2023 NBA Mock Draft: Spurs land franchise PG, tanking pays off for Pistons
With the NBA regular season wrapping up and the NBA Draft Lottery just over a month away, draft season is in full swing and many of the world's top talents are beginning to enter their names in the 2023 NBA Draft.
After an offseason that saw the departure of former 29th overall pick Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs fans knew they would be in for a bumpy ride in the regular season. Despite several of the Spurs' most recent draft picks showing on countless occasions why the Spurs chose to invest in them, the team ended their season with 22 wins and 60 losses--tied for second-worst in the league alongside the Houston Rockets.
The Spurs now have a 14% chance at landing the #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft and have a 52% chance of landing a top-four pick. So, while you, I, and all other Spurs fans alike will be holding out hope for good luck in the draft lottery, we think it's still important to investigate all of the Spurs' potential options in the draft.
With that in mind, this mock draft will briefly touch base on 30 draft prospects that we have a first-round grade on, meaning we think the likelihood is high that these names will be called by Adam Silver in the 1st round of the draft, even if they're called in a different order than what's presented here. The draft order is based on the current Tankathon standings as of April 14.
With all of the analysis that’s already out there about Victor Wembanyama, we’re going to keep things short here until we release our in-depth scouting report on him closer to the NBA Draft Lottery. But understand this: Wembanyama will be the #1 overall pick in this draft, and I’ll be shocked if there’s much debate about that leading up to draft night.
Wembanyama will obviously have to continue building on his slim frame once he enters the NBA, and he could use a bit of work as a spot-up shooter and perimeter defender while away from the ball. But the 7’4” Frenchman will be a game-changer on defense for years to come around the rim and has an unprecedented number of self-creation moves on offense for his size.
Will he successfully defend MVP-caliber bigs like Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or Nikola Jokic on day one? Probably not, but few current NBA players are consistently successful defending them either. This, along with some potential long-term health concerns, will almost certainly be shrugged off by front office decision-makers. The fact of the matter is that Wembanyama is easily the best draft prospect I’ve had the pleasure of evaluating, period.