With the dust settled from the NBA draft, there were three clear losers from the night. Some teams failed to make deals that could have nicely set their franchise up for the future, others made the wrong call with their pick that could end up costing their franchise in the future, and certain players disappointingly fell well below where scouts believed they would be picked.
The first loser of the 2023 NBA Draft is the New Orleans Pelicans. Leading into the draft night, it was believed that the Pelicans were set to make a blockbuster deal that would land them Scoot Henderson. While this move may have ended up costing them either Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson, adding Henderson to their roster could have made them a true contender.
However, the Pelicans should still be more than fine in the 2023-24 season. If Williamson is able to remain healthy, New Orleans has the potential to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
Another team that missed out on draft night was the Charlotte Hornets. While they ended up with their guy, Brandon Miller, with the second overall pick, this could end up being another draft night blunder from Michael Jordan.
While Miller has the potential to have a career similar to Paul George’s, his performance in the NCAA Tournament was cause for concern. Coming into the tournament, Miller and his Alabama Crimson Tide were the top-rated teams in the country, however, they would fall short of the title hopes they had coming into the season. Miller would play especially poorly in this stretch and have one of the worst shooting slumps in tournament history, going 19.5% from the field and 15.8% from three.
However, during the regular season, he was lights out shooting 43.0% from the field and 38.4% from three. While he may end up being a very talented prospect, the Hornets would have been in a much better place if they would have selected Scoot Henderson. Pairing Henderson and LaMelo Ball may have been an odd fit on paper with both players being point guards, however, Ball could have easily been shifted to the shooting guard position.
The final loser from the 2023 NBA Draft is Cam Whitmore. Coming into the draft, many believed that Whitmore would be a lottery pick, however, due to injury concerns, he would slide to the tail end of the first round where the Houston Rockets would select him with the 20th overall pick.
While the Rockets were more than happy to get him as a steal at the 20th spot, Whitmore missed out on a considerable amount of money due to this. However, he is joining a very promising young core in Houston. If they are able to develop their players well and they mesh together on the floor, they could be a contender within the next five years.
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