2023 NBA Draft With Analysis – 4/18/23

Tie breakers have been resolved, so all that is left to determine the 2023 NBA Draft order is the lottery, which will take place in mid May.

Please check out the list of early entrants to see who is included in this mock.

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

Pick Team Player Stats Commentary
1 22834632018

Dallas Mavericks
C Victor Wembanyama, France – 7’4, 240 lbs 21.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.2 bpg The fix is in? Dallas openly tanked away a potential playoff spot, and in this pointless mock, wins the ultimate prize. 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. That seems to be the only possible negative about Wembanyama’s NBA future.
2 wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4
Orlando Magic
PG Scoot Henderson, USA/G-League – 6’3, 180 lbs 17.6 ppg, 6.4 apg, 5.1 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. This would be a fun fit. Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs are talented, but neither have the superstar potential of Henderson.
3 22321642018
Detroit Pistons
SF Brandon Miller, Fr, Alabama – 6’9, 200 lbs 18.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg A mediocre NCAA Tournament aside, Brandon Miller was the best prospect in college basketball, and it was not particularly close. He reminds me a lot of Rashard Lewis with his lanky impossible to block jump shot. He shot nearly 40% from three with a high volume of shot attempts. He is also a willing defender. Every team can use a shooter like him, especially the Pistons, who have a few ball dominant guards and developing big men, but no one who can stretch a defense like Miller.
4 23997252018
Portland Trail Blazers
SG 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. It was another lost season in Portland, and they have bigger questions to answer than who to draft here. Trade this pick? Trade Damian Lillard? The franchise is at the ultimate crossroads.
5 23068302020
Houston Rockets
SF Cam Whitmore, Fr, Villanova – 6’7, 232 lbs 12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 spg Villanova had its worst season in over a decade, but for the most part Cam Whitmore was a positive. 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. The Rockets should have taken Evan Mobley in the 2021 draft, but are stuck with Jalen Green and a host of offensive only players. Whitmore can provide quite a bit that this team currently does not have.
6 23325472018
San Antonio Spurs
SG 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. The Spurs tanked hard and are only “rewarded” with the sixth overall pick. They need everything.
7 512019262015
Charlotte Hornets
PF Jarace Walker, Fr, Houston – 6’8, 240 lbs 11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg Houston had a fantastic season and were led by a ton of veterans, so Jarace Walker flew under the radar. He lived up to his billing as a top ranked prospect, showing a nice shooting touch, blocking shots and even handling the ball a bit. He fits the new school power forward role as a versatile scorer and defender, and could give the Hornets some of the front court talent they lost when Miles Bridges was suspended/banished.


Indiana Pacers
PF Taylor Hendricks, Fr, UCF – 6’9, 210 lbs 15.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg While so many top freshman struggled to live up to the hype, a little known Central Florida recruit named Taylor Hendricks 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 has Jerami Grant like ability, and I believe he will be a very solid starting power forward, something that the Pacers absolutely do not have on the roster.
9 21956712016
Washington Wizards
PG Anthony Black, Fr, Arkansas – 6’7, 198 lbs 12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg Three things you can count on in this world. Death, taxes and the Wizards picking between 8 and 12 in the draft. Once again, Washington is interested in resigning all of their own free agents and retaining coaches so they can continue the cycle of mediocrity. This team really needs a starting point guard. Anthony Black is the best of the bunch. Though not a great shooter, he has nice size, can lead a team and play solid defense.
10 23467492017
Utah Jazz
SF Gradey Dick, Fr, Kansas – 6’8, 205 lbs 14.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 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 punchline of Walker Kessler, Lauri Markkanen and Gradey Dick as a front court trio playing in Salt Lake City writes itself, but it would be a nice core to build around.
11 wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4
Orlando Magic
PG Cason Wallace, Fr, Kentucky – 6’4, 193 lbs 11.7 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.7 rpg From CHI
Orlando completely reworks its back court with the explosive Scoot Henderson and the steady defensive minded Cason Wallace. 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 caliber peremiter defender, racking up 2 steals per game. He would be the first guard off of Orlando’s bench with the potential to be a Marcus Smart like guard.
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Oklahoma City Thunder
SG Keyonte George, Fr, Baylor – 6’4, 185 lbs 15.3 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. The Thunder have perhaps the best young collection of wing players in the league. George would not have to do much other than come off of the bench and score buckets.
13 22770242021

Charlotte Hornets
SG Nick Smith Jr., Fr, Arkansas – 6’5, 185 lbs 12.5 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 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. Arkansas had a disappointing NCAA Tournament showing, and Smith was not a factor, but he had several 20 point scoring efforts during the regular season. The Raptors may lose their starting back court to free agency, and need scorers. This is a great spot to take a chance on Smith.
14 496226812014
New Orleans Pelicans
PF Kris Murray, Jr, Iowa – 6’8, 225 lbs 20.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.0 apg What a disappointing season in New Orleans. They were well on their way to a top four seed in the West before Zion Williamson’s injury woes wiped out yet another season. This team may need to figure out a way to move on without him going forward. The draft will not fix that, but Kris Murray should be able to provide solid minutes right away. He is not the athlete that his twin brother Keegan is, but is a solid scorer and is able to play both forward positions.
15 22081902021
Atlanta Hawks
PG Jalen Hood-Schifino, Fr, Indiana – 6’6, 215 lbs 13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg The Hawks often take the most talented freshman available, and do that once again with Jalen Hood-Schifino. Hood-Schifino is built like a small forward but has legitimate point guard skills. A solid scorer and playmaker, he would be a great backup to Atlanta’s star studded guard duo.
16 23467492017
Utah Jazz
SG Jordan Hawkins, So, Connecticut – 6’5, 195 lbs 16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 apg From MIN
Connecticut outlasted everyone else and won a crazy 2023 NCAA Tournament, and Jordan Hawkins was a huge reason why. He shot the three at an amazing clip all tournament. Shooting is definitely his calling card, and the Jazz need guards who can knock down jump shots.
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Los Angeles Lakers
SG Colby Jones, Jr, Xavier – 6’6, 205 lbs 15.0 ppg, 4.4 apg, 5.7 rpg The Lakers will continue to be handicapped by a few huge contracts, making the draft and undrafted free agents important. They hit a home run with Austin Reaves, and draft a ready to contribute upperclassman here. I really like Colby Jones game. He can do a bit of everything, from shooting to slashing to handling the ball. He could provide 15-20 solid minutes off of the Lakers bench.


Miami Heat
SF Jett Howard, Fr, Michigan – 6’8, 215 lbs 14.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg Michigan took a huge step back in 2022-2023, but Jett Howard had a nice season regardless. He does not offer much other than shooting at this point in his development, but every team could use a guy with size and a jump shot. The Heat bench really struggled and needs reinforcements.
19 23531522020
Golden State Warriors
SG Julian Strawther, Jr, Gonzaga – 6’7, 205 lbs 15.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.8 spg Gonzaga once again suffererd an earlier than expected NCAA Tournament exit, and Julian Strawther struggled, but I still really like his game. He is a great shooter with size and can rebound and play defense as well. He had a 40 point game and a three game stretch where he scored 26, 28 and 28 points. With such an expensive starting cast, the Warriors need guys like this to fill out their bench.
20 23068302020
Houston Rockets
SF Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, Ohio State – 6’6, 235 lbs 16.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.5 spg From LAC
Brice Sensabaugh was the lone bright spot for Ohio State in 2022-2023. He was not a top ten recruit, but was a solid contributor from day one. He does not offer much other than scoring, but has the potential to be a solid rebounder and tough defender. The Rockets simply need talent and team players at this point.


Brooklyn Nets
C Dereck Lively II, Fr, Duke – 7’1, 230 lbs 5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.4 bpg From PHX
It is a tough sell to fans to draft a player who averaged 5.2 points per game in the first round. However, Dereck Lively II has a couple things working for him. First, he is an elite shot blocker and rebounder. Second, this draft is extremely short on players with length. Those factors should make Lively II a first round draft pick. The Nets have Nic Claxton, but little depth behind him. Lively II would give the Nets yet another talented defender and a solid backup big man.


Brooklyn Nets
PF Leonard Miller, Canada/G-League – 6’10, 211 lbs 16.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.6 apg The Nets go back to back with talented young big man projects. Leonard Miller may have been the most impressive player for the Ignite, and that is including Scoot Henderson. The Canadian is tall and lanky, but showed great scoring ability and can really rebound the ball as well. A long term project to be sure, but one that could pay big dividends dowwn the road.


Portland Trail Blazers
PF GG Jackson II, Fr, South Carolina – 6’9, 215 lbs 15.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.8 bpg GG Jackson II had a rough season for an absolutely terrible South Carolina team. He probably needed another year of seasoning in college but was not going to improve much playing in such a poor environment. He is a springy athlete who could win slam dunk contests in the future. A project that still needs to learn how to play basketball, he is a prototypical mid 20’s draft pick for a team that has multiple first round selections like Portland.


Sacramento Kings
SF Cidy Cissoko, France/G-League 11.6 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.8 rpg Scoot Henderson was not the only first round prospect on the Ignite roster. 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 newly crowned playoff Kings can finally afford to draft for depth.
25 23143732019
Memphis Grizzlies
SG Amari Bailey, Fr, UCLA – 6’5, 185 lbs 11.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2 apg Amari Bailey worked his way into a veteran UCLA rotation and was a real factor come Tournament time. He played almost every minute and was an extremel solid scorer. Another year as the man at UCLA could have propelled him into the 2024 lottery but he should still be a late first round pick as a freshman.
26 22448122018
Indiana Pacers
SF Dariq Whitehead, Fr, Duke – 6’7, 220 lbs 8.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg From CLE
Dariq Whitehead could have used another year at Duke to hone his game, but chose to enter the draft other than fight for minutes with other incoming freshman. There are enough rebuilding teams with additional picks in the 20’s that he should still be a first round pick. He never quite rebounded from a pre-season foot injury, but was effective in limited minutes. The Pacers need talent and would welcome the chance to develop a talented wing like Whitehead.
27 512019262015
Charlotte Hornets
PF Jalen Wilson, rJr, Kansas – 6’8, 220 lbs 20.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.2 apg From DEN
The Hornets are fans of players with big time college production. Jalen Wilson was one of the best college performers in 2022-2023. He is not a top athlete but should be able to score and rebound at the NBA level. Most importantly, the Hornets need winners on the roster.
28 23467492017
Utah Jazz
SG Kobe Bufkin, So, Michigan – 6’4, 195 lbs 14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.9 apg From PHI
Kobe Bufkin stepped up his game in a big way as a junior, scoring at a 48% clip and playing some point guard minutes as well. He is undersized and players of his archetype have not been super successful in the NBA, but he is a shooter and scorer. The Jazz are squarely in talent acquiring mode at this point.
29 22448122018
Indiana Pacers
PF Trayce Jackson-Davis, Sr, Indiana – 6’9, 245 lbs 20.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.0 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.
30 23637762019
Los Angeles Clippers
PF Noah Clowney, Fr, Alabama – 6’10, 210 lbs 9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.9 bpg From MIL
It has been over a decade since the Clippers have gotten any type of production out of a first round pick, so do not expect much here. In theory, the Clippers need front court depth and Noah Clowney would be a nice fit. A project, but one with nice size, the ability to block shots and a developing jump shot.

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