Orlando Magic Daily 2023 NBA Mock Draft 3.0
The Rest of the Mock
Question: Are the Hawks still all-in with this group?
The Atlanta Hawks had a season of discontent as they struggled to put all the pieces together with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. They were on the border of the playoff picture, sneaking in as the 7-seed with a Play-In Tournament win in Miami. They need players who can solidify this group and a connector like Leonard Miller who can grow into something much more would be a solid find.
Question: How much can the Jazz bolster their backcourt?
With our first pick for the Utah Jazz, we had them focus on their backcourt in taking Kobe Bufkin. They certainly could look elsewhere. But with the potential of losing Jordan Clarkson in free agency, they should look to boost their outside shooting. Jordan Hawkins is a stellar shooter and someone who could become a bit more. Everyone needs shooting.
Question: How do the Lakers build back to a title team?
The Los Angeles Lakers are still a title-contending team. They remade the roster midseason and LeBron James and Anthony Davis carried them to the Western Conference Finals. So a big question for the Lakers is looking for players who can contribute to a title team. I like Jalen Hood-Schofino here then. He is just solid in all areas without being spectacular in any. He should fill a role and give the Lakers some important guard depth.
Question: What lessons did the Heat learn from their Finals run?
The Miami Heat reached the NBA Finals and then got systematically exposed by the Denver Nuggets’ size on the interior. Looking for workhorses who can guard multiple positions and give the team some positional length and size should be critical. Noah Clowney was the one who did all the dirty work for Alabama this year and I think he is very much a #HEATCulture player.
Question: How do the Warriors add depth?
The Golden State Warriors were a masterful team inside the walls of the Chase Center, but a complete disaster on the road. They need to add some depth and experience to try to get back to the top of the NBA mountain. Brandin Podziemski transferred to Santa Clara and lit the area on fire averaging 19.9 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting from deep (77.1 percent from the foul line). This is a guy the Warriors could easily slot in to their scheme.
Question: How much playmaking should the Rockets invest in?
The Houston Rockets have a lot of interesting offensive pieces. But the whole puzzle has not come together. And part of that is because they had to shoehorn Kevin Porter Jr. into the point guard spot. Adding scoring guards who can playmake is a key need for a team like Houston. But they are also in a good spot to take a bit of a risk. Nick Smith Jr. struggled with injuries last year, but he was one of the top prospects entering the season. That talent is still there and worth a swing.
Question: How quickly are the Nets ready to build?
The Brooklyn Nets have been a team that have a lot of people circling them thinking Mikal Bridges could be available. He should not be. So the question is how fast do the Nets want to build this thing? How quickly are they aiming to be back in the playoffs?
The Nets have these back to back picks and should be looking to add dynamic scorers in hopes one can really hit. Keyonte George is a great shooter with decisionmaking questions as an on-ball attacker. Brice Sensabaugh is a bigger shooter who has an allergy to defense. There is something to work with there.
Question: What area do the Blazers bolster?
The Portland Trail Blazers are in a precarious spot with their first pick. But here they should be looking to add depth at 23. They seem likely to lose Drew Eubanks as their backup center. So investing in a raw but interesting center in Barcelona’s James Nnaji feels like a good investment regardless of what they do with Damian Lillard.
Question: How do the Kings build on their breakout season?
The Sacramento Kings now have the most difficult task in the NBA: They have to do it again. They certainly love their offensive flourishes. But they faltered some agains tthe Golden State Warriors. Getting a new shooter and Keegan Murray’s brother is not bad. Kris Murray is not the movement shooter his twin brother is, but Kris Murray can certainly put the ball in the basket plenty.
Question: What will bind the Grizzlies together?
The answer for every question in the NBA today is probably shooting. This pick is not going to solve the bigger issues on this roster. But adding a great shooter like Jett Howard would be a big boost to a team that wants to be a title contender.
Question: What helps the Pacers get over the top?
The Indiana Pacers have a pretty solid starting lineup. And they should add another piece with their first pick. The next step is depth. And this will be a spot to add depth. Maxwell Lewis has flown under the radar but is someone who can impress after averaging 17.1 points per game in a starring role at Pepperdine last year.
Question: Do the Hornets view themselves as contenders?
That was the question we asked way back at Pick No. 2. And the latest reporting suggests the Hornets are trying to add players who can fit with their current roster and help them return to the postseason that they sat in the previous two seasons. Jones averaged 15.0 points per game and shot 37.8 percent from deep in his junior year at Xavier. He very much should be ready to play quickly.
Question: Who is ready to take the risk on Whitehead?
The Utah Jazz are a team that is still on a long-term rebuild plan. And that is the kind of team that will take the chance on Duke guard Dariq Whitehead. He was one of the top high school prospects but dealt with a foot injury throughout his rookie year. He missed the whole pre-draft process recovering from a foot injury. But he is very talented and there needs to be a team with the patience to let him recover for this to work.
Question: Can the Nuggets replace Bruce Brown here?
With Bruce Brown opting out of his contract, the Denver Nuggets seem to recognize they will not be able to retain him in trading future picks for two shots at the apple from the Indiana Pacers at 29 and 32.
I have them going for Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper, who got a late invite to the Draft’s green room which might suggest he will go higher. Prosper averaged 12.4 points per game while shooting 62.5 percent on 2-pointers last season.
Question: What will get the Clippers over the top?
The questions for the LA Clippers are not going to get answered in the Draft. That much is certain. Adn they could be hunting for bigger fish or to do something bigger to get them to title contention. Really they need health. The Clippers though have always been good at adding depth. Ben Sheppard from Belmont averaged 18.8 points per game and shot 41.5 percent from deep as a senior.
That is our final mock draft before the NBA Draft on Thursday! We will have some more goodies including our second-round prospects to watch and more before the draft tomorrow.