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NBA mock draft: Gary Washburn predicts Celtics will take Ohio State forward at No. 25

Brice Sensabaugh, a forward out of Ohio State, is Washburn's choice at No. 25.Michael Reaves/Getty

Follow along with live updates from the 2023 NBA Draft

What will happen in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft?

Gary Washburn offered up his take on what the Celtics might do now that they have the No. 25 pick.


Read more on the Celtics’ trade of Marcus Smart


2023 mock NBA Draft

1. San Antonio — Victor Wembanyama, F, France.

This is the biggest cinch since Secretariat in the Belmont. The Spurs take the best prospect in the draft since Giannis Antetokounmpo, and perhaps even LeBron James. The 7-foot-5-inch center plays like a guard and will play all five positions for the Spurs. The possibility of coaching Wembanyama has added 20 years to Gregg Popovich’s life. He is the perfect player to revive a sagging franchise.

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2. Charlotte — Brandon Miller, F, Alabama.

Miller is a gifted player who had some off-court concerns following his connection with a teammate who has been accused of murder. But Miller has apparently explained to teams that he was not involved in the incident, and his on-court skills remind some of a young Jayson Tatum. The Hornets need frontcourt talent and Miller is the one.

3. Portland — Scoot Henderson, G, G League Ignite.

Before the emergence of Miller, Thompson was the consensus No. 2 pick, but he could land in Portland to join Damian Lillard with the hopes of contributing immediately. The point guard is an athletic freak with a NBA body who needs to work on his shooting. But he will make an immediate impact.

4. Houston — Amen Thompson, G, Overtime Elite.

He and twin brother Ausar (enter Thompson Twins jokes here) are big-time prospects after playing in the developmental league. Amen is a combo guard with explosiveness and would be a bigger name had he attended college. But he’s another potential cornerstone for new coach Ime Udoka.

5. Detroit — Ausar Thompson, F, Overtime Elite.

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The Pistons already are loaded with lottery picks, but Thompson gives the club more versatility in the backcourt. It will be crowded for the Detroit guards, but with new coach Monty Williams, the Pistons can finally began taking steps forward after living in the lottery the past five years. Thompson is more of a scorer than his brother and has great burst off the dribble.

6. Orlando — Jarace Walker, F, Houston.

The Magic add another rugged player to their frontcourt to join Paolo Banchero. Walker has a chance to be an impact player, but like many one-and-dones, it could take a few years. The Magic also may be open to move this pick since they already have the 11th selection and a load of former lottery picks on their roster.

7. Indiana — Cam Whitmore, F, Villanova.

The Pacers have been seeking frontcourt help and could use another cornerstone to join Myles Turner. But the Pacers are also open to trading this pick to pick up a seasoned wing. Whitmore has great potential, Villanova players seem to make productive pros, and the Pacers may be inclined to keep the pick if Whitmore falls this far.

8. Washington — Jalen Hood-Schifino, G, Indiana.

The Wizards are in total rebuilding mode and they really need to land on this pick. Hood-Schifino is a tough-minded guard who helped Indiana reach the NCAA Tournament. He was not an efficient scorer but showed the potential of being a starting shooting guard in the NBA during his lone college season. He’ll take a year or two to develop.

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9. Utah — Anthony Black, G, Arkansas.

Arkansas players usually make solid pros, and Black has the potential to be a cornerstone point guard with the right guidance. The Jazz are in the midst of taking the next steps in the Western Conference but lacked a point guard because of the erratic play of Collin Sexton. Black should be another young talent on a rising team.

10. Dallas — Dereck Lively II, C, Duke.

The Mavericks have been in need of a quality center for years, and Lively is that guy. He’s a workhorse, won’t demand a lot of touches, and will do the dirty work in the paint. Lively didn’t score much for Duke because he didn’t need to. He is a handy man in the paint and the Mavericks need guys who put more of an emphasis on defense and shot-blocking.

11. Orlando — Gradey Dick, G, Kansas.

If the Magic keep this pick, they will use it on the best shooter in the draft in Dick. The one-and-done flourished for Kansas this past season and should make a smooth transition to the NBA because of his shooting. Dick’s athleticism should not be discounted, and he’s also possesses toughness.

12. Oklahoma City — Taylor Hendricks, F, Central Florida.

Another one-and-done who enjoyed a sparkling season under the radar for the Knights, Hendricks should blend into Oklahoma City’s younger core well. The Thunder actually reached the play-in tournament without prized rookie Chet Holmgren, who will return from a foot injury next season. So, the Thunder will get two lottery picks to help out.

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13. Toronto — Jett Howard, G, Michigan.

The son of Michigan coach Juwan Howard, Jett is a smooth-shooting guard who should help the Raptors’ issues with scoring. Howard could have jumped into the top five had he played another year for his father, but he showed enough potential for lottery selection. The Raptors need scoring after a rough offensive season.

14. New Orleans — Jordan Hawkins, G, UConn.

The NCAA champion is perhaps the second-best shooter in the draft behind Dick, and he could help the Pelicans immediately. The Pelicans are still looking for pieces to surround CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson. Hawkins provides shooting and a player ready to make the transition quickly.

15. Atlanta — Cason Wallace, G, Kentucky.

One of the toughest players in the draft, Wallace is in the long line of Kentucky point guards who will not only stick on a roster but make an impact on the Hawks’ core. Wallace will give the Hawks a different look than Trae Young and could offer the club more backcourt versatility.

16. Utah — Kobe Bufkin, G, Michigan.

Bufkin averaged 3 points per game as a freshman and then 14 as a sophomore. That means he’ll only improve and could have used perhaps another year in college. But he’ll add to a loaded backcourt for the Jazz and give them another scoring option.

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17. Los Angeles Lakers — Nick Smith Jr., G, Arkansas.

The Lakers need youth and more defenders. Smith played just 17 games in his lone season with the Razorbacks, but he made a major impression with his defense and playmaking. He could be the team’s point guard of the future.

18. Miami — Leonard Miller, F, G League Ignite.

The Heat love to develop players who are under the radar, and Miller was the No. 2 option for G League Ignite after Henderson. He can play both forward positions and Erik Spoelstra will make sure he’ll defend and make 3-pointers.

19. Golden State — Kris Murray, F, Iowa.

His twin brother, Keegan, already made a big splash as a rookie with the Kings, and now the Warriors get a player who’s ready to contribute immediately. Golden State has missed out on recent drafts by taking long-term prospects. This time, the Warriors will bring in a player who can help right away. Murray has maturity beyond his years and should blend in nicely with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole.

20. Houston — Bilal Coulibaly, F, France.

Playing with Wembanyama does have its benefits, and Coulibaly showed he could become a strong defensive wing and a potential cornerstone. The Rockets are looking to improve immediately and may be open to moving this pick, but if they don’t, they’ll add another young prospect.

21. Brooklyn — Jaime Jaquez Jr., G, UCLA.

One of the tougher players in this draft, Jaquez is known as a winner, and the Nets are looking for winners. Jaquez can play multiple positions and is a staunch defender. He is a Jacque Vaughn-type of player as the Nets load up on talent.

22. Brooklyn — Keyonte George, G, Baylor.

Another player with the potential to be a high-level scoring guard in the NBA, George averaged 15.3 points in his lone season at Baylor and has the ability to etch a role quickly in Brooklyn. The Nets need a boost in their backcourt.

23. Portland — Noah Clowney, F, Alabama.

Clowney is raw, scoring just 3 points in his final college game at Alabama. But he’s a workhorse in the paint, averaging nearly eight rebounds in just 25 minutes per game. The Blazers could move this pick, but look for them to add to their frontcourt with another prospect.

24. Sacramento — Rayan Rupert, G, New Zealand Breakers.

A skilled swingman who played professionally in France before playing in New Zealand, Rupert has a 7-3 wingspan and his potential is intriguing. He may not contribute right away, but it’s worth a shot for a team that’s deep at several positions.

25. Boston (acquired from Memphis) – Brice Sensabaugh, F, Ohio State

An effortless scorer in his lone year at Ohio State, Sensabaugh can help boost the Celtics’ frontcourt. He averaged 40 percent shooting from the 3-point line and could be the heir apparent to Grant Williams. Jumping up to 25 helps the Celtics get a quality player here.

26. Indiana — Jalen Wilson, F, Kansas.

Wilson was a sparkling scorer for Kansas during his junior season and could step in and play immediately for the Pacers. Wilson is 22 and likely slipped because of his age. But the Pacers are looking for players who can help now. Wilson should be ready.

27. Charlotte — Dariq Whitehead, F, Duke.

Whitehead would have been drafted higher had he stayed in school for a second year, but Charlotte loves local players and Whitehead was the best player in the class of 2022 before a solid but unspectacular season at Duke. The forward did shoot better than 40 percent from the 3-point line, mostly as a reserve.

28. Utah — Brandin Podziemski, G, Santa Clara.

The Jazz are seeking elite shooting and Podziemski fits that bill. Podziemski averaged just 1.6 points as a freshman, but that number jumped to 18.8 as a sophomore and he averaged more than eight rebounds as a 6-5 guard.

29. Denver — Ben Sheppard, G, Belmont.

A four-year college guard who averaged nearly 19 points per game as a senior, Sheppard may be one of the more polished prospects in the draft and will fit into Denver’s system. The Nuggets are looking to fill in for the expected departure of Bruce Brown.

30. Los Angeles Clippers — Maxwell Lewis, F, Pepperdine.

An elite scorer in college who played for former NBA player Lorenzo Romar, Lewis could take the same path as Jaylen Williams, the former Santa Clara standout who had a promising rookie season.


Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at gary.washburn@globe.com. Follow him @GwashburnGlobe.