How will NBA draft unfold? Here’s our post-lottery breakdown

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The NBA draft lottery is set with the San Antonio Spurs earning the top pick in the 2023 draft.

That means it is extremely likely Victor Wembanyama, the skilled big man from France who has made NBA execs and fans alike drool, will soon be in a Spurs jersey. Undoubtedly, San Antonio fans are already counting on winning a world championship sooner rather than later.

But besides one of the most highly anticipated prospects in the history of the NBA, who else is in this year‘s draft class? It’s a mix of international players, G League superstars ready for a promotion and college standouts who scouts have been following since they starred in AAU ball.

Every GM is looking for a player who can change their franchise for the better. Which of these guys will do it besides Wembanyama? Here’s our mock draft in the wake of Tuesday’s lottery:

1. SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92

Forward/center, 19 years old, 7-2, 230 pounds, France

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2022-23 stats: 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.5 assists, 0.7 steals

With his size and skill set, Wembanyama is one of the most lauded prospects of the past three decades. Execs believe he is the kind of player who will turn a team into a title contender.

2. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Guard, 19, 6-2, 195 pounds

2022-23 stats: 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.1 steals

Henderson, who at 17 became the youngest player in G League history in 2021, is the total package. He’s a master at midrange, can knock down a shot from behind the arc and finish at the rim, while getting it done on the defensive end. He can immediately impact any team.

3. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: Brandon Miller, Alabama

Small forward, 20, 6-9, 200 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals

The national freshman of the year, Miller’s long, lanky frame and athleticism will translate quickly at the next level, though he needs to become a more efficient shooter in the pros.

4. HOUSTON ROCKETS: Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite

Guard, 20, 6-7, 205 pounds

2022-23 stats: 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.3 steals

He is an outstanding athlete with great size and strength for a guard and flourishes in transition with his leaping ability. He can finish at the rim with either hand. Twin brother Ausar is also a projected lottery pick.

5. DETROIT PISTONS: Jarace Walker, Houston

Forward, 19, 6-8, 240 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 blocks

A versatile forward with a soft touch inside, the American Athletic Conference freshman of the year will be an immediate help on defense, where his 7-foot-2 wingspan can cause all sorts of problems for opposing players.

6. ORLANDO MAGIC: Ausar Thompson, Overtime Elite

Guard, 20, 6-7, 215 pounds

2022-23 stats: 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.4 steals, 1.1 blocks

Like his brother, Ausar has great size, especially when he plays point guard. He also has strength and athleticism. But they are not mirror images of each other. He can beat defenders with the dribble, can direct the offense, and he improved his jump shot this season.

7. INDIANA PACERS: Anthony Black, Arkansas

Guard, 19, 6-7, 198 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.1 steals

Black is a floor general who sets his teammates up for success with sharp passes. He can also attack the basket himself or pull up from beyond the arc. He is another big guard in the draft.

8. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: Taylor Hendricks, UCF

Power forward/center, 19, 6-9, 215 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.7 blocks, 0.9 steals

Don’t be fooled by his slender frame: Hendricks, who will face up more than play with his back to the basket, can finish inside through contact. He’s also a versatile defender.

9. UTAH JAZZ: Cam Whitmore, Villanova

Forward, 18, 6-7, 232 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.4 steals

A physical wing and active offensive player who likes contact, Whitmore operates from the perimeter with his jump shot or his dribble-drive to the basket but is also comfortable playing off the basketball. He has power and finesse when finishing at the rim.

10. DALLAS MAVERICKS: Gradey Dick, Kansas

Guard, 19, 6-8, 205 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals

A lethal catch-and-shoot threat from long distance − he shot 40% on nearly six 3-point attempts per game − Dick has terrific size on the perimeter and will be even more of a scoring threat as a slasher if he can put on 10-15 pounds of muscle.

11. ORLANDO MAGIC: Cason Wallace, Kentucky

Guard, 19, 6-4, 193 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2 steals

You can rely on Wallace for highlight reel-worthy steals and chase-down blocks, but he can also get it down on the offensive end with his ability knock down a shot. 

12. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

Guard, 18, 6-5, 185 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 12.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists

One of the top players coming out of high school in 2022, Smith was limited to just 17 games because of knee problems. However, scouts are enamored with his shooting. Consistency and playmaking are areas that require attention.

13. TORONTO RAPTORS: Keyonte George, Baylor

Shooting guard, 19, 6-4, 185 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals

The Big 12 Freshman of the Year will give teams an instant playmaker, someone who can finish through contact and get his shot off quickly without much room. 

14. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: Jordan Hawkins, UConn

Guard, 21, 6-5, 195 pounds, sophomore

2022-23 stats: 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals

Hawkins thrives behind the 3-point line: He can catch and shoot or pull up off the dribble. And he’s always moving off the ball to create a shot for himself. 

15. ATLANTA HAWKS: Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

Guard, 19, 6-4, 195 pounds, sophomore

2022-23 stats: 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals

A second year in college proved to be huge for Bufkin, who can score from all over and is especially good at attacking the rim and finishing through contact. He’s a tough on-ball defender, too.

16. UTAH JAZZ: Dereck Lively II, Duke

Center, 19, 7-1, 230 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1.1 assists

An athletic rim protector − he has a 7-foot-7 wingspan − who hasn’t really lived up to the hype on offense, Lively is an intriguing prospect because of what he can do defensively. 

17. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Guard, 19, 6-6, 215 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.8 steals

Hood-Schifino can pull up from anywhere on the court, particularly from midrange. He just needs to work on consistency to take the next step in the NBA.

18. MIAMI HEAT: Jett Howard, Michigan

Guard, 19, 6-8, 215 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2 assists

A versatile playmaker who loves the pressure of a big moment and has a high basketball IQ, Jett is the son of former NBA All-Star and Michigan coach Juwan Howard.

19. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Rayan Rupert, New Zealand Breakers

Forward, 19, 6-7, 192 pounds, France

2022-23 stats: 5.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists

A solid year in Australia’s pro league and 7-3 wingspan will be attractive to NBA teams, as will Rupert’s basketball lineage: his dad played and was the former captain, of the French national team and his older sister Eliana currently plays for the national team.

20. HOUSTON ROCKETS: Leonard Miller, NBA G League Ignite

Forward, 19, 6-10, 210 pounds

2022-23 stats: 18.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.9 steals

Miller is a versatile big man who can push the ball up the floor and finish beautifully at the rim. He uses his size to outrebound opponents, averaging a double-double this season.

21. BROOKLYN NETS: Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

Forward, 19, 6-6, 235 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists

One of the best pure scorers in the draft, Sensabaugh − who surprised many with his immediate production at the college level − is a strong, powerful player who can score in and out of the paint and finish through contact.

22. BROOKLYN NETS: Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Forward, 18, 6-7, 220 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists

Whitehead was hurt early this season, but when he’s healthy, he’s a do-everything guy who likes physical play, especially when he’s attacking the rim. A 6-foot-9 wingspan helps him on defense, too. 

23. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: Gregory ‘GG’ Jackson, South Carolina

Forward/center, 18, 6-9, 215 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals

Jackson’s bread and butter is his jump shot but he has the ability to finish strong at the rim. 

24. SACRAMENTO KINGS: Noah Clowney, Alabama

Forward, 18, 6-10, 210 pounds, freshman

2022-23 stats: 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 0.9 blocks per game 

A raw prospect with tons of upside, Clowney can score inside with both hands and space the floor with a consistent outside shot that defenses have to respect. A 7-foot-2 wingspan makes him a tough defender and solid rebounder.

25. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Kris Murray, Iowa

Forward, 22, 6-8, 220 pounds, junior

2022-23 stats: 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists

A high IQ player who understands the difference between a bad, good and great shot, Murray is a lefty with a 6-foot-11 wingspan who can excel at both small and power forward. 

26. INDIANA PACERS: Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

Forward, 20, 6-7, 195 pounds, sophomore

2022-23 stats: 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals

Lewis is a threat around the perimeter and has the potential to be a 3-and-D player with his ability to catch and shoot and pull up off the dribble.  

27. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92

Forward, 18, 6-6, 230 pounds, France

2022-23 stats: 5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.1 blocks

Playing on the same team as Wembanyama, scouts have taken notice, and while his stats don’t stand out, he’s a skilled wing who just had his best game of the season with 14 points, five assists, four rebounds and two made 3s.

28. UTAH JAZZ: Colby Jones, Xavier

Guard, 20, 6-6, 205 pounds, junior

2022-23 stats: 15 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals

A tough, team-oriented player, Jones is solid as a shooter, passer and defender and moves well without the ball on offense. 

29. INDIANA PACERS: Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

Guard, 22, 6-7, 225 pounds, senior

2022-23 stats: 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals

Jaquez is reliable at the midrange and uses his impressive footwork to get defenders in the air with pivots and fakes. He’s also a spark plug on the defensive end and will fight for rebounds. 

30. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Sidy Cissoko, G League Ignite

Forward, 19, 6-8, 200 pounds, France

2022-23 stats: 11.6 points, 2.9 assists, 3.3 assists

The first European-born player to play for Ignite, Cissoko is a tough, defensive-minded player who can create problems for opposing players with his 7-foot wingspan.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY