Although Wembanyama and Henderson are firmly entrenched at No. 1 and 2, it seems that 5 to 10 prospects may theoretically move up to No. 3 overall.
Given that the incoming class is unquestionably one of the strongest in recent years, the NBA draft lottery for 2023 may rank among the most eagerly anticipated in history. One of the most gifted young athletes in the history of the sport is 7’5″ French super prospect Victor Wembanyama. You may argue that Wembanyama would have been selected first overall in each NBA draft over the previous ten years.
Wembanyama isn’t the only prize in the lottery this year, either. Scoot Henderson is a floor general who is incredibly athletic, attacks the rim, and has an exceptional feel for the game, making him one of the top point guard prospects in recent memory.
If twin brothers Amen and Ausar Thompson, who compete in the emerging Overtime Elite league, can convince scouts to take notice of them during the pre-draft process, it’s even possible that the first four picks in this draft will be players who did not play college basketball.
Although Wembanyama and Henderson are firmly entrenched at No. 1 and 2, it seems that 5 to 10 prospects may theoretically move up to No. 3 overall. There is a lot of potential in this year’s freshman college class, but none stands out as the best prospect. It makes conducting a mock draft more enjoyable.
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Victor Wembanyama is undoubtedly among the best basketball prospects in history. The 7’5″ French wunderkind possesses a set of attributes—length, athletic fluidity, and skill—that has never before been seen in the history of the game. At barely 18 years old, he has spent this season becoming the most dominant player in France’s elite professional league, demonstrating that his tremendous talent can be immediately translated into enormous on-court productivity. If he can stay healthy, whoever wins the lottery will get a superstar who will change the league.
Wembanyama reportedly boasts an 8-foot wingspan, which would make him the NBA player with the longest wingspan as soon as he is selected. His stature enables him to control the rim on both ends of the court, whether he is scoring on lobs and putbacks or discouraging shooters by threatening to block shots. He can shoot threes with ease while playing on the perimeter, and he has demonstrated the ability to bring up the ball and get to the basket.
In almost every way, Henderson is a terrific point guard prospect. The native of Atlanta dropped out of high school early to sign a two-year contract with the G League Ignite, and ever since, he has been showcasing his exceptional talent against professionals. The 6’2 guard is a nearly perfect elite athlete. He can easily create space in the half court with his vicious first step or scorch through opposing defenses in the open floor thanks to his exceptional speed with the ball in his hands. He is powerful enough to withstand contact and make it to the foul line. He possesses excellent leaping ability to enable him finish his opportunities around the rim.
During his time with the Ignite, Henderson’s playmaking abilities have also improved noticeably. He now feels like a point guard and more of a floor general. With his combination of playmaking and downhill scoring in a body befitting a world-class athlete, he has a high ceiling as well as a high floor in the league. Even if his three-point shooting still needs work, his development in that area has been encouraging.
When Whitmore graduated from high school in Maryland, he was regarded as a five-star recruit, but it was his MVP performance at the 2022 FIBA Americas U18 Championships right before he enrolled at Villanova that truly ignited the buzz about him as a top-five draft prospect. Whitmore, who stands 6’7″ and weighs 232 pounds, possesses the strength, quickness, and leaping ability to overpower the defenses of his opponents when he goes downhill.
Whitmore’s offensive strategies include cutting into open lanes, attacking closeouts, and completing opportunities above the rim from the dunker’s position. NBA teams will want to see him demonstrate that his FIBA three-point shooting percentage of 45 percent was accurate, and so far in his collegiate career, his shot has been much more uneven.
Amen and his twin brother Ausar have chosen an unusual route to the NBA, forgoing college basketball and more seasoned professional leagues in favor of the fledgling Overtime Elite league. However, their talent is beginning to feel indisputable despite the lower level of competition they are currently up against. Amen Thompson is a 6’7 point guard with incredible athleticism, witty passing skills, and the capacity to change the course of a game by rapidly converting defense into attack.
He is a resourceful and occasionally spectacular facilitator who doesn’t think twice to throw a risky outlet to spark a transition offense or use leap passes to find the open man. The main area of concern for Thompson is his overall scoring capacity. His jump shot is a major concern in his scouting report, and he also has to improve his skill as a finisher near the rim.
A few teams might prefer the other Thompson twin over his brother because he’s a pretty excellent prospect in his own right. Amen is a better passer and has slightly freakier athletic ability, while Ausar Thompson is a stronger shooter and has a skill set that feels easier to integrate into a team framework.
Ausar, who is 6’7 and a lockdown defender with exceptional quickness of movement, projects as a secondary ball handler and slasher on offense. While there are many questions around Amen’s shooting, Ausar has improved more during his two seasons with Overtime Elite, particularly on spot-up threes and self-created midrange jumpers.