NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Pick Predictions

LHStoday’s mock NBA draft of the top 14 picks of the 2023 draft, taking place on June 22


The NBA draft will take place on July 22. Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

LHStoday’s mock NBA draft of the top 14 picks of the 2023 draft. The draft will take place June 22.

* This mock draft took place before the NBA draft lottery team selection that is scheduled for May 16.

1. Detroit Pistons – Victor Wembanyama C

Wembanyama is the consensus No. 1 and already being regarded as one of the best prospects of the past decades.

With the offensive skills of a guard with his 7 foot 4 frame, he’s equally impactful on the defensive side. The Pistons would be getting a generational talent perfect to pair up with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

2. Houston Rockets – Scoot Henderson PG

The best guard prospect in this draft class, Henderson is an explosive athlete and crafty creator who could take over immediately at point guard, building chemistry with Green and Alperen Sengun, making things easier for Smith Jr. and Tari Eason and sliding Kevin Porter Jr. to a third guard role off the bench, to which he is probably best suited.

3. Charlotte Hornets – Brandon Miller SF/PF

Miller is one of the best shooters in the draft and would also present long-term upside as an agile athlete who can finish above the rim, despite being old for a freshman.

His floor is rather high as a big wing shooter, and there’s some upside to tap into here given the playmaking flashes he showed off at Alabama. The Hornets would be glad to have him as they need a new starting forward.

4. San Antonio Spurs – Amen Thompson PG

Thompson enters the draft with perhaps the most show-stopping athleticism of all prospects in this year’s class. He’s an elite ball handler with a wide range of ball moves and a natural playmaker who can find a way to pass the ball to any teammates on the floor.

There’s a lot that needs to develop in his shot. But his other skills at the point and defensively will buy the Spurs time to work on that element of his game.

5. Portland Trail Blazers – Ausar Thompson SF/SG

Ausar is much more of a wing than his brother Amen, but many of the same positives and negatives addressed above with Amen Thompson apply to Ausar Thompson. He’s an elite athlete, and his shooting stroke has clearly improved since he first entered the NBA radar. He’s something of a traditional driver and slasher with enough athleticism to guard multiple positions well.

6. Orlando Magic – Anthony Black PG

One of the best passers in the draft and also a high-level defender, both on and off the ball. He’s still developing as a finisher and may never be a high-level scoring option, but he shouldn’t be a liability offensively thanks to his ability to cut. As a 6-foot-7 point guard, Black would fit that mold as another tall playmaker.

7. Indiana Pacers – Gradey Dick SF

Known for his 3-point shooting prowess and 40.3% deep-ball percentage this past year at Kansas, Gradey has many skills that teams covet in a draft prospect. He plays hard, has good length that leads him to above-average rebounding and steal rates, as well as an assertive demeanor he brings to the court.

8. Washington Wizards – Cam Whitmore SF

Whitmore is a powerful athlete who at times looks the part of a potential high-end scorer in the NBA, with the ability to drive and finish through contact and a developing handle that allows him to create space. He’s not a great shooter, but there’s room for growth there, and the shot is by no means broken.

9. Utah Jazz – Cason Wallace PG

Wallace appears to be a safe bet to have a long and successful career as an NBA point guard. He’s got the size (6-4), skillset and motor that suggests a very high floor. Wallace is a disruptive, physical defender and on offense displays an advanced feel for the game with his ball-handling and passing.

10. Dallas Mavericks – Jarace Walker  PF

Walker has the opportunity to be selected in the top half of the lottery. He’s a sturdy forward with a strong frame who profiles as a multi positional defender with a versatile skill set offensively. The little playmaking he does show with the ball in his hand also is a look into what he could develop into.

11. Orlando Magic – Taylor Hendricks PF/C

Hendricks is an out-of-nowhere one-and-done prospect who established himself as a likely lottery pick because he’s a 6-9 athlete who made 39.4% of the 4.6 3-pointers he attempted per game at UCF. He’ll be a stretch-4 at the NBA level and could play some small-ball center if he adds enough strength.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Nick Smith Jr. PG/SG

Smith entered the season perceived as perhaps the best NBA prospect in college basketball, but was plagued by knee injuries that caused him to miss significant time. If Smith can get healthy and regain that old form, but it will be hard for some NBA teams to forget his shaky year at Arkansas.

13. Toronto Raptors – Keyonte George SG

George is a talented scoring guard who struggled with consistency issues throughout the season with Baylor. When he gets downhill, there aren’t many defenders who can slow him down or stop the 6-foot-4 guard’s shot. He’s also an underrated passer who hits his marks on the move with ease. It’s easy to say he would improve any offense he gets added to.

14. New Orleans Pelicans – Jordan Hawkins SG

One of the stars of the NCAA tournament, Hawkins’s prototypical shooting stroke and ability to make threes off movement has earned him a chance to go in the lottery. During that run, he made 21 threes in a six-game span, shooting 50%, it raised his season-long mark to 38.8% which is one of the best in the class