19. That was the number of names that Cam Whitmore heard called prior to his in the 2023 NBA Draft. That is also the number of points that Whitmore has averaged through four games in the 2023 2K24 NBA Summer League - the most of any selection from the 2023 draft who has played at least four games.
Whitmore is a 19-year-old 6-foot 7-inch wing from Villanova University. He averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 26 games for the Wildcats last season. He showed signs of elite athleticism with his rim-rocking plays along with spurts of ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter making 1.4 shots from behind the arc per game.
With his talent displayed and NBA-ready body, Whitmore was projected as a consensus top-10 draft pick across the board. However, he came with some injury baggage from his past. Four years ago while playing at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Maryland, Whitmore broke his leg and missed an extensive amount of time. He stayed injury-free to public knowledge until the offseason leading up to his freshman year at Villanova, where he suffered a broken thumb and missed the first month of the season.
Perhaps NBA teams were concerned about his injury history, causing him to slide all the way out of the lottery, and to the Houston Rockets at pick 20.
Whitmore has suited up in every Summer League game for Houston, producing an impressive stat line of 19.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game. His Summer League stretch was highlighted by a 26-point outing where he also had a major impact on the defensive end with eight steals in a 118-101 victory over the Warriors.
Will Whitmore end up being the steal of the draft? You know me, I try not to get too high or too low based on Summer League performances, but what we saw was impressive. At the end of the day, he was projected as a top 10 pick.
Brandon and I break down Whitmore’s Summer League stretch at the top of the 3-o'clock hour today on In The Zone. Tune in to FM 96.9 The Game or stream it on the iHeartMedia app.