3 Canadian Players Who Could be Picked in the 2022 NBA Draft

There’s a lot to like about where the country of Canada is headed in terms of basketball prospects, including three that stand out in this year’s NBA draft.

With plenty of high-end Canadian talent having found their way into the Association, like Jamal Murray with the Denver Nuggets or Andrew Wiggins with the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, more appear to be on the way, which is good news for Basketball Canada. 

The NBA held its annual draft combine from May 16 to May 22, and four Canadian prospects received invitations to the event. The NBA Draft will kick off on Thursday from the Barclay’s Center, which could see the three young Canadians listed below selected by NBA franchises:

Bennedict Mathurin, Guard, Arizona Wildcats

From Montreal, PQ 

There’s a lot to like about Bennedict Mathurin out of Arizona, who is projected to be a lottery selection while competing with Shaedon Sharpe for the highest Canadian selection. Mathurin played two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats and had some impressive accolades, including being named PAC-12 Player of the Year this season.

He averaged 17.7 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 45% shooting from the floor. Mathurin had a standout sophomore season with the Wildcats and has been rising in the rankings, where he could go as early as the top ten. 

Shaedon Sharpe, Guard, Kentucky Wildcats

From London, Ontario

It’s hard to say whether Shaedon Sharpe or Mathurin will be the first Canadian off the board. Still, Sharpe was the number one recruit from the 2022 high school class. He ultimately chose to forgo his eligibility with the Kentucky Wildcats and declare for the NBA draft, where there’s an expectation that teams will jump early at one of the top guards in this class.

Among his strengths, Sharpe brings elite athleticism and a solid ability to finish around the rim. There was a time when his ball-handling was a question mark, but that’s improved to a level where it’s no longer a concern for the London, Ontario native. 

Andrew Nembhard, Guard, Gonzaga Bulldogs

From Aurora, Ontario

Andrew Nembhard played a vital role for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2021-22 campaign, averaging 11.8 points in just over 32 minutes per game. The Aurora, Ontario product does an excellent job moving the basketball and controlling the floor, valuable skills at the professional level.

Nembhard’s three-point shooting was something that improved in his last season with the Bulldogs, where he shot 38.3% from beyond the arc. It’s not easy to project where he’ll be selected in this draft, but there’s an expectation it will be toward the end of the first round or early in the second. 

2023 NBA Draft Prospect

In addition to the three Canadians who expect to hear their name called on Thursday night, Leonard Miller was another product from north of the border invited to the combine but ultimately chose to sign with the G-League Ignite. The 6’11 forward from Thornhill, Ontario, is said to be focused on his long-term development rather than entering this year’s draft class. With that, there’s little doubt that Miller has a promising future ahead of him in basketball.