NBA Draft rumors are now in full swing with just weeks to go until the annual event in Chicago. The San Antonio Spurs earned the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. They will select French big man Victor Wembanyama to open things up from Illinois.
Outside of that obvious backdrop, there’s so much left up in the air. Picking No. 3 overall, the Portland Trail Blazers could look to use that selection in order to find another star to team up with Damian Lillard.
Other teams selecting in the lottery, including the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons, could also look to ship off their picks for proven veterans. With the 2023 NBA Postseason nearing a culmination, attention will soon turn to the annual draft. It’s in this that we provide you with updated NBA Draft rumors on one page. It will be updated continually until the draft gets going on June 22.
Related: Full 2023 NBA mock draft
Veterans who could be on the move during the NBA Draft
We’re reading several reports with big-name players being available ahead of the draft next week. Just over the past few days alone, the likes of Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) and Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls) have reportedly been put on the block.
As noted below, New Orleans is looking to move up for Scoot Henderson. Perhaps, the team could entice Portland (No. 3 overall) with a package surrounding the former top pick.
Meanwhile, Beal’s value in trade talks seems to be rather low given his albatross of a contract ($251 million over five years). As for LaVine, he’s said to have more value in a trade than Beal. If Chicago is serious about moving the All-Star wing, draft day might be the best time.
Houston Rockets considering two players at No. 4
If you scroll down, you’ll read some stuff on James Harden potentially returning to the Houston Rockets. However, that’s now “increasingly uncertain.” Meanwhile, general manager Rafael Stone is now considering two players with the fourth overall selection.
NBA Draft rumors point to forward Amen Thompson from Overtime Elite and former Villanova wing Cam Whitmore. Both make sense. We have Thompson as our fourth-ranked player in the draft while Whitmore comes in at five. The Rockets could very well be looking for another young frontcourt player to team up with 2022 No. 3 overall pick Jabari Smith.
Los Angeles Lakers talking NBA Draft trade
Selecting 17th and 47th overall in next week’s draft, the Lakers are currently engaged with multiple teams about moving down and acquiring additional assets. The idea for general manger Rob Pelinka and Co. would be to acquire a few young players during the annual event as a way to prepare for the eventual end of the LeBron James era.
Golden State Warriors shopping young player, seeking high draft pick
The Warriors are potentially looking to move Jonathan Kuminga, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Despite showing some major signs of progress, the 20-year-old Kuminga fell out of head coach Steve Kerr’s rotation during the playoffs. Golden State is reportedly seeking a high pick in the draft for Kuminga. Whether the team keeps that pick or moves it for a veteran remains to be seen. But it’s a story worth watching.
New Orleans Pelicans looking to move up for Scoot Henderson
Boasting the 14th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, it appears that the Pelicans are looking to move all the way up to the third selection to targets stud point guard Scoot Henderson.
It remains to be seen just how this would work. The Portland Trail Blazers are currently in possession of that third pick. They are open to moving it. Though, there’s a major caveat here. Portland will only trade the selection if it’s able to add another star to team up with Damian Lillard.
That creates somewhat of an issue for New Orleans. We can’t envision the team moving either Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson in a trade. Perhaps, the Pelicans try to get a third team involved by enticing said team with a combination of youngsters Dyson Daniels, Trey Murphy and Herbert Jones as well as multiple future first-round picks. Of course, this is all dependent on the Charlotte Hornets taking Brandon Miller over Henderson at two. That’s not yet a foregone conclusion.
Sacramento Kings looking to add proven talent with first-round pick
Fresh of their best season in a quarter-century, the Kings are finally in a situation where they don’t have to rely on the NBA Draft. Sacramento has a core group consisting of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray and others.
This has led to speculation that Sacramento will look to move the 24th pick to find an immediate impact contributor. Davion Mitchell is a possibility when it comes to potentially expanding a trade for a starter. Remember, Harrison Barnes is set to become a free agent. Replacing him in the frontcourt could make sense. Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby is among the possibilities we bandied about in a separate piece.
Portland Trail Blazers shopping No. 3 pick
Portland had hoped to earn the first pick in the annual event in order to find that franchise cornerstone. General manager Joe Cronin and Co. could now use the third selection as bait to get Damian Lillard proven help after a disastrous 49-loss season.
“The Blazers could of course keep that pick, but rival executives expect them to explore the kind of veteran help that pick — plus other players — might fetch for Damian Lillard,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe on NBA Draft rumors surrounding the Blazers.
Lowe notes that the No. 3 pick wouldn’t necessarily net Portland an impact player Lillard seeks. However, pairing it up with young wing Anfernee Simons could get the job done. As you likely already know, Lillard’s future with Portland remains up in the air. He’s not keen on actually using this pick on a rookie. Should there be a rift between the two sides, a trade request wouldn’t be seen as unlikely.
The curious case of Alabama prospect Brandon Miller
The best player in college basketball as a freshman last season, Brandon Miller is considered one of the top-three prospects in the draft. It’s an open question who will go No. 2 between him and Scoot Henderson behind Victor Wembanyama. For good reason. The forward was stellar last season.
- Brandon Miller stats (2022-23): 18.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 43% shooting, 38% 3-point
However, off-court questions continue to be raised leading up to the draft. Miller’s former Crimson Tide teammate Darius Miles was indicted on capital murder charges following an investigation into a fatal shooting of a woman earlier in the year. Miller allegedly delivered the gun that was used in the shooting. While he is not facing criminal charges, it’s a major backdrop leading up to the draft.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski notes that multiple teams picking in the lottery have already done a lot of background work on Miller. These teams have come away impressed with Miller’s “maturity” level throughout the process. According to Woj, teams believe “his habits are actually an asset in their evaluation of him.” It’s certainly something to watch over the next few weeks.
Detroit Pistons looking to move pick
The Pistons were on of the three teams in the 2023 NBA Draft lottery that boasted the best odds to acquire the No. 1 pick, joining the Spurs and Rockets at 14%. The lowest they could have landed was No. 5 overall. Unfortunately, that’s where general manager Troy Weaver and Co. sit. It led to the front office head telling reporters that Detroit is open for business.
“We’re going to turn over every rock and vet it out. If it’s going to help us move forward, we’ll absolutely entertain any of those (options),” Pistons GM Troy Weaver on NBA Draft rumors.
Detroit has two cornerstone players in guards Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham. It also boasts interesting youngsters in that of Isaiah Stewart and James Wiseman. If being able to move off the No. 5 pick as part of a package for a proven All-Star caliber player can expedite the Pistons’ return to relevance, look for them to engage in that possibility ahead of the draft.
NBA Draft rumors will continue to focus on Houston Rockets’ plans
Houston was yet another loser in the NBA Draft Lottery. It was hoping to earn the No. 1 pick and the right to select Wembanyama. Instead, the Rockets are selecting fourth overall. With three top-end prospects leading up to the annual event, that’s not a great situation for general manager Rafael Stone to be in.
What we do know is that Houston has been linked to former Rockets guard James Harden heading into free agency. Now that it’s clear that Harden will opt out of his contract, these rumors are not going to die down any time soon.
While it likely wouldn’t come until after the draft, Houston could consider moving the fourth pick to find Harden some help should this marriage return after a brief hiatus. Previous suggestions were that Houston could move former lottery pick Jalen Green as part of a package for another star. The fourth selection would obviously also be involved.
NBA Draft rumors round up
- The Orlando Magic are slated to pick sixth and 11th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. Don’t be surprised if they looked to flip one of those lottery picks with a young player to find another potential franchise cornerstone. Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony are among those who could be on the move.
- Picking 10th overall, it’s not a secret that the Dallas Mavericks are looking to move that selection. They tanked at the end of the season in order to avoid handing said pick to the New York Knicks stemming from the Kristaps Porzingis trade eons ago. The onus is on general manager Nico Harrison to get Luka Doncic more win-now help regardless of the Kyrie Irving situation.
- The Golden State Warriors find themselves in an odd situation with the 19th pick. Obviously, the team needs to get Stephen Curry more help in order to return to championship contention. Moving Jordan Poole could do that, but only as part of a larger package. Whether the 19th pick and other parts are enough to get it done remains to be seen.
- We wouldn’t be surprised if the Brooklyn Nets either packaged the 19th and 21st picks for a selection in the lottery or another young player to contribute to their core group. General manager Sean Marks is going to spend the next couple weeks figuring out what to do after the trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during the NBA trade deadline.
- The Denver Nuggets’ trade with Oklahoma City sets the stage for some interesting draft day wrangling. Denver picked up the 37th pick in the draft in addition to the 40th selection it boasts. The Nuggets also added a first-and-second rounder in 2024. Reports indicate that Denver is looking to use these two second-round picks and that first-rounder in 2024 to move into the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. The rich might get richer.
Bookmark this page for up-to-the-minute NBA Draft rumors leading up to the annual event.