2023 NBA Mock Draft With Analysis – 12/6/22

Conference games are underway, and we are starting to get a decent idea of how a 2023 board could turn out.

Draft order courtesy of http://www.tankathon.com. A lottery generator was run.

Pick Team Player Stats Commentary
1 512019262015 C Victor Wembanyama, France – 7’4, 240 lbs 24.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.1 bpg No need to type up a team/player fit for Victor Wembanyama. He is 100% guaranteed to be the top pick. The most hyped prospect in years has lived up to the billing, with jaw dropping performances on national television. He is a legit 7’4 with the ball handling skills of a guard, a great shooting stroke and all defensive NBA potential. Just pray to the basketball gods that he can stay healthy. History has not been kind to players as tall as him. LaMelo Ball has been in and out of the lineup for the hapless Hornets, and he is the only franchise type player on the roster. Pairing Wembanyama with Ball would put Charlotte on the basketball map.
2 wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4 PG Scoot Henderson, USA/G-League – 6’3, 180 lbs 21.2 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.3 rpg Scoot Henderson is more than just a consolation prize for whoever loses out on the top pick. He is an elite talent, and is a perfect fit as a 2023 NBA point guard. He is big, strong, an aggressive scorer and talented distributor and defender. He has 20/5/5 potential right out of the gate. He would be the most talented player on a Magic roster that has some intriguing players, but is a very long away from being a good basketball team.
3 23068302020 SF Amen Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 202 lbs 15.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, 6.3 rpg Amen Thompson needs to work on his jumpshot, but he is a top notch athlete and may be the best on the ball defender in this class. Throw in his ability to be a true point guard and the total package is probably at the top of tier three. Every team could use a guy like this. The Rockets have a few guys who can get their own buckets but struggle to make teammates better. Thompson would be a very nice fit.
4 burm5gh2wvjti3xhei5h16k8e SG Nick Smith Jr., Fr, Arkansas – 6’5, 185 lbs 8.0 ppg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 rpg Nick Smith finally made his Arkansas debut. His second game was encouraging, and he should have no problem delivering on his pre-season hype as a supreme one on one scorer and distributor going forward. Pretty much any team in the top five could use a scorer like Smith. The Heat have been a bit of a mess this season. Could they possibly be a lottery team?
5 22321642018 SF Brandon Miller, Fr, Alabama – 6’9, 200 lbs 19.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.9 apg Brandon Miller’s shooting percentages have taken a hit since a blistering start to his career, as teams are starting to key in on him defensively. Still, his length and shooting stroke would make any scout salivate. Throw in a penchant for rebounding and playing defense, and he should be sought after come draft time. The Pistons are still a mess personnel wise, but Miller would give the team some much needed shooting.
6 23325472018 PF GG Jackson II, Fr, South Carolina – 6’9, 215 lbs 17.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg GG Jackson II, one of the youngest players in college basketball, is holding his own on an overmatched South Carolina team. He is a great athlete who can score off lobs and put backs, and his perimiter shot has been promising. A project to be sure, but I think he is a superior prospect to Spurs 2021 lottery pick Jeremy Sochan, and would instantly be the power forward of the future in San Antonio.
7 wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4 SF Ausar Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 207 lbs 18.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 apg From CHI
So far so good for the Thompson twins. Ausar has been a terror scoring and on defense, with 3.5 steals per game. He is not a tremendous shooter but the Magic have plenty of guys on the roster who are offensively focused. Thompson could play point guard in a pinch and guard the opposition’s best wing player.
8 496226812014 PG Anthony Black, Fr, Arkansas – 6’7, 198 lbs 13.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg From LAL
With Anthony Black and now Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas might have the most talented back court in college basketball. Black has been a terror on both sides of the court, scoring better than anticipated and racking up steals on defense. He could definitely play point guard in the NBA, and would be a particulary good fit next to CJ McCollum in the New Orleans back court.
9 21956712016 PG Cason Wallace, Fr, Kentucky – 6’4, 193 lbs 11.0 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.1 rpg Cason Wallace is not a huge scorer, but he has played his role to perfection for Kentucky in the early going. He is a respectable shooter, a great ball handler and an absolute menace defensively. He has the looks of a young Marcus Smart. The Wizards have cycled through point guards since John Wall was traded, and Wallace would be a nice compliment to the ball dominant Bradley Beal.
10 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis SF Cam Whitmore, Fr, Villanova – 6’7, 232 lbs 7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 spg Cam Whitmore finally made his Villanova debut, and immediately made a difference. He is so strong and a real menace defensively. The offense should come, as he is simply too strong for most college defenders. He should squarely be in the top ten once he rounds into shape. The Knicks might have three first round picks, and should use a couple of those to actually improve the roster.
11 khmovcnezy06c3nm05ccn0oj2 PF Jarace Walker, Fr, Houston – 6’8, 240 lbs 9.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.3 apg Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might be too good to keep the Thunder from truly tanking, though I am sure they will shut him down for the season if things get out of hand. Jarace Walker was the highest recruit Houston has had in a while, and so far so good. Houston might be the best team in college basketball so they have not asked Walker to do too much, but he has shown the ability to score from everywhere, handle the ball and play solid defense. He would be a nice compliment to guys like Aleksej Pokusevski and Chet Holmgren.
12 23485132023 SF Gradey Dick, Fr, Kansas – 6’8, 205 lbs 15.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.6 apg It is all about shooting with Gradey Dick. He has ideal size, length and the shooting stroke to be a real asset offensively. He is a better athlete than expected, and should be able to hold his own defensively. The Jazz have fallen off after a blistering start, and should settle back into their original goal of collecting young talent.
13 23531522020 PF Kris Murray, Jr, Iowa – 6’8, 225 lbs 21.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.6 apg It is early, but Kris Murray is looking like a spitting image of his twin brother Keegan. He should average 20 ppg for Iowa this year, showing the same type of offensive game that landed his brother in the lottery. Draymond Green may be elsewhere next year, and that will open up some minutes for a guy like Murray, who can provide more offense at power forward than Green did.
14 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis SG Keyonte George, Fr, Baylor – 6’4, 185 lbs 14.9 ppg, 4.0 apg, 4.1 rpg From DAL
Keyonte George has struggled with efficiency at times, but has been almost as good as advertised for Baylor. He is a solid combo guard who can score in bunches and play some point guard. He would make an ideal backup guard for the Knicks with the opportunity to eventually start at shooting guard.
15 hsuff5m3dgiv20kovde422r1f SF Dillon Mitchell, Fr, Texas – 6’8, 205 lbs 8.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.8 spg From PHI
Texas has been a top five team this year, so they have not needed Dillon Mitchell to make a huge impact. Mitchell has made the best of his 20 minutes per game. He plays extremely hard, scores at a high rate and makes a ton of energy plays. A project to be sure, but Brooklyn really needs bench help and Mitchell could be a lot like a young Jerami Grant.
16 22770242021 SF Jett Howard, Fr, Michigan – 6’8, 215 lbs 15.3 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.4 bpg Jett Howard is a solid 3 and D type that every team would love to have coming off it’s bench. He has shot the ball very well, can handle the rock and get some blocks and steals. Like I said, he is an automatic fit anywhere, and the Raptors could have bench minutes available.
17 23485132023 SF Dariq Whitehead, Fr, Duke – 6’7, 220 lbs 5.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.4 apg From BKN
Dariq Whitehead has returned from his broken foot, and the Blue Devils are bringingg him along slowly, similar to how they used AJ Griffin last year. I expect Whitehead to get better as things go along. He is definitely a lottery talent, especially on offense. The Jazz have three first round picks, and will probably take a couple of young freshmen to develop.
18 24040432017 C Kyle Filipowski, Fr, Duke – 7’0, 230 lbs 15.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.4 spg Kyle Filipowski is not overly athletic or strong, but he is already showing the ability to grab rebounds, knock down jump shots and play passing lanes on defense. He could have a nice career as a backup stretch-type big man. The Jazz will own the next few drafts, and go with three freshman with their three picks in the top 18.
19 22081902021 C Kel’el Ware, Fr, Oregon – 7’0, 210 lbs 10.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg Big men usually start slow in college, and I expect Kel’el Ware’s usage to expand as the season goes on. He is a very athletic and engaging big man, especially on defense. On offense, he has the ability to keep defenses honest with his jump shot. The Hawks like to use their mid-first round picks on young players with upside, and Ware could develop into a decent starting center in the NBA.
20 22448122018 SG Julian Strawther, Jr, Gonzaga – 6’7, 205 lbs 13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.0 spg I am a big Julian Strawther fan, and think he could be an NBA contributor right away. He paid his dues at Gonzaga, and has developed into a crafty scorer who can chip in some steals as well. The Pacers have a nice collection of wing players, but this is a team with three first round picks, so they should just go best player available.
21 hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 C Dereck Lively II, Fr, Duke – 7’1, 230 lbs 4.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 bpg I usually do not mock for need this low in the first round, but the Bulls front court is in bad, bad shape. They need big men any way they can get them. Minutes in the Duke front course are fierce right now, and Dereck Lively II has been a part time player thus far. Still, he is too talented to not be a first round draft pick. He may max out as a Tyson Chandler type, that plays strong defense but relies on put backs to get his points. He should be a quality starting center in time.
22 23637762019 SG Terquavion Smith, So, NC State – 6’4, 165 lbs 16.0 ppg, 5.1 apg, 3.6 rpg Terquavion Smith has not improved much from a solid freshman year, still struggling to shoot over 40%. He is the majority of the offense for NC State, however, and does a lot of things even when his shot is not falling. He may max out as a backup Bones Hyland type, but he could battle for Sixth Man of the Year awards during his prime. The Clippers have been the worst drafting team since 2010, and it has not even been close.
23 24040432017 SF Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, Ohio State – 6’6, 235 lbs 14.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.3 spg Other than rooting for my own team, I am pulling hard for the Kings to break the longest playoff drought in the NBA. So far so good. Picking this low, they can add a wing scorer to the bench with Brice Sensabaugh. He does not do much more than shoot and score, but he does that at a very high level.
24 512019262015 PF Leonard Miller, Canada/G-League – 6’10, 208 lbs 15.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 spg From DEN
With their second first round pick, Charlotte once again goes with length in the draft. Leonard Miller has had a nice year for the Ignite, and has great length and energy. He can shoot and play defense. A long term investment to be sure, but there is a lot to like.
25 22448122018 PF Jalen Wlison, Jr, Kansas – 6’8, 225 lbs 21.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 3.3 apg From CLE
Jalen Wilson is definitely in consideration for College Basketball Player of the Year. He has had a monster junior season for Kansas. He is not the best athlete and may struggle to score this well in the NBA, but he does the dirty work rebounding and playing defense as well. Maybe not a starter, but the Pacers have three first round picks and could do worse for a backup forward.
26 23143732019 SF Terrence Shannon Jr., Sr, Illinois – 6’6, 215 lbs 19.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.5 apg The draft community has followed Terrence Shannon Jr. for years. He always showed ability, but never quite put things together for Texas Tech. He moved to Illinois this past off-season, and has exploded as a senior, showing the all around game that has kept him on the draft radar for four years. He is now squarely in the late first round mix, and would be a help for any playoff team.
27 uig7aiht8jnpl1szbi57zzlsh PG Tyrese Hunter, So, Texas – 6’0, 175 lbs 16.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg Tyrese Hunter is the perfect point guard to lead a second unit in the NBA. Very quick, athletic and a fantastic scorer, he could rack up buckets in a hurry. The Lakers have about 75 players on one year contracts, and are always in need of young bench players.
28 23843702014 SG Colby Jones, Jr, Xavier – 6’6, 205 lbs 15.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.1 rpg Colby Jones has exploded on the scene as a junior, doing it all for Xavier. Most impressive is his 55% shooting from three. He would make a nice fit as a bench guard for a playoff team, but has the opportunity to go much higher than this, like Jalen Williams did last year.
29 23068302020 PF Trevon Brazile, So, Arkansas – 6’10, 212 lbs 13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg From MIL
Trevon Brazile has been the perfect compliment to Anthony Black at Arkansas. A true stretch four, he has a great jump shot. Brazile can also chip in some steals and blocks, making him a nice fit for today’s NBA game.
28 22448122018 SG Rayan Rupert, France – 6’6, 192 lbs 8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.7 spg From BOS
Rayan Rupert is a long way from being a productive NBA player, but he is young and versatile, and could be a nice 3 and D player if he develops. This is the last pick in the first round and the third of the draft for Indiana, so little risk here.


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