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NBA mock draft 2023: Final projection for 2 rounds on draft day

Here’s our final NBA mock draft based on intel around the league.

2023 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2023 NBA Draft is finally here, and with it comes the realization of a lifelong dream for the 58 players who will hear their name called. This year’s draft features two fewer picks than normal after the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers were stripped of second rounders for tampering violations during free agency.

We have been covering this draft class since the day after the 2022 draft, and our initial board looks mostly accurate 12 months later. Be sure to read all of our draft coverage at SB Nation, which includes a feature on twins Amen and Ausar Thompson, a top-60 overall big board, a look at Victor Wembanyama’s 35 most incredible plays, and a mock draft with what we would do at every pick.

It’s time for one last mock draft — this time projecting both the first and second rounds. This mock is based off intel we’re hearing around the league. It’s what we actually think is going to happen with the draft just hours away. Let’s mock every pick in the 2023 NBA Draft:

NBA mock draft 2023: Final update for all 58 picks

Pick Team Player Position From
Pick Team Player Position From
1 San Antonio Spurs Victor Wembanyama Big/Forward Metropolitans 92 (France)
2 Charlotte Hornets Scoot Henderson Guard G League Ignite
3 Portland Trail Blazers Brandon Miller Wing Alabama
4 Houston Rockets Amen Thompson Guard Overtime Elite
5 Detroit Pistons Ausar Thompson Wing Overtime Elite
6 Orlando Magic Anthony Black Guard Arkansas
7 Indiana Pacers Jarace Walker Forward Houston
8 Washington Wizards Cam Whitmore Wing Villanova
9 Utah Jazz Taylor Hendricks Forward UCF
10 Dallas Mavericks Dereck Lively II Big Duke
11 Orlando Magic Gradey Dick Wing Kansas
12 Oklahoma City Thunder Kobe Bufkin Guard Michigan
13 Toronto Raptors Jalen Hood-Schifino Guard Indiana
14 New Orleans Pelicans Cason Wallace Guard Kentucky
15 Atlanta Hawks Keyonte George Guard Baylor
16 Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves) Bilal Coulibaly Wing Metropolitans 92 (France)
17 Los Angeles Lakers Jordan Hawkins Guard UConn
18 Miami Heat Olivier-Maxence Prosper Forward Marquette
19 Golden State Warriors Kris Murray Forward Iowa
20 Houston Rockets (via Clippers) Leonard Miller Forward G League Ignite
21 Brooklyn Nets Nick Smith Jr. Guard Arkansas
22 Brooklyn Nets (via Suns) Noah Clowney Big/Forward Alabama
23 Portland Trail Blazers (via Knicks) Jaime Jacquez Wing UCLA
24 Sacramento Kings Brandin Podziemski Guard Santa Clara
25 Boston Celtics Jett Howard Forward Michigan
26 Indiana Pacers (via Cavs) James Nnaji Center FC Barcelona
27 Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets) Dariq Whitehead Guard Duke
28 Utah Jazz (via 76ers) Rayan Rupert Wing New Zealand Breakers (France)
29 Denver Nuggets Ben Sheppard Guard Belmont
30 Washington Wizards Amari Bailey Guard UCLA
31 Detroit Pistons GG Jackson Forward South Carolina
32 Denver Nuggets Brice Sensabaugh Wing Ohio State
33 San Antonio Spurs Colby Jones Guard Xavier
34 Charlotte Hornets Jordan Walsh Forward Arkansas
35 Boston Celtics Andre Jackson Guard UConn
36 Orlando Magic Tristan Vukčević Big Spurs
37 Denver Nuggets Julian Phillips Wing Tennessee
38 Sacramento Kings Kobe Brown Forward Missouri
39 Charlotte Hornets Maxwell Lewis Wing Pepperdine
40 Indiana Pacers Trayce Jackson-Davis Big Indiana
41 Charlotte Hornets Marcus Sasser Guard Houston
42 Washington Wizards Julian Strawther Wing Gonzaga
43 Portland Trail Blazers Sidy Cissoko Wing G League Ignite
44 San Antonio Spurs Terquavion Smith Guard NC State
45 Memphis Grizzlies Colin Castleton Big Florida
46 Atlanta Hawks Jalen Wilson Wing Kansas
47 Los Angeles Lakers Ricky Council IV Wing Arkansas
48 Los Angeles Clippers Chris Livingston Wing Kentucky
49 Cleveland Cavaliers Emoni Bates Wing Eastern Michigan
50 Oklahoma City Thunder Seth Lundy Wing Penn State
51 Brooklyn Nets Jalen Pickett Guard Penn State
52 Phoenix Suns Keyontae Johnson Wing Kansas State
53 Minnesota Timberwolves Adama Sanogo Big UConn
54 Sacramento Kings Jordan Miller Forward Miami
55 Indiana Pacers Isaiah Wong Guard Miami
56 Memphis Grizzlies Mouhamed Gueye Big Washington State
57 Washington Wizards Tosan Evbuomwan Princeton Big
58 Milwaukee Bucks Jaylen Clark Wing UCLA

The Hornets are set to take Scoot Henderson at No 2, per report

We’ve maintained all year that Scoot Henderson should be the second pick in the draft. The Hornets have the least talented roster in the NBA outside of LaMelo Ball, and are in no position to draft for fit.

Shams Charania reported the Hornets are favoring Henderson over Brandon Miller with the second pick:

Outgoing majority owner Michael Jordan has the final say on the pick, according to GM Mitch Kupchak. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was convinced on Wednesday that Miller would be the pick:

Of course, just last year, ESPN reported that Jabari Smith Jr. would go No. 1 overall to the Orlando Magic. The Magic ended up taking Paolo Banchero, which was the right pick.

Will the Hornets call an audible at the last second and make the right choice? It’s still possible, but we can no longer ignore all the smoke around Miller.

What are the pivot points of this draft after No. 2?

The Hornets hold the keys to the draft with the second pick. Here are the other picks that can swing the outlook of the draft at the top of the first round:

  • Detroit Pistons at No. 5: Cam Whitmore should be the pick here, but Detroit doesn’t appear to like him as much as other players in this draft. All the intel says this pick will come down to Jarace Walker vs. Ausar Thompson. Either way, the Pistons are going to have a major shooting crunch with Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey already in their core.
  • Orlando Magic at No. 6: The Magic need shooting more than anything else. They could also use a dose of athleticism, and help in the backcourt. I’d guess this pick comes down to a Thompson twin vs. Anthony
  • Dallas Mavericks at No. 10: Consistently the hardest pick to project in the draft. I view this draft as having 11 worthy lottery picks. Derrick Lively is not one of those players. I’m putting him here because Dallas could use size and defense, and he checks both boxes. I wouldn’t love the pick, but it makes sense for them.

Who are the most interesting second round talents?

Here are a few second round picks I think could be steals:

  • Brice Sensabaugh, G, Ohio State: I have Sensabaugh rated as a lottery talent. NBA teams are lower on him because he’s a poor defender, lacks court vision, and has been dealing with knee injuries. The latest intel says he could slip out of the first round entirely. Personally, I believe his three-point shot and all-around shot-making is just too valuable to slip that far.
  • Jordan Walsh, F, Arkansas: Walsh has a strong 6’7 frame, a massive 7’2 wingspan, and sky-high defensive potential. He can handle the ball in the open floor, and has shown connective passing traits. There’s one swing skill for Walsh, and that’s his shot. He’s a bad shooter right now, but I watched him hit a critical three-pointer in Arkansas’ upset of Kansas in the NCAA tournament. I’d bet on his mentality, physical tools, and ability to improve.
  • GG Jackson, F, South Carolina: Jackson was the top-rated high school player in next year’s incoming freshman class before reclassifying to enroll at South Carolina. He put up some big numbers and had impressive shot-making flashes for the Gamecocks, but he was brutally inefficient and reportedly immature off the floor. Either way, Jackson’s combination of size (6’9), strength, and shot-making gives him a higher ceiling than a typical second rounder if he lasts that long.
  • Maxwell Lewis. G, Pepperdine: Lewis is so much fun to watch with long strides, spot-up shooting ability, and a deep bag of scoring tricks inside the arc. The problem is that his play slipped as the season went on, his defensive intensity can wane, and he might be harder to fit into team structures than other players in this range. Still, I like his upside and would consider him a home run pick in the second round.

How to watch the 2023 NBA Draft

Date: Thursday, June 22

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Location: Barclays Center

TV info: ESPN, ABC (first round)

Stream: Watch ESPN