Previewing the Top Five NBA Draft Prospects for 2023
The 77th regular NBA season kicked off in earnest on Tuesday 18th October 2022. The 2022-2023 season will comprise 82 games per team and is expected to end on Sunday, April 9th 2023. News on all the moves made by the teams has been made available.
As the new season begins, new players will be drafted by all the NBA teams. With the draft date set for June 23, 2023, scouts are travelling all over the world, looking for the best players. Below is the current status of the top 5 NBA draft players for the 2022-2023 season.
1. Victor Wembanyama (France)
There hasn’t been a prospect like Wembanyama for a while. His talent, physique and skillset are a thing of beauty. He is a 7-foot-4 superstar in the making capable of creating his own shot off the bounce and posting up on his opponents. Coupled with a top-performing point guard, his execution of pick-and-roll plays is amazing to watch. If you are an NBA fan, you can stay updated with his performance and general NBA odds on this page.
Despite only playing 34 games in the LNB Pro-League in the 2020-2022 season, he still demonstrated his incredible potential as a two-way forward, averaging 17.6 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 1.9 BPG as well as shooting 46%. Wembanyama, who was only 16 when he started playing professionally, has competed against adults for the past two seasons.
He has shown a remarkable level of commitment to the game with his next-level competitiveness and was crowned the LNB Pro A-League’s Best Young Player in 2021 and 2022. A rare combination of size, length, mobility and skill, Wembanyama will begin his draft cycle regarded as one of the top prospects, with the chance to hold this position until draft night.
2. Scoot Henderson (G-League Ignite)
18-year-old Scoot Henderson decided to skip his senior year at Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, to play for the G-League Ignite team. He was the youngest player to play in the G-League. The physical attributes that Henderson possesses have made him one of the best athletes in the G-League as a teenager. These include his long arms, muscular body type, and high-level strength and speed with the ball.
As an incredible athlete with so much explosiveness, he has continued to sharpen his pull-up game, as well as his playmaking and passing skills this summer. Henderson, who averaged 24.5 MPG, 14.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 11 games for Ignite last – season, is expected to improve his performance this year. A little ball-dominant and not particularly a great passer, Henderson is still figuring out how best to be a lead guard. He has good hands on the defensive end but needs to improve.
3. Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)
With his abilities as a ball handler, passer, and overall creator, Amen has displayed his abilities against high-level professionals on the court, at the free-throw line, and passing off the dribble. During the three preseason games, he scored 18.6 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, made 5 assists, stole the ball 3 times, and blocked one shot and 65% of his 2-point shots. His free-throw percentage also improved to 80%, which is the highest it has been since he first came to the team.
In addition to his explosive strides, his ability to manoeuvre through different angles and driving lanes with grace and balance is incredible. His passing ability is pristine, getting the ball to his teams with wrap-around passes and cross-kick-outs. He has yet to develop his jumper, which places him behind the top two players at this point in terms of skill set.
4. Nick Smith Jr. (University of Arkansas)
With the ball in his hands, Nick Smith Jr. exhibits a high level of playmaking ability and creativity. He is able to change directions and gears with ease, as well as finish above the rim while showing creative instincts. The 6’4’’, 185-pound Smith has a 6’9’’ wingspan and can play bigger than his size, score in tight areas, and make sensational passes.
As a member of the NBA superstar Bradley Beal’s AAU team, Smith led the team to the Peach Jam Finals while averaging 18.6 points per game, 3.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG. 247Sports ranked Smith the top-rated high school prospect in the country, Rivals ranked him as the best shooting guard in the country, and ESPN ranked him as the top shooting guard in the nation.
5. Cameron Whitmore (University of Villanova)
In addition to his physicality and athleticism, Whitmore has also developed sharpshooting abilities, knocking them down in the paint. His 6-foot-6 frame allows him to take on older players easily. He is rated one of the best defenders on the court and performs well in transition because of his driving ability. He is one of the most powerful dunkers in the 2023 draft.
Whitmore averaged 18.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 1.7 assists per game in 6 games at the 2021-2022 U18 America’s Championship Tournament. Additionally, he shot 63% from the field and 45.5% from three-point range. After a recent injury, Whitmore underwent thumb surgery which has cast doubts on his shooting ability going forward.
As the NBA Draft date draws nearer, NBA prospects will be looking to perfect all their skill sets and stay healthy as the scouts watch their games. Joining the NBA is not an easy accomplishment and will talent and strong work ethic are bound to come out on top.
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