A preview of the 2023 NBA Draft
The 2023 NBA draft takes place Thursday (June 22nd) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There will be 58 selections, every team out to improve, either through the draft or via trade.
This is the only major sport that completes its draft in one sitting. There are always some big stories surrounding the draft. We will explore what may (or may not) unfold.
No Drama at No. 1
There are times when the player selected number one overall isn't known until the actual selection is made. That’s not the case here, as the San Antonio Spurs are selecting French youngster Victor Wembanyama.
The San Antonio Spurs won the lottery, and thus Wembanyama as the prize. He is 19 years old and 7-foot-3, pegged as the next great superstar of the league. The Spurs have really struggled of late, but they’ve done very good things after winning the lottery in past seasons.
Alabama's Brandon Miller and G League standout Scoot Henderson would've been great choices at number 1 in other years. They don't have the potential of Wembanyama, and thus it would be an absolute shock if San Antonio went in a different direction.
If you wish to wager that “Wenbanyama” is the first name uttered by commissioner Adam Silver, how about laying 500-1 (-50000), according to NBA draft odds?
Who’s After Victor?
The second pick in the draft belongs to the Charlotte Hornets, and that's really the beginning of the drama. Charlotte may go with either Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller, though the “experts” believe Miller gets the nod.
There have been inquiries with the Hornets, other teams attempting to move into the number two slot. Charlotte needs a lot of help here, so the soon-to-be-Michael-Jordan-less-franchise can go in any number of directions.
It is the Portland Trail Blazers sitting third on the board, and this is another team with big decisions to make. Portland could go with either Miller or Henderson, or perhaps trade it.
It's Portland (+200) and Charlotte (+300) as the wagering destinations to land Zion Williamson, should he leave New Orleans. That’s per NBA special odds.
There’s no secret franchise cornerstone Damian Lillard hasn’t been happy with how things have gone in Oregon. The team has to find a way to appease its superstar. While one player is not going to make the difference, Portland is another team with options on the table.
The other teams in the lottery portion of the draft include . . .
4. Houston Rockets
5. Detroit Pistons
6. Orlando Magic
7. Indiana Pacers
8. Washington Wizards
9. Utah Jazz
10. Dallas Mavericks
11. Orlando Magic
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Toronto Raptors
14. New Orleans Pelicans
Plenty of Trades
Even if the Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers keep their picks at the top of the order, you can expect to see some other trades made during the event. While other leagues tend to see more trades ahead of the draft, it's the NBA that's known to have a torrent of trades during draft night.
It is all about acquiring veteran superstars. There apparently are some big names to be had.
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be active, looking to add to their roster. Chicago doesn't even have a selection, but the Bulls figure to be players in one way or another.
There won't be any drama atop the draft, but some big stories soon thereafter.