The 2023 NBA Draft could feature more trades than usual. Here are five proposals to spice up draft night.
The 2023 NBA Draft will take place on June 22 in Chicago. The Spurs will kick off the festivities by selecting Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick. From there, we don’t really know what will happen, who will get picked, or who will be making the picks.
There have been trade rumors circulating Portland at No. 3 and Houston at No. 4 as both teams try to build contenders around veteran point guards (fine, James Harden isn’t technically a Rocket yet, but c’mon). The Magic, Pacers, and Jazz all have lottery picks and multiple late first-round picks, which potentially means ammo to move up. A lot of the best prospects don’t really fit with the teams in their projected range. It could get messy.
So, it’s time to fire up the trade machine and spice up draft night. Here are five trades we just must see.
NBA Draft trade: Spurs pair Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson
Devin Vassell emerged as a legitimate pull-up shooter and playmaking vessel for the Spurs’ offense last season. He’s also a tremendous defender with the kind of versatility NBA teams crave, standing 6-foot-5 with a plus-5 wingspan. The Spurs shouldn’t take trading him lightly.
The same can be said for Jeremy Sochan, the No. 9 pick in last year’s NBA Draft. Sochan drastically improved as a free throw shooter in year one and even showed signs of developing into a 3-point shooter down the line. His defensive intensity and switchability in the frontcourt are valuable, his hair dye is the perfect ode to Dennis Rodman, and he’s a nifty passer in the power forward spot.
But… if the Spurs can convince the desperate Blazers to concede the No. 3 pick — and presumably G-League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson — it’s hard to turn down. Henderson will be right on Wembanyama’s timeline and the Spurs will be pairing two of the best prospects in recent memory.
Henderson isn’t quite the generational talent Wembanyama is, but he’s the best point guard prospect in a few years and a legitimate foundational piece on offense. Henderson plays with unfettered competitive fire — he wants to destroy his opponent and he puts in max effort in pursuit of victory. His three-level scoring and adept playmaking would pair instantly with Wemby’s versatile offensive skill set. The Spurs would have two 19-year-olds with the potential to dominate the next decade of NBA basketball.
Meanwhile, the Blazers add a legitimate second star in Vassell who can cover gaps in the perimeter defense and relieve some of the playmaking pressure off of Damian Lillard in certain lineups. Sochan would give the Blazers a versatile defensive weapon in the frontcourt with Jerami Grant potentially leaving in free agency.