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2023 NBA Mock Draft V.7
The No Ceilings crew puts together their updated 2023 NBA Mock Draft after the NBA Draft Lottery
The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone, and the San Antonio Spurs emerged at the top of the heap. They will get the chance to draft Victor Wembanyama and add another generational big man to their storied history, following in the massive footsteps of Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
The Spurs were not the only winners of a mostly-chalk lottery night that saw the Charlotte Hornets jump from the fourth-highest odds to the #2 pick, and the Portland Trail Blazers jump from the fifth-highest odds to #3. The Houston Rockets rounded out the top group at #4, while the Detroit Pistons fell to #5 despite having the worst record in the league last season.
It was a sad night for Pistons fans and a somewhat upsetting night for Rockets fans but a joyous night for Spurs, Hornets, and Trail Blazers fans. It was also a joyous night for NBA Draft fans—the order for the 2023 NBA Draft is finally set, and now it’s full speed ahead until Draft Night.
We here at No Ceilings had to celebrate with all of the draft maniacs, of course. We started the night off with a live stream on our Playback channel (thanks to all of you who attended the show) and capped it off the way we know best with a Post-NBA Draft Lottery live mock draft on YouTube during and immediately after the announcement of the lottery order.
For those of you who weren’t with us for the live mock, you can relive it in all its glory below. We also have written breakdowns below, either as a treat after watching the mock or as a gift for those of you who held it down with us live.
Enjoy, No Ceilings family!
#1. San Antonio Spurs - Victor Wembanyama | Center | Metropolitans 92
21.6 PTS | 10.5 REB | 2.5 AST | 0.7 STL | 3.1 BLK
46.8 FG% | 28.3 3P% | 83.7 FT%
The entire point of tanking this season was for this pick, which has essentially been locked in for over a year now. Victor Wembanyama is everything you dream that a prospect could be as he’s essentially a 2K created player come to life. All season, Wembanyama has proven that he’s a versatile, three-level scorer. He spaces the floor to the perimeter and is a lethal lob threat. His outside shooting percentages aren’t overwhelming, but the fact that his mechanics are as consistent as they are given his length, and the scoring touch is excellent, it’d be surprising if he isn’t a good shooter in the long run. Wembanyama needs to improve as a passer, but the flashes suggest that there is a legitimate foundation to build upon. Defensively, Wembanyama is still extremely raw, which is terrifying given how impactful he already is. His absurd length cleans up a lot of his positional issues, but he should be a positive rim protector from day one. Sure, there are concerns over injury, but Wembanyama stayed healthy all season. Pairing him with Jeremy Sochan and Devin Vassell gives the Spurs a terrifying defensive foundation with a lot of length and IQ. Congrats, Spurs fans.
#2. Charlotte Hornets - Brandon Miller | Wing | Alabama
19.6 PTS | 8.3 REB | 2.1 AST | 0.9 STL | 0.9 BLK
45.1 FG% | 40.1 3P% | 85.6 FT%
Missing out on Wembanyama obviously hurts, but the #2 pick is a hell of a consolation prize. There no longer seems to be a consensus pick at number two anymore, and given the combination of fit and upside, Brandon Miller is the pick here. Miller is an absurd shooter who torched college basketball both on and off-ball this season. Miller didn’t even get to show his versatile mid-range game given Alabama’s offensive system. Miller is a good athlete who also is a highly adept passer. Even when his shot isn’t falling, Miller finds ways to impact the game through his rebounding, defense, and playmaking. Scoot Henderson is extremely tempting here, but instead of trying to force what could be an awkward fit, Miller fits seamlessly and has the upside to be an All-Star wing.
#3. Portland Trail Blazers - Jarace Walker | Forward | Houston
11.2 PTS | 6.8 REB | 1.8 AST | 1.0 STL | 1.3 BLK
46.5 FG% | 34.7 3P% | 66.2 FT%
So much of Portland’s future is up in the air, but until any franchise/league altering trades are made, we have to proceed with rosters as constructed. Passing on Scoot Henderson is painful, but bringing in another point guard to this team just doesn’t make sense. Jarace Walker, though, makes all the sense in the world. Walker could easily be the best defender from this class. He has ridiculous defensive awareness, can switch on the perimeter, and has the strength to battle in the post. He is the exact type of player you want to anchor your defense. On top of that, Walker barely scratched the surface of his offensive potential at Houston. In high school, Walker initiated a lot of the offense at IMG—one of the best high school programs in the country. He is an excellent slasher, great ball handler, and intelligent passer. The big question with Walker’s offense is the shot. It isn’t broken by any means, and all Walker needs it to be is respectable. As long as defenses have to think about him on the perimeter, it opens up a plethora of opportunities for him. Now, if the Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard end their relationship, say hello to Scoot Henderson.
#4. Houston Rockets - Scoot Henderson | Guard | G League Ignite
17.6 PTS | 5.1 REB | 6.4 AST | 1.2 STL | 0.4 BLK
44.3 FG% | 32.4 3P% | 75.0 FT%
Besides Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson has been the dream fit for this Houston roster. For the last two seasons, we’ve been begging them to get a point guard. Now, a point guard worthy of the number one pick in most drafts falls into their lap. Henderson has a preternatural understanding of the game and an uncanny ability to control an offense. He has a brilliant understanding of angles which he constantly exploits with his seasoned playmaking and versatile at-rim finishing. Henderson is the best playmaker in this class and will immediately make life easier for Jalen Green and Jabari Smith. While Henderson should take on the bulk of the offensive creation, he is still adept at operating without the ball. He’s a good cutter and willing screener, which will allow Green and Alperen Sengun to still go to work when possible.
#5. Detroit Pistons - Cam Whitmore | Wing | Villanova
12.5 PTS | 5.3 REB | 0.7 AST | 1.4 STL | 0.4 BLK
47.5 FG% | 35.0 3P% | 72.1 FT%
The Pistons were the big losers of the night as they fell from one to five. However, they are still in a spot to take a big-time home run swing. Cam Whitmore is that home run swing. Whitmore is arguably the best athlete in this class and has showed some scary scoring potential. Whitmore is nearly impossible to stop from getting to the rim and is an excellent cutter. Unfortunately, Whitmore is also an absolute zero in terms of passing. On this team, though, that’s alright as Cade Cunningham should still be doing the vast majority of offensive creation, along with Jaden Ivey. The bigger question is if Whitmore ever shoots it. His shot trended in the right direction this year, but the indicators aren’t overly convincing. Whitmore has also shown tremendous on-ball defense, but his off-ball defense has left a lot to be desired. If Whitmore’s shot develops like many think it will, and he can find more consistent ways to contribute to team basketball, he could be a steal for the Pistons.
#6. Orlando Magic - Ausar Thomspon | Wing | Overtime Elite
16.3 PTS | 7.1 REB | 6.1 AST | 2.4 STL | 1.1 BLK
48.1 FG% | 29.8 3P% | 66.2 FT%
The Magic need shooting, but with two lottery picks they can also afford to take a lottery ticket. There aren’t many bigger lottery tickets than Ausar Thompson. The ideal outcome for Thompson is a 3-and-D wing with some passing chops. While he isn’t as flashy of a passer as his brother, Thompson averaged more assists, moved the ball effortlessly, and saw the floor at a high level. With his size and athleticism, Thompson has proven to be an excellent defender with a lot of versatility and defensive playmaking instincts. Like so many, the big question is the shot. This season, though, the mechanics and results made meaningful improvements. He doesn’t need to be a dynamic pull-up shooter, but if Thompson can be reliable off the catch, he could turn into a devastating option next to Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.
#7. Indiana Pacers - Keyonte George | Guard | Baylor
15.3 PTS | 4.2 REB | 2.8 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.2 BLK
37.6 FG% | 33.8 3P% | 79.3 FT%
The Pacers have their star in Tyrese Haliburton. Now, they just need to keep putting in the right pieces around him. That’s easier said than done, but Keyonte George could very easily be one of those pieces. George had a lackluster year shooting the ball compared to his high school results, but much of that was due to injuries and the fact that he was asked to do more on both ends than he ever was before. Instead of operating as just an off-ball shooter, George was asked to defend at a higher level, take on more playmaking responsibilities, and diversify his scoring arsenal—and he did. On the Pacers, George could continue to thrive as that off-ball scorer who does a bit of everything. Bennedict Mathurin could occasionally scale up, and George could even run some occasional point guard when Haliburton isn’t on the floor. Don’t read too much into the raw percentages because there is a lot more to George’s game, versatility, and upside.
#8. Washington Wizards - Cason Wallace | Guard | Kentucky
11.7 PTS | 3.7 REB | 4.3 AST | 2.0 STL | 0.5 BLK
44.6 FG% | 34.6 3P% | 75.7 FT%
Speaking of teams that desperately need a point guard. While this pick isn’t solely for fit, it is a really good fit. Cason Wallace has had some of the least amount of buzz among his lottery peers. Wallace doesn’t necessarily light up the box score or produce the most tantalizing highlights, but he is one of the soundest players in this class. The main selling point with Wallace is his defense. He’s versatile, intelligent, physical, and consistent. He has all the tools to grow into an All-NBA Defensive guard. Even though defense is his calling card, that doesn’t mean he’s a slouch on offense. Wallace’s shot has improved year over year, and he takes excellent care of the ball. As a defensive general and offensive lynchpin, the Wizards would immediately improve what has long been a position of need.
#9. Utah Jazz - Amen Thompson | Wing | Overtime Elite
16.4 PTS | 5.9 REB | 5.9 AST | 2.3 STL | 0.9 BLK
56.6 FG% | 25.0 3P% | 65.6 FT%
Well, when a prospect with one of the highest ceilings in this draft falls to you at nine, it’s hard to say no. Amen Thompson would be a dream pick for the Jazz here. Thompson is one of the best athletes in this draft. Thompson is a demon in transition and constantly finds his way to the rim. With the floor spacers that the Jazz have, Thompson would constantly get to the rim and find shooters when the defense collapsed. Thompson is by no means a risk-free prospect. His shot has a long way to go, his finishing is inconsistent, there are concerning lapses on defense, and he has a tendency to get out of control on drives. However, in a more structured setting that is focused on development, accountability, and consistency, Thompson has a great opportunity to iron out the hiccups in his game. If he does so, he has All-Star written all over him.
#10. Dallas Mavericks - Taylor Hendricks | Forward | UCF
15.1 PTS | 7.0 REB | 1.4 AST | 0.9 STL | 1.7 BLK
47.8 FG% | 39.4 3P% | 78.2 FT%
The Dallas Mavericks need defense and shooting from a player who doesn’t need the ball. Enter Taylor Hendricks. Hendricks is a terrific spot-up shooter with legitimate defensive tools. He’s a sublime shot blocker, mainly from the weak side, and has shown real success moving his feet on the perimeter. We typically think of offensive versatility in terms of a player’s ultimate potential, but with Hendricks that comes on the defensive end. If he continues to improve his foot speed and flexibility, Hendricks could be one of the best overall defenders from this class. Hendricks would quickly help what was a woeful Mavericks defense, but his offensive fit next to Luka Doncic is seamless. Hendricks has almost no ability to create his own shot outside of the post right now, but he wouldn’t need to.
#11. Orlando Magic (via CHI) - Jordan Hawkins | Guard | UConn
16.2 PTS | 3.8 REB | 1.3 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.5 BLK
40.9 FG% | 38.8 3P% | 88.7 FT%
With the lottery ticket already secured, the Magic can now look to address a specific need: shooting. Mainly, off-ball shooting. The Magic have far too many players that need the ball to succeed right now. Jordan Hawkins not only doesn’t need the ball, but he is significantly better without it. Hawkins is one of the best off-ball movers in this class and a lethal off-ball shooter. The percentages may not suggest that, but given the difficulty of shots that he took, his percentages are incredibly impressive. While players like Banchero and Wagner operate with the ball and draw the defense’s attention, Hawkins will eagerly be awaiting their kickouts. Defensively, Hawkins can hold his own on the ball, but this pick is all about diversifying the offense, improving the floor spacing, and introducing a deadly movement shooter to the lineup.
#12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jett Howard | Wing | Michigan
14.2 PTS | 2.8 REB | 2.0 AST | 0.4 STL | 0.7 BLK
41.4 FG% | 36.8 3P% | 80.0 FT%
The Oklahoma City Thunder have consistently gone after players with high feel, versatility, and size. Jett Howard possesses all of those things. Howard has been plummeting down draft boards after a sizzling start to the season because of his late season drop off. The problem with this drop in stock is that it completely ignores the brutal ankle injuries (yes, plural) that Howard was dealing with late in the year. In the beginning of the season, Michigan’s offense ran through Howard and his off-ball movement. He was entrusted to curl off screens and make a myriad of decisions from shooting off the catch to attacking the rim to kicking out of drives to making a pocket pass to whatever else the defense gave him. He consistently did that with a lot of success. Once the injuries occurred, the offense completely changed. Howard is a woeful rebounder and defender, but his offensive versatility and floor spacing would fit brilliantly with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, and the rest of this roster.
#13. Toronto Raptors - Kobe Bufkin | Guard | Michigan
14.0 PTS | 4.5 REB | 2.9 AST | 1.3 STL | 0.7 BLK
48.2 FG% | 35.5 3P% | 84.9 FT%
While this doesn’t directly align with Project 6’9”, Kobe Bufkin does coincide with Toronto’s affinity for positional size. Bufkin is still on the leaner side, but the 15-20 pounds of muscle he put on entering this season clearly paid dividends. Bufkin is a versatile combo guard who does a bit of everything at a really high level. The on/off numbers with him this season were absurd, which is encouraging given how it aligns with the tape. Bufkin’s shot is silky smooth and should only continue to improve. He leverages his off-ball movement to consistently create on-ball scoring opportunities by running off screens or deftly operating DHOs. He can be an explosive finisher at the rim, but he also has a great understanding of angles as he consistently finished with both hands. Bufkin also has long-term on-ball upside as his shifty ball-handling led to plenty of mid-range jumpers. Bufkin needs to continue to grow his passing arsenal, but there are encouraging signs. Defensively, not many players have quicker hands than he does. He competes hard and should be a versatile defender in a few years after additional strength training. The Raptors could be in for a tumultuous next couple of years, but Bufkin is the type of player who can help them compete now or be a focal point of their rebuild.
#14. New Orleans Pelicans - Brice Sensabaugh | Wing | Ohio State
16.3 PTS | 5.4 REB | 1.2 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.4 BLK
48.0 FG% | 40.5 3P% | 83.0 FT%
Buckets on buckets on buckets. Brice Sensabaugh essentially only gets buckets. The New Orleans Pelicans finished with the 20th ranked offensive rating and finished 15th in three-point percentage. Sensabaugh is one of, if not the, best shooters in this class. He doesn’t consistently get to the rim or create a ton of space, but he incessantly makes shots. He’s not a good defender, but on this roster, it shouldn’t matter. He isn’t a great playmaker, but on this roster, it shouldn’t matter. Whether he’s an outlet for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram or given the opportunity to create for himself with the second unit, Sensabaugh is almost guaranteed to generate an obscene number of buckets.
#15. Atlanta Hawks - Maxwell Lewis | Forward | Pepperdine
17.1 PTS | 5.7 REB | 2.8 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.8 BLK
46.8 FG% | 34.8 3P% | 78.7 FT%
The Atlanta Hawks are in a funky situation, but Maxwell Lewis could be the perfect developmental piece for them. Lewis got off to a scorching start but cooled off toward the end of the season. Despite that, Lewis showed some stuff that could turn him into an offensive dynamo down the road. As a baseline, Lewis should be a terrific shooter, which is a pretty good floor to have. A big reason some of Lewis’s numbers fell off, though, is that he started trying really advanced creation moves that he wasn’t quite ready for yet. While this diminished some of his numbers, it also provided a ton of encouragement for what he could continue to grow into in the future. On top of that, Lewis continued to show encouraging stretches of playmaking. He has a lot of work to do on the defensive end, but given his work ethic and coachability, it is really easy to get excited about the type of player Lewis could become.
#16. Utah Jazz (via MIN) - Anthony Black | Guard | Arkansas
12.8 PTS | 5.1 REB | 3.9 AST | 2.1 STL | 0.6 BLK
45.3 FG% | 30.1 3P% | 70.5 FT%
Anthony Black isn’t the cleanest fit with the Jazz given the earlier Amen Thompson pick, but the value is too good to pass up, as Black could easily go in the Top 10 on draft night. Black has great positional size, is a consistent playmaker, constantly gets to the rim, and is a dog on defense. There were stretches of him shooting decently, but that is the big hole in his game. If he can find a somewhat reliable spot-up jumper in his quiver of tools, the pairing of him and Thompson could produce a paring that is terrifying on defense and in transition.
#17. Los Angeles Lakers - Colby Jones | Guard | Xavier
15.0 PTS | 5.7 REB | 4.4 AST | 1.3 STL | 0.6 BLK
50.9 FG% | 37.8 3P% | 65.3 FT%
The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t looking for any long-term projects as they are in the hunt for championships. While “win now” rookies aren’t really a thing, Colby Jones may be the closest thing. Jones had a terrific season as he did a bit of everything at an absurdly high level. The biggest concern entering the season was his shot, and he proved that it can be a real tool. Jones likely won’t be a dynamic on-ball creator, but he should be able to knock down shots off the catch and attack closeouts. Jones is also a good off-ball mover and really intelligent passer. On defense, he’s the type of player who can direct a lot of the action. He’s physical, consistent, and versatile. Jones has all the tools that could quickly improve the depth and versatility of the Lakers.
#18. Miami Heat - Gregory “GG” Jackson | Forward | South Carolina
15.4 PTS | 5.9 REB | 0.8 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.8 BLK
38.4 FG% | 32.4 3P% | 67.7 FT%
G.G. Jackson is one of the most polarizing prospects in this class, given that his season went about as poorly as possible. He’s also supposed to be going into his freshman season in college and has an intoxicating combination of athleticism and skill. What Jackson desperately needs is a setting that is going to hold him accountable, push him hard, and teach him how to play basketball. Enter Heat Culture. The Miami Heat have a long track record of getting the absolute most out of their players. Jackson struggled across the board this year as the shot wasn’t consistent, he provided zero playmaking, and the defense was a mess. However, he has the foundation where if things go well a few years from now, we could easily look back on this pick and wonder how in the world the Heat got so lucky for Jackson to fall to them.
#19. Golden State Warriors - Gradey Dick | Wing | Kansas
14.1 PTS | 5.1 REB | 1.7 AST | 1.4 STL | 0.3 BLK
44.2 FG% | 40.3 3P% | 85.4 FT%
Shockingly, one of the biggest holes in Golden State’s offense this post season was their lack of shooting. Steph Curry was the only reliable bucket getter on the Warriors, and it wasn’t enough in the end. Gradey Dick isn’t going to help in the on-ball scoring aspect, but he should be a day one improvement to their off-ball shooting. Dick is an excellent off-ball mover who constantly finds open pockets to punish the defense. He also is comfortable using shot fakes and pulling up in the mid-range. He’s an active cutter and has the athleticism to execute backdoor lobs. Dick will get targeted regularly on defense, but he has great hands and is a smart team defender. The high ball and player movement tendencies of the Golden State offense would eagerly welcome the addition of Gradey Dick.
#20. Houston Rockets (via LAC) - Dereck Lively II | Center | Duke
5.2 PTS | 5.4 REB | 1.1 AST | 0.5 STL | 2.4 BLK
65.8 FG% | 15.4 3P% | 60.0 FT%
After getting Scoot Henderson to fall in their lap, the Houston Rockets again get what could be a huge steal in Dereck Lively. Lively was ESPN’s top-rated recruit entering the season but fell down draft boards given his lack of offense. Lively showed flashes of adept passing, but he was essentially a zero outside of rim-running and putbacks. What makes Lively still so intriguing, though, is his defense. Lively was one of the best rim protectors in the country this season and consistently improved his drop coverage positioning. Lively also proved to be adept at moving his feet on the perimeter. He shouldn’t be switching consistently, but he won’t be lost if dragged out on an island. With the Rockets, Lively would provide the rim protection they desperately need while being extremely low maintenance on offense.
#21. Brooklyn Nets (via PHX) - James Nnaji | Center | FC Barcelona
3.8 PTS | 2.1 REB | 0.3 AST | 0.1 STL | 0.5 BLK
68.4 FG% | N/A 3P% | 52.4 FT%
The Brooklyn Nets got absolutely manhandled this season as they finished with the 29th ranked defensive rebounding rate. The Nets just don’t have the necessary size, which is why James Nnaji is a perfect fit. Nnaji is one of the youngest players in this draft, but he is built like a ten-year veteran. He has freakish athleticism that elevates his potential to an exciting level. Given his age, Nnaji has no business being as comfortable and impactful in drop coverage as he is. He’s a devastating shot blocker, tenacious rebounder, and has the athleticism to defend on the perimeter. A lot of how he defends is reminiscent of Nic Claxton, so there wouldn’t be much schematic change between rotations. Unfortunately, Nnaji is essentially a zero on offense as his scoring touch is questionable and the shot is non-existent. However, the defense is so devastating that it may not matter that he isn’t more than just a rim-runner.
#22. Brooklyn Nets - Jalen Hood-Schifino | Guard | Indiana
13.5 PTS | 4.1 REB | 3.7 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.3 BLK
41.7 FG% | 33.3 3P% | 77.6 FT%
Besides size, the Nets also need someone who can consistently run point. Jalen Hood-Schifino not only has great positional size, but he is also one of the most intriguing point guards in this class. Hood-Schifino is extremely comfortable operating the pick-and-roll, and his playmaking should shine in a better light with NBA spacing. He also should continue developing as a shooter as he thrived in the mid-range. Hood-Schifino should help improve Brooklyn’s decision-making while making life easier for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Nic Claxton, James Nnaji, and Spencer Dinwiddie.
#23. Portland Trail Blazers (via NYK) - Kris Murray | Forward | Iowa
20.2 PTS | 7.9 REB | 2.0 AST | 1.0 STL | 1.2 BLK
47.6 FG% | 33.5 3P% | 72.9 FT%
Continuing to improve the depth and versatility on the wing is a must for the Trail Blazers. Kris Murray is one of the most reliable and consistent wing/forwards in this class. Murray had a significant spike in his usage this season after his brother joined the Sacramento Kings, but he also thrived in a lesser role the year before. Murray could be a terrific play finisher in all three levels. He also has plenty of versatility and awareness on defense. He would be an excellent fit next to Jarace Walker and/or Jeremi Grant. Murray may not be the overtly sexy pick with oodles of upside, but he’s a damn good basketball player who will raise the floor of a rotation and make life easier for its stars.
#24. Sacramento Kings - Julian Strawther | Wing | Gonzaga
15.2 PTS | 6.2 REB | 1.3 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.4 BLK
46.9 FG% | 40.8 3P% | 77.6 FT%
Julian Strawther was one of the most efficient wings in the country this season. Strawther has produced for multiple years for one of the biggest programs in the country. His calling card is his off-ball shooting as he has a quick release and isn’t shy about launching from well behind the arc. This year, though, Strawther proved he has a lot more to his on-ball creation as well. With the Sacramento Kings, this would mainly arise from attacking closeouts or attacking after running off screens. Strawther is also a phenomenal rebounder, especially for his position. He will need to improve defensively, but after a year or two, he’s smart and big enough that he shouldn’t be a target. The Kings had a devastating offense, and Strawther would help take them to another level.
#25. Memphis Grizzlies - Bilal Coulibaly | Wing | Metropolitans 92
11.5 PTS | 4.2 REB | 1.4 AST | 1.6 STL | 0.6 BLK
52.8 FG% | 35.4 3P% | 72.5 FT%
Memphis has always found itself as a team that will jump on some intriguing value in the NBA Draft. The Grizzlies have been one of the top organizations in the league when it comes to building throughout the draft. One of the hottest names in draft circles as of late has been international wing Bilal Coulibaly. As mentioned on the No Ceilings Post-Lottery Show, Coulibaly could become a player who goes as high as the lottery moving forward. For now, Coulibaly finds himself landing with a great fit in Memphis. The talented wing has shown some fantastic displays of upside throughout the year overseas. Coulibaly is a raw but lengthy wing with great athleticism and serious tools on the defensive side of the ball. Scouts have been intrigued with Coulibaly with his performance while playing alongside Victor Wembanyama this year for the Metropolitans 92s. If Coulibaly can continue to generate some steam throughout the pre draft process, he will be a name that can rise up boards.
#26. Indiana Pacers (via CLE) - Trayce Jackson-Davis | Center | Indiana
20.9 PTS | 10.8 REB | 4.0 AST | 0.8 STL | 2.9 BLK
58.1 FG% | N/A 3P% | 69.5 FT%
The Indiana Pacers find themselves with three selections in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. As history has shown us, there’s a chance that Indiana could look to move one of those picks or potentially stash a player. But we don’t project trades here at No Ceilings, so let’s add another piece to the puzzle for the Pacers. After adding another dangerous scorer in Keyonte George earlier, Indiana looks to bolster their frontcourt here. Senior big man Trayce Jackson-Davis is coming off a sensational season for the Indiana Hoosiers. TJD took sensational strides throughout his senior year when it came to his ability as a playmaker. While the Pacers have Myles Turner under contract after a lengthy extension, TJD could become intriguing value here to add to the frontcourt. TJD has shown the ability to be a force around the paint and was one of the top rim protecting bigs in college basketball last season.
#27. Charlotte Hornets (via DEN) - Marcus Sasser | Guard | Houston
16.8 PTS | 2.8 REB | 3.1 AST | 1.6 STL | 0.2 BLK
43.8 FG% | 38.4 3P% | 84.8 FT%
The Charlotte Hornets will be one of the most-discussed teams in NBA Draft circles moving forward after landing the second overall selection. In this mock draft, the Hornets added a potential superstar wing in Brandon Miller second overall. Charlotte will be a team that can go in a number of different directions with their second first round selection. Houston Cougars senior guard Marcus Sasser has the ability to be an absolute steal for some team in the first round. While the Hornets will have a roster that features a number of veteran players, adding a guard with the intangibles that Sasser has would be a strong addition. Sasser is one of the craftiest floor generals in this class and is a walking bucket. He has the mindset and competitiveness to be a fantastic addition for the Hornets organization moving forward.
#28. Utah Jazz (via PHI) - Rayan Rupert | Wing | NZ Breakers
6.8 PTS | 2.4 REB | 0.8 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.2 BLK
36.9 FG% | 31.2 3P% | 73.8 FT%
Utah is going to find themselves with the opportunity to add some serious pieces to their rebuilding process moving forward. After getting outstanding value with their first two selections, the Jazz look to get another piece with fascinating upside down the road. French-born wing Rayan Rupert has the tools to be one of the top defensive wings in this NBA Draft class. Rupert is an absolute pest on the defensive side of the ball and uses his impressive length to be a disruptive presence. The outside shot will need time to come around, as it’s shown impressive growth since his last summer in FIBA play. Rupert would land with an organization that will stress patience with his development, as he could present fantastic value at this point of the first round.
#29. Indiana Pacers (via BOS) - Leonard Miller | Forward | G League Ignite
16.9 PTS | 10.1 REB | 1.6 AST | 1.0 STL | 0.8 BLK
53.7 FG% | 30.4 3P% | 79.2 FT%
Leonard Miller has become one of the most fascinating prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft. The talented forward has taken leaps forward when it comes to his development this year. The massive improvement of Leonard this year has been some of the finest work done by the G League Ignite’s developmental program. Miller has the length and versatility to offer some fascinating upside on both sides of the floor. He’s trending in the right direction and is coming off a productive year, making him one of the biggest wildcards in this class. Miller has the tools to be a player who can heat up throughout the pre draft process, as he could come off the board much earlier. For now, Indiana adds another intriguing piece in their front court as they build out depth on their roster.
#30. Los Angeles Clippers (via MIL) - Brandin Podziemski | Guard | Santa Clara
19.9 PTS | 8.8 REB | 3.7 AST | 1.8 STL | 0.5 BLK
48.3 FG% | 43.8 3P% | 77.1 FT%
The Los Angeles Clippers will find themselves as a team that can go in a number of different directions with the final selection of the first round. With this range of the draft, there’s a chance that the Clippers could get some fascinating value if the board plays out. While the Russell Westbrook experience looked promising for the Clippers, there’s still a chance that Los Angeles could look to add to their backcourt. Santa Clara guard Brandin Podziemski was one of the most pleasant surprises in college basketball throughout the 2022-23 season. Podziemski has the versatility offensively to insert some energy into an NBA rotation. A shifty guard with a strong feel for the game, Podziemski is a gritty floor general who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. He could become a strong addition to the Clippers’ backcourt, regardless of what moves the organization makes this offseason.