Prior to the lottery, Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson are ranked as the top two NBA Draft prospects for 2023.

As Combine week approaches, ranking the top 60 NBA prospects in the 2023 draft class

The sequence in which the ping pong balls land is up to them when the annual draft lottery determines which clubs will select first through fourteenth in the 2023 NBA Draft next Tuesday night in Chicago. The top pick, Victor Wembanyama, will be announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the No. 1 overall pick, so it really doesn’t matter who name is called first on draft night next month.

It has been obvious for months, and possibly even longer, that the 7-foot-4 Wembanyama will be selected first overall. There is no controversy over the precise position in the draft where he will be selected, and any argument to the contrary is unfounded. But don’t take my word for it. Consider Wemby’s. Here is what he tweeted earlier this week, just before lottery night, implying — no, outright declaring — that he would get the top spot.

“10 days before knowing my future team,” he stated. It’s a bizarre thing, for sure.

He’s correct. Which team will be fortunate enough to win the lottery and, consequently, the privilege to select one of the most intriguing prospects in a generation, is now the only thing creating drama.

As we anticipate the lottery coming up next week, our Big Board has been modified to reflect the present situation as we reach one of the most crucial phases of the pre-draft process. Unsurprisingly, Wemby continues to keep the top spot as usual, and Scoot Henderson maintains his position at No. 2. However, there have been some changes made to all of the rankings, which I’ve increased from 50 to 60.

Top 60 NBA Draft Big Board 2023

Risers

Bilal Coulibaly, SF

  • Big Board rank: 35

One of the favorites to win the Hiding In Plain Sight All-Star squad MVP award is Coulibaly. He has been Wembanyama’s colleague this season with the Mets 92, and only recently have injuries and attrition forced him into a wider position. With his stature and vigor, he has cemented his status as a potential first-round pick. At the age of 18, Coulibaly is unpolished but possesses all the necessary attributes. He has also shown some shot-making ability to support a tremendously attractive long-term athletic profile, on which organizations will be eager to wager.

Bobi Klintman, SF

  • Big Board rank: 37

It’s not difficult to convince yourself that Klintman is a first-round candidate in this class. Even though I’m not there yet, I don’t rule out the chance that he plays his way into the top 30 in the upcoming weeks. He fits the description of a jumbo-sized wing because he is 6-foot-10, 20 years old, and hit 37% of his 3-point attempts. He may be a bit of a developmental project now, but he has a lot of potential in the future.

Fallers

Nick Smith Jr., SG

  • Big Board rank: 12

Smith’s knee problems from last season at Arkansas are nearly completely to blame for his drop out of the top 10. When healthy, Smith, the former top recruit in his class, is a dynamic scorer who can make plays both on and off the ball and projects as a future star at the scoring guard position. It’s difficult to imagine a one-and-done season worse than the one he had, but given his potential upside, it’s also difficult to imagine clubs letting him fall outside the lottery.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., SG

  • Big Board rank: 40

Jaquez Jr. is on the minor decrease for no apparent reason other than the fact that he doesn’t exactly move the needle the way others would, while other raw but intriguing young talents are moving up the board in the pre-draft process. In the end, the draft’s objective is to hit a home run. Jaquez Jr. feels like a standup double; he isn’t a true star but can be a solid NBA rotation player who wins with strategy and shooting. He seems like the precise candidate the Grizzlies might seek late in Round 1 — a successful player who might be missed due to his age — and also a player who, if he advances past Round 1, will undoubtedly outperform his draft position.