Wednesday, May 31 2023
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San Antonio will officially tip off the 2023 NBA Draft with the No. 1 pick after winning the lottery last week in Chicago and it’s a near certainty the Spurs will take Victor Wembanyama. After that, the NBA Draft will unofficially start with the Charlotte Hornets at No. 2. Do they take Brandon Miller? Scoot Henderson? Cam Whitmore? One of the Thompson twins?

Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak in his post-lottery comments last week seemed to hint that the team may be comfortable taking best fit as opposed to best player available — translated by some to mean that Miller, not Henderson, is the presumed favorite at No. 2. Whether or not that’s pre-draft posturing is postulating, of course, but given how set the Spurs are at No. 1 with Victor Wembanyama, there’s no reason to believe Kupchak is bluffing.

So in our first mock draft after the NBA Draft Combine, we’re going to take Kupchak’s comments at face value and presume that the Hornets do indeed take best fit and select Miller to pair next to LaMelo Ball. Miller is a sharpshooting wing who led all freshmen in scoring last season for an Alabama team that won the SEC. His playmaking, size and scoring project as a neat fit on paper next to Ball, contrasted with what may be seen as a duplicative skill set to Ball in Henderson.

The fall in this mock exercise wouldn’t be far for Henderson, however. As a potential case to be the No. 2 talent in the class, Portland, which is reportedly open to moving the pick, stands pat and selects the G League Ignite product at No. 3. Whether the Trail Blazers move the pick or not, there is believed to be a tier break after the top three right now, likely positioning Henderson as a top three pick even if the destination isn’t a certainty.

So how else does the rest of the first round shake out after a full week of testing, interviews, scrimmages and measurements in Chicago for the annual combine? Our full post-combine mock draft projections can be found below with some new names on the rise as a result of the week that was.

Mock Draft



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