Thursday, 23 May 2024

Bleacher Report: NBA Comparisons for Projected 2023 Draft Lottery Picks

When it comes to projecting the potential of NBA prospects, player comparisons can be a useful tool for understanding their playing style and skill set. In this article, we will dive into the projected 2023 Draft Lottery picks and provide NBA comparisons for each player. By examining their physical attributes, playing style, and potential, we can gain insight into what these prospects can bring to the NBA. So let’s take a closer look at these future stars and the players they resemble on the court.

Gradey Dick (Kansas, SG/SF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Kevin Huerter

Gradey Dick and Kevin Huerter share similar qualities in terms of their positional wing size and shooting abilities. Both players are known for their shot-making and ability to rise up over defenders. While Huerter has showcased a more versatile game, Dick has the potential to develop his shooting versatility and ball skills further. With his pull-up game and passing IQ, Dick has the potential to become a secondary playmaker in addition to being an off-ball scorer.

Keyonte George (Baylor, PG/SG, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Jamal Murray

Keyonte George and Jamal Murray are both combo guards with solid frames, three-level shot-making skills, and the ability to make plays as secondary playmakers. While neither player stands out athletically, they compensate with their shooting confidence and the versatility to score off the dribble and on the move. Both players have shown the ability to take over games and hit clutch shots when needed. While scoring is their primary role, they have also proven capable of setting up teammates when required.

Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite, PG, 2004)

NBA Comparison: Derrick Rose/Russell Westbrook

Scoot Henderson’s explosive ball-handling skills set him apart, much like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook in their primes. These point guards possess exceptional speed, burst, and power, allowing them to finish effectively at the rim. While Henderson’s scoring outweighs his playmaking at this stage, his mid-range pull-ups and ability to beat defenders one-on-one resemble the MVPs mentioned. Henderson’s decision-making is an area that needs improvement, but his potential for high production is undeniable.

GG Jackson (South Carolina, PF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Christian Wood/Pascal Siakam

GG Jackson, standing at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, excels in rim-running, finishing, and offensive rebounding. He shares similarities with Christian Wood and Pascal Siakam in terms of shooting threes and making plays off the dribble. If Jackson can develop his face-up game and shot-making versatility, he has the potential to resemble Siakam’s offensive impact. At the very least, he could display similarities to Wood, who averaged a double-double last year. Improving his in-between game will be crucial for Jackson to reach his offensive potential.

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Dereck Lively II (Duke, C, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Brook Lopez

Dereck Lively II, standing at 7-foot-1 and 230 pounds, possesses a similar physical presence and style of play to Brook Lopez. Lively is a dominant shot-blocker and finishing weapon around the basket. Though his shooting range may not be on display at Duke, he has shown the ability to stretch the floor in high school. In time, Lively could follow in Lopez’s footsteps as a rim protector who can also score from the perimeter.

Brandon Miller (Alabama, SF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Ziaire Williams/Jaden McDaniels

Brandon Miller’s 6-foot-9 size and wing skills make him comparable to Ziaire Williams and Jaden McDaniels. While his three-point shooting and defensive consistency are still works in progress, Miller possesses range and confidence in his shot, along with the ability to guard multiple positions. With the right development, Miller has the potential to combine Williams’ shot-making and McDaniels’ finishing and defensive abilities. His athleticism sets him apart, and with further refinement, he can become a well-rounded player.

Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas, PG/SG, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: CJ McCollum

Nick Smith Jr. shares similarities with CJ McCollum in terms of scoring ability and versatility as both a scorer and a playmaker. Smith’s creativity and ball-handling allow him to create space and score from all three levels. He has the potential to become a versatile scorer with pull-ups, floaters, and spot-up shooting. While he may not challenge the assist leaders, Smith has demonstrated passing ability and the capacity to play as a setup man when needed.

Terquavion Smith (NC State, SG, Sophomore)

NBA Comparison: Jordan Poole

Terquavion Smith is an instant-offense scorer who can create his own shot and add scoring firepower. His ability to generate offense one-on-one and hit tough dribble jumpers draws comparisons to Jordan Poole. Both players exude confidence, which can lead to scoring outbursts but also questionable shots. Smith, like Poole, can excel as an isolation scorer or as an off-ball catch-and-shoot threat.

Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite, PG/SG, 2003)

NBA Comparison: Ja Morant

Amen Thompson’s unique combination of size (6-foot-7) and speed draws comparisons to a taller Ja Morant. Thompson’s quick change of direction, playmaking instincts, and willingness to make passes mirror Morant’s game. Both players excel at attacking the rim, using their athleticism and ball-handling skills to shake defenders and finish at the basket. They are rare guards who can score without relying solely on their jumpers, thanks to their ability to create their own shots and finish at the rim.

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Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite, SG/SF, 2003)

NBA Comparison: Andrew Wiggins

Ausar Thompson’s current production and role are driven by his quickness and athleticism. He is projected to play a similar role to Andrew Wiggins, contributing as a play finisher and defender while developing his scoring potential. Thompson’s shooting consistency and efficiency will be a key area of improvement, and until then, he can contribute as a transition weapon, slasher, and defender. However, flashes of his scoring ability suggest that he has the potential to become a reliable scorer like Wiggins.

Cason Wallace (Kentucky, PG/SG, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Jrue Holiday

Cason Wallace shares similarities with Jrue Holiday in terms of his defensive impact, combo-guard label, and ability to produce with skill and feel rather than relying solely on athleticism. Wallace is known for his tough ball pressure and versatility on defense, capable of guarding multiple positions. Offensively, he combines scoring and playmaking IQ, making him a seamless fit in any lineup. While he may not possess an elite offensive strength, his well-rounded skill set allows him to contribute across the board.

Dariq Whitehead (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Bennedict Mathurin/Harrison Barnes

Dariq Whitehead possesses similar tools and shot-making versatility to Bennedict Mathurin, although he may lack the same level of athleticism. If Whitehead’s explosiveness does not develop, he may fill a role similar to Harrison Barnes, providing complementary scoring and defense. Like Mathurin, Whitehead can create his own shot from the perimeter using pull-ups and step-backs. Both players have the potential to be impactful defenders capable of guarding multiple positions.

Cam Whitmore (Villanova, SF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: OG Anunoby/Jaylen Brown

Cam Whitmore’s self-creation abilities will determine whether he resembles OG Anunoby or Jaylen Brown in the future. He currently relies on his outstanding strength and explosiveness for scoring, but he is making strides as a set shooter. Defensively, Whitmore’s size and frame allow him to guard multiple positions effectively. A baseline projection for Whitmore is similar to Anunoby, where he can contribute as a third option on offense. However, with further development, he has the potential to be a dynamic scorer like Jaylen Brown.

Jarace Walker (Houston, PF, Freshman)

NBA Comparison: Julius Randle/Tari Eason

Jarace Walker’s physical attributes and versatility resemble Julius Randle in terms of ball-handling, passing, and shot-making. Although Randle’s decision-making and efficiency have been questioned, he provides a blueprint for the type of player Walker could become. Walker excels in initiating breaks, playmaking out of pick-and-rolls, and attacking in open space. Defensively, he shares similarities with Tari Eason, with the ability to guard multiple positions and make athletic plays on the ball. Walker’s career could see him playing minutes at the 3, 4, and 5 positions.

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Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92, PF/C, 2004)

NBA Comparison: Anthony Davis/Chet Holmgren

Victor Wembanyama possesses a unique combination of defensive prowess, scoring skills, and fluidity on the court. His shot-blocking ability and inside-out offensive game draw comparisons to Anthony Davis and Chet Holmgren. Wembanyama has the potential to be a dominant force defensively while contributing as a scorer. He excels at finishing at the rim, shooting from the perimeter, and protecting the paint. With his exceptional tools and athleticism, he has the potential to impact games on both ends of the floor.


Q: How are these comparisons made?
A: These comparisons are based on a player’s playing style, physical attributes, and potential. By examining these factors, we can identify similarities between current NBA players and the projected prospects.

Q: Can these comparisons accurately predict a player’s career trajectory?
A: While player comparisons provide insight into a player’s strengths and potential, they are not definitive predictions of a player’s future career. Many factors, such as development, coaching, and opportunity, contribute to a player’s success in the NBA.

Q: Are these prospects guaranteed to be top picks in the 2023 NBA Draft?
A: While these prospects are projected to be lottery picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, draft order and selections can vary based on team needs and evaluations. The draft is a dynamic process, and players’ stock can change leading up to the event.

Q: How accurate have these comparisons been in the past?
A: Player comparisons serve as a useful tool for understanding a player’s skills and playing style. While not all comparisons pan out, they provide valuable insight into a player’s potential trajectory in the NBA.

Q: Where can I find more information on these prospects and their comparisons?
A: For more in-depth analysis and coverage of these prospects, you can find additional information from reputable sports news sources, scouting reports, and NBA draft experts.


In this article, we explored the projected 2023 Draft Lottery picks and provided NBA comparisons for each player. By examining their playing style, physical attributes, and potential, we gained insight into what these prospects bring to the NBA. While player comparisons offer a glimpse into a player’s future, it’s important to remember that they are not definitive predictions. The NBA Draft is a dynamic process, and these prospects’ stock can change leading up to the event. Nevertheless, these comparisons provide a valuable tool for understanding the potential impact of these future stars. To stay up to date with the latest NBA news and draft updates, visit

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