May 26—The expectation since Julian Strawther declared last month for the NBA draft was that the 6-foot-7 wing had played his last game in a Gonzaga uniform.
Nothing appears to have changed in the last six-plus weeks. Strawther, who worked out for Golden State on Friday, was asked in a Zoom call if he was feeling pretty good about staying in the draft.
“Right now I’m 100% locked in on the draft, that’s my main priority,” Strawther said. “It’s been my priority since I put my name in. Getting ready for the NBA, that’s my main focus.”
Strawther has been training in Los Angeles. He attended the draft combine in Chicago, participating in interviews and speed and agility testing, but declining to play in scrimmages. He also had a pro day workout recently.
He declined to elaborate on how many NBA teams he’s worked out for, but said he was happy with Friday’s session with the Warriors and the opportunity to show off his shooting prowess.
“I’m an elite shooter, that’s what I was known for coming out of Gonzaga,” Strawther said. “That’s the main thing I wanted to showcase, just consistency of my shot and my ability to stretch the floor. It’s a luxury in the league right now and it’s what lot of teams are coveting.”
Strawther made a team-high 80 3-pointers with 40.8% accuracy as a junior. He hit 38.4% from distance in three seasons as a Zag and connected on memorable, game-deciding 3s this season against BYU in Provo, Utah, and UCLA in the Sweet 16.
The Las Vegas native averaged 15.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season — all career highs — while earning first-team All-West Coast Conference honors.
Strawther said he’s tried to bring a positive attitude to workouts and “continue to grow as a defender. I know that’s what gets you on the floor is being able to defend and just your effort on that side of the floor.”
He’s generally projected as a second-round pick in most mock drafts. He’s listed at No. 33 (early second round) by NBAdraft.net, No. 40 according to Tankathon, No. 51 by ESPN and No. 56 in SI.com‘s latest mock.
“I feel like Gonzaga does a good job preparing us,” Strawther said. “They have a lot of good ties and relationships with people in the NBA.”
Strawther’s draft night plans? “Hopefully, just celebrating with my family. Keep it close, keep it simple.”
Strawther has kept an eye on Gonzaga’s new-look roster, which includes transfer portal additions Ryan Nembhard (Creighton), Graham Ike (Wyoming) and Steele Venters (Eastern Washington). Anton Watson and Malachi Smith declared for the draft, but haven’t announced if they’ll return to GU or turn pro. The deadline to withdraw is Wednesday. The draft is June 22.
“Obviously, getting Ryan was huge,” Strawther said. “Graham, he’s special, just watching the film on him. I know my guys that are coming back, Nolan (Hickman), Ben (Gregg), ‘B-Huff’ (Braden Huff) gets to get on the court and Jun (Seok Yeo) gets on the court, I feel like it’s a special group. They’ll definitely be able to win games, I don’t doubt that at all.”