The NBA Draft Combine 2023 took place in Chicago from May 16 through May 18, and all 30 teams from around the league have been getting an in-depth look at this year’s draft class. From pro days to individual workouts, a better picture is being painted for how this year’s draft will play out.
There are still question marks about how the top three in this year’s draft will shape up with Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller being the two best prospects available behind consensus No. 1 pick and future San Antonio Spurs phenom Victor Wembanyama. Henderson and Miller should go second and third in either order, but who they wind up going to is leaving many scratching their heads right now as trade chatter heats up.
Both the Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers have been receiving calls from rival teams inquiring about what it would take to acquire the second and third picks in this year’s draft, respectively. This is why we could be in store for a very chaotic draft night on June 22 with plenty of movement across the first round.
About 3 1/2 weeks away from this year’s draft, ClutchPoints NBA insider Brett Siegel has already modified his 2023 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0. Now ahead of the early-entrant deadline on May 31, here is ClutchPoints’ 2023 NBA Mock Draft 2.0 filled with projections for all 58 picks based on intel from scouts, agents and executives from around the league.
Previous 2023 NBA Mock Drafts: 1.0
1. San Antonio Spurs – C Victor Wembanyama – France (Metropolitans 92)
Arguably the greatest draft prospect this league has ever seen, Victor Wembanyama will be the cornerstone of the San Antonio Spurs for many years to come. While already having key talents like Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and last year’s first-round pick Jeremy Sochan, Wembanyama will immediately take over the reins of the offense and help elevate this rebuilding franchise. Wembanyama is going to be a generational talent and will get mentorship from one of the best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich, as well as a former first-round pick from the Spurs in Tim Duncan. It will not be long until the Spurs are back in the postseason with Wembanyama as their leader.
2. Charlotte Hornets – SF/PF Brandon Miller – Alabama
There are questions being asked about Brandon Miller stemming from his connection to the Darius Miles murder case in Tuscaloosa, but there is no denying that he is one of the best scoring threats in this draft class. The Charlotte Hornets need a multidimensional talent at the forward position, and league sources who were in attendance at this year’s NBA Combine told ClutchPoints that the Hornets are more likely to select Miller with the second overall pick at this point in their early evaluations. The Hornets just need guys who have a high IQ and can play at a high level. This is what they will get with Miller.
3. Portland Trail Blazers – PG Scoot Henderson – G League Ignite
If he does not go second overall to Charlotte or another team via trade, Scoot Henderson is going to be the third player selected in this draft. Whether or not he ends up with the Portland Trail Blazers is a whole nother story as this third pick is a selection many teams around the league are eyeing. Portland is looking to win right now and acquire talent around superstar Damian Lillard that can help them get back to the playoffs. Trading this pick and/or the rights to Henderson could absolutely net them the assets they need to improve upon their abysmal 33-49 record. Keeping Henderson remains a possibility, especially since he is the best guard in this draft class and his athleticism jumps off the charts. This spot is where the draft could really get interesting.
4. Houston Rockets – PG/SG Amen Thompson – Overtime Elite
Newly appointed head coach Ime Udoka is going to want to bring in tough-minded, athletic players to the Houston Rockets, similar to what he had with the Boston Celtics when they made the NBA Finals in 2022. Amen Thompson is one of the best athletes in this class with versatility that allows him to play many different positions. A lengthy guard who can really play and defend any position on the floor, Thompson is going to become a better shooter with time and will obviously become a more well-rounded player alongside other key talents like Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. in Houston. Teams have been in contact with the Rockets, who are being receptive to offers coming their way. The general consensus among league circles, though, is that Houston will not be dealing this pick unless they can land an All-Star-level talent.
5. Detroit Pistons – SF/PF Cam Whitmore – Villanova
The Detroit Pistons have a dynamic backcourt duo with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. They also have talent in the frontcourt with Marvin Bagley III, Jalen Duren and James Wiseman. Adding versatile, explosive talent on the wing is a must, so Cam Whitmore fits perfectly. Ausar Thompson is another name linked to them in this spot, but Whitmore is a high-flying forward who thrives running in transition and has a lot of potential to be a 3-and-D player in the NBA for many years to come. Detroit has athletes and can absolutely punish teams by playing faster next year. Adding Whitmore just makes too much sense in this spot despite other high-level talents being available.
6. Orlando Magic – SG/SF Ausar Thompson – Overtime Elite
Many are overlooking the Orlando Magic right now, but this is a young, dynamic team that is only going to get better with another top prospect coming their way. Making the playoffs is very much in the realm of possibilities for this team during the 2023-24 season, and Ausar Thompson is a 20-year-old who can play anywhere like his brother Amen. The thing about Ausar is that he has a higher upside because of his potential as a 3-point shooter. Aside from figuring things out in their backcourt, the Magic need talent and depth. Drafting Ausar Thompson gives them both and someone who can take a lot of pressure off of Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero to do everything on the offensive end of the floor.
7. Indiana Pacers – SG Gradey Dick – Kansas
Scouts and teams have been raving about Gradey Dick since he displayed his shooting skills at this year’s combine, and he followed this up with a strong pro day. At this point, many around the league believe Dick will be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. The Indiana Pacers could very much grab him with the seventh overall selection because they need scorers and shooters alongside All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton. Outside of Buddy Hield, this team lacks firepower from the perimeter. Gradey Dick would instantly be a key 3-point weapon for the Pacers who is only going to get better as an all-around playmaker on the offensive end of the floor.
8. Washington Wizards – PF Jarace Walker – Houston
Whether he will play more on the wing or as a true power forward in the NBA is unknown, but Jarace Walker is a very strong forward who always seems to play aggressive on offense. The Washington Wizards are entering a new era with Michael Winger at the helm of their front office and will be looking to draft a guy who can be an instant X-factor for them. Walker has the potential to guard any position defensively. He’s a tough matchup for anyone who is not a true power forward or center in the league, and the perimeter shot is getting better. This is another spot in the draft that could wind up seeing a trade, as targeting backcourt depth is a scenario the Wizards could explore. With the amount of guards still on the board here, Washington may be very willing to trade down a few spots and gather more assets.
9. Utah Jazz – PG/SG Anthony Black – Arkansas
Outside of Lauri Markkanen, the Utah Jazz have question marks about what their roster will look like moving forward. They still have plenty of needs and must address their lack of backcourth depth with Jordan Clarkson possibly becoming a free agent via his player option this offseason. They have plenty of options to choose from with this ninth overall pick, and Anthony Black would be the most complete guard available in this scenario. Not only is he a lengthy guard with a near 6-foot-8 wingspan, but Black is a high-IQ player who has a chance to be one of the best two-way players in this draft class. Utah does not have a true point guard after trading away Mike Conley, which is why bringing in a player like Black is highly advantageous to this young team.
10. Dallas Mavericks – PF Taylor Hendricks – UCF
The Dallas Mavericks have Luka Doncic, but they could be in big trouble this offseason. While the Mavs remain positive that they will be able to re-sign Kyrie Irving, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to loom large as a potential suitor for the All-Star guard. There is a very real possibility that Irving turns his head to Dallas this offseason, which is why they must be prepared to add talent whenever they can. With Dwight Powell and Christian Wood also being free agents, the need for frontcourt help is very apparent. Dallas ranked last in the league in rebounding this past year and needs someone who can set a tempo for them in the paint. Taylor Hendricks may just be the best big man in this class outside of Wembanyama and is a guy who could thrive in pick-and-roll scenarios with Doncic. Plus, Hendricks has a chance to become a two-way weapon in the NBA given the success he found from the perimeter during his freshman year at UCF.
11. Orlando Magic – PG/SG Keyonte George – Baylor
After already landing Ausar Thompson earlier, the Magic could really go anywhere here. There will be teams looking to trade up into the lottery that Orlando could possibly look to negotiate with. If they keep the pick, it makes the most sense for the Magic to add another guard. Gary Harris’ contract is nonguaranteed entering the offseason. Markelle Fultz’ contract is partially guaranteed, and Cole Anthony is entering the final year of his deal. The addition of Keyonte George gives Orlando another young scoring option who can take pressure off of Wagner and Banchero offensively. George is a viable perimeter shooter and can really turn into a well-rounded guard in the right system. Unless this pick is dealt, the Magic will likely be targeting one of the better guards remaining in this spot.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – SF/PF Leonard Miller – G League Ignite
Leonard Miller has seen his draft stock increase a lot over the last few weeks, so it should not come as a shock to see him go in the lottery. Proving to be a viable 3-point shooting weapon with the length to be an impact defender, Miller checks off all the boxes for any team looking for a lengthy 3-and-D wing. General manager Sam Presti always likes to add high-upside guys to his roster and is never afraid to take any player at any position. A 6-foot-10 wing with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Miller could become a very good defender in this league and would be the perfect “hybrid” addition to this young Thunder team. Miller has a chance to be one of the biggest steals of this draft, which is why he is probably already on Oklahoma City’s radar.
13. Toronto Raptors – PG/SG Nick Smith Jr. – Arkansas
The future of the Toronto Raptors remains in question with the NBA Draft approaching. Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. may both opt out of their player options for next season, and league sources indicate that the Raptors are exploring options to possibly move up in the draft. Whether to reset or keep going with the group that they have seems to be the two options team president Masai Ujiri and this front office are weighing right now. If they attempt to move up, they would be aggressive and look to jump into the top five of the draft. In this 13 spot, Nick Smith Jr. is the best guard available and has the potential to be a really solid player in this league for many years to come. While he is not the strongest guard and tends to try to do things himself, Smith does not have many glaring weaknesses to his game and can turn into an all-around weapon offensively with the right developmental team. The Raptors always get the most out of their guys, which is why this would be a good spot for the 19-year-old.
14. New Orleans Pelicans – SG Jordan Hawkins – UConn
Jordan Hawkins is one of the best 3-point shooters in this draft class and knows what it means to win at the highest level after lifting UConn to a championship. With Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum healthy, the New Orleans Pelicans can be a championship contender in the Western Conference. If the Pelicans can improve from being 15th in the league from the perimeter, they can be a real force. Hawkins is a “win-now” type of draft prospect who would be an instant source of shooting for the Pels to turn to in their second unit. New Orleans could also explore the options of moving down in the draft a little bit too, as there are several appealing options for them at the end of the lottery.
15. Atlanta Hawks – PG Cason Wallace – Kentucky
At this time, sources say Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks don’t have interest in parting ways, with Young committed to playing for head coach Quin Snyder. However, the Hawks enter the offseason with a roster that is far from being a contender. John Collins remains a likely candidate to be traded and Clint Capela’s future has come into question after a successful second season from Onyeka Okongwu. Regardless of what the Hawks decide to do with their core group, they should be focused on adding some backcourt help in this draft given how many talented guards there are near the top of the draft board. Adding another secondary ball-handler who can allow Young and Dejounte Murray to rest over the course of the season is key, and Cason Wallace is more than capable of aiding a team like Atlanta. Wallace's 3-point shot got better over the course of his freshman year at Kentucky, and he has a chance to be a really strong on-ball defender at the next level.
16. Utah Jazz – SG Jalen Hood-Schifino – Indiana
Where Jalen Hood-Schifino ends up is a question mark in this year’s draft, as he could wind up going in the back half of the lottery or could wind up falling into the 20s. After taking Anthony Black earlier, adding shooting depth could be advantageous to the Jazz in this position if they hold onto this pick. An off-ball guard who is comfortable being a facilitator as well, Hood-Schifino could complement Clarkson quite well on the perimeter and potentially emerge as the leader of Utah’s second unit. The Jazz need impact players around Markkanen, making Hood-Schifino an intriguing prospect for them.
17. Los Angeles Lakers – SG/SF Jett Howard – Michigan
After getting swept in the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers have work to do in the offseason. LeBron James claiming that he may retire is at the forefront of this organization’s mind right now, but the overall mood across the NBA is that James will return and finish his contract with Los Angeles. Capitalizing on the last few years of his career is a must for the Lakers, which is why they are in a spot to be aggressive. If they get an offer for this pick that allows them to either gain future draft compensation and/or a key role player, they will likely take that deal. In this spot, there will be some young players who can contribute now and also be a part of the Lakers’ young core for the future. Jett Howard is one of those players and is an intriguing name for them to consider. He can score in many different ways and is a smarter player than many give him credit for. Also, Jett is the son of former NBA champion and current Michigan coach Juwan Howard, who has a relationship with LeBron James dating back to their days on the Miami Heat.
18. Miami Heat – SF/PF GG Jackson – South Carolina
Who the Miami Heat draft every year is always a major mystery, as Pat Riley is never afraid to take the guy he wants. Back in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat continued to rely on their depth to win when it mattered most, but getting Jimmy Butler some help at the forward position makes a lot of sense. GG Jackson is another one of those major boom-or-bust prospects because he is still only 18 years old, but his game speaks for itself. A top prospect coming out of high school, Jackson can provide scoring at either forward position and is still growing. The Heat can mold any player into what they want with a top-tier developmental team, so Jackson could thrive here.
19. Golden State Warriors – C Dereck Lively II – Duke
There are numerous players the Golden State Warriors could target here. The biggest problem through the years for the Warriors and an issue for them in the playoffs this year was the fact that they had no depth behind Kevon Looney in the frontcourt. The James Wiseman experiment never worked out, which is why going out and drafting Dereck Lively II could result in the Warriors winning this draft. Lively was the top recruit coming out of high school last year. Don’t let Lively's numbers at Duke fool you because this guy can really play on both ends of the floor, and scouts have been very impressed with his ability to play out on the perimeter. In a system that has strong guard play already, he could wind up being an All-Rookie type of talent. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, the Warriors have arguably the best guard group in this league. If he is willing to embrace his role as a screen and shot blocker to start, Lively could wind up being the next big thing for the Warriors, literally!
20. Houston Rockets – SF Dariq Whitehead – Duke
From one Duke Blue Devil to another, Dariq Whitehead would have been a top-10 pick this year if it was not for a foot injury during his freshman year. A great scorer with the ball in his hands and a wing with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Whitehead is exactly the type of secondary scoring option Houston is lacking. There is a lot to like about this guy’s game, so the Rockets should have no problem taking him should he fall to 20.
21. Brooklyn Nets – SF Maxwell Lewis – Pepperdine
Taking a Pepperdine guy in Kessler Edwards a few years back, the Brooklyn Nets would be smart to target another one in Maxwell Lewis this time around. Lewis is one of the more underrated guys in this draft simply because he is a lengthy wing who has no problem creating for himself. He has a chance to really shoot up draft boards once he works out for specific teams and would prove to be a very valuable player on the wing either next to or behind Mikal Bridges in Brooklyn.
22. Brooklyn Nets – PG/SG Kobe Bufkin – Michigan
Owning back-to-back picks this year, the Nets may look to package both selections to move up a little in the draft and grab a guy they have their eyes on. Then again, adding two younger talents also has its advantages. Kobe Bufkin is a quick and athletic guard who can make plays for himself on the perimeter. He would be an instant contributor in Brooklyn’s backcourt who can add a spark to their bench unit. Outside of Spencer Dinwiddie, the Nets are lacking playmakers and contributors in their backcourt, which is why a guy like Bufkin could come in ready to play for them.
23. Portland Trail Blazers – PF Noah Clowney – Alabama
As mentioned earlier, the Trail Blazers could ultimately control this draft with what they decide to do with the third pick. The future for this organization is very unclear, but they lack frontcourt size and must find ways to get better defensively. Noah Clowney can help them with both of these things, as he proved to be a real impact defender at Alabama. Still a raw talent on the offensive end of the floor, Clowney should immediately thrive in pick-and-roll situations with Lillard and possibly even Henderson should he go to Portland.
24. Sacramento Kings – SF/PF Kris Murray – Iowa
The feel-good story of the 2022-23 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings could get very lucky in this spot. A really solid, high-IQ player could fall right in their laps. After taking Keegan Murray last year, getting his twin brother in Kris Murray makes way too much sense. Kris is not as good of a 3-point shooter as his brother, but he understands his role and is a much better defender than people give him credit for. NBA gods, give us the Murray twins in Sacramento, please and thank you!
25. Memphis Grizzlies – SF/PF Bobi Klintman – Wake Forest
With Dillon Brooks expected to leave in free agency and Ja Morant facing a potential long suspension from the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies must find impactful players in this draft who can play right away. Seeing as he is staying in the draft and pulled his name out of the combine, it is very likely that Bobi Klintman has a first-round promise. The Grizzlies are going to need size and potential, two things Klintman can immediately give them. Klintman is definitely a boom-or-bust prospect in this year’s draft, but his length has a lot of scouts interested in learning more about him. Keep an eye on this guy throughout the predraft process because he could wind up rising up draft boards based on his performances in workouts.
26. Indiana Pacers – SG/SF Rayan Rupert – France (New Zealand Breakers)
An overlooked prospect this year, Rayan Rupert is a high-level perimeter defender who is a workhorse when he is on the floor. Rupert’s 7-foot-2 wingspan is what stands out on the wing and could really help him turn into something special, especially if he develops a 3-point shot. Having three first-round picks this year, the Pacers can look to take a project like the French wing. There is a chance that Rupert could become one of the best players from this draft class, so the Pacers would be smart to pull the trigger here.
27. Charlotte Hornets – SF Bilal Coulibaly – France (Metropolitans 92)
Bilal Coulibaly is a prospect many are sleeping on because he is not necessarily a flashy scorer and is teammates with Victor Wembanyama. However, Coulibaly is an explosive defender who is still growing in every aspect of the game since he is only 18. Depth at the forward positions is a must for the Hornets, who have to improve defensively. Coulibaly has all the tools to instantly make an impact on the defensive end of the floor. If he can get stronger, he could wind up turning into his team’s best defender.
28. Utah Jazz – SF/PF Olivier-Maxence Prosper – Marquette
Olivier-Maxence Prosper may have had the best draft combine out of any of the players in attendance this year and is a forward shooting up draft boards right now. Prosper may very well end up going late in the first round of this draft after playing aggressive and attacking the basket in the combine scrimmages. Prosper is a guy who can do a little bit of everything to help the Jazz, who need depth at both forward positions. Standing about 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, O-Max Prosper is another name to keep an eye on during the predraft process as one of this year’s big risers.
29. Indiana Pacers – PF Trayce Jackson-Davis – Indiana
A potential late first-round pick who could also be a guy teams look to trade up for early on in the second round of this year’s draft, Trayce Jackson-Davis is a true power forward who is a “win-now” type of player. Any team looking for immediate scoring production in the paint should want to target Jackson-Davis, and the Pacers could use some more frontcourt depth. Playing at Indiana and now potentially playing in Indiana for the Pacers would be the perfect script for the versatile big man.
30. Los Angeles Clippers – SF Brice Sensabaugh – Ohio State
Brice Sensabaugh projects to be a first-round pick in this draft after surprising many during his freshman year at Ohio State. Sensabaugh shot the ball well from the perimeter this past year and is a bigger wing who plays really well through contact. The Los Angeles Clippers always tend to focus on physical players in the draft, so Sensabaugh being on the board in this spot would be a gift for them. In time, he could really turn into a solid contributor, especially getting to learn from the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
31. Detroit Pistons – PG/SG Marcus Sasser – Houston
32. Indiana Pacers – C James Nnaji – Nigeria (Barcelona)
33. San Antonio Spurs – PG/SG Amari Bailey – UCLA
34. Charlotte Hornets – SG/SF Sidy Cissoko – G League Ignite
35. Boston Celtics – SF/PF Dillon Mitchell – Texas
36. Orlando Magic – SF Jordan Walsh – Arkansas
37. Oklahoma City Thunder – SF/PF Julian Phillips – Tennessee
38. Sacramento Kings – SG/SF Jaime Jaquez Jr. – UCLA
39. Charlotte Hornets – PG Terquavion Smith – North Carolina State
40. Denver Nuggets – SG Colby Jones – Xavier
41. Charlotte Hornets – SG Andre Jackson Jr. – UConn
42. Washington Wizards – SG Brandin Podziemski – Santa Clara
43. Portland Trail Blazers – SF Emoni Bates – Eastern Michigan
44. San Antonio Spurs – PF Tristan Vukcevic – Serbia (Partizan Belgrade)
45. Memphis Grizzlies – SG Julian Strawther – Gonzaga
46. Atlanta Hawks – SF/PF Kobe Brown – Missouri
47. Los Angeles Lakers – SG/SF Seth Lundy – Penn State
48. Los Angeles Clippers – PF Mouhamed Gueye – Washington State
49. Cleveland Cavaliers – SG Ben Sheppard – Belmont
50. Oklahoma City Thunder – C Adem Bona – UCLA
51. Brooklyn Nets – SG/SF Jordan Miller – Miami (FL)
52. Phoenix Suns – SG Terrence Shannon Jr. – Illinois
53. Minnesota Timberwolves – SG Mojave King – G League Ignite
54. Sacramento Kings – C Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky
55. Indiana Pacers – PF DaRon Holmes II – Dayton
56. Memphis Grizzlies – PF Toumani Camara – Dayton
57. Washington Wizards – C Zach Edey – Purdue
58. Milwaukee Bucks – SG/SF Nikola Djurisic – Serbia (Mega Basket)
*NOTE: The Chicago Bulls (57) and Philadelphia 76ers (58) forfeited their second-round picks this year due to violating the league’s tampering rules.
For more information, see Brett Siegel’s FULL 2023 NBA Mock Draft 2.0.