2023 NBA mock draft: Latest projections with March Madness around the corner

It is time to dive into our 2023 NBA mock draft. With the 2022-’23 season ongoing and the college basketball campaign nearing March Madness, there is much to consider involving the next batch of NBA players.

It’s going to be an incredibly loaded class with one player by the name of Victor Wembanyama from France leading the conversation. However, there are many other top-end players who likely would have been in the conversation for the top-three selections in 2022.

Without further ado, here’s our 2023 NBA mock draft with the order similar to Sportsnaut’s most recent NBA power rankings and the worst to best teams by win percentage.

2023 NBA mock draft: The elite 3

1. Houston Rockets: Victor Wembanyama, center, France

Wembanyama, 19, is a 7-foot-4 France native who would’ve been eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft if the league had changed its rules. That never came to fruition. Now, the talented center is almost considered the unanimous No. 1 prospect for this June and that is understandable.

The young center boasts an absurd 7-foot-8 wingspan and displays flashes of brilliance playing for Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A. Wembanyama is averaging 22.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 3.1 blocks this season. Amazingly, he has the ability to stretch the court from three-point range and already displays an elite jump shot. That was magnified during exhibition performances in Las Vegas with some around the NBA indicating that Wembanyama is the best prospect since LeBron James.

Our updated 2023 NBA mock draft lands Houston a big man to team up with the likes of Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr.

2. San Antonio Spurs: Scoot Henderson, guard, G-League Ignite

NBA Mock Draft 2023
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-3 Henderson actually skipped his senior season in high school and decided to play in the NBA G-League. At 19 years old, he looks like he belongs in said league with ambitions to torch the NBA. Henderson is currently averaging 17.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 45.7% from the field.

Experts believe that Henderson could have been the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA Draft, primarily due to his explosion off the dribble and already advanced size for someone his age. Henderson translates better to the point guard spot at the next level too. However, Wembanyana will likely get the nod with Henderson being the consensus No. 2 pick.

With this selection, San Antonio pairs Henderson with Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson.

3. Detroit Pistons: Brandon Miller, forward, Alabama

NCAA Basketball: Phil Knight Invitational-Alabama at Michigan State
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Miller has burst onto the scene and it is for good reason as the 6-foot-9 freshman forward has been on a tear this season. The Alabama product is averaging 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 42.4% from the three-point line. Miller’s shot-making and athleticism are very intriguing to scouts in the league.

The young forward has been electric as of late which includes a 36-point performance against Gonzaga this season. Miller’s size and skill set as a forward will likely make him a high pick in the 2023 NBA draft and the Pistons will make that happen as they pair him with Cade Cunnighman and Jaden Ivey.

2023 NBA mock draft: Others trying to climb the boards

4. Charlotte Hornets: Amen Thompson, guard, Overtime Elite

One of two twins in the 2023 NBA draft class, Amen Thompson is going to be a hot commodity after Wembanyana and Henderson. However, the Pistons being loaded at the guard position will cause him to drop. Thompson plays with his brother, Ausar Thompson, at Overtime Elite. He is currently averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while shooting 56.6% from the field.

Standing at 6-foot-7, he is an amazing playmaker who loves to play above the rim. Thompson possesses an elite athletic ability that makes him a rare find for young players. Many might knock him due to his limited shooting but his finishing, passing, and defense help his case tremendously. Charlotte adds Thompson in our latest NBA mock draft to pair with LaMelo Ball.

5. Orlando Magic: Jarace Walker, forward, Houston

NCAA Basketball: Norfolk State at Houston
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Walker stands at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds with an ability to grow into that frame as a freshman for Houston. A top-10 recruit from IMG Academy, he’s also displayed a solid mid-range game. Walker is averaging 11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 47.9% as scouts have really been falling in love with his game over the past month.

The jump shot is not Walker’s biggest strength but it still works as of now. Plus, the defensive level that he has been performing at makes him an intriguing pick. Orlando adds him to a potent young core of Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, and Franz Wagner with the No. 5 selection in the NBA Draft.

6. Indiana Pacers: Cameron Whitmore, forward, Villanova

Already boasting an NBA-ready 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame, Whitmore is ready for the next level despite the struggles that Villanova is facing with a 15-14 record. Whitmore is currently averaging 12.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals while shooting 46.3% from the field in 22 games this year. Here, we have Indiana pairing him with Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner.

7. Orlando Magic (from Bulls): Nick Smith Jr., guard, Arkansas

The 6-foot-4 Smith opted to stay home and landed with Arkansas as one of the top recruits in his class; however, Smith has not played much after managing a knee injury. He currently averages 12.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.5% from the field in 10 games but has been hot as of late. Here, we have Orlando pairing him with Walker for a great haul.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ausar Thompson, guard, Overtime Elite

Ausar Thompson is just as explosive as his twin Amen, who is going off the board the No. 4 to Charlotte. Thompson is a better defender than his brother and excels at turning it into offense. The 6-foot-7 guard is averaging 16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.5 steals. Oklahoma City will pair Thompson at No. 8 overall with Shai-Gilgeous Alexander in our latest NBA mock draft.

9. Washington Wizards: Anthony Black, guard, Arkansas

NCAA Basketball: Troy at Arkansas
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Black has been climbing draft boards with injuries affecting Arkansas. The 6-foot-7 guard is averaging 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 46.2% from the field. With his teammate, Smith Jr. being out for a while, he has been adapting to a new role after a great start. The freshman guard goes to Washington in our latest NBA mock draft to pair with Bradley Beal.

10. New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers): Keyonte George, guard, Baylor

NCAA Basketball: Northern Colorado at Baylor
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Experts viewed George as someone who can already score at all three levels with the ability to use his 6-foot-5 frame to dominate smaller defenders before the season. This has continued at the college level in the Big 12 with Baylor. Thus far, George is averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while being linked to New Orleans in our 2023 NBA mock draft.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Gradey Dick, guard, Kansas

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Kansas
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Dick has been one of the fastest-rising stars in the country for a Kansas squad that is among the best teams. The 6-foot-8 guard is averaging 14.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals while shooting 41.8% from beyond the three-point line. The Trail Blazers add Dick to pair him with Damian Lillard as the team has begun to push for a spot in the playoffs.

12. Toronto Raptors: Cason Wallace, guard, Kentucky

NCAA Basketball: North Florida at Kentucky
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace’s defensive gifts have him landing with the Raptors as the No. 12 overall pick. While his scoring is not as dangerous, it has not been too bad as he is averaging 11.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 45.1% from the field. The 6-foot-4 guard appears to be a good fit anywhere in the NBA and Toronto represents a great landing spot for him.

13. Los Angeles Lakers (from Pelicans): Jett Howard, guard, Michigan

NCAA Basketball: Jumpman Invitational-Michigan at North Carolina
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Howard has been skyrocketing on draft boards since the start of the 2022-’23 season and it’s understandable as he stands at 6-foot-8. The guard has been potent to start the year while averaging 14.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 36.9% from beyond the arc. The Lakers take Howard at No. 13 overall in our NBA mock draft and pair him with LeBron James and company.

14. Utah Jazz (from Timberwolves): G.G. Jackson, forward, South Carolina

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina State at South Carolina
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson is one of the youngest players in college basketball and that makes what he is doing with South Carolina even more impressive. Standing at 6-foot-9, Jackson is averaging 15.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 0.8 steals while shooting 37.9% from the field. The statistics only show so much but Jackson goes to Utah in our 2023 NBA mock draft to start his development in the NBA.

2023 NBA mock draft: Non-lottery picks

15. Utah Jazz: Rayan Rupert, forward, New Zealand

16. Golden State Warriors: Jalen Hood-Schifino, forward, Indiana

17. Atlanta Hawks: Brice Sensabaugh, guard, Ohio State

18. New York Knicks (from Mavericks): Kris Murray, forward, Iowa

19. Houston Rockets (from Clippers): Max Lewis, forward, Pepperdine

20. Miami Heat: Dariq Whitehead, forward, Duke

21. Brooklyn Nets (from Suns): Taylor Hendricks, forward, UCF

22. Portland Trail Blazers (from Knicks): Jordan Hawkins, forward, Connecticut

23. Brooklyn Nets: Kyle Filipowski, center, Duke

24. Sacramento Kings: Colby Jones, guard, Xavier

25. Indiana Pacers (from Cavaliers): Dereck Lively II, center, Duke

26. Memphis Grizzlies: Julian Phillips, forward, Tennessee

27. Utah Jazz (from Philadelphia 76ers): Kobe Bufkin, guard, Michigan

28. Charlotte Hornets (from Nuggets): James Nnaji, center, Barcelona

29. Los Angeles Clippers (from Bucks): Leonard Miller, forward, G-League

30. Indiana Pacers (from Celtics): Marcus Sasser, guard, Houston

Let us know what you think about our latest 2023 NBA mock draft in the comment section below.

This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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