NBA draft: 7-foot-3 Victor Vembanyama confirmed at No. 1





French basketball phenom Victor Vembaniyama (R) is expected to be the first pick in the 2023 NBA draft in Brooklyn on Thursday. Photo by Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE
G Leaguer Scott Henderson is expected to be one of the first picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. File photo by Jim Ruimen/UPI
Commissioner Adam Silver will announce the picks for the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday in Brooklyn. File photo by Jim Ruimen/UPI

June 22 (UPI) — Victor Vembanyama, 7-foot-3, is almost certain to go No. 1 overall in the 2023 NBA draft, which airs Thursday on ESPN and ABC.

The event will begin at 8pm EDT at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The second round will be televised later on ESPN. Vembanayama is widely regarded as the best prospect in recent memory.

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„I don’t let all these things go to my head,” Vembanyama told reporters on Wednesday when asked about outside expectations. „I have high expectations of myself, and I’m breaking away from all of that [hype].”

The San Antonio Spurs learned during the lottery last month that they would have the right to draft Wambayama — the first pick. The Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons also have top-5 picks.

The Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks hold picks 6 through 10.

Wembaniyama and Spurs have effectively confirmed that he will join the team once the lottery order is determined. The highly versatile center-forward from France’s Le Chesnay is averaging 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 2.5 assists per game this season for Metropolitan 92 of BetClick Elite, a top-tier French league.

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The 18-year-old is known for his soft shooting touch and impressive ball handling skills for a player of his size.

Thursday’s event includes 30 first-round picks. Other top prospects include former Alabama guard-forward Brandon Miller, G-League guard Scott Henderson and Overtime Elite twin brothers Amen Thompson and Auser Thompson.

No. Most mock drafts expect Miller to be the Hornets’ pick at No. 2. Henderson No. A very popular choice for trail blazers in 3.

First round order

1. San Antonio Spurs

2. Charlotte Hornets

3. Portland Trail Blazers

4. Houston Rockets

5. Detroit Pistons

6. Orlando Magic

7. Indiana Pacers

8. Washington Wizards

9. Utah Jazz

10. Dallas Mavericks

11. Orlando Magic

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

13. Toronto Raptors

14. New Orleans Saints

15. Atlanta Hawks

16. Utah Jazz

17. Los Angeles Lakers

18. Miami Heat

19. Golden State Warriors

20. Houston Rockets

21. Brooklyn Nets

22. Brooklyn Nets

23. Portland Trail Blazers

24. Sacramento Kings

25. Memphis Grizzlies

26. Indiana Pacers

27. Charlotte Hornets

28. Utah Jazz

29. Indiana Pacers

30. Los Angeles Clippers

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