Jonathan Givony, ESPN
May 16, 2023, 10:08 PM ET
The most highly anticipated NBA draft lottery in years was conducted Tuesday night. The San Antonio Spurs earned the right to likely select Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 pick, and the teams picking No. 2 through No. 14 also learned their fates.
With the complete draft order now known, the 26 teams that have concluded their seasons can turn their attention to the 2023 NBA draft to be held June 22 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Outside of Wembanyama, the potential destinations of the next two most coveted prospects -- Alabama's Brandon Miller and G League Ignite's Scoot Henderson -- will be among the top storylines, and how the dominoes fall later in the lottery and the first round will be an all-consuming question.
With that in mind, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony considered the draft board and the likely players available at each spot, updating the ESPN 2023 NBA mock draft accordingly.
Givony's latest mock, which reflects a long evaluation of the 2023 draft class and considers intel from scouts and front-office personnel, also accounts for picks owed and owned by all 30 teams.
1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have some strong young players but will benefit from the incredible star power winning the No. 1 pick offers in helping propel them back to relevance. Wembanyama will be a lock at this spot after widening the gap significantly between him and the next tier of prospects with a spectacular season in France and two dynamite showings in Las Vegas versus G League Ignite. The 7-foot-5 French player's outstanding skill level makes him an easy offensive fit alongside San Antonio's existing core, while his length, mobility and instincts would surely help improve the team's defense, which ranked among the NBA's worst.
SC Feature presents: 'The Future' - Victor WembanyamaTake a look into Victor Wembanyama's journey to becoming a global phenom with an opportunity to become the first Frenchman to be drafted No. 1 overall.
2. Charlotte Hornets
Miller solidified himself atop this draft class with an ultraproductive season, winning SEC Player of the Year and first-team All-American honors. A 6-9 guard who can facilitate, hit jumpers from anywhere on the floor and demonstrates strong defensive versatility, Miller is the archetypal player every NBA team is currently searching for. He's an easy fit on any roster thanks to his ability to play shooting guard through power forward, and would benefit from the shot-creation prowess of LaMelo Ball, while having the leeway to develop into a primary playmaker in his own right on a team starved for talent.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
G League Ignite
The Blazers are attempting to thread a tight needle between navigating Damian Lillard's prime and rehauling an increasingly young roster highlighted by the promises flashes displayed by last season's lottery pick, Shaedon Sharpe. Finding the balance between team needs and talent is something the front office will have to consider at this slot, as Portland finds itself at No. 3 -- in what many consider to be a three-player draft -- with a player in Henderson who isn't a natural fit on its roster with franchise stalwart Lillard. Nevertheless, Henderson shows incredible flashes of ability accelerating out of hesitation moves, driving and dishing, and finishing with unique explosiveness and body control, as well as real shot-making prowess, something the team will surely be excited to add.
4. Houston Rockets
Thompson is arguably the most physically gifted prospect in this class, standing 6-7, with an NBA-ready frame, thermonuclear explosiveness in the open floor and the defensive versatility to guard point guards through power forwards. His size and creativity as both a passer and finisher give him intriguing versatility to play a variety of roles. The Rockets' roster is wide open as they attempt to build around the likes of Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr., giving them the flexibility to go in a variety of directions with this pick.
5. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons will surely be disappointed to fall four spots to No. 5 but still have plenty of talent at their disposal to pick from. Adding one of the most versatile defenders in this draft class to the frontcourt in Walker makes a lot of sense with the passing acumen and budding perimeter-shooting prowess he displayed this season, as well as the significant upside he brings, even though the Pistons have a logjam of big men they'll need to sift through in the long term.
6. Orlando Magic
The Magic are loaded with young talent throughout their roster, especially in the frontcourt, with Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. Adding an explosive wing with upside such as Ausar who can play anywhere from point guard through power forward makes sense with the roster pieces they currently have. Ausar's passing, defensive versatility and transition-scoring prowess gives him one of the highest upsides of any prospect in this draft, and his fit in Orlando looks strong provided he is able to space the floor adequately with his improving jumper.
7. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers appear to be in good shape in the backcourt with All-Star Tyrese Haliburton and All-NBA rookie Bennedict Mathurin. Adding a versatile wing such as Whitmore who can play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward could make sense at this slot, provided he can provide reasons for optimism with his jumper during the pre-draft process. The Pacers will hope to develop him into the type of defensive stopper they sorely lack on their roster, forming one of the most explosive wing rotations in the NBA with him and Mathurin.
8. Washington Wizards
The Wizards are at an inflection point after a change in leadership in the front office and will likely need to find a head decision-maker over the next few weeks. Point guard has been a position of need for the Wizards for some time, and they could very well be attracted to the defensive versatility and feel for the game Black brings, as well as his ability to play any of the backcourt positions thanks to his terrific size.
9. Utah Jazz
The Jazz exceeded expectations this season, nearly landing a spot in the play-in tournament despite being forecasted to be among the NBA's worst teams in the preseason. With their frontcourt appearing well-stocked with Walker Kessler and Lauri Markkanen, adding perimeter talent could make a lot of sense, especially a big, dynamic shooting wing like Dick, who hit 40% of his 3-pointers last season and brings solid versatility with his toughness and strong feel for the game.
10. Dallas Mavericks
After the lengths the Mavs went to avoid losing this pick, they can breathe a sigh of relief at not being leapfrogged. Surrounding Luka Doncic with enough talent to maintain his confidence in the direction of the franchise is a major priority, and improving defensively will likely be one of the first places Dallas' front office starts. Hendricks' combination of defensive versatility, high-level intensity and perimeter shooting will likely be attractive here.
11. Orlando Magic (via Chicago)
Surrounding their young talent with floor spacers will be a major priority for the Magic, who ranked among the NBA's least prolific 3-point shooting teams last season. Hawkins led all projected prospects in 3-pointers made, making 39% of his attempts on UConn's path to a national championship. He is more than a standstill shooter, showing significant versatility on the move while getting to the free throw line at a strong rate and making strides with his passing and defense. With often-injured Gary Harris entering the final season of his contract, a sharpshooting, plug-and-play wing like Hawkins makes sense.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are in an enviable situation, with a stockpile of picks and a tantalizing amount of young talent, including the imminent return of Chet Holmgren next season. Wallace's combination of toughness, feel for the game, spot shooting, unselfishness and defensive versatility gives him a high floor as a prospect, making him a potentially attractive option for a team like the Thunder, who already have building blocks in place.
13. Toronto Raptors
Nick Smith Jr.
The Raptors were one of the worst perimeter shooting teams in the NBA this season, and could see their two most prolific 3-point shooters, Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., depart in free agency this summer. Smith's ability to shoot off the bounce, pass off a live dribble, finish with creativity around the rim and bring strong competitiveness defensively gives him plenty of upside to grow into despite the inconsistent, injury-plagued freshman season he endured at Arkansas.
14. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans' offense looked pretty stagnant in the absence of Zion Williamson, and adding another creator to the backcourt could be attractive. George is one of the most prolific shooters in this class and also brings significant scoring power with his shot creation and passing ability. He was far from consistent this season in terms of efficiency or decision-making but brings significant potential star power and upside to grow into at just 19 years old.
15. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are heavily reliant on the shot-creation prowess of guard Trae Young, whose standing is somewhat of an open question after a tumultuous season that saw changes in the front office and coaching staff. With that in mind, adding another lead guard to the team could make sense, making the live-dribble passing, shot-making and all-around aggressiveness of Hood-Schifino attractive. He's likely not ready to be handed the keys to an NBA offense anytime soon considering the huge swings in effectiveness we saw this season, but his upside is significant for a team that can afford to be patient with his development.
16. Utah Jazz (via Minnesota)
With three first-round picks at their disposal, the Jazz could go in many different directions on draft night. Adding a versatile frontcourt defender such as Clowney, who can also make 3-pointers, to play between Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler makes sense. He's one of the youngest prospects in the draft at 18 years old and has significant room for improvement physically and skillwise, but Clowney already proved to be a stalwart for one of college basketball's best defensive teams last season in Alabama.
17. Los Angeles Lakers
After a surprise playoff run, the Lakers have plenty of flexibility to continue to add young players to their roster. Surrounding Anthony Davis and LeBron James with competent teammates who can space the floor effectively, bring a strong feel for the game and have the positional size needed to play multiple positions has long been a priority. Howard is one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in this class and also flashed impressive scoring versatility before injuries derailed his season. At 6-8, he can play either wing position and has upside to grow into multiple roles at just 19 years old.
18. Miami Heat
Miami's remarkable playoff run comes with the added bonus of a strong mid-first-round pick to continue to add depth and talent. Rupert's defensive versatility and outstanding intangibles could be attractive to the Heat's front office, which has long been drawn to long-armed, versatile players in this mold who play a selfless style of basketball. Every team in the NBA is looking for players such as Rupert who can wreak havoc defending all over the floor and hopefully provide enough floor spacing to offer a threat offensively.
19. Golden State Warriors
Golden State's disappointing playoff exit revealed some issues the franchise will need to address with its aging roster and inability to get stops in key moments. Bufkin's physical tools, toughness and defensive versatility could be attractive at this stage of the draft after the breakout season he had in the Big Ten.
20. Houston Rockets (via LA Clippers)
The Rockets ranked as one of the NBA's worst offensive teams this season, in no small part due to their league-worst 3-point shooting. Sensabaugh, a 41% 3-point shooter who can score from anywhere on the floor, posted an eye-popping 27.3 points per 40 minutes. He has work to do in improving his frame and defensive engagement to become a more complete all-around player, but he could bring a dimension the team currently doesn't have at the forward positions.
21. Brooklyn Nets (via Phoenix)
G League Ignite
The Nets have one of the longest, most positionless rosters in the NBA, with size and versatility at every position. Adding a 6-10 wing in Leonard Miller -- who is coming off an incredibly productive G League season in which he averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds as a 19-year-old -- could make sense in that vein. His perimeter shooting, decision-making and defensive consistency are still in need of refinement, but it's hard to find teenagers with the type of length, activity and scoring instincts Miller brings.
22. Brooklyn Nets
Coulibaly has raised many NBA eyebrows as the season has moved on with his unique combination of physical tools, defensive versatility and improving skill. He has significant upside to grow into as an 18-year-old late bloomer who was almost a complete unknown 18 months ago. A team with a deep roster and a forward-thinking front office could very well decide to take a flier on him late at this stage of the draft, as he'd likely enter next season as a projected top-10 pick should he choose to wait another year.
23. Portland Trail Blazers (via New York)
Nnaji's role has fluctuated dramatically for Barcelona this season, keeping his stock in check as scouts have struggled to predict when they can get eyes on him. At 6-11, with a 7-4 wingspan and exceptional mobility and explosiveness, it's hard to find a more gifted prospect in this class from a physical standpoint. Portland could very well be looking to add a young big man to its array of talent to pair with the often-injured Jusuf Nurkic. Nnaji isn't ready to shoulder significant playing time, but the Trail Blazers, who struggled to get stops this season, might be attracted to the defensive upside he brings.
24. Sacramento Kings
The Kings hit a home run with Keegan Murray in the draft last year and could look to add wing depth to their roster with his twin brother, Kris, who looks well-suited to play a complementary role with his floor-spacing ability and defensive versatility.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Dereck Lively II
The Grizzlies could look to take a swing on the upside of Lively, who started the season projected to be picked much higher but saw his stock fall off due to underwhelming production. Nevertheless, he's one of the best rim protectors in this draft class, something that could be attractive for Memphis, which struggled with injuries at the center position last season.
26. Indiana Pacers (via Cleveland)
The Pacers could be in the market for wing depth and might be interested in taking a flier on Whitehead, who started the season in the top 10 but saw his stock drop due to an injury-riddled season. At this stage of the draft, armed with multiple first-round picks, Indiana can afford to roll the dice on Whitehead's reaching the potential he flashed in high school, where he looked like an ideal 3-and-D prospect.
27. Charlotte Hornets (via Denver)
With its second first-round pick, Charlotte might elect to take a swing for the fences on Lewis, who has more upside (and downside) than you typically expect to find at No. 27. Every NBA team is actively searching for fluid, long-armed 6-7 wings with shot creation, shot-making versatility and potential. His poor defense, decision-making and overall end to the season damaged his standing, but the intrigue around his profile still gives him a good chance to be a first-round pick with a strong pre-draft process.
28. Utah Jazz (via Philadelphia)
Adding more wing depth is something almost every team in the NBA will be looking to address at this stage of the draft. Jones looks like a plug-and-play wing after a breakout season at Xavier. While not blessed with overwhelming physical tools, Jones brings defensive versatility, an excellent feel for the game and much-improved perimeter shooting at 20 years old.
29. Indiana Pacers (via Boston)
The Pacers are actively looking to add defensive versatility to their roster and could be attracted to a connector like Jackson who plays a selfless style of basketball. He was the engine behind UConn's national championship run with the explosiveness, passing creativity and defensive playmaking ability he brings, and he will fit right in perfectly with what the Pacers are searching for from a character standpoint.
30. LA Clippers (via Milwaukee)
Jaime Jaquez Jr.
With one of the league's highest payrolls and entering a highly restrictive environment for adding talent dictated by the new CBA, the Clippers will need to find contributors in the draft to bolster their depth. Jaquez was one of the best players in college basketball and looks like a plug-and-play option who can contribute to winning immediately with his feel for the game, defensive acumen and ability to play a variety of roles. The Clippers will be well-acquainted with Jaquez after getting a front-seat view of the stellar career he had down the street in Westwood.
31. Detroit Pistons
Terquavion Smith | NC State | SG | Age: 20.3
32. Indiana Pacers (via Houston)
Gregory Jackson II | South Carolina | PF | Age: 18.3
33. San Antonio Spurs
Dillon Mitchell | Texas | PF | Age: 19.6
34. Charlotte Hornets
Trayce Jackson-Davis | Indiana | PF/C | Age: 23.2
35. Boston Celtics (via Portland)
Marcus Sasser | Houston | PG/SG | Age: 22.6
36. Orlando Magic
Brandin Podziemski | Santa Clara | SG | Age: 20.1
37. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Washington)
Jalen Wilson | Kansas | SF/PF | Age: 22.5
38. Sacramento Kings (via Indiana)
Jordan Walsh | Arkansas | SF/PF | Age: 19.1
39. Charlotte Hornets (via Utah)
Sidy Cissoko | G League Ignite | SG/SF | Age: 19.1
40. Denver Nuggets (via Dallas)
Terrence Shannon Jr. | Illinois | SG/SF | Age: 22.7
41. Charlotte Hornets (via Oklahoma City)
Ricky Council IV | Arkansas | SG/SF | Age: 21.7
42. Washington Wizards (via Chicago)
Amari Bailey | UCLA | PG | Age: 19.2
43. Portland Trail Blazers (via Atlanta)
Kobe Brown | Missouri | PF/C | Age: 23.3
44. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto)
Adem Bona | UCLA | C | Age: 20.1
45. Memphis Grizzlies (via Minnesota)
Keyontae Johnson | Kansas St. | SF | Age: 22.9
46. Atlanta Hawks (via New Orleans)
Coleman Hawkins | Illinois | PF | Age: 21.4
47. Los Angeles Lakers
Mouhamed Gueye | Washington St. | PF/C | Age: 20.5
48. LA Clippers
Zach Edey | Purdue | C | Age: 21.0
49. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Golden State)
Tristan Vukcevic | Partizan | PF/C | Age: 20.1
50. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami)
DaRon Holmes II | Dayton | PF/C | Age: 20.7
51. Brooklyn Nets
Julian Strawther | Gonzaga | SF | Age: 21.0
52. Phoenix Suns
Emoni Bates | Eastern Michigan | SG/SF | Age: 19.2
53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via New York)
Julian Phillips | Tennessee | SF | Age: 19.5
54. Sacramento Kings
Kevin McCullar Jr. | Kansas | SF | Age: 22.1
55. Indiana Pacers (via Cleveland)
Judah Mintz | Syracuse | PG/SG | Age: 19.8
56. Memphis Grizzlies
Olivier-Maxence Prosper | Marquette | PF | Age: 20.8
57. Washington Wizards (via Boston)
Ben Sheppard | Belmont | SF | Age: 21.8
58. Milwaukee Bucks
Nikola Durisic | Mega MIS | SG/SF | Age: 19.2
Note: The Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers each forfeited a 2023 second-round draft pick.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.
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