Welcome to The Playbook’s 2023 NBA Draft Guide. With just over three weeks until the San Antonio Spurs take the podium in Brooklyn, New York, our Draft Guide is the one-stop-shop you need for all things NBA Draft.
Roster requirements, player comparisons, and data analysis sourced from NCAA LiveStats – explore the full guide below.
We’re pretty convinced that these 12 players are going to make a real impact in the NBA. If your team selects one of these guys at the NBA Draft, you should be excited.
Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92
He’s been called a generational talent, the best basketball prospect since LeBron James. The 19-year-old Wembanyama will go first overall to San Antonio and the eyes of the world will follow his career closely. The only question left is what the Spurs will put around him.
Current Player Comp: Nobody!
Scoot Henderson, NBA G League Ignite
The draft gets interesting after Wembanyama goes, as Charlotte’s choice is arguably the top storyline of the entire draft. Henderson is an explosive slashing point guard with elite physical tools. Much was made of his classic showdown with Wembanyama last year when he scored 28 points, which solidified him as an early pick. If Charlotte doesn’t take Henderson, Portland will.
Current Player Comp: Ja Morant, Memphis
Brandon Miller, Alabama
The third of the top picks is Miller, though it’s quite possible he goes second to a Charlotte team that needs young wings. Miller blew up this year, becoming one of the top players in college basketball for a really strong Alabama team. He showed the ability to score and shoot nearly 40 percent from 3 on his way to averaging 20 points per game in the SEC. If Portland put Miller next to Damian Lillard, that’s a good start to getting the Blazers back in the hunt.
Current Player Comp: Jayson Tatum, Boston
Jarace Walker, Houston
Walker was a defensive wrecker on a Houston that was ranked No. 1 multiple times last season. He has a high basketball IQ and though he’s not known for his offense, he did shoot an above-average 34 percent from 3 last season. Walker’s destination will depend on what happens at picks 3-5, but he’s a firmly a lottery pick.
Current Player Comp: Draymond Green, Golden State
Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite
The Thompson twins made a name for themselves in the Overtime Elite league. Amen, a top-flight athlete, is projected to go first. He’s a big-time leaper and playmaker with a very high ceiling. He may need time to develop running an NBA-level offensive scheme, but athletes like Amen Thompson are always given plenty of time.
Current Player Comp: Tyrese Halliburton, Indiana
Ausar Thompson, Overtime Elite
Ausar is no slouch himself athletically, a high-level finisher who can also handle the ball when needed. He may be a better defender than his brother is, and he’s an adept passer and slasher. His game fits the modern NBA really well and he’ll likely be a top-10 selection.
Current Player Comp: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City
Anthony Black, Arkansas
At 6-7 with point guard skills, Black looks the part as the prototype NBA player. He averaged 13 points, five rebounds and four assists at Arkansas and showed the ability to be a versatile defender. Black should be off the board during the lottery and will be in the mix in the top 10.
Current Player Comp: Jordan Clarkson, Utah
Cason Wallace, Kentucky
If you were polling NBA personnel decision makers on the top defensive guards in the draft, Wallace would get a lot of votes. The one and done Kentucky player is a disruptive defender and capable shooter. Wallace projects mid-to-late lottery and because of his defense, he could be an immediate NBA contributor.
Current Player Comp: Jalen Green, Houston
Taylor Hendricks, UCF
Hendricks has climbed draft boards due to his length and athleticism. His wingspan is reportedly past 7 feet and he has good mobility. He’s a versatile defender who put up 15 points per game. The upside is huge for Hendricks, who projects to go in the middle of the NBA Draft lottery.
Current Player Comp: Brandon Ingram, New Orleans
Cam Whitmore, Villanova
The Big East Freshman of the Year doesn’t turn 19 until later this summer and shot up draft boards after starring for the Team USA U18 team last summer. His strength, size and athleticism are all high-level for his age. He is a respectable outside shooter that projects to improve and can rebound and defend.
Current Player Comp: Anthony Edwards, Minnesota
Kobe Bufkin, Michigan
Bufkin had a breakout sophomore season at Michigan, and really it was a breakout final two months. Michigan struggled for much of the year but made a late run as Bufkin’s usage rate increased and UM went to him more. He averaged 17 points per game in a very deep Big Ten while shooting 45 percent from 3-point range. Depending on how June workouts for teams shake out, he could go in the lottery or late in the first round.
Current Player Comp: De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento
Gradey Dick, Kansas
In a shooter’s league, Dick is possibly the best in the class. He had some major performances for Kansas last season and shot 40 percent from 3 as a high-volume shooter. When paired with the right penetrating guards, Dick will be a dangerous spot-up shooter – with length and athleticism to also add to his game – in the league for many years.
Current Player Comp: Michael Porter Jr., Denver
Below we’ve profiled each team with a first round pick, setting out their overall NBA draft capital, their individual needs and the ideal prospect for their roster. Teams in alphabetical order.
Picks: 16, 46
Needs: Perimeter defense.
Amari Bailey from UCLA would be a nice fit here. He’s a combo guard who played well on both ends of the floor. He will help with the perimeter defense and has the ability to score in the mid-range.
Picks: 21, 22, 51
Needs: Scoring and play-makers.
With back-to-back draft picks for the Nets they will be trying to shore-up their offense.
Leonard Miller from the G-League is a versatile scorer from 2 levels but will need to work on his perimeter shooting to become a 3-level scorer.
Bilal Coulibaly from the EuroLeague is another good shout here. The 18-year-old from Mets 92 (Wemby’s teammate) is a good scorer and is explosive with straight line attack to the rim.
Picks: 2, 27, 34, 39, 41
Needs: Shooting and a running mate for LeMelo Ball.
Brandon Miller from Alabama with his size, skill and his ability to create plays it should help out the Hornets and blend in well with LaMelo Ball.
If either Grady Dick or Jordan Hawkins is available at 10, Dallas should be taking one of them. Both would be a good fit for the Mavs, who need help shooting to open the floor.
Picks: 5, 31
Needs: Wing player who can fit in with young players.
This should be a good spot for Cam Whitmore who has a big body and can play well off the ball and should fit in nicely with the Pistons young players.
Needs: Mobile big perimeter defender.
Noah Clowney from Alabama would be a mobile big the Warriors would need. Considering the shooting they already have, adding a stretch 4 to their bag would certainly offer more spacing to their offensive sets.
Picks: 4, 20
Needs: Veteran stable presence or a plug-and-play guy.
A couple of options here for the Rockets. Amen Thompson from the G-League or Cam Whitmore from Villanova.
Amen Thompson plays well off the ball and can also create plays within the offense and can fit in with Houstons young players. Cam Whitmore might be more of a wing player but also plays well off the ball can contribute and fit in well.
Picks: 7, 26, 29, 32, 55
Needs: A wing or a big.
Ausar Thompson from the G-League would be an ideal pick. He has a big NBA body and is athletic to make a difference and a potential to play at a high level on both ends of the floor.
Picks: 30, 48
Dariq Whitehead from Duke would be a lovely addition. Despite concerns on his ability to stay healthy, he will be able to contribute to the offense with his 3-point shooting. If he can knock down open shots, he will be able to spread the floor for the improving Clipper offense.
Picks: 17, 47
Needs: Shooting and perimeter defense.
Jalen Hood-Schifino has good size for a point guard and a nice offensive game. If Russell leaves the Lakers this might be a good option.
Kris Murray might be a better fit for the Lakers as he would be more of a plug and play guy. He will be able to play within the offense that focuses on James and Davis, most likely as a solid wing player.
Needs: A big guy and a point guard.
As with the Lakers, they might take whoever LA does not. Miami’s ability to develop players stands whoever lands here in good stead; it almost doesn’t matter who they take. But Hood-Schifino or Murray can certainly help their rotation.
Picks: 25, 45, 56
At this point in the first round, we like Brandon Podziemski from Santa Clara. He’s not as highly touted coming into the draft but was hitting over 40% from behind the arc, and with additional reps his shooting can be consistent enough for the Grizzlies.
Needs: Shooting and complimentary players.
Nick Smith Jr from Arkansas can knock down 3’s in a hurry. Not only can he spread the floor but he can score in multiple ways. He should fit in well with McCullom and Ingram who will dominate more of the ball.
Picks: 12, 37, 50
Needs: Some help for SGA and another play maker.
Keyonte George from Baylor would be a good fit. He is a playmaker who help relieve some of the creating for SGA and who can also score.
Picks: 6, 11, 36
Needs: Shooting. And more shooting.
Luckily, there are multiple shooting options here for the Magic. Grady Dick from Kansas and Jordan Hawkins from UConn present as the best, as a perimeter guard would benefit them to space the floor.
Grady Dick is considered the best shooter in the draft and can develop into a decent defender.
Jordan Hawkins another player coming into the draft considered a shooter can be a good addition to the Magic with his catch and shoot ability.
Picks: 3, 23
Needs: Shooting and second option for Damian Lillard.
Scoot Jackson from the G-League would be an electric guard to run along Lillard. His athleticism, quickness and active hands defensively can contribute to the Blazers on both ends of the floor.
Picks: 24, 38, 54
We like Rayan Rupert from France. NBA scouts are projecting him to be a project player offensively. With the Kings offense having a real moment, Rupert should be able to take some time to develop. Defensively he can help and be a contributing factor for the Kings’ rotation.
Picks: 1, 33, 44
They are set to draft the consensus generational talent Victor Wembamyama. The 7’4”, 19-year-old from France will need to bulk to handle the physicality of the NBA but his overall skill should contribute to the Spurs immediately.
If Jordan Hawkins from UConn is still available the Raptors will pick him up. Cason Wallace from Kentucky would also fit here. With trade rumors on Fred Van Fleet, Wallace could be a PG who can defend or play off the ball if needed.
Picks: 9, 16, 28
Needs: Mobile bigs.
Anthony Black would be a mobile defender who can guard multiple positions. He is a willing passer who makes plays.
Taylor Hendricks another mobile defender who is long and causes headaches. He can also score and make big plays when it counts.
Picks: 8, 42
Needs: Help at all positions.
Jared Walker from Houston has a good solid offensive package that will help the Wizards. With a little work and NBA experience he has the potential to become a solid defender who can contribute consistently.
First round prospects
The best of the rest. These players should all go in the first round. Toggle to reveal each players’ 2022/2023 season stats (per game).