2013 NBA Mock Draft (1.0)

5/22/13 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Now that we have seen the results of the NBA Draft Lottery, we know exactly where each team will be selecting when the NBA Draft takes place on June 27. There is still a lot to sort out between now and the draft, but I figured that since we now know the draft order, I'd give you a look at what I expect to go down:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, F/C, Kentucky: I was tempted to have the Cavs reach for Otto Porter here, as small forward is their biggest position need, but if you look at the team stats you'll see that Cleveland needs a player like Noel. The Cavs finished 29th in blocked shots last season, and Noel averaged an astounding 4.4 blocks per game as a freshman at Kentucky. He'll be the centerpiece of a defense that finished last season ranked 25th in points per game.
Mar 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore (23) lays the ball up against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half during the semifinals of the South regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas: Michigan point guard Trey Burke will be a popular player to mock here, but I think Jameer Nelson can hold down the point for the time being, and the Magic go with the unlimited upside of McLemore. The Magic finished 29th in three-point percentage, and McLemore can immediately boost that with his exceptional outside shooting. The Magic also struggle mightily to get to the line (dead last in free throw attempts). If McLemore fully taps into his potential, he can use his athleticism to become a foul-drawing machine.

3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown: The Wizards now have a dynamic young backcourt duo with John Wall and Brad Beal. While they are both in their thirties, Emeka Okafor and Nene were effective enough last season for the Wizards to rank 9th in rebounding. Drafting Porter - a "hometown" kid out of Georgetown (though he was born in St. Louis) - would fill what is probably their biggest immediate position need. Porter is a perfect fit in the middle of the Wizards' lineup as a player who does a little bit of everything.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Victor Oladipo, SG, indiana: It looks like the Bobcats actually made a good selection when they drafted point guard Kemba Walker, who averaged 17.7 points and 5.7 assists during his second year in the league. With Walker in the picture, I don't really see Trey Burke being an option. By sticking Oladipo alongside Walker, the Bobcats could potentially develop one of the game's premier backcourt duos. Oladipo could immediately help them improve their field goal percentage (which ranked 30th) and their defense (which ranked 29th).

5. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV: With point guard Goran Dragic as their leading scorer, and having drafted Kendall Marshall in the first round just a year ago, I think Trey Burke slips by yet another team. Excluding point guards, I think the Suns go with the best available player, and in this situation that player is Bennett. A matchup nightmare, Bennett can overpower small forwards and easily take power forwards off the dribble.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia: The Pelicans have a viable young frontcourt signed through the next few seasons with Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, and Robin Lopez. Point guard Greivis Vasquez is coming off of a breakout season, and they drafted shooting guard Austin Rivers in the first round last year. That leaves small forward as their biggest hole, where Saric can come in and contribute in several ways. With the size of a big and the skill of a guard, Saric stretches the defense with his shot, moves the ball well, and is crafty off the dribble.

7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan: It seems pretty crazy to see Burke fall to this spot, but I just didn't see the fit with any of the previous teams. The Kings' leader in assists last season was Isaiah Thomas with 4.0 - they need a player who can move the ball and create for others. Burke will bring that, along with great intangibles and some solid scoring.
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5/23/13   |   Jess   |   32868 respect

Would LOVE to see Olynyk go in the first round (still sad he's not sticking around), but I'll be kind of surprised if he does.