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The Dreamshake 2023 NBA Draft Live Blog

What’s Old Is New. Or still old.

2023 NBA Draft
This isn’t a great picture. Better soon.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Welcome to the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Rockets have the 4th and the 20th pick in this draft, but who knows what might happen? I’ll be live blogging this draft through the first round, with perhaps random commentary in the second round. Let’s see how this unfolds, as there have been some amazing trades already.


Rockets Pick

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    B Miller
    (0 votes)
  • 9%
    (7 votes)
  • 77%
    (58 votes)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    (8 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now

Note - I’ll be going off ESPN, rather than pick leaks online, etc.

The ESPN draft show, with the dressed up parents, siblings, sitting with their son/brother on the couch has a real “Little League Awards Banquet” feel to it. Well done! Really sucks the giddy energy out of the kids who just made the NBA, as they are on their best behavior.


Pick 1-1

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Selection: Victor Wembanyama

Comment: No surprise, only pain for Rockets fans. His interview was surprisingly emotional.

Pick 1-2

Team: Charlotte Hornets

Selection: Brandon Miller

Comment: Enjoy! Glad Jordan got one last pick in, baby.

Pick 1-3

Team: Portland Trailblazers

Selection: Scoot Henderson

Comment: Welp, no trade at this point. No Zion to Portland or whatever. So now the Blazers “All Guard Attack” will get some physical force.

Pick 1-4

Team: Houston Rockets

Selection: Amen Thompson

Comment: There it is. Amen Thompson. What do you think? Opinion seems strongly divided. Those who love his promise, absolutely love him. Those who hate his jumper, his OTE background, his overall lack of shooting, really hate him.

Pick 1-5

Team: Detroit Pistons

Selection: Ausar Thompson

Comment: Well, I know where I’d rather live. At least the brothers won’t have some huge pick gap to separate them.

Pick 1-6

Team: Orlando Magic

Selection: Anthony Black

Comment:Sideshow Bob goes to Orlando. I mean, if you don’t have any real shooting, why start now? Honestly, I like Black as a prospect. Lower ceiling than the Thompsons, but almost certainly a higher floor.

Pick 1-7

Team: Indiana Pacers - To Washington

Selection: Bilal Coulibaly

Comment: WTF? Seriously? Ok. Wow. Maybe he’ll be awesome. I have no idea. This is either a total reach, or a steal for Indy. It’s not going to be in between. I agree the shot isn’t broken, but it’s almost Garuba slow.

This pick was traded to the Washington Wizards, because the Wizards are committed to doing literally everything wrong, perhaps. Why trade when you’re almost certain the Pacers will take Jarace Walker? Why do that? Why give away picks to solve Boston’s problems? Why? Why? Why?

Maybe Coulibaly will be great, who knows. But now that the Wizards have picked him, I bet your assessment of his future has gone down, hasn’t it? Maybe he and Johnny Davis will brick many shots together in DC.

Pick 1-8

Team: Washington Wizards - To Indiana

Selection: Jarace Walker

Comment: This pick was traded to the Indiana Pacers, so the Pacers effectively took Jarace, who is absolutely the sort of player the Pacers pick, and will, I think, be great for them.

Pick 1-9

Team: Utah Jazz

Selection: Taylor Hendricks

Comment: A nice pick for Danny MFing Ainge and the damned Jazz. Yes, I’ve gone back to my roots. Hendricks might be really, really, good.

Pick 1-10

Team: Dallas Mavericks - To OKC

Selection: Cason Wallace

Comment: Dallas is trading this pick, picking for OKC. Sending Davis Bertans and the 10th pick for OKC’s 12th pick. So Davis Bertans has left Dallas.

Will the “Kentucky Guard Thing” still prevail? Where John Calipari somehow makes elite guard prospects seem worse than they are? Will the annoying Thunder actually get a guy who can shoot? That would be irritating.

Pick 1-11

Team: Orlando Magic

Selection: Jett Rink Howard

Comment: So the Magic DID take shooting. They took the guy where everyone is pretty sure that ALL he can do is shoot, but still, for real shooting!

Fun Fact - Another NBA legacy kid - his dad is Juwan Howard. I’d make some Nepotista joke, but who hates Juwan Howard?

Pick 1-12

Team: OKC Thudner - Pick to Dallas Mavericks

Selection: Dereck Lively II

Comment: Seems like a really nice kid. He’s the Mavs replacement for Christian Wood, as if Wood could be replaced in their lineup, or their hearts. Also, he’d better be able to shoot, because otherwise he’s just clogging the lane for Luka. Which is cool.

Sadly, not Cam Whitmore.

Pick 1-13

Team: Toronto Raptors

Selection: Grady Dick

Comment: If your name is Grady Dick, why not wear the red sparkly coat? He looks like he’ll fit in Canada. Grade A Dick*, going to Canada.

Hey, he’s not a 6’9” guy who is pretty good at a lot of things, but great at nothing. He’s a shooter. That’s nice, teams need shooters.

*Credit to Josh Lloyd.

Pick 1-14

Team: New Orleans Pelican

Selection: Jordan Hawkins

Comment: Won a title at UConn. I think he might end up pretty good.

ESPN Analyst: “Do you see glimpses of former Husky greats in his game?

Xiane: “I definitely do. When I seem him I see Short Thabeet.”

Sorry, Jordan Hawkins, Jeremy Lamb comparison. So, yeah, you can be A Guy.

Pick 1-15

Team: Atlanta Hawks

Selection: Kobe Bufkin

Comment: The Kobes are arriving. He’s interesting, and a real prospect, but what’s wrong with Whitmore than you’d take Bufkin over him?

Pick 1-16

Team: Utah Jazz

Selection: Keyonte George

Comment: The Jazz are having a good draft. George isn’t super exciting, unlike his suit, but he seems like complete player.

Pick 1-17

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Selection: Jalen Hood-Schifino

Comment: The Lakers get a desperately needed PG type who can also shoot off ball when Lebron is running the show. An annoyingly good pick for LA. Hood sported a sweet green velvet jacket.

Pick 1-18

Team: Miami Heat


Comment: Heat Culture. That’s all. Who cares. It’s Heat Culture. What else is there? It’s the only culture in Miami, after all.

Ok, wait, I think Jaime Jaquez Jr. is a perfect Heat pick - he’s older, he seems like Just A Guy, and yet, he’ll probably be great for the Heat.

Jaime looks like a potential Musketeer. I approve.

Pick 1-19

Team: Golden State Worriers

Selection: Light Years/Brandin Podziemski

Comment: He’s got a complete game, and can probably help now, being Chris Paul’s legs. Is it a complete NBA level game? Who knows? Maybe? No real culture shock, going from Santa Clara to San Francisco.

Pick 1-20

Team: Houston Rockets

Selection: Cam Whitmore

Comment: The pick we’ve been waiting for - this pick is a total surprise. I really hated the idea of Whitmore at #4. At #20? That seems pretty good. He hasn’t turned 19 yet, so it could well be that a number of his concerns are really just “Being 18”. Or maybe not.

The upside is huge. The unwillingness to pass is real. Fortunately, or not, that choice will be up to Amen.

The Rockets can send waves of big athletic dudes at opponents. Maybe they will? Maybe they’ll work on their fast break? Maybe they’ll not just intentionally slow things down all the time? I’m hopeful.

Rockets fans can take some comfort in having, fairly clearly, the most athletic team in the NBA, right? Right?

Perhaps he’ll be the rookie scoring leader. Perhaps Josh Christopher will “accidentally” kill him.

Pick 1-21

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Selection: Noah Clowney

Comment: Big strong forward/center. I think the Rockets might have taken him if Whitmore hadn’t been there at #20.

Pick 1-22

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Selection: Dariq Whitehead

Comment: Not at the draft. No couch time for your family! This is probably a good pick for the Netz.

Pick 1-23

Team: Portland Trailblazers

Selection: Kris (Not Keegan) Murray

Comment: An old prospect, but maybe, like his brother, he learned to play, to run off ball, and score it. They’re calling him 3&D, but is there really a lot of defense?

Is this showing Lillard that they want to have players there to help him immediately, after taking Scoot?

Pick 1-24

Team: Sacramento Kangz - Pick Traded To Dallas

Selection: Olivier Maxence Prosper

Comment: Very athletic, tall. Awkward shot. Older than you think. Probably Dallas wanted him for some defense, which they desperately need.

Pick 1-25

Team: Memphis Grizzle - Pick Traded To Detroit

Selection: Marcus Sasser

Comment: This is a pick that went from Memphis to (unofficially) Boston to Detroit. Sasser isn’t especially tall, and he’s older, but there’s something that separates him from most Detroit guards - he knows how to play basketball, and can do guard things. Probably a backup to Cade, but in that case, a very solid backup.

Pick 1-26

Team: Indiana Pacers

Selection: Ben Sheppard

Comment: Um, ok. Seems like a nice player, better athlete than apparently most people expect from a mid-major. Projected to go in the early 2nd round, but a good shooter. Why not Leonard Miller, though?

Pick 1-27

Team: Charlotte Hornettes

Selection: Nick Smith Jr.

Comment: Wow, the Hornettes made the smart play. They took the guy who had lottery upside, was the #1 high schooler, before he had a nightmare freshman injury riddled season at Arkansas. Charlotte needs to rebuild, and this is the sort of guy who, if he’s what people thought he would be a year ago, can change the fortunes of a team. If not, it’s just the 27th pick.

Pick 1-28

Team: Utah Jazz

Selection: Brice Sensabaugh

Comment: Great shooter. Is he anything else? I don’t know. I would have taken Leonard Miller. Nice to see the Jazz maybe stumble. Two meniscus injuries while in high school would scare me away, personally.

Pick 1-29

Team: Indiana Pacers traded to Denver Nuggets

Selection: Julian Strawther

Comment: The late first round of guys who can shoot, and maybe not much else. Strawther will be happy to live in Denver and get perfect passes from Jokic so he can just put up open shots.

Pick 1-30

Team: Los Angeles Clippys

Selection: Kobe Brown

Comment:Another Kobe. I know nothing about this one.

Rockets Summary:

A big night for the Rockets.

Amen Thompson is either going to boom or bust. If he booms, the Rockets will look a lot better. If he learns to be at least a threat shooting, he could be an all star, maybe more. If he doesn’t, well, the Rockets ALSO drafted another potential top five guy, at 20, who looks like maybe, just maybe, he could be a scoring champ in about six years. All in all, a pretty great night.