Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

The 2023 NBA Draft is upon us. And while we know — more or less — who’s going No. 1 overall, what happens after that is up in the air. The debates range from who should go second to whether players such as Emoni Bates and Oscar Tshiebwe will be drafted at all.

CBS Sports has you covered. We’ve got live coverage of the NBA Draft all night on CBS Sports HQ, which you can find on this page or any connected device via the CBS Sports app. Or you can stick right here with our NBA Draft Tracker, where Adam Finkelstein and Kyle Boone will grade every pick. 

Without further ado, here’s the full 2023 NBA Draft order, to be updated with picks and grades as they roll in:

Round 1 NBA Draft Grades

by Adam Finkelstein

1. San Antonio Spurs: C Victor Wembanyama, France

The 7-foot-4 prodigy with the 8-foot wingspan has generated the type of praise we have not heard since LeBron James. On top of his insane measurables is a combination of defensive dominance, offensive skill and uncanny agility for his size. If he can stay healthy, true NBA stardom is a very likely scenario. The Spurs spent years setting themselves up to be in this position and took advantage of it. Grade: A+

2. Charlotte Hornets: SF Brandon Miller, Alabama

The Hornets brought back in Miller and Scoot Henderson this week, allowing their decision to come down to the final few days. They landed on Miller in a process that has been a bit confusing. It’s a unique combination of size and shot-making. He has a great midrange game, too, even though we didn’t see it at Alabama. What we haven’t seen yet is his finishing at the rim, and the fact that he’s so lean is a concern, along with the off-the-court issues that popped up at college. Grade: A-

3. Portland Trail Blazers: PG Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

This was the easiest pick in the draft, and the Blazers nailed it. They get a second high-quality building block alongside Shaedon Sharpe and expedite rebuilding without having to trade Damian Lillard. Henderson is a dynamic athlete and explosive playmaker whose skills should translate after two years in the G League. Grade: A

4. Houston Rockets: SF Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite

He is a top 1% athlete in the NBA tomorrow. We are talking about 6-7 with a 6-11 wingspan, extreme pace and violent leaping ability. What he doesn’t have is a jumper. So even though he’s a wing in size, he likely will be a playmaker on the ball. This is the start of the second tier of the class, but he’s the player with the upside to be right in this spot. Grade: A

5. Detroit Pistons: SF Ausar Thompson, Overtime Elite

This possibly was a reach for the other Thompson twin, who is less regarded as a prospect than Amen and might have been available with a trade back. However, he’s a well-rounded player who seems to be further along as a shooter than his brother. Thompson is a true athletic wing and potential defensive stopper, one of the best in the draft class at that end. Here’s my concern in Detroit: Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey already are weak shooters, so there’s pressure to see Thompson help space the floor. Grade: B+

6. Orlando Magic: PG Anthony Black, Arkansas

I love it. This is someone who many thought would last to No. 8, but that would have been too late for a player who can contribute on both sides. He has proven himself to be a true big point guard, adding weight without losing speed or agility.  The question is his shooting, and he has looked better in the draft process than he looked in college. If he can figure that end out, he will be a top five player in this class no doubt. Grade: A

7. Washington Wizards (via Pacers): SF Bilal Coulibaly, France

Trade alert: The Pacers swapped the seventh pick to the Wizards for the eighth pick and future picks. Coulibaly is the highest-risk, highest-reward player who was teammates with Wembanyama this season. This is earlier than anyone projected him to go, but he’s improving at a rapid rate and growing into his massive wingspan. He is physical and athletic, but also have some shooting potential. He simply hasn’t played a lot of high-level basketball. Grade: B

8. Indiana Pacers (via Wizards): PF Jarace Walker, Houston

I would have liked to see a little more offense from Walker at Houston. He’s more defense than offense, but he’s also not quite a small-ball five or a big wing. He’s a long, powerful defensive-minded four who really improved in his senior year at IMG Academy. What you have to love from Indiana is adding two extra assets (in the future) while still getting their guy — though I might have preferred Taylor Hendricks here. Grade: A-

9. Utah Jazz: PF Taylor Hendricks, UCF

The first UCF player to be selected in the first round, Hendricks is a prototypical three-and-D forward who can stretch the floor, be a lob threat, protect the rim and be a versatile defender. It’s an odd fit with the Jazz organization because they have Lauri Markkanen, but this is a pick that makes sense for the future because he has a bright future. Grade: A-

10. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Mavericks): PG Cason Wallace, Kentucky

The Thunder got this pick and Davis Bertans for the No. 12 pick as the Mavs looked to shed salary. I am a Cason Wallace fan, especially after he was better offensively than we expected before his injury. He showed playmaking flashes and a good shot. The thing you have to wonder is what else Sam Presti has up his sleeve because they have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. To trade up for a player who probably would have been available later when he doesn’t seem to fit into the current roster cleanly is interesting. Grade: B

11. Orlando Magic (via Bulls): SG Jett Howard, Michigan

This pick is one of the first real head-scratchers of the night. The son of Michigan coach Juwan Howard is one of the best tough shot-makers in the draft and has solid positional size. But he is a defensive liability, and though he can shoot, there are better shooters on the board to help Orlando with that issue (Jordan Hawkins and Gradey Dick). Many expected him to be drafted toward the end of Round 1, not in the lottery. Grade: C+

12. Dallas Mavericks (via Thunder): C Dereck Lively, Duke

When whomever Kyrie Irving is guarding blows right by him, now you have a shot-blocker to clean it up. Lively is everything we said he was coming out of high school. A top-level rim protector who also has a high ceiling as a pick-and-roll big man who can even stretch the floor on both ends, via an improving jumper and switchability. Grade: A

13. Toronto Raptors: SF Gradey Dick, Kansas

He’s the second-best shooter on the board with great positional size who could solve a lot of Toronto’s perimeter spacing issues. And his red bedazzled suit turning into a talking point for reasons that make sense if you know him: He has unflappable confidence that helps him on the court. It’s a good value and fit. Grade: A-

14. New Orleans Pelicans: SG Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut

The best movement shooter in this year’s NBA Draft proved to be an unmatchable hot-streak shooter for UConn during their title run. The eye test bared out his ability to hit tough shots off screens. He now gets to play off of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. There are questions physically because he’s very thin and may struggle defensively next to C.J. McCollum, but the shooting is real. Grade: B+

15. Atlanta Hawks: SG Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

A late-blooming guard who some people had in the top 10 made huge strides this year. People need to understand how young Bufkin is as an explanation for his low impact as a freshman in 2021-22 — he’s younger than many one-and-done players this year. Bufkin can play on or off the ball and provide an insurance policy for the Hawks deciding what the future is with Trae Young. Grade: A-

16. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves): SG Keyonte George, Baylor

The third player from IMG Academy (with Black and Walker) to be taken in this draft, he’s got scoring and shot-making ability. He was the player who ran that IMG team. He can shoot off the catch or dribble and has potential as a playmaker and passer. Defensively he has to figure out his feet. If you saw George in high school, you buy in on this. Grade: B 

17. Los Angeles Lakers: PG Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Hood-Schifino showed in high school and college that he could be a role player, and that’s important here. Still, he’s a bit streaky as a scorer and especially as a shooter, which will be important for the Lakers immediately. The long-term play here is a nice player, but is he ready to contribute to a team that expects to be good now? Grade: B

18. Miami Heat: SG Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

It’s a very solid pick and a terrific fit from a culture perspective because Jaquez is one of the toughest, hardest-working players in this class. He’s going to need to expand his perimeter skillset because he played a lot of small-ball four. The shot needs to improve, specifically, and there were higher-upside players on the board. But the Heat are all about culture, and Jaquez was the heart of a successful UCLA team’s culture for years. Grade: B

19. Golden State Warriors: SG Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara

The Illinois transfer really broke out because he can shoot off catch or dribble and was very efficient in college. The problem is he’s not a great athlete and lacks ideal length, and now he’s joining an aging backcourt of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson. How will that fit work? Grade: B-

20. Houston Rockets (via Clippers): SF Cam Whitmore, Villanova

Whether it works out or not, this is well worth the risk after Whitmore’s slide. Aggressively, he might be a top five talent in this class. His explosiveness and sheer power are off the charts. He also made major strides as a shooter at Villanova. The best part? He now has a wakeup call from his slide and a strong coach in Ime Udoka. This could be a great thing for him. Grade: A

21. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns): PF Noah Clowney, Alabama

This is a big swing, a high-upside proposition that could flop. Brooklyn is trying balance rebuilding with staying in the playoff hunt because they don’t have a lot of their own future picks. Clowney has good size and rebounding and defense with some 3-point shooting potential. That last part intrigued teams, and if it hits, this will look smart. Grade: B

22. Brooklyn Nets: SF Dariq Whitehead, Duke

If you didn’t start watching Whitehead until he got to college, you don’t know Whitehead as a player. He was a high-profile prospect when he was in eighth grade. And he kept working and working despite being noticed so early in a state like New Jersey with a lot of attention. He was hurt in college, but he did develop his shooting anyway. My only concern is the medical side. If that’s clear, he can be a valuable add on their perimeter. Grade: A-

23. Portland Trail Blazers (via Knicks): PF Kris Murray, Iowa

Murray is a very good basketball player, a skilled smart offensive player who is a better shooter than his percentages indicate. When he was a complementary player to his brother, Keegan, he was a better floor-spacer. And that’s his role, as a guy who can be switchable and strong as a skilled role player. Grade: B+

24. Dallas Mavericks (via Kings): SF Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Marquette 

I really like how Dallas is surrounding Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving with defensive players who can hit spot-up shots. Prosper is one of those players, a forward who has high-level athleticism and has shown an improving shot in the process. He’s also accustomed to not being the lead guy because he had a similar role in college. Grade: B

25. Detroit Pistons (via Grizzlies and Celtics): SG Marcus Sasser, Houston

The trade is that the Celtics, who acquired the pick in the Marcus Smart deal yesterday, are moving down to 31 for a future second. Detroit needs perimeter shooting and Sasser is a combo guard who can score. He could fit nicely next to Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. He’s also the kind of tough baller that Detroit wants. It’s interesting that Celtics traded this because they don’t add much. Grade: B

26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers): SG Ben Sheppard, Belmont

This is a very Indiana-type pick of a productive two-way player who is ready to go. He’s known as a shot-maker, and his movement shooting is very encouraging, but his free throw shooting is a bit of a worry. But if the shooting pans out, he’s going to be a true 3-and-D guy because the defensive side was his calling card early in his college career. Grade: B

27. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets): SG Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

The No. 1 recruit in 2022 at 247Sports, Smith now is reunited with grassroots teammate Brandon Miller. It’s not clear that it’s going to hit, but this is a smart swing for high upside in this space for a rebuilding team. Smith’s knee injury dramatically affected his college year, but so did some issues with timing and defense. Figure that stuff out, and you’ve got a nice big guard who can score and has the talent to work out. Grade: A-

28. Utah Jazz (via 76ers): SG Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

I’m not quite as high on Sensabaugh as others. He can really score, but I have a hard time with guys who score but don’t win. Ohio State really struggled last year, and Sensabaugh didn’t do much on the defensive end. In the right context, Utah could use him as a movement shooter, but he needs to defend his position and score in a way that impacts winning. Grade: B

29. Denver Nuggets (via Pacers and Celtics): SG Julian Strawther, Gonzaga

Strawther can really shoot and has good size, but he’s a liability on the defensive end. The difference with him vs. Christian Braun, last year’s Nuggets first-rounder who also was a veteran college winner, is that he’s so weak on defense that he may not be able to contribute right away. Grade: C+

30. Los Angeles Clippers (via Bucks): SF Kobe Brown, Missouri

I really like this pick. This is the kind of move that a team does for financial values, but they took just a good player in general. He has almost a football frame and made a nice jump as a shooter and can guard bigger bodies because of that strength. That helps with playing him in small-ball units and makes him valuable. Grade: A-

Round 2 NBA Draft Grades

by Kyle Boone

31. Charlotte Hornets (via Boston): C James Nnaji, Nigeria

There was serious steam for Nnaji to work his way into the back end of the first round, so Charlotte moving up to acquire him at No. 31 feels like decent value here. Nnaji’s measurables in terms of his size and length are impressive and he’s a big leaper who can finish above the rim, though he does present as something of a project for the Hornets. Grade: B+

32. Denver Nuggets (via Indiana): SG Jalen Pickett, Penn State

This is a genuine stunner. Denver has done well enough drafting in the second round in recent years to earn some benefit of the doubt, but Pickett – who had a career year at Penn State last season as a combo guard and scoring specialist – ranked as the No. 77 overall prospect in our Big Board and could have been available later. Grade: C-

33. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Spurs): SF Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

The Spurs made this pick and flipped it to Minnesota, giving the Timberwolves — for my money — a lottery-level talent and one of the better value acquisitions of the night. Miller has a funky-but-effective game as a big wing who can put the ball on the floor, pass and defend with versatility. He’s a high motor forward who will fit nicely as they build around Anthony Edwards. Grade: A

34. Sacramento Kings (from Hornets): SG Colby Jones, Xavier

Jones was ranked as the No. 33 player on the Big Board so this feels like exact value for Sacramento here. He’s not a flashy athlete and his game doesn’t pop off the page, but he’s a big wing with a well-rounded skillset equipped to be a helping hand for a Kings team pushing to be a perennial playoff contender. Grade: B-

35. Chicago Bulls (from Celtics): SF Julian Phillips, Tennessee

Phillips is an interesting flier for the Bulls, who traded into this spot, as he has the physical tools and pedigree to develop into a nice piece down the line. He posted the highest vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine and was ranked as a five-star out of high school before a one-and-done season at Tennessee where he struggled to score but flashed upside. If he can convert his athletic pop and ideal frame and be consistent then Chicago may have scooped up a second-round steal. Grade: B

36. Milwaukee Bucks (from Magic): SG Andre Jackson Jr., UConn

Orlando traded No. 36 to Milwaukee, which selected Jackson out of UConn in this slot. And boy, am I a fan of this pick. Jackson Jr.’s shooting is undeniably a work in progress, but he is an electric athlete who can make plays and add defense as a connective piece for a title contender in the Bucks. Grade: A

37. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Wizards)

38. Sacramento Kings (via Pacers)

39. Charlotte Hornets (via Jazz)

40. Indiana Pacers (via Nuggets and Mavericks)

41. Charlotte Hornets (via Thunder)

42. Washington Wizards (via Bulls)

43. Portland Trail Blazers (via Hawks)

44. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors)

45. Memphis Grizzlies (via Timberwolves)

46. Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans)

47. Los Angeles Lakers

48. Los Angeles Clippers

49. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Warriors)

50. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Heat)

51. Brooklyn Nets 

52. Phoenix Suns

53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks)

54. Sacramento Kings

55. Washington Wizards (via Cavaliers)

56. Memphis Grizzlies

57. Washington Wizards (via Celtics)

58. Milwaukee Bucks

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