2023 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions Post-Trade DeadlineFebruary 14, 2023
2023 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions Post-Trade Deadline
After an active trade deadline, the current lottery odds for the 2023 NBA draft project multiple first-round picks for the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers.
This week's update received a shake-up with the top five prospects and more movement in Nos. 6-14 range.
There is a new freshman who's made his way into the lottery discussion and another who's poised to crack the top 20.
The order was based on standings heading into Monday, February 1.
1. Houston Rockets: Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92, PF/C, 2004)
Another week, another performance with some mesmerizing highlights for Wembanyama, who went for 29 points in a win over JDA Dijon Basket on Friday. He's also totaled 10 assists over his last two games, reminding NBA teams that his passing is just another advantage skill to covet.
Picturing his fit in Houston, the Rockets will have to think big with Wembanyama, Alperen Şengün and Jabari Smith. Wembanyama's shooting range, ball-handling, length and mobility should allow him to work interchangeably between the 4 and 5, while Smith may have to adjust to guarding more wings.
2. San Antonio Spurs: Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite, PG, 2004)
With one win over their last 18 games, the Spurs are inching closer to locking in the best odds for the chance to draft Wembanyama or Henderson. It doesn't sound like any other prospect will be in the discussion at No. 2. And given the Spurs' current roster, rebuilding around a star point guard prospect should be an obvious draw.
There may actually be some NBA scouting at this year's All-Star Weekend with Henderson named a captain to the G League's Next Up Game. Regardless, the reachable upside tied to his persuasive explosiveness, playmaking, improved shot-making and production has created a gap between Henderson and No. 3.
3. Charlotte Hornets: Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite, PG/SG, 2003)
Athleticism isn't a strength of the Hornets, who'd benefit from the advantages that come with Thompson's transition speed, first step, explosiveness and defensive quickness.
Coming off one of his better games over the weekend (22 points, nine assists, five rebounds, three steals, one three-pointer), Thompson has showcased the type of ball-handling and shiftiness, vision, bounce for paint separation/finishing and defense for teams to bet on a non-shooting outlier.
Alabama's Brandon Miller may look like a better fit for Charlotte on paper, but Thompson offers far superior versatility (creation, passing, athleticism for finishing, defense) with a weakness in shooting that's more easily improvable. The idea of having two 6'7" playmakers in LaMelo Ball and Thompson should also be super enticing for Charlotte.
4. Detroit Pistons: Jarace Walker (Houston, PF, Freshman)
Up to 40.7 percent from three, Walker has been showcasing captivating scoring versatility with his shooting, drives past closeouts, touch shots on the move and tougher shot-making skill around the key. Throw in hidden passing IQ and live-dribble playmaking, which popped more at IMG when he wasn't sharing the ball with Marcus Sasser and Jamal Shead, and Walker offers a unique, well-rounded skill set for a physical 6'8", 240-pound forward. Scouts would like to see Wallace use his special tools more effectively on defense, but they continue to rave about his physical talent, offensive development, intangibles and background intel.
5. Orlando Magic: Brandon Miller (Alabama, SF, Freshman)
Miller would seem like an obvious target for the Magic with his positional size and shooting. Though he's had some off games lately from three, he's yet to hit a real cold streak or slump, and he's started to mix in tougher finishes around the basket. Miller is looking like a good bet to wind up going top five behind his shot-making versatility and outstanding accuracy for a 6'9" wing.
6. Indiana Pacers: Gradey Dick (Kansas, SF, Freshman)
When the best-player-available discussion begins to get murkier in the late lottery, Dick's surefire shooting could give him an edge. Teams will know what they're getting in the 6'8" forward who is at 42.0 percent from three. But there is also a path to more upside among Dick's flashes of perimeter creation into dribble jumpers, athletic finishes and defensive playmaking.
7. New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers): Cam Whitmore (Villanova, SF, Freshman)
Whitmore's powerful 6'7" frame, driving and finishing explosiveness and shot-making hint at a high floor and safe pick. Whether he hits a star trajectory will come down to his ball-handling development for more creation and IQ and awareness to maximize his playmaking and defensive potential. At this stage, he is most effective attacking in transition or straight lines, hitting catch-and-shoot threes and relying on his tools and athleticism to make defensive plays on the ball.
8. Orlando Magic (via Bulls): Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)
Back after nearly two months on the injury shelf, Smith will be a popular scouting target as NBA teams try to weigh his sharp skills and versatility versus his limited frame and decision-making. Other one-and-done freshmen performing well make Smith vulnerable to slipping into the late lottery, but for a 6'5" guard, he should still convince a team to bite on his creation, three-level shot-making and passing.
9. Toronto Raptors: Keyonte George (Baylor, SG, Freshman)
George's off games and forced shots will make top-five teams hesitant and question the impact of his decision-making. But in that next tier, he will sell a team on his scoring potential with sharp skill for self-creation into drives and jumpers and sweet rhythm to elevate into pull-ups, step-backs and off-screen threes.
10. Washington Wizards: Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite, SG/SF, 2003)
After a stretch when it looked like Thompson may be turning the corner as a shooter, he has gone cold again. The promising news focuses on the 6'7" wing's putting more of an emphasis on playmaking, which increases his margin for error if his shot never develops. Worst case with Thompson: a team lands an outstanding wing defender and dangerous transition weapon who can put pressure on defenses with his quickness and budding ball-handling skill.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Taylor Hendricks (Central Florida, PF, Freshman)
Hendricks is shedding the sleeper label and becoming a popular prospect with the consistent shooting and defense that teams covet at both forward positions. His 39.3 three-point percentage, 1.8 blocks per game and 28 dunks drive the appeal, though there could be more upside to unlock if he builds on the flashes of drives past closeouts and shot-making versatility.
12. Utah Jazz: Cason Wallace (Kentucky, PG, Freshman)
Though Wallace's scoring has fluctuated, he still checks a valued mix of boxes with passing, defensive IQ and shooting that all seem likely to translate. Even a worst-case outcome for Wallace—if he struggles to create for himself—should lead to a team's acquiring an asset who will be interchangeable, make good decisions, hit open shots and guard both backcourt positions.
13. Oklahoma City Thunder: Anthony Black (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)
Despite questions swirling over Black's ability to score at the NBA level, he made a strong pitch to scouts against Kentucky with his passing, defensive instincts, off-ball finishing and ability to create advantages with his 6'7" size and ball-handling. Versatility and outstanding defensive quickness and IQ are helping scouts look past his self-creation and shooting issues.
14. Golden State Warriors: Jett Howard (Michigan, SG/SF, Freshman)
The combination of 6'8" size, shooting accuracy, shot-making versatility and sound decision-making should have already cemented Howard in the top-20 discussion. How high he rises will come down to his ability to convince scouts he has creation upside and that there are fewer reasons to worry about his defense.
15. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves): GG Jackson (South Carolina, PF, Freshman)
The scoring inefficiency reflects Jackson's tough shot selection and decision-making, but for a 6'9" 18-year-old, the flashes of ball-handling for creation and shooting versatility will look too enticing in the mid-first round.
16. Los Angeles Lakers (via Pelicans): Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State, SG, Freshman)
It's been a tough week for Sensabaugh, who is slumping for the first time while the Ohio State losses pile up. By June, this stretch will mostly be forgotten, as NBA teams will still picture a pro scorer with a 6'6", 235-pound frame, projectable shot-making and skill and instincts for translatable self-creation.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Kris Murray (Iowa, PF, Junior)
Murray's transition offense, shot-making versatility, cutting and offensive rebounding point to translatable off-ball scoring and an easy NBA fit.
18. Houston Rockets (via Clippers): Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana, PG/SG, Freshman)
Scouts are catching on to Hood-Schifino with Indiana winning and the 6'6", 213-pound guard producing with flashy ball-handling and passing and three-level shot-making.
19. New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Jordan Hawkins (Connecticut, SG, Sophomore)
Shooting 44.9 percent off screens and 47.1 percent on spot-ups, Hawkins comes off as a plug-and-play shot-maker with one of the draft's most bankable shooting skills.
20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Knicks): Dariq Whitehead (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)
Whitehead is up to 38.1 percent from three on the season, showing promising signs of shot-making despite limited minutes and injuries that have disrupted his rhythm. He still struggles around the basket, but at 6'7" and 18 years old, his shooting versatility, self-creation and defensive tools will keep him from falling.
21. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns): Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine, SG/SF, Sophomore)
Pepperdine's 9-18 record will work against Lewis, but the efficient production and eye test on his 6'7" size, self-creation flashes and shot-making versatility still say NBA scorer.
22. Miami Heat: Rayan Rupert (New Zealand Breakers, SG/SF, 2004)
At 6'6" with a projectable jumper and 7'3" wingspan for defense, Rupert possesses the coveted three-and-D archetype that will help NBA teams look past his 18-year-old's inconsistency.
23. Sacramento Kings: Ricky Council IV (Arkansas, SG/SF, Junior)
Even without a consistent three-ball, Council still possesses exciting scoring potential tied to his ball-handling and quickness for creation, explosiveness at the rim and speciality shot-making inside the arc.
24. Brooklyn Nets: Terquavion Smith (North Carolina State, SG, Sophomore)
Smith's shot selection and finishing flaws are known, but his shot-making remains translatable and potent enough to provide NBA teams with instant-offense scoring value.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Colby Jones (Xavier, PG/SG, Junior)
Jones' versatility and maturity scream pro, with the 6'6" junior possessing the frame, playmaking ability, improved shooting, defense and decision-making for NBA coaches to use him at multiple positions in different roles.
26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers): Bilal Coulibaly (Metropolitans 92, SF, 2004)
After a few dominant performances in France's U21 division, Coulibaly is now producing alongside Victor Wembanyama, showcasing an enticing combination of athleticism, shooting and defensive activity for an 18-year-old.
27. Utah Jazz (via 76ers): Kyle Filipowski (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)
Recent struggles have led to questions about Filipowski's athleticism and shooting and how they will translate. Still, a 7-footer with his capable range, ball-handling, post skill and freshman production will draw enough first-round interest.
28. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets): Noah Clowney (Alabama, PF, Freshman)
Clowney may be too far away for teams to have confidence in using a lottery pick on him, but he will convince some front office to show patience with promising shooting range, off-ball finishing, defensive versatility and a strong rebounding rate.
29. Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks): Marcus Sasser (Houston, PG/SG, Senior)
While teams might not detect upside in a 6'2" below-the-rim scoring senior, Sasser figures to interest those looking for immediate shot-making and pick-and-roll offense for their second unit.
30. Indiana Pacers (via Celtics): Kel'el Ware (Oregon, C, Freshman)
Ware's draft floor is dropping, as he's played 15 minutes or fewer in 11 consecutive games. He'll have a chance to win back support during workouts, where his 7'0" size, mobility, shooting range and touch should still look enticing in the late first round.
31. Indiana Pacers (via Rockets): Jalen Wilson (Kansas, SF, Senior)
On track to double last year's three-point makes, Wilson has rebuilt his draft stock with improved shooting that complements his excellent finishing, rebounding and mid-range shot-making.
32. San Antonio Spurs: Tristan Vukčević (KK Partizan, PF/C, 2003)
Coming off a season-high of three three-point makes, Vukčević continues to strengthen his draft case with shooting, plus more flashes of face-up scoring skills at 7'0".
33. Detroit Pistons: Leonard Miller (G League Ignite, SF/PF, 2004)
Clearly raw and a longer-term project, Miller has enough production and skill versatility to get late-first-round teams thinking about investing early and having patience with a 6'10" scoring wing.
34. Philadelphia 76ers (via Hornets): Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana, PF/C, Senior)
While the 20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds pop first, it's the 3.5 assists and 3.0 blocks that have turned Jackson-Davis into a more attractive NBA prospect. The improved passing and defense help create more versatility and function, which is key for a 6'9" big who lives mostly off post-ups and finishes.
35. Orlando Magic: James Nnaji (Barcelona, C, 2004)
At some point in the late first or second round, an NBA team will forget versatility/upside and value the likelihood of Nnaji's tools and athleticism translating to finishing, shot-blocking and rebounding.
36. Sacramento Kings (via Pacers): Dereck Lively II (Duke, C, Freshman)
Lively's 4.6 points a game make it difficult to picture NBA teams using a first-round pick, but his 2.3 blocks in 17.5 minutes should keep interest alive. He clearly has the tools for finishing and rim protection at the NBA level.
37. Los Angeles Lakers: Jaime Jaquez (UCLA, SF, Senior)
Though inconsistent shooting and athletic limitations hint at a lower ceiling, Jaquez's scoring versatility, physicality and defensive toughness scream high floor and value for a team more interested in adding a role player than swinging for upside.
38. Washington Wizards (via Bulls): Nikola Đurišić (Mega MIS, SF, 2004)
After a slow start to the season, Đurišić is averaging 13.6 points and 4.3 assists over Mega's last seven games, showcasing the shot-making, ball-handling and passing that had him on NBA radars at 16 and 17 years old.
39. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State, SF, Senior)
At 6'6", 230 pounds, shooting 41.4 percent from three, Johnson has the shooting range, shot-making versatility and physical tools to carve out an off-ball role without possessing a great deal of creation skill.
40. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Wizards): Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara, SG, Sophomore)
Podziemski added another 30-point game to his resume against Loyola Marymount. The production and eye test on his creativity, shot-making versatility and three-point shooting are becoming too convincing for NBA teams to nitpick Santa Clara's schedule or his athletic limitations.
41. Boston Celtics (via Blazers): Jordan Walsh (Arkansas, SF/PF, Freshman)
Walsh's low-usage role masks some scoring versatility, though outstanding defensive technique/tools consistently pop and gives teams a reason to reach. The value tied to big-wing defenders could motivate teams to remain patient with Walsh's offensive development, which still shows promising shot-making potential and touch.
42. Charlotte Hornets (via Jazz): DaRon Holmes II (Dayton, C, Sophomore)
NBA teams looking for an injection of frontcourt athleticism and activity will target Holmes to come in to provide easy baskets, rim protection, low-post offense and second-chance points.
43. Denver Nuggets (via Thunder): Julian Strawther (Gonzaga, SF, Junior)
While Strawther offers little value working on the ball, his spot-up shooting (46.0 percent), off-screen scoring (42.4 percent), cutting and transition play are suited well for NBA off-ball scoring. His 58.5 percent mark on floaters give scouts an extra reason to buy his touch for shot-making.
44. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Warriors): Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona, PF/C, Junior)
This late, teams can ignore Tubelis' fit and upside and instead bet on energizer potential fueled by translatable rim running, finishing, rebounding and short-range touch.
45. Memphis Grizzlies (via Timberwolves): Judah Mintz (Syracuse, SG, Freshman)
Mintz continues to score without a three-ball, consistently having success off his creativity, aggressive attacking and mid-range shot-making. Throw in the 4.5 assists per game that highlight serviceable setup ability, and betting on the freshman to extend his shooting range should be a worthwhile gamble in the second round.
46. Atlanta Hawks: Emoni Bates (Eastern Michigan, SF, Sophomore)
A 2-of-17 game against Toledo shows Bates is still volatile with his shot selection. However, teams will be drawn to a 6'10", 19-year-old wing averaging 2.7 threes, as long as he helps himself during interviews after last summer's arrest on gun charges led to him being suspended.
47. Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans): Coleman Hawkins (Illinois, PF, Junior)
Hawkins' shooting slump has been discouraging, but he's still flashed enough range to go with the translatable passing and defensive versatility for teams to see second-round value.
48. Los Angeles Clippers: Terrence Shannon (Illinois, SG/SF, Senior)
Despite his three-point percentage dipping to 32.8, Shannon still offers enough shot-making (1.7 three-pointers per game), tools and athleticism for slashing and defense to warrant second-round interest.
49. Phoenix Suns: Reece Beekman (Virginia, PG, Junior)
Beekman's lack of scoring punch hurts his projection, but NBA teams may still see a serviceable ball-handler for his playmaking IQ and pesky defense.
50. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks): Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite, SG/SF, 2004)
Scouts are weighing whether Cissoko offers shoot-pass-defensive versatility or if he's actually missing one bankable NBA skill.
51. Denver Nuggets (via Mavericks): Julian Phillips (Tennessee, SF, Freshman)
Teams could see a worthwhile long-term project in Phillips, who still owns a coveted archetype with 6'8" wing size, shot-making potential and slashing ability.
52. Boston Celtics (via Heat): Dillon Mitchell (Texas, PF, Freshman)
Though Mitchell would seem like a candidate to return for a sophomore season, he may be motivated to make the jump and receive more freedom to develop his offense in the G League. Right now, athletic finishes and defensive playmaking alone won't be enough to draw first-round interest.
53. Sacramento Kings: Baylor Scheierman (Creighton, SG, Senior)
Between Scheierman's career 40.8 three-point percentage and passing IQ, NBA teams can look past the athletic limitations and buy his shooting and passing in a connector role.
54. Brooklyn Nets: Andre Jackson (Connecticut, SF, Junior)
There aren't many NBA wings who offer minimal scoring or shooting, but Jackson is a potential outlier with his playmaking and wild athletic ability for play-finishing and defensive playmaking.
55. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaylen Clark (UCLA, SG/SF, Senior)
Clark may be special enough defensively with the right amount of driving, finishing and passing to earn NBA minutes in spite of limited shot-making.
56. Milwaukee Bucks (via Cavaliers): Malcolm Cazalon (Mega MIS, SG, 2001)
Now 16-of-31 from three over Mega's last six games, Cazalon could offer enough shooting, passing and athleticism to earn a second-round grade on NBA teams' boards.
57. Philadelphia 76ers: Forfeited
58. Chicago Bulls (via Nuggets): Forfeited
59. Milwaukee Bucks: Adam Flagler (Baylor, PG/SG, Senior)
Consistent shooting, passing and decision-making could help Flagler compensate for limited tools and athleticism in a bench role.
60. Boston Celtics: Zach Edey (Purdue, C, Junior)
After Edey's sixth 30-point game of the season, NBA teams might not start to feel that it's worth using a late second-round pick to see how effective his 7'4" frame can be for easy baskets and rim protection.
Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports