NBA Draft 2023: It’s Wemby’s World & We’re All Just Living In It
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
— 23 June 2023

NBA Draft 2023: It’s Wemby’s World & We’re All Just Living In It

— 23 June 2023

To the person that placed $60,000 bet on Victor Wembanyama to be selected first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft at -20,000 odds… congratulations on winning $300.

As we’ve touched upon on a previous occasion, he’s a once-in-a-generation talent, receiving the type of praise we haven’t heard since LeBron James. The French teenager is 7-foot-4 with an 8-foot wingspan. He can shoot, handle, and pass the ball like a guard, and is extremely dominant defensively due to his size. In short: it was never going to be anyone else.

Outside of Wembanyama, this draft class is also said to be extremely rich with talent. Given the defending NBA Finals MVP being selected at Pick 41 during a Taco Bell commercial, our perceptions on what players selected later in the draft can achieve has greatly shifted.

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When it comes to a pick as high as the second overall, it’s generally accepted that a franchise will select the best player available — regardless of how well they fit on your current roster. You don’t want to miss out on the better player and, if you’ve ended up this high in the draft lottery, chances are you’re a while away from contending for a title anyway. Choose the better asset first and worry about the fit later.

The Charlotte Hornets, for example, currently have the longest playoff drought in the NBA, having been absent from the post-season since 2016. They’ve had 18 lottery picks in the last 18 years, made the playoffs only three times, and never advanced past the first round (being swept twice). The team has needed to commit to a rebuild for a long time, but have

Despite agreeing to sell his majority stake in the team last week, and an especially terrible history of drafting NBA players dating back to the time he nabbed Kwame Brown with the first pick at the Washington Wizards circa 2001, Michael Jordan had final say over who the Hornets picked in the 2023 NBA Draft. His “Last Dance,” if you will.

Somewhat controversially, the Hornets selected Brandon Miller ahead of Scoot Henderson — who many consider to be the superior talent — simply due to his compatibility with LaMelo Ball. This rendered Henderson to the third pick, where he was snapped up by the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers have a bit of a dilemma right now with their veteran superstar point guard Damian Lillard that’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. Currently, there was rumours that the team will trade the third pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for either Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram to pair with Dame. Despite remaining loyal to the organisation, Lillard has been outspoken about not wanting to play through a rebuild and wants to contend for a title.

In light of the fact they’ve just drafted another point guard in Henderson, it really makes you wonder if there will ever be a better time to part ways with Dame. They could land a massive haul of draft compensation and young players from a contending team in exchange for Lillard. He’s 32 years old, the Blazers are a long way off title contention, and it simply doesn’t match his timeline at all.

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NBA Draft 2023: It’s Wemby’s World & We’re All Just Living In It
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 22: Scoot Henderson arrives prior to the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Rounding out the Top 5 we had the Thompson twins. Amen Thomson was selected at fourth by the Houston Rockets while Ausar Thompson was selected immediately after by the Detroit Pistons. They are the first brothers in history to ever be selected in the same draft class’ Top five

Other high-upside players to watch out for include Wembanyama’s teammate Bilal Coulibaly (Washington Wizards, Pick 7), Duke big man Dereck Lively (Dallas Mavericks, Pick 12), and arguably the entire draft’s best playmaker in Anthony Black (Orlando Magic, Pick 6).

Villanova’s Cam Whitmore, who was projected to be drafted inside the Top 10 on nearly every mock draft, fell to Pick 20. However, history has shown us that any of these players can achieve greatness with the right work ethic and circumstances around them. The real work, after all, has only just begun.

You can read the full list of first and second round picks in the 2023 NBA Draft below.

Full NBA Draft 2023

Round 1

  1. San Antonio Spurs — Victor Wembanyama, Center [Metropolitans 92]
  2. Charlotte Hornets — Brandon Miller, Guard [Alabama]
  3. Portland Trail Blazers — Scoot Henderson, Forward [G League Ignite]
  4. Houston Rockets — Amen Thompson, Guard [Overtime Elite]
  5. Detroit Pistons — Ausar Thompson, Guard/Forward [Overtime Elite]
  6. Orlando Magic — Anthony Black, Guard [Arkansas]
  7. Washington Wizards (via Pacers) — Bilal Coulibaly, Guard [Metropolitans 92]
  8. Indiana Pacers (via Wizards) — Jarace Walker, Forward [Houston]
  9. Utah Jazz — Taylor Hendricks, Forward [UCF]
  10. Oakland Thunder (via Mavericks) — Cason Wallace, Guard [Kentucky]
  11. Orlando Magic (via Bulls) — Jett Howard, Forward [Michigan]
  12. Dallas Mavericks (via Thunder) — Dereck Lively, Center [Duke]
  13. Toronto Raptors — Gradey Dick, Guard [Kansas]
  14. New Orleans Pelicans — Jordan Hawkins, Guard [UConn]
  15. Atlanta Hawks — Kobe Bufkin, Guard [Michigan]
  16. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves) — Keyonte George, Guard [Baylor]
  17. Los Angeles Lakers — Jalen Hood-Schifino, Guard [Indiana]
  18. Miami Heat — Jaime Jaquez Jr., Forward [UCLA]
  19. Golden State Warriors — Brandin Podziemski, Guard [Santa Clara]
  20. Houston Rockets (via Clippers) — Cam Whitmore, Forward [Villanova]
  21. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns) — Noah Clowney, Forward/Center [Alabama]
  22. Brooklyn Nets — Dariq Whitehead, Forward [Duke]
  23. Portland Trail Blazers (via Knicks) — Kris Murray, Forward [Iowa]
  24. Dallas Mavericks (via Kings) — Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Forward [Marquette]
  25. Detroit Pistons (via Celtics) — Marcus Sasser, Guard [Houston]
  26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers) — Ben Sheppard, Forward [Belmont]
  27. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets) — Nick Smith Jr., Guard [Arkansas]
  28. Utah Jazz (via 76ers) — Brice Sensabaugh, Guard/Forward [Ohio State]
  29. Denver Nuggets (via Pacers) — Julian Strawther, Forward [Gonzaga]
  30. Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks) — Kobe Brown, Forward [Missouri]

    Round 2
  31. Charlotte Hornets (via Celtics) — James Nnaji
  32. Denver Nuggets (via Pacers) — Jalen Pickett
  33. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Spurs) — Leonard Miller
  34. Sacramento Kings (via Celtics) — Colby Jones
  35. Chicago Bulls (via Wizards) — Julian Phillips
  36. Milwaukee Bucks (via Magic) — Andre Jackson Jr.
  37. Denver Nuggets (via Thunder) — Hunter Tyson
  38. Sacramento Kings (via Pacers) — Jordan Walsh
  39. Atlanta Hawks (via Celtics) — Mouhamed Gueye
  40. Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets) — Maxwell Lewis
  41. Charlotte Hornets (via Thunder) — Amari Bailey
  42. Washington Wizards (via Bulls) — Tristan Vukcevic
  43. Portland Trail Blazers (via Hawks) — Rayan Rupert
  44. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors) — Sidy Cissoko
  45. Memphis Grizzlies (via Timberwolves) — GG Jackson
  46. Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans) — Seth Lundy
  47. Indiana Pacers (via Lakers) — Mojave King
  48. Los Angeles Clippers — Jordan Miller
  49. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Warriors) — Emoni Bates
  50. Oakland Thunder (via Heat) — Keyontae Johnson
  51. Brooklyn Nets — Jalen Wilson
  52. Phoenix Suns — Toumani Camara
  53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks) — Jaylen Clark
  54. Sacramento Kings — Jalen Slawson
  55. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers) — Isaiah Wong
  56. Memphis Grizzlies — Tarik Biberovic
  57. Golden State Warriors (via Wizards) — Trayce Jackson-Davis
  58. Milwaukee Bucks — Chris Livington

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