I am sure a bunch of trades will occur before tonights draft, but here is my attempt at a final NBA Mock draft for 2023!
Wembanyama will likely take home the No. 1 pick this draft season and follow in the footsteps of Hall-of-Famers like David Robinson and Tim Duncan – two players who San Antonio chose with the top selection in their drafts.
Miller and Scoot Henderson both worked out in front of theHornets owner Michael Jordan and the new ownership group on Monday, with reports suggesting Miller may be the leading candidate to be No. 2.
Though Henderson remains my top selection with this pick, Miller makes more sense. His skilful shooting makes a natural pairing with LaMelo Ball’s franchise point guard position while meeting scoring needs on the wings.
Damian Lillard prefers staying with Portland and if they keep their No. 3 pick, this is who they will select.
Under this scenario, the Blazers could find their point guard of the future in Henderson, who will be groomed by one of his favorite players – Lillard. Their backcourt fit may not be ideal, but it certainly isn’t insurmountable.
The Rockets could go with Amen Thompson, but I think Whitmore is the better selection and the better player. With that being said Amen Thompson would pair well with Jalen Green in the Rockets backcourt.
The Detroit Pistons currently possess their backcourt of the future in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey and should feel secure about developing Jalen Duren and James Wiseman into solid center rotation candidates for years to come. When added together with Walker as an elite defender on defense, Detroit nearly has an entire starting lineup full of promising young players ready for competitive action.
Thompson would give Houston a playmaking guard and elite perimeter defender and the Magic need perimeter players.
A 6-8 stretch-four, Brandon is an ideal example of today’s NBA power forward. He shot almost 40% from 3-point range this past season and boasted the size and mobility necessary to defend both wings and bigs effectively.
Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, Ausar Thompson would pair well with those two players. It would provide the Magic with versatile options in their future core of players, giving him another versatile asset for them to utilize.
The Jazz are reportedly wanting Black so bad that they will trade up for him. Maybe they won’t need to?
The Mavericks are trying to trade to get more talent around Doncic, if that falls through Lively would be a great addition to the roster.
Dick may be the best shooter in this draft and it would be great for the Magic if Dick falls to them here.
Hawkins may seem ambitious here and a little bit of a reach, but with so many draft assets at their disposal, the Thunder can afford to take an aggressive tack when it comes to filling areas of need.
Toronto made this more likely by hiring Darko Rajakovic, an expert at pick-and-roll play, as their head coach. Hood-Schifino could offer Toronto insurance as a versatile pick-and-roll ball handler and scorer that could run their offense more seamlessly.
Wallace stands out in this draft class as an outstanding guard prospect due to his tenacity on-ball defense, sound decision-making abilities, and potential growth as a scorer.
The Hawks don’t possess much guard depth beyond Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanovic; therefore, Bufkin would be an exceptional value just outside of the lottery.
The Jazz are said to be huge fans of Coulibaly and are an ideal rebuilding franchise to support his development as a scorer.
The Lakers backcourt could use some extra scoring, and Smith Jr. could provide that spark with his potential selection at No. 17 overall. Once projected as one of the top college prospects off the board, however, an unfortunate knee injury hampered his freshman campaign. It ultimately cost him his shot at becoming the first overall selection.
Miami sees Murray as the ideal fit to fill its needs as a 6-8 versatile forward who can defend multiple positions while knocking down catch-and-shoot 3s to open up space on the court for their stars.
Howard would make an ideal addition to a team like Golden State that relies heavily on 3-point shooting.
Houston may try trading this pick to add an impactful contributor to its rotation; if Miller remains available, however, they should jump on him.
The Nets would likely welcome George as they fill a need in their backcourt for someone capable of creating shots and scoring goals. Already an NBA-caliber shot-maker, the Baylor freshman George could provide them with what they need for success in 2023/24.
The Nets don’t possess much frontcourt depth beyond Nic Claxton, and Clowney is precisely the high-ceiling forward prospect who could flourish during Brooklyn’s rebuild process.
If the Trail Blazers intend to keep their No. 3 pick and retain Lillard, they should target an upperclassman like Prosper; his draft stock has skyrocketed since attending the combine due to his long and wiry body type that allows him to be versatile on both sides of the ball.
Podziemski would make an excellent creative playmaker and aggressive perimeter shooter.
Jones is one of my favorite NBA-ready prospects who have the versatility to fit into any team’s need for winning. With strong playmaking, defensive, and scoring capabilities, he would provide strong rotation minutes on playoff teams.
Though the Pacers likely won’t use all five of their draft picks, Jaquez Jr. could provide an experienced and creative wing who plays winning basketball while contributing defensively.
Miller can fill some of Charlotte’s needs for wing depth with their selection at No. 2, though not entirely. Should Whitehead still be available, Charlotte could land one of college basketball’s former surefire top-10 selections before injuries derailed his college season and made him unsuitable for higher consideration in this draft.
Rupert would benefit significantly from playing for Utah, where his versatile offense/defense can develop to its fullest potential. At 6-9 and with an impressive 7-3 wingspan, this forward is expected to thrive under Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
Jackson-Davis offers the playoff team an experienced option off the bench who can quickly become an impact player for them in their frontcourt.
Sensabaugh is an explosive perimeter shooter and creative midrange scorer that would be an incredible find for the Clippers with the final pick in round one.
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