We just witnessed a ton of talent withdraw from the 2023 NBA Draft and opt to return to school ahead of yesterday’s deadline. But that doesn’t mean that this year’s draft is short on talent or depth. There are still more than 60 draft-able-graded players in this class and depth beyond that as well.
With so many top talents returning to school we have a bunch of new names on this top 70 list. Here’s an expanded big board of over 5K words with comments on each of the top 70 players:
2023 NBA Draft Big Board – Top 70
- Victor Wembanyama – PF/C – France – There’s not too much more that needs to be said here. He’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. He’s not from this planet. He’ll change the skyline of San Antonio. And of course he’s no.1 on my big board.
- Scoot Henderson – PG – Ignite – Scoot might have had a soft end to his Ignite season but that doesn’t take anything away from the masterful work he put in through the first ¾ of the season and it doesn’t change the fact that he’s as elite of a PG prospect as we’ve seen in the past decade. He’s a dynamic game-changing guard in the Derrick Rose mold and has the type of dedication and work ethic to reach his elite potential.
- Brandon Miller – SF – Alabama – Big wings are super valuable and Miller is one of the best we’ve seen in the past few years coming into the league. I think he deserves the Paul George level comparisons and if things go mostly right for him I could see him being one of the leading scorers in the league in five years. He’s also a way underrated passer who really loves to collapse the defense and find open teammates. The off the court stuff needs to be examined but according to sources leaked in the media NBA teams are comfortable with his character and decision making.
- Jarace Walker – PF – Houston – While Walker might not be the most exciting pick in the top half of the lottery he’s got more star potential than most people realize. He has a chance to be one of the best defenders in the league while also being a plus offensive player. His passing and play-making ability set him apart from other rugged defender types and he also shows plenty of promise as a floor spacer. I think he’ll be sort of a quite star; not the leading scorer or best player on his team but a guy who makes some All Star games and provides lots of winning ingredients to a team.
- Taylor Hendricks – SF/PF – Central Florida – I think Hendricks will do a lot of things really well at the next level but might not be great at any one thing. I love his defense, both his ability to guard the rim and his ability slide all over the court and switch everything. That’s super valuable. And I definitely buy his jump shot. His ability to space the floor, hit the 3 and play D should automatically make him a valuable piece on a winning team. He’d have to develop his iso-game and passing feel to take his game to the next level and become a star. I could see that happening in the long term but in the meantime you get a super exciting young prospect who gives you value on both ends.
- Cam Whitmore – SF – Villanova – Cam is one of the bigger boom or bust players in this class. I laid out my concerns in a recent blog post but ultimately I do buy his talent and believe in his development. I think he’ll have a lot of highlights but also show a lot of areas in need of improvement early in his career but if he keeps up the hard work and dedicates himself to his craft he will be a serious problem in the league. His athleticism and powerful frame have allowed him to score at will against lesser competition but he’ll have to hone his ball skills to keep up that scoring at the NBA level.
- Amen Thompson – PG/SG – Overtime Elite – Amen’s upside is a lot higher than this ranking but his floor is a bit lower. It’s hard not to be blown away by his athleticism. In a league full of elite athletes he’ll instantly be one of the best. And he’s got an elite frame as well, to go along with uncanny court vision and passing instincts. He might take some time to adjust and find his rhythm in the NBA but he shows a huge amount of promise. I could regret having him this low!
- Anthony Black – PG/SF – Arkansas – I just freaking love Anthony Black. Jumbo guards with awesome defense and play-making are super valuable – and I also buy the development of his outside shot and overall scoring package. He’s a great kid, a hard worker, brings awesome energy on the court and has all the skills to back it up. He’s probably a step bellow a true star level player, as in he might not be a first option or no.1 player on a playoff team but I could see him as a solid second option or a great third star type of player.
- Ausar Thompson – SG – Overtime Elite – Ausar is a step below his brother in terms of athleticism and passing vision but he’s a better shooter and overall scorer who is also a menace on the defensive end. Like with Amen, this could be too low of a ranking for Ausar and his ceiling is a lot higher than this.
- Bilal Coulibaly – SF –France – He just keeps rising as his game and his body keep growing. Bilal has grown about 2 inches over the past year and is now listed at (and looking like a legit) 6-8 with good length and truly awesome athletic ability. The way he moves up and down the court is mesmerizing (at least if you’re a basketball scout). I know this is a lofty statement but he reminds me a bit of the first time I watched Giannis and saw his otherworldly athleticism. Bilal is a swing for the fences type of prospect but I’d be tempted to make that swing in the lottery, if I was a NBA decision maker.
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