The Athletic

● By Sam Vecenie
Welcome to the official tipoff of The Athletic’s 2023 NBA Draft coverage. As usual, that begins with a mock draft. It’s important to take these things essentially as a watch list as opposed to an official prediction. The players we’re projecting here haven’t finished working on their games over the summer, potentially adding skills to the weaknesses that held them back from being a 2022 draft pick or that could plague them as they enter the collegiate or professional pathways. This is unequivocally not a completed process, and evaluators are dealing with incomplete information. On top of that, I just haven’t been able to get eyes on all of the guys I want to at this early stage. For instance, I’ve seen a bit of new G League Ignite recruit Sidy Cissoko’s tape in Spain and have been impressed, but due to COVID-19, I had to miss the Nike Hoop Summit he played in, where I was expecting to get a better look. Sometimes, scouting is a logistical nightmare, and you end up missing your scheduled chances to see guys. I have Cissoko in the early second round here, but you could reasonably convince me he should be much higher or should be considered a two-year project based on what I’ve seen.

Top Players Not Included

These players appear in the top 30 of our

Consensus Big Board

, but do not show up in this mock.