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Your guide to the 2023 NBA Draft: After a seismic trade, Celtics back in first round on Thursday night

Victor Wembanyama, a 7-foot-4-inch center for Metropolitans 92 in France, is the presumptive No. 1 pick.ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Blockbuster trades often shake up the first round of the NBA Draft, but San Antonio, the owner of the first pick in 2023, has no interest in one this year.

The Spurs are clinging to their No. 1 choice for one obvious reason: Victor Wembanyama. The 7-foot-4-inch big man out of France promises to be the best draft talent since LeBron James, and the Spurs are hoping he will be their missing piece.

Wembanyama makes the start of this year’s NBA Draft, set for Thursday, a no-brainer. Who is chosen after him remains to be seen. Charlotte holds pick No. 2, and Portland will select at No. 3.


The Celtics’ draft night situation changed Wednesday night when they made a big trade for Kristaps Porzingis that also put them back in the first round of Thursday’s draft. The Celtics received the Grizzlies’ first-round pick, No. 25 overall, in the deal but shipped out their only other pick (second round, No. 35 overall) as part of the deal.

The Celtics had only one pick in last year’s draft, which they used on Alabama guard J.D. Davison at No. 53. Davison split his time between Boston and G League affiliate Maine this past season. He appeared in 12 games for the Celtics and averaged 5.5 minutes per appearance.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 NBA Draft.

Read the Globe’s reporting on the Marcus Smart trade

The basics

When: Thursday, June 22

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Time: 8 p.m.

TV: ESPN, ABC (first round only)

Format: There are two rounds, with 30 picks in the first round. There will be only 28 picks in the second round because the Bulls and 76ers forfeited their picks as a penalty for violating rules governing free agency discussions.

When do the Celtics pick?

The Celtics have just one pick — No. 25 — which they received from Memphis as part of the Porzingis trade on Wednesday. They originally had just one selection early in the second round, but that was also part of the three-way trade and now belongs to the Wizards.


The first-round order

See the Globe’s pick tracker here

1. San Antonio

2. Charlotte

3. Portland

4. Houston

5. Detroit

6. Orlando

7. Indiana

8. Washington

9. Utah

10. Dallas

11. Orlando (from Chicago)

12. Oklahoma City

13. Toronto

14. New Orleans

15. Atlanta

16. Utah (from Minnesota)

17. LA Lakers

18. Miami

19. Golden State

20. Houston (from LA Clippers)

21. Brooklyn (from Phoenix)

22. Brooklyn

23. Portland (from New York)

24. Sacramento

25. Boston (from Memphis)

26. Indiana (from Cleveland)

27. Charlotte (from Denver via New York and Oklahoma City)

28. Utah (from Philadelphia via Brooklyn)

29. Indiana (from Boston)

30. LA Clippers (from Milwaukee via Houston)

What has Boston done at No. 25 in the past?

Boston has selected at No. 25 four times in NBA Draft history. Here’s a look at the players they took.

2011: The Celtics selected guard MarShon Brooks of Providence, but he was immediately traded to the Nets for JaJuan Johnson and a 2014 second-round draft pick, which Boston used to choose Russ Smith.

Brooks played 200 NBA regular-season games from 2011 to 2019, including 10 for the Celtics in the 2013-14 season after he was re-acquired by the Celtics in the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and others to New Jersey for draft picks. Among the draft picks the Celtics received were the choices Boston used to land Jaylen Brown in 2016 (picked third overall) and Jayson Tatum in 2017.


In 2017, the Celtics traded down from No. 1, which Philadelphia used on Markelle Fultz, to No. 3 and chose Tatum.

2004: Boston had three first-round picks and after taking Al Jefferson at 15 and Delonte West at 24, it chose guard Tony Allen at No. 25. Allen, who played college basketball at Oklahoma State, played 336 games over six seasons for the Celtics, and averaged 18.4 minutes and 7.2 points per game.

Allen finished his 14-season career with 820 regular-season appearances. He also played for the Grizzlies, who signed him as a free agent in 2010, and Pelicans.

1981: In 1981, the No. 25 selection was in the second round — the first round was 23 picks. The Celtics chose Notre Dame guard Tracy Jackson, who appeared in 11 games before his rights were sold to the Chicago Bulls. Later in the second round, the Celtics chose guard Danny Ainge with the 31st pick.

1950: The Celtics added Ohio State guard Bob Donham with the 25th pick, which came in the third round in 1950. Donham played 273 games for the Celtics from 1950-54, averaging 23.7 minutes and 6.7 points.

With the first pick …

Scouts have been singing Wembanyama’s praises since well before many saw him play in Las Vegas on Oct. 5. Since then, he has become the obvious choice for San Antonio’s No. 1 selection.

Victor Wembanyama is projected to be the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has a history of developing talented big men, including Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and LaMarcus Aldridge, all of whom went either first or second in the draft. Wembanyama arguably has more offensive versatility than those three, which should fit in nicely with Popovich’s outside-the-box approach to offense.


After Wembanyama goes off the board, here are other top players to watch:

Scoot Henderson, PG

Age: 19 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 196 pounds

Henderson, a former five-star recruit out of Marietta, Ga., spent two seasons with the G League Ignite, whom he led in points (17.6), assists (6.6), and steals (1.2) in 2022-23. Henderson boasts a unique ability to attack the basket and finish around the rim, and his 6-9 wingspan is one of the longest compared with height in this year’s draft class.

Amen Thompson, PG

Age: 20 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 214 pounds

Thompson is projected to go in the top five and would be Overtime Elite’s first first-round pick — that is, if his twin brother, Ausar, doesn’t beat him to it. Amen shot 25 percent from 3-point range this season for Overtime Elite and has a high basketball IQ. He’s a creative playmaker, but he is turnover-prone, averaging 3.2 per game this season.

Ausar Thompson, G/F

Age: 20 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 218 pounds

Like his brother, Ausar has spent the last two seasons developing with Overtime Elite and has made significant progress in his scoring ability. He has room to grow in his ability to finish at the rim. His 7-foot wingspan makes him a defensive threat.


Brandon Miller, F

Age: 20 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 201 pounds

The Alabama product was a first-team All-American and the SEC Player of the Year as a freshman this past season, leading his conference in points per game. A former five-star recruit, Miller shot 38.4 percent from 3-point range. He showed defensive promise on a team that finished top three in adjusted defensive efficiency. Miller is turnover-prone, however, as he averaged more per game (2.2) than assists (2.1).

Cam Whitmore, F

Age: 18 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 235 pounds

Whitmore is an explosive athlete and an above-the-rim finisher. His creative scoring turned heads throughout his freshman season at Villanova, but he has work to do on his playmaking (just 0.7 assists per game). He thrives in transition and can attack downhill, and his 34.3 percent shooting from 3-point range demonstrates a breadth of scoring ability.

Explore our prospect profiles here

Local players

Four New England players are available, with three coming from national champion Connecticut.

Jordan Hawkins, Andre Jackson Jr., and Adama Sanogo represent the Huskies in this year’s class, and Kentucky’s Jacob Toppin (who formerly played for Rhode Island and Woodstock Academy) rounds out the list of locals.

Hawkins is the highest-graded of the four former UConn players in the draft and is projected to go in the first round.Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Hawkins is the highest-graded of the four and is projected to go in the first round. The guard averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in leading the Huskies to the NCAA title.

Other notable New England players who entered their names into the draft pool but later withdrew include T.J. Bickerstaff (Boston College), Quinten Post (Boston College), Clarence Daniels II (New Hampshire), Tristen Newton (UConn), Cormac Ryan (Milton Academy/Notre Dame), and Boo Buie (Gould Academy/Northwestern).

Emma can be reached at emma.healy@globe.com or on X @_EmmaHealy_.