2023 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions After Lottery Reveal
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Victor Wembanyama. FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
The San Antonio Spurs are officially winners of a franchise-changing NBA draft lottery that potentially gives them a future MVP candidate.
Victor Wembanyama will go No. 1 and team up with Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets will pick second and face a real decision with G League Ignite's Scoot Henderson, Alabama's Brandon Miller and Overtime Elite's Amen Thompson on the board.
After No. 3, where the Portland Trail Blazers will field trade calls, the draft becomes more unpredictable.
Prospects are currently interviewing, testing, drilling and scrimmaging in Chicago to make some final impressions and move up boards before June 22. Last year, it was Jalen Williams and Andrew Nembhard who were bigger winners, and we figure to see more emerge the rest of the week.
Top Five: Wemby, Scoot, Then Who???
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Scoot Henderson, G League IgniteAdam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images
1. San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92, PF/C, 2004)
The Spurs are on the verge of building the NBA's best defensive frontcourt. After drafting Jeremy Sochan in last year's lottery, they'll now add Wembanyama, whose 8'0" wingspan, mobility and anticipation will instantly transform San Antonio and make its group significantly tougher to score on.
Offensively, without a star playmaker in the rotation, Wembanyama should receive a bright green light to continue experimenting with self-creation. Ultimately, it should be beneficial for his development toward becoming both a No. 1 option and Defensive Player of the Year.
2. Charlotte Hornets: Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite, PG, 2004)
Brandon Miller is the cleaner fit, but Henderson would give the Hornets a backcourt advantage that few teams could match. With Henderson and LaMelo Ball, they'd have two high-level playmakers to generate pace and easy offense. And between Henderson's explosiveness and rim pressure, and Ball's passing and shot-making, it's worth betting on the pair working together.
The Hornets should also prepare for trade offers from teams looking to move up, whether it's the Houston Rockets targeting Henderson or the Detroit Pistons hoping for Miller. Charlotte will have plenty of interesting options at No. 2, though this early, drafting Henderson to help the NBA's worst-ranked offense could be Plan A.
3. Portland Trail Blazers: Brandon Miller (Alabama, SF, Freshman)
Landing the No. 3 pick should spark debate inside Portland's front office.
Presumably, the Blazers' preference would be trading the right to draft Henderson or Miller for an established star to pair alongside Damian Lillard. But it also may be a good opportunity for a fresh start. The Blazers could get a significant haul of young talent to pair with Henderson or Miller, along with Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.
Miller's scoring and shot-making does fit smoothly at the 3 in Portland. He'd start right away and provide immediate shooting and some bonus two-way playmaking.
If Miller goes No. 2, then it seems even more likely Portland trades.
4. Houston Rockets: Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite, PG/SG, 2003)
Expect the Rockets to try to move up to No. 2 for Henderson, who'd form an explosive pair with Jalen Green. But Thompson is the better passer with far more size and similarly special explosiveness.
Houston would play Thompson at point guard and surround him with shot-makers like Green and Kevin Porter Jr. The Rockets would then have arguably the NBA's most athletic starting guard/wing trio, although Thompson's playmaking and defense are what will ultimately separate him from other high-fliers.
5. Detroit Pistons: Jarace Walker (Houston, PF, Freshman)
Unless the Pistons make Jaden Ivey or Jalen Duren available, they'll have trouble moving up. A trade down is more likely. Staying put to target Walker's spectacular physical profile, offensive versatility and defensive upside would seem reasonable.
With Walker and Duren, Detroit would have the strongest 4-5 pairing in the league. But it's Walker's potential to stretch the floor, attack closeouts, pass off the live dribble, hit specialty shots and overwhelm defensively with his power and length that creates such a unique outlook.
The Late Lottery: Predicting Picks No. 6-14
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Anthony Black, ArkansasAP Photo/Morry Gash
6. Orlando Magic: Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite, SF, 2004)
Thompson has the chance to sway some hesitant executives during workouts with enough comfortable shooting that points to achievable improvement. Regardless, he's going to bring Orlando instant transition offense, easy baskets and defensive pressure/versatility while his creation and shot-making skills gradually develop. He's going to give the Magic lineup a jolt of athleticism it's currently missing.
7. Indiana Pacers: Taylor Hendricks (Central Florida, PF, Freshman)
Hendricks has given off high-floor, high-ceiling vibes with convincing shooting and defensive versatility, plus room/time to build on the flashes of pull-ups and drives past closeouts. Indiana should picture a cornerstone three-and-D forward who'll be valuable, regardless of how much his off-the-dribble game develops.
8. Washington Wizards: Cam Whitmore (Villanova, SF/PF, Freshman)
Whitmore should give the Wizards an immediate source of athletic playmaking, easy baskets and streak shot-making. Ball-handling flashes for self-creation also hint at another level of scoring potential, though his pull-up and vision off the dribble must improve.
9. Utah Jazz: Anthony Black (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)
The Jazz can add more playmaking at both ends with Black, who'd double as a ball-handling initiator and two-way wing. Coaches may eventually prefer him as the starting point guard, given his strengths as a passer and a 6'6", point-of-attack defender.
10. Dallas Mavericks: Gradey Dick (Kansas, SF, Freshman)
With the New York Knicks' pick, the Mavericks could draft Dick for his shooting and the extra spacing he'd provide for the team's star ball-handlers. There is a guarantee tied to his shot-making and its value/purpose to the rotation and eventual starting lineup.
11. Orlando Magic (via Bulls): Keyonte George (Baylor, SG, Freshman)
With two lottery selections and a rotation full of young prospects, Orlando figures to explore trade scenarios. But George's shot-making would also work well in the rotation, either at the starting 2-guard spot or for a bench-scoring role.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cason Wallace (Kentucky, PG, Freshman)
Ignoring needs based on who's available at No. 12, the Thunder could view Wallace's shooting, passing IQ and defensive pressure as an easy-fit combination and lock to strengthen or deepen the rotation. Oklahoma City could also look to move down for a rim protector like Dereck Lively or trade out for a more instant-impact veteran.
13. Toronto Raptors: Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)
An inefficient season mixed with injury could cause Smith to fall outside the top 10, where he was initially projected thanks to his 6'5" size, shot-making versatility and playmaking flashes. At No. 13, the Raptors would see too enticing of a buy-low opportunity on a potentially dangerous three-level scorer.
14. New Orleans Pelicans: Jett Howard (Michigan, SG/SF, Freshman)
Look for the Pelicans to explore trading out of No. 14, given their surplus of guards, wings and forwards and their win-now mentality. This is a best-player-available spot on the board, and Howard figures to be appealing for almost everyone with his coveted mix of 6'8" size and shooting versatility.
Late First Round: Predicting Picks No. 15-30
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GG Jackson, South Carolina John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
15. Atlanta Hawks: Kobe Bufkin (Michigan, PG/SG, Sophomore)
With pressure on Atlanta to start advancing in the playoffs, the Hawks could show interest in moving No. 15 for a veteran presence. Bufkin should be in play for anyone at No. 15, as he's showcased the type of combo-guard versatility, two-way playmaking, finishing and enough shooting promise to create, score off the ball and defend both backcourt spots.
16. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves): Dariq Whitehead (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge would put more stock into the high school scouting of Whitehead, who's having another surgery to repair a foot injury that was clearly bothering him at Duke. The 6'6", 18-year-old wing still shot extremely well from Duke, and anyone who watched the 2021-22 Monterverde season saw far more self-creation and athleticism from Whitehead than he was able to showcase in college.
17. Los Angeles Lakers: Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State, SG, Freshman)
A 6'6", 235-pound efficient, three-level shot-maker, Sensabaugh could be viewed as an NBA-ready scoring wing for a team's second unit. He won't offer much else, so landing with a team that strictly values his one-on-one game and shooting would be ideal.
18. Miami Heat: GG Jackson (South Carolina, PF, Freshman)
Miami would need to stay patient with the 18-year-old Jackson, but for a 6'9" power forward, his ball-handling and shooting versatility would seemingly fit well between Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat's track record for developing prospects and overall mature roster would be great for a talent like Jackson, who could improve his decision-making and defensive effort.
19. Golden State Warriors: Jordan Hawkins (Connecticut, SG, Sophomore)
Hawkins' spot-up and movement shooting would fit easily in Golden State. He grades as the most productive off-screen shot-maker in the draft, which should help alleviate concerns about his lack of on-ball creation.
20. Houston Rockets (via Clippers): Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara, PG/SG, Sophomore)
While some teams think of Podziemski as a sleeper, he might not be there for those hoping to steal him in the second round. He'd boost the NBA's No. 27 offense and worst three-point shooting team with his high-level creativity and shot-making, even if it's for the Rockets' lackluster second unit.
21. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns): Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana, PG/SG, Freshman)
Brooklyn could pair Spencer Dinwiddie with another wing-sized ball-handler in Hood-Schifino, whose NBA fanbase gradually grew with his budding flashes of pull-up shot-making and flashy passes. He'll get looks earlier than this in the late lottery and teens.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Bilal Coulibaly (Metropolitans 92, SF, 2004)
With two first-round picks, the Nets could use one to swing for the fences on Coulibaly. The 18-year-old explosive leaper and shot-maker often popped next to Victor Wembanyama.
23. Portland Trail Blazers (via Knicks): Dereck Lively (Duke, C, Freshman)
The Blazers figure to show interest in Lively purely for his rim protection, which seems likely to translate based on his elite length and 12.7 block percentage. Though he's limited offensively, he'd still serve as a useful high-percentage finishing and lob target.
24. Sacramento Kings: Kris Murray (Iowa, SF/PF, Junior)
While the Kings could see benefits to adding Keegan's twin brother, Kris' off-ball scoring and improved shot-making warrants consideration from all teams in the late teens and 20s. His game is similar to last year's No. 4 overall pick, with Kris offering the same type of spot-up and movement shooting, transition offense and overall opportunistic scoring.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Colby Jones (Xavier, PG/SG, Junior)
The Grizzlies could replace Dillon Brooks with Jones, a 6'6", versatile defender whose scoring efficiency, passing and decision-making would fit in a lineup with established scorers, shot-makers and and creators.
26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers): Noah Clowney (Alabama, PF, Freshman)
Clowney can help himself in workouts with the three-ball that flickered on and off throughout his freshman season. Teams ultimately know they'd be getting a project regardless. The Pacers could deem it worth waiting for his three-and-D, power forward archetype to fully take shape.
27. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets): Rayan Rupert (New Zealand Breakers, SG/SF, 2004)
Teams will be eager to work out Rupert, whose shot-making highlights and 7'3" wingspan are appealing on paper. He just may have some extra convincing to do during the predraft process considering how little he played in the NBL.
28. Utah Jazz (via 76ers): Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine, SG/SF, Sophomore)
Teams sound split on Lewis, a 6'7" wing with smooth creation flashes, three-level shot-making skill and a 9-22 record at Pepperdine this past season. Teams will have to weigh his promising eye-test results and valued archetype against his low-impact production in a weaker conference.
29. Indiana Pacers (via Celtics): Leonard Miller (G League Ignite, SF, 2003)
Miller has pushed himself into the first-round mix, showing the type of improvement that will sway teams to bet on more development. The idea of a 6'10", 19-year-old wing who can push the break, attack closeouts, score with touch and potentially make threes will look enticing in the 20s.
30. Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks): Andre Jackson Jr. (Connecticut, SF, Junior)
Despite Jackson's scoring flaws, the Clippers could picture him thriving in the same point-wing role he played for the national champion Huskies. The right fit could optimize his open-floor athleticism, transition play-making, half-court ball-moving, play-finishing and defensive activity.
Early Second Round: No. 31-45
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Amari Bailey, Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLAEzra Shaw/Getty Images
31. Detroit Pistons: Terquavion Smith (NC State, SG, Sophomore)
Detroit could add some bench scoring with Smith, one of the draft's most productive shot-makers and streaky scorers, whose inefficiency could be mitigated in a bench role.
32. San Antonio Spurs: James Nnaji (Barcelona, C, 2004)
Though he's limited offensively, Nnaji has the body, athleticism and Euroleague experience for NBA teams to picture a surefire rim protector and finisher.
33. Boston Celtics (via Rockets): Jaime Jaquez Jr. (UCLA, SF, Senior)
Rebuilding teams may prefer higher-upside options than Jaquez, but a contender could see value in adding a 6'7", 225-pound 22-year-old who scores in different ways and defends with toughness.
34. Charlotte Hornets: Amari Bailey (UCLA, PG/SG, Freshman)
Bailey used his late on-ball reps with Jaylen Clark hurt to make a strong final pitch around his versatility. Though he isn't the sharpest shooter or creator, Bailey still possesses an adequate mix of size, shot-making, live-dribble passing, athleticism at the rim and defensive activity to serve as an interchangeable, Swiss army knife guard.
35. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Blazers): Ricky Council IV (Arkansas, SG/SF, Junior)
Council could draw first-round looks based on what any three-point shooting improvement could do for an effective creator, two-point shot-maker and tremendous play-finisher.
36. Orlando Magic: Bobi Klintman (Wake Forest, PF, Freshman)
Orlando could swing for upside with Klintman, a 6'10" forward with the type of shooting stroke, passing skill and face-up potential that can motivate a team like the Magic to be patient with his timeline.
37. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Wizards): Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana, PF/C, Senior)
Even if Jackson-Davis never adds a jump shot, the Thunder could still find use for his ability to create high-percentage shots from the post with his footwork and passing.
38. Sacramento Kings (via Pacers): Kobe Brown (Missouri, SF/PF, Senior)
Brown could be a popular second-round target with his mix of ball-handling, shooting and passing for a 6'8" forward. Age and athletic concerns could keep him rising too high, but they won't bother teams in the 30s or 40s.
39. Charlotte Hornets (via Jazz): Ben Sheppard (Belmont, SG, Senior)
Coming off an efficient 18.8 points per game, Sheppard got himself noticed with potentially translatable shooting versatility and pick-and-roll driving. He's one of the best bets to keep rising throughout the draft process.
40. Denver Nuggets (via Mavericks): Jalen Wilson (Kansas, SF/PF, Senior)
Wilson's improved shot-making made it easier for NBA teams to see him as a pro, though he'll earn minutes mostly with his physical driving, mid-range game and rebounding.
41. Charlotte Hornets (via Thunder): Julian Strawther (Gonzaga, SF, Junior)
The Hornets could target Strawther for his potential to provide plug-and-play shooting and overall off-ball shot-making.
42. Washington Wizards (via Bulls): Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State, SF/PF, Senior)
Johnson's shooting, defensive profile and toughness should be enough to draw significant second-round interest from teams picturing a two-way role player.
43. Portland Trail Blazers (via Hawks): Marcus Sasser (Houston, PG/SG, Senior)
Despite Sasser's inability to make a big jump as a playmaker, his shooting versatility and pick-and-roll offense could still work well in a scoring/shot-making role off a team's bench.
44. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Terrence Shannon Jr. (Illinois, SG/SF, Senior)
Improved shot-making turned Shannon into a more realistic three-and-D option, while the slashing and playmaking flashes suggest he'll have some margin for error with his shooting consistency.
45. Memphis Grizzlies (via Timberwolves): Judah Mintz (Syracuse, PG/SG, Freshman)
The Hornets could buy Mintz's rim pressure, passing and defensive energy for two-way playmaking in a bench spark role.
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Grace Bradley/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
46. Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans): Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite, SG/SF, 2004)
Cissoko doesn't have an obvious NBA skill, which figures to limit first-round interest in him. But his combination of secondary playmaking, capable shot-making and the defensive tools to guard positions 2-4 create enough versatility for Round 2.
47. Los Angeles Lakers: Tristan Vukcevic (KK Partizan, C, 2003)
At 7'0", Vukcevic shot 40.0 percent from three in the Adriatic League and flashed encouraging face-up skill and touch. Teams will be eager to watch him scrimmage in a setting with more pace and athleticism than he's used to.
48. Los Angeles Clippers: Coleman Hawkins (Illinois, PF, Junior)
Hawkins' projected archetype and NBA fit are the draws, with teams more interested in his mix of shooting, passing and defensive potential than his scoring ability.
49. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Warriors): Tosan Evbuomwan (Princeton, PF, Senior)
Evbuomwan caught eyes during the NCAA tournament, and one team is bound to see a worthwhile second-round gamble on a 6'8", 4.9-assist-per-game forward who can facilitate and pass from different spots.
50. Indiana Pacers (via Heat): Mouhamed Gueye (Washington State, PF/C, Sophomore)
More consistent shooting touch will be Gueye's NBA ticket, as he's teased with the occasional mid-to-long range jumper while producing off finishes, post-ups, drives in space and putbacks.
51. Brooklyn Nets: Nikola Đurišić (Mega MIS, SF, 2004)
Djurisic could be an interesting buy-low pick with a better jumper than this year's numbers say and unique ball-handling and playmaking skill for a 6'8" teenager.
52. Phoenix Suns: DaRon Holmes II (Dayton, C, Sophomore)
While the door is still open for Holmes to return to school and challenge for 2024 first-round looks, he should get himself drafted this June just based off his production, NBA tools and interior athleticism for finishing and shot-blocking.
53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks): Jaylen Clark (UCLA, SF, Junior)
Despite missing the NCAA tournament, Clark established himself as a clear defensive difference-maker with unteachable instincts and just enough play-finishing and passing ability to get by offensively.
54. Sacramento Kings: Omari Moore (San Jose State, PG/SG, Senior)
Moore has a good chance to jump up boards during NBA combine scrimmages, where his 6'6" size, point-of-attack slashing and pull-up shooting should pop to executives who've seen little tape of San Jose State.
55. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers): Grant Nelson (North Dakota State, PF, Junior)
Teams are eager to watch Nelson scrimmage against other NBA prospects, but he measured and tested well, and 6'10" size in socks, bounce and the face-up flashes may be enough in the second round.
56. Memphis Grizzlies: Julian Phillips (Tennessee, SF, Freshman)
After testing as the NBA combine's top leaper, Phillips should be able to look more comfortable shooting during workouts. He'll have teams digging deeper into his tape from Link Academy, where he was a McDonald's All-American and better shot-maker than we saw at Tennessee.
57. Chicago Bulls (via Nuggets): Forfeited
58. Philadelphia 76ers: Forfeited
59. Washington Wizards (via Celtics): Adama Sanogo (Connecticut, PF/C, Junior)
Sanogo could interest teams looking to beef up their front line and provide some inside scoring with his physicality and soft hands. But he also teased scouts this year with 19 made threes and a 76.6 free-throw percentage.
60. Milwaukee Bucks: Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette, SF, Junior)
Wing defenders are always in demand, and Prosper has the right physical tools to tempt a team to gamble on some shooting improvement.