NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Kings get coveted prospect, Jazz make a surprise selection

Victor Wembanyama. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
Victor Wembanyama. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2023 NBA Draft is quickly approaching, and the first round is beginning to take shape. A year after the Kings took a successful chance on Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick, they can look to come out of the draft as winners yet again. But, this Kings draft is much different than they have experienced in the past, as this is the first time in 17 years that Sacramento holds a first-round pick outside of the lottery.

The Sacramento Kings franchise is trending upwards, and acquiring a steal of a prospect at pick 23 could catapult the team further in the right direction.

As we look forward to the NBA Draft on June 22nd, we begin to predict which rookies will go where and what prospect could be the Kings’ next breakout player.

Here is A Royal Pain’s first official 2023 NBA Mock Draft:

1. San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama, C, France

The consensus first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft: Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs are getting the best prospect the league has seen since “The Chosen One” in 2003. The 7’5″ center can change the trajectory of a San Antonio franchise that has struggled recently and is coming off its worst season in the Gregg Popovich era.

2. Charlotte Hornets: Brandon Miller, SF, Alabama

The first split decision of the draft comes at the 2nd pick, but the Hornets will ultimately sway toward the talented forward out of Alabama. Reports suggest Miller is now the heavy favorite to head to Charlotte, pairing the versatile, 6’8″ small forward with their franchise point guard, Lamelo Ball. This young duo would be fun to watch for years to come.

3. Portland Trail Blazers: Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

Whether the Trail Blazers decide to keep the pick, trade the pick, or do something crazy and trade Damian Lillard, they should look to take the best player available here. Scoot Henderson is a 6’2″ point guard ready to be the face of an NBA franchise. The most explosive player in this class would be an electric addition to the Blazers backcourt, whether he is being paired with Lillard or not.

4. Houston Rockets: Amen Thompson, PG, Overtime Elite

The Rockets have not had a sure-fire starting point guard since the Houston Chris Paul days, so they need to fill that hole and pair Amen Thompson with talented scorer Jalen Green. Amen’s playmaking and explosiveness set him apart from the next-best option here, so Houston’s decision at the 4th pick should not be hard.

5. Detroit Pistons: Cam Whitmore, SF, Villanova

The Pistons are building a solid young core, drafting Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey with top 5 picks in back-to-back years. They continue the top 5 pick trend this year by selecting Whitmore, who has the potential to be the best wing in this draft.