Many league executives believe the 2023 NBA draft could feature several first-round trades, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Fischer writes that there is widespread uncertainty surrounding the draft outside of Victor Wembanyama at No. 1, and examines the situations for the Nos. 2-10 picks.
The Hornets, who control the No. 2 pick, will be hosting Overtime Elite twins Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson for workouts on Friday, followed by G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson on Sunday and Alabama’s Brandon Miller next Tuesday, league sources tell Fischer.
Charlotte is widely expected to ultimately choose between Miller or Henderson, with the twins ranking just behind them on ESPN’s big board. However, it’s certainly not a consensus like No. 1.
The Hornets have an additional layer of certainty as well, with rumors that owner Michael Jordan might look to sell his majority stake in the franchise. A new ownership group could look to hire a new president of basketball operations and head coach.
That has some Charlotte staffers wondering about the fates of Mitch Kupchak and Steve Clifford, as they each only have one guaranteed season left on their respective contracts, per Fischer.
Here’s more from Fischer on the draft and free agency:
- Rival front offices are skeptical that the Trail Blazers will have a deal lined up to trade No. 3 before they’re on the clock on June 22, Fischer writes. Part of that is the uncertainty at No. 2, because a team trading up to No. 3 would presumably be targeting either Miller or Henderson, and they don’t yet know who will be available. In early trade talks, the Blazers are sending signals to rivals that Shaedon Sharpe will not be part of a possible package with the No. 3 pick, per Fischer’s sources. Sharpe was the No. 7 overall pick last year and showed flashes of brilliance with his incredible athleticism and smooth shot-making, but he’s inconsistent and just turned 20 years old, while star Damian Lillard is 32.
- Although he has been linked to the Rockets, who are fielding offers for No. 4, looking to improve, and project to have the most cap room in the league this summer, rival executives believe Bucks wing Khris Middleton is likely to sign a long-term contract with Milwaukee this summer, according to Fischer. The three-time All-Star has a $40.4MM player option for next season. As Fischer notes, Middleton reportedly met with finalists for the Bucks’ coaching vacancy before they hired Adrian Griffin.
- The Pacers continue to express interest in finding a starting power forward, sources tell Fischer. Indiana controls five picks in the upcoming draft, including No. 7 overall.