2023 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: How Brandon Miller ranks as a prospect, plus full projections after All-Star break
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Three potential top-10 picks took the court on Saturday in front of several NBA scouts and executives as No. 2 Alabama defeated Arkansas 86-83 at home. Alabama star freshman Brandon Miller continues to play despite being linked to the scene where 23-year-old Jamea Harris was shot to death last month. Former Alabama player Darius Miles faces capital murder charges for the shooting.
Miller was coming off a season-high 41-point performance in an overtime win over South Carolina on Wednesday. On Saturday, Miller finished with 24 points and six rebounds and received thunderous cheers from the home crowd anytime he converted a bucket.
On the other side was Miller's former AAU teammate, Nick Smith Jr., who had one of his best games of the season after coming back from a minor knee injury. Smith Jr. finished with 24 points and six rebounds and was a key factor in the Razorbacks' nine-point lead at halftime.
"No one expected him to come back and play this season after his injury," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "So to see him playing and healthy against tough competition and guarding the best player on the court [Miller], was something positive and a reason why so many [NBA personnel] are here."
Arkansas guard Anthony Black had a quiet night after committing two early fouls and unable to find his rhythm in the second half. Black was instrumental in Smith Jr.'s absence and is emerging as one of the best passers and facilitators in college basketball, averaging 4.3 assists per game, and remains high on NBA draft boards.
Some NBA teams made some moves at the trade deadline and a few teams are in a good position to land a top draft pick post-All Star break. Here's a look at Yahoo Sports' latest first- and second-round projections for the 2023 NBA Draft in June.
Note: The Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers forfeited their second-round picks in 2023 due to tampering and violating free agency rules.
(Draft order is from Tankathon as of Feb. 26.)
1. Houston Rockets: C Victor Wembanyama
Ht./Wt.: 7-3, 209 pounds | Metropolitans 92 (France)
Wembanyama continues to play for his French Betclic Elite League team as well as the French national team as he prepares to hit the NBA next season. In his most recent game in the World Cup qualifying tournament, Wembanyama posted 22 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks and four steals in a 72-59 win over Czech Republic. In three games with the French national team, Wembanyama is averaging 20.3 points, 10 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals per game in only 26 minutes. In the French league, he currently leads all players in points (22.2), rebounds (9.5) and blocked shots (3.1). He continues to dominate the league at just 19 years old as the NBA awaits his arrival.
2. San Antonio Spurs: G Scoot Henderson
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 196 pounds | G League Ignite
Henderson is coming off his second All-Star weekend appearance after participating in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge and the G League Next Up game in Salt Lake City. Henderson, 19, put on a show in the G League Next Up game, finishing with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals. In his most recent game with the Ignite, Henderson flirted with a triple-double where he led his team with 20 points, 14 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal in the 116-114 loss to the Memphis Hustle. Henderson is the best guard in this draft class and while there are rumblings around the NBA that certain franchises could draft 6-foot-9 Miller over Henderson at No. 2, he still remains the second-best overall prospect to Wembanyama.
3. Detroit Pistons: G/F Brandon Miller
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 205 pounds | Class: Freshman | Alabama
Miller and teammate Jaden Bradley were at the scene where 23-year-old Jamea Harris was shot to death last month. Former Alabama player Darius Miles faces capital murder charges for the shooting. Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged with a crime and both have continued to play for Alabama. Miller remains a top NBA Draft prospect and his basketball skills continue to be evaluated by NBA scouts.
"Obviously, this is a tough situation and something teams will be monitoring closely. He'll probably only interview with three, maybe five teams, and will have to answer all their questions, but as he continues to play and no charges are brought at a later time, teams will continue to scout and go to his games since he's one of the top prospects in this draft class," one scout told Yahoo Sports.
Miller is averaging 28.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and hitting on 58% of his attempts from the field in the last three games. As an NBA prospect, he has great length and versatility and can either take players off the dribble or drain long 3s. Miller is arguably the best freshman in college basketball this season and is currently averaging 19.7 points and eight rebounds. He is averaging 1.2 points per possession and ranks in the 95% percentile, according to Synergy Sports.
4. Charlotte Hornets: G Amen Thompson
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 200 pounds | Overtime Elite
The playoffs have started for Overtime Elite's league and Thompson put up 20-plus points in the first two games. Although the competition isn't as tough as what other top prospects are facing, Thompson finds ways to showcase his elite pace he has for the game and explosiveness in transition. His 3-ball continues to be an area of development and something NBA teams are watching closely. In his last game, Thompson shot 50% from behind the arc, connecting on 2-of-4 attempts.
5. Orlando Magic: F Jarace Walker
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 240 pounds | Class: Freshman | Houston
Walker's stat line each game isn't a direct indication of the type of player he is for No. 1 Houston and how much he impacts winning. His defensive versatility makes him an intriguing top-five prospect in the way he can guard the four and five in the post with his size but also step out and defend the wing with his athleticism. He's showing more confidence in stepping out and shooting the 3, attempting four 3-pointers in the last five games. Walker is averaging 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 26 minutes as the Cougars look to make a tournament run.
6. Indiana Pacers: G Ausar Thompson
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 200 pounds | Overtime Elite
Like his twin brother Amen, Ausar is an explosive guard and has put up big numbers in two playoff games for the City Reapers, averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games. His outside jump shot has improved throughout the season and he's stepping into set shots with more confidence. In his most recent win over the Cold Hearts, Thompson connected on 5-of-10 attempts from 3-point range. He excels as a perimeter defender and is one of the best shot-blocking guards in this draft class.
7. Orlando Magic: G Nick Smith Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185 pounds | Class: Freshman | Arkansas
After missing the majority of the season with a knee injury, Smith Jr. is back on the court without any minute restrictions. In his last two games, the combo guard averaged 25 points and he played a full 40 minutes in the recent loss to No. 2 Alabama. Defensively, Smith Jr. is solid on the ball, keeping his man in front and fighting through screens. He's a three-way scorer on offense and loves to get downhill and has a nice floater on the right side that he takes when the defense collapses. Some players in the past have chosen to sit out and protect their draft stock after early injuries that leave them sidelined for an extended time, but Smith Jr.'s return has shown scouts he's still the same player from high school who garnered attention as a top-10 prospect.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Anthony Black
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 196 pounds | Class: Freshman | Arkansas
Black is one of the best passing guards in college basketball, averaging 4.3 assists per game and dishing out six or more assists in eight games this season. He has great size at the guard position and tremendous upside at the next level with his patience on offense and his ability to create for others either as the primary ball handler or off the wing. Black does the little things that don't necessarily show up on the stat line by deflecting passes and altering shots with his long wingspan on defense.
9. Washington Wizards: G Gradey Dick
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 205 pounds | Class: Freshman | Kansas
No. 3 Kansas has won its last six games and the star freshman's touches have increased offensively to close out the regular season. Dick is averaging 18 points in February and isn't shy of the big moments when the game is on the line or the shot clock is winding down. Dick is a plug-and-play guy with a high IQ who can come in immediately as a rookie and contribute alongside an established backcourt with Bradley Beal.
10. New Orleans Pelicans: G Keyonte George
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 185 pounds | Class: Freshman | Baylor
George sustained an ankle sprain in a win over Texas that will leave him sidelined up until the Big 12 tournament. During his one year at Baylor, George has been the go-to player in crunch time and his natural feel for the game that will propel his NBA career. He's a high-volume shooter with great shooting mechanics and one of the only knocks on his game is his shot selection at times. George has put 20 or more points 12 times this season and is shooting 40% from the field and 35.6% from 3.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: G Jett Howard
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 215 pounds | Class: Freshman | Michigan
Howard hasn't played since Feb. 18 after rolling his right ankle in a win over Michigan State. He warmed up against Wisconsin and is nearing a return as Michigan prepares for the Big Ten tournament. The NBA values size and shooting, and Juwan Howard's youngest son has both. Howard is shooting 37% from 3-point range on seven attempts per game. His lateral quickness on defense and footwork in the paint remains an area of development, but Howard would have the time adjust to the pace of the NBA game on an established team like the Trail Blazers.
12. Toronto Raptors: G Cam Whitmore
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 pounds | Class: Freshman | Villanova
Whitmore has a strong frame and is a powerful guard who can punch it in the lane against stronger defenders. Villanova continues to struggle this season and Whitmore doesn't have much help offensively. There are times when he strings together good offensive stretches, hitting catch-and-shoot 3s, finishing in transition and creating for others off the first step. He's at his best with the ball in his hands but has shown development on the wing over the course of the season.
13. Los Angeles Lakers: G Cason Wallace
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 185 pounds | Class: Freshman | Kentucky
As a scorer, Wallace has been up-and-down this season, averaging just under 12 points per game in 32 minutes. Where he excels and is most impactful is on defense with his high IQ, speed and footwork. He can guard both backcourt positions with ease and can drop down off and high pick-and-roll switch on a big for a steal or block from behind. Even with his streaky shooting, Wallace is a reliable guard whose game will most likely translate at the next level with more spacing and freedom in the pick-and-roll option.
14. Utah Jazz: G/F Maxwell Lewis
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 195 pounds | Class: Sophomore | Pepperdine
Pepperdine's 9-21 record doesn't help Lewis' case as a late lottery pick, but it's also not an indication of what he projects as an NBA player. Lewis is a high-volume shooter who can self-create off the dribble and has a nice touch around the rim. His size and length at 6-foot-7 makes him an intriguing prospect in the late lottery or mid-first round.
15: Utah Jazz: F G.G. Jackson
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220 pounds | Class: Freshman | South Carolina
Jackson reclassified and is one of the youngest players in this draft class. He's had some off the court moments where he's shown immaturity and age, but his growth on the court throughout the season makes him an enticing prospect in the mid-first round. His size and frame and the way he handles the ball off the block are all positive flashes for the young forward.
16. Golden State Warriors: G/F Taylor Hendricks
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 210 pounds | Class: Freshman | UCF
Hendricks is one of the biggest risers this season and is no longer a sleeper first-round prospect. He's currently shooting 41.2% from 3-point range on five attempts per game and averaging 20 points in February. The way he adapts on defense coupled with his consistent shooting makes him a coveted prospect who can be plugged into multiple positions.
17. Atlanta Hawks: G Rayan Rupert
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 192 pounds | New Zealand Breakers
A long guard with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Rupert has the makeup to be a decent three-and-D wing at the next level. He's just 18 years old and will need some development to work out his young tendencies in his game, particularly on offense and his shot selection.
18. New York Knicks: G/F Brice Sensabaugh
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 235 pounds | Class: Freshman | Ohio State
Ohio State has had a rough stretch of games, losing nine out of its last 10. Sensabaugh continues to be a hard-nosed forward who can self-create off the block. His toughness on defense and versatility as a shot-maker translate well as an NBA prospect.
19. Houston Rockets: G Jalen Hood-Schifino
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215 pounds | Class: Freshman | Indiana
Hood-Schifino has been patient with his development during his freshman season and scouts are watching the freshman guard more closely. His first step is more explosive than what meets the eye and he's a reliable point guard who makes the right decision when the ball is in his hands and moves well off the ball, connecting on 37% of his 3-point attempts this season.
20. Miami Heat: F Kris Murray
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 220 pounds | Class: Junior | Iowa
Murray, the twin brother of Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray, is shining as the go-to scorer for Iowa this season. Offensively, he does all the little things right, whether that's cutting off the ball, getting to his spot off the pick-and-pop or creating for himself at the end of the shot clock. His versatility and solid defense make him an easy NBA fit.
21. Brooklyn Nets: G Dariq Whitehead
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 220 pounds | Class: Freshman | Duke
Early injuries have disrupted Whitehead's rhythm this season, but he's shown promising steps as a scorer late in the season, hitting 4-of-6 3s in a recent win over Syracuse. At just 18, Whitehead has promising pro potential with his defensive skill set and natural instincts as a scorer in transition.
22. Portland Trail Blazers: G Jordan Hawkins
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 195 pounds | Class: Sophomore | Connecticut
Shooting 40% from 3-point range on eight attempts per game, Hawkins is the best 3-point shooting guard in this draft class. His quick release makes him an effective scorer whether that's coming off screens or creating off the dribble. Hawkins has posted 20 points in his last three games and is hitting a hot streak to close out the regular season.
23. Brooklyn Nets: F Noah Clowney
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 210 pounds | Class: Freshman | Alabama
Clowney has shown growth during his freshman year at Alabama but an NBA franchise will need to be patient with his development as he adjusts to the NBA game after his one college season. He has great hands and has a high rebounding rate (grabbing 13 boards in a recent win over Arkansas). Guards have trouble getting around him off the switch and he's effective in the lane with the way he alters shots.
24. Sacramento Kings: G Terquavion Smith
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 165 pounds | Class: Sophomore | NC State
Smith continues to work on his shot selection, but the way he creates for others off the dribble (dishing out 10 assists in a win over Georgia Tech) and his confidence as a scorer will make it hard for NBA teams to pass up on him in the first round.
25. Indiana Pacers: G Colby Jones
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 205 pounds | Class: Junior | Xavier
Jones has showcased an improved jumper throughout the season, averaging 15 points per game. His versatility as a playmaker and his perimeter defense make him a coveted prospect who can be plugged into multiple positions.
26. Memphis Grizzlies: C Kyle Filipowski
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 230 pounds | Class: Freshman | Duke
Filipowski shines in the pick-and-pop with his 3-ball nearly impossible to defend with his 7-foot frame. He's still a little bit of an inconsistent shooter but steps into every shot with confidence. Filipowski is a bit of a liability defensively when stepping out to guard the wing and his lateral quickness needs to improve. With his size, ballhandling and skill set, it will be hard for a team to pass on him in the first round.
27. Utah Jazz: G Jalen Wilson
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225 pounds | Class: Junior | Kansas
Wilson's shot selection has improved from last year and has shown growth and maturity in his game. He's doubled his 3-point makes from last season and adding that to his body control while finishing at the rim and his motor in transition make him a real offensive threat and valuable as an NBA prospect.
28. Charlotte Hornets: G/F Leonard Miller
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 215 pounds | G League Ignite
Miller will have an easier time adjusting to the NBA after playing in the G League under NBA rules and spacing. His raw athleticism projects him as more a long-term prospect, but he's been productive playing alongside Henderson and has tremendous upside as a wing with his size and frame.
29. Los Angeles Clippers: G Marcus Sasser
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 195 pounds | Class: Senior | Houston
Sasser is an experienced floor general who knows how to run the offense, particularly in a pick-and-roll setting. Most might look past the value of an older, smaller guard but Sasser has a high offensive IQ and can come in right away with the second unit on an established team.
30. Indiana Pacers: C Kel'el Ware
Ht./Wt.: 7-1, 225 pounds | Class: Freshman | Oregon
Ware has struggled all season in his first year at Oregon, but the Pacers could take a swing at the young center who showed so much promise and talent as a highly rated high school prospect. Ware could benefit from an NBA system with more freedom off the block and spacing in high pick-and-roll situations.
31. Indiana Pacers: G/F Jaime Jaquez Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 225 pounds | Class: Senior | UCLA
32. San Antonio Spurs: G/F Bilal Coulibaly
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 220 pounds | Metropolitans 92 (France)
33. Detroit Pistons: C Dereck Lively II
Ht./Wt.: 7-2, 215 pounds | Class: Freshman | Duke
34. Philadelphia 76ers: F Azuolas Tubelis
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 245 pounds | Class: Junior | Arizona
35. Orlando Magic: F Keyontae Johnson
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 230 pounds | Class: Senior | Kansas State
36. Sacramento Kings: G/F Nikola Đurišić
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 214 pounds | Mega Basket (Serbia)
37. Washington Wizards: G Ricky Council IV
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 205 pounds | Class: Junior | Arkansas
38. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Kobe Bufkin
Ht./Wt.: 6-4 195 pounds | Class: Sophomore | Michigan
39. Denver Nuggets: C Tristan Vukčević
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 230 pounds | KK Partizan (Serbia)
40. Los Angeles Lakers: G Emoni Bates
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 170 pounds | Class: Sophomore | Eastern Michigan
41. Boston Celtics: F DaRon Holmes II
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 225 pounds | Class: Sophomore | Dayton
42. San Antonio Spurs: F Coleman Hawkins
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 225 pounds | Class: Junior | Illinois
43. New Orleans Pelicans: G Julian Strawther
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 pounds | Class: Junior | Gonzaga
44. Memphis Grizzlies: C James Nnaji
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 200 pounds | Barcelona
45. Charlotte Hornets: F Trayce Jackson-Davis
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 245 pounds | Class: Senior | Indiana
46. Atlanta Hawks: G/F Sidy Cissoko
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 200 pounds | G League Ignite
47. Cleveland Cavaliers: G/F Dillon Mitchell
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 200 pounds | Class: Freshman | Texas
48. Denver Nuggets: G Judah Mintz
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 172 pounds | Class: Freshman | Syracuse
49. Los Angeles Clippers: G/F Jordan Walsh
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 pounds | Class: Freshman | Arkansas
50. Boston Celtics: G Reece Beekman
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190 pounds | Class: Junior | Virginia
51. Phoenix Suns: G/F Julian Phillips
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 200 pounds | Class: Freshman | Tennessee
52. Minnesota Timberwolves: G Baylor Scheierman
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 pounds | Class: Senior | Creighton
53. Brooklyn Nets: G Amari Bailey
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185 pounds | Class: Freshman | UCLA
54. Sacramento Kings: G Adam Flagler
Ht./Wt.: 6-3 185 pounds | Class: Senior | Baylor
55. Milwaukee Bucks: G Terrence Shannon Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215 pounds | Class: Senior | Illinois
56. Memphis Grizzlies: G Andre Jackson Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6 210 pounds | Class: Junior | Connecticut
57. Forfeited pick
58. Forfeited pick
59. Milwaukee Bucks: C Zach Edey
Ht./Wt.: 7-4, 295 pounds | Class: Junior | Purdue
60. Boston Celtics: F Drew Timme
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 235 pounds | Class: Senior | Gonzaga