NBA Draft Player Profile: Noah Clowney
Jun 13, 2023, 8:28 AM | Updated: 8:39 am
(Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
We are just over one week away from June 22nd’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, meaning that it’s time to look at some potential picks for the Sacramento Kings’ 24th selection.
After drafting All-Rookie First Team forward Keegan Murray (fourth pick) last summer, the Kings will look to build off of its recent draft success by adding another young talent to its up-and-coming roster.
What type of player does Sacramento need to add to a team that just enjoyed its first NBA Playoff experience in nearly 20 years?
Over the next two weeks, Sactown Sports 1140 will provide you with profiles and players expected to be on the board near the Kings’ 24th pick.
Let’s dive in.
Noah Clowney | PF | Alabama
2022-23 stats: 9.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 48% FG, 28% 3PT, 65% FT
Accolades: SEC All-Freshman
ESPN Mock Draft: 20th
Clowney was an impactful piece of an Alabama team that finished the 2022-23 season with a 31-6 record and a top-seed spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The young forward will enter the NBA Draft at just 18 years old (will turn 19 in July) as he looks to join a franchise that seeks impact on the defensive end. Clowney’s 7’2 wingspan and potential to become a stretch-four make him one of the more intriguing options on the board in the middle-end portion of the first round.
While the shot-blocking numbers (0.9 per game) don’t jump off the stat sheet, Clowney was a strong defender during his lone season with the Crimson Tide thanks to his length, on-ball pressure, and ability to chase down opponents near the rim.
Clowney’s offense is a work in progress, as the forward struggled to find consistency in his shot–especially from the perimeter.
While Clowney is anything but polished, his young age, defensive potential, and offensive upside gives him space to grow into an impact player at the NBA level.
How would Clowney fit on the Kings?
If Clowney is on the board when Sacramento’s time comes to select the 24th pick of the draft, the Alabama product would be an intriguing prospect for the up-and-coming Kings.
On a team with little-to-no depth at the forward spots, Clowney is an ideal power forward to develop in a system that needs help on the boards and the defensive end.
Clowney was a strong rebounder during his lone season in college basketball, averaging 7.9 rebounds per game (fifth in the SEC) while logging 25.4 minutes per game. Domantas Sabonis was the NBA’s best rebounder in 2022-23, but Sacramento finished the season 20th in total rebounds.
The Kings need to improve their ability to rebound the basketball consistently, and the selection of Clowney would move that needle forward.
Clowney could be a fit for Sacramento’s pass-heavy offense, as he is a player that operated well out of pick-and-rolls at the college level.
While the Kings primarily created damage out of dribble-hand-offs in 2022-23, the team could use a player that can be a threat in the pick-and-roll, something that Sacramento has lacked since Richaun Holmes was demoted in light of the Sabonis acquisition.
Being able to mix things up on offense would be useful for Sacramento, and Clowney certainly has the potential to be a floor-spacer that can operate out of pick-and-roll sets with the Kings’ talented guard set of De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, and Malik Monk.
Of course, there will be a few concerns regarding a selection of Clowney as well.
At 18 years old, you have to wonder if Clowney is the right fit for a Sacramento team that has a core of Fox (25), Sabonis (27), Huerter (25 on opening night), Monk (25), Mitchell (25 on opening night), and Keegan Murray (23 on opening night).
Clowney will need some time to develop, meaning that he could be a project for the Kings. McNair has yet to use a first-round draft pick on a player that is under the age of 20, with Mitchell (23), Murray (22), and Tyrese Haliburton (20) all being selected during the executive’s three-year tenure.
Will McNair stay the course and select a prospect that more aligns with Sacramento’s mid-20’s core? Or will he bring in a young prospect that has potential to grow into an impact player during this core’s hopeful stretch as a perennial playoff contender?
NBA Offseason Schedule
- Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
- Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
- Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
- Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
- August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
- Late September – Training camp begins