Olivier-Maxence Prosper is keeping his name in the 2023 NBA draft and will forgo his remaining eligibility at Marquette, he told ESPN on Friday.
“After talking to my family, agents, and evaluating the feedback I’ve gotten after the draft combine and my pro day, I’ve decided to keep my name in,” Prosper said. “Teams say they are really intrigued by me and value my skill set and ability to impact the game on both ends. I’m ready to make that jump and go after this.”
The 6-foot-8 Prosper, the No. 32 prospect in the ESPN 100, has had a strong pre-draft process that has elevated his standing in the eyes of NBA teams from fringe prospect to potential first-round pick. He posted 21 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes in his lone game at the draft combine and conducted a well-attended pro day in Los Angeles on Tuesday where several NBA executives told ESPN they were impressed with his perimeter shooting and explosiveness. He participated in five individual workouts with NBA teams before the combine and now has a busy schedule the next four weeks that will see him visit most of the teams picking in the first round.
“Coming out of college, people were questioning the consistency of my jumper,” Prosper said. “That’s something I’ve really worked hard to show NBA teams I can be a catch-and-shoot player. I have the ability to improve and become very versatile on both ends. If some teams weren’t sure, I’ve shown them I can do more things on both ends in this process.”
Prosper helped Marquette win the Big East regular-season and conference tournament championships, averaging 12.5 points in 29 minutes while bringing outstanding defensive versatility with his high intensity level, 7-foot-1 wingspan and ability to cover ground on the perimeter.
A young junior who is just 4½ months older than one of the top freshmen in college basketball last season in Brandon Miller, Prosper fits a prototype many NBA teams are actively seeking with his ability to play either forward spot as his perimeter shooting (34% from 3 last season) continues to evolve.
“My game translates really well to the NBA,” Prosper said. “It’s a positionless league, and wings like me who can guard multiple positions, run the floor, finish in transition and make catch-and-shoot 3s find ways to make winning plays and impact games. Based on what I’ve been told, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be a first-rounder.”
Marquette, which was slated to return almost its entire roster next season, was projected as the No. 3 team in ESPN’s early preseason rankings with the assumption that Prosper would return. His departure is a blow for Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles, who will have to scramble for a late replacement in the transfer portal or high school ranks. Rising junior David Joplin and rising sophomore Ben Gold will likely be called on for added responsibility.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.