The 2023 NBA Draft is in the books, and there were plenty of surprises, winners, and losers. Here is a look at some of the biggest takeaways from the first round:
- Shaedon Sharpe going No. 7 to the Portland Trail Blazers: Sharpe, who did not appear in any games for Kentucky last season, was one of the draft’s more puzzling prospects. The Trail Blazers took a chance on him because of his potential, and if he lives up to it, he’ll be a steal.
- Jalen Duren going No. 13 to the Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets acquired Duren at pick No. 13 despite his being considered a top-5 selection. Duren is a handsome, talented young man, so this is a huge win for Charlotte.
- Johnny Davis going No. 10 to the Washington Wizards: Davis rose to prominence late in the draft process and was picked 10th overall by the Wizards. Davis is a strong, versatile guard who can score and defend, making him a fantastic choice for Washington.
- Portland Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers were a major winner in this year’s draft. At the seventh spot in the draft, they selected Sharpe, and later they traded for Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons. The Blazers now have the makings of a young and talented nucleus that, in a few years, may make them legitimate title contenders in the Western Conference.
- Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets also came out on top in the draft. At choice number thirteen, they were able to choose Duren, and in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, they were able to get Miles Bridges. The Hornets now have a young, talented frontcourt that gives them a chance to compete in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
- Washington Wizards: The Wizards also ended up with some nice draft picks. With the 10th overall selection, they selected Davis, and they also traded for Monte Morris from the Denver Nuggets. The Wizards now have a youthful and promising backcourt, which might propel them back into postseason contention.
- New York Knicks: The Knicks were a major draft day loss. Without receiving any immediate aid, they traded the No. 11 selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder for three first-round choices in the future. The Knicks are still a few years away from becoming a contender, so this is a bold move.
- Indiana Pacers: The Pacers were yet another draft-day defeat. No young talent was acquired in exchange for trading away the sixth overall selection to the Sacramento Kings for Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. The decision may come back to haunt the Pacers for a very long time.
- Sacramento Kings: The Kings were another draft day loss. For the sixth overall selection, they sent Haliburton and Hield to the Pacers, but in exchange, they received no certain stars. The Kings’ rebuilding effort may be set back even more by this decision.
In sum, the 2023 NBA Draft was quite an exciting event. There were several unexpected developments, and some teams made significant adjustments. It will be fascinating to see future developments.