2023 NBA Mock Draft
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
The 2023 NBA Draft is now only 1 day away, so here is my latest and last Mock draft. This is no-trades mock draft, I expect some deal making tomorrow night but it’s difficult to forecast exactly what moves will be made. So here it goes….
- San Antonio Spurs – Victor Wembanyama, C France (7’5”, 209lbs)
Wemby has been the consensus #1 pick in this draft for a year. He’s been called “The greatest prospect in the history of team sports”. This is an easy decision that has already been made by the Spurs.
- Charlotte Hornets – Brandon Miller, G/F Alabama (6’9”, 205lbs)
According to recent reports the Hornets have some concerns about Scoot Henderson’s fit with LaMelo Ball and their leaning toward taking Miller. Even though a lot of fans and some media outlets have panned the potential selection, Miller would give the Hornets an explosive wing player that can hit shots from long range, create his own off the dribble, and play high level perimeter defense. He gives the Hornets a potential future All Star at a position of need and a skill set that fits the bill.
- Portland Trail Blazers – Scoot Henderson G G-League (6’2”, 196lbs)
If Miller gets picked 2nd by the Hornets, then Henderson is a lock to go third. While questions about Damian Lillard’s future in Portland loom, the Blazers could either select his heir apparent here or potentially trade the pick away if Lillard decides to stay, probably for a big-time player or multiple key pieces to help Dame with his chances at a title.
- Houston Rockets – Amen Thompson, G Overtime Elite (6’7”, 202lbs)
This is another pick that could be traded, but if the Rockets stay pat at 4 then Thompson is a near perfect fit next to Jalen Green. He (Thompson) is a natural facilitator and a great defender. He has not developed a dependable jump shot yet, but he has the potential to grow in that area and become a strong scorer in the league and he’s easily one of the best defenders in this draft.
- Detroit Pistons – Cam Whitmore, F Villanova (6’8”, 235lbs)
Whitmore fills a significant need for the Pistons here with the ability to play the wing and the post, to stretch the floor, the ball-handling to improve as a slasher, and he’s a good but not great defender. Working with an NBA coaching staff should really help Whitmore’s all-around game, so the Pistons see a prospect with a ton of upside here as well.
- Orlando Magic – Ausar Thompason, G/F Overtime Elite (6’7”, 209lbs)
The Magic like their young core and look to build around it with this pick. Ausar is a better shooter than his twin brother Amen and has similar athleticism, extraordinary defensive ability, and the upside to grow as a scorer in the Orlando backcourt.
- Indiana Pacers – Taylor Hendricks, F UCF (6’9”, 210lbs)
The Pacers might try to trade up, especially if the Blazers call and they can get in the top 3. But assuming they stay here at 7, they should take Hendricks, who is a nice combo forward that can be a solid 3-and-D wing for the Pacers.
- Washington Wizards – Anthony Black, G Arkansas (6’7”, 196lbs)
With the Wizards moving on from Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma they’ll be looking to replenish the talent on the roster, so why not pick arguably the most talented player left on the board here at 8? Black is a 6’7” point guard who is tremendous in transition and has the size to guard NBA wings. His shooting remains a question mark, but he has great ball handling skills and he’s an elite passer – probably the best pure passer in the draft.
- Utah Jazz – Bilal Coulibaly, SF, France (6’6” 220lbs)
NBA Insider Marc Stein, in his Substack, reported that the Jazz like Coulibaly at 9, and Stein is usually spot on so I’m taking his word here. Victor Wembanyama’s teammate, Coulibaly has risen up draft boards because so many recruits that went to see Victor ended up also being impressed by Coulibaly. He projects as a potential DPOY candidate who possesses explosive athleticism and has shown flashes of plus shot-making. He would be a solid addition alongside Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen.
- Dallas Mavericks – Jarace Walker, F Houston (6’8”, 248lbs)
Walker could go as high as 5th to the Pistons, but if they select Whitmore as I suspect, Dallas gets a gem at pick 10. He is an elite perimeter defender with the size/strength to play right away in the NBA. He is basically the same build as Lebron James, to put that into perspective. His offensive game needs some work, but he can take time developing and won’t need to be a scoring option right away with Luca Doncic driving the bus.
- Orlando Magic (via Bulls) – Gradey Dick, F Kansas (6’8”, 205lbs)
The Magic are reportedly looking to package the 6th and 11th and move up, but this is a no-trades mock draft, so here Orlando takes Dick. He’s the best shooter in the entire draft, and the Magic could really use a good shooter
- Oklahoma City Thunder – Kobe Bufkin, G/F Michigan (6’5” 195lbs)
The Thunder have some good talent on their roster and a lot of draft capital to keep improving. They add an off-ball wing player with elite upside. He recently measured 6’8” at the combine too, so it seams Michigan may have understated his height. His size, athleticism, and ability to play the perimeter at a high level on both ends make him a great fit for the Thunder here.
- Toronto Raptors – Dereck Lively, C Duke (7’2”, 215lbs)
The Raptors seem to be in full Rebuild mode with the likelihood of letting both Fred Van Vleet and Jakob Poeltl go this offseason, which gives them the chance to take Lively here. He’s an elite rim protector, averaging 2.5 blocks per game last season at Duke. He’s not a premiere offensive player, but given his defensive ability if he can grow into an average offensive player, he could still be one of the most impactful selections in this draft.
- New Orleans Pelicans – Jalen Hood-Schifino, G Indiana (6’6”, 215lbs)
The Pelicans might look to trade out of this pick and try to acquire an established NBA player that can help them make a playoff push. If New Orleans does keep this pick, they’ll likely add to their backcourt. Hood-Schifino was the Big Ten Rookie of the Year last season as a combo guard that can hit jump shots off the dribble and make solid passes.
- Atlanta Hawks – Cason Wallace, PG Kentucky (6’4”, 185lbs)
Just like the Pelicans, the Hawks very well might be looking to trade this pick to add a player to help make a deeper playoff run next season. But if they stay put, Wallace gives them a good/great compliment to Trey Young or maybe a future replacement if they decide to move on from Young down the road. Wallace is a great ball handler who can shoot, sees the floor well, and plays backcourt defense at a high level which the Hawks need.
- Utah jazz (via Timberwolves) – Jordan Hawkins, SG Uconn (6’5”, 195lbs)
- Los Angeles Lakers – Jett Howard, G/F Michigan (6’8”, 215lbs)
- Miami Heat – Leonard Miller, SF G-League (6’10”, 215lbs)
- Golden State Warriors – Brandin Podziemski, SF Santa Clara (6’5”, 205lbs)
- Houston Rockets (via Clippers) – Noah Clowney, F Alabama (6’10”, 210lbs)
- Brooklyn Nets (via Suns) – Keyonte George, SG Baylor (6’4”, 185lbs)
- Brooklyn Nets – Rayan Rupert, G/F New Zealand (6’7”, 192lbs)
- Portland Trailblazers (via Knicks) – Jaime Jaquez Jr., G/F UCLA (6’7”, 225lbs)
- Sacramento Kings – Olivier-Maxence Prosper, F Marquette (6’8”, 230lbs)
- Memphis Grizzlies – Nick Smith Jr., G Arkansas (6’5”, 185lbs)
- Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers) – Ben Sheppard, SG Belmont (6’6”, 190lbs)
- Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets) – Dariq Whitehead, SF Duke (6’8”, 220lbs)
- Utah Jazz (via 76ers) – Kris Murray, F Iowa (6’8”, 220lbs)
- Indiana Pacers (via Celtics) – Brice Sensabaugh, F Ohio State (6’6”, 235lbs)
- Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks) – Colby Jones, G Xavier (6’6”, 205lbs)