2023 NBA Mock Draft (V1)

With the college season complete, the NBA Draft process has begun. From names like Wembanyama to Scoot, we projected the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson

Image via Getty/Ethan Miller

Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson

The Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes are officially underway. The NBA regular season has come to an end and playoff basketball is set to kick off this weekend. While half of the association is prepping for games this weekend, the other half has started its offseason plans. With several teams’ attention turned to the draft in June, our Complex Sports team decided to put together a projection of the first round. 

The lottery is scheduled to be finalized in May so for our first version, we used Tankathon.com to simulate the selection order.

The San Antonio Spurs have been rewarded with the first pick of the draft. While any team at No. 1 is essentially locked to pick Victor Wembanyama, the following picks could change based off which team selects in what spot. Another development of our lottery simulation is the Mavericks losing their first round pick because it was outside the top 10. The Knicks now own their pick at No. 13 as a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The Pistons, the team with the highest odds for the No. 1 pick, dropped to No. 5 in our simulation. Sorry Detroit fans. 

With all that being said, here’s our first mock draft of the season.

1. San Antonio Spurs - Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 (France)

Victor Wembanyama showing off his wingspan

2. Portland Trail Blazers – Scoot Henderson, G-League Ignite

Scoot Henderson Puma Court Rider Chaos

3. Houston Rockets – Brandon Miller, Alabama

Alabama basketball's Brandon Miller

4. Indiana Pacers - Ausar Thompson, Overtime Elite

5. Detroit Pistons - Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite

6. Charlotte Hornets - Jarace Walker, Houston

Jarace Walker at the University of Houston

7. Orlando Magic -Taylor Hendricks, UCF

Taylor Hendricks at the University of Central Florida

8. Washington Wizards - Cason Wallace, Kentucky

Cason Wallace during the NCAA Tournament for Kentucky

9. Utah Jazz - Cam Whitmore, Villanova

Cam Whitmore at Villanova University

10. OKC Thunder - Gradey Dick, Kansas

Gradey Dick during the NCAA Tournament

11. Orlando Magic (via Bulls) - Jordan Hawkins, UConn

Jordan Hawkins after the national championship game

Position: Guard

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 195 pounds

Age: 20

Jordan Hawkins was arguably a borderline lottery talent before the tournament and his play in the Big Dance did nothing but strengthen that case as he averaged 16.3 points on 66.3 percent true shooting. The 6-foot-5 guard’s shooting ability should make him a seamless offensive fit in Orlando and his defensive ability flashed through the year as well. The Magic taking a player with a defined skillset and high floor (high ceiling as well) at 11 after betting on upside with their seventh pick makes too much sense.

12. Toronto Raptors (via Wolves) - Rayan Rupert, New Zealand Breakers

Rayan Rupert playing basketball for the New Zealand Breakers

13. New York Knicks - Jett Howard, Michigan

Jett Howard during his career at Michigan

Position: Guard

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 215 pounds

Age: 19

Jett Howard can do something his father and former head coach, Juwan, couldn’t do, and that’s shoot the ball at high clip from deep. At his size, Jett brings great upside to the next level and his shot-making ability gives him a shot to be a really good player on the next level. Jett shot 37 percent from deep this season with a high volume. He’d be a good fit for a Knicks team that ranked 19th in three-point percentage this season. 

14. New Orleans Pelicans - Dereck Lively II, Duke

Dereck Lively II during his freshman season at Duke

15. Atlanta Hawks - Keyonte George, Baylor

Keyonte George during his freshman season at Baylor

16. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves) - Anthony Black, Arkansas

Anthony Black playing basketball at Arkansas

17. Los Angeles Lakers - Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

Nick Smith Jr celebrates a bucket at Arkansas

18. Houston Rockets – Kris Murray, Iowa

Kris Murray dribbling the ball up the floor for Iowa

19. Golden State Warriors - Noah Clowney, Alabama

Noah Clowney during the NCAA Tournament for Alabama

20. Miami Heat - Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Jalen Hood Schifino dribbling up the ball for the Indiana Hoosiers

Position: Guard

Height: 6’6” 

Weight: 213 pounds

Age: 19

The Kyle Lowry experiment in Miami has not gone according to plan and the Heat desperately need additional shot creation to bolster an offensive unit that ranked 25th in offensive rating this season. That’s where Jalen Hood-Schifino fits in. His size and shot creation are his best attributes, and despite being a 33. percent 3-point shooter in his lone season at Indiana, I believe that he’s a better shooter than his percentages indicated. The Heat won’t pass on a rare opportunity to add a high upside player who also helps fill a need at this range of the draft in this scenario.

21. Brooklyn Nets - Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

Maxwell Lewis warms up before playing for Pepperdine

22. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns) - Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Dariq Whitehead celebrates a three for Duke in the NCAA Tournament

23. Portland Trail Blazers - GG Jackson, South Carolina

GG Jackson shoots a three against Auburn for South Carolina

24. Sacramento Kings - Andre Jackson, UConn

Andre Jackson playing in the Final Four for UConn against Miami

25. Memphis Grizzlies - Colby Jones, Xavier

Colby Jones at Xavier University

26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavs) - Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

Brice Sensabaugh at The Ohio State University

27. Utah Jazz (via 76ers) - Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

Kobe Bufkin at the University of Michigan

28. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets) - Leonard Miller, G-League Ignite

Leonard Miller from the G League Ignite and Canada

29. Indiana Pacers (via Celtics) - James Nnaji, Barcelona/Nigeria

James Nnaji from Nigeria and Barcelona

30. Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks)- Terquavion Smith, NC State

Terquavion Smith at North Carolina State University

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