Okay, let’s take a deep breath. The start to the college basketball season has been complete pandemonium, which means it’s time to talk about something slightly more predictable. The 2023 draft class boasts elite prospects from several different leagues and countries, giving this year’s deep and talented draft class some added mystery and international flavor.

While it’s unlikely that the top two players will change between now and June, the thin margins between every player past Wembanyama and Henderson adds a lot of intrigue, not to mention creating for a lot of debates among NBA scouting staffs and draft fans alike.

Here’s a look at the current draft projection with the college and international basketball seasons beginning to heat up.

1. Orlando: Victor Wembanyama 7-2 210 C France Intl.

In case the show he put on against Scoot Henderson in Las Vegas wasn’t enough, Wembanyama is continuing to dominate during his regular season in the French league. As long as he stays healthy, the French superstar will top this list for the next few months until the NBA lottery determines who will add the most hyped NBA draft prospect since LeBron James.

2.  San Antonio: Scoot Henderson 6-2 195 PG G-League Ignite Fr.

It’s a shame Wembanyama is stealing the spotlight from Henderson, because the Ignite point guard is enjoying a season that would have him at the top of many draft classes. While on the shelf of late, in his second year in the G-League, Henderson has so far boosted his 3-point percentage from 17 percent to 47 percent and added a few assists per game to his stats. No young prospect has ever played this well or this efficiently for the Ignite since its inception, and in any other year Scoot would be challenging to be the top pick.

3. Detroit: Nick Smith 6-5 185 PG/SG Arkansas Fr.

Now that Smith is back in the lineup, Eric Musselman and the Razorbacks have two of the top five college prospects in this class. He only got six minutes in his debut against Troy, but he rescued the team in his second full game back with 22 points and key plays in crunch time. A more well rounded Jordan Poole? Smith overtakes his teammate Black and jumps to the third overall pick.

4. Charlotte: Anthony Black 6-7 200 SG Arkansas Fr.

While Black has been missing his partner in crime in Nick Smith, he has been busy bolstering his own draft stock and enjoying a tremendous amount of success in Smith’s absence. The 6-7 freshman has taken on a playmaking role for the Razorbacks and proven to be one of the most versatile prospects in this year’s class.

5. Houston: [Brandon Miller 6-9 200 SF Alabama Fr.

It’s clear now what Nate Oats was talking about this preseason while he was hyping up his superstar freshman. Miller is averaging 19 points on 47 percent shooting from the perimeter in his first seven games in Tuscaloosa. His shot creation skills still need to improve, but you can’t ask for a better start from your true freshman. Miller adds a lot of value to the top 5 of this year’s draft and could challenge to go as high as 3rd.

6. Orlando (via CHI): Baba Miller 6-11 205 SF/PF Florida St. Fr.

We’ve yet to see the exciting young freshman in Tallahassee due to a 16-game suspension, but it’s clear the young European is extremely talented. The Seminoles will welcome him with open arms as they’re struggling to meet their standard level of play without him. Miller has a versatile skill set reminiscent of another former seven-foot Seminole Jonathan Isaac.

7.  New Orleans (via LAL): GG Jackson 6-9 210 PF/C South Carolina Fr.

A high level of individual competition hasn’t challenged him yet, but Jackson looks significantly better than most 17-year-olds who reclassified in the past few years. The South Carolina native is averaging over 17 points and is shooting an efficient 46/40/65 from the field with a high usage rate of 28 percent. We’ll see how well the high flyer does against better competition as the SEC season starts, but so far so good for GG.

8.Oklahoma City: Amen Thompson 6-7 200 SG Overtime Elite Fr.

Amen Thompson is one of the most electrifying athletes in this draft with incredible ball-handling and burst that would be elite for NBA guards. And he does it at 6-7. While possessing just a 6-9 wingspan, Amen is a truly special athlete who could climb higher with continued improved shooting and a strong pre-draft process.

9. New York (via WAS): Ausar Thompson 6-7 205 SG Overtime Elite Fr.

Ausar isn’t quite the level of athlete as his brother Amen, but he clearly isn’t too far behind as an overall player, falling just one spot below him here. He has a slightly better pull up game and an excellent frame for a 3-and-D wing, but the 3-point aspect of his game must improve in order to really add value as an explosive wing.

10. Miami: Keyonte George 6-4 185 SG Baylor Fr.

Baylor already returned an exceptional backcourt with LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler, but the addition of George is the icing on the cake giving Scott Drew the best guard group in the country. The true freshman is a natural scorer, but also has proven to be an impressive playmaker for others, adding to his lottery intrigue in 2023.

11. New York: Gradey Dick 6-8 205 SG Kansas Fr.

Bill Self and the defending national champions have a special young freshman in Gradey Dick. It took no time at all for him to figure things out and make an impact and there aren’t many players at the college level I’d choose ahead of the 6-8 shooting guard if I need a big shot late in the game. This outstanding shooting and “it” factor now have him firmly in the discussion to be a lottery pick this summer.

12. Utah (via MIN): Cam Whitmore 6-7 230 PF/SF Villanova Fr.

Whitemore has finally gotten back on the floor and was able to put up 21 in just his second game back. He’s an overachiever who plays extremely physical and has developed a surprising perimeter game. Whitemore shows good mobility for a forward and could exploit match ups at the next level with his inside outside game and bully ball style.

13. New York (via DAL): Kris Murray 6-8 220 SF/PF Iowa Jr.

If Kris Murray wasn’t a lefty,  there might be inquiries about Keegan Murray having coming back and wearing Kris’s jersey for the Hawkeyes. It was an easy comparison to make before the season, but Murray’s game is also looking an awful lot like his brother in the early season, carrying the Hawkeyes to a hot start and steadily boosting his draft stock in the process.

14. Golden State: Maxwell Lewis 6-7 195 SG/SF Pepperdine So.

Lewis is one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s class and he makes a huge jump into the lottery here. The 6-7 sophomore is a natural shooter with 62/53/80 shooting splits on 18 ppg to start the year and he complements that with outstanding vision and playmaking. He has the length to translate to the next level and as long as he remains consistent, this jump into the lottery won’t be temporary.

15. Toronto: Kel'el Ware 7-0 210 C Oregon Fr.

Oregon might not compete for any titles this year, but they certainly have an exciting big man. The true freshman is a modern stretch-five who can protect the rim and switch onto wings if need be. He still needs to fill out his frame and become a more consistent rebounder. he also will likely require patience by which ever team selects him, but the sky is the limit for the skilled young prospect.

16. Indiana: Rayan Rupert 6-6 185 SG France Intl.In order for Rupert to bolster his first-round projection, he’ll need to improve his perimeter jumper, but he’s struggled to do so thus far in the NBL. His defensive versatility and defensive skills are likely to translate to the next level, but he’ll need to continue to improve on the offensive end to maintain a spot in the mid first round.

17. Atlanta: Tyrese Proctor 6-5 175 PG Duke Fr.

The top two recruits in Duke’s draft class have disappointed to say the least, but Proctor has begun to show some flashes. The Australian freshman is a solid all-around combo guard with size, and an intriguing guard skill set. What scouts really want to see is more assertiveness and confidence in his scoring abilities, which is hindering his production so far. It’s clear he’s doing his best to be a team guy and has had a bigger adjustment than the average freshman, but Proctor could end up the best of the highly acclaimed Duke freshman class.

18. LA Clippers: Cason Wallace 6-4 195 PG Kentucky Fr.

Wallace has swiftly established himself as the top prospect in the Kentucky freshman class. He is a relentless defender who is constantly putting pressure on the ball and disrupting passing lanes and ball-handlers. He also looks like a seasoned play maker with a perimeter jumper that is better than advertised in the early season at 47 percent.

19. Brooklyn: Terquavion Smith 6-4 165 PG/SG NC State So.

Smith is one of the most explosive players in this draft. He is also one of the best shot makers in this class, but his shot selection and unpredictability leave a lot to be desired. It is part of his role as the superstar for the Wolfpack, but it’s unlikely he translates to the same role in the NBA, so he’ll need to improve in other areas in order to maximize his abilities.

20.Chicago (via POR): Terrence Shannon 6-6 215 SG Illinois Sr.

No one has increased their draft stock or Wooden Award chances more than Terrance Shannon in the early part of this college basketball season. The Texas Tech transfer found a perfect new home in Champaign and proved it with a 29-point double-double against UCLA two weeks ago while shooting 8-9 from beyond the arc.

21. Dallas: Jalen Wilson 6-7 220 PF Kansas Jr.

Wilson is a flat winner having played a key role in Kansas’ NCAA title run. He is a tweener, but figures to fit the role of a small ball 4 in today’s NBA. He has expanded his range and efficiency from deep and become one of the top scorers in the nation as a junior.

22. LA Clippers: Ricky Council 6-6 205 SG Arkansas Jr.

One of the biggest surprises in the college game is the instant impact Council has made for the Razorbacks in 2022. His points per game are up from 12 at Wichita State to 18 with the Hogs, leading a team with four first-round prospects in this mock, having lost one with the unfortunate season ending knee injury to Travon Brazile. His 3-point jumper will need some tweaks, but no one can complain if he keeps scoring at this clip.

23. Sacramento: Coleman Hawkins 6-10 230 PF Illinios Jr.

Hawkins hasn’t broken out this year from a statistical standpoint, however he has shown flashes including a recent triple double. he’s got a versatile skill set, averaging 4 assists per game showing the ability to defend and be useful on offense at 6-10. He is a much better shooter than he has shown so far, an aspect that is sure to give his stock a bump in workouts leading up to the draft.

24. Charlotte (via DEN): Arthur Kaluma 6-7 220 SF/PF Creighton So.

A shaky start to the season has Kaluma on the first round fringe, but he remains intriguing due to his physical attributes, frame and energy. The uber-athletic wing is struggling to create shots on his own or create separation on drives, but he has an improved perimeter jumper stabilizing his draft stock.

25. Indiana (via CLE): Trayce Jackson-Davis 6-9 245 PF Indiana Sr.

The Hoosiers remain undefeated and Jackson-Davis remains as good as advertised for Mike Woodson’s squad. He helped lead the Hoosiers over North Carolina and has been one of the most productive bigmen in the nation early on. TJD could be the first senior to come off the board on draft night.

26. Memphis:Jarace Walker 6-9 230 PF Houston Fr.

Walker is playing for a true title contender and possesses a versatile skill set. He obviously passes the eye test with his muscular and athletic frame. While his shooting form still needs some tweaking, there’s a lot of intrigue in his physical ability and potential to develop.

27. Utah (via PHI): Noah Clowney 6-10 210 PF Alabama Fr.

Brandon Miller might be the crown jewel of the Alabama recruiting class, but Clowney has a lot of talent in his own right. The numbers aren’t there yet, but his willingness to let it fly from beyond the arc is a great sign. Clowney didn;t receive the acclaim of some other freshmen bigs, but has a very intriguing combination of size, athleticism and skill potential.

28. LA Lakers (via NO): Jordan Walsh 6-7 205 SF Arkansas Fr.

Walsh is the third and final Arkansas freshman in the first round. The 6-7 freshman is a physical wing and an excellent defender with a 7-3 wingspan that helps disrupt just about anything the opponent tries to do. He’s simply a do-it-all player with a high motor who brings a professional mindset at a young age.

29. Houston (via MIL): Leonard Miller 6-10 210 SF G-League Ignite Fr.

Scoot is the undisputed superstar for the Ignite, but Leonard Miller is no slouch in the starting lineup. The highly touted Canadian opted out of the 2022 Draft to play for the Ignite and clearly needs the year of development. While he lacks polish, the makings are there as is the effort. So look for Miller to continue to develop as the season goes along.

30. Indiana (via BOS): Adem Bona 6-11 260 C UCLA Fr.

While clearly raw, Bona is a physical freak in the mold of a Bismack Biyombo. It appears he grew an inch or two in the past year and got quite a bit bigger and stronger. He’s a high energy guy who gives a team a physically imposing bigman with desire to work with. He is a bruiser in the post and is shooting an exceptional 69 percent while averaging seven points per game. His block numbers could be better, but he is a young man that’s willing to do what it takes to improve and help his team win.


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