2023 NBA Mock Draft: Victor Wembanyama is a clear No.1, but there’s a close competition for who goes No. 2

Louren

Table of Contents

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Victor Wembanyama


C

France

• 7’4″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

No matter who wins the lottery, Wembanyama will be the first player selected in the 2023 NBA Draft. He’s a 7-4 rim protector on defense and shot-creator on offense, the likes of which the sport has literally never seen before.

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Scoot Henderson


PG

G League Ignite

• 6’2″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

17.6

RPG

5.1

APG

6.6

3P%

32.4%

There’s an ongoing debate about which prospect should go second in this draft — Henderson or Alabama’s Brandon Miller. I can see both sides of it, but for now I’d still lean slightly toward the G-League Ignite star who has the athleticism and strength to be a franchise-changing lead guard as long as his still-developing 3-point shot eventually becomes reliable.

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Alabama

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

18.8

RPG

8.2

APG

2.1

3P%

38.4%

If Miller doesn’t go second, I can’t imagine him going any lower than third. He’s a wing with size who just made 38.4% of the 7.5 3-pointers he attempted per game while leading Alabama to the outright SEC regular-season title.

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Amen Thompson


SF

Overtime Elite

• 6’6″

/ 214 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Thompson is a big and super-athletic guard with a unique ability to shot-create and deliver passes most prospects his age can’t even see. His lack of a perimeter jumper is the only obvious thing that could prevent him from being a high-level NBA player for a long time.

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Houston

• Fr

• 6’7″

/ 249 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

11.2

RPG

6.8

APG

1.8

3P%

34.7%

Walker is a physical specimen, especially for his age, who exerts energy on both ends of the court. He’ll enter the NBA as a versatile defender who can play power forward or even some small-ball center.

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Kansas

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 204 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

14.1

RPG

5.1

APG

1.7

3P%

40.3%

Dick is a wing with size who made more than 40% of the 5.7 3-pointers he attempted per game for the outright Big 12 regular-season champs. His shooting ability is his greatest strength, but he’s a lot more than just a shooter.

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Villanova

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

12.5

RPG

5.3

APG

0.7

3P%

34.3%

Whitmore is one of those prospects who just looks different. He’s an incredible athlete capable of playing either forward position whose ability was mostly off the national radar in part because he played for a subpar Villanova team relative to normal Villanova standards.

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Ausar Thompson


SF

Overtime Elite

• 6’6″

/ 218 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

4th

The other Thompson twin is a big athlete just like his brother. He’s something of a traditional driver and slasher with enough athleticism to guard multiple positions well.

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Arkansas

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

12.8

RPG

5.1

APG

3.9

3P%

30.1%

Black is a lead guard with great size who is a gifted passer and nice pick-and-roll playmaker. If he ever develops a reliable jumper, All-Star Game appearances could be in his future.

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Indiana

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

13.5

RPG

4.1

APG

3.7

3P%

33.3%

I’ve been a believer in Hood-Schifino since I first saw him as a high school prospect playing for Team Thad on the Nike EYBL circuit. He’s a combo guard with size who should be a more-dependable 3-point shooter than he showed in his one season at Indiana.

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Connecticut

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 186 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

16.2

RPG

3.8

APG

1.3

3P%

38.8%

Hawkins made more than 38% of his 3-point attempts this season while helping UConn win the national championship. He’s not a top-shelf athlete, but he’s still a capable perimeter defender.

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UCF

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 214 lbs

PPG

15.1

RPG

7

APG

1.4

3P%

39.4%

Hendricks is an out-of-nowhere one-and-done prospect who established himself as a likely lottery pick because he’s a 6-9 athlete who made 39.4% of the 4.6 3-pointers he attempted per game at UCF. He’ll be a stretch-4 at the NBA level and could play some small-ball center if he adds enough strength.

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Ohio State

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

16.3

RPG

5.4

APG

1.2

3P%

40.5%

Sensabaugh, like Hendricks, was a sub-80 prospect in the Class of 2022 who was surprisingly great in his one year at Ohio State. If he improves as a perimeter defender, the 6-6 wing could develop into the type of 3-and-D player everybody wants in the modern NBA.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

15.3

RPG

4.2

APG

2.8

3P%

33.8%

George wasn’t the most consistent freshman in the country in his one season in the Big 12, but his ability to score with the ball in his hands from the perimeter is undeniable. His high school shooting percentages are better than what he did for the Bears, which is among the reasons front offices can reasonably look past the 33.8% he shot from 3-point range at Baylor.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

11.7

RPG

3.7

APG

4.3

3P%

34.6%

Wallace is a lead guard who is impactful on both sides of the ball. He wasn’t great in his one year at Kentucky but showed enough flashes to reassure front offices that he’s worthy of being a top-15 pick in this draft.

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Michigan

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

14.2

RPG

2.8

APG

2

3P%

36.8%

Howard was the MVP of the Iverson Classic before his freshman season at Michigan. He can play multiple positions, make shots from the perimeter and is just, broadly speaking, a good-sized player with a well-rounded skillset, in part because he’s the son of a former NBA player and high-major college coach.

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Arkansas

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

12.5

RPG

1.6

APG

1.7

3P%

33.8%

Smith dealt with a less-than-perfect knee all season that limited him to just 17 games, most of which he struggled in relative to expectations that accompanied him to Arkansas. That’s among the reasons he won’t be selected where most projected he’d go a year ago, but he should still go somewhere inside the top 20 based on the ability to score he showed when he was healthy in high school.

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Iowa

• Jr

• 6’8″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

20.2

RPG

7.9

APG

2

3P%

33.5%

Much like his brother who plays for the Kings, Murray projects as a combo forward who can stretch the floor on offense and guard multiple positions on defense. The Iowa alum won’t be a top-five pick like his twin was last year, but he should comfortably go somewhere in the first round.

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Duke

• Fr

• 7’1″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

5.2

RPG

5.4

APG

1.1

3P%

15.4%

Lively’s one season at Duke got off to a rough start and was statistically unimpressive. But he showed enough as a rim-protecting big down the stretch to solidify himself as a first-round pick.

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Michigan

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 187 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

14

RPG

4.5

APG

2.9

3P%

35.5%

Bufkin didn’t enter the season with first-round projections but eventually established himself at Michigan as an interesting two-way player. He made 35.5% of the 3.7 3-pointers he attempted per game, which is a respectable number for a 6-4 guard.

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South Carolina

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 214 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

15.4

RPG

5.9

APG

0.8

3P%

32.4%

Jackson is one of the youngest players in this draft, in part because he reclassified and enrolled at South Carolina a year early. He was off the radar much of the season because he played for a bad team, but the former top-ranked recruit showed enough to keep NBA front offices interested in his obvious talent.

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Leonard Miller


SF

G League Ignite

• 6’9″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

16.9

RPG

10.1

APG

1.7

3P%

30.4%

Miller had a nice season with the G-League Ignite, averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds as a 19 year-old playing against professionals. There’s still a lot of development that needs to be done, but the physical tools to make it are all in place.

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Duke

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

8.3

RPG

2.4

APG

1

3P%

42.4%

Whitehead had an underwhelming one season at Duke, where he only averaged 8.3 points per game. But he did shoot 42.4% from 3-point range as a 6-7 wing, and at this point in the draft he’s worth a flyer even though he’s expected to soon have another procedure performed on his injured right foot.

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UCLA

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 226 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

13th

PPG

17.8

RPG

8.2

APG

2.4

3P%

31.7%

Jaquez should enter the NBA at the age of 22 ready to contribute immediately. He’s not going to wow anybody in individual workouts or test off the charts, but there are a lot of reasons to believe he has the stuff to be, at worst, an impactful role player on a winning team for many years to come.

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Rayan Rupert


PG

France

• 6’6″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

5th

Rupert remains unreliable offensively and very much a project. But he’s a 6-6 wing with a 7-3 wingspan who has all the prerequisites to be a great perimeter defender if his shooting comes around enough to make him playable at the NBA level.

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Houston

• Sr

• 6’2″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

12th

PPG

16.8

RPG

2.8

APG

3.1

3P%

38.4%

Sasser is a combo guard who played a big role in helping Houston secure a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. His ability to playmake and reliably make jumpers will give him a chance to stick in the NBA even if he is a little on the small side.

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Alabama

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 210 lbs

PPG

9.8

RPG

7.9

APG

0.8

3P%

28.3%

Defensive versatility is a desired skillset these days, and it also happens to be Clowney’s strongest attribute. The 6-10 forward has a 7-2 wingspan and the necessary enthusiasm to guard different types of players all over the court.

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Kansas

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

20.1

RPG

8.3

APG

2.2

3P%

33.7%

Wilson is the latest Kansas alum to develop into a legitimate NBA player after spending multiple years under Bill Self. He made a huge leap from his third season to his fourth season with the Jayhawks while earning Big 12 Player of the Year honors.

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NC State

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 163 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

38th

POSITION RNK

14th

PPG

17.9

RPG

3.6

APG

4.1

3P%

33.6%

Smith already has a strong pull-up game and the athleticism to make big plays on both sides of the court. If he becomes a more efficient version of himself and adds strength, he’ll turn out to be very worthy of a late first-round selection.

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Pepperdine

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 207 lbs

PPG

17.1

RPG

5.7

APG

2.8

3P%

35.1%

Lewis is the rare non-Gonzaga WCC player with realistic first-round aspirations. He’s a 6-7 wing with a 6-10 wingspan who can shot-create and punish teams from the 3-point line, both of which are qualities NBA franchises value immensely.

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