2023 NBA Mock Draft 8.0: Spurs win Wembanyama sweepstakes

Victor Wembanyama, NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama, NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Antonio Spurs were big winners on lottery night; our latest NBA Mock Draft goes through Victor Wembanyama’s presumed new home and every first-round pick. 

The 2023 NBA draft order is set after the lottery gods once again blessed the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 1 overall pick and a generational big-man prospect to use it on. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons fell four spots to No. 5 and will have to get more creative to maximize their opportunity.

With the order now finalized and the NBA Draft Combine in full swing, it really is draft season. Expect a lot of movement on draft boards between now and June as teams interview players, host individual workouts and dive deep into personal backgrounds. In the meantime, NBA Twitter will run rampant with speculation and debate over what teams should do.

There are plenty of quality prospects at the top of the board this year; it’s Wembanyama and everyone else, but there are multiple potential All-Stars or starters littered throughout the lottery. Even the backend of the first round has the potential to yield several reliable contributors.

For more information on potential draft targets for your team, check out our most recent big board ranking the top 60 prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft.

2023 NBA Mock Draft: Who gets picked in the first round?

30. player. 77. . F, Connecticut. Los Angeles Clippers. Andre Jackson Jr.

Fresh off his national championship with UConn, Andre Jackson is starting to generate first-round buzz. A unique prospect who offers very little as a scorer but a lot elsewhere, Jackson is ready to fill a role for a contender. His open-court playmaking, versatile defense, and relentless hustle could fit nicely with the Clippers.

Indiana Pacers. Brandin Podziemski. 29. player. 100. . G, Santa Clara

Brandin Podziemski has been steadily rising up draft boards all season with Santa Clara. He’s a crafty scorer with endless confidence and deep 3-point range. There are some concerns about his athleticism translating to the NBA, so he’d be best paired with an elite playmaker in the backcourt like Tyrese Haliburton.

118. . F, Duke. Utah Jazz. Dariq Whitehead. 28. player

Dariq Whitehead recently underwent his second foot surgery after an underwhelming freshman campaign at Duke. Once hailed as a potential top-10 pick, Whitehead never looked quite himself in Durham. Questions remain about his athleticism, and now there are lingering injury concerns to consider, but there aren’t many more complete wings on the board than Whitehead at full capacity.

F, South Carolina. Charlotte Hornets. GG Jackson. 27. player. 170.

The Hornets’ draft history is all over the place, but selecting the semi-local prospect with massive upside (and downside) feels like a Charlotte move. GG Jackson was originally the top recruit in the high school class of 2024 before reclassifying and joining South Carolina as a 17-year-old. He’s the youngest player on the board and a tantalizing 6-foot-9 athlete who can create his own shot. There’s plenty of untapped potential.

. F, Michigan. Indiana Pacers. Jett Howard. 26. player. 100

Jett Howard could tumble on draft night due to defensive concerns. That would make the Pacers a very lucky team. Howard is an elite shooter with positional size at 6-foot-8. He flashed some potential for self-creation at Michigan and he competes hard on defense; now the fundamentals and conditioning need to catch up.

. C, Duke. Memphis Grizzlies. Dereck Lively II. 25. player. 211

The Grizzlies were decimated by injuries in the frontcourt last season. While they may have bigger concerns on their mind with Ja Morant’s looming suspension, there’s logic behind acquiring a shot-blocker and rim-runner of Dereck Lively’s caliber. He’s just a monster athlete, listed at 7-foot-1 with a 7-foot-7 wingspan.

Kris Murray. 24. player. 84. . F, Iowa. Sacramento Kings

Kris Murray joins his twin brother Keegan in Sacramento, supplying the Kings with more size and shooting in the frontcourt. Murray is one of the more polished off-ball scorers in the draft — a proven college star who should fit immediately with the Kings’ high-voltage offense.

34. . C, Nigeria. Portland Trail Blazers. James Nnaji. 23. player

Jusuf Nurkic’s steep decline has left the Blazers with a clear need for size and rim protection in the paint. James Nnaji is an absolute destroyer of men in the paint, 6-foot-10 with a plus-9 wingspan. He can wall off the basket for opposing offenses and he’s built like a tank, putting his strength to good use on the block.

147. . G, France. Brooklyn Nets. Rayan Rupert. 22. player

Rayan Rupert is one of the youngest players on the board and he has experience against grown men in Australia’s NBL. A wrist injury interrupted his season, but Rupert is a lengthy and versatile perimeter defender with a knack for creating turnovers. On the offensive end, he needs to iron out his 3-point shot.

Brooklyn Nets. Brice Sensabaugh. 21. player. 147. . G, Ohio State

Brice Sensabaugh was the best freshman shooter in college basketball when one considers both the efficiency and the relative difficulty of his shot attempts. No one was better at making contested jumpers. Sensabaugh has a deep bag of tricks off the dribble and he’s capable of scoring at all three levels, often leveraging his strength to bully defenders in the post. One has to imagine Sensabaugh will find his way to points in the NBA. The question is, will difficult shot-making without creating for others or defending at a high level really translate to winning basketball?

169. . F, Canada. Houston Rockets. Leonard Miller. 20. player

The Rockets get another long, versatile forward to add to the mix alongside Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason. Leonard Miller was highly productive for the G-League Ignite, averaging a 16.9-point double-double. He can handle the ball fluidly and he thrives running the floor in transition. If his 3-point shot comes around and he locks in on defense, Miller could be one of the draft’s biggest steals.

. F, Alabama. Golden State Warriors. Noah Clowney. 19. player. 41

The Warriors have to consider a future that may or may not include Draymond Green. Either way, there’s value in Noah Clowney — a versatile defensive weapon in the frontcourt. He’s also 18 years old, and as Golden State has shown in the recent past with picks like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, they tend to prioritize youth and upside on draft night.

110. . G, Indiana. Miami Heat. Jalen Hood-Schifino. 18. player

The Heat grab backcourt help in the form of Jalen Hood-Schifino, a shifty scorer from Indiana. Hood-Schifino is an elusive ball-handler who displays tremendous touch on floaters and mid-range jumpers. Mild inconsistency and a lack of explosiveness around the rim are holdups, but there’s obvious upside as a secondary creator helping Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro shoulder the load.

20. . G, Baylor. Los Angeles Lakers. Keyonte George. 17. player

Keyonte George’s lack of efficiency at Baylor is cause for concern, but his shot profile is generally positive and he shoots the 3 well. His craft off the dribble, combined with flashes of playmaking out of the pick-and-roll, gives George ample upside as a secondary creator in the Lakers’ offense. That role takes on elevated importance if Austin Reaves leaves for more money in free agency.

Kobe Bufkin. 16. player. 118. . G, Michigan. Utah Jazz

Kobe Bufkin has been a steady source of first-round buzz for some time now. Utah has guard depth, but Collin Sexton and Talen Horton-Tucker can only take you so far. Bufkin is a tenacious defender and talented slasher who could give the Utah offense more rim pressure and another source of playmaking in the backcourt.

Bobi Klintman. 15. player. 125. . F, Wake Forest. Atlanta Hawks

Bobi Klintman recently withdrew from the combine, the kind of behavior that could suggest a favorable first-round promise. The Hawks will be looking for frontcourt help whenever John Collins is finally offloaded. Klintman is a 6-foot-10 wing who can spread the floor and comfortably grab-and-go in transition. The NBA has never been hungrier for big, skilled wings.