NBA Updates PH – The 2023 NBA Draft is full of interesting things. Victor Wembanyama is the most talked-about star in recent memory. There are also a lot of other intriguing players who want to make their mark on the league, and a few teams could be ready to shake things up. Most of the time, the biggest question leading up to the draft is who will get the first overall pick. This year is not like that, but there are still a lot of questions that could change the league that will be answered on Thursday night. Here are the five most important ones.
The 2023 NBA Draft: Key Questions That Will Shape the League
1. Who will Charlotte select with the second pick?
At the very top of the NBA draft, there isn’t much mystery because everyone knows that the San Antonio Spurs will pick French star Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick. Wembanyama has a crazy mix of size and speed. He is 7 feet 4 inches tall, has tight handles, and a smooth shot. As a result, some of the league’s best players have already noticed him.
“Everyone has been a unicorn in the last few years, but [Wembanyama] is more like an alien,” Lakers forward LeBron James said of Wembanyama. “No one has ever seen someone on the floor who is as tall as he is and moves as fluidly and gracefully as he does. He can dribble the ball, shoot stepback jumpers from the post, make stepback 3-point shots, catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, and block shots, regardless of whether his height is 7-4, 7-5, or 7-3. He’s a once-in-a-generation talent.”
Wembanyama will be a huge and instant help to whichever team gets him, both on and off the court. Because of this, the Spurs will definitely pick him. Since that choice has already been made, the most important question near the beginning of the draw is who the Charlotte Hornets will choose with the second pick.
The Hornets seem to have narrowed their choice down to two players: Brandon Miller from Alabama and Scoot Henderson from the G League Ignite has worked out with the team more than once. Both players can make a big difference for their teams, which the Hornets need since they haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs in over 20 years. The Charlotte team’s second pick in the NBA draft will heavily influence the rest of the NBA draft and ultimately impact the entire league. It’s hard to say enough about how important this pick is in general. Because of this, Thursday night will be all about Charlotte.
2. Will the Blazers trade the third pick?
Before the NBA draft, there was a lot of talk that the Portland Trail Blazers might move the third overall pick to get a proven, ready-to-win player to pair with Damian Lillard. Some have even said that Lillard might try to get traded if Portland doesn’t make that move since he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a part of the Blazers’ rebuilding process. Even though the case is more complicated than that, it is still a major part of the NBA draft story.
Lillard has said many times that his first choice would be to spend his whole career in Portland. However, he knows that his time to help a team win a championship is ending, and he wants to make the most of his remaining time at the top of his game, whether in Portland or somewhere else.
“I’d like to have a chance to win in Portland…In terms of assets, we got a chance to put together a team that can fight,” Lillard said not long ago. “If we can’t do that, we’ll have to talk about this separately,” I’ve been saying for months.
What the Blazers do here will be very interesting to watch. With the third overall pick, they could get a very good player, but if they did that, they might upset Lillard and make him want to leave Portland.
3. Will the Pelicans trade Zion Williamson?
Zion Williamson’s name has come up in trade rumors recently, and some reports have said that the Pelicans might be ready to give up the former top overall pick in order to move up into the top three of the NBA draft and get top prospect Scoot Henderson.
The Athletic says it’s unlikely that Williamson will be moved before the NBA draft, but it can still happen. When the team picked Williamson with the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft, they thought he would be a reliable cornerstone of the team. However, he has yet to live up to those hopes. Williamson has been very good when he has been on the court, but his availability has been a huge problem, and there is likely some anger on both sides behind the scenes.
The Pelicans have been interested in Henderson for a long time, and even if they don’t want to move Williamson, they would have to think about it if they could get Henderson in exchange for Williamson.
4. Will the Thunder cash in some chips?
The Oklahoma City Thunder have a lot of NBA draft picks coming up, including three this year (one in the first round and two in the second). They also have four picks in the first round of the NBA Draft in 2024. If a team already has a lot of young ability, could they try to trade some of those picks for more experienced players to help the team take the next step forward? Or, they could try to trade a couple of picks, like their first-round pick this year and a pick in 2024, to move up in this year’s NBA draft.
As of now, they will have the 12th overall pick, but they might want another chance at the top five. Maybe they’ll make a move; maybe they won’t. Either way, the Thunder are a team to keep an eye on draft night because they have the picks to make a big change.
5. Will the Mavericks make a move?
Even though they got star guard Kyrie Irving before the trade deadline last season, the Dallas Mavericks did not make the playoffs. They need to improve their team around Luka Doncic. One way to do this would be to move the No. 10 pick in the NBA draft to get a player with a lot of experience. Jake Fischer, an NBA insider for Yahoo! Sports, recently said that he is sure the Mavericks will move the pick, and other people have said the same thing.
In some ways, this is the same as what happened in Portland. Both teams are trying to win right now because they have a great guard in the prime of his career, and both teams are under pressure to build better teams around these players. Since Lillard is older than Doncic, Portland has a bit more of a sense of urgency, but both teams could trade their lottery pick to get better right away.
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