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2023 NBA Mock Draft: Will Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller Get Drafted?



Photo Credit: Miami Athletics

*Draft order is courtesy of

The 2023 NBA Draft is shaping up to be one of the more memorable in recent history. French superstar Victor Wembanyama has been the projected No. 1 overall pick throughout almost the entirety of this buildup, but after him, the draft gets a lot more unpredictable.

A team like the Trail Blazers could be looking to trade its top pick to acquire a more established star, while the rebuilding Spurs could trade back into the lottery to pair up Wembanyama with Bilal Coulibaly, his Metropolitans 92 teammate.

There’s also a lot on the line for Miami, as Isaiah Wong or Jordan Miller could become the first Hurricane drafted since Dewan Hernandez in 2019. Only twice have two Miami players been drafted in the same year, with Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown being the most recent examples of this in 2018.

LifeWallet Sports has projected the entire first round of the draft, along with projections for Wong and Miller.

Top 10:

1. San Antonio: Victor Wembanyama, 7-foot-4, Center, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92

Duh. Wembanyama has been the projected first-overall pick in this draft for well over a year and for good reason. He’s a unicorn of a prospect. Wembanyama has a unique, almost guard-like skillset that blends well with his superb athleticism to form a mystifying center prospect with an 8-foot wingspan. He’s the best offensive and defensive player in this draft class.

2. Charlotte: Brandon Miller, 6-foot-9, Forward, Alabama 

With Miller having “further solidified his standing as Charlotte’s choice” during his second workout with the team, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he seems to be the Hornets’ guy here. He’s going to make an immediate impact as a spot-up shooter with serious upside as a self-creator. Miller is comfortable in the mid-range and has a lethal turnaround shot. He needs to tighten up his handle, as it tends to become loose at times.

3. Portland: Scoot Henderson, 6-foot-2, Point Guard, G League Ignite

Regardless of whether the Blazers end up trading Damian Lillard, Henderson is the right pick here. He compares athletically to some of the NBA’s best rim-running guards over the last 15 years, like John Wall, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Henderson is also a decisive decision-maker on ball screens.

4. Houston: Amen Thompson, 6-foot-7, Point Guard, Overtime Elite

Thompson might be the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in this year’s draft. He’s an athletic freak and one of the most naturally gifted transition players to enter the NBA in recent years. Thompson is also a fantastic passer in the pick-and-roll. He needs a lot of work in the half court on both ends of the court. His shooting is a major weakness, as Thompson shot 25% from beyond the arc last season with questionable mechanics.

5. Detroit: Cam Whitmore, 6-foot-7, Forward, Villanova

I love the fit of Whitmore next to Detroit’s high-octane guard duo of Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham. Whitmore is a bowling ball of a driver with excellent off-ball instincts as a cutter. His release is a little slow, but his shot off the catch is solid. He has creation upside as well. Defensively, Whitmore needs improvement away from the ball, but he has the potential to be a multi-positional on-ball defender. Versatility in that aspect is a plus in today’s NBA.

6. Orlando: Ausar Thompson, 6-foot-7, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Overtime Elite

The Magic has to bolster its shooting this draft. While Thompson doesn’t exactly fill that need, he’s too good of a player to pass on. He’s not quite the driver or pick-and-roll playmaker that his twin brother Amen is, but there’s a sense of fluidity and patience in Ausar’s game that should translate well to the next level. He showed some improvement as a shooter as last season progressed, nailing 38% of his 3-pointers during the OTE Playoffs. I see him as more of a playmaking forward in the NBA than a primary option of an offense.

7. Indiana: Jarace Walker, 6-foot-8, Forward, Houston

Walker is easily my favorite non-Wembanyama defender in this year’s draft. He’s a physical on-ball stopper who uses his strong upper body and 7-foot-2 wingspan to disrupt opposing wings. He’s a terrific post defender and can even switch onto smaller guards. His versatility is unreal. Walker is also a superb off-ball defender. He’s an excellent weak-side rim protector who can roam at a high level. Offensively, Walker’s not exactly a self-creator, but he can knock down perimeter jump shots off the catch and get into his runner off the bounce. I love his fit with the Pacers, who need more talented wings.

8. Washington: Kobe Bufkin, 6-foot-4, Combo Guard, Michigan

After trading away both Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, the Wizards are in rebuild mode, and Bufkin is the right guard to start off this process. Bufkin is a tremendous finisher and a pesky defender at the point of attack. He can score at all three levels, although a deeper bag is needed to unlock his full self-creation potential. He showed flashes of playmaking in the pick-and-roll last season with the Wolverines.

9. Utah: Taylor Hendricks, 6-foot-9, Forward, Central Florida

Hendricks is everything you want in a modern forward. He can defend multiple positions, he can shoot and he can play the five in small-ball lineups. Hendricks is a terrific shot-blocker, and because of his length and twitchy hips, a quality wing defender. Also, because of his length and twitchiness, he can switch onto quicker guards. Hendricks has some scoring upside off the bounce, which paired with his more refined shooting ability off the catch, would make him a dangerous offensive threat. A trio of Hendricks, Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler could form one of the best young frontcourts in the NBA.

10. Dallas: Dereck Lively II, 7-foot-1, Center, Duke

Like Bufkin, Lively has been another pre-draft riser. He’s an excellent rim protector, recording 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes. In the pick-and-roll, he’s best right now playing at the level but has the tools to be an effective drop defender. He also has the length to hold his own in switching onto guards. On offense, Lively has his limitations, but he’s an effective lob threat who will continue to grow as a roll man with Luka Doncic, who is one of the best pick-and-roll ball handlers in the NBA. He also flashed some shooting upside during pre-draft workouts.

Rest of the First Round:

11. Orlando: Grady Dick, 6-foot-8, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Kansas

12. Oklahoma City: Bilal Coulibaly, 6-foot-7, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92

13. Toronto: Anthony Black, 6-foot-7, Combo Guard, Arkansas

14. New Orleans: Jordan Hawkins, 6-foot-5, Shooting Guard, UConn

15. Atlanta: Cason Wallace, Combo Guard, 6-foot-3, Combo Guard, Kentucky

16. Utah (from Minnesota): Keyonte George, 6-foot-4, Shooting Guard, Baylor

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Hood-Schifino, 6-foot-4, Combo Guard, Indiana

18. Miami: Jett Howard, 6-foot-8, Shooting Guard Michigan

19. Golden State: Kris Murray, 6-foot-8, Power Forward, Iowa

20. Houston (from LA Clippers): Brice Sensabaugh, 6-foot-6, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Ohio State

21. Brooklyn (from Phoenix): Olivier-Maxence Prosper, 6-foot-7, Forward Marquette

22. Brooklyn: Maxwell Lewis, 6-foot-7, Small Forward, Pepperdine

23. Portland (from New York)Leonard Miller, 6-foot-10, Forward, G League Ignite

24. Sacramento: Noah Clowney, 6-foot-10, Power Forward, Alabama

25. Boston (from Memphis): Nick Smith Jr., 6-foot-5, Shooting Guard, Alabama

26. Indiana (from Cleveland): Colby Jones, 6-foot-5, Shooting Guard, Xavier

27. Charlotte (from Denver via New York and Oklahoma City): Jaime Jaquez Jr., 6-foot-6, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, UCLA

28. Utah (from Philadelphia via Brooklyn): Brandin Podziemski, 6-foot-4, Shooting Guard, Santa Clara

29. Denver (from Indiana): Andre Jackson Jr., 6-foot-6, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, UConn

30. LA Clippers (from Milwaukee via Houston): Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6-foot-9, Power Forward, Indiana

Will Wong and Miller Get Drafted?

While both Wong and Miller performed well at this year’s NBA combine, neither player is a lock to get his name called on Thursday. One of the biggest drawbacks for each player is age, as Wong is 22 years old, and Miller is 23. The draft tends to favor younger players, as teams often make their selections based on upside.

Both players have been very active in the pre-draft process. Wong has reportedly worked out with the Hornets, Hawks, Heat, Nuggets, Lakers and Pacers, while Miller has reportedly worked out with the Jazz, Hawks, Hornets, Spurs, Blazers and Pacers.

I have Miller being selected No. 47 overall by the Lakers, as well as Wong with the No. 55 pick by the Pacers. Miller has the more translatable professional game because of his versatile defense and craftiness around the basket, but I also see a team taking a flyer on Wong because of his remarkable shot-making ability.

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