The Philadelphia 76ers currently own zero picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, but that shouldn’t stop Daryl Morey and the front office from doing their due diligence. An earlier-than-desired playoff exit could force the Sixers to go in a wildly different direction this summer, which could mean trades and even draft picks.
Youth generally doesn’t equate to winning in the NBA, but every season we see productive rookies contributing on contenders. There’s also the new collective bargaining agreement to reckon with. Rostering affordable young talent under long-term team control could be more important than ever in the years to come.
So, the message here is simple: the 2023 NBA Draft picture is starting to take shape, and the Sixers should be paying close attention. James Harden might leave in free agency. What if it ends with a sign-and-trade, and Houston includes one of their multiple first-round picks. What if Tobias Harris, in the final year of his max contract, finally hits the open market?
These and more are possibilities the Sixers and their fanbase should be prepared for.
2023 NBA Mock Draft: first-round picks
The Pistons won just two of their final 25 games to end the regular season. Well, it pays off here. Victor Wembanyama is widely considered the most talented prospect since LeBron James. Few players can genuinely claim to be the best defensive prospect and the best offensive prospect in their draft class, but Wemby can.
There has been some debate over Scoot Henderson’s place on draft boards, but the Wizards could use another playmaker to ignite the backcourt next to Bradley Beal. Scoot Henderson’s explosive athleticism and unfettered confidence make him the clear choice for Washington in the 2-spot.
Utah should be inclined to survey the guard options here, but at this point it feels like nothing is keeping Brandon Miller out of the top-3. He was the most dominant freshman in college basketball, displaying the 3-point shooting, defensive versatility, and passing upside needed to convince NBA decision-makers that he might be the next great two-way wing.
Ausar Thompson is merely elite athletically, whereas his brother Amen might be the best athlete in the NBA in a year’s time. That said, Ausar is further along in his development as a shooter and defender, plus he won Overtime Elite’s MVP award. OKC, on the brink of contention, should find immense value in Thompson’s connective playmaking and dynamic slashing ability.
Houston grabs the other Thompson twin who, again, might literally be the best athlete in the NBA. At 6-foot-7, he gets to the paint whenever he wants and he is capable of mesmerizing midair finishes around the rim. His defensive versatility would be a boon for Houston’s backcourt and he would take a tremendous playmaking burden off of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., the latter of whom might look better in a sixth man role.