French phenom Victor Wembanyama went first overall to the Spurs as expected, and from there the real draft began.
Here are a few takeaways from the 2023 NBA Draft.
Hornets Go With Brandon Miller over Scoot Henderson At No. 2
Miller's stock shot up in the days leading to the draft, but, even so, I wasn't convinced Charlotte would pass on Scoot Henderson (I expressed as much in my NBA mock draft). Still, the Hornets selected the 6-foot-9 forward with the second overall pick.
The reaction at Pinhouse when the Hornets picked Miller pic.twitter.com/pauFZAsSXO— The Crown Club 👑 (@CrownClubCLT) June 23, 2023
There are red flags with Miller. He bricked everything in this year's NCAA Tournament, and the 20-year-old was involved in the shooting death of Jamea Harris. Clearly (hopefully?), Charlotte did its due diligence, hoping his talent and character will grow with more time in the NBA.
Blazers Stand Pat
Boo. Portland was supposed to spice things up, and, instead, the Blazers stuck to their picks and selected Scoot Henderson at No. 3. I love the player, but the fit is questionable.
The Blazers are stacked at the guard position between Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simmons and Shaedon Sharpe. Someone needs to be traded, so maybe we'll still see that blockbuster swap on Portland's end.
Portland backcourt depth:— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 23, 2023
The NBA is also a "satisfy-your-star-player" business, and on that front, Lillard ought to be pleased with the Henderson pick. The G-League product isn't a wily playoff veteran, but he's an NBA-ready talent who will help Portland win from day one.
Gradey Dick Dazzles With Sparkly Suit
The Raptors are a team in serious flux, caught on the slippery slope between contending and tearing it down. Toronto could've gone many different ways in the draft but ultimately settled on Dick, the best college three-point shooter.
6PM In New York… Dream. Come. True. 🦖❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/jtI7X3IzsZ— Gradey Dick (@gradey_dick) June 23, 2023
And the Kansas product stole the show. Draped in a sparkly red suit, Dick said he channeled his inner Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and claimed he won't feel like a true Raptor until Drake wears his jersey. While the money is inconsequential to Drake, what casual fan wouldn't want to spend $200 bucks to wear a jersey with "Dick" scrawled on the back?
Mavericks Make The Biggest Moves
Via trades with the Thunder and Kings, the Mavs wound up with the No. 12 and No. 24 selections. At 12, Dallas chose seven-footer Dereck Lively II, a dangerous rim protector who can impact the roster right away. This draft was light on big men, but I like this pick.
For the Mavericks' second act, the franchise selected Olivier-Maxence Prosper, a French Canadian plug-and-play forward. The kid won over teams with infectious energy during pre-draft interviews, boosting his stock. Now, after a bleak 2022-23 season, Dallas has a renewed sense of hope.