2023 NBA draft recap: A glimpse into the future of basketball
The NBA 2023 Draft was a highly anticipated event that brought together top basketball prospects from around the world, including one of the most hyped prospects in league history as it is the Frenchman Victor Wembanyama.
As teams made their selections, fans and analysts alike were eager to witness the next generation of basketball talent stepping onto the NBA courts.
So, almost a month after this great event took place, we will recap the highlights and notable picks from the NBA 2023 Draft in this article and will explore how these young stars have the potential to shape the future of the game, so keep reading!
The top picks
There was no surprise with the 1st pick of the draft, as everybody knew the San Antonio Spurs would go for the promising young center Victor Wembanyama, who at just 18 years of age, emerged as one of the most dominant players in the French professional league.
Despite not being able to win the championship with his team, the Metropolitans 92, Wembanyama became the youngest player to win the LNB Pro A MVP Award, and not only that but he was also selected to the All-Pro A First Team and named Best Defender, Best Scorer, Best Blocker, and Best Young Player of the year, becoming the first ever player to do so in the French professional basketball league.
This of course only increased the hype around this 7-foot-5 young talent, who ended up going to San Antonio as the 1st overall pick of the draft, thus becoming the tallest active NBA player.
When it comes to the rest of the first round, there weren’t many surprises either as it played out pretty similar to what experts envisioned it was going to be at the start of the night.
Apart from a pair of swapped picks and trades, the 2023 NBA draft ended up being, arguably, the most predictable draft we’ve seen in recent history.
As expected, the top five picks were completed by Brandon Millers, Scoot Henderson, Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, who are going to the Hornets, Trail blazers, Rockets and Pistons respectively.
1st round remaining picks
Following the first five overall picks, the rest of the first round ended up looking something like this:
6. Orlando Magic: Anthony Black, PG/SG, Arkansas.
7. Indiana Pacers: Bilal Coulibaly, SF, Metropolitans 92 (traded to Washington Wizards).
8. Washington Wizards: Jarace Walker, PF, Houston (traded to Indiana Pacers)
9. Utah Jazz: Taylor Hendricks, PF, UCF.
10. Dallas Mavericks: Carson Wallace, PG, Kentucky (traded to Oklahoma City Thunder).
11. Orlando Magic (from Chicago Bulls): Jett Howard, SF, Michigan.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Dereck Lively II, C, Duke (traded to Dallas Mavericks).
13. Toronto Raptors: Gradey Dick, SG/SF, Kansas.
14. New Orleans Pelicans: Jordan Hawkins, SG, UConn.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Kobe Bufkin, SG, Michigan.
16. Utah Jazz (from Minnesota Timberwolves): Keyonte George, SG, Baylor.
17. Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Hood-Schifino, PG/SG, Indiana.
18. Miami Heat: Jaime Jaquez Jr., SF/SG, UCLA.
19. Golden State Warriors: Brandin Podziemski, SG, Santa Clara.
20. Houston Rockets (from Los Angeles Clippers): Cam Whitmore, SF, Villanova.
21. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix Suns): Noah Clowney, PF, Alabama.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Dariq Whitehead, SF, Duke.
23. Portland Trail Blazers (from New York Knicks): Kris Murray, PF, Iowa.
24. Sacramento Kings: Olivier-Maxence Prosper, SF/PF, Marquette (traded to Dallas Mavericks).
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Marcus Sasser, SG/PG, Houston (traded to Detroit Pistons via Boston Celtics).
26. Indiana Pacers (from Cleveland Cavaliers): Ben Sheppard, SG, Belmont.
27. Charlotte Hornets (from Denver via New York and Oklahoma City): Nick Smith Jr., PG/SG, Arkansas.
28. Utah Jazz (from Philadelphia 76ers via Brooklyn Nets): Brice Sensabaugh, SF, Ohio State.
29. Indiana Pacers (from Boston): Julian Strawther, SF, Gonzaga (traded to Denver Nuggets).
30. Los Angeles Clippers (from Milwaukee Bucks via Houston Rockets): Kobe Brown, SG/SF, Missouri.
2nd round picks
Just like the first round, the second-round picks of the draft didn’t involve any major surprises, although we did see a lot of movement among teams when it comes to trades. The second round of picks ended up looking something like this:
1. Detroit Pistons: James Nnaji, C, FC Barcelona (traded to Charlotte via Boston).
2. Indiana Pacers (from Houston): Jalen Pickett, SG, Penn State (traded to Denver).
3. San Antonio Spurs: Leonard Miller, SF, G League Ignite (traded to Minnesota).
4. Charlotte Hornets (from Charlotte via Philadelphia and Atlanta): Colby Jones, SG, Xavier (traded to Sacramento via Boston).
5. Boston Celtics (from Portland via Atlanta, Clippers, Detroit and Cleveland): Julian Phillips, SF, Tennessee (traded to Chicago via Washington).
6. Orlando Magic: Andre Jackson Jr, SG, UConn (traded to Milwaukee).
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Washington via New Orleans): Hunter Tyson, SF, Clemson (traded to Denver).
8. Sacramento Kings (from Indiana): Jordan Walsh, SF, Arkansas (traded to Boston).
9. Charlotte Hornets (from Utah via New York): Mouhamed Gueye, PF, Washington State (traded to Atlanta via Boston).
10. Denver Nuggets (from Dallas via Oklahoma City): Maxwell Lewis, SF, Pepperdine (traded to Lakers).
11. Charlotte Hornets (from Oklahoma City via New York and Boston): Amari Bailey, SG, UCLA.
12. Washington Wizards (from Chicago via Lakers and Washington): Tristan Vukčević, PF/C, Partizan Belgrade.
13. Portland Trail Blazers (from Atlanta): Rayan Rupert, SG, New Zealand Breakers.
14. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Sidy Cissoko, SG/SF, G League Ignite.
15. Memphis Grizzlies (from Minnesota): G. G. Jackson, PF, South Carolina.
16. Atlanta Hawks (from New Orleans): Seth Lundy, SG, Penn State.
17. Los Angeles Lakers: Mojave King, SG, G League Ignite (traded to Indiana).
18. Los Angeles Clippers: Jordan Miller, SF, Miami.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Golden State via Utah and New Orleans): Emoni Bales, SF/SG, Eastern Michigan.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Miami via Boston, Memphis and Dallas): Keyontae Johnson, SF, Kansas State.
21. Brooklyn Nets: Jalen Wilson, SF, Kansas.
22. Phoenix Suns: Toumani Camara, SP/PF, Dayton.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (from New York via Charlotte): Jaylen Clark, SG, UCLA.
24. Sacramento Kings: Jalen Slawson, SF, Furman.
25. Indiana Pacers (from Cleveland via Milwaukee and Detroit): Isaiah Wong, PG, Miami.
26. Memphis Grizzlies: Tarik Biberović, SF, Fenerbahçe.
27. Chicago Bulls (from Denver via Cleveland): forfeited due to tampering violation.
28. Philadelphia 76ers: forfeited due to tampering violation.
29. Washington Wizards (from Boston via Charlotte): Trayce Jackson-Davis, PF, Indiana (traded to Golden State).
30. Milwaukee Bucks: Chris Livingston, SF, Kentucky.
Something that stands out from the 2023 NBA Draft is that it was not only about American-born prospects.
International players showcased their skills and global reach, with several of them being selected early in the draft, led of course by the Frenchman Wembanyama, showcasing once more the ever-increasing influence that international talents have in the NBA.
Overall, a total of 14 players from outside the U.S. heard their names called during the 2023 NBA draft, 4 of them being French, 2 Canadian, 1 Mexican, 1 Puerto Rican, 1 Nigerian, 1 Senegalese, 1 Serb, 1 New Zealander, 1 Belgian and 1 Bosnian.
From top picks with the potential to become franchise players to late-round steals who can be instrumental in changing the tide of a game, this draft showcased the depth of talent in the sport.
Overall, the NBA 2023 Draft was a testament to the global appeal of basketball, with international players making a significant impact on the league.
With fresh talent injected into the NBA, the stage is set for an exciting season ahead as these players look to make their mark and solidify their place among the basketball greats.