Jazz exploring options trading up to No. 5, targeting Anthony Black

NEW YORK – The 2023 NBA Draft is Thursday (8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN), and there will be plenty of information and speculation as teams prepare for the big night. Victor Wembanyama is a lock to be the No. 1 pick heading to the San Antonio Spurs, but speculation remains as to what the Charlotte Hornets will do at No. 2, choosing between Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller.

Here’s a rundown of all the latest information heading into the draft.

(This page will be continuously updated with the latest information and information from around the league.)

Wednesday evening update

Will the Jazz trade up from No. 9 for Anthony Black?

Black is one of the most talked about names trending toward the top of the draft and could be as high as No. 6 to the Orlando Magic. The Jazz have three first-round picks (Nos. 9, 16 and 28) and could be looking to pack picks to trade up for Black, the 6-foot-7 guard from Arkansas. Black is arguably the fifth-best prospect in this draft class, outside of team needs, in the way he sees the field, passes at a high level and plays elite defense on the outside.

Arkansas guard Anthony Black during the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men’s tournament on March 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dereck Lively II draft range

Many thought Lively, the 7-2 center out of Duke, would be off the board as high as No. 10 leading into draft week. With Cam Whitmore possibly going down, there is speculation that the Mavericks will either take Whitmore at No. 10 or trade the pick.

Lively doesn’t have a pledge, telling reporters Wednesday during her media availability, “My draft range is anywhere from 10 to 20, that’s the feedback I’ve gotten from teams and people around me.”

The late emergence of Lively is mostly due to how productive he was during his pro day with Klutch Sports and how consistently he shoots the 3-ball in practice. Before his one season at Duke, Lively was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school and was a two-way threat offensively in the pick-and-pop game alongside current Pistons forward Jalen Duren. Through minor injuries and Duke running the offense through Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach, Lively disappeared and became a defensive specialist protecting the rim. The NBA game caters more to Lively and what he can do offensively as a 3-point threat.

Wednesday morning update

Movement in the lottery, Cam Whitmore reportedly falls outside the top 5

While a decision on No. 2 and what the Charlotte Hornets will do has not been made clear yet, the Detroit Pistons appear to be targeting a few other players outside of Whitmore, the 6-foot-8 Villanova guard.

Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson is the fourth-best prospect in this draft class, and his twin brother, Ausar, could be off the board at No. 5, joining the wing on the edge alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. A couple of other options are Arkansas guard Anthony Black, who has been high on many teams’ draft boards, or 6-8 forward Jarace Walker. Walker has one of the most NBA-ready bodies in this draft class and could plug in immediately in the frontcourt alongside Jalen Duren as a stretch 4.

Whitmore could fall as low as No. 9 to the Utah Jazz or No. 10 to the Dallas Mavericks. At just 18 years old, he has plenty of time to develop into a productive guard at the NBA level.

Villanova's Cam Whitmore plays during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Villanova’s Cam Whitmore could fall off the board ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

There are a ton of playmaking guards projected toward the top of the lottery who have yet to develop a consistent outside jump shot. With very few pure shooters projected toward the first half of the draft, there could be room for consistent outside shooters like Jordan Hawkins and Gradey Dick to rise up in the draft. Hawkins could go as high as No. 8 to the Washington Wizards with how well he shot the ball during his two seasons at UConn. Dick had a last-minute workout with the Indiana Pacers (No. 7) last week.

Bilal Coulibaly, Wembanyama’s teammate for the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, has shot up the draft and is in play for either the Wizards at No. 8 or the Jazz at No. 9, while many don’t see the 6-7 guard with a 7-3 wingspan falling without for the lottery.

Update Tuesday

Portland will most likely go at No. 3 and hold the pick

Both Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson met with Michael Jordan and the Hornets on Monday, leading many to believe that a decision has not yet been made on which player they will draft with the second pick Thursday night.

Portland was believed to be trading its No. 3 pick and making phone calls, but two days out from the draft, NBA sources told Yahoo Sports they expect Portland to take either Miller or Henderson with the third pick instead of entertaining someone trades for a more established, veteran player and/or trades back in the lottery.

Both Henderson and Miller had strong workouts with the Trail Blazers leading up to the draft, with Miller reportedly connecting on a high percentage of 3-point shots during drills.

Featured during the NCAA Men's Tournament, Alabama forward Brandon Miller had a strong pre-draft workout with the Trail Blazers.  (Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)

Featured during the NCAA Men’s Tournament, Alabama forward Brandon Miller had a strong pre-draft workout with the Trail Blazers. (Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)

Julian Phillips, Jaime Jaquez Jr. late first-round risers

Last year, it was the Denver Nuggets who selected UCLA freshman Peyton Watson with the 30th pick after Watson’s relatively quiet season, averaging just 3.3 points in 13 minutes per game. match. Established teams have flexibility toward the back end of the first round and can take a swing at a player who projects a lot of upside as an NBA wing.

Julian Phillips, a 6-foot-8 wing, averaged just 8.3 points during his one season at Tennessee, but has great length and defensive versatility at the wing position. He tested well during the NBA Draft Combine and has been solid in pre-draft workouts for teams. Throughout the college season, Phillips has been a projected mid-second-round pick, but two days before the draft, his draft range is believed to be anywhere from No. 25-35, and he could be a player fans hear called before end of first round.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. is one of the most reliable forwards in this draft class and was the tough, lime guy for a very successful UCLA team for four years. Looking at what Caleb Martin did for the Miami Heat’s run to the NBA Finals, teams may be looking for a similar player in this draft class, and Jaquez fits the mold. He has good size at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, has a high basketball IQ and plays the right way. He could go as high as No. 20 to the Houston Rockets, and it’s doubtful he falls past the Charlotte Hornets at No. 27.

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