It’s hard to foresee what the NBA draft will look like, especially as the lottery won’t take place for a few months. While some draft prospects will rise during March Madness and pre-draft workouts, others will fall out of favor and slip down the boards.
Even as the draft cycle has spun around, however, the consensus on the 2023 class is that it has a franchise-changing star at the top, a second tier chock full of star prospects, and some hidden depth pieces from older college and international players. Although it doesn’t hold the chance to get LeBron James as well, a lottery pick this year can change a team’s fortune for a decade.
Throughout the draft season, a number of less-heralded freshman like Taylor Hendricks and Jalen Hood-Schifino have risen in the rankings due to standout campaigns, while others like Dereck Lively II and Jordan Walsh have seen their draft stock take a hit.
While it isn’t much of a surprise which player is selected first in this draft, many of the other selections will come down to which team gets which slot, as there are some tougher fits for some teams compared to others.
1. Detroit Pistons: Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitan 92
No surprise for the top pick, as the Pistons would be overjoyed to add a highly skilled and athletic two-way unicorn center to their young core.
2. Houston Rockets: Scoot Henderson, G-League Ignite
Despite recent chatter, a team like the Rockets crave a stabilizing great playmaker at point guard like Scoot to tie all of their talent together.
3. San Antonio Spurs: Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite
For a team that lacks star power like the Spurs, Amen offers too much raw, massive potential to pass on due to his exceptional athleticism and passing instincts.