NBA Mock Draft 2023: Lakers, Warriors Highlight Post-Lottery Picks

Brice Sensabuagh is one of many players on the Lakers' radar with the No. 17 pick.

Getty Brice Sensabuagh is on the Lakers' radar with the No. 17 pick.

While Victor Wembanyama will get the attention in this year’s NBA draft, make no mistake: Executives and scouts expect this to be a deep class, full of NBA-caliber defenders on the wing and potential stars at the point-guard spot. Teams like Indiana (three first-round picks, two second-rounders), Utah (three first-round picks) and Charlotte (two first-rounders, three second-rounders) are lined up to score big, either with rookie picks or with trades.

We have covered the lottery picks here: Mock Draft Picks 1-14 

And you can have a look at the second-round picks here: NBA Mock Draft 2nd Rounders

Below, we have a projection for the rest of the first round.

Picks 15-19: The Contenders (Lakers, Heat, Warriors) Get Their Men

15. Hawks. Keyonte George, SG, Baylor. George is a solid defensive player who can score in a variety of ways. He is not a jaw-dropping athlete or flawless shooter, but he notched 15.3 points per game in his only season with the Bears.

16. Jazz. Nick Smith, G, Arkansas.  The Jazz are candidates to make a trade with their two Top 20 picks, but they figure to be in position at No. 16 to grab a player who is also getting Top 10 consideration—in this case, Smith, a versatile scorer who could eventually replace Jordan Clarkson.

17. Lakers. Jett Howard, SF, Michigan. Howard was disappointing during his freshman year but did show that he can be a knockdown perimeter shooter, and those are in short supply. The Lakers still have Anthony Davis and LeBron James, of course, but they are building a potent supporting cast around them.

18. Heat. Jordan Hawkins, SG, UConn. The Heat could welcome a polished and accomplished shooter like Hawkins—a young guy who fits their win-now outlook. He did lead the Huskies to the national title, after all.

19. Warriors. Jaime Jaquez, SF, UCLA. Jack-of-all trades forward who has garnered interest from contenders looking to add a rotation player in the draft. There are not many of those, but Jaquez is 22 and has four years playing under Mick Cronin with the Bruins behind him.

Picks 20-25: Nets Nab 2 Role Players

20. Rockets. Olivier-Maxence Prosper, PF, Marquette. A long, defensive-minded combo forward with top-notch switchability. There will be teams considering OMP in the teens, and it’s possible the Rockets could deal out of this spot for a contender looking to bring him in.

21. Nets. Noah Clowney, PF, Alabama. The Nets are loaded with wings who can masquerade as power forwards, but Clowney could give them a player who is a no-doubt 4 capable of playing small-ball 5. If he develops as a shooter, he’d be a steal.

22. Nets. Brandin Podziemski, PG/SG, Santa Clara. The Nets could be heavily involved in trade activity in the next couple of weeks, but they do have back-to-back picks and could address their long-term needs in the backcourt. Podziemski has potential as a point guard and shot 43.8% as a 3-point shooter last season.

23. Trail Blazers. Andre Jackson, SF, UConn. No matter what direction the Blazers go, they’re going to need some defenders. If they have this pick, Jackson is dogged defender who can guard the perimeter and help in the middle.

24. Kings. Kris Murray, F, Iowa. Would it be too much to ask for the Kings to keep their magical season rolling by landing Keegan Murray’s twin brother, Kris, with the No. 24 pick? Kris Murray averaged 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior at Iowa, so he may well be off he board. But if he is there, the Kings are almost required to take him.

25. Grizzlies. Jalen Hood-Schifino, PG, Indiana. Scouts have varying opinions on Hood-Schifino, and if he gets past the Jazz at No. 16, it could be a steep drop. He could get a chance to play early on with Ja Morant suspended.

Picks 26-30: Will the Pacers Keep Their Picks?

26. Pacers. GG Jackson, PF, South Carolina. Jackson has some red flags when it comes to maturity—his team was a mess this season—but he has potential as a two-way big man and it’s rumored he has a first-round promise.

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27. Hornets. Colby Jones, SG, Xavier. Jones is a versatile scorer who could be a valuable bench asset early in his career, a glue-guy passer who can defend, too. He averaged 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists, making 50.1% of his shots and 37.8% of his 3-pointers as a junior last year, a jack-of-all-trades who is NBA-ready.

28. Jazz. Brice Sensabaugh, G/F, Ohio State. The Jazz could look to move this pick, especially if Sensabaugh–a heavy-duty volume scorer who figures to be a solid sixth man in the NBA–is still on the board.

29. Pacers. Sidy Cissoko, SG, G-League. Cissoko is an underrated prospect who should land in the first round. He’s 6-foot-8 and struggles as a shooter, but he is NBA-ready defensively.

30. LA Clippers (expected to be traded to the Wizards). Amari Bailey, SG, UCLA. Bailey showed steady progress over the course of last season, and that could—probably should—land him in the first round. He was a much-hyped prospect who had a muted freshman season with the Bruins, but his consistent improvement is promising.


Check out Heavy Sports’ projected lottery picks here: Mock Draft Picks 1-14 

And Heavy’s projected second-round picks are here: NBA Mock Draft 2nd Rounders

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