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.

8. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA: Muhammad may seem like a bit of a reach here, but the Pistons need a small forward, and preferably one who can score. Muhammad's biggest issue is that he can become a black hole and fire up bad shots, but the 20-year-old will have plenty of time to learn when to shoot and when to pass.
Mar 18, 2012; Greensboro, NC, USA; Lehigh Mountain Hawks guard C.J. McCollum (3) dribbles as Xavier Musketeers guard Dee Davis (0) defends during the second half. The Bluejays defeated the Mountain Hawks 70-58 in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.  Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: CJ McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh: Though McCollum ran the point in college, he is more of a scoring combo guard who could easily play alongside Ricky Rubio in Minnesota. The Wolves badly need scoring from their backcourt, and they ranked dead last in three-point percentage last season. McCollum could help them a lot in those areas.

10. Portland Trail Blazers: Alex Len, C, Maryland: Though they drafted center Meyers Leonard in the first round last year, you can never really have enough bigs. I have Len dropping due to his recent ankle surgery, but his talent is too great for the Blazers to pass on at this spot. They would probably like to get a shooting guard, but in this scenario there is no one at that position with talent comparable to what Len has.

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana: The 76ers have some solid perimeter players, but badly need to upgrade their frontcourt. I say they go with the best big available, who in this case is Zeller.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from TOR): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh: The Thunder have the luxury of being able to draft high-risk, high-upside players and stash them in the D-League until they are ready to contribute. Adams fits the bill as a potentially dominant player who needs a lot of development. They will hope that he can come in and replace Kendrick Perkins in the next few years.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse: I was tempted to put Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk here due to some similarities to the aging Dirk Nowitzki, but I reconsidered. The Mavs are expected to make a run at free agent center Dwight Howard this offseason, and if they feel that they can lure him to Dallas, point guard becomes the biggest position need. Carter-Williams is a true facilitator with ideal size, and is easily the best prospect at his position in this scenario.

14. Utah Jazz: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia: The Jazz's frontcourt is loaded with young talent, and they should find a way to re-sign either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. I like them going after the best available backcourt player - in this scenario, that player is Caldwell-Pope.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga: Though the Bucks already have some promising young frontcourt players, Brandon Jennings is expected to re-sign, which will keep the Jennings/Monta Ellis backcourt intact. I think Olynyk - an incredibly skilled offensive player - could be a great compliment to Larry Sanders and John Henson, who both specialize in defense and rebounding.

16. Boston Celtics: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State: The Celtics could go in a number of directions with this pick, but with Rajon Rondo running the point, and having drafted two bigs in the first round a year ago, I'm thinking they either go after a small forward or a shooting guard. Franklin is a freakish athlete who could help on both ends of the court.

17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke: The Hawks lacked rebounding and shot blocking last season, and Plumlee can improve both of those areas with his massive, athletic body.

18. Atlanta Hawks (from BKN): Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico: It looks like Josh Smith will be testing free agency to the fullest this offseason, and if he leaves, the Hawks will have some big shoes to fill. Though Snell primarily played shooting guard in college, his 6'7'' frame has the potential to hold enough muscle for him to make the full-time transition to small forward.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from LAL): Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, Greece: As I mentioned earlier, the Cavs' biggest position need is small forward. Unfortunately, the pickings are slim at that position in this scenario. With so many young pieces already on their roster, it might not hurt to grab an incredibly skilled - though incredibly raw - small forward and let him develop overseas or in the D-League.

20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, SG, California: The Bulls' defense did relatively well against the Miami Heat's offense in the playoffs, but the Bulls averaged only 84.2 points per game in the series. Obviously, Derrick Rose will help the offense a lot when he gets back, but he can't do it on his own. Crabbe is a fantastic shooter who could excel playing alongside Rose, who loves to penetrate, draw defenders, and kick the ball out to the open man.

21. Utah Jazz (from BKN): Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany: As I said before, the Jazz are loaded in the frontcourt, so I think they draft another backcourt player here. Drawing comparisons to Rajon Rondo, Schroeder may not fall to the Jazz at this spot, but I think they'd pounce on him if he does. In this scenario, the Jazz would move forward with a promising backcourt of Schroeder and Caldwell-Pope to compliment their even more promising frontcourt.
Blog Photo - 2013 NBA Mock Draft (1.0)
22. Brooklyn Nets: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville: While the Nets were a strong rebounding team last season, they still need a player who can put in quality minutes to spell Brook Lopez. They also wouldn't mind seeing an improvement in shot blocking. Dieng projects as a great backup center due to his rebounding and protection of the rim.

23. Indiana Pacers: Tony Mitchell, SF/PF, North Texas: The Pacers could use either a small forward or a power forward, especially if they can not retain David West. At 6'9'', Mitchell could play both positions for a Pacers team that often likes to dominate with size. Though he had a very disappointing sophomore year, Mitchell is still a sensational rebounder and shot blocker at his position.

24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas: ​Roy Hibbert dominated the Knicks in the playoffs. Tyson Chandler was reportedly not feeling a hundred percent (and struggled mightily), and no one else was able to step up and put an end to Hibbert's dominance. Withey could help the Knicks a ton by spelling Chandler; getting rebounds and blocking shots in a backup role.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami: The Clippers will likely lose either Chris Paul or Eric Bledsoe to free agency this offseason, which would open up a hole at point guard. Like both Paul and Bledsoe, Larkin is an undersized player who makes up for his stature with elite speed and athleticism.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from HOU): Rudy Gobert, C, France: I have the Wolves improving their backcourt early in the draft, but now is the time to address the bigs behind Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. The leading rebounder behind those two was Andrei Kirilenko with 5.7 per game. Gobert is a prospect who could potentially go in the early/mid-teens, but he was among the least athletic players at the combine, which I believe will drop his stock quite a bit. The Wolves will be happy to grab him here.

27. Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan: There aren't many areas in which the Nuggets need to improve, but one that stands out is their three-point shooting - they ranked 25th in three-point percentage last season. Hardaway has one of the nicer jump shots in this draft.

28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Noguiera, C, Brazil: With all the ageless wonders on the Spurs, it's tough to figure out exactly what they need. One area in which they struggled last season was rebounding, in which they ranked 21st. Noguiera has fantastic size (though he does need to bulk up), and loads of potential. He works as hard as anyone on the court. He'll fit in nicely with the Spurs, who could develop him alongside fellow Brazilian Tiago Splitter.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: DeShaun Thomas, SF/PF, Ohio State: I liked Draymond Green more than most people before last year's draft, and he ended up being drafted in the second round and playing key minutes for the Warriors in the playoffs. I see Thomas as a similar player in that he is bulky and lacks athleticism, but knows how to ball. A good coach can often figure out how to use talented players, even if their size/skills are an awkward fit in the NBA game. The Thunder could use Thomas' help in the frontcourt.

30. Phoenix Suns (from MIA): Glen Rice Jr., SG, Georgia Tech: With all their areas of need, I say the Suns go for the best available player. In this scenario, that looks like Rice, who has a great jump shot and played very well in the D-League (he played in the D-League after being suspended indefinitely for non-basketball issues by Georgia Tech).

Obviously, a lot is likely to change between now and June 27, but for now, this is how I see the NBA Draft shaking out.
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5/23/13   |   Jess   |   34890 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.