2013 NBA Mock Draft: Early Predictions for Next Year's Hottest Prospects

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

2013 NBA Mock Draft: Early Predictions for Next Year's Hottest Prospects

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    The free-agency pool is dwindling and the 2012 NBA draft seemed like it happened months ago, so turn here if you aren't satisfied with the moves your team made. 

    After all, this is a look at the first round of the 2013 NBA draft. 

    The talent in this class appears to be a bit deeper than normal, as the first round is just loaded with impressive prospects from top to bottom. 

    Read on to find out who your team will take. 


    Draft order taken from NBADraft.net.

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel

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    Team: Kentucky Wildcats

    Position: C

    Year: Kentucky


    For the second straight year, an excess of hair is going to make a Kentucky big-man prospect into an absolute sensation. During the 2011-2012 season, we had Anthony Davis' unibrow. 

    Now it's going to be the flat-top of Nerlens Noel

    Noel might be even better than Davis at filling the defensive and shot-blocking roles in the paint of Lexington. Plus, he's an insane athlete who is more than capable of filling up the bucket over and over again. 

2. Washington Wizards: James Michael McAdoo

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    Team: North Carolina

    Position: PF

    Year: Sophomore


    Another incredible athlete, James Michael McAdoo didn't soar through the air quite enough during his freshman season with the North Carolina Tar Heels to justify going pro. 

    As he improves his already stellar footwork and lights it up with more playing time—falling into a leadership role for Roy Williams—McAdoo is going to prove why he was so highly thought of in the first place. 

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Adonis Thomas

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    Team: Memphis

    Position: SF

    Year: Sophomore


    With his 7'0" wingspan to complement his 6'7" frame—which may still be growing—Adonis Thomas is a mismatch waiting to happen at small forward and may be able to capably play some power forward before it's all said and done. 

    Right now, Thomas is more of a physical athlete than a polished basketball player, so he'll have to make strides with his finesse game during his second season at Memphis. 

4. New Orleans Hornets: C.J. Leslie

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    Team: N.C. State

    Position: SF/PF

    Year: Junior


    After spurning the 2012 NBA draft to return to the N.C. State Wolfpack and improve upon his 14.7 points per game as a sophomore, C.J. Leslie is going to shoot up the draft boards. 

    He needs to add a lot of strength, but he's an oversized forward who plays with the quickness of a guard and can score from anywhere on the court. 

5. Sacramento Kings: Shabazz Muhammad

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    Team: UCLA

    Position: SG

    Year: Freshman


    The lefty shooting guard should go much higher than this, but none of the teams drafting above the Sacramento Kings in this order have much of a need for a shooting guard. Still, Shabazz Muhammad cannot slip out of the top five. 

    He's a versatile scorer and will finish at least a few plays per game with thunderous dunks, in addition to the inevitable swooshes from outside. 

6. Brooklyn Nets: Rudy Gobert

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    From: France

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 20


    Standing at 7'1" with a ridiculous 7'9" wingspan, Rudy Gobert obviously has the size necessary to ease the transition to the NBA. 

    The big man is much more of a defensive player at this stage of his career, and he's an absolute terror on both the offensive and defensive glass. 

7. Golden State Warriors: Cody Zeller

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    Team: Indiana

    Position: PF/C

    Year: Sophomore


    Cody Zeller made sure that it was himself and not his older brother Tyler who became the top NBA prospect from the Zeller family. 

    With a smooth game from the low blocks and a great knack for drawing fouls, Cody was one of the premier big men in the country as he helped make the Indiana program relevant again. He's going to be even better as he continues to add strength. 

8. Toronto Raptors: Isaiah Austin

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    Team: Baylor

    Position: C

    Year: Freshman


    A true seven-footer, Isaiah Austin is a monster on the defensive end of the court, but he's developing into a dangerous player on offense as well. 

    Austin can become a true inside-outside threat if he continues to work on his perimeter game, which is already more than adequate for a player of his size and experience level. 

9. Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum

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    Team: Lehigh

    Position: PG/SG

    Year: Senior


    C.J. McCollum is returning to Lehigh for his senior season and a chance to average over 20 points per game for the third season in a row. 

    After displaying his scoring touch in a variety of ways and dropping 30 points against Duke in March Madness, there should be no doubt that he'll do so. 

10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Archie Goodwin

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    Team: Kentucky

    Position: SG

    Year: Freshman


    Archie Goodwin has a lot of work to do on his jumper, but he's a point guard in a shooting guard's body. With great athleticism and size, he can handle the ball as well as most floor generals in the country. 

    He'll inevitably be the source of many highlights, both with his dunking ability and his knack for facilitating. 

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Le'Bryan Nash

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    Team: Oklahoma State

    Position: SF/PF

    Year: Sophomore


    Although Le'Bryan Nash struggled through a difficult freshman year in Stillwater, he still has through-the-roof potential. 

    Plus, he has the greatest basketball name of all time. 

    As soon as his intensity can match his physical prowess, the sky is the limit for Nash. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Alex Poythress

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    Team: Kentucky

    Position: PF

    Year: Freshman


    Alex Poythress is going to be a lock for the coveted "Player Who Has His Name Misspelled By The Most People" award during the 2012-2013 season, especially since he'll be in the news quite a bit. 

    With his great ball-handling and slashing skills, Poythress is going to be quite dangerous when he sets up on the perimeter and the ball is put into his hands. 

13. Phoenix Suns: Patric Young

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    Team: Florida

    Position: PF/C

    Year: Junior


    If there's any player in this draft class who will leave scouts drooling over the NBA-ready body, it's Patric Young. 

    Young needs to add a lot of finesse and technique to his game, but his raw power and strength have been more than enough for him to get by thus far. 

14. Houston Rockets: B.J. Young

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    Team: Arkansas

    Position: PG/SG

    Year: Sophomore


    Capable of lining up at either point guard or shooting guard, B.J. Young loves to take shots for his Arkansas Razorbacks. As a sophomore, he'll have the green light more often than not. 

    When he's not using his excellent floater or his deadly jumper, Young does need to work on his skills as a facilitator. 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Tony Mitchell

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    Team: North Texas

    Position: PF

    Year: Sophomore


    After averaging 14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game with great defense as an unheralded freshman stud last year for the North Texas Mean Green, there's no telling just how good Tony Mitchell could be as a sophomore. 

    This guy can truly do it all and should continue to impress as he catches the eye of more and more scouts. 

16. New York Knicks: Myck Kabongo

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    Team: Texas

    Position: PG

    Year: Sophomore


    Myck Kabongo is a great passer, but he might be too good at dishing the ball off to teammates at times. 

    The Texas point guard has to do a better job of calling his own number and then getting the job done, as he often seems either scared or ineffective when asked to score for himself. 

17. Dallas Mavericks: Alex Abrines

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    From: Spain

    Position: SG

    Age: 19


    Alex Abrines' primary calling card is his shooting ability. He can knock down shot after shot from the outside, and the range of his jumper extends well beyond the NBA three-point line. 

    If you know he's a shooter, you'll be surprised by Abrines' athleticism as well. He can elevate quite well, and his quickness allows him to get into the lane and maintain solid defensive positioning. 

18. Utah Jazz: Ryan Harrow

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    Team: Kentucky

    Position: PG

    Year: Sophomore


    A transfer from N.C. State who sat out the last season for Kentucky, Ryan Harrow is going to be the latest John Calipari point guard to get drafted in the first round. 

    Although he stands just under 6'0", Harrow is insanely fast and can score in a variety of ways. He won't be a great distributor for the Wildcats, but he'll put up his fair share of points. 

19. Orlando Magic: Joshua Smith

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    Team: UCLA

    Position: PF/C

    Year: Junior


    A 6'9" center who weighs a massive 320 pounds, Joshua Smith is going to have to lose some weight while maintaining his physicality to make it at the next level. 

    Surprisingly, Smith's game isn't all about power. He has nice footwork and a solid arsenal of post moves to use on the blocks when his back is to the basket. 

20. Denver Nuggets: Otto Porter

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    Team: Georgetown

    Position: SF

    Year: Sophomore


    Otto Porter didn't make a huge impact for Georgetown as a freshman, but that's going to change with Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims out of the picture. 

    A glue guy with a great pull-up jumper and above-average passing skills for his position, Porter has the all-around game down to the point that his little things make up for his lack of big calling cards. 

21. Boston Celtics: Dario Saric

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    From: Croatia

    Position: SF

    Age: 18


    The youngest international player projected to go in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft, Dario Saric is also one of the smartest. 

    He always picks and chooses his spots nicely, while complementing his ability to get to the rim with great passing and dribbling skills. 

22. Los Angeles Clippers: Michael Carter-Williams

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    Team: Syracuse

    Position: PG/SG

    Year: Sophomore


    He'll likely settle in at shooting guard thanks to his 6'5" frame, but Michael Carter-Williams does indeed have the skill set of a point guard. 

    Once he gets the chance for Syracuse, MCW is going to light up the scoreboard. He has a deadly jumper and the blazing speed necessary to get to the paint at will. 

23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Withey

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    Team: Kansas

    Position: C

    Year: Senior


    A shot-blocking big man, Jeff Withey was up in the same tier as Anthony Davis last season when it came to rejecting shots and leaving basketball imprints on the foreheads of opposing players. 

    He doesn't have much of an offensive game, but his defense is good enough to justify inclusion in the first round. 

24. Los Angeles Lakers: Wayne Blackshear

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    Team: Louisville

    Position: SG/SF

    Year: Sophomore


    A ridiculously strong swingman, Wayne Blackshear is going to get more explosive as a sophomore if he cuts down in the weight department just a little bit. 

    With his athleticism, he'll make good on his inevitable increase in playing time, after playing just seven minutes per game as a freshman. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Doug McDermott

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    Team: Creighton

    Position: SF/PF

    Year: Junior


    He may not be a great athlete, but Doug McDermott is one of the smartest and most talented players in all of college basketball. He should be considered among the favorites for National Player of the Year this upcoming season. 

    McDermott can score from anywhere on the court and benefits from filling the role of coach's son. 

26. Indiana Pacers: Andre Roberson

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    Team: Colorado

    Position: SF/PF

    Year: Junior


    For his size, Andre Roberson is one of the best rebounders in all of college basketball. As a sophomore for the Colorado Buffaloes, Roberson pulled down a ridiculous 11.1 rebounds per game. 

    A great athlete with a never-ending reserve of energy, Roberson does the little things well, even if he's not a polished offensive player. 

27. Miami Heat: Trey Burke

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    Team: Michigan

    Position: PG

    Year: Sophomore


    Even though he's only 6'1" and just finished up his first season with Michigan, Trey Burke is already a mature and polished scorer. 

    He has a great outside shot, a stellar ability to penetrate into the interior of the opposing defensive system, incredible intangibles and the court vision necessary to keep his teammates involved. 

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: P.J. Hairston

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    Team: North Carolina

    Position: SG

    Year: Sophomore


    P.J. Hairston desperately needs to work on his ball-handling skills in order to preserve his status as a first-round prospect. The same can be said about his jump-shooting ability. 

    Then again, Hairston is so physically gifted, so deadly in transition and so good at finishing at the rim, that those might just be fringe benefits. 

29. Chicago Bulls: Mike Moser

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    Team: UNLV

    Position: PF

    Year: Junior


    As you can probably tell from the picture to the left, Mike Moser needs to add a lot of weight if he's going to be able to bang around with NBA power forwards. A switch to small forward is likely if he doesn't hit the weight room. 

    Moser is a terrific rebounder for a 6'8" player, and his defense allows him to make a big impact even when he's not hitting his shots. 

30. San Antonio Spurs: Reggie Bullock

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    Team: North Carolina

    Position: SF

    Year: Junior


    We had to get at least three North Carolina Tar Heels prospects into the first round, although Reggie Bullock would have made it even without that imaginary rule. 

    After spending two seasons on the bench for Roy Williams, Bullock is finally going to get a chance to show off his scoring ability and great touch from the outside. He'll just need to add more strength and maintain focus to live up to his potential.