2023 NBA Mock Draft With Analysis – 12/16/22

Usually post these on Tuesday. A couple days late this week.

Draft order plus lottery generator courtesy of http://www.tankathon.com

Pick Team Player Stats Commentary
1 hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 C Victor Wembanyama, France – 7’4, 240 lbs 23.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.8 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. The Bulls look like they might let Nikola Vucevic walk this off-season, and have absolutely nothing to build around front court wise. What a coup this would be for Chicago.
2 512019262015 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. Offense is always important, and two ball dominant guards like Henderson and LaMelo Ball would be a good problem to have for Charlotte.
3 23325472018 SF Amen Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 202 lbs 16.9 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.9 rpg Amen Thompson needs to work on his jumpshot, and it is a legit concern that he is almost 20 years old playing against a bunch of high school kids, 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, especially the Spurs, a roster that is extremely talent starved.
4 22321642018 SF Brandon Miller, Fr, Alabama – 6’9, 200 lbs 18.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 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. His penchant for knocking down threes at a high level would make him a perfect fit alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in Detroit.
5 wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4 SG Nick Smith Jr., Fr, Arkansas – 6’5, 185 lbs 14.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 2.0 rpg Nick Smith Jr. is officially back. He is coming off of back to back 20 point games, and is one of the most talented pure scorers in this draft. He has strong defensive potential and can play point guard if needed. The Magic have several decent guards on the roster, but no one near as talented and potentially great as Smith.
6 23068302020 SF Cam Whitmore, Fr, Villanova – 6’7, 232 lbs 15.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 spg Cam Whitmore is three games into his Villanova career, and definitely looks like an elite prospect. He is so strong and tough to guard defensively, and has a good enough jump shot to keep defenses honest. He can run the floor with the best of them, and even play solid on the ball defense. He definitely belongs in teir three, and would instantly give the Rockets more toughness and front court scoring.
7 496226812014 PG Cason Wallace, Fr, Kentucky – 6’4, 193 lbs 10.7 ppg, 4.3 apg, 4.2 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 continue to be stuck in no man land, but perhaps Wallace could stabilize a point guard situation that has been a revolving door since the days of John Wall.
8 khmovcnezy06c3nm05ccn0oj2 PF GG Jackson II, Fr, South Carolina – 6’9, 215 lbs 17.4 ppg, 6.8 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 perimeter shot has been promising. A project to be sure, but he would fit Oklahoma City’s forever rebuilding timeline.
9 496226812014 SF Ausar Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 207 lbs 18.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.4 apg From LAL
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 you can say the same about most young players. He is a point forward type who would not have to do too much for a deep, solid Pelicans team.
10 23485132023 SG Keyonte George, Fr, Baylor – 6’4, 185 lbs 14.9 ppg, 4.0 apg, 4.1 rpg From MIN
Keyonte George has struggled with efficiency at times, but has been almost as good as advertised for Baylor. When he is on, he is a solid combo guard who can score in bunches and play some point guard. The Jazz are in talent collecting mode, and it always helps to have walking buckets like George on the roster.
11 22770242021 PG Anthony Black, Fr, Arkansas – 6’7, 198 lbs 12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.7 apg Anthony Black is a unique prospect. He is big and strong, a solid scorer with a better than thought jump shot. He plays solid defense, and can absolutely run the point guard position full time. He still needs to be more consistent offensively, but the potential is there to be a starting point guard in this league. The Raptors are set in the back court (maybe?), but Black would be an elite backup.
12 22081902021 PF Kris Murray, Jr, Iowa – 6’8, 225 lbs 19.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.8 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. The only worry is that he will be 23 by the time the season starts, but playoff teams do not mind that, as they would welcome the immediate help. The forever disappointing Hawks often draft the best player available.
13 23531522020 SF Gradey Dick, Fr, Kansas – 6’8, 205 lbs 15.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.9 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 Warriors are better than most contenders at integrating rookies into the rotation, and Dick’s shooting will help out right away.
14 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis SG Maxwell Lewis, So, Pepperdine – 6’7, 195 lbs 18.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apg From DAL
Gonzaga is not the only WCC team that produces NBA products. In 2022 it was Jalen Williams of Santa Clara, and this year Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis looks like a legitimate talent. He is basically the complete package, able to handle the ball, shoot and play some great defense. Guys like him are in high demand, and he could realistically find his way into the teens come draft time.
15 burm5gh2wvjti3xhei5h16k8e PF Jarace Walker, Fr, Houston – 6’8, 240 lbs 9.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg 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 could learn from Bam Adebayo in Miami, who does a lot of the same things.
16 22448122018 SF Dariq Whitehead, Fr, Duke – 6’7, 220 lbs 6.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.9 apg Dariq Whitehead has returned from his broken foot, and the Blue Devils are bringing him along slowly, similar to how they used AJ Griffin last year. Whitehead is coming off of his best offensive game of his career, scoring 15 points in 25 minutes. He is definitely a lottery talent, especially on offense. Indiana has played very well this year, but is still in rebulding mode when it comes to adding talent.
17 23485132023 SF Jett Howard, Fr, Michigan – 6’8, 215 lbs 15.1 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 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 Jazz will give him plenty of opportunity.
18 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis 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. He would make a nice bench piece for a Knicks team that could have three first round picks this draft.
19 24040432017 SF Dillon Mitchell, Fr, Texas – 6’8, 205 lbs 8.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.1 spg 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 he would make a nice pick for any team picking around this spot. Which in this case is the surprising Kings.
20 hsuff5m3dgiv20kovde422r1f C Kyle Filipowski, Fr, Duke – 7’0, 230 lbs 14.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.5 spg From PHI
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 Nets are playing much better lately, but are still a veteran heavy team that needs to develop young cheap bench pieces.
21 23637762019 C Dereck Lively II, Fr, Duke – 7’1, 230 lbs 4.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg Minutes in the Duke front course are fierce right now, and Dereck Lively II has been a part time player thus far, but he has made the best of his playing time. He is coming off his best game of the season, with 8 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks. He may max out as a poor man’s Tyson Chandler type, but that should be good enough to become a long time starter in the NBA. The Clippers, who have been by far the worst drafting team in the NBA, have little in the way of bench size.
22 23843702014 PF Jalen Wlison, Jr, Kansas – 6’8, 225 lbs 22.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 3.2 apg 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 playoff teams are always looking for guys who can produce right away, all the while being paid like a rookie. Phoenix has front court minutes up for grabs.
23 hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 PF DaRon Holmes II, So, Dayton – 6’10, 225 lbs 16.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg From POR
More size for the Bulls. DaRon Holmes II was perhaps the highest rated Dayton recruit ever, and he has been as good as advertised. Holmes is coming off of four straight double doubles and has the look of a young Bobby Portis. He is not a three point shooter, but can score, rebound and block shots and would make a nice bench big for a team picking late in the first round.
24 23485132023 SG Rayan Rupert, France – 6’6, 192 lbs 8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.7 spg From BKN
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. The Jazz have three first round picks, and would be one of the better teams for Rupert to end up with, development wise.
25 22448122018 C Kel’el Ware, Fr, Oregon – 7’0, 210 lbs 9.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg Kel’el Ware has battled with Nathan Bittle for center minutes for Oregon, but has been productive during his 23 minutes per game. He is a peremiter oriented big man who can block shots and rebound at a high rate. Effort is sometimes a concern, but with the 25th overall pick, and three selections in the first round for Indiana, this is a good spot for him to go.
26 512019262015 PF Adama Sanogo, Jr, Connecticut – 6’9, 245 lbs 18.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 apg From DEN
Connecticut is finally back, and Adama Sanogo is the captain that makes the ship go. He is a Montrezl Harrell type, a goon, good defender and rebounder, and tough scorer. Though he is not a big time shooter, there is a place in the NBA for guys like him. Charlotte needs some toughness in the worst way.
27 uig7aiht8jnpl1szbi57zzlsh SG Julian Strawther, Jr, Gonzaga – 6’7, 205 lbs 13.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 0.9 spg From NO
Gonzaga has struggled at times this year, and so has Julian Strawther, but I remain a fan. He has nice size, is a good defender and can really shoot the ball. As an upperclassman, he could come in right away and give the Lakers, a team with three or four legit rotation players, some real minutes.
28 23143732019 SG Colby Jones, Jr, Xavier – 6’6, 205 lbs 14.9 ppg, 5.6 apg, 5.1 rpg Colby Jones has exploded on the scene as a junior, doing it all for Xavier. Most impressive is his 50% shooting from three. He would make a nice fit as a bench guard for a playoff team like Memphis.
29 23068302020 SF Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, Ohio State – 6’6, 235 lbs 14.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.3 spg From MIL
Brice Sensabaugh has not been asked to do much more than score, but he has exceled at that role, shooting 50% from the field and the arc. Houston has a lot of young players to sort through, but that type of shooting is always welcome.
30 22448122018 PF Leonard Miller, Canada/G-League – 6’10, 208 lbs 16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 spg From BOS
 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. The Pacers have three first round picks, so this is a nice shot to take.

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