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Furphy Could be a Tempting Prospect in the NBA Draft

Jan 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Johnny Furphy (10) looks to pass during the first period against the UCF Knights at Addition Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

A dearth of high-end talents in the 2024 NBA Draft could open the door for an exciting Australian prospect to be among the first-round picks this year. 

Fresh off his impressive freshman season with the Kansas Jayhawks, Johnny’s Furphy’s intriguing skillset and upside have numerous NBA scouts taking notice. 

The 19-year-old sensation recently announced his entry into the 2024 Draft after an eye-catching year with the Jayhawks. The teenage wing will maintain his collegiate eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process, which means the door remains open for him to return to Kansas. 

The Australian has been on a meteoric rise since cracking the Kansas starting line-up in January. He averaged 11.4 points and 1.1 steals in the Big 12 Conference.  

While adding bulk is a necessity for the rigours of the NBA, Furphy’s combination of polished skills and impressive length perfectly embodies the prototype of the modern wing player. 

“I am excited to announce that I am declaring for the 2024 draft while maintaining my college eligibility,” Furphy said. “I am so grateful to coach (Bill) Self and the whole team at KU for the opportunity they gave me to be a part of this incredible program.  

“From moving to a new country to participating in the NCAA Tournament, this year has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. I love my teammates and am so proud of everything we accomplished this season. Everyone at Kansas has made me feel at home.” 

Furphy’s Size Could Garner Interest in the NBA 

Furphy is not projected to be an early pick, but the Aussie gem stands out in a relatively weak draft class for his combination of size and skill. 

Standing at 6ft 9ins with a smooth, fluid shooting stroke, Furphy offers a skillset that does not come around often. It is easy to make the case that Furphy could benefit from another season of college basketball, and Kansas would certainly benefit from getting him back.  

With star guard Kevin McCullar out of eligibility and Self looking to bolster his roster after struggling with depth last season, Furphy’s return would be a huge boost for KU. However, given the weakness of the 2024 draft class, it makes sense for Furphy to keep his name in the mix. 

Furphy boasts the coveted combination of shooting prowess and NBA-ready size. The Australian towers over most guards and can see over defenders, creating a clear path to the basket or his shot.  

While not a twitchy athlete, his smoothness translates well to the open court, allowing him to cover ground quickly and attack the rim. 

Furphy’s debut season with the Jayhawks was a resounding success. He splashed in 44 triples out of 125 attempts for a respectable 35.2% success rate from beyond the arc.   

He also showcased his well-rounded skill set, averaging 4.9 rebounds per game and contributing 33 assists while keeping turnovers in check (28). 

His defensive instincts shone through with 29 steals throughout the season, and he also hit 62 of 81 free throws for a 76% success rate. 

Furphy’s impressive performances earned him an All-Big 12 honourable mention and a spot on the conference’s all-freshman team.   

However, his ambitions extend far beyond college accolades. He recently received a call-up to the Australian Boomers squad which will compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

There’s no doubt the Australian betting community will be keeping a close eye on Furphy’s performances if he becomes the first Kansas player since Sasha Kaun to participate in the event. 

With Aussie punters eager to see their countryman excel at the highest level, Furphy and the Australian team will likely attract plenty of interest on the best new betting sites in the country as they strive to bring home a medal. 

While Olympic glory will be firmly at the back of his mind, Furphy’s stock is undeniably rising. He certainly has a high ceiling, but remains a work in progress. Building strength and refining his on-ball defence would be key to his long-term success in the NBA.  

He may not be a primary scorer, but his versatile skill set makes him a valuable target for NBA teams seeking a talented wing player with a high upside. 

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