The 2023 NBA Draft is set to take place on Thursday, June 22nd in New York. Young basketball players that took different paths to get to this point will see their dreams realized. The 2023 NBA Mock Draft features several players in the top ten that did not attend an NCAA program to get to the NBA. While a lot of the attention has been on generational prospect Victor Wembanyama, this draft class is widely considered perhaps the best in at least the past decade. The thought about this draft class is that it could rival the legendary classes of 1996 and 2003 in the future. This edition of the mock draft will not attempt to predict trades but will mention if a team is shopping the selection ahead of draft night.
2023 NBA Mock Draft
1. San Antonio Spurs- Victor Wembanyama
This one is easy. The tanking in the NBA this past season was all about having a shot at drafting Victor Wembnayama out of France. San Antonio has a chance to fully reset their rebuild and begin a new dynasty with the selection of the French big man. Prospects don’t get mentioned with the likes of Lebron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for no reason.
2. Charlotte Hornets- Brandon Miller
The rumors about the Hornets passing on Scoot Henderson for Bradon Miller seems to be more than noise. Miller is a better fit for their current roster construction and is considered the third-best prospect in the class. His size and ability to shoot should translate immediately to the NBA next season.
3. Portland Trail Blazers- Scoot Henderson
Portland is going to do its best to trade this pick for veterans that can help Damian Lillard “contend” for an NBA Championship. Regardless this pick should be Scoot Henderson and in a lot of classes he would be the number one overall selection.
4. Houston Rockets- Amen Thompson
Amen Thompson in many ways could end up setting the tone for what the Overtime Elite program is able to do for future NBA prospects. While his jump shot needs some work, he has all the tools to be a top-level NBA player one day.
5. Detriot Pistons- Cam Whitmore
The disappointment of falling this far in the lottery will sting for some time, but the mission remains the same. Detriot has a solid young core and the franchise needs to continue to stack talent around those players. Cam Whitmore has plenty of potential and could slide in perfectly on the roster as a forward.
6. Orlando Magic- Ausar Thompson
The Magic are hunting for a future superstar to pair with their current young roster. Ausar Thompson is. much like his brother, a defining player for the Overtime Elite program. He also struggles with his jump shot but could develop into exactly what the Magic need in the future as they grow.
7. Indiana Pacers- Taylor Hendricks
Taylor Hendricks has quickly risen up on 2023 NBA Mock Drafts, which typically means that multiple lottery teams see something they like in the prospect. There always seems to be at least one mid-major player that moves up like this in the draft.
8. Washington Wizards- Cason Wallace
With Bradley Beal potentially looking to move on from the Wizards, it could be time for an honest and complete shutdown and rebuild of the team. Cason Wallace isn’t likely to change the game completely, but he has the defense to translate to the league from day one. Things may get messy in Washington.
9. Utah Jazz- Anthony Black
The Jazz may have cut their rebuild time in half with the moves they’ve made, but they will need to find a star player to pair with what they have now. Anthony Black has sown flashes of being a great player in the NBA. Worst case scenario he should be a very solid role player at the next level. Certainly worth a top-ten selection in the 2023 NBA Mock Draft.
10. Dallas Mavericks- Jarace Walker
The Mavericks being in the lottery is baffling considering they had both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on the team. Considering the team has some problems with the NBA and retaining free agents, the draft may be an afterthought. Jarace Walker can come into the roster and be a solid defender down low that needs some work on offense. Jason Kidd loves defense and Walker can provide that.
11. Orlando Magic (Via CHI)- Gradey Dick
Gradey Dick is a lights-out shooter and would fit perfectly into almost any NBA lineup. The Magic just need to add talent and figure out who belongs where once they are on the roster next year. Shooting will always be valuable in the NBA and the Kansas forward is one of the best, if not the best in the class.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder- Keyonte George
The Thunder are so close to being a more serious NBA Playoff contender that they can taste it. In this edition of the 2023 NBA Mock Draft, they take a former top high school recruit in Keyonte George. He has plenty of potential and could be a key player down the road for an NBA franchise. The Thunder just need to give him the time and space to develop.
13. Toronto Raptors- Brice Sensabaugh
The Raptors are in no man’s land for right now. They aren’t good enough to contend, but not bad enough to get a game-changing prospect. With Fred VanVleet declining his player option it may be time to focus on a complete rebuild. Brice Senseabaugh has plenty of upside and could help the team move forward.
14. New Orleans Pelicans- Nick Smith Jr
This is the perfect landing spot for the Arkansas guard after an injury-riddled season of college basketball. New Orleans has a need for some guard depth, but can also give the former top high school recruit some room to grow. The rumors about this team and trades are all over the place right now so that is something to monitor.
15. Atlanta Hawks- Jett Howard
What can the Hawks do to build a better contender? Getting a diamond in the rough with this pick would be a good start at least. Jett Howard is an NBA legacy with potential that makes him a prospect that could be molded into much more than the 15th overall selection in a draft. One issue is the logjam that the Hawks have on the wing and forward positions right now.
16. Utah Jazz (Via MIN)- Dariq Whitehead
With Utah, it’s still just about building the team and trying to draft the best player available with each pick they have. The development will be key with the players that they do decide to draft moving forward. Dariq Whitehead has been higher on past 2023 NBA Mock Draft lists but still has the same level of potential despite the drop.
17. Los Angeles Lakers- Kris Murray
The Lakers will likely be running it back with Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and maybe a third star. They need talented depth that can shoot at an effective rate. If Kris Murray turns into the same type of player as his brother, this is a perfect fit even as a rookie. The Lakers, being the Lakers could also try to move this pick if they find the correct deal.
18. Miami Heat- GG Jackson
The Miami Heat have been to the Finals twice in the past few seasons but fell short each time. Obviously, their roster could use some more depth, but they also have time to develop a player. GG Jackson is young, and needs to be developed, but is incredibly talented. He may have competed for the number one overall pick had he waited for the 2024 NBA Draft.
19. Golden State Warriors- Terquavion Smith
Seemingly every year a player that should have been taken higher just falls into the laps of the Golden State Warriors. Terqauvion Smith needs to control his offense some more, but where is a better place to learn than Golden State? The title window is closing or closed for the team, but adding talent never hurts.
20. Houston Rockets- Leonard Miller
The G League has put some talent into the league, but this year all the attention is on Scoot Henderson. Leonard Miller has fallen quite a bit on the 2023 NBA Mock Draft list this past year. His talent coming out of high school caught the attention of the G League for a reason and the Rockets have the time and space to let him develop.
21. Brooklyn Nets (Via PHO)- Jordan Hawkins
Jordan Hawkins is now an NCAA Champion and soon he will be a full fledge player in the NBA. He has the chance to go higher or lower depending on how his meetings have gone with the NBA teams interested in him. Brooklyn wants to rebuild and stay in the Playoff race at the same time, so landing good players with their picks is vital moving forward.
22. Brooklyn Nets- Rayan Rupert
The NBL has reliably put at least one player into each NBA Draft for the past few seasons now. Rayan Rupert is that guy this season and the Brooklyn Nets could strike on a player that already has some pro basketball experience. They do not have to strike on every player, but they do need to hit on a few.
23. Portland Trail Blazers (Via NYK)- Dereck Lively II
Again there is a good chance that Portland decides to trade away this draft pick before draft night. If they do not they can take a very good rim protector in Dereck Lively II out of Duke. His offensive game right now is next to non-existent. Overall he needs some polish but can help the team on defense from day one.
24. Sacramento Kings- Maxwell Lewis
Pepperdine did not have much great going for it this past season, but the program did have Maxwell Lewis. His ability to score the basketball alone will get him to the NBA, but the rest will be up to him and the team that drafts him. The Kings have the space to add the forward and let him grow with a promising young team.
25. Memphis Grizzlies- Noah Clowney
While the offseason attention has been on Ja Morant, the Grizzlies still have a job to do and build a contender. Noah Clowney is a very good defender and fits the overall tough-on-the-court mentality that the Grizzlies want to portray. It’s a crowded frontcourt, but Clowney has the skill to develop into a player that sees serious minutes.
26. Indiana Pacers (Via CLE)- Sidy Cissoko
The Pacers aim to take Sidy Cissoko who has pro experience with the G League Ignite program. At some point, the Pacers may need to package picks and players for more talent, but hitting on a late first-round pick would be even better for the franchise.
27. Charlotte Hornets (Via DEN)- Emoni Bates
The fall from grace that Emoni Bates had was brutal to watch, but salvaging his basketball career with a first-round selection is more than the ideal scenario. He was once crowned the future of basketball and the Hornets desperately need him to tap into that potential. This could be an ideal match for both sides as they look to move beyond some mistakes.
28. Utah Jazz (Via PHI)- Bilal Coulibaly
Speculation about Bilal Coulibaly has been all over the place with rumors about promises and even his moving up to the late lottery. Victor Wembanyama’s teammate has used those extra eyes on his team to his advantage this season in the EuroLeague. The Jazz have been linked to him already, but they may have to use an earlier pick.
29. Indiana Pacers (Via BOS)- Colby Jones
A team can never have too many draft picks, but this is getting a bit ridiculous for the Pacers. Swing for the fences and take the best player available and hope to develop them. Colby Jones has some NBA skills but will need some time down in the G League to be ready for his final step into the league.
30. Los Angeles Clippers (Via MIL)- Marcus Sasser
The Clippers are probably a year or two away from starting a rebuild and if that’s the case they need to move quickly if they want to seriously compete for a title. Marcus Sasser is an experienced college basketball guard and could immediately hit the NBA running with the right role at the next level.