The main man, of course, is Victor Wembanyama. Because of the hype around this potential future world-breaker, many of the other great players are being overlooked.
There are a few sleepers in the 2023 NBA Draft who could have a massive impact on the franchises that decide to make a move for them. While only one team will be able to land the prodigious Frenchman, other sides can strengthen shrewdly by picking up some of the less touted players.
Trayce Jackson-Davis has had a phenomenal impact at Indiana Hoosiers and is now the all-time leading shot blocker in NCAA basketball. He’s also the third all-time scorer. It seems strange, then, that the 23-year-old is not a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The problem for Jackson-Davis is that he’s an unconventional player. He’s a player that many teams covet, but one that these sides may struggle to blend in. According to recent reports, the Indiana Pacers may be interested in picking the player in the upcoming Draft. The midwestern franchise is scheduled to have number seven, 26, and 29 in the draw. Experts expect them to go for Jackson-Davis on their second pick if nobody has swooped for him before then.
While most of the focus is on the top prospects from college basketball during Draft season, established players from other leagues are often overlooked. Any team who goes for Rayan Rupert, for example, could find themselves winning over more French fans and viewers from New Zealand.
The Frenchman has been plying his trade for New Zealand Breakers for the last year and has been tipped to be one of the top 20 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. It’s clear that there’s already a massive NBA following in New Zealand, which is highlighted by the thriving betting scene. BetVictor, for instance, is listed as one of the best NZ sports betting sites thanks to its generous welcome bonus of $60. It offers various markets for the NBA, underlining the Kiwis’ interest in basketball. Rupert’s potential move could boost that interest further.
Adem Bona is a player who’s likely to get picked up in the later round of the Draft. The Turkish Nigerian UCLA Bruins center was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2023 and is ready to make the step up to the NBA.
Bona is considered the number 45 overall prospect, making him a likely second-round pick. He’ll be a great option for teams that are looking to strengthen defensively. He is regarded as one of the top players in college basketball.
Tucker DeVries is an interesting inclusion in this list because the player didn’t declare himself for the 2023 Draft. However, there are many people who believe that the 6′ 7″ wing shot has what it takes to take his game to the next level in the NBA.
Scouts have been thoroughly impressed with the way that DeVries has improved every year and could be a key member of an NBA system. The player will be 21 in 2024 and believes that at that time he will be ripe to play for one of the biggest franchises in the country. Still, there is a chance that someone will try to come in for him early this year.
Omari Moore is the final sleeper pick on this list, and the San Jose Spartans player appears more than ready to take his career to the next level. Experts believe that the 22-year-old will be a guaranteed second-round pick, as he was a proven impact player in his early days of college basketball. That will likely be his role in the initial stages of his NBA career, so it’s good for franchises to know he’s up for the task.
Moore has progressed rapidly over the last few seasons, and he is recognized for being extremely smooth with the ball. He’s a great jumper too, but his conversion stats have let him down slightly over the last couple of campaigns.
A lot of the excitement of the 2023 NBA Draft will focus on the big guns that are attracting all the headlines. However, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on these underrated players to see where they end up.