The Los Angeles Lakers actually have a first-round pick to use in the 2023 NBA Draft so for the first time in a long time, they actually fall into NBA mock draft coverage.
Right now the focus for the Lakers is to make a run in the second half of the season and get into the playoffs. However, a good front office always has one eye ahead on the future and is thinking about who the team will consider in the upcoming offseason.
Los Angeles will get the worse of its own pick or the New Orleans Pelicans pick. Right now, they would get the Pelicans’ pick and it would be the 17th overall pick in the draft. Using Tankathon to simulate the results of the NBA Draft lottery, here is how our latest NBA mock draft shakes out.
Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing situation with Alabama’s Brandon Miller, we have decided to exclude him from mock drafts until more information is made available.
NBA mock draft, post All-Star Break edition:
1. San Antonio Spurs select: Victor Wembanyama
The Spurs win the lottery (literally and figuratively) and get to bring in Victor Wembanyama to be Gregg Popovich’s last superstar coached in the league. Out of the teams at the bottom, this might be the best landing spot for Wembanyama.
2. Houston Rockets select: Scoot Henderson
Scoot Henderson is obvious second-best prospect in this draft class and he would be the best in most other draft classes. Houston has taken two guards in Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green in back-to-back drafts but they shouldn’t overthink this.
3. New Orleans Pelicans select: Amen Thompson
The Pelicans luck out and get a top-three pick in the 2023 NBA Draft thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles is hoping to make a run and keep New Orleans from landing Amen Thompson with the third-overall pick.
4. Charlotte Hornets select: Jarace Walker
Charlotte gets a young big to pair with LaMelo Ball and has a bad taste in its mouth after missing out on the top-tier of prospects.
5. Detroit Pistons select: Ausar Thompson
Detroit also misses out on the top-tier of prospects but lands a promising wing with serious two-way potential to play alongside Cade Cunningham.
6. Orlando Magic select: Nick Smith Jr.
Jalen Suggs hasn’t been working out offensively for the Magic and as great as Markelle Fultz has been, he may not be in Orlando long-term. The Magic land their potential long-term point guard.
7. Indiana Pacers select: Keyonte George
Indiana was better than anyone could have expected this season with Tyrese Haliburton and Benedict Mathurin being one of the best young duos in the sport. They draft a promising combo guard to eventually replace Buddy Hield.
8. Orlando Magic select: Cam Whitmore
There is no such thing as having too many wings and the Magic go with the best player available even if it is not a perfect positional fit right away.
9. Toronto Raptors select: Gradey Dick
The Raptors are going to have to replace the perimeter presence of both Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet this offseason. Gradey Dick is a step in the right direction to doing that.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Anthony Black
Anthony Black is the best player on the board for Portland, who lands someone who can be a playmaker and allow Damian Lillard to play more off the ball later in his career.
- 11. Washington Wizards select: Cason Wallace
- 12. Utah Jazz select: Brice Sensabaugh Jr.
- 13. Oklahoma City Thunder select: Jett Howard
- 14. Golden State Warriors select: Kyle Filipowski
- 15. Atlanta Hawks select: Dariq Whitehead
- 16. Utah Jazz select: Rayan Rupert
In this NBA mock draft, the Lakers select Kris Murray, PF, Iowa
This is the same player that the Lakers landed in our last mock draft (which just went over the Lakers’ selections). Los Angeles is going to need wing depth that can shoot and that is exactly what the team gets in Kris Murray.
Murray checks three important boxes for the Lakers. He is an older prospect, meaning he can contribute right away and won’t take long to develop. He is a forward, filling a need for Los Angeles, and he can shoot.
His three-point percentage is not great (34.2%) but he has shown the ability to be a promising catch-and-shoot specialist. He is averaging 20 points and eight rebounds per game this season.
- 18. New York Knicks select: GG Jackson
- 19. Brooklyn Nets select: Kel’el Ware
- 20. Houston Rockets select: Taylor Hendricks
- 21. Miami Heat select: Terquavion Smith
- 22: Portland Trail Blazers select: Maxwell Lewis
- 23. Sacramento Kings select: Derek Lively II
- 24. Brooklyn Nets select: Colby Jones
- 25. Memphis Grizzlies select: Noah Clownley
- 26. Indiana Pacers select: Azuolas Tubelis
- 27. Utah Jazz select: Leonard Miller
- 28. Charlotte Hornets select: Bilal Coulibaly
- 29. Los Angeles Clippers select: Marcus Sasser
- 30. Indiana Pacers select: Dillon Mitchell