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2023 NBA Mock Draft: Early Predictions for Every NBA Lottery Pick

The NBA training camp is closer than it may seem, which makes it okay to begin looking at next offseason, right? The 2023 draft looks like it could be a very solid one. Kade Kimble takes a way-too-early look at what it might look like.
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2023 NBA Mock Draft: Early Predictions for Every NBA Lottery Pick

The NBA training camp is closer than it may seem, which makes it okay to begin looking at next offseason, right? The 2023 draft looks like it could be a very solid one. Let’s take a way-too-early look at what it might look like.

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2023 NBA Mock Draft

14. New Orleans Pelicans: Amen Thompson (SG), Overtime Elite

The Thompson twins took an interesting path to the NBA and a fairly new one with the Overtime Elite. They’re the face of the league thus far. Amen is an incredible athlete with a solid frame to become a good defender. Playing in the Overtime Elite is the only reason I believe the Thompson twins will fall to the late lottery.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Ausar Thompson (SG), Overtime Elite

The second part of the Thompson twins. Both twins have great potential athletically and as a defender, but both will need to improve their shooting percentages. My only issue with the two is the competition they face. It only makes sense that the twins go back to back in the draft.

12. Charlotte Hornets: Kel’el Ware (C), Oregon

The Hornets could easily be in the position to take a big man who can stretch the floor, and at 7-foot, Ware fits that mold. He’s also a decent playmaker for a center. Also an athletic big that can play above the rim. Ware seems like a Hornets pick and it feels like the fit is there.

11. Brooklyn Nets: Jordan Walsh (SF), Arkansas

Walsh is a super athletic wing with a jump shot. He’s got a solid frame and the perfect athleticism to be able to play solid on both sides of the ball. A great pick for Brooklyn considering a rebuild may be on their horizon. 

10. New York Knicks: Arthur Kaluma (PF), Creighton

A 6’7 wing/big that plays with power. Feels like an under-the-radar pick, as you’d have to buy on great development, especially with his shot. The Knicks could use a pick to buy on development because they could still have Randle on the squad, so he could be a project while they look to move him, or mold him into a solid backup. 

9. Portland Trailblazer: Jarace Walker (PF), Houston

Walker is a forward with great size and athleticism. To build off solid intangibles, he has a modern NBA skillset. Has great potential to be a great pick-and-pop player and could easily play alongside Jerami Grant and Damian Lillard. He can push the ball up the floor if needed to add an extra set of handles for the Blazers.

8. Washington Wizards: Derek Lively Jr. (C), Duke

Lively Jr. would be a solid fit with the Wizards. He’d be a great defensive big man alongside Kristaps Porzingis. He’s a great athletic defender. His offensive game is ever-evolving and would be a fun project for the Wizards.

7. Sacramento Kings: Carson Wallace (G), Kentucky

Wallace would be a good fit into the Kings' current lineup if they end up picking this high in next year’s draft. Alongside Fox, Sabonis, and Murray, Wallace could be a great secondary playmaker and defender. On top of this, he can get his own outside shot.

6. Utah Jazz: Keyonte George (G), Baylor

George is a big guard with limitless potential, as he continues to progress at an incredibly fast rate. He can get a bucket at any level but is incredibly accurate from beyond the arc. One of my favorite prospects and can either fill the void or complement Donovan Mitchell. 

5. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Whitmore (F), Villanova

The Thunder have young depth at each position on the roster, so whatever pick they take will be fighting to maximize their minutes. With insane athleticism at 6’7, Whitmore fits the Presti mold, which is huge for a top-10 pick. 

4. Indiana Pacers: Dariq Whitehead (F), Duke

With his scoring ability at his size, Whitehead will make for a good primary scorer at Duke, which could be a good look into the future as to whether he can be a solid scorer alongside Tyrese Haliburton.

3. Houston Rockets: Nick Smith Jr. (G), Arkansas

Smith Jr. is an incredible scorer and passer both, of which is perfect at the guard position. If the Rockets choose not to run with Kevin Porter Jr. at the point guard, Smith Jr. would be the perfect guard alongside Jalen Green. 

2. Orlando Magic: Scoot Henderson (G), G League Ignite

After joining the Ignite at just 17 years old, Henderson showed some promise. Now for the second year of his two-year contract, Henderson will continue to improve and show why he should be a lock at a top-3 pick. The Magic won’t be hurt at all for taking a promising guard. 

1. San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama (C), France

The clear-cut pick at No. 1 and the Spurs get their next Tim Duncan. Okay, let’s not go that far, but Victor is an incredible prospect and one of the best pre-draft players since Zion Williamson. He’s 7’3 with a skillset of a guard and a big. He can shoot well, handle the ball, and has all the tools inside to get a bucket or a stop. 

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Kade has spent his last 3 years writing about the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has also been following the NBA for the past 11 years. Just recently, Kade began co-hosting the Boomtown Hoops Podcast.


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