In just under a month, hopes and dreams of names being called become a reality as the 2023 NBA Draft from the Barclays Center in New York will begin. In one of the most anticipated dates on the calendar, the San Antonio Spurs have the honor to select number one overall followed by Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Detroit Pistons. This class is deeper than in years past and if all works out, they will show why as soon as they step out on the court.
Top Five 2023 NBA Draft Prospects
5. Jarace Walker (PF)
With a 6’8″, 240-pound frame, Jarace Walker instantly comes into the league with the perfect size for an NBA forward. His strength and physicality play a big role on both ends of the floor. On offense, Walker has a knack for getting to the rim with multiple moves and finishing through contact. He can also use those same moves to be effective from midrange and beyond the arc, becoming an a scorer in many areas. Walker’s ability to pass is also one of his strong suits, hitting his teammates in stride off the dribble and making great outlet passes in transition.
That strength and physicality translate on defense as well, detouring opponents from getting to the paint and being able to gaurd it. Walker is a disruptive defender, using his 7-foot-2 wingspan to hover over his opponent and block shots as well as create turnovers. He is a smart defensive player and is one of the best all-around on that side of the floor. There’s a lot to like about Walker’s physical tools that can translate well into the NBA.
4. Amen Thompson (PG/SG)
The top three picks seemed to be stapled leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft but Amen Thompson has made a pretty good case to move up. Once he gets drafted, he will immediately become one of the best pure athletes in the league. Thompson’s playmaking and skillset jump off the charts. As a scorer, he is able to get to and attack the rim with his explosive first step and quick burst/blow by speed, finishing with the best of them. He can also get to the rim with his ball-handling/crossover moves.
Thompson has great instincts and basketball IQ that allow him to become a great facilitator. He sees the floor well to be a creative and decisive passer. His defensive abilities added on make him a great prospect. Thompson has active hands and the length to poke the ball away and create steals, becoming a desruptive defender for anyone. That, in turn, turns into instant offense with his ability to push the ball up the floor. While his shot might need a little improvement, Thompson’s skill makes him one of the best players in this draft.
3. Brandon Miller (SF)
Coming out of Alabama, Brandon Miller is known as one of the best shooters in this class. With his shot mechanics and release, he is a smooth mid-range shooter and has elite range to knock down threes from anywhere. Miller also can hit different kinds of shots, whether it’s in rhythm, off the dribble, or turnaround jumpers. His size at 6’9″, 200 pounds allows him to shoot over anyone with ease.
Miller also delivers in different ways with the ball, having great vision to accurately find his teammates anywhere on the court. On the defensive end, the young forward has quick lateral movement and uses his length to become an active shot-blocker. With Miller’s natural ability to score from anywhere, he becomes a valuable asset and would surprise no one if he went second overall.
2. Scoot Henderson (PG)
If it wasn’t for a generational talent at number one, Scoot Henderson would be on top. Now that just means the Hornets can get a number one pick at number two overall. His strength and athleticism stand out above the rest, making him a pure athlete at just 6’2″. His nearly 7-foot wingspan makes up for his lack of size as well.
His explosiveness on offense makes him one of the best scorers in the 2023 NBA Draft. While Henderson is a really good mid-range shooter, it would take his game to a whole other level as a shooter if he improved his three-point shot. He also combined his great scoring ability with his great passing ability, becoming a great facilitator. Scoot has room to improve on the defensive end but displays some feistiness. He will fight with Miller for the right to go number two overall.
1. Victor Wembanyama (PF/C)
Known as the best prospect since LeBron James in 2003, Victor Wembanyama is projected to change the course of a franchise for years to come and in this case, that would be the Spurs. If his 7’3″ frame wasn’t terrorizing enough, he also possesses the skills to be absolutely dominant in every aspect. Wembanyama is able to create his own offense, showing great shot-making ability while also being able to finish above the rim. He can move the ball quickly as a passer and is an elite playmaker anywhere on the floor.
If his offense wasn’t enough, his play on the other end of the court makes him the complete package. Wembanyama can be a future Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He uses his eight-foot wingspan to block shots at a high level whether it’s at the rim or away from it. The 19-year-old superstar also can knock defenders off of their path and deteriorate them from getting to the paint. He has all the tools to be one of the best players in NBA history.
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