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Monday, 13 January 2020 12:09 Written by Jay Amado
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2026 OBWL Mock Draft

Many OBWL scouts are predicting Maryland center Byron Dambrosio will join the Chicago Blaze as the #1 overall pick in the 2026 OBWL Rookie Draft.

 With the 2026 OBWL Draft less than a day away, teams are now putting their finishing touches on their final boards as visions of championships and superstars turn in their heads. Every year, at draft time, hope springs eternal for all--and every year, there are also trades, reaches, and players who fall that throw off my mock draft. With that being said, I am not one to let my mistakes deter me, so I sat down this afternoon to put together my final projection on who ends up where, based on today's rosters and boards. Here is how I see the 2026 Draft playing out...

The Lottery

1) Chicago Blaze - C Byron Dambrosio (7-0 224) (Maryland)

The Chicago Blaze have been in a "trust the process" mode for the better part of a decade, and it all comes to a head this offseason. The team will be picking #1 overall for the second consecutive season after landing Erasmo Dryden last year. Dryden looked every bit the makings of a franchise player in his rookie year, but the Blaze are still severely lacking talent at center. Lucky for them, the best player in this year's draft also happens to play in that need-spot.

Maryland's Byron Dambrosio is a seven-foot unicorn who does everything. He's got monster strength and a nice set of skills in the offensive post which could potentially make him impossible to contain if he develops that out. He's got range beyond the three point line, and has also flashed the ability to create for teammates with his passing. He's got an endless motor on the offensive glass, and should play 36+ minutes per game in his rookie year. If there's a negative about Byron it's that he can be passive on the defensive end of the court at times, both on the boards and in the post. He's not going to be the strongest defender, but he should still end up above average on that end.

2) Portland Lumberjacks - SF Jose Lui (6-7 256) (Oklahoma State)

Many would probably disagree with taking Lui over younger and more out-of-the-box ready Geraldo Ibanez, but Lui is the closest thing to a two-way player that this draft has and the Lumberjacks appear committed to Yevgeny Ilgauskas moving forward. At 6-7 and 256 pounds, Lui has power forward size. He's got the potential to be a great scorer inside, and can't be completely ignored beyond the arc either. On the defensive side, though he doesn't have a lot of production in terms of blocks or steals, he's able to be a nightmare defender for both perimeter and post players with his high energy, size, and good athleticism. He will give the Lumberjacks a versatile forward to play chess with, and should mesh well with the rest of the young talent in the coming years.

3) Ft. Worth Dragoons - SG Geraldo Ibanez (6-4 217) (Texas)

Some would argue that Ibanez is the best player in this draft class, and it would be hard to argue against that. At just 19 years old, Ibanez is similar to Erasmo Dryden in that he's ready to come in and play from year one. He can score from anywhere, is a very strong outside defender, passes well, and is a very good athlete. With Rufus Motley entering his contract year and the Dragoons taking a step backwards last year, it could be time to move on and grabbing Ibanez would let them do that more easily. The negative aspect on Ibanez is that, although he is still just a teen, many scouts don't see much room for growth for the Texas product, so it may be a case of what you see early on is what you can expect for the rest of his career. Nevertheless, the Dragoons would be ecstatic to see him sitting there at #3.

4) Anaheim Archers - SF Thomas Carter (6-6 218) (Maryland)

Really, after Byron Dambrosio, the draft could go in any number of ways, as it becomes a matter of preference in talent. I think that Eric Stelle and his Archers will prefer Thomas Carter to Ambrose Vela and Marcel Bradley. With raining Rookie of the Year Randolph Wright already in Anaheim, it may come as a bit of a surprise to see them taking another player at the same position, but Carter and Wright should complement one another very well. The Archers won their championship on the back of getting to the free throw line and then hitting those free throws when they did get there, and Carter is perhaps the best free throw shooter in the draft. He's strong, and already dangerous inside the arc; add to that the fact that he's flashed great mid-range game and will hit the occasional three, and you've got the makings of an offensive star. However, on the defensive end, he's a phantom. Both as a matchup defender and in the box score, one can never be sure if he's even there on defense. However, he and Wright should allow the Archers to do a lot of mixing up with lineups moving forward. Both Ambrose Vela and Marcel Bradley are also possibilities here along with William Hoopes, but the Archers are trying to get back to contention as quickly as possible and Carter is the most OBWL-ready.

5) Chicago Blaze - SF Ambrose Vela (6-7 223) (St. Peter's)

With Dambrosio already in the fold, the Blaze are positioned to grab whoever they view as the best wing available. With Daniel West--yet another former #1 overall pick--and Adrian Sherrer already in Chicago, I think Greg Abcarian goes with Vela, who is more of a project, but also has more upside. His rise from unknown recruit who committed to St. Peter's to top OBWL prospect has been meteoric. Vela is probably the best athlete in the draft, with an uncanny combination of size, speed, strength, and leaping ability, he is going to be tough to contain if he can scratch the surface of his potential skill wise. He's similar to Carter in that he's got the potential to be dangerous anywhere inside the arc, but looks as though he may never be able to contribute anything from deep, which could make things easier to gameplan against in the future. On defense, he provides nothing on the perimeter which may mean he has to spend his career as an undersized 4.

6) Quebec Coyotes - SF Marcel Bradley (6-6 190) (Texas)

There are some in the league who view Marcel Bradley as the top prospect in this year's draft, and once again: it's with good reason. His combination of speed, strength, athleticism, and shooting ability along with being just 18-years-old means that he should have a long career as a great player. His stroke is perhaps the best in the draft, and he is a solid rebounder who doesn't turn the ball over as well. On defense, his ceiling is average, but in comparison to the others in this draft around this pick, average is pretty great. So why do I see him slipping all the way to #6? I don't think he'll be able to stay on the floor, and he has not put much on tape at all, averaging under 15 minutes per game in his one year at Texas. In those 14.9 minutes though, Bradley did manage to commit 1.2 fouls per game. Those problems also followed him to the rookie showcase league, where he committed 3 more in 30.9 minutes. I view Bradley as the type of player who will be frustrating wherever he lands, because his star may shine brighter than any other, but his inability to play big minutes because of fouls may limit the time he gets to shine. Nevertheless, Quebec has to take the best player available, and at #6, that's Bradley who could end up being a major steal.

7) Las Vegas Blackjacks - C William Hoopes (6-8 228) (Kansas State)

After a series of bad signings and draft reaches in the last few years, the Las Vegas Blackjacks find themselves in what is perhaps the worst spot in the league, west of New Jersey. New general manager Michael Olson will enter this offseason without a lot of options, but with the chance to begin putting his stamp on the team, beginning with this draft. William Hoopes is the second best non-wing in this draft, and while he has a lot of growing too do, looks like he may one day be a star in this league. He's a bit undersized for a center and a bit slow for a power forward, so it will be interesting to see how he ends up producing at the next level. Skill-wise though, on the potential side, he's as good as anybody you will find in this draft. He's got the potential to be a force in the low post, and a plus-rebounder on both ends of the floor. He's got a bit of range to keep defenses honest, and is a good passer from the post, creating for teammates without making stupid mistakes. On defense, he's got the strength and technique to lock guys down in the post, as well as produce both blocks and steals. Hoopes has the look of a franchise player, even if it'll take a couple years in the D-League before he's ready for big minutes.

8) St. Louis SunKings - PF William Azevedo (6-8 205) (Seton Hall)

The St. Louis SunKings--just one year removed from the Heikkinen Cup--find themselves with back-to-back picks in the middle of the lottery, and GM Dominick Jenewein will now be able to set the wheels of the rebuild in motion. He has stated that he expects St. Louis to be back in the playoffs in short order, and I believe Will Azevedo is the player at this point most likely to help deliver them. Production-wise, he may never be a superstar, but Azevedo does all of the little things that coaches love and contenders need. He's a very good rebounder on both ends of the court and will be one of the strongest pound-for-pound players in the league from the second he steps between the painted lines. Azevedo has the potential to truly be a lockdown defender, moving from position to position depending on where his team needs him. He'll be a great glue guy to start off the rebuild. On offense, he leaves a lot to be desired, and will probably never be a double-digit scorer; he is a decent passer, but also makes a lot of mistakes and costly turnovers.

9) St. Louis SunKings - SF Erick Patrick (6-10 220) (Connecticut)

The SunKings follow up the defensive pick by then taking the best offensive player remaining, in Erick Patrick. I also think this is where the second tier of talent ends. Patrick is long, athletic, and capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. Defensively he provides absolutely nothing, but this draft is filled with one-way players. He's the best available at the one way that he does play, at this point.

10) Manhattan Swing - SF Bryant Walsh (6-5 205) (San Diego State)

Sources have this pick being traded from Manhattan to Kansas City, but right now, we're using only the official draft board, so Bryant Walsh is the pick here. Even if the rumors are true, I think Kansas City ends up taking him in this spot as well. Walsh is a solid player on both ends of the court with freak athletic ability, who will likely win at least one dunk contest in his career. He's got SG size, so will likely end up there where he may be a step slow, but will also be strong for that position. He is a capable defender who works hard, and at 19 should have a decade or more in this league.

11) Seattle SeaDogs - SG Blair Bedard (6-4 193) (Northwestern)

The SeaDogs have the best young PG in the OBWL, and an aging Long Foote paired with him. Look for them to add Bedard to be Ackerman's running mate in the long-term. He's very similar to Walsh, but is probably a step ahead of him as a scorer and offensive player while being a step or two behind defensively and athletically. He can score from anywhere instructions the arc, is ready to play on day one, and may be the most well-conditioned player in this draft.

12) St. Louis SunKings - PF Dennis Evans (6-10 246) (Colgate)

Finishing out the lottery, with their third pick in the rebuild are the St.Louis SunKings, taking Dennis Evans from Colgate. Evans, like Azevedo is incredibly strong and at 6-10 with decent speed can also cause mismatches on offense. He has the makings of a great offensive rebounder, and having he and Azevedo go at it every day in practice should only serve to sharpen both of their strongest skillsets, should the draft play out this way.

Rest of the First Round

13) Los Angeles Chaos - SF Gerald Mathers (6-6 241) (UNLV)
Outside scouts love him, and many have him rated as one of the better overall players in the draft, but sources say that those within OBWL war rooms have not been impressed. He's well-rounded though, and a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none type of player.

14) Detroit Muscle - PF Carlo Jordan (6-9 236) (Connecticut)
Great offensive potential on the inside, with a solid mid-range game and handles. Also a plus-rebounder on both ends of the floor, but is uninterested in defense.

15) Anaheim Archers - PF Saul Warrington (6-9 236) (George Washington)
Should be a very good scorer and rebounder, ready to play from day one. Average defender at best, and what you see is what you get potential.

16) Philadelphia Americans - PG Hector Young (6-1 181) (California)
Probably the weakest point guard class in OBWL history, but the Golden Bear stands above the rest. Good game manager who creates for others and avoids mistakes while playing average defense. Not a lot of room for growth, and is both small and slow for the position.

17) Toronto Huskies - PF Mario Carrasco (6-9 222) (Texas Christian)
Flowers is aging gracefully, but will likely see a drop in minutes at some point. Mario Carrasco is decent across the board, and the most OBWL-ready remaining PF.

18) South Florida Sharks - SG Ernest Schneck (6-2 186) (Charlotte)
Is a young three-and-D type of player, but is undersized and slow. Will have to find his niche, but at 19 has time to grow into it.

19) Arizona Thunderbirds - PF Abel Vick (6-11 241) (UC Riverside)
Big and strong with a solid inside game, but Vellore average on defense. Can crash the offensive boards with the best of them.

20) St. Louis SunKings - SG Jame Trotman (6-4 224) (Florida)
Great day 1 defender with size and find range. He'll create turnovers and make others work for their shot, but overall unimpressive as a scorer in large part due to lack of athleticism.

21) South Florida Sharks - PG Richard Ricketts (6-2 210) (Penn State)
One of the best shooters in the draft, he is also a decent passer, but he's a bit slow for the position and puts in little effort on defense.

22) Indiana Invaders - C Jack Paquin (7-2 299) (Oral Roberts)
A monster with a good inside game on offense, and who is a solid rebounder. Also a mediocre defender. Perfect player for GM Matt Reid to take so he can make an "Oral" Roberts joke.

23) Minnesota Marauders - C Joseph Tarrant (6-8 221) (UNLV)
Not an exciting player offensively, but a decent rebounder who may also be the draft's biggest difference maker at altering and blocking shots.

24) Honolulu Inferno - PG Walker Schroeder (6-0 181) (San Diego State)
Very good athlete overall, who can create for others and is capable of hitting a three. Also one of the better free throw shooters in the draft, but plays no defense and doesn't do the best job if protecting the ball.

25) Anaheim Archers - SF Harold Hostetler (6-7 232) (Radford)
Very good matchup defender and decent all-around athlete with some size. Lacks scoring ability. Ready to come in and give some minutes right away, but not much potential to improve.

26) Honolulu Inferno - PF Kenneth Friday (6-9 259) (Colorado)
German-type big man: not much of and offensive game to speak of, but is strong, rebounds well, and has good post defense.

27) London Knights - SG Shelton Hagerty (6-7 217) (Seton Hall)
Another great athlete and jumper, limited potential but no huge holes in his game outside of lacking a three point shot. The type of player Jian Lan has made a living out of capitalizing on.

28) Honolulu Inferno - C Jack Ashley (6-7 248) (Boston College)
Another stereotype German big man: plodding but good in the post on both ends, and capable of blocking shots. Ready to play right away, and also a solid passer. Rebounding, potential, and athleticism leave much to be desired.


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