NBA Draft 2023: Victor Wembanyama leads Big Board


Through Jason McIntyre
FOX sports betting analyst

That 2022 NBA draft is over so it’s time to turn the page to 2023.

We unveil our first 2023 Big Board or 25 prospects for the 2023 draft. We did this drill last year and the top 14 on the board were all drafted, including 11 in the first round.

Next year’s class is stacked with two elite prospects at the top, followed by a crowd of incoming freshmen. Let’s dive in.

1.Victor Wembanyama, F/C, France

The 7ft 3 superstar from France is fluid and agile, equal parts Rudy Gobert and Kevin Durant. The 18-year-old could be the best draft prospect since Luka Dončić or maybe even Anthony Davis.

2. Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

After averaging 14.3 points per game in his first season in the G-League aged just 17, Henderson is set to post even better numbers and could challenge Wembanyama for the top spot.

3.Dariq Whitehead, SF, duke

The NBA has transformed into a wing league where fickle defenders are paramount. At 6-7, Whitehead is perhaps the best wing in ACC, if not college basketball. He won’t even be 19 when the draft rolls.

4.Cameron Whitmore,SF, Villanova

An impressive postseason run in All-Star Games has boosted Whitmore’s stock. He won’t turn 19 next June but needs to improve his perimeter shooting to earn a top 10 spot.

5. Ausar Thompson, Wing, Overtime Elite

Thompson had a solid first season with Overtime Elite, averaging 15.4 points, and did a little bit of everything on both ends. His summer assignment is perimeter shooting, a clear theme for many of 2023’s top prospects. Ausar’s twin brother, Amen, just missed that list.

6. Nick Smith, G, Arkansas

The Arkansas native stayed at home and will be the highest-profile recruit the school has ever had. Offensively minded, Smith could be the SEC’s best guard next year.

7. Gradey Dick, G/F, Kansas

Dick, who has wanted to be Kansas’ first one-and-done player since Josh Jackson in 2017, is one of the better shooters in his high school class, and he’ll get plenty of opportunities to shoot for Bill Self after the Jayhawks have lost their top two wings to the NBA draft.

8. Dillon Mitchell, SF, Texas

Mitchell is a regular highlight, an explosive 6-9 big forward and nervous enough to defend guards. He probably won’t get as many shots as he’d like when Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr return, but he’ll be a factor on offense through March.

9. Keyonte George, SG, Baylor

As the scoring machine on the wing, George should line up big numbers in the Big 12 and maybe projects himself as a Bradley Beal-type bucket getter.

10. Dereck Lively, C, Duke

Centers aren’t the value they once were, but 20 years ago Lively was vying for the No. 1 spot. At 7-2, he’ll have a massive impact on Duke, starting in place of NBA-tied Mark Williams.

11. Arthur KalumaPF, Creighton

Kaluma was the best player on the floor for long stretches of Creighton’s NCAA loss to Kansas (24 points, 12 rebounds). He needs to improve his 3-point shooting (26%) but is your prototypical NBA wing (6-foot-7, 215 pounds).

12.Anthony Black, PG, Arkansas

Yes, the Razorbacks are stacked, and the 6-7 Black has the potential to become one of their top scorers.

13. Amari Bailey, SG, UCLA

The dynamic guard was absolutely dominant at times last season, but is moving to a UCLA team where he may need to take a back seat and be a role player after being an alpha in high school. His attacking mentality reminds me of a more physical Cole Anthony.

14. Rayan Rupert, SF, New Zealand Breakers

Rupert would be the fourth draft candidate to go through the Breakers program (RJ Hampton, Ousmane Dieng, Hugo Besson), and his length (7-3 wingspan when he’s only 6-7) and ball handling on the wing will suit him make it clear in the lottery. His sister plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA.

fifteen. mike milesPG, TCU

Miles played for the U-19 team in the summer of 2021 and finished fourth in scoring (9.1 PPG) and first in assists. If he improves his 3-point shooting (only 32% in 3-point shooting in two seasons), he can be a lottery pick.

16 Trayce Jackson DavisF, Indiana

Jackson-Davis could be the best returning player in the Big-10 and should be able to build on his 18 PPG and 8 RPG. If he can add a 3-pointer to his game, he goes into the first round despite having 23.

17 Matthew ClevelandSG, FSU

The highly touted freshman averaged 11.5 PPG but returned to school hoping to improve his outside shot (just 17% at 3-pointers). Cleveland profiles himself as a 3-D wing when he can make shots.

18. Kel’el Ware, C, Oregon

The 7-footer is a top 10 recruit from the high school class of 2022, and he’ll be catching plenty of lobs from Ducks point guard Will Richardson.

19 Chris MurraySF, Iowa

His brother went to Sacramento fourth, while Kris returned to Iowa in hopes of improving his draft stock. Murray made a big jump as a sophomore (9.7 PPG, 38% on 3-pointers) and his next jump could be All-Big Ten status.

20.Kijani Wright, PF, U.S.C

One of the best big men in high school basketball goes to USC, where the four-star recruit is expected to field big numbers. While not as athletic as 2020 lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu, Wright is already more sophisticated offensively.

21 Terquavion SmithG, NC state

Quiet had a terrific first year for the Wolfpack (16.3 PPG, 36% on 3-pointers), but the 6-4 point guard needs to become much more efficient if he wants to make the lottery leap.

22 Emoni BatesSF, memphis

His first season at Memphis was a disaster, appearing in just 18 games and shooting poorly (44/32/64) and averaging 9.7 PPG before leaving the team late in the season. The talent is there, but everything else – being a teammate for a start – has to fit together.

23 caleb loveG, North Carolina

Is he point guard? combo guard? It doesn’t matter, he gets buckets. Love made UCLA and Duke shine in the NCAA tournament, and there may not be a better shooter in the country. He can be a plus defender but hasn’t always shown it.

24 Tyresian hunterG, Texas

One of the nation’s top defensemen, the Big 12 freshman of the year started 35 games for Iowa State before moving to Austin. He hit seven 3-pointers in an NCAA tournament win over LSU, and if this continues, he could earn his way into the lottery.

25 Julian StrohtherD/F, gonzaga

Yes, Drew Timme will be the star of the Zags again, but Strawther is the better NBA prospect. He was shooting 35% on 3-pointers, and if you’re 6-7 and can defend like he can, you have first-round potential.

Jason McIntyre is a gaming analyst at FOX Sports and also writes on the NFL and NBA draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gaming content across the NFL, College Football and NBA for FOX Sports.

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