Dillon Mitchell

And-Ones: Wembanyama, 2023 Draft, Best Trade Assets, More

Victor Wembanyama led France to a pair of blowout victories in this month’s World Cup qualifiers, scoring 39 total points in 48 minutes as the French team beat Lithuania by 25 points and Bosnia and Herzegovina by 36. The performances on the international stage were the latest reminder why Wembanyama is ranked atop every draft expert’s big board for 2023.

That list of draft experts includes Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who unveiled his full top-100 list for the 2023 NBA draft on Thursday, with the usual suspects (Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson) leading the way.

Givony’s initial list features Overtime Elite’s Amen Thompson at No. 3, Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. at No. 4, and Villanova’s Cam Whitmore at No. 5. Keyonte George, Ausar Thompson, Dillon Mitchell, Kel’el Ware, and Brandon Miller round out his top 10.

In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Givony also shared his impressions on this year’s Champions Classic, evaluating Duke’s Kyle Filipowski as a lottery prospect and taking a closer look at Gradey Dick‘s strong start to the season for Kansas.

  • Which NBA teams have the best collection of trade assets? Yossi Gozlan and the staff at HoopsHype rank the Thunder, Pelicans, and the Grizzlies as the top three due to their impressive mix of young talent and future draft picks. On the other end of the spectrum, the Wizards are considered the team with the least valuable trade assets.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today takes a look at nine players who are making an impact this season after changing teams in the summer, starting with Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, while Frank Urbina of HoopsHype singles out nine players who appear to be taking a major leap forward, including Lauri Markkanen and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
  • In his latest look around the NBA, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer considers whether the Warriors and Bulls will have to turn to the trade market this season, explores Joel Embiid‘s ongoing evolution, and highlights some of the league’s most impressive three-point shooters.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks out the “panic meter” to determine how concerned we should be about some would-be contenders who are off to slow starts. Hollinger isn’t too worried about the Sixers and Clippers, but has serious reservations about the Timberwolves, Nets, and Lakers, with the Heat and Warriors falling in the middle.

And-Ones: Bjelica, Offseason Business, 2023 Draft, More

Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica has been ruled out for this week’s World Cup qualifiers due to a calf injury and is considered questionable for the upcoming EuroBasket tournament, as Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops details.

Bjelica, who signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce this offseason after winning a title with Golden State, will miss Serbia’s contest against Greece today, as well as Sunday’s game vs. Turkey. Serbia’s EuroBasket schedule will tip off on Friday, September 2 against the Netherlands.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • With the Kevin Durant saga settled, at least for now, John Hollinger of The Athletic considers what leftover offseason business we could see addressed in the coming weeks. The Lakers, Pacers, Jazz, Heat, Raptors, and Nets are among the teams that may still have some roster moves to make, Hollinger writes.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report shares scouting reports for his top 15 prospects in the 2023 NBA draft class, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of players like Texas big man Dillon Mitchell and Duke center Dereck Lively in addition to the usual suspects like Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson.
  • Exactly how much does an NBA win cost? Mike Vorkunov and Seth Partnow of The Athletic make an effort to answer that question, with Partnow outlining a “wins/dollars efficiency model” and then explaining why such a model has its shortcomings.
  • Katie Heindl of GlobalSportMatters.com takes a look at how the NBA has increased the diversity in its coaching ranks without the need for a rule like the NFL’s “Rooney Rule.”