5 hidden gems of the 2023 NBA Draft class that teams already regret not taking

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat
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For all intents and purposes, the NBA Rookie of the Year race will be a sprint between 7-foot unicorns, Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama. But make no mistake, this rookie class has more to showcase than a 2023 redshirt and 2024 lottery picks.

Wembanyama came out of the gate as advertised. He possessed the jumper, the step-backs, and the handle to embarrass post players and wings alike. His ability to consistently block shots also rose to the forefront. See Wembanyama's 27-point, 14-rebound, 10-block triple-double.

The only things hindering his game were San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich's minutes restrictions, and his players seemingly freezing the big man out on occasions. Wembanyama's biggest trophy opponent comes in the form of Oklahoma City's Holmgren.

Fresh off missing the entire 2022–23 season, with a Lisfranc injury, Holmgren is spending his first official year as a major contributor to the Western Conference's No. 2 team—as their leading rebound and block artist and third-leading scorer.

Fellow rookies like Amen Thompson, Dereck Lively Jr. and Jordan Hawkins have helped their teams all season, while Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson have begun to show up to the NBA contribution party. But what about the rising stars outside of the lottery? Here are five of them to keep an eye on.