2023 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: How Brandon Miller ranks as a prospect, plus full projections after All-Star break
TASCALOOSE, Alabama. On Saturday, three potential top 10 players took to the court in front of several NBA scouts and executives as Alabama’s number two beat Arkansas 86-83 at home. Star Alabama freshman Brandon Miller continues to play despite being linked to the scene where 23-year-old Jamie Harris was gunned down last month. Former Alabama player Darius Miles faces the death penalty for shooting.
On Wednesday, Miller scored a season-high 41 points in overtime over South Carolina. On Saturday, Miller finished with 24 points and six rebounds and received a standing ovation from the home crowd every time he converted a bucket.
On the other hand, there was Miller’s former AAU teammate, Nick Smith Jr., who had one of his best games of the season after returning 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 Sportzshala Sports. “So to see how he plays and is healthy against tough competition and protecting the best player on the court. [Miller]was something positive and the reason that so many [NBA personnel] Here.”
Arkansas defenseman Anthony Black had a quiet night after throwing two early fouls and failing to find his rhythm in the second half. Black played a major role in Smith Jr.’s absence and becomes one of the top passers and facilitators in college basketball, averaging 4.3 assists per game, and remains number one in the NBA ratings.
Some NBA teams have made some moves at the trade deadline, and some teams are in a good position to get the top pick in the draft after the All-Star break. Here are the latest Sportzshala Sports predictions for the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2023 NBA Draft in June.
Note. The Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers lost their 2023 second-round picks due to fraud and violation of free agency rules.
(Draft order dated tankaton as of February 26.)
1. Houston Rockets: Center Victor Wembanyama
W/Weight: 7-3, 209 pounds | Metropolitan 92 (France)
Wembanyama continues to play for his French team, the Betclic Elite League, as well as the French national team, as he prepares to play in the NBA next season. In his final World Cup qualifier game, Vembanyama had 22 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks and four steals in a 72-59 win over the Czech Republic. In three games with France, Wembanyama averaged 20.3 points, 10 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals per game in just 26 minutes. In the French league, he currently leads all players in points scored (22.2), rebounds (9.5) and blocks (3.1). He continues to dominate the league even though he is only 19 years old and the NBA is waiting for his arrival.
2. San Antonio Spurs: G Scoot Henderson
W/Weight: 6-3, 196 pounds | G-league ignition
Henderson is completing his second All-Star 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 with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals. In his last game with Ignite, Henderson flirted with a triple-double in which he led his team with 20 points, 14 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal in a 116-114 loss to Memphis Hustle. Henderson is the top defenseman in this class of draft pick, and while there are rumors in the NBA that some franchises might pick Miller at 6’9 over #2 Henderson, he’s still the second-best pick behind Wembanyama.
3. Detroit Pistons: Guard Brandon Miller
W/Weight: 6-9, 205 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Alabama
Miller and teammate Jayden Bradley were at the scene where 23-year-old Jamie Harris was shot dead last month. Former Alabama player Darius Miles faces the death penalty for shooting. Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged with a crime and both continue to play for Alabama. Miller remains one of the top picks in the NBA draft, and his basketball skills continue to be judged by NBA scouts.
“Obviously this is a tough situation and teams will be watching closely. He will probably only interview three, maybe five teams and he will have to answer all their questions, but since he continues to play and is not charged, Later the teams will continue to scout and come to his games, as he one of the most promising in this draft class,” said one of the Sportzshala Sports scouts.
Miller is averaging 28.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 58% shooting from the field in his last three games. As an NBA prospect, he has great length and versatility and can either distract players from dribbling or exhaust long threes. Miller is arguably the best freshman in college basketball this season and is currently averaging 19.7 points and eight rebounds. He averages 1.2 points per possession and is in the 95% percentile. according to Synergy Sport.
4. Charlotte Hornets: J. Amen Thompson
W/Weight: 6-7, 200 pounds | Overtime Elite
The playoffs began in the Overtime Elite league, with Thompson scoring 20-plus points in the first two games. While the competition isn’t as fierce as other prospects, Thompson finds ways to showcase his elite pace of play and explosiveness in transitions. His 3-ball continues to be an area of development that NBA teams keep a close eye on. In his last game, Thompson hit 50% from 3-3, hitting 2 out of 4 attempts.
5. Orlando Magic: F. Jaras Walker
W/Weight: 6-8, 240 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Houston
Walker’s stat line in each game is not a direct indication of what type of player he plays for the number 1 in Houston and how much of an impact he has on winning. His defensive versatility makes him an intriguing top-five player as he can defend fours and fives upright thanks to his size, and come out and defend the flank thanks to his athleticism. He shows more confidence in coming out and hitting 3-pointers, having made four 3-pointers in his last five games. Walker is averaging 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 26 minutes as the Cougars look to win the tournament.
6. Indiana Pacers: Gee Osar Thompson
W/Weight: 6-7, 200 pounds | Overtime Elite
Like his twin brother Amen, Awsar is an explosive defensive end and has been strong in two playoff games for the City Reapers, averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games. His long-range jump shot has improved over the season, and he takes set-pieces with more confidence. In his last victory over the Frozens, Thompson made 5 of 10 attempts from three-point range. He excels at perimeter defense and is one of the best blockers in the draft class.
7. Orlando Magic: G Nick Smith Jr.
W/Weight: 6-5, 185 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Arkansas
After missing most of the season due to a knee injury, Smith Jr. returned to the court without any minute restrictions. The combo guard has averaged 25 points in his last two games and played a full 40 minutes in a recent loss to No. 2 Alabama. Defensively, Smith Jr. has solid possession of the ball, keeping his man up front and clearing screens. Offensively, he scores points from three sides, likes to go down and has a good float on the right side, which he uses when the defense collapses. Some players in the past chose to sit back and defend their draft stock after early injuries that sidelined them for long periods of time, but Smith Jr.’s return showed scouts he’s still the same high school player who’s been garnering attention as player. perspective top 10.
8 Oklahoma City Thunder: G Anthony Black
W/Weight: 6-7, 196 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Arkansas
Black is one of the best passing guards in college basketball, averaging 4.3 assists per game and throwing six or more in eight games this season. He has big size at fullback and huge potential at the next level thanks to his patience on offense and his ability to create for others both as a main ball carrier and off the wing. Black does the little things that don’t necessarily show up on the stats line, parrying passes and changing shots with his long defensive wingspan.
9. Washington Wizards: G. Grady Dick
W/Weight: 6-8, 205 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Kansas
No. 3 Kansas have won their last six games, and the star freshman’s touches have increased on offense to close out the regular season. Dick is averaging 18 points in February and isn’t shy about big moments when the game is on the line or the shot clock is up. Dick is a simple guy with a high IQ who can jump right into the team as a rookie and contribute alongside an already established backcourt along with Bradley Beal.
10 New Orleans Pelicans: Gee Keyonte George
W/Weight: 6-4, 185 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Baylor
George suffered a sprained ankle during the win over Texas which would keep him sidelined until the Big 12 tournament. During his year at Baylor, George was a heavy favorite in decisive moments and his natural sense of the game would propel his career in NBA. He is a high performance shooter with great throw mechanics, and one of the downsides of his game is throw selection at times. George has scored 20 or more points 12 times this season and is shooting 40% from the field and 35.6% from 3.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Gee Jett Howard
W/Weight: 6-8, 215 pounds | Grade: Freshman | Michigan
Howard hasn’t played since Feb. 18 after twisting his right ankle in a win over Michigan State. He warmed up against Wisconsin and is close to making a comeback as Michigan prepares for the Big Ten tournament. The NBA values size and…