By Hocine LOUKKAF on 7/4/2023

With this class already projected as elite due to prospects like Wemby or potentially Scoot and the Thompsons, some teams may also have picked steals outside the lottery thinking about Whitmore or Trayce Jackson-Davis.


San Antonio Spurs
Picks : #1 Victor Wembanyama #44 Sidy Sissoko

Just getting that number one pick, even if that was by chance, gives you an A. Wembanyama has a lot of things to work but is a unique prospect and human being. Sissoko at #44 will add some French touch to the roster and a do-it-all prospect with upside. .

Portland Trailblazers
Picks : #3 Scoot Henderson #23 Kris Murray #43 Rayan Rupert

While Portland has been often unlucky picking at #2 (Hi Sam and Greg), picking at #3 allowed them to get one of the most electric prospects in recent years. Henderson is as mature as you can get and, while shooting seems his main weakness, he has found a great mentor to teach him with Stephen Curry. Murray hopes to be as efficient as his twin, albeit a lesser shooter. Rupert has great physical tools but has disappointed a bit in the NBL. He’ll surely be willing to prove the doubters wrong.

Houston Rockets
Picks : #4 Amen Thompson #20 Cam Whitmore

Amen is an electric PG who could form one fo the most athletic backcourt  with Green. He also loves to defend and seems to have great leadership and professionalism. Whatever the red flags were about Whitmore, Houston had to pick him at #20, hoping he stays healthy and bring his shooting and athleticism to the roster.


Golden State Warriors
Picks : #19 Brandin Podziemski #57 Trayce Jackson-Davis

With the management still giving the priority to the Splash Brothers by trading Poole and DiVincenzo probably leaving, the Warriors needed a reliable option coming from the bench at both G spots. Podziemski may seem a bit of a reach because of his athletic limitations but he’s a great rebounding guard who shot 44% from three and can pass. TJD at 57 will look like a steal real quick as he’s been one the most dominant bigs in the country and still has upside to improve if he can add a reliable outside shot. Two picks who should fit perfectly in the Warriors roster.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Picks : #33 Leonard Miller #53 Jaylen Clark

Miller was once projected in the top 20 and he slipped without any major explanations. He looks like a more versatile, albeit less tough, Jarred Vanderbilt and and could contribute next to KAT and Gobert. Clark is one of the best defenders in college basketball and would have been drafted far higher had he not been injured.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Picks : #49 Emoni Bates

Another nothing-to-lose pick at #49 with former major prospect Bates who still needs to learn how to play in a team concept. He’s a great shooter with size who has not had any major injury, so it’s up to him now to understand how to be valuable as a role player before trying to become more than that.


Charlotte Hornets
Picks : #2 Brandon Miller #27 Nick Smith #31 James Nnaji   #41 Amari Bailey

The most questioned pick of this draft, the #2 selection could determine Charlotte’s future or bad luck. Miller had plenty of red flags between his “involvement” in a murder even if he’s not directly linked to it to maybe a “redder”  flag, his horrible performances in the Tournament. Yet, he’s a versatile wing who has improved during the year as a creator but could be “the pick before Scoot” the rest of his career. The Hornets did a great job with their other picks with three high-upside picks even if Smith and Bailey are in the same mold. Nnaji has incredible physical tools and pro experience and could form a great pair of centers with Williams.

Detroit Pistons
Picks : #5 Ausar Thompson #25 Marcus Sasser

Thompson and Sasser could form a great complementary backcourt, Ausar with his length, versatility and athleticism while Sasser is the better shooter but also a tough defender. The reason these picks don’t grade A is that the Pistons already have Ivey, Cunningham and Hayes in their backcourt and will now have to find playing time for Sasser and Thompson, while none of these players is a pure PG or the glue-guy forward they may need (Jarace Walker for example).

Indiana Pacers
Picks : #8 Jarace Walker #26 Ben Sheppard  #47 Mojave King #55 Isaiah Wong

If the Pacers had only drafted Walker, that would be an homerun draft for them as he’s exactly what they need as a glue-guy forward with great professionalism and a potential steal at 8. Yet, the Pacers had three other picks they used to pick three guards. Sheppard is a bit of a reach at #26 with more versatile players like Jones, Bailey or Lewis available ten spots later. Finally, why picking King and Wong, two other guards, at #47 and #55 while Indiana’s own and biggest potential steal TJD was still available to bring toughness from the bench…

Utah Jazz
Picks :  #9 Taylor Hendricks, #16 Keyontae George, #28 Brice Sensabaugh

Every year you have a mid-major high upside pick getting higher and higher in the mocks while his weaknesses are underrated. Hendricks is that guy this year and while he has great physical tools and potential as a shooter, he’s also been inconsistent, ending his college career for example with 5/21 3pt over his last five games. George and Sensabaugh were projected higher than picked and could have great value if they pan out.

OKC Thunder
Picks : #10 Cason Wallace #50 Keyontae Johnson

Wallace complements well his taller teammates as a very good on ball defender with upside at the PG position. He’s been a decent passer and shooter in his freshman year and has plenty of room to improve. Johnson may never see a Thunder jersey as the roster is already stacked, inclunding several players younger than him.

Toronto Raptors
Picks : #13 Gradey Dick

Toronto needed a shooter and drafted a shooter. Dick has been good in a good team from day one. He may lack great upside as a limited creator and defender but is less limited than other shooters drafted in the teens before like McDermott or Kispert.

New Orleans Pelicans
Picks : #14 Jordan Hawkins

The Pelicans needed a shooter and got probably the best during the Tournament. Hawkins also has good size and could provide much needed scoring from the bench.

Brooklyn Nets
Picks : #21 Noah Clowney #22 Dariq Whitehead #51 Jalen Wilson

The Nets lacked a PF and drafted someone with upside with Clowney. An athletic big man, he’s also displayed flashes of floor-stretching as a freshman. If he can do it on a consistent basis, he could be a great fit alongside Caxton. Whitehead may be a reach at #22 because of his injuries. Yet, he’s as professional as you can get and the Nets’ medical staff has already been successful dealing with foot injuries. Wilson struggled shooting the ball and may lack an elite strength but had a great senior season in a successful team, justifying easily his selection at #51.

Milwaukee Bucks
Picks : #36 Andre Jackson Jr #58 Chris Livinsgton

Jackson is the ideal glue guy both on offense and defense. If he ever becomes a reliable outside shooter, he would become an all time steal. Livingston is another swingman with upside who could have used at least one more year in college.


Orlando Magic
Picks : #6 Anthony Black #11 Jett Howard

Black may be the best PG of this draft. Yet, he looks a lot like Fultz as an oversized PG with defensive potential but an inconsistent shooter. Howard is a reach at #11 as he’s been a unidimensional shooter with limited passing and defensive ability.

Washington Wizards
Picks : #7 Bilal Coulibaly #42 Tristan Vukcevic

Coulibaly was the highest riser as the draft approached. He’s got two-way potential but more as glue guy along two or three stars. Let’s see how he will develop in the years to come. There were better players than Vukcevic at #42 and the Wizards owned TJD during draft night before sending him to the Warriors.

Dallas Mavericks
Picks : #12 Dereck Lively #24 Olivier-Maxence Prosper

Lively is bringing the rim-protecting ability the Mavs are needing so much but he’s also struggled during his freshman year. O-Max benefited from his good performances during the combine and the way he tested athletically. He was not the most timpressive player at Marquette and looked stiff sometimes.

Atlanta Hawks
Picks : #15 Kobe Bufkin #39 Mouhamed Gueye #44 Seth Lundy

Bufkin is the type of pick who could ouperform his draft rank. He’s a crafty ball handler who had excellent percentages finishing at the rim but who can also provide shooting and passing. He’s also a good defender although he needs to be more focused. Gueye is interesting physicallt but lacks the skills and strength to be either a stretch big or an enforcer at this stage while Lundy is a very good shooter but unidimensional. There were probably better choices to make at #39 and #44.

LA Lakers
Picks : #17 Jalen Hood-Schifino #40 Maxwell Lewis

Hood-Schifino has seen his value rise due to his physical tools but he’s been a very inconsistent player (42% FG, 33% 3pt) and not really the best general you could find (1.3 a/to ratio), albeit in a tough conference. Let’s see if he can change the scenario as he’s evolving as an NBA player. Lewis was long projected as a first rounder but slipped to the second round. He’s got great tools as a swingman and could become a consitent 37+% 3pt shooter. He’s also a local guy who should benefit from manipulating less the ball.

Miami Heat
Picks : #18 Jaime Jaquez

As much as I like Jaquez as a college performer and tough player, he was not expected that high and still has limitations in his game, starting by his shooting. He fits well to the Heat culture but there might be several prospects picked behind who could turn into better players.

Denver Nuggets
Picks : #29 Julian Strawther #32 Jalen Pickett  #37 Hunter Tyson

The Nuggets went with upperclassmen with known strengths and weaknesses. Maybe they could have gotten high upside kids with at least one of their picks with guys like Miller, both Andre and GG Jackson or Bailey available.

Sacramento Kings
Picks : #34 Colby Jones #54 Jalen Slawson

Jones is a good pick at #34. He was perfect on a statistic basis with great shooting percentages and a/to ratio, bringing versatility at the G position. Slawson is an interesting pick but like with other teams picking in the 50s, the Kings could have used this pick on TJD.

Boston Celtics
Picks : #38 Jordan Walsh

Walsh was a top ten player in the 2022 senior HS class. He was a defensive Swiss knife for the Razorbacks and will need to be useful asap with the Celtics if he gets a contract.

Memphis Grizzlies
Picks : #45 GG Jackson #56 Tarik Biberovic

GG Jackson is someone you have to gamble on at 45 despite his inconsistent freshman year. Biberovic is a draft and stash shooting forward who needs to be more impactful in Euroleague to hope for an NBA contract one day.


LA Clippers
Picks : #30 Kobe Brown #48 Jordan Miller

Brown is an interesting player as a versatile forward who has turned into a good shooter, albeit on decent but not big sample. The problem is he’s already 23 and he may have been picked later while there may have been better prospects still available at #30. Miller fits the same old rookie scheme despite a good year with Miami. Local guy Jaylen Clark or TJD would have been better picks at this stage.

Chicago Bulls
Picks : #35 Julian Phillips

Phillips is one of the best athletes of this draft and a multi-position defender, yet he struggled offensively with Tennessee and #35 seems like a reach when Andre Jackson Jr, Maxwell Lewis or far later Emoni Bates, albeit a very different prospect, were available. Lonzo Ball’s injury could also have led the Bulls to trade down for someone like Hifi or Gortman at the end of the 2n round.

Phoenix Suns
Picks : #52 Toumani Camara

Camara is a versatile forward who displayed improved shooting and had a nice showing at the PIT. TJD was still available and could have brought an impactful big coming from the bench.