Victor Wembanyama will be the 1st pick of the 2023 NBA Draft. But who will go second?
The Wembanyama Draft is almost here. On June 22, 2023, Victor will be selected with the first pick. But who will go second ? Third ?
We have compiled the work of experts from ESPN, The Ringer, and Yahoo! to provide you our mock draft.
1. Victor Wembanyama
Ht./Wt.: 7-3, 209 pounds
Team: Metropolitans 92 (France)
The experts are unanimous: Wemby will be the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Jonathan Givony, who has been following him for years for ESPN, calls him a "generational talent", as does Yahoo!, which announces the arrival of a "generational-type talent who will undoubtedly take the NBA by storm". For The Ringer, Victor Wembanyama is none other than the "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Generation Z".
More broadly, all observers agree that the NBA will see the arrival of "the league's greatest prospect in decades, who has the potential to become one of the greatest players of all time, and who is unlike anyone else!".
2. Scoot Henderson
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 196 pounds
Team: Team Ignite (G League)
The leader of the G-League Ignite is challenged! Long announced as the guaranteed 2nd pick, Scoot Henderson could end up 3rd as the talented Brandon Miller is emerging.
The Ringer compares Henderson to "an efficient Russell Westbrook: supreme athlete who wants to bury his opponents with ferocious dunks while having the ability to lead an offense and energize a defense". But places him 3rd in the Draft. For Yahoo!, Scoot Henderson remains the "best guard and the second best overall prospect behind Wembanyama". Despite the fact that his season was "not as impressive as expected", ESPN's Jonathan Givony still has Scout going 2nd.
3. Brandon Miller
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 205 pounds
Team: Alabama (NCAA)
For a long time, it looked like the top two picks in the 2023 NBA Draft were set. Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson would be No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, and teams would have a real tank battle to select them. But the plans have been turned upside down by the rise of Alabama star Brandon Miller. According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Miller is apparently "well positioned" to be selected second overall. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer doesn't hesitate to announce him as the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, calling him a player similar to an upgraded Paul George, as a "big-time scorer with playmaking skills that he can exploit to the fullest if he improves his game and physique."
ESPN and Yahoo! remain more cautious for the moment and announce him third, behind Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, but the gap is seriously narrowing.
4. Amen Thompson
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 200 pounds
Team: City Reapers (Overtime Elite)
Behind the top three, the identity of the fourth pick also seems to be unanimous. And it is Amen Thompson, a combo guard of great size, who will come from Overtime Elite, the new professional league that gathers a whole flock of talents. A complete player, physically impressive, Amen Thompson is described by Yahoo! as "one of the most athletic players in the 2023 NBA Draft". And Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer has nothing but praise for him: "An amazing athlete. A rocket."
Of course, Amen Thompson is regularly compared to ... his twin brother, Ausar, who is also expected to be selected in the Top 10 of the Draft. Jonathan Givony, who follows the siblings for ESPN, writes that they "represent everything the NBA is looking for from a physical standpoint, including All-Star explosiveness, defensive versatility that brings them closer to Andre Iguodala, Jaylen Brown and Herb Jones, as well as speed and strength not seen in many NBA players, with the exception of LeBron James". And while, according to the insider, "opinions are divided among both Overtime Elite officials and NBA scouts as to who the best long-term prospect is," it would appear that Amen is more popular at the moment.
5. Jarace Walker
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 240 pounds
Team: Houston (NCAA)
"The most intriguing prospect in the top 5 of the upcoming draft!" That's how Jarace Walker is described by Yahoo!, who argues that "his stat lines are not a direct indication of the type of player he is and the impact he has on his team. More attention should be paid to his defensive versatility, as he can guard inside due to his size, but also get out and defend on the wing due to his athleticism." All observers obviously point to what a great defender Houston's player is. "A versatile wrecking ball on defense and a skilled playmaker on offense," for Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, who compares him to a "Julius Randle with defensive skills."
ESPN's Jonathan Givony also adds that while he's known for his "defensive versatility and toughness, he's showing impressive shooting and playmaking prowess." To recap, The Ringer and Yahoo! see Jarace Walker being selected fifth overall, while ESPN ranks him sixth in its latest report.
6. Ausar Thompson
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 200 pounds
Team: City Reapers (Overtime Elite)
Twin brother of Amen Thompson. Same height, same build, same position... Amen and Ausar Thompson are almost always compared to each other rather than evaluated independently since they are identical twins who play on the same team and often share the floor together. One thing is for sure, they could become the highest drafted twins in history.
The Ringer compares Ausar Thompson to a "Shaun Livingston with elite athleticism". A leaping athlete, he combines speed and body control to perfection, allowing him to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Kevin O'Connor even states that he has "the potential to be one of the best defensive playmakers because of his speed and athleticism". And Yahoo! adds, "Ausar is an explosive guard, he excels as a perimeter defender and is one of the best shot-blocking guards in this draft class."
However, observers do not agree on the position at which he will be selected: 5th for ESPN (just behind his brother), 6th for Yahoo! or even 7th for The Ringer.
7. Cam Whitmore
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 pounds
Team: Villanova (NCAA)
From the seventh spot on, observers disagree. Cam Whitmore seems to stand out a bit. "A fierce competitor who has a high level of skill and has shown signs of success," Cam Whitmore is compared by The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor to a "semi-truck with the gas pedal of a Ferrari," both massive and athletic. And NBA franchises are not unaware of this phenomenon. Jonathan Givony recognizes that there is "a lot to like about what Cam Whitmore offers from a physical standpoint and the flashes he has shown as a shot maker". Yahoo! obviously talks about a "powerful guard who can string together good offensive sequences, especially when the ball is in his hands," but they don't see the Villanova player being selected in the top 10, as they rank him twelfth. The Ringer expects Cam Whitmore to be picked sixth.
8. Nick Smith Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185 pounds
Team: Arkansas (NCAA)
Just like Cam Whitmore, Nick Smith Jr. could claim the seventh pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Despite his knee injury that forced him to miss a large part of the season, Nick Smith Jr. made his comeback and showed selflessness, unlike "some players who, in the past, chose not to play to protect their draft chances after early injuries that left them on the sidelines for a long time ..." All of which reassures scouts that he is still the same player who caught their eye as a top 10 prospect. Jonatan Givony of ESPN agrees, confirming that "NBA teams appreciate the competitiveness he shows and his strengths like his scoring instincts and creativity, his shot-making prowess, his ability to switch gears and his defensive intensity, which give him significant potential as an NBA point guard."
Kevin O'Connor describes a "slippery scorer who can take all the shots he wants, but needs to improve his consistency" and compare him to players like Jamal Murray or Tyler Herro.
9. Keyonte George
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 185 pounds
Team: Baylor (NCAA)
All observers agree that Keyonte George will be selected around the tenth spot in the next NBA Draft. Impressive with his team of Baylor, he has only climbed in the rankings lately. Yahoo! calls him a "go-to player in crunch time" and a "high-volume shooter with excellent shooting mechanics" with a "natural feel for the game that will propel his NBA career" and lists him at No. 10. The Ringer, which compares Keyonte George to Bradley Beal and talks about a "sharp scorer with the ability to shred defenses, but also a defensive game and intensity that gives him the potential to become a complete guard," sees him being selected at No. 8.
10. Gradey Dick
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 205 pounds
Team: Kansas (NCAA)
Who will land the final top-10 spot in the upcoming draft? There are several players that NBA observers believe can snag that position. Starting with Gradey Dick. The Ringer calls him "a wing, sharpshooter with the kind of playmaking ability that will make him more than just a shooting specialist". Regularly described as one of the best shooters in college, if not the best, Gradey Dick possesses, again according to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, "an impeccable shot release, with no unnecessary movement, which allows him to make any type of shot." ESPN's Jonathan Givony also calls him an "excellent shooter, showing great character by grabbing rebounds, defending, finishing in contact and making highlight reels." Yahoo! even adds that the Kansas star is "a versatile player with a high IQ, who doesn't hesitate to make big plays when the game is on the line or the shot clock is running down."
Yahoo! and The Ringer agree that Gradey Dick could be selected in the top 10 of the upcoming NBA Draft, even putting him at No. 9. ESPN is more cautious and is reporting him at No. 11.
11. Anthony Black
12. Cason Wallace
13. Taylor Hendricks
14. Jett Howard
15. Jalen Hood
16. Rayan Rupert
17. Brice Sensabaugh
18. Maxwell Lewis
19. Gregory Jackson II
20. Kris Murray
21. Jordan Hawkins
22. Kyle Filipowski
23. Noah Clowney
24. Dariq Whitehead
25. Dereck Lively II
26. Colby Jones
27. Leonard Miller
28. Kobe Bufkin
29. Sidy Cissoko
30. Terquavion Smith