2023 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-round predictions ahead of Christmas – NBA. com

Jarace Walker, Houston Cougars.

Editor’s Note: For More of Jonathan Wasserman’s coverage of the 2023 draft on  Bleacher Report   or to read this article on BleacherReport. com,   click here .

(B/R) —  New developments in the 2023 NBA draft discussion include more breakout freshmen, injuries and a few struggling prospects who are losing scouts’ support.

While most scouts believe the top two picks are obvious, there has been debate over who’s next. Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr., Villanova’s Cam Whitmore, Baylor’s Keyonte George and Alabama’s Brandon Miller have entering the conversation with Overtime Elite’s Thompson brothers.

That still leaves a handful of prospects who look like strong late-lottery options.

There is some concern over the strength of the 2024 draft class, so there could be extra interest from teams looking to move up or add picks in 2023.

The mock draft order was created based on standings heading into December 20.

1 . Detroit Pistons:   Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92, PF/C, 2004)

With Cade Cunningham lost for the season, the Pistons’ focus moves to Killian Hayes’ and Jaden Ivey’s on-ball development—and Wembanyama. Aside from giving the Pistons another potential (likely) All-Star, he’d also provide Detroit’s frontcourt with some needed inside-out offense.

The leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker within France’s top league, Wembanyama continues to churn out production off both outrageous wingspan-fueled plays and unprecedented creation plus shot-making skill for a 7’4″ big.

2 . Charlotte Hornets:   Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite, PG, 2004)

With the league’s second-worst record, the Hornets should be focused on talent over fit in the write. Scouts see a gap between Henderson and the next-best potential customers, so Charlotte now should ultimately envision a functional backcourt that includes LaMelo Ball’s signature passing and Henderson’s special explosiveness and pull-up game. The particular Ignite point guard has missed the last month with a broken nose, but word out of the G Little league Showcase in Las Vegas has him nearing a return.

3. Houston Rockets:   Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite, PG/SG, 2003)

Henderson figures be a target for the Rockets, but they could also see Thompson as an exciting playmaker to pair with Jalen Green. The 6’7″ guard is averaging 5. 9 assists for the City Reapers, using his incredibly quick dribble and burst to create advantages and his gravity and vision to set up teammates. While Thompson hasn’t required a jumper to score along with Overtime given his ability to penetrate, elevate for separation and finish in the lane, he did make 2 threes in his last game. Any signs of shooting possible could help scouts talk themselves into further improvement.

4. San Antonio Spurs:   Chip Smith Junior. (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)

While the Spurs should prioritize drafting the best player available, their need for a shot-creator and lead guard could give Smith an edge if there isn’t an obvious answer on the board. He’s struggled with his three-ball as of late, but the bigger sample size dating back in order to high school says Smith is a versatile shot-maker off pull-ups, spot-ups plus runners. Despite lacking serious burst or strength, he makes things happen off the dribble with enough shiftiness, footwork and live-dribble eyesight.

five. Orlando Magic:   Camera Whitmore (Villanova, SF, Freshman)

The Magic would draft Whitmore to impact games together with his explosiveness plus power while his half-court skills develop. Orlando and others will buy his tools, athleticism and aggression for transition criminal offense, driving through contact, finishing and defensive playmaking. They’ll be willing to bet around the flashes of dribble moves and shot-making eventually turning into sharper, more consistent creation and shooting. So far, he’s a bit behind in those areas, starting 6-of-22 from three along with two aids in four games.

6. Washington Wizards: Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite, SG/SF, 2004)

Thompson’s athletic abilities are so unique and functional that NBA teams will show extra patience when it comes to his ability development. Even without a reliable perimeter sport, he’s an easy bucket plus high-impact defender thanks to his lightning quickness and leaping at 6’7″. This past 30 days, he’s also started to show signs of improved shooting. Just enough of those from here on out should put him in the conversation within the Nos. 4-6 range.

7. Orlando Magic (via Bulls):   Keyonte George (Baylor, SG, Freshman)

The eye test loves George, whose frame, handle and burst for attacking, self-creation techniques and capturing confidence/range scream NBA scoring guard. The playmaking IQ he’s showcased just adds another layer of combo versatility and level of upside.

8. Toronto Raptors:   Brandon Miller (Alabama, SF, Freshman)

Coming away a 36-point outburst with six threes against Gonzaga, Miller’s shot-making continues to impress and appears less fluky by the week. His combination of 6’9″ dimension, three-point shooting, passing flashes and defensive tools will make teams ignore his struggles finishing around the basket.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder:   Jarace Master (Houston, PF, Freshman)

Teams will look past Walker’s pedestrian per-game numbers. Instead, they’ll picture what proper development will do for a 6’8″, 240-pound forward who has the skill set to live-dribble pass plus shoot along with the tools to smother multiple positions defensively.

Jett Howard, Michigan Wolverines.

10. New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers):   Jett Howard (Michigan, SG/SF, Freshman)

Howard numbers to be a popular late-lottery target. His 6’8″ size, consistent shooting, shot-making versatility, IQ and protective tools create an easy fit and valued archetype. Still, occasional sensations of off-the-dribble scoring hint at another level of benefit for Howard to reach.

11. Indiana Pacers:   Cason Wallace (Kentucky, PG/SG, Freshman)

While Wallace’s rating has been down, lottery groups will be valuing his versatility and defense. An excellent shooter and smart passer who impacts games by pressuring the ball and forcing turnovers, he is going to look like a fit with valued role-playing strengths for every team in the late-lottery range.

12. New York Knicks (via Mavericks):   Gradey Dick (Kansas, SG/SF, Freshman)

After only five weeks, Dick looks capable of immediately providing an NBA rotation with taking pictures, floor spacing and ball-moving. He possesses a perfect storm of complementary scoring ingredients with 6’8″ size, elite shot-making, athletic finishing, sound decision-making and confidence.

13. Golden State Warriors:   Anthony Black (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)

We continue to see lottery teams fall for jumbo playmakers. The 6’7″ Black has popped as a primary facilitator and defensive player. While their game will be predicated on mismatch positional tools plus instincts with regard to passing and blowing up plays upon defense, he’s also surprised with how well he is shot the three early.

14. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves):   GG Jackson II (South Carolina, PF, Freshman)

For a 6’9″ forward who just turned 18 years old last week, Jackson’s wing skills, perimeter self-creation plus shooting flexibility will look super enticing. His lack of moving and shielding upside hurts his perceived ceiling, yet his shot-making, tools and energy ought to still create a high floor to fall back on.

15. Atlanta Hawks:   Terquavion Smith (North Carolina State, PG/SG, Sophomore)

Smith offers delivered on scouts’ request to improve his finishing plus playmaking. But his NBA moneymaker will still be providing instant offense along with shot-making and microwave credit scoring.

16. Utah Jazz:   Dariq Whitehead (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

Questions about Whitehead’s finishing, shooting consistency and shot selection have started pop up. But this individual also doesn’t turn 19 until following summer, and at 6’7″ plus 220 pounds with downhill athleticism, strong shot-making skill off the little and the capability to separate in to jumpers fairly easily, their enticing scoring and defensive potential remain intact.

17. Miami Heat:   Kel’el Ware (Oregon, C, Freshman)

Instead of nitpicking Ware’s inconsistent production, scouts will certainly put a lot more stock directly into his whizzes of ability that create the valued stretch 5/rim protector archetype. At 7’0″, he’s looked comfortable and confident shooting threes, while his size, length, mobility and IQ all point to a surefire pick-and-roll defender plus shot-blocker.

18. Chicago Bulls (via Blazers):   Kyle Filipowski (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

Filipowski has been Duke’s best gamer early on. Their three-point shooting, ball-handling in order to attack and body-controlled finishes will draw NBA interest.

nineteen. Sacramento Kings:   Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine, SG/SF, Sophomore)

At 6’7″, Lewis has been the most efficient scoring side in the set up discussion. He is produced with a combination of self-creation into pull-ups, drives plus post-ups and ultra-efficient spot-up shooting. Considering Pepperdine’s weaker strength associated with schedule, transferring key tests against Gonzaga during conference play could help Lewis start to generate lottery buzz.

20. LA Clippers: Ricky Council IV (Arkansas, SF, Junior)

Council’s hot start is looking more real with every 20-point online game. His mixture of 6’6″ size and fascinating athleticism offers led to some wild completing highlights, though he’s furthermore demonstrated impressive ball-handling plus burst to beat defenders and tough shot-making skill off his own creation.

21. Nyc Knicks:   Noah Clowney (Alabama, PF, Freshman)

Recent three-point firing, active rebounding and shot-blocking have propelled Clowney into the draft discussion. As long as their jumper does not break down, there is bound to be interest in the 6’10” freshman who can stretch out the floor, attack closeouts and make off-ball plays round the basket at both ends.

Tyrese Proctor, Duke Blue Devils.

twenty two. Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers):   Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State, SG, Freshman)

Though he isn’t a quick or even bouncy athlete, Sensabaugh continues to be too productive to disregard. He boasts an interesting mix of positional power, shooting plus scoring instincts.

23. Los Angeles Lakers (via Pelicans):   Tyrese Proctor (Duke, PG/SG, Freshman)

Proctor’s comfort level appears to be rising, as he is starting to have more success converting off self-creation and threes. While his lack of burst open does limit his rating and playmaking upside, their 6’5″ size, ball-handling, shot-making potential and passing IQ hint at a fit to play on or off the almost all.

24. Phoenix Suns:   Rayan Rupert (New Zealand Breakers, SG/SF, 2004)

A wrist injury provides kept Rupert sidelined, but there are sure to be suitors interested in a 6’6″ shot-maker and a long wing defense.

25. Utah Punk (via Nets):   Taylor Hendricks (UCF, SF/PF, Freshman)

Henricks has emerged as an one-and-done prospect with constant highlight coatings, three-point capturing and shot-blocking. Although he or she isn’t much of a threat to create or pass, his equipment, two-way sports abilities plus shot-making could be enough in order to warrant first-round consideration.

26. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets):   Dillon Mitchell (Texas, PF, Freshman)

For any 6’8″ forward, Mitchell’s speed and bounce alone might be enough to warrant first-round interest through teams intrigued by the easy baskets and defensive playmaking he’ll offer.

27. Memphis Grizzlies:   Kris Murray (Iowa, PF, Junior)

From a good NBA scouting standpoint, enhanced shot-making has been the notable development at the rear of Murray’s large. While questions remain regarding his potential to create in the NBA, there is certainly translatability tied to his off-ball scoring skills with three-point shooting, cutting, drives previous closeouts plus offensive returning.

28. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers):   Dereck Lively II (Duke, Chemical, Freshman)

Although there won’t be a huge demand regarding non-shooting, non-creator centers, the team interested in adding more simple baskets and rim protection could focus on Lively. He’s blocking shots at an excellent rate (4. 6 per 40 minutes).

29.   Indianapolis Pacers (via Celtics):   Jordan Walsh (Arkansas, SF/PF, Freshman)

With Trevon Brazile out for the season, Walsh offers started to capitalize on extra on-ball reps and touches. With a valued archetype, he’s going to earn a lot of fans for the versatility tied to his 6’7″ dimension, projectable shooting stroke, passing IQ, high-level defense plus toughness.

30. Houston Rockets (via Bucks):   Marcus Sasser (Houston, PG, Senior)

Sasser could be an option for a playoff team looking for immediate second-unit firepower with his ball-screen play and capturing versatility.

31. Of detroit Pistons:   Trevon Brazile (Arkansas, PF/C, Sophomore)

A torn ACL ruined a breakout time of year for Brazile, but some group figures to see a buy-low opportunity on top notch leaping ability and improving three-point filming.

32. Philadelphia 76ers (via Hornets):   Jordan Hawkins (Connecticut, SG, Sophomore)

Shooting their way in to the draft conversation with a sweet stroke, Hawkins is burying 3. 1 threes in just 24. 7 minutes for each game whilst possessing NBA tools and plus athleticism.

33. Boston Celtics (via Rockets):   Jalen Wilson (Kansas, SF, Junior)

Improved taking has turned Wilson into one of college basketball’s top scorers. It’s also made him a more believable NBA prospect, although he previously fascinated scouts together with his 6’8″ wing size, physical driving, finishing package, rebounding nose plus ability to separate/convert in the mid-range.

34. San Antonio Spurs:   Coleman Hawkins (Illinois, PF, Junior)

Fit and versatility are selling points to Hawkins, who is not too threatening of a scorer. However , this individual checks the valued mixture of boxes with his improved shooting, passing and switchable protection for a 6’10” forward.

35. Orlando, florida Magic:   Julian Strawther (Gonzaga, SF, Junior)

Even though Strawther hasn’t developed into a more threatening creator, his capturing mechanics/rhythm plus touch shots are going to make teams see an off-ball scoring match.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA Bruins.

36. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Wizards):   Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite, SG/SF, 2004)

Cissoko intrigues scouts together with his solid 6’8″ frame, passing and defensive versatility and improving shooting. Without a surefire skill to carry over or a standout fitness trait, he or she isn’t a first-round lock.

37. Los Angeles La lakers (via Bulls):   Nikola Đurišić (Mega, SF, 2004)

While Đurišić has struggled badly from three this season, he’s delivered enough evidence of shooting potential for a 6’8″, high-feel 18-year-old who can work off the dribble and pass.

38. Denver Nuggets (via Thunder):   Leonard Miller (G League Fire up, SF, 2004)

Flashes of open-floor ball-handling, touch, shot-making and moving from a 6’10”, 19-year-old will keep scouts patient. Leonard simply may be too time-consuming of a project intended for teams to take on with a first-round pick.

39. Toronto Raptors:   Colby Jones (Xavier, SG/SF, Junior)

More playmaking plus improved three-point shooting have turned Jones into a legitimate Swiss army knife potential customer.

40. Los Angeles Lakers:   Terrence Shannon Jr. (Illinois, SF, Senior)

A new role in Illinois provides helped Shannon, who’s taken advantage of a green light to sell scouts on more shot-making, especially off the dribble, to complement his tools and athleticism to get slashing plus defense.

41. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Warriors):   Judah Mintz (Syracuse, SG, Freshman)

Though it may be difficult for some to get past Mintz’s 172-pound frame, he compensates with shiftiness to create, tough shot-making and energy pertaining to transition offensive and shielding playmaking.

42. Denver Nuggets (via Mavericks):   Emoni Bates (Eastern Michigan, SF, Sophomore)

Despite queries about Bates’ athleticism plus decision-making, teams may have trouble resisting their self-creation and shot-making for an instant-offense role.

43. Sacramento Nobleman (via Pacers):   Jaime Jaquez Junior. (UCLA, SF, Senior)

A strong two-way game in a win over Kentucky a week ago highlighted Jaquez’s versatility to score through contact, pass plus impact games with defensive toughness. An effective pull-up jumper and improved free-throw stroke suggests there is hope for his three-ball.

44. Charlotte now Hornets (via Jazz):   Amari Bailey (UCLA, PG/SG, Freshman)

Bailey’s pick-and-roll facilitating, live-dribble transferring and pull-up shooting possess stood out most, although questions about his self-creation and three-point range could keep him through climbing to the first-round mix.

Caleb Love, North Carolina.

45. Indiana Pacers (via Heat):   Arthur Kaluma (Creighton, SF, Sophomore)

Kaluma’s inconsistency has created a few hesitation from scouts, yet teams need to still be prepared to spend the second-round pick on an athletic, 6’7″, 225-wing with three-point range and flashes associated with shot-making flexibility.

46. Memphis Grizzles (via Timberwolves): Jaylen Clark (UCLA, SF, Junior)

Clark is starting to build an NBA role-player case around versatility, defense and palpable impact (leads NCAA in  box plus-minus). The enhanced shooting almost feels like a bonus that could push him additional up boards.

47. Atlanta Hawks:   James Nnaji (Barcelona, C, 2004)

The attract to Nnaji focuses on their physical profile for the interior, though bonus offensive possible has lit up on several drives plus counter surface finishes in Euroleague and ACB play.

48. Boston Celtics (via Blazers):   Julian Phillips (Tennessee, SG/SF, Freshman)

Freshmen have battled to build pen cases from Tennessee recently, and Phillips is the latest. It wouldn’t be shocking to see your pet leave early and test the waters, hoping to use the predraft process to better sell his combination of 6’8″ sizing and shot-making.

49. Sacramento Kings:   Reece Beekman (Virginia, PG, Junior)

Teams could take a chance on Beekman carving out a two-way playmaker part with his passing IQ and pesky protection.

50. LA Clippers: Alex Fudge (Florida, SF/PF, Sophomore)

Fudge is beginning to make threes on a regular basis, a significant development for any 6’9″ ahead with severe quickness plus bounce meant for finishing and defensive playmaking.

51. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks):   Caleb Love (North Carolina, PG/SG, Junior)

Love’s three-point shooting is coming back after a slow start, even though his improved two-point efficiency and play-finishing is what makes him a more believable pro prospect.

52. Philadephia 76ers:   Forfeited

53. Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans):   Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana, PF/C, Junior)

Groups intrigued by the idea of adding another half-court scoring threat could detect value within Jackson-Davis’ post game, pick-and-roll finishing plus passing.

54. Brooklyn Nets:   Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky, PF/C, Senior)

One team statistics to see a value pick in Tshiebwe, that could provide physicality, returning and second-chance points in a specialist function.

55. Phoenix Suns:   Adam Flagler (Baylor, PG/SG, Senior)

Outstanding credit scoring, shooting and playmaking effectiveness should help Flagler convince second-round groups to ignore his bodily and sports limitations.

56. Chi town Bulls (via Nuggets):   Forfeited

57. Memphis Grizzlies:   Matthew Murrell (Ole Miss, SG, Junior)

One of the nation’s most productive off-screen scorers, Murrell should have a chance at the next level with his movement plus spot-up capturing.

58. Milwaukee Bucks (via Cavaliers):   Kevin McCullar Jr. (Kansas, SG/SF, Senior)

An interesting role-player potential customer with moving and protective instincts, McCullar has started to show enough shooting improvement for teams to start thinking about him within the second round.

59. Boston celtics: Tyrese Hunter (Texas, PG, Sophomore)

Seeker possesses the type of finishing jump to help compensate for his 6’0″ height. He is made encouraging strides this year with his spot-up and pull-up shooting.

60. Milwaukee Bucks:   DaRon Holmes II (Dayton, C, Sophomore)

Holmes hasn’t added any new ability, but his tools, athleticism and motor could still translate in order to easy baskets and shot-blocking in a finishing, rim-running defensive role.

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Jonathan Wasserman is the lead scout and NBA Draft analyst for Bleacher Report. You can follow your pet on  Twitter .

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