With 2023 in full swing the 2023 NBA Draft picture will more and more important as basketball seasons near their end. Non-college talent is always featured in drafts, but this year’s edition is stacked full of players that decided not to go to college basketball. This far out from the end of the NBA season the order of the teams is not nearly as important as the order of the players. The order will be loosely based on the current standings in the NBA.
2023 NBA MOCK DRAFT 2.0
1. Houston Rockets- Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92) PF/C
This is not likely to change in any mock draft written here and for the majority of other websites as well. Victor Wembnayama just provides far too much upside and potential to not go number one overall in the draft. The tanking this season has already looked ugly at times, but it may only get worse moving into the back part of the NBA season.
2. Detroit Pistons- Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite) PG
If Wembanyama is in tier one by himself then Scoot Henderson is in tier two by himself as well. He has looked electric in the G League and there could be some discussion about him potentially being the number one overall selection. There aren’t many drafts where two prospects look so obviously like generational talents, but 2023 is an exception.
3. San Antonio Spurs- Brandon Miller (Alabama Crimson Tide) SF
Brandon Miller has emerged as a top college basketball player this year and has provided a high level of play as SEC play continues to roll on. With some other top prospects in college basketball injured or struggling, Miller has shot up draft boards in January. The top spot among the college basketball players will be a tight race that Miller will be near the front of to close out the season.
4. Charlotte Hornets- Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite) PG/SG
The Overtime Elite program will be on full display in the 2023 NBA Draft and their best prospect is without question Amen Thompson. He will likely be a top-five and perhaps a top-three selection this season. Fair or not he will help pave the way for future prospects that come from the Overtime program in the future. He has the talent to make a huge splash in the NBA.
5. Orlando Magic- Nick Smith (Arkansas Razorbacks) PG/SG
Nick Smith is still this high because of his potential. an injury has sidelined him for a good portion of the season with the Arkansas Razorbacks. The hope is he will be able to return soon and close out the season with his team. NBA scouts will watch his return closely and see how he handles the pressure of returning from an injury.
6. Toronto Raptors- Cam Whitmore (Villanova Wildcats) SF
Despite the season beginning with an injury for Cam Whitemore, he has since hit the court and performed well. The Villanova Wildcats are a better team when Whitmore is playing at his best this season. Witmore might not be a day-one-ready prospect in the NBA and the lottery order could be a major factor in his draft position. A team willing to take on a project could find a special player down the road here.
7. New Orleans Pelicans (Via LAL)- Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite) SG/SF
The attention in Overtime has largely gone to Ausar Thompson’s brother Amen, but the wing is a top-ten pick for a reason. It might take being on a separate NBA roster to showcase his talent further than he’s been able to currently. Thompson, like his brother, will help pave the way for prospects that decide to play for Overtime instead of college basketball.
8. Indiana Pacers- Jett Howard (Michigan Wolverines) SG/SF
Jett Howard has climbed quickly up the 2023 NBA Draft boards and will soon join the league his Head Coach and father had great success. Howard has been a top player in the Big Ten this year and has made the case for being a top ten pick in the draft. His dad playing in the league could give him an edge when it comes to knowing exactly what to expect when he gets there.
9. Orlando Magic (Via CHI)- Keyonte George (Baylor Bears) SG
The Baylor Bears are a stacked basketball team and despite that Keyonte George is still shining through as the leading scorer on the team so far this season. With how he is playing he may very well lead the Bears on a deep run into March Madness. He may also play his way up this list by that time. Baylor has placed several players into the NBA in the last few seasons and soon George will join those ranks.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder- Terquavion Smith (North Carolina State Wolfpack) SG/SF
Terqavion Smith returned to North Carolina State this season to improve his NBA Draft stock. This far into the season, it appears he has accomplished his goal, but he needs to keep up the momentum. He has become more of a leader and go-to scorer in his second year with the Wolfpack. Helping lead the team to an NCAA Tournament berth could be yet another signal to scouts that he is a lottery pick this year.
11. Portland Trail Blazers- Anthony Black (Arkansas Razorbacks) SG
Injuries have seriously impacted the ability of Arkansas to win games this season, but Anthony Black has maintained his draft stock this season. He has played well enough to be in the conversation this season as a lottery selection. Black has been one of the best players on the team and has played consistently despite the injuries shaking up the roster.
12. Washington Wizards- Jarace Walker (Houston Cougars) PF
College basketball fans have kept a close eye on Houston this season as a potential NCAA Championship contender. While Marcus Sasser has gotten much of the attention on the college side, his teammate Jarace Walker is getting the 2023 NBA Mock Draft lottery looks this season. Forwards are important in the NBA and Walker will have a chance to make a high-level impact on a borderline NBA Playoff team next year.
13. Utah Jazz- Gradey Dick (Kansas Jayhawks) SG/SF
The NBA thrives on players that can shoot from beyond the arc. Gradey Dick has been phenomenal for Kansas this season. Shooters will always have a place in the NBA and Dick is one of the best shooters in the draft, if not the best. The draft has seen shooters go earlier than expected so he could move up the list this season.
14. Utah Jazz (Via MIN)- Kris Murray (Iowa Hawkeyes) SF/PF
Much like his brother Keegan, Kris Murray was handed a larger role this season and made the most of it. While his draft stock may not rise as high as his brothers did, it has still shot well into the first round of this 2023 NBA Mock Draft. Kris plays similarly to his brother but might be a better rebounder in the NBA.
15. Atlanta Hawks- Cason Wallace (Kentucky Wildcats) PG/SG
Cason Wallace was an early candidate to rise in mock drafts this year but Kentucky faltered and with that came some lackluster play from the whole team including Wallace. Despite that Kentucky is picking up steam and so is Wallace. Rising much higher in the draft may not happen, but he might work his way into the Lottery this year.
16. Los Angeles Lakers (Via NOP)- GG Jackson ( South Carolina Gamecocks) PF/C
GG Jackson has been effectively the sole focus of the South Carolina program this year. With that comes more touches, but also more defensive attention. He has shown flashes of what made him the top recruit in 2023 before he reclassified to the 2022 recruiting class. It is important to remember he is one of the younger players heading to the draft and will grow with age.
17. New York Knicks (Via DAL)- Rayan Rupert (New Zealand Breakers) SG/SF
The New Zealand Breakers are no strangers to producing NBA talent and Rayan Rupert is set to be the next big name from the NBL team. His height and wingspan make him an ideal NBA wing heading into the draft.
18. Phoenix Suns- Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine Waves) SF
In nearly every draft there seems to be a mid-major talent that breaks onto the scene and works their way into the top 20 of the draft. Maxwell Lewis has proved why he is that player this season with his play at Pepperdine.
19. Golden State Warriors- Noah Clowney (Alabama Crimson Tide) PF
Noah Clowney has risen into the first round on many mock drafts and with the attention, he is getting with Alabama he may continue to rise. While his offense could help an NBA team it will be his defense that keeps him in the league. Offensive-minded forwards are important, but because of that teams also need solid defenders as well.
20. Los Angeles Clippers- Dariq Whitehead (Duke Blue Devils) SG/SF
Dariq Whitehead has fallen despite good production with Duke this season. An injury to his ankle wasn’t as serious as some feared, but it will keep him out for some time. His return date will be important because he still has some time to regain some traction on the 2023 NBA Mock Draft lists.
21. New York Knicks- Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State Buckeyes) SF
Brice Sensabaugh is another forward that has raised his draft stock since conference play began. As the Buckeyes get deeper into Big Ten play, he will have a chance to improve his stock even more.
22. Miami Heat- Kel’el Ware (Oregon Ducks) C
Kel’el Ware is a bit of an NBA project center, but the potential is there for the Oregon Ducks big man. It may take a season or two, but Ware could be a high-impact player in the league one day. An NBA Playoff team could take a chance on the big man in the early 20s of the draft.
23. Sacramento Kings- Taylor Hendricks (UCF Knights) PF
The UCF Knights produce NBA talent at a fairly high clip for a mid-major program and soon Taylor Hendricks will join that list of former Knights in the NBA. Teams that are borderline playoff teams could always use more depth at forward.
24. Indiana Pacers (Via CLE)- Kyle Filipowski (Duke Blue Devils) PF/C
Kyle Filipowski has been a force on the Duke Blue Devils, but some questions remain about his fit for the NBA. His ability to stretch out his game and shoot the three will help his odds when it comes to being drafted on any 2023 NBA Mock Draft.
25. Brooklyn Nets- Dillon Mitchell (Texas Longhorns) SF/PF
Dillon Mitchell is incredibly talented but may have been lost in the shuffle a bit with the Texas Longhorns. With a talented roster and a coaching scandal, Mitchell has fallen some in the draft order. Still, potential gets first-round looks every time.
26- Memphis Grizzlies- Jalen Wilson (Kansas Jayhawks) SF/PF
Coming off a National Championship win, Kansas had some roster turnover they had to deal with. The return of Jalen Wilson has stabilized that issue for the program. Going in the first round would justify his return to the program for another season.
27. Utah Jazz (Via PHI)- Hunter Sallis (Gonzaga Bulldogs) SG/PG
While he may not declare for the 2023 NBA Draft or if he does he may not stay in it, Hunter Sallis has emerged as a legitimately good NBA prospect. He is already playing NBA-level defense and should only get better.
28. Houston Rockets (Via MIL)- Emoni Bates (Eastern Michgan Eagles) SG/SF
The former number one overall recruit has had an off journey to the NBA. Transferring to Eastern Michigan looks to have been a good idea for the sophomore. The potential from the former five-star recruit should at least get him some first-round looks.
29. Charlotte Hornets (Via DEN)- Marcus Sasser (Houston Cougars)
The hope for Marcus Sasser is he will be coming off an NCAA Championship and National Player of the Year Award when he declares for the NBA Draft. Despite going this late in the 2023 NBA Mock Draft, he did improve his stock and made the most of his college career at Houston.
30. Indiana Pacers (Via BOS)- Colby Jones (Xavier Musketeers) SG/SF
Colby Jones is working his way up draft boards and for good reason with his play with Xavier this season. His spot in the first round is not a lock yet, but he is working his way up and could get there with a strong finish in Big East play.