizin went No. 3 overall from ‘Nova in 1950 while Tom Hoover and Jim Washington went No. 6 overall in 1963 and 1965, respectively.
But even amid Villanova’s rise under Jay Wright in the 2000s, the program’s only lottery picks were Randy Foye (No. 7 in 2006) and Mikal Bridges (No. 10 in 2018). In this mock draft, Whitmore goes No. 5 to the Detroit Pistons who are amassing a heap of young talent after finishing .500 or worse for a seventh consecutive season.