Smells Like Teen Spirit: 2023 NBA Draft Class Names to Know

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Photo credit: SI.com

The 2022 NBA Draft has come and gone with Summer League right around the corner. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look ahead to the 2023 draft. That one is shaping up to be a talented and deep draft at the top, unlike this past year.

There promises to be a ton of teenagers and younger players in this draft as many are coming from overseas and from the G-League. There will be a number of one-and-done players from the college ranks as well. But only two of those players made their way to this list. Without further ado, here are just some of the names you should know before the 2023 NBA Draft.

Victor Wembanyama

Victor is the top prospect in the upcoming draft and it is not close right now. The 7-foot-3, 240-pound Frenchman does everything. People talked about Chet Holmgren being a potential unicorn, but Wembanyama is actually one. He could be Rudy Gobert on defense, but with offense to boot. He has moved like Kevin Durant at times, is mobile, can handle the ball, and can shoot. Wembanyama is the top choice in the 2023 draft barring anything absolutely insane happening.

Scoot Henderson

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound point guard graduated high school a year early and challenged himself to play with other professionals in the G-League. That shows he clearly wants to compete and he showed off quite a bit of talent at that level. He is fast, can handle the ball well, is strong, has long arms, and gets to the midrange well. The areas of improvement for him include his three-point shooting, being a more willing passer, and trusting his teammates in transition.

Dariq Whitehead

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Duke freshman will be heading to the NBA Draft after one year in Durham in all likelihood. He’s a smooth shooting guard who can score on all three levels. He’s a good athlete who can get to the rim and can post up smaller defenders at times. He will have to get a little stronger to finish through contact and show how versatile he could be defensively.

Dereck Lively II

Another Duke freshman, Lively stands 7-foot-1 at 215 pounds and was rated as the top recruit in the 2022 class. His size coupled with his athleticism has 247Sports’ Brandon Jenkins comparing him to Tyson Chandler. However, Lively is developing his perimeter game, which should give him a greater offensive output at the next level and for coach Jon Scheyer. He values playing as a true center, but will definitely benefit from expanding his game.

Amen Thompson

This is just one half of the Thompson twins, but both could be lottery picks next year. The 6-foot-7 wing has athletic pop, is a great rebounder, defends well, and is a solid passer. He has all of the tools to be a great wing at the NBA level and knows how to score the ball, but will have to work on his three-point shooting since that was a struggle during his first year with Overtime Elite.

Ausar Thompson

While his twin brother might be a better passer, Ausar is the true scorer. The 6-foot-7 wing should show an improvement in his deep shooting since that will be a focus for next season. But he does everything just as well as his brother and is another potential lockdown defender.

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