16. Atlanta Hawks choose Terrance Arceneaux
The Hawks are searching for upgrades and eager to improve their roster. They want a third star to pair with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, so it is impossible to know who will hold this selection by draft night.
Atlanta needs help on the wing, and Arceneaux profiles as a strong 3-and-D option. He struggled to get minutes in his freshman season, but Houston should have a larger role where he can prove himself. The class is light on wings, which likely raises Terrance Arceneaux’s stock into the mid-first round, especially if he can shine as a defender and shooter this season.
17. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks) draft Kel'el Ware
Ware was a top-ten player in the 2022 high school class but struggled mightily during his freshman year at Oregon. His production and playing time were inconsistent, which tanked his draft stock. Ware transferred to Indiana for year two and has a chance to remind everyone why he was ranked ahead of Brandon Miller, Keyonte George, and several other 2023 first-round picks coming out of high school.
The Knicks hope to trade for a superstar, so who knows where this selection ends up. Ware is certainly a player to watch this season. His draft range is massive at this point, but raw talent alone could make him a first-round pick.
18. New York Knicks take A.J. Johnson
The Knicks have back-to-back picks in this mock but could have four first-rounders if everything breaks right. New York wants to win, so trades are certainly possible. If they make two selections, expect them to target at least one wing to improve their depth and versatility.
Johnson is 6'5 and loves to score. He is a couple of years away from making an impact in the NBA, but there is always room for bucket-getters who are willing to make a few plays. The Knicks shoot for upside here, but it is a worthy gamble.