As the 2022-23 NBA season continues the 2023 NBA Draft order is becoming more and more obvious. As the Los Angeles Lakers climb the Western Conference ladder, the odds of them getting their first-round pick back from the Pelicans increases more and more.
While the Lakers are not quite there yet, it appears that the Pelicans are not going to benefit much from the Anthony Davis trade this year. If they end up with a pick that is 1-2 spots better than the Lakers then so be it. That is worth AD.
That is exactly what happened in today’s Lakers mock draft. Using Tankathon, we simulated the 2023 NBA Draft order in order to conduct a mock draft. Los Angeles ended up with two exciting three-point marksmen in the process.
Lakers mock draft: LA takes Brice Sensabaugh with the 13th overall pick
The New Orleans Pelicans ended up with the 12th overall pick and selected Cason Wallace, allowing the Lakers to take Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh. Sensabaugh is one of the quickest climbers in this draft class and with a strong NCAA Tournament, he could see himself climb even higher.
Lakers fans should hope that does not happen as he would be an excellent selection late in the lottery. Sensabaugh has been tearing it up for Ohio State as one of the most efficient scorers in the league. The freshman small forward is averaging 16.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47.9% from the field, 41.5% from three and 83% from the free-throw line.
Sensabaugh is someone who can create his own shot and naturally is going to be an off-ball weapon as he gets more chances at the NBA level. Defense might limit his ceiling in the NBA but he can be a special heat-check kind of scorer off the bench pretty early on.
Lakers mock draft: LA takes Keyontae Johnson with the 41st overall pick
Those who frequent my Lakers mock drafts know that I am all about selecting a college prospect that is older and has more experience, especially later in the draft. While these prospects have lower ceilings, they oftentimes can contribute more quickly than 19-year-old prospects that go in the second round.
That is why senior Keyontae Johnson makes sense for LA. Johnson will be 23 by the start of the 2023-24 season and should be able to instantly contribute as a rotational scorer off the bench.
Johnson is shooting 42.4% from three and 55.1% from the field this season. He is a stereotypical three-and-D two-guard that could instantly come in to play tough defense on the wing and knock down shots as a catch-and-shoot option.
He is likely never going to blossom into someone great but he has all the makings of being a solid rotational player, which is all you can ask for out of a second-round pick.