1. San Antonio Spurs – Victor Wembanyama | Metropolitans 92
A major congratulations is in order for the Spurs organization and fanbase. San Antonio is a couple months away from drafting a player who will be so great that he may just singly handily extend Greg Popovich’s retirement plan another few years. Victor Wembanyama shoots like a guard, moves with the ball in his hands like an athletic wing and protects the rim like a DPOY big man. He changes the Spurs trajectory moving forward and projects to be an all-time great.
2. Charlotte Hornets – Scoot Henderson | G-League Team Ignite
Many believe the Hornets should mull over this decision between Scoot Henderson and Alabama’s Brandon Miller. However, Charlotte should waste no time and select the clear-cut second best player in the class. Henderson will be a primary creator at the next level because of his game-changing athleticism, cerebral playmaking and budding shot making profile. Charlotte pairing Scoot with LaMelo Ball forms up one of the top backcourts in the NBA.
3. Portland Trail Blazers – Amen Thompson | Overtime Elite
Brandon Miller is a more trendy pick for Portland, but Amen Thompson checks more boxes. From Shaedon Sharpe to Nassir Little to Anfernee Simons, the Blazers have a recent history of drafting explosive athletes. Thompson is a one of one type of athlete who is one of the best downhill slashing prospects of the last few years. Thompson combines his elite drive and finish game with an expert feel for the game as a passer, making him a great choice at three.
4. Houston Rockets – Brandon Miller | Alabama
If Thompson is off the board before the Rockets selection at four, Houston should absolutely pull the trigger on Brandon Miller. Coming off the heels of another poor season, Houston needs to prioritize a player with a high floor and a high ceiling. Miller is a fantastic outside shot maker at 6’9. He can create off the dribble, play in the big and role as a jumbo playmaker, rebound and defend too. Miller and Jabari Smith would be a tough wing duo to contend with.
5. Detroit Pistons – Jarace Walker | Houston
In a draft with more than one potential future MVP, dropping from a tie for the best lottery odds to fifth is a rough scene. However, the Pistons can still add an impactful player to their young core. One option from the bunch will be Jarace Walker from Houston. Walker will be a great off ball defender at the next level and has the complementary offensive skill set to work nicely with the Cunningham/Ivey backcourt and whoever the Pistons big man of the future is.
6. Orlando Magic – Anthony Black | Arkansas
After knocking it out of the park with Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero, it’s time for the Magic to look for a guard. Anthony Black is a 6’7 point guard with excellent athletic tools and passing ability on offense. On the other end, Black is a top five defender in a stacked class in that area. Lonzo Ball (when healthy), Josh Giddey, and Derrick White are recent examples of the kind of player Black can be which is proof that he’s worth a top 10 selection.
7. Indiana Pacers – Ausar Thompson | Overtime Elite
Not only would Ausar’s being drafted top 10 make NBA history with his twin brother Amen, but he would be a seamless fit with Indiana. Ausar has most of the generational athletic traits his brother has but with a higher floor given the other areas of his game. Ausar can be tenacious on defense, get buckets as a slasher and has a better jump shot than his twin. Thompson fits next to Tyrese Haliburton as a combo guard or pseudo wing due to his versatility.
8. Washington Wizards – Cam Whitmore | Villinova
Washington was starved for a rise into the top four, but in typical Wizards fashion stayed at eight. In their case, the Wizards need the best player available. Cam Whitmore has a hometown connection with the Wizards and would check a lot of boxes for the team. Whitmore is yet another great athlete in this class, who can score off the dribble, has the upside to create shots from the perimeter but mainly excels off the ball as a cutter.
9. Utah Jazz – Cason Wallace | Kentucky
A player like Cason Wallace would have been a great guard for the Jazz of old when they had Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. However, Wallace could still be a great player to mesh with other young pieces in Utah’s rebuild. Wallace is one of the best guard defenders of the last five years. Wallace is a brick wall on the perimeter who has a HOF badge in reading passing lanes. Offensively, Wallace will be a good secondary playmaker at the next level.
10. Dallas Mavericks – Taylor Hendricks | UCF
Dallas may end up trading this pick for a player more appropriate for their timeline. However, if they keep the pick, Taylor Hendricks is the perfect match of team fit and best player available. Hendricks is a special help defender who covers so much ground with quick feet and active hands. On the offensive end of the floor, Hendricks projects to be a good play finisher due to his above the rim athleticism and knockdown outside shooting stroke as a 6’9 forward.
11. Orlando Magic – Gradey Dick | Kansas
Last year, Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji found himself as a lottery pick to Cleveland at 14. The Jayhawks will have another 3&D prospect to offer NBA teams in the late lottery in the 2023 cycle with Gradey Dick. The marksman is the best long range sniper in the class who is also a rock solid on ball defender. Dick is more than just a shooter too, he can move well without the ball and finishes with good touch around the rim off of his own cuts to the hoop.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – GG Jackson | South Carolina
Although GG Jackson is a raw prospect, he still appears to be a strong bet as a lottery pick in league circles. OKC and Toronto seem like the two major suitors for Jackson’s services. Jackson is a talented scorer with a ton of size and the shot creation skills to go with that height. At 6’9, Jackson can be used as a versatile forward if developed in the right system. He would fit well with what the Thunder are building coming off a near playoff appearance.
13. Toronto Raptors – Leonard Miller | G-League Team Ignite
With GG Jackson off the board, Toronto eyes up another long term development but high upside prospect. Leonard Miller had his ups and downs in the G-League system. He didn’t show nearly as much polish as his former teammate and fellow lottery pick Scoot Henderson. Miller is 6’10 and a 7’3 wingspan and blends these traits with fluid ball handling and the ability to drive the ball like a guard. If there is a team to get the most out of Miller, it is the Raptors.
14. New Orleans Pelicans – Brice Sensabaugh | Ohio State
Coming off the heels of a disappointing second half to what was once a promising season, the Pelicans have a chance to add to what is already a stacked young core. After taking Dyson Daniels in the lottery last year, Brice Sensabaugh makes sense as a guard who is more geared towards getting buckets. Despite Ohio State’s struggles, Sensabaugh looked the part of a first round draft pick and would be a good piece as an easy top 20 player in this class.
- Atlanta Hawks – Jordan Hawkins | UConn
- Utah Jazz – Keyonte George | Baylor
- Los Angeles Lakers – Jalen Hood-Schifino | Indiana
- Miami Heat – Jett Howard | Michigan
- Golden State Warriors – Kris Murray | Iowa
- Houston Rockets: Nick Smith Jr. | Arkansas
- Brooklyn Nets – Derek Lively III | Duke
- Brooklyn Nets – Kobe Bufkin | Michigan
- Portland Trail Blazers – Dariq Whitehead | Duke
- Sacramento Kings – Colby Jones | Xavier
- Memphis Grizzlies – Maxwell Lewis | Pepperdine
- Indiana Pacers – Julian Strawther | Gonzaga
- Charlotte Hornets – Terquavion Smith | NC State
- Utah Jazz – Rayan Rupert | New Zealand Breakers
- Indiana Pacers – Marcus Sasser | Houston
- Los Angeles Clippers: Noah Clowney | Alabama