2023 NBA Mock Draft With Analysis – 3/7/23

Championship week is here in college basketball, and the NCAA tourney is right around the corner! Exciting times to be a college basketball fan, but we could have four non-college players drafted in the top five once the 2023 NBA Draft rolls around.

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

Pick Team Player Stats Commentary
1 22448122018
Indiana Pacers
C Victor Wembanyama, France – 7’4, 240 lbs 22.5 ppg, 9.8 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. The Pacers have never landed the top overall pick. A trio of Wembanyama, Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin would make Indiana NBA League Pass darlings.
2 22321642018
Detroit Pistons
PG Scoot Henderson, USA/G-League – 6’3, 180 lbs 17.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, 5.0 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. On paper, it looks like the Pistons are set in the back court, but Henderson is too talented to pass up on here, and Detroit is not talented enough to be picky.
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Washington Wizards
SF Amen Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 202 lbs 16.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 6.4 rpg Amen Thompson needs to work on his jumpshot, and it is a legit concern that he is 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 makes him a very intriguing prospect. Washington is trudging through another mediocre season. They probably should tear things down but have been unwilling to do that for years now.
4 23068302020
Houston Rockets
SF Brandon Miller, Fr, Alabama – 6’9, 200 lbs 19.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.8 apg Brandon Miller is the best prospect in college basketball, and it is not particularly close. He has been a very consistent scorer all season, shooting over 40% from the three. Miller is the main reason Alabama is sitting pretty at 26-5 on the season. He is also a willing defender, basically the complete package as as a modern day small forward is concerned. He could be for the Rockets what they thought they were getting with Jabari Smith Jr. Unlike Smith, Miller can create his own offense.
5 23325472018
San Antonio Spurs
SF Ausar Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 207 lbs 16.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.1 apg An extremely unimpressive freshman class means four non-college prospects headline this particular mock. Ausar Thompson has been just as impressive as his twin brother Amen. Scouts say he is not quite the athlete Ausar is, but also has the ability to be a defensive minded, athletic point forward that can do a ton of little things to help his team win. No team is tanking quite like the Spurs, but the lottery balls were not kind to them here. They might be the only team in the NBA that does not have a current or future All-Star on the roster.
6 512019262015
Charlotte Hornets
SG Nick Smith Jr., Fr, Arkansas – 6’5, 185 lbs 13.8 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.8 rpg I give props to Nick Smith Jr. He could have easily shut his season down in preparation for the NBA Draft, but he came back to finish out the year, and has scored at least 24 points in three of his last four games. His efficiency is still not there, but that is normal for someone who has dealt with a lot of injury woes. He is an effortless scorer, and can also play some point guard. He has a very NBA friendly game, and should be a top ten pick. The Hornets are starved for talent anywhere they can get it.

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Orlando Magic
PF Jarace Walker, Fr, Houston – 6’8, 240 lbs 11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.7 apg The Magic seem to be set in the front court, but I am a strong believer in bad teams taking the best talent available. Jarace Walker is not a household name, and he is not putting up monster stats, but he does a bit of everything for what might be the best team in college basketball. he can rebound, block shots, handle the ball and score out past the three point arc.
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Orlando Magic
PG Anthony Black, Fr, Arkansas – 6’7, 198 lbs 12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.2 apg From CHI
Anthony Black is a unique prospect. He is big and strong, a solid scorer with a better than anticipated 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 Magic continue to reap the rewards of the Nikola Vucevic trade with another lottery selection.
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Oklahoma City Thunder
SF Cam Whitmore, Fr, Villanova – 6’7, 232 lbs 12.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 spg Villanova is struggling like never before, but for the most part Cam Whitmore has been a positivel. He is tough, a strong slashing scorer and solid defender. You will have to do some projection here, but if he develops, you could have a guy who can score, shoot and barrel over weaker defenders. He could be a small ball four for the Thunder, who have a trio of fantastic guards and Chet Holmgren coming back in 2023.
10 23467492017
Utah Jazz
SF Gradey Dick, Fr, Kansas – 6’8, 205 lbs 14.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 apg Gradey Dick is an easy prospect to get behind. He has nice length, can really hit the three and is a surprisingly effective defender. He would fit with pretty much any team. The Jazz tank has been effective enough that they should probably land a top ten pick. They just need to go after the best talent available.
11 496226812014
New Orleans Pelicans
SG Keyonte George, Fr, Baylor – 6’4, 185 lbs 16.0 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.2 rpg Keyonte George has struggled with consistency and shot selection, but he is the type of player I believe will be better once he gets to the NBA and can play a more free-flowing type of offensive game. Once upon a time, the Pelicans were the top team in the West. It has been another year without Zion Williamson, and the team is in a free fall.
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Los Angeles Lakers
PF Kris Murray, Jr, Iowa – 6’8, 225 lbs 20.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.9 apg 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 broter in the lottery. The only worry is that he will be 23 by the time the season starts, but that is not a huge concern at this point in the draft. The Lakers are right back in the thick of things and will hope to give it one or two more runs before LeBron James moves on. Murray could help right away.
13 23997252018
Portland Trail Blazers
SF Taylor Hendricks, Fr, UCF – 6’9, 210 lbs 15.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg While so many top freshman have struggled, a little known Central Florida recruit named Taylor Hendricks has exploded. He fits the new age power forward archetype to a tee. He can run the floor, block shots and score out to three point range. He reminds me a lot of Jerami Grant, who he would learn from in Portland.
14 22770242021
Toronto Raptors
PG Cason Wallace, Fr, Kentucky – 6’4, 193 lbs 11.7 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.5 rpg Cason Wallace is not super exciting, but he is a solid scorer who can knock down threes. His calling card, however, is defense. He is already an NBA calibur peremiter defender, racking up 2 steals per game. He did suffer an injury but it is not thought to be very serious. The Raptors are in serious danger of losing Fred VanVleet this off-season.



Atlanta Hawks
PF GG Jackson II, Fr, South Carolina – 6’9, 215 lbs 15.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.8 bpg GG Jackson II, one of the youngest players in college basketball, is holding his own on an over-matched South Carolina team. He is a great athlete who can score off lobs and put backs, and his perimeter shot has been promising. He also has had some immaturity issues, but I chalk that up to a very young player trying to do everything for a terrible team. The Hawks often draft the best freshman available, and go the same route here.
16 23068302020
Houston Rockets
SF Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, Ohio State – 6’6, 235 lbs 16.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.5 spg From LAC
Ohio State stinks this year, but that is not due to Brice Sensabaugh, who has consistently shot the ball all season. His shooting percentages are fantastic, and although he has not been asked to do much but score, he has the ability to rebound and play defense as well. His shooting is his calling card here, and the Rockets still need to add a considerable amount of talent.
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New York Knicks
SG Colby Jones, Jr, Xavier – 6’6, 205 lbs 15.3 ppg, 4.6 apg, 5.3 rpg From DAL
Colby Jones has exploded on the scene as a junior, doing it all for Xavier. He is a great shooter who can really get after things defensively. He is the type of upperclassmen that playoff contenders look for, as he is cheap labor, so to speak. The Knicks are on fire, and their head coach does not often play rookies, but Jones is ready to contribute.
18 23485132023


Utah Jazz
PG Jalen Hood-Schifino, Fr, Indiana – 6’6, 215 lbs 13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.8 apg From MIN
Jalen Hood-Schifino has been of the most impressive freshmen in the country. He is built like a small forward but offers legit point guard skills. He is a great ball handler, a decent defender and solid scorer. The Jazz have little in the way of back court talent, and Hood-Schifino could contend for a starting spot right away.
19 23531522020
Golden State Warriors
SG Julian Strawther, Jr, Gonzaga – 6’7, 205 lbs 15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 spg After a questionable start, both Gonzaga and Julian Strawther have been rolling. Strawther can really shoot the ball, and he has the size and skills to be a decent defensive wing. The Warriors have not gotten much out of their freshmen picks, and already traded James Wiseman. Perhaps an upper-classman would provide more consistent help.


Miami Heat
SF Jett Howard, Fr, Michigan – 6’8, 215 lbs 14.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg Jett Howard has been solid as a freshman on a struggling team, but at this point, he does not offer much other than shooting. He does have ability to block some shots and handle the ball. Miami’s bench has struggled badly. Perhaps their undrafted free agent luck has started to run out.
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Brooklyn Nets
SG Rayan Rupert, France – 6’6, 192 lbs 7.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.9 spg From PHX
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 Nets are a completely new team now, and will look to develop some young talent going forward.


Brooklyn Nets
C Dereck Lively II, Fr, Duke – 7’1, 230 lbs 5.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg Derek Lively II has struggled mightily at times, as has the rest of the Duke Blue Devels, but has flashed the type of ability that made him the top ranked recruit in the country. The question is, how valuable is a big man who does not score in today’s NBA? At his best, Lively looks like a Tyson Chandler clone, with the coveted ability to block shots and rebound by the boatload. Brooklyn has no depth behind Nicolas Claxton, and there would not be much of  dropoff defensively if Lively backs him up.
23 23997252018
Portland Trail Blazers
C Kyle Filipowski, Fr, Duke – 7’0, 230 lbs 15.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.2 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. Portland center Jusuf Nurkic will probably be a daily game time decision for the rest of his career, making depth important.


Sacramento Kings
SF Cidy Cissoko, France/G-League 11.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.9 rpg Scoot Henderson is not the only first round prospect playing for the Ignite. Sidy Cissoko ended the season on fire and has worked his way into the first round. He is a point forward with great defensive potential. The long overdue playoff bound Kings would love to have a role player like him on the roster.
25 23143732019
Memphis Grizzlies
PG Judah Mintz, Fr, Syracuse – 6’3, 172 lbs 16.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.3 rpg Syracuse has had a tough, troubling season, but freshman Judah Mintz has been the lone bright spot. He is a tough combo guard who can run an offense, knock down jump shots and play solid defense. He would be an ideal backup point guard in the NBA.
26 22448122018
Indiana Pacers
PF Noah Clowney, Fr, Alabama – 6’10, 210 lbs 10.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg From CLE
Brandon Miller has not quite been a one man show for Alabama. Fellow lanky freshman Noah Clowney has been great as well. A project ofensively, he offers nice potential as a rebounder and shot blocker, and can knock down jump shots as well. He would be an upgrade over Jalen Smith for Indiana.
27 23485132023
Utah Jazz
SF Dariq Whitehead, Fr, Duke – 6’7, 220 lbs 8.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg From PHI
Like the rest of the Blue Devils, Dariq Whitehead has struggled with consistency during his limited playing time and should definitely return to school as a sophomore. The talent is still there, however. At his best he could be a high volume scorer from the wing positions. The Jazz have a plethora of picks the next few years, and this is the type of player they should occasionally target.
28 22448122018
Indiana Pacers
PF Trayce Jackson-Davis, Sr, Indiana – 6’9, 245 lbs 20.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.9 apg From BOS
Every basketball fan in the state of Indiana would love this pick. Trayce Jackson-Davis, an Indiana native, has been one of the best Hoosiers of all time. A nightly double double threat, he may not be athletic enough to hold up full time as an NBA starter, but could be a Montrezl Harrell guy off of the bench. He would instantly be a fan favorite for the Pacers.
29 512019262015
Charlotte Hornets
SG Terquavion Smith, So, NC State – 6’4, 165 lbs 17.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.5 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 a surpsing NC State team, however, and does a lot of things even when his shot is not falling. He may max out as a Lou Williams type, but he could battle for Sixth Man of the Year awards during his prime. Any team would love his instant offense off of the bench, and the North Carolina native could be a fan favorite in Charlotte.
30 23637762019
Los Angeles Clippers
PF DaRon Holmes II, So, Dayton – 6’10, 225 lbs 18.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg DaRon Holmes II was perhaps the highest rated Dayton recruit ever, and he has been as good as advertised. Holmes is coming off of three straight double doubles and has the look of a young Bobby Portis. He is not a pure three point shooter, but can score, rebound and block shots. The Clippers have not successfully developed a rookie since perhaps Blake Griffin, but in theory, Holmes would provide much needed front court depth.

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