Orlando Magic Daily 2023 NBA Mock Draft 2.0
The Top 3
There is no reason to complicate this with some big explanation. Victor Wembanyama is the prize of this draft. Everyone would have taken him regardless of fit. He is just that good. Just watch his highlights from the French league especially now that they are in the playoffs (his games are available on the NBA app, in a brilliant move for marketing the league’s future star).
There is no debating this pick. Seven-foot-5 big men who dribble, shoot and defend do not exist except for him.
Most mock drafts right now are slotting Scoot Henderson in as the second pick. And that may be what the Charlotte Hornets actually do with this pick — stay tuned for Mock Draft 3.0 a little closer to the Draft. We will get to Henderson in a minute.
But I look at this Charlotte Hornets roster and I think the Hornets still believe they are on the cusp of the Play-In Tournament. They did make the postseason, after all, the last two seasons before injuries to LaMelo Ball derailed this season.
The Hornets still have plenty of offensive firepower with LaMelo Ball leading the charge alongside Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward. The big thing missing was from the forward position where the team rightfully kept Miles Bridges out after he was charged with sexual assault. But Charlotte had no avenue to replace him after his strong on-court season in 2022.
This is a pick that will be about the Hornets’ goals. Are they looking for a bigger rebuild project? Do they have concerns about the fit between Ball and Henderson? Or do they fill in a player who fits what they need to return to contention (however limited that might be)?
This is unfair to Miller because he is a really good player in his own right. He is able to defend multiple positions on the perimeter and he is an excellent 3-point shooter for his size.
Then again, he also has his off-court conduct questions to answer for a Hornets franchise in major flux with an impending sale.
The Portland Trail Blazers are in the weirdest spot in this Draft.
They could use their third overall pick as a jumpstart to a rebuild, moving off Damian Lillard and resetting a franchise that has seemingly hit its dead end. Or they could use the third pick to try to retool around Lillard, looking to trade out of the Draft for veteran players and perhaps some cap relief.
Or they could try to run both tracks and draft a rookie here who can play a role and grow into a star as Lillard ages while also making other moves to bolster their frontcourt.
In this scenario, Brandon Miller is the absolute perfect player. He can fit in and play a role and grow next to Lillard without requiring the ball. In this scenario, Henderson is the absolute worst pick.
Henderson is a dynamic guard but he will need the ball in his hands to reach his peak. And the Blazers are not giving that to him.
This would make it easy for the Blazers to try to make a trade. And someone would be in line to get an elite future ball-handler and scorer in Henderson.