2023 NBA Mock Draft
Utah Jazz: Keyonte George, G, Baylor – B+ Grade
As suspected, the Jazz are getting a much-needed guard upgrade with their second pick. I like this selection, as Keyonte George would have gone higher if there weren’t so many talented guards in this class. Keyonte George can create his own shot, which is nice for the 16th-overall selection.
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Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Hood-Schifino, PG, Indiana – B Grade
Jalen Hood-Schifino makes sense needs-wise for the Lakers, who had to find a point guard. He also passes well, which makes him a nice fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The shooting is a concern though.
Miami Heat: Jaime Jaquez Jr., F, UCLA – C Grade
Jaime Jaquez is a high-energy guy off the bench, but that’s Miami’s entire roster outside of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Miami should have gone with Cam Whitmore instead, but I don’t hate this pick.
Golden State Warriors: Brandin Podziemski, G, Santa Clara – B- Grade
The Warriors needed a great shooter with Jordan Poole gone, so a long-term replacement for either Steph Curry or Klay Thompson made sense. Brandin Podziemski fits that description, though I think Golden State could have traded down a few spots and still acquired him.
Houston Rockets: Cam Whitmore, F, Villanova – A+ Grade
Wow, how did Cam Whitmore last so long? Perhaps teams failed him medically, but there’s no denying his talent. Whitmore is an explosive player who creates his own shots and plays great defense. He’s a potential all-star, making him a huge steal at No. 20.
Brooklyn Nets: Noah Clowney, F, Alabama – B- Grade
The Nets have a big need for players who can create his own shot, but Noah Clowney can’t do that. Clowney is a three-and-D guy with some potential, so I don’t hate this pick. Clowney should be a decent role player for Brooklyn, but he doesn’t really solve any of the team’s issues.
Brooklyn Nets: Dariq Whitehead, G, Duke – C Grade
If Cam Whitmore slid because of injuries, why didn’t Dariq Whitehead? The Duke guard has some serious medical problems, so I thought there was a good chance he’d fall out of the first round. The Nets reached, but at least they took a guy with upside.
Portland Trailblazers: Kris Murray, F, Iowa – B Grade
Kris Murray is a three-and-D player, which is something the Blazers need as they begin their rebuilding process. Portland has been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA over the past several years, so Murray should be able to help fix that. This is a decent pick.
Dallas Mavericks: Olivier Maxence-Prosper, F, Marquette – B Grade
The Mavericks picked up this selection from the Kings to bolster their bench. I like the move, as Dallas had some major depth problems after the Kyrie Irving trade. Olivier Maxence-Prosper is a high-energy player who can shoot and play defense, so he should become a fine role player for the second unit.
Detroit Pistons: Marcus Sasser, G, Houston – D Grade
Marcus Sasser could be a decent bench contributor, but I don’t like him as a first-round pick. Sasser is small (6-1) and old for a draft prospect (23). There’s not much upside here. Also, why do the Pistons need yet another guard?
Indiana Pacers: Ben Sheppard, F, Belmont – B Grade
The Pacers need as much defensive help as possible. Ben Sheppard is a three-and-D guy who fits the range. This is a decent pick for the Pacers, as Sheppard should become a decent role player for them.
Charlotte Hornets: Nick Smith Jr., G, Arkansas – A Grade
I forgot Nick Smith Jr. hadn’t been drafted yet. Smith is an explosive offensive player who easily could have been taken in the teens. He likely fell because of some injury concerns, but the Hornets are getting great value at this selection.
Utah Jazz: Brice Sensabaugh, F, Ohio State – C Grade
The NBA Draft is weird. Some talented players have fallen because of injury questions, but the less-talented prospects with injury question marks aren’t dropping. Brice Sensabaugh belongs in the latter group. He has knee issues and can’t defend anyone, but he can shoot very well at least.
Denver Nuggets: Julian Strawther, F, Gonzaga – B Grade
The Nuggets don’t need much as defending NBA champions, but they could use some shooters to take advantage of the attention that Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray garner. Julian Strawther can do that, as he’s a terrific shooter. This is a solid fit.
Los Angeles Clippers: Kobe Brown, F, Missouri – C Grade
This is a reach, as Kobe Brown is a three-and-D guy with no upside. He could eventually be an average bench player, but the Clippers could have done better with this pick.
Back to Live 2023 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 1-15
2023 NBA Mock Draft
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