The draft order is set! Congratulations Spurs fans, you get to draft your third generational center. Enjoy!
San Antonio Spurs
|C Victor Wembanyama, France – 7’4, 240 lbs||21.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.2 bpg||David Robinson, Tim Duncan and now Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs strike lottery gold again, and will now have their next franchise cornerstone. This was much needed for the Spurs, who did not really have any All Star level talent on the roster. Other than a lack of strength and perhaps being a bit too tall, Wembanyama is an out of this world prospect. ESPN hyperbole aside (best prospect in American sports history, best player in the NBA within three years, come on ESPN), San Antonio fans have to be extremely excited. He will be a huge difference maker.|
|PG Scoot Henderson, USA/G-League – 6’3, 180 lbs||17.6 ppg, 6.4 apg, 5.1 rpg||It would have been nice to see a halpless franchise like Charlotte catch a break, but moving up to the second overall pick is not that bad. This pick should come down to Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller. The Hornets have six weeks to decide if they want to pair LaMelo Ball with another exciting scoring guard or draft the best shooter in this class. I think Scoot Henderson is a better prospect than Brandon Miller, so I will go that direction right now. I believe both guards can co-exist in the same back court, and Charlotte cannot afford to pass on an elite talent like Henderson.|
Portland Trail Blazers
|SF Brandon Miller, Fr, Alabama – 6’9, 200 lbs||19.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.8 apg||Other than Victor Wembanyama of course, Brandon Miller is probably the best fit for this current Trail Blazers franchise. He provides length, rebounding and great shooting. He should be a fantastic fit next to guards like Damian Lillard, Anfernee SImons and Shaedon Sharpe. The qustion surrounding the franchise, of course, is what to do with Lillard.|
|SG Amen Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 202 lbs||16.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 6.4 rpg||Houston loses out on tier one and two of prospects, but Amen Thompson should be a good fit with what they want to do, whatever that may be. He is not a great shooter, but is a solid ball handler and defender that can still make an impact even when he does not have the ball in his hands, which would be never if James Harden returns to Houston.|
|SF Cam Whitmore, Fr, Villanova – 6’7, 232 lbs||12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 spg||Tough break for the hapless Pistons, who will miss out on Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller. Cam Whitmore is a talented prospect in his own right who would fit the current makeup and timeline of the roster. He can shoot a little bit, is strong and has the potential to be a very good wing defender.|
|PF Taylor Hendricks, Fr, UCF – 6’9, 210 lbs||15.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg||The Magic may seem to be set in the front court, but with two lottery picks, I believe they should go with the best talent available. Taylor Hendricks, from Fort Lauderdale, played his college ball in Central Florida and gets to stay home with the Magic. He checks a lot of boxes when it comes to new age power forwards. He can shoot, rebound, run the floor and block shots. He could be to Orlando what they thought they were getting with Jonathan Isaac.|
|PF Jarace Walker, Fr, Houston – 6’8, 240 lbs||11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg||Jarace Walker is not an exciting player and his stats will not wow you but he should be a great fit next to Indiana’s ball dominant guards. He can shoot, rebound and even handle the rock a little bit himself.|
|SF Ausar Thompson, USA/OT Elite – 6’7, 207 lbs||16.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.1 apg||Few things are as consistent as the Wizards picking between 8 and 12 in the draft. They hope to bring all of their free agents back in a continued quest to win 37 games per year. Ausar Thompson is not quite the athlete that his brother Amen is, but is a defensive minded guard who can handle the ball and rebound. He could play point guard in a pinch for a team that really does not have a great lead guard on the roster.|
|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. You know the Salt Lake City faithful would love to root for an Amazin’ Caucasian front court. This is not a real sports website, so I am allowed to say that.|
|SG Jordan Hawkins, So, Connecticut – 6’5, 195 lbs||16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 apg||The Mavericks should get a solid player here, but no one that will make the sting of missing the playoffs feel any better. Jordan Hawkins is probably the one guy available that fills a need and could help right away. He does not do much other than shoot, but is quite good at that area. This is usually the spot in the draft that teams find shoot first starting guards.|
|PG Anthony Black, Fr, Arkansas – 6’7, 198 lbs||12.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.3 apg||From CHI
Orlando has a few solid guards on the roster but no one that is a must-start talent. Anthony Black is not that either, but he has good size and can really pass the ball, play defense and slash to the rim.
Oklahoma City Thunder
|PG Cason Wallace, Fr, Kentucky – 6’4, 193 lbs||11.7 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.5 rpg||The Thunder are finally in position that they do not have to draft for need, and can take the best player available. Cason Wallace would be a great counterpart to either Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey. He is a defensive minded tough guard who can really lock down opposing ball handlers. He is not much of an offensive threat right now, but Oklahoma City would just need him to play a Marcus Smart-like role for them off of the bench.|
|SG Nick Smith Jr., Fr, Arkansas – 6’5, 185 lbs||12.5 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 rpg||The Raptors have several free agent guards, so the back court is the logical place to look here. Nick Smith Jr. had a disappointing freshman season, but I give him props for fighting through a season long injury instead of shutting things down in preparation for the draft. He is one of the few players in this class who can create his own offense, and, at the least, should be a nice scoring option off of the bench.|
New Orleans Pelicans
|SG Keyonte George, Fr, Baylor – 6’4, 185 lbs||15.3 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.2 rpg||Similar to Nick Smith Jr., Keyonte George was a highly touted freshman who showed the ability to really score, but struggled with efficiency. Every team could use a guy who can come of the bench and quickly erase deficits on the score board, Pelicans included.|
|PF Kris Murray, Jr, Iowa – 6’8, 225 lbs||20.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.0 apg||Kris Murray is not quite the athlete his brother Keegan is, and will turn 23 during the season, but he put up very similar stats to his twin brother as a junior at Iowa. He should be a solid source of points and rebounds, and would be a nice first forward off the bench for a playoff hopeful like the Hawks.|
|SG Rayan Rupert, France – 6’6, 192 lbs||6.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.7 spg||From MIN
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 are one of a bunch of teams with multiple first round picks in this draft, and jump the gun on a developmental type guy.
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 look for draft picks and undrafted free agents to fill out the roster while they spend big money on two or three guys. Colby Jones is not a top notch athlete, but can shoot, handle the ball and rebounds well for his position. He should be able to carve out a role for the Lakers second unit.|
|SF Jett Howard, Fr, Michigan – 6’8, 215 lbs||14.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg||Jett Howard does not do much other than shoot, but he is very good at that part of the game, and every NBA team could use more shooting. The Heat have a lot of decisions to make about role players, and Howard could help ease the sting of losing a guy or two.|
Golden State Warriors
|PG Jalen Hood-Schifino, Fr, Indiana – 6’6, 215 lbs||13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg||The Warriors failed to take advantage of multiple lottery picks during their two down years, and have little in the way of bench youth. This is a veteran team stuck with several huge contracts, so they may not want to rely on a draft pick. Jalen Hood-Schifino is built like a small forward but has legitimate point guard skills. The same team that could have had LaMelo Ball might not be able to find minutes for him.|
|C Dereck Lively II, Fr, Duke – 7’1, 230 lbs||5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.4 bpg||From LAC
Houston needs role players. Dereck Lively II is not a scorer whatsoever, but may be the top shot blocker in this class not named Victor Wembanyama. He can also run the floor and rebound. Not a flashy pick by any means, but someone who can provide 15-20 minutes of solid production and start at center in a pinch if Alperen Sengun is out.
|SF Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, Ohio State – 6’6, 235 lbs||16.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.5 spg||From PHX
The Nets have quite a few draft picks coming up and will look to add scoring to the roster. Brice Sensabaugh is a one trick pony, but that trick is scoring, and he can really shoot it. He held his own in the Big 10 as a freshman on a very bad team.
|PF Leonard Miller, Canada/G-League – 6’10, 211 lbs||16.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.0 spg||Scoot Henderson was not the only NBA talent playing for the Ignite last year. Canadian Leonard Miller really stepped his game up. He showed solid scoring instincts and the ability to rebound and handle the ball. A project to be sure, but someone who could eventually supply the Nets with much needed bench size and scoring.|
Portland Trail Blazers
|PF GG Jackson II, Fr, South Carolina – 6’9, 215 lbs||15.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.8 bpg||From NYK
GG Jackson II is the type of player bad teams with multiple first round picks should gamble on. He was one of the youngest players in college basketball playing for a miserable team, and he struggled quite often. There was a reason he was, at one point, the top ranked recruit of 2023. He is a springy, bouncy, athletic big man who is a bit of a poor man’s Kenyon Martin. With proper development, Portland could have a future starter.
|SG Julian Strawther, Jr, Gonzaga – 6’7, 205 lbs||15.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.8 spg||Julian Strawther is one of my favorite late first/early second round types in this class. He put up some monster scoring performances as a junior for Gonzaga, and can really fill it up. He is not a great athlete, but is experienced and would be a nice bench scorer for Sacramento.|
|SF Bilal Coulibaly, France – 6’6, 230 lbs||11.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 spg||Scouts who flocked overseas to watch Victor Wembanyama were undoubtably impressed with his Metropolitans 92 teammate Bilal Coulibaly. Like most French prospects, Coulibaly is sound defensively and quite an athlete. France is becoming a major hotbed for NBA talent.|
|PF Trayce Jackson-Davis, Sr, Indiana – 6’9, 245 lbs||20.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.0 apg||From CLE
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.
|SF Cidy Cissoko, France/G-League||11.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.9 rpg||From DEN
Charlotte goes to the Ignite well again. Cidy Cissoko, the fourth French player off the board, is another solid two way guard from France who should be a plus defender at the NBA level. If he can score enough to keep defenses honest, he should carve out a role in an NBA rotation.
|SG Kobe Bufkin, So, Michigan – 6’4, 175 lbs||14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.9 apg||From PHI
Players of Kobe Bufkin’s archetype have not had a ton of success at the NBA level, but he is a talented scorer who can handle the ball as well. Utah has three first round picks and this would be a low risk gamble this late in the first round.
|PF Noah Clowney, Fr, Alabama – 6’10, 210 lbs||9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.9 bpg||From BOS
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.
Los Angeles Clippers
|PF DaRon Holmes II, So, Dayton – 6’10, 225 lbs||18.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.9 bpg||From MIL
The Clippers have not had a successful draft pick since Blake Griffin. With the last pick in the first round, they just hope to add some size to the bench. DaRon Holmes II is not flashy, but works hard, can rebound and block shots. He could provide 10-15 solid bench minutes for Los Angeles.
31. Detroit Pistons – SF Dariq Whitehead, Fr, Duke
32. Indiana Pacers (from HOU) – SG Brandin Podziemski, So, Santa Clara
33. San Antonio Spurs – SF Andre Jackson Jr., Jr, Connecticut
34. Charlotte Hornets – PF Jalen Wilson, Jr, Kansas
35. Boston Celtics (from POR) – SG Maxwell Lewis, So, Pepperdine
36. Orlando Magic – SG Amari Bailey, Fr, UCLA
37. Oklahoma City Thunder (from WAS) – C James Nnaji, Nigeria
38. Sacramento Kings (from IND) – SF Jaime Jaquez Jr., Sr, UCLA
39. Charlotte Hornets (from UTA) – PG Marcus Sasser, Sr, Houston
40. Denver Nuggets (from DAL) – SF Nikola Djurisic, Serbia
41. Charlotte Hornets (from OKC) – SG Terquavion Smith, So, NC State
42. Washington Wizards (from CHI) – C Adem Bona, Fr, UCLA
43. Portland Trail Blazers (from ATL) – PF Azuolas Tubelis, Jr, Arizona
44. San Antonio Spurs (from TOR) – C Zach Edey, Jr, Purdue
45. Memphis Grizzlies (from MIN) – SF Jordan Walsh, Fr, Arkansas
46. Atlanta Hawks (from NO) – SF Bobi Klintman, Fr, Wake Forest
47. Los Angeles Lakers – SG Jaylen Clark, Jr, UCLA
48. Los Angeles Clippers – SG Trey Alexander, So, Creighton
49. Cleveland Cavaliers (from GS) – SF Dillon Mitchell, Fr, Texas
50. Oklahoma City Thunder (from MIA) – PF Tristan Vukcevic, Serbia
51. Brooklyn Nets – PF Kobe Brown, Sr, Missouri
52. Phoenix Suns – PF Coleman Hawkins, Jr, Illinois
53. Minnesota Timberwolves (from NY) – PF Adama Sanogo, Jr, Connecticut
54. Sacramento Kings – SG Isaiah Wong, Sr, Miami
55. Indiana Pacers (from CLE) – SF Emoni Bates, So, Eastern Michigan
56. Memphis Grizzlies – C Ryan Kalkbrenner, Jr, Creighton
57. Washington Wizards (from BOS) – C Oscar Tshiebwe, Sr, Kentucky
58. Milwaukee Bucks – C Ousmane N’Diaye, Senegal