With the withdrawal deadline having passed, it's time to officially put together my own 2023 NBA Mock Draft. While the lottery of the draft will draw the most interest, after watching countless hours of footage, researching players and talking with pro personnel, I feel that this draft is deep and that there will be gems late in this draft that emerge as difference makers down the road. With that said, lets begin with the second round.
31. Detroit Pistons:
Maxwell Lewis/ SF / Pepperdine/ 6-7/ 195 / So -
- An ideal 3 & D wing due to his ability to score from all three levels, be a secondary playmaker and when he's disciplined, someone who can defend some point guards, shooting guards and wings.
32. Indiana (from Houston)
Rayan Rupert/ SG / NZ Breakers (France)/ 6-6 /193/Int -
- Ruperts upside is off the charts and that's why in my eyes, he's a good fit for a young team. Rupert has the tools and mentality to possibly be a future selection on the All Defensive team....MANY times. He's that special defensively. He's great laterally, strong, 7'3 wingspan and has active hands. Offensively is where it will take some time. He's a streaky shooter, yet, has a good enough handle to get in the paint and to create for others. Rupert is also good at cutting hard to the basket and finishing strong when defenders fall asleep. Again, Rupert has a world of potential, he will just need time to maximize it. Potential gem in this draft class.
33. San Antonio
Andre Jackson/ SF / UConn / 6-6 / 210 / Jr -
- Super athletic point forward who can also defend multiple positions. If he becomes more efficient shooting the ball from 3-point range and mid-range, he could become one of the best players in this draft class. That's how talented he is.
34. Charlotte (from Charlotte via Philadelphia and Atlanta)
Seth Lundy/ SF / Penn State / 6-6 / 219 / Sr -
- NBA ready frame with a 6'10 wingspan who was one of the top three point shooters (40% 3FG) in college basketball during his senior season. Clear projection as a 3 & D wing at the NBA level.
35. Boston (from Portland via Atlanta, LA Clippers, Detroit, and Cleveland)
Jaime Jaquez Jr/ SF / UCLA / 6-6 / 226 / Sr -
- Jaquez is a high motor, skilled wing that can do a little bit of everything on the floor. Crafty scorer from anywhere on the floor, decent playmaker and solid defender. The only knocks on the three time All Pac-12 guard is that he struggles at times to defend ultra quick guards and needs to improve his efficiency from three point territory. Yet, with his motor and work ethic, it's not far fetched to believe that he will make improvements in those areas in no time.
Colby Jones/ Xavier / 6-6 / 203 / Jr -
- Jones will already be a two way threat the moment he steps on an NBA floor due to his elite athleticism which helps him lock down opponents, his great playmaking abilities and his improvement all around as a scorer. Jones should be an immediate contributor wherever he lands.
37. Denver Nuggets (from Oklahoma City)
Julian Phillips/ SF / Tennessee/6-7 / 196 / Fr. -
- The only thing holding Phillips back from being a no brainer first round selection is his inefficient shooting (41% FG/ 23.9% 3FG). Phillips is a supremely athletic wing who is a disruptive defender, rebounder, high I.Q. player and a good passer....especially operating from the high and mid-post. While he's not an efficient shooter, he is a good free throw shooter (82.2%), which means he has a good enough foundation with his shooting mechanics to build on as he looks to improve as a shooter.
38. Sacramento (from Indiana)
Jordan Walsh/ SF/ Arkansas /6-7 / 190/ Fr -
- Big time athlete with a point forward skill set and mentality. Unselfish to a fault at times, he can score well off the bounce and off the ball in motion sets. His defensive versatility will be his calling card from the beginning in the NBA.
39. Charlotte (from Utah via New York)
Tristan Vukcevic/ C / KK Partizan (Serbia)/ 6-11 1/4 / 223 / Int -
- Great offensive skilled big who can shoot it from all over the floor...with great range. Vukcevic shot 37.3 percent deep in limited minutes during Adriatic League and Euroleague play. He will be great in pick and pop, dribble hand off sets due to his ability to spread the floor. Vukcevic however is greatly behind defensively at this point in his development. He's not the best athlete which limits him when he gets switched on to quicker, faster, more explosive players, he's not strong enough to hold his spot when he bangs with opposing bigs and he falls for ball fakes, which leaves him out of position. Getting stronger, more explosive and working on becoming more sound defensively is a must if he is to get close to maximizing his potential.
40. Denver (from Dallas via Oklahoma City)
Sidy Cissoko/ SF / G League Ignite (France) / 6-7 / 220 / Int. -
- Cissoko proved himself to be a quality slasher and complete defender due to his motor, size and athleticism. He's at his best offensively driving to the basket where he's a good finisher and playmaker around the basket. He can put rim protectors in the basket and on the next play, set up one of his teammates for a basket inside. Cissoko also thrives defensively on the ball and from coming from the help side. He covers a lot of ground on the floor and is a solid rim protector as a wing which is always a bonus. Improvement in his perimeter shooting will determine just how high his ceiling his moving forward.
41. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City via New York and Boston)
Amari Bailey/ SG / UCLA / 6-3 1/4/ 191 / Fr -
- An athletic combo guard that can score from all three levels and score in spurts where he takes over the game. He's also a capable playmaker, rebounder and defender. Good shot selection and becoming more confident as a shooter from 3-point range are things he has to build on at the next level. The tools and talent is there for Bailey to make noise down the road in the L.
42. Washington (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers and Washington)
Brandin Podziemski/ SG / Santa Clara / 6-5 / 195 / So -
- Elite shooter off the catch and improved as shooting on the move.....especially coming off screens. Podziemski is also a standout playmaker with a ridiculous feel and I.Q. for the game. He also rebounds well and is a crafty low post scorer. While he shines on the offensive end, he struggles to defend bigger more athletic guards and wings due to his lack of athleticism. He does however compete on the defensive end, which allows him to be an effective off the ball defender. On the ball is where he has struggled and will have to show he can hold up in the NBA.
43. Portland (from Atlanta)
Keyontae Johnson/ SF/ Kansas State/ 6-4 /239 / Sr-
- One, its great to see Johnson back not just on the court, but in the NBA mix, where he belongs. After missing nearly two years with a heart condition known as acute myocarditis, he was cleared by doctors to not only continue his college career, but, to also pursue a potential NBA career. He's a strong, athletic skilled wing that plays a LOT bigger than what he is due to his athleticism and 7'0 wingspan. He can score from all three levels, score off the bounce and spotting up from outside. He's also a good scorer from the post, a tenacious rebounder and effective defender. The main question left....will he be able to handle 82 games....physically. Time will tell. Prior to his heart issue, Johnson was projected as first round pick, so getting Johnson in the second round is essentially a steal.
44. San Antonio (from Toronto)
Marcus Sasser/ CG/ Houston / 6-1 1/4 / 196 /Sr -
- Sasser, although a bit undersized, is a natural scorer and playmaker. He can score in bunches that can deflate opposing teams. Lethal off the bounce, can step out and knock down shots from deep and then in a blink of an eye, run the team like a traditional floor general. Rare thing to see these days. Sasser can be an reliable defender too...when he's disciplined. At times he gambles and thats usually when he gets beat. However, when he's fundamentally sound defensively, he can be a pest on that end.
45. Memphis (from Minnesota)
Emoni Bates / SF/ Eastern Michigan / 6-8 1/4 / 179 / So-
- Off court issues really hurt Bates stock greatly, yet, he showed resolve AND more consistent flashes of his potential during his one season at Eastern Michigan. Bates is a three level scorer, with a quick release and a knack for hitting tough shots from tough angles over defenders. A decent rebounder, ball handler and a rangy defender. Bates can also get tunnel vision when it comes to scoring and at times, will miss open teammates, force up bad shots and commit head scratching turnovers. Environment will be key to his growth as a player.
46. Atlanta (from New Orleans)
Kobe Brown / SF/ Missouri / 6-6 1/2 / 252 / Sr -
- Strong, power wing that could add a great 3 & D element to many teams. Brown shot 45 percent from deep last season at Missouri, which complimented his rugged style of getting to the cup to score and make plays for others. Thrives out of the high post due to his passing ability and is a very good rebounder and smart defender.
47. Los Angeles Lakers
Jordan Miller / SF/ Miami / 6-4 1/2 / 192 / Sr -
- Local product has steadily improved year by year. He's about as low risk-high reward a possible second round pick can be. Miller is a smart cutter and highly efficient finisher at the rim. He's also a willing rebounder and can defend the one to the three effectively, which is a valuable aspect to have in ones game. Has to show he can knock down shots from 3-point range and be a consistent playmaker at the next level to fully maximize his versatility as a player.
48. LA Clippers
Terquavion Smith/ PG/ NC State / 6-2 1/2 / 163 / So-
- Quick, bouncy scoring guard in the Lou Williams/ Bones Hyland mold. Smith is a talent when it comes to scoring the ball....no question. He's shifty off the bounce, fearless and when he gets going, he can be very difficult to cool off. Also shows signs of being a good defender at the next level. Improvement with his strength, efficiency and all around playmaking is something to keep an eye on in his transition to the L.
49. Cleveland (from Golden State via Utah and New Orleans)
Jalen Wilson/ SF/ Kansas / 6-5 1/2 / 230/ Jr -
- NBA ready body with good playmaking skills from anywhere on the floor. He gave teams fits cuz he was too strong for guards and too quick for forwards. Wilson was used in a lot of ways to attack defenses, specifically on post-ups, in pick-and-rolls, and on cuts to the basket. Lack of athleticism and a need to improve his shooting from 3-point range will ultimately determine how effective Wilson will be at the next level.
50. Oklahoma City (from Miami via Boston, Memphis, and Dallas)
Mouhamed Gueye/ PF/ Washington State (Senegal) / 6-10 1/4 / 213 / So -
- Talent is there for Gueye. He's a good athlete, very mobile, can hit the 15-20 foot jumper consistently which proves he can be a stretch big. He also plays above the rim. Gueye has to improve his motor and feel for the game so he can be more consistent on a game to game basis.
Oscar Tshiebwe/ C / Kentucky (Congo) / 6-7 3/4 / 254 / Sr -
The Brooklyn Nets ranked 29th in rebounds per game with Nic Claxton and Ben Simmons being the ONLY two holdovers that averaged six or more rebounds per game last season. The Nets need rebounding in a major way and Kentucky senior Oscar Tshiebwe is a machine on the boards. He fills the rebounding void for Brooklyn perfectly if he's available at 51.
Adama Sanogo / PF / UConn (Mali) / 6-7 1/4 / 258 / Jr -
The Suns are a little light on the inside once you get pass DeAndre Ayton. Now with the acquisition of Brad Beal, inside scoring, rebounding and interior defense will be much in need with the lack of depth on the Suns roster. Sanogo checks all of those boxes.
53. Minnesota (from New York via Charlotte)
Toumani Camara/ F/ Dayton/ 6'8/ 220/ Sr -
- Swiss army knife forward really opened eyes at the Portsmouth Invitational, showcasing his rarely seen point-forward skill set to compliment his long range shooting, athletic finishes at the basket and versatility defensively. With a need to strengthen it's front court along with Naz Reid being a free agent, Camara has a chance to emerge as a low risk-high reward prospect for the Timberwolves.
Jaylen Clark / SG /UCLA / 6-5 / 204 / 6-9 / Jr -
- Clark would probably be projected to be taken higher in the draft had he not suffered an Achilles injury late last season. With that said, he still has the tools, once healthy, to make an immediate impact for a team. Clark is one of the top defensive players in the draft, which I'm sure Kings HC Mike Brown would be intrigued by, given his preference for strong defensive guards. For a Kings team that caught their stride late last season defensively, Clark would feel right at home. Clark is a high motor guard that excels slashing to the basket, rebounding, facilitating and scoring off the ball. He will have to improve his 3-point shooting to fully thrive at the next level.
55. Indiana (from Cleveland via Milwaukee and Detroit)
Nikola Djurisic/ F / Mega Basket, Serbia / 6'8 / 218/ Int -
- Djurisic is still raw as a prospect. However, his versatility and playmaking at his size as well as being a tough shot maker, may spark enough optimism about his long term potential to be picked in the second round.
56. Memphis — Chicago (from Denver via Cleveland; forfeited by Chicago) — Philadelphia (forfeited)
Jalen Pickett / PG/ Penn State / 6-2 / 198 / Sr -
- Although not the most explosive guard, Pickett makes up for the lack of athleticism with a high I.Q. and scoring/playmaking skills. He's very poised and physical guard which allows him to operate out of the post to be an effective scorer and playmaker.
57. Washington (from Boston via Charlotte)
Ricky Council IV / SG/ Arkansas / 6-5/ 208/ Jr -
- A highly athletic, versatile scoring wing, Council IV has the potential to be a second round steal if he falls in the draft to the Wizards, who by the way needs as much talent as possible. Explosive scorer off the bounce, strong versatile defender and is effective scoring off the ball, Council in the right situation, could find himself making an impact sooner than later. He has to improve his passing and perimeter shooter to maximize his potential.
Isaiah Wong / SG / Miami / 6-2 1/2 / 178 / Sr -
- Wong is a highly skilled guard capable of playing either guard spot. He's a sneaky athlete. good defender and a consistent shot maker from anywhere on the floor. Shot selection and improving his range as a shooter will take his game to the next level.