The Philadelphia 76ers don’t currently own any picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. That won’t prevent the scouting department from doing its homework ahead of June. The Sixers will enter the offseason shrouded in uncertainty, a lot of it stemming from James Harden’s free agency and the looming impact of the new CBA.
The importance of affordable contributors on long-term contracts has never been higher. Thus, the draft has never been so important for non-lottery teams. It might behoove the Sixers to consider trading into the second round, which is generally not hard. Even the first round could hold potential targets, depending on what trades the front office considers.
Here’s a look at the current NBA Draft landscape ahead of the May 16 lottery — including five wing prospects the 76ers should monitor.
2023 NBA Mock Draft: First round picks
The best prospect since LeBron James. Victor Wembanyama is a 7-foot-4 center who has offensive engine potential and DPOY potential. He can score efficiently at all three levels, push the tempo in transition with his handles, and he absolutely devours space in the paint defensively with his 8-foot wingspan. He could single-handedly save the Wizards from NBA purgatory.
Brandon Miller has been rising up draft boards all season. At 6-foot-9, he’s the kind of skilled wing and multi-positional defender NBA teams covet. His passing upside is especially unique and he’s already a deadly 3-point shooter. The Hornets, already with their franchise point guard, could opt for Miller instead of the high-profile guards on the board here.
The Rockets have a lot to consider here if James Harden is on the table, but there’s no way Scoot Henderson should drop below No. 3. He’s the best player available; Houston should draft him as a franchise cornerstone and figure it out later if the rest of the offseason results in a sudden pivot toward contention.
Amen Thompson’s poor shooting could give the spacing-deprived Magic pause, but he’s the obvious best prospect on the board — a monster athlete who, at 6-foot-7, is basically impossible to keep out of the paint. He’s a great passer with advanced feel for the game and he can defend multiple positions; the only question is, can he shoot?
The Pistons have a lot invested in the backcourt and the frontcourt right now. Maybe Cam Whitmore is the wing who ties it all together. An explosive, twitchy downhill driver with flashes of shot creation upside, Whitmore’s inconsistent production at Villanova can be safely overlooked in favor of the obvious path to stardom.