NBA Mock Draft
The NBA Draft lottery results have been finalized. The Cleveland Cavaliers will get the No. 1 pick, followed by the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. The NBA draft combine is in the books, and team workouts are getting underway. The Adidas Eurocamp also takes place shortly, which will certainly alter how the draft plays out.
It’s now time to provide my NBA Mock Draft. I’m going to go through and pick the entire first round, while providing analysis on the first 10 picks as well. Here is how I have the draft playing out on June 27.
No. 1 – Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel (C), Kentucky
Noel is almost a shoe-in for the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. That’s especially the case considering he’s a perfect fit in Cleveland. Anderson Varajao is a solid center when healthy, but the problem is that he hasn’t been able to stay on the court over the last few years. Tyler Zeller has been a bit of a bust for the Cavaliers. The only way he doesn’t go No. 1 is if doctors come back with concerns about Noel’s knee.
No. 2 – Orlando Magic: Trey Burke (PG), Michigan
In need of a point guard, the Magic will almost certainly take Burke with the No. 2 pick. He’s small for his position, but he plays much bigger than his frame. He also provides leadership and a swagger the Orlando desperately needs on this young team.
No. 3 – Washington Wizards: Otto Porter (SF), Georgetown
The Wizards would love it if Porter fell to them here. He played his college ball in Washington, which will certainly be a boost to the fan base. The Wizards’ biggest need is at small forward, too. He’ll fit right in with John Wall and Bradley Beal to give Washington one of the top backcourts in the league.
No. 4 – Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore (SG), Kansas
McLemore came out as a freshman at Kansas. He has arguably the biggest upside of any player in the draft. If Charlotte gets him, it cannot feel like one of the biggest losers in the draft even though there was a good chance that it would get the No. 1 pick. The Bobcats need shooting on the outside, the McLemore fits the bill.
No. 5 – Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo (SG), Indiana
Getting a leader like Oladipo would help change the culture in Phoenix, which is something the organization wants badly. He’ll certainly help make the Suns a better defensive team, and if he can develop offensively, Oladipo could wind up being the best player in this draft class.
No. 6 – New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len (C), Maryland
The Pelicans struck gold with Anthony Davis as the No. 1 pick last year. Now, they’d love to pair the power forward with a center like Alex Len. The Maryland product is a more skilled offensive player than he gets credit for. Len and Davis would comprise one of the best young frontcourts in the league.
No. 7 – Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams (PG), Syracuse
While the biggest need for the Kings is at small forward, there really isn’t a player at that position that is worthy of the No. 7 pick. The Kings have serviceable point guards on their roster and could certainly use an upgrade there. Carter-Williams has one of the top basketball IQ’s in the draft, and Sacramento is in need of smarter players. Not only does he make everyone around him better, but he’s also a rangy defender who average 2.8 steals at Syracuse last year.
No. 8 – Detroit Pistons: Anthony Bennett (PF), UNLV
If Bennett falls this far, the Pistons would have a hard time passing up on him. Sure, Detroit already has one of the best young frontcourts in the league with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. However, Bennett has the skill set to play small forward in the NBA if they so choose. He can shoot and handle the basketball, and the only reason he won’t go higher in the draft is due to his recent rotator cuff surgery.
No. 9 – Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG), Georgia
While his jump shot was off at the combine, there’s no question that Caldwell-Pope is one of the best pure scorers in this year’s class. Minnesota desperately needs to improve its outside shooting, while also finding someone that can create his own shot and shots for teammates. Caldwell-Pope will fit in nicely with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.
No. 10 – Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum (PG), Lehigh
McCollum erased any doubts that his foot wasn’t 100% in a recent athletic testing. He posted a 38.5-inch vertical while also testing well in every category other than lane agility. Portland could use another shooter to surround the electric Damian Lillard, who creates open shots for teammates. McCollum is one of the best shooters in the class.
Rest of the 1st Round
- No. 11 – Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller (C), Indiana
- No. 12 – Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams (C), Pittsburgh
- No. 13 – Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric (SF), Croatia
- No. 14 – Utah Jazz: Allen Crabbe (SG), California
- No. 15 – Milwaukee Bucks: Shabazz Mugammad (SF), UCLA
- No. 16 – Boston Celtics: Mason Plumlee (PF), Duke
- No. 17 – Atlanta Hawks: Dennis Schroeder (PG), Germany
- No. 18 – Atlanta Hawks: Jamal Franklin (SG), San Diego State
- No. 19 – Cleveland Cavaliers: Rudy Gobert (PF), France
- No. 20 – Chicago Bulls: Gorgui Deng (C), Louisville
- No. 21 – Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin (PG), Miami
- No. 22 – Brooklyn Nets: Kelly Olynyk (PF), Gonzaga
- No. 23 – Indiana Pacers: Glen Rice Jr (SG), Georgia Tech
- No. 24 – New York Knicks: Pierre Jackson (PG), Baylor
- No. 25 – Los Angeles Clippers: Jeff Withey (C), Kansas
- No. 26 – Minnesota Timberwolves: Sergey Karasev (SF), Russia
- No. 27 – Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG), Michigan
- No. 28 – San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Noguiera (C), Brazil
- No. 29 – Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Bullock (SF), North Carolina
- No. 30 – Phoenix Suns: Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF), Greece