Most NBA teams spent most of last year examining and classifying prospects for this year’s draft pick. The upcoming March Madness offers one more chance to see the top picks in action even as the draft draws near. So far, all eyes seem to be on Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, and with good reason. The 2023 class may have been weakened by some top talent choosing to reclassify last year, but all signs point to a good draft. Here is a look at the players that top teams have their eyes on this year.
The 2023 NBA Draft belongs to Victor Wembanyama, hands down. Popularly known as Wemby, the 7-foot-2 French player is making waves in the NBA, with pundits predicting that teams will be scrambling to sign him come draft season. Wembanyama is so good that he has been dubbed a “generational talent” and the most promising prospect “since LeBron James.” James himself has called the once-in-a-lifetime talent “an alien.” His 8-foot wingspan makes him an impeccable defender, but his skill set also makes him one of the best scorers to hit the court in a long time. After several exhibition games in Las Vegas last year, including one where Wemby netted 4 assists, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 33 points, he has firmly secured his spot as the No. 1 2023 draft pick. In fact, it is nearly impossible to Find the top College Basketball betting sites offering wagers on any other individual player, especially since Wemby’s odds hit -6000.
Scoot Henderson is so good that the only reason he is not the top prospect for the 2023 NBA draft is that there is no going around Wembanyama. The athlete stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 195 pounds of pure basketball talent. In fact, it is quite normal to find him ranked as a five-star prospect for the year’s class, thanks to his toughness, athleticism, and strength. And had the NBA not insisted on the 19-year-old requirement, Henderson would have carried 2022 too. Pundits have noted his pro-level speed change, elite movement, and score ability in traffic.
Thompson went pro in his junior year by signing with Overtime Elite. The 6-foot-7 athlete boasts an amazing frame, length, and athleticism, even by national standards. As a skilled defender, Thompson is comfortable locking positions at all perimeters. He gets a lot of wiggle with the ball, creating off the dribble and reaching the rim when it matters most. Previously, his shooting skills were a bit lacking, but he seems to have improved that in recent years. He may still need to do more to improve his standings.
Nick Smith became the No. 1 ranking in the final 2022 updates following recruiting class reclassifications last year. The 6-foot-4 player is as impressive on the offense as he is on the defense, making him a rare two-way talent. According to pundits, Smith brings so much aggressiveness and competitiveness to the game that watching him is an absolute treat. He is skilled in scoring but is just as comfortable creating scoring opportunities for others. Unfortunately, Smith’s season has been riddled with injuries. This is expected to slow him down but not enough to kick him out of contention for the top draft.
Collegiate basketball is a primary and important entry point into the NBA. In fact, pro-level coaches and pundits follow March Madness very closely every year to identify new talent for the drafting season. And while this year’s draft class is a little lacking – most top talents are not playing college basketball this season – there are enough promising draftable returning players to make the 2023 draft interesting.
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