Dick Vitale’s 2023 NBA draft first-round picks


With the excitement of the NBA Finals still fresh on our minds, it’s time to make the quick shift to the draft, which excites many fans as it brings optimism for improving their team’s chances of reaching the playoffs or finding that special superstar to make a run in future finals.

In my estimation, it takes at least three years before you get a real evaluation of the strength of any draft, and the impact those players make in the league.

Obviously the “star of stars” is Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 phenom from France who can handle the ball, dribble, pass, has a terrific jumper and can shoot the 3. He has those that love the San Antonio Spurs thrilled, as he will be their choice as the No. 1 pick.

I had the opportunity to see several diaper dandies perform when calling their games on ESPN. They should be solid rookie contributors no matter who selects them. First is Dereck Lively II of Duke, a 7-1 defensive talent who is athletic and can be a factor defensively blocking shots and rebounding. Next is Gradey Dick from Kansas, who is a superb threat shooting the trifecta. And don’t forget Jalen Hood-Schifino, a multi-talented 6-6 guard from Indiana, who has a special mental toughness.

The NBA draft, after the top few picks, can turn into a guessing game especially with the likelihood of draft night trades. Listed below are my choices of who I feel will be first-round picks.



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