What a night! And what a week!
The structure of the NBA changed in the past week with the Spurs adding the other-worldly Victor Wembanyama, the Hornets taking Miller over Scoot and a number of big NBA players being traded. It’s been a hell of a rollercoaster. And great entertainment!
Check out the Full 2023 NBA Draft results here.
The Hornets had the first big decision on draft night and decided on the high scoring Brandon Miller over Scoot Henderson. I love the fit but have my questions about passing on a potential superstar point guard. We’ve seen in the past that drafting for fit at the top of the draft can backfire. Time will tell if they made the right decision. The Hornets also added Nick Smith Jr. (who played AAU ball with Miller) and added one of my favorite long-term/developmental players in the draft in James Nnaji at the top of the second round. Plus Amari Bailey! Really good night overall for the Hornets.
The Washington Wizards have been given a much-needed facelift. I love the addition of Jordan Poole and the numerous future draft picks and pick swaps they got from the Suns. Plus they added the extremely high upside French wing Bilal Coulibaly after trading up one spot with the Pacers. I love the aggressive approach to tearing down and rebuilding from scratch. They’ll probably be one of the worst teams in the NBA next season and get to add more talent near the top of next year’s draft.
As for the Warriors landing CP3, I think it’s a bold and timely move, but not without risk. The championship window is starting to close and it makes all the sense in the world for them to ship away young players in exchange for more playoff ready guys. The problem will be if Poole continues to blossom and becomes a star. That’s the risk. Still, even with that risk, I think it’s worth it to go all-in now. This also clears space for them to resign Draymond Green.
The Cam Whitmore slide during the draft was something to behold. It wasn’t surprising that he fell out of the top 10 but having him last all the way till the 20th pick was shocking. There were rumors a few weeks ago of the Rockets considering him at no.4. Instead they got him at no.20. Wild. His attitude has been in question and there are also some medical concerns but damn, 20!
The draft combine risers all faired well on draft day. Brandin Podziemski, O-Max Prosper and Ben Sheppard all went in the first round. Goes to show how important that event can be. Toumani Camara also moved up boards during the pre-draft process and ended up landing in the late second round.
The Thompson twins going back to back was awesome. What a cool story. It’s going to be so fun to watch them early in their careers to see how all of that athleticism translates. The Pistons are suddenly a very athletic and exciting team. I’ll be tuning in to a lot of their games next season.
I’m really happy for Dariq Whitehead, who has had some setbacks on his way to the league but still landed in the first round, going no.22 to the Nets. If he gets back healthy he could seriously outplay this draft spot. The Nets also took one of my favorite prospects in this draft in Noah Clowney, at no.21. He’s a developmental player but I really like what he brings in terms of tools, energy, focus, defense and potential shooting. Really solid draft for the Nets.
The Jazz took the approach of adding solid players to an up and coming team. Hendricks is a really nice fit in the frontcourt, giving them good depth with Lauri and Walker Kessler. Keyonte George brings a new dimension to their backcourt as a big time shot-maker who can change the momentum of the game in a hurry. He’s a good value at no.16. the Brice Sensabaugh pick late in the first round is a solid swing for a player who has awesome scoring touch but some concerns as well. Well worth it at that stage of the draft.
Kobe Bufkin is a really interesting pick for the Hawks. Could this spell the beginning of the end of the Dejounte Murray era in ATL?
Emoni Bates went right in the range we expected him to, going to the Cavaliers at no.49. He’ll get a lot of media attention for a second round pick but will likely develop in the G League for a while.
The Clippers taking Kobe Brown at no.30 was one of the more surprising picks for me. I had him as a late second rounder and think they could have either moved down or gone a different direction there but time will tell, perhaps it’s a really good pick. They also added Jordan Miller later in round 2, a very solid selection/value.
Penn State had two players drafted in the second round. Jalen Pickett was a bit lower on my board but went no.32 to the Nuggets. He’s a great fit there and I like the pick, even with my lower ranking of him. Seth Lundy was taken no.46 by the Hawks, which is right in his projected draft range.
I really, really like Trayce Jackson-Davis as a role player in the league. The fact that he lasted all the way until pick no.57 is wild. But he ends up going to the perfect situation in Golden State where he’ll learn from Loon and Draymond and have some elite play-makers feeding him the ball. He won’t be asked to do too much on offense but his passing ability could be utilized with all of those elite shooters around him. Adding him and Podz is a great draft for the Warriors and a nice departure from the unproven, high-upside swings they’ve taken in recent years.
GG Jackson was in the top 5 of my mock in December. He ended up going no.45 to the Grizzlies. The NBA is a business and teams want to draft players who will be/act like professionals. I still believe in GG but he has some growing up to do. If this pick hits it will be an incredible steal/value and if it misses, it’s no big deal, as most second round picks don’t last in the league. I’m rooting for GG!
My proudest moment on draft night was hitting on picks no.50 and 51 in my mock, and then being just one pick off at no.52. Dumb luck surely, but felt good.
I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for reading my work and following my site throughout the year. It’s a joy to get to make this content and it’s even more meaningful knowing that people like you are reading it. Thank you!