2013 NBA Mock Draft: Replacing 2012's Picks with Next Year's Rookies
Here's how this mock draft is going to work: Let's go with last year's draft order, but with this year's draft class. That means Anthony Davis didn't go No. 1, the Cavs didn't reach for Dion Waiters and Perry Jones didn't slip to No. 28.
For all intents and purposes, just imagine that nobody from the 2012 draft class even exists. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Never heard of him.
This also means that every team's needs remain the same as they were prior to the 2012 NBA Draft. The Hornets still need a center, the Bobcats still need anyone and the Knicks don't get senior discounts when they go to the movies.
So the 2013 draft class is replacing the class from 2012. Got it? Let's do it.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Cody Zeller, Indiana
The No. 1 overall pick calls for a prospect with the highest ceiling and lowest risk.
Cody Zeller presents the full package—physically, mentally and fundamentally. As a freshman at a high-profile program, Zeller illustrated franchise-cornerstone leadership qualities on a team with upperclassmen.
Looking into his offensive arsenal, it all starts with his instincts and feel for the rim. Zeller can score turning over either shoulder at the high post and has unpredictable counter moves on the interior.
He's also slippery with his back to the basket and leaves defenders in the dust with his sneaky baseline spin move. Because of his high release point and soft touch, it's almost a guaranteed two points when he has established position down low.
No matter how awkward the angle, Zeller always finds a way to get clean looks at the rim.
Rarely does the most polished post scorer in the country run like Zeller, who consistently gets easy buckets by beating his man down the floor.
Defensively, he anticipates off the ball and rotates accordingly. Moving forward, increasing his shooting range and defending the post will be atop the priority list, though time is on his side in regards to adding bulk and strength.
Zeller has all the qualities of a No. 1 overall pick and would be an ideal piece to build a team around.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
As a prospect, Muhammad possesses a dominating physical presence for a wing and has skills that dip into three positional categories: He has the perimeter-scoring mindset of a shooting guard, the off-ball slashing instincts of a small forward and the touch and interior aggressiveness of a post player.
Because of his ability to produce on and off the ball, he would fill a major hole for a Bobcats team that struggles to score half-court points.
Offensively, he's got all the tools in the box and offers No. 1 overall upside. The only concern is that the system UCLA runs can be overly methodical, and therefore limit his production in a one-and-done freshman year.
With a roster as depleted as Charlotte's, the best available player who requires the least amount of time to develop is the thought process here. Nerlens Noel, James McAdoo and others present either risk or lower ceilings.
3. Washington Wizards: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
The flat top won't get the attention of the unibrow, but it will provide a similar sense of security and protection.
Like Anthony Davis, Noel's appeal stems from his defensive potential—considering the NBA's emphasis on protecting the rim.
Not only does he have elite physical tools, but his defensive timing and awareness put him over the top. He's extremely advanced at this stage in his development, especially at a position that requires years of adjusting.
There's no denying he's raw offensively. In front of numerous scouts and executives, he struggled to find any sense of rhythm at this summer's Adidas Nations.
But his physical tools are difficult to ignore: He sports a chiseled upper body, broad shoulders and explosive athleticism for a seven-footer. He has also shown some touch on his over-the-shoulder hook, and it looks like there's room for growth in the low-post scoring category.
Noel's limited offensive repertoire keeps him out of the top two, but the interior presence he provides can't go overlooked. With Nene rarely healthy and the Wizards vulnerable inside, Noel could anchor the team's interior and change the mood in Washington.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: James McAdoo, North Carolina
McAdoo offers a package unlike any other prospect in his class.
His physical tools are unmatched at his position, which creates all sorts of lineup flexibility and mismatches for opposing defenses.
At 6'9", he's got the size, strength and muscle to body up inside. However ,it's his speed, mobility and athleticism that make him impossible to contain off the ball.
A point guard's dream in the open floor, McAdoo is a terror in transition. Difficult to box out due to his agility and power, the chances of loose balls finding McAdoo are rather likely. Defensively, he's a huge asset because of his ability to defend multiple positions.
He showed he's capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers towards the end of last year, when he was finally given regular rotation minutes. McAdoo is similar to Kidd-Gilchrist in that both make plays without requiring the ball.
McAdoo's ceiling is a few stories lower than Cody Zeller's and Shabazz Muhammad's, but he has the mindset and skill-set to become a long-term cog in an NBA rotation.
5. Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Austin, Baylor
It's just not everyday you see a seven-foot athlete with a 9'3" standing reach attack the rim from the perimeter. Or pull up from downtown. Or beat everyone down the floor.
Austin shows advanced footwork in the post, making each step with purpose in order to separate from his defender. He also shoots an accurate three-ball, which is nearly impossible to contest. He can get buckets with the rock in his hands, moving off the ball or seizing loose-ball opportunities.
Defensively, his length disrupts passing lanes and essentially shrinks the size of the goal.
Overall, Austin is a relentless and versatile two-way threat with one of the highest ceilings in the pack. He's exactly what Sacramento does not have on its roster.
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Rudy Gobert, Cholet
In a weak draft with minimal franchise keepers, Portland could think out of the box and clog some leaks.
And Gobert can clog a leak standing practically four feet from the problem. The 7'1" prospect out of France comes with an unprecedented 7'9" wingspan, four inches longer than Anthony Davis' reach. Combine that length with his motor, and skills almost become irrelevant to a degree.
Gobert can get up and down the floor, showing off impressive mobility for a kid his size. At the next level, he'll make a living off the ball, whether it's tap-backs, tip-ins or finishes at the rim. Defensively, he's like a human windmill protecting a miniature golf hole.
We just haven't seen anyone who covers this much ground. Again, figuring there won't be many available future all-stars, snagging a prospect as unique as Gobert could be the move in a shallow draft.
7. Golden State Warriors: Alex Poythress, Kentucky
Poythress would be a great fit in Golden State. He presents a similar stretch package to Harrison Barnes, but can also get his down low.
He's a nightmare defensive assignment for power forwards because of his ability to face-up and create off the bounce. And with a 6'8" frame structured for physical play, Poythress can body up small forwards inside.
His offensive versatility presents half-court mismatches and would make life easier for guys like Steph Curry and David Lee. He has the potential to become a rotation's top-three scoring option.
8. Toronto Raptors: Archie Goodwin, Kentucky
The smoothest pure 2 in the class, Archie is a threat whenever he touches the ball.
Creating offense is his specialty. He uses a quick first step to split the defense, and long arms and agility to finish in traffic. He also uses that step-back jumper, a move that all top NBA scorers have in order to create open looks.
A fluid athlete with full-court and half-court appeal, Goodwin takes long strides in the open floor which make him difficult to slow down.
His biggest knock at the high-school level was an erratic shooting stroke, though he seems confident and comfortable whenever he lets it fly. With terrific size and length for an off-guard, along with superior skills and talent, Goodwin has the chance to be the first guard off the board without a "Z" in his name.
9. Detroit Pistons: Tony Mitchell, North Texas
A consensus top-15 recruit, Mitchell originally committed to Missouri before being ruled academically ineligible. So he enrolled in North Texas to terrorize the poor Sun Belt Conference.
A strong and lengthy 6'8" combo forward, Mitchell plays with a mean streak that could ignite an NFL huddle. Offensively, Mitchell has the agility to operate on the perimeter and compliments his deceptive mobility with a 43 percent three-point stroke.
Defensively, he's a game-changer, consistently patrolling the paint as an off-ball defender. His timing, aggressiveness and athleticism contribute to three blocks a game in only 29 minutes of action.
With Detroit lacking an inside/outside presence to complement Greg Monroe, Mitchell looks to be an ideal addition to a lackluster frontcourt. He'll take Damian Lillard's spot as the top mid-major prospect in the draft.
10. New Orleans: CJ McCollum, Lehigh
The Hornets could use a point guard and a scorer. How about the old two-in-one special, as CJ McCollum qualifies as both.
Unknown to most before dropping a 30-point avalanche on Duke to knock them out of the NCAA tournament, McCollum has been the most consistent scorer in the country, averaging 19, 21 and 21points per game in three consecutive years.
He has that takeover ability kids dream about when they play one-on-none in the driveway. Shaking defenders east, west, north and south, McCollum puts his men on ice skates while they try to contest and maintain balance.
Unafraid of contact, CJ attempted over seven free throws a game in back-to-back years, while also averaging 6.5 rebounds over his three-year career.
His assist numbers are low due to his role in the Lehigh offense, but McCollum has all the makings of becoming a successful combo guard at the NBA level.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Ryan Harrow, Kentucky
Harrow struggled two years ago as a freshman at North Carolina State, where his freewheeling style of play clashed with a systematic half-court pace. Cue the Calipari bat signal.
Harrow transferred to Kentucky last season, and though ineligible for game-play, he was given the opportunity to practice with the team and go head-to-head with Marquis Teague on a regular basis.
The NBA has become a breakdown league, and Ryan Harrow is a breakdown guard.
You'll need a fishing net to contain Harrow off the dribble. His handle and shiftiness should help consistently penetrate opposing perimeter defenses. Beating the first man off the bounce results in five on fours, making him a strong candidate to excel as a drive-and-dish point guard.
The Blazers could use a point guard to create for Batum and Aldridge, and Harrow has the creativity to do so. Containing his scoring urges and turnovers would increase his efficiency as a facilitator.
12. Houston Rockets: Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State
Remember, this draft would have occurred before Houston gave Jeremy Lin $25 million dollars, including $15 million in year three of the deal. Drafting Lorenzo Brown could have saved them all sorts of financial flexibility, had this draft class-swapping idea actually been made possible.
As a prospect, there's not much to dislike about Lorenzo Brown. At better-than-ideal size for a point guard with a ball-on-a-string handle, Brown can manipulate a defense with his dribble and find the open man.
He's a true orchestrator—a rare label in a game today that sees most guards with shoot-first mentalities.
Playing on possibly the most dangerous team in the ACC with many weapons around him, Brown will get to shine as an effective game manager.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
Arguably the most prolific perimeter scorer in the draft class, Caldwell-Pope would fill a need for a team that struggles to produce half-court points.
At 6'6", he has excellent size for a scoring guard who doesn't require the ball. Though his lack of shooting conscience has its ups and downs, he's got that microwave quality that allows him to score in bunches.
Phoenix's guard play is about as exhilarating as a romantic comedy and could use the spark he provides as a shooter and slasher.
Combine his scoring prowess with lock-down defensive tools, and Caldwell-Pope could present a two-way package to a dull backcourt.
14. Milwaukee Bucks: CJ Leslie, North Carolina State
With a ball-dominant backcourt in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Milwaukee could use an athlete who can score from foul line to baseline.
Leslie would give Jennings a glowing target in transition and off the penetration dribble. Though most of his skills translate to the power forward position, his athleticism and mobility also allow him to float out on the perimeter.
Developing a trustworthy jumper would force opposing bigs out of their comfort zone, therefore giving Leslie an advantage as the more nimble athlete.
We've seen similar prospects, like Hakim Warrick, struggle with interior play, so Leslie does come with risk. But his reward is tough to pass on in a draft without sure things.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Adonis Thomas, Memphis
Philadelphia's rotation is strong but lacks one important ingredient: athleticism.
Thomas is what I like to call a "power athlete," someone you fear could take down the hoop with one thunderous jam. His high character and basketball IQ would fit right into Philly's lineup, while providing a physical presence to complement Evan Turner's finesse.
A strong 6'7", there's just no stopping Thomas when he's given room for takeoff. He'll need to work on creating his own offense, but his touch down low and feel for the game are promising signs for his development.
16. Houston Rockets: Otto Porter, Georgetown
Porter could fit into any lineup as an off-the-ball contributor with NBA-ready physical tools.
Porter is mobile enough to play the 3, where he uses his length and motor to slash from the perimeter. But he's also long enough to play the 4 based on matchups, a position where he's constantly making plays on the glass and at the rim.
Showing heady awareness, he has a good feel for spacing, and consistently presents a mid-range target for guards in the drive-and-dish game. His 18-20 foot jumper also makes him a viable pick-and-pop candidate.
He shot 52 percent from the floor as a freshman and would provide any bench with efficiency and activity.
17. Cleveland Cavaliers: Alex Len, Maryland
Standing 7'1" with a solid basketball frame and above average athleticism, Len made waves while playing for Ukraine's U-18 national team.
Len has shown glimpses of his potential, which could almost be lottery-worthy. However, his inability to create offense doesn't sit well in my stomach. Despite his physical gifts, Len only averaged four shot attempts per game in 21 minutes of action.
Still, you can't teach size, athleticism and toughness, and Len possesses all three. He's a project with the right ingredients to make for a serviceable NBA center.
18. Houston Rockets: Mason Plumlee, Duke
Few 6'11" prospects can move like Mason Plumlee, who meshes the ultimate combination of size, athleticism and mobility.
While his ceiling remains limited to providing sparks off the bench, the activity he conducts inside forces opposing forwards to stay alert.
If his brother can go in the first round, there's no reason someone won't be interested in Mason, who clearly seems like the more promising prospect. Teams with under-the-rim centers might be interested in Plumlee's hops.
19. Orlando Magic: LeBryan Nash, Oklahoma State
When you're looking to rebuild but only have late picks, upside is the name of the game.
LeBryan Nash has all the tools to be an exceptional NBA scorer, with the strength and athleticism to finish inside and shot-making creativity on the perimeter. Considered more of an isolation scorer, Nash's game translates better to the pro level, where he'll have more freedom to operate one on one.
Improving his shooting numbers (39 percent from the floor and 23 percent from downtown) should jolt him up the board. However, for a team like Orlando with minimal building blocks, Nash is a value pick anywhere outside the lotto.
20. Denver Nuggets: Patric Young, Florida
Young has offensive limitations, but also has biceps you have to register with homeland security.
While JaVale McGee gives Denver a roaming patrol officer at the rim, Young provides the muscle. At 6'9", he's not a true center, but moving him out of the lane is an arduous task.
One of the strongest finishers in the country, the name of the game is to get him the ball inside. Adding post moves to his repertoire will be his focus moving forward.
21. Boston Celtics: Ben McLemore, Kansas
McLemore's strengths play to his comfort level scoring off the ball, where he occupies the wing as a slasher or spot-up shooter.
Cutting off back-screens and carving through the lane, McLemore's athletic ability allows him to catch and finish as an off-the-ball target. He sports fluid mechanics on his jumper, which is the tool that should propel him into the middle of the first round.
Still raw as a prospect, he's a work in progress creating offense off the dribble. This obviously limits his upside, but McLemore remains an attractive option for a team looking for an athletic, complimentary guard to make plays off the ball.
22. Boston Celtics: Alec Brown, Wisconsin-Green Bay
There aren't many places to hide when you're 7'1". Not even at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Brown's size and mobility turned scouts' heads a year ago, but what keeps them looking is his touch and promising post game. While it's obviously difficult to contest a shot released at almost nine feet in the air, Brown has some moves that could translate to NBA points.
Compared to his positional draft rival, fellow seven-footer Alex Len, Brown attempted seven more shots per game than the Maryland center, showing off impressive shot-creation ability for a kid his size.
While he lacks Len's athleticism and toughness, Brown might have a better chance at becoming a team's top-five scoring option.
Considering Fab Melo doesn't exist in our fantasy mock draft world, Brown could be a surprising source of interior production for an aging Celtics frontcourt.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Doug McDeromott, Creighton
Averaging 23 points per game, McDermott's offensive production came from every square foot on the floor. Playing the 4, he attacks the rim from the elbow going either direction.
He's got a great feel for the rim inside and has counter moves to force big men out of position and offset his size disadvantage.
As a small forward, his likely role at the next level, McDermott's shooting stroke has the most NBA appeal—especially when you consider his lack of size and athleticism as an under-the-rim forward.
He shot a blistering 48 percent from downtown last season and continues to give scouts a reason to overlook his physical deficiencies.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
The court is Franklin's stage, which he uses to drop jaws and raise brows by showcasing his athleticism.
One of the few dynamic scorers who doesn't require the ball, Franklin can convert points in a number of different ways. He averaged 17 points a game, posing as an on-ball scorer on the perimeter and an off-the-ball slasher in the half court.
Franklin's above-the-rim style helped him get to 7.9 rebounds a game, which can ease some of the tension generated from his overall streaky play. Still, he provides solid late-round value, and would give the Cavs some life on a bench that lacks just that.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Andre Roberson, Colorado
Roberson's game is predicated on off-ball production and activity. He brings in an incredible 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of action per night, which can be attributed to his athleticism, timing and anticipation.
Though he's not someone you give the ball to when in you're need of a bucket, that won't be one of Roberson's responsibilities. Providing defensive versatility, manning the boards and finishing in transition will be atop his checklist—and are all valuable services to offer.
Memphis could use a glue guy coming off its bench, and Roberson has all the credentials necessary to fill that role.
26. Indiana Pacers: CJ Fair, Syracuse
Fair has dramatically expanded his arsenal from his first game as a freshman to his last as a sophomore. While some call him a tweener, I see the glass as half-full.
He's a versatile combo forward who can play inside or out, with the foot speed of a 3 and the strength of a 4.
He has a nose for the ball and unteachable instincts, getting his hands on everything at the rim. He also added an 18-foot jumper, which helped increase his threat as a face-up option.
Fair has the chance to be a productive role player with the flexibility to fit into any rotation. He'd bring a little more toughness to the table then say, Gerald Green, who's currently listed as Danny Granger's backup.
27. Philadelphia 76ers: Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Mbakwe's draft stock took a hit after tearing his ACL, especially when you consider how much he relies on his explosiveness. Not to mention he's already 23 years old.
But given he returns to full strength, few power forwards in the country are as tough to defend. Mbakwe has a face-up game that allows him to beat his man off the dribble, yet he also keeps defenders honest with an effective mid-range jumper.
With his back to the basket, he uses his athleticism to shake his man and finish at the rim.
While Thaddeus Young plays mostly off the ball, Mbakwe can come in and create offense on his own. Again, assuming his knee returns to form, consider the six-year college vet a potential steal this late in the draft.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Sometimes you have to overlook deficiencies and focus on the positives. Canaan’s one of those kids who possesses the “it” factor, embracing the leadership role as his team’s lead guard.
Physically, he’s a tank. Though just 6’0", a strong foundation and bowling-ball physique allow him to absorb contact and bounce right off it. The fact that he’s shot over 40 percent in all three years make him a dual threat when screened on the perimeter.
Murray State's heavy pick-and-roll offense should help prepare him for life at the next level. Though he may not be your prototypical pure point guard because of his undeniable scoring instincts, he brings a sense of security as his team's primary ball-handler.
With the Thunder in need of some backcourt relief, OKC would be a mutual fit for both parties.
29. Chicago Bulls: Jeff Withey, Kansas
Withey has backup center written all over his face.
Though not much of an athlete or an offensive weapon, Withey's defensive range is his most attractive NBA attribute. He moves incredibly well from the high to low post, maintaining fluid footwork and timing defending on and off the ball.
Offensively, he shows a nice touch when given the ball inside, and could serve as a valuable reserve thanks to his size and mobility. After losing Omer Asik, Chicago could use some frontcourt depth, post defense and insurance for Joakim Noah.
30. Golden State Warriors: Amath M'Baye, Oklahoma
Amath M'Baye is a transfer from Wyoming with an intriguing set of skills. He's a 6'9" small forward with serious athleticism, effortless mobility and powerful springs.
M'Baye's face-up game is what makes him tough to guard, as he can put it on the floor or stick a mid-range jumper. He's got a soft feel for the rim on push shots and over-the-shoulder hooks and gets way above the rim for lobs and loose balls.
Despite clean mechanics, he shot poorly from three in his one year at Wyoming. Increasing his range and threat level on the perimeter could propel him into the next tier of prospects.
31. Charlotte Bobcats: Trey Burke, Michigan
Burke causes motion sickness with a mean hesitation dribble and a lightning-quick first step. Changing directions and speeds on the dime, he's tough to stay in front of and keep out of the lane.
At only 6'0", Burke struggles to get uncontested looks on the perimeter, but his crafty handle and overall quickness make him a difficult defensive assignment.
As an NBA prospect, Burke's size will make it difficult for him to produce consistent results and ultimately limits his ceiling. His game would be used best as a lightning rod off the bench.
32. Washington Wizards: Ian Miller, Florida State
An explosive combo guard who can play on and off the ball, Miller's appeal stems from his athleticism and sweet shooting stroke.
One of the best things going for Miller is the confidence he has in his jumper. That's half the battle for young prospects and arguably the most important aspect of consistent shooting.
Attacking the rim off the dribble, Miller is electric. If he's not throwing one down, he's finding a way to cleverly avoid contact and finish acrobatically.
Miller has great defensive tools for guarding opposing point guards, but he needs to fill a specific niche on the offensive side of the ball. If his game transitions smoothly, Miller could be a gift this late in the draft.
33. Dallas Mavericks: Mike Moser, UNLV
What's great about Moser is that his role is defined. He won't be asked to create offense or plays for teammates. He hustles, cleans up the glass, guards the best scorer and gets down the floor.
Moser averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds in 31 minutes a game, illustrating his high activity level. He's a face-up combo forward with long arms and a constant motor, and provides defensive versatility with his ability to guard 2s, 3s and stretch 4s.
While he lacks the upside of most first-round prospects, Moser offers little risk as a long-term contributor.
34. Dallas Mavericks: Elijah Johnson, Kansas
Elijah Johnson is strong and athletic—two physical qualities that really help in the transition process.
He's a reliable finisher in traffic and a force on the break, though he isn't the most adept shot creator for a combo guard. Johnson does complement strength with touch, showing rhythm as a spot-up shooter and finesse on runners and floaters.
He's been rather inconsistent throughout his career, but Johnson has the tools for NBA play. It's just a matter of using them effectively on a nightly basis.
35. Golden State Warriors: Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
A rugged, 6'4" shooting guard, Kilpatrick transformed from a spot-up shooter to Cincinnati's No. 1 scoring option.
He resembles a smaller version of Quentin Richardson, with a quick release as a catch-and-shoot scorer. Though primarily perimeter-oriented, Kilpatrick's shot-making ability should land him a spot on an NBA roster.
36. Indiana Pacers: Myck Kabongo, Texas
Highly regarded out of high school, Kabongo's slick handle could hypnotize his defender.
However, he has struggled adjusting to the pace, or lack thereof, at the college level, looking out of sync running a half-court set. Regardless, he remains one of those rare true point guards with a pass-first mindset.
If it clicks for Kabongo, he's a second-round steal with starter potential.
37. Toronto Raptors: BJ Young, Arkansas
Young is a top-20 talent, but his size is an issue for his natural position. He's a scorer at heart, using his dribble as the driving force behind his offensive production.
Unfortunately, undersized, ball-dominant scorers generally struggle to produce efficient results at the pro level.
Still, he dropped 15 points a game in 25 minutes and clearly has a gift for putting the ball through the hoop. Young packs substantial offensive firepower, but would be used best in a limited role.
38. Denver Nuggets: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Dieng is a human space-eater with a reserved parking spot right in the middle of the lane. Dieng rarely drifts more than 10 feet from the rim, and there's no reason for him to do so.
He averaged nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks as a junior, using his 6'11" frame to control the paint.
Word out of Louisville is that he's improved his offensive game, but even so, his ability to take up space and protect the rim are two valued characteristics in a second-round pick.
39. Detriot Pistons: Ray McCallum, Detroit
A prized recruit out of high school, McCallum passed up prestigious offers to play for his father at the University of Detroit.
It's always difficult to evaluate mid-major point guards who are relied on to score while playing inferior competition. He's got NBA point guard size with an NBA point guard's brain, only turning it over 2.2 times per game while completely dominating the ball.
Offensively, he's tricky off the dribble—capable of creating open looks for himself at the rim or on the perimeter.
However, he lacks range and consistency on his jumper and didn't show much progression from his freshman to sophomore year. But he's worth a shot in the second round for a team looking for backcourt depth.
40. Portland Trail Blazers: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
Hardaway Jr. passes the eye test and has the game to match—he just needs to work on his consistency.
The college game is a tough fit for Hardaway Jr., who operates best with freedom and space. His pull-up and step-back jumpers are both legitimate NBA weapons, and he's proven to be effective slashing and finishing off the ball.
At 6'5", he's got the size and athleticism to comfortably play the 2, but he'll need to work on his shot selection and keeping the ball from sticking to his hands.
Getting that three-point accuracy back to the 35 percent mark would really maximize his effectiveness as an athletic, scoring 2.
41. Brooklyn Nets: Solomon Hill, Arizona
Hill really played well as a junior, raising his field goal percentage, three-point percentage and rebounding numbers. This is exactly what he needed to show scouts, who will be looking for offensive efficiency and toughness.
He uses his strong, wide frame to bully his defender and attack north and south and shows awareness and touch in regards to finishing in the lane.
He actually has a deceptive first move, whether it's spinning off his defender with his back to the basket or beating his man off the dribble.
He shot 39 percent from downtown as a junior, a number that should really increase his appeal as an NBA reserve.
42. Milwaukee Bucks: Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
The consensus top-rated center out of high school, we found out quickly that Christmas isn't a center at all.
He is, however, an explosive athlete in a strong, 6'9" body, yet he remains too raw offensively to generate legitimate first-round attention.
His best moments as a freshman were as a post defender and finisher, though his finishes came off the creativity of others.
Considering Christmas is limited to points in the paint, and Syracuse rarely feeds the post, it's tough to say more college reps is the answer. He still has NBA appeal because of his size, power and athleticism, though he'll need to expand his offensive repertoire to maximize his number of potential suitors.
43. Atlanta Hawks: CJ Wilcox, Washington
There has always been room in the league for athletic off-guards that can shoot. Wilcox knocked down three-pointers at a 40 percent clip in both of his two seasons, using screens and a quick release to punish perimeter defenders.
Moving effectively off the ball to free himself up, he maintains sweet rhythm and balance in catch-and-shoot opportunities. Wilcox has the potential to fill a specialist role at the next level as a three-point sniper and defensive ball-stopper.
44. Detroit Pistons: Kenny Kadji, Miami
Though he is 6'11", Kadji's role doesn't project as an inside scorer or enforcer down low. His strengths are built for the pick-and-pop, a popular two-man game used in many NBA playbooks. He shot 41 percent from downtown and blocked over 1.5 shots per game in his first year at Miami.
Teams selecting in the second round aren't looking for upside, but rather a player who specializes in something the team lacks. Kadji's ability to stretch the floor as a center is an interesting asset off the bench.
45. Miami Heat: Joshua Smith, UCLA
Joshua Smith has always been viewed as a superior talent with his nifty inside footwork and hands as soft as his belly.
Unfortunately for Smith, his belly can't take hook shots. He's been held back, literally, by a weight problem that refuses to be answered—it's a problem that's become a red curtain, hiding a talented center behind it.
A team with time to spare should take a chance on Smith and force the big man into shape. For a second-round pick, the reward could be worth the risk.
46. New Orleans Hornets: Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Thomas is one of the more complete scorers in the country, averaging 16 points on 52 percent shooting from the floor last season. He's pretty much comfortable shooting from anywhere, whether it's swooping through the lane off one foot or spotting up from downtown.
Offensively, he presents a mismatch against slower-footed big men and can utilize his strength when defended by small forwards.
The bad news is on defense where he's unqualified to guard the post and vulnerable on the perimeter.
Thomas is worth a shot in the second round based primarily on his scoring instincts.
47. Utah Jazz: Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
Bullock used to handle the ball a bit in high school, but has been relegated to off-ball duties at Carolina. He's got a good, clean stroke from downtown and fitting size for a small forward.
Bullock's role at the next level projects more as a shot-maker, as opposed to the shot-creator we thought he might be. He still has excellent value anywhere in the second round.
48. New York Knicks: Rodney Williams, Minnesota
If you said Rodney Williams was the most athletic prospect in the class, I probably wouldn't fight you. Though not much of a threat with the ball in his hands, Williams' explosiveness and coordination make him one of the top finishing forwards in the country.
Teams with an older rotation and established scorers could use Williams' athleticism to inject into their lineup.
49. Orlando Magic: Deonte Burton, Nevada
An explosive combo guard with a diverse offensive arsenal, Burton can score it in a variety of different ways. In two years at Nevada, Burton has hit a number of clutch shots down the stretch, displaying the confidence and ice water that runs through his veins.
Though more of a scorer than natural playmaker, his rising three-point percentage has increased his threat as a ball-dominant guard. You wouldn't count on him to come in and run the offense.
But to energize a second unit and make some shots? That will be Burton's calling.
50. Denver Nuggets: Augusto Lima, Unicaja Malaga
The 2011 Adidas Eurocamp MVP just recently turned 21, and his matured body is evidence.
Lima has been on the NBA radar for a while now, and would maximize his draft stock by entering his name this year.
Lima will get looks based primarily on his physical tools, namely his explosive athleticism, 6'10" size and a wingspan over seven-feet. He's strictly an off-the-ball big man whose job is to finish, rebound and create havoc. Someone needs to do it.
51. Boston Celtics: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Napier is a feisty combo guard who can run the point and occasionally play the 2. He averaged almost six assists in his first full-time role at quarterback, though his shooting was erratic and his team failed to impress.
Napier should excel in a part time role that asks him to knock down open jumpers and raise his group's intensity. When focused, he's a harassing on-ball defender that can get under opponents' skin. Seems like a good fit in Boston as a late-round flier.
52. Golden State Warriors: Christian Watford, Indiana
Watford seems to fit the mold of a stretch small forward, similar to the role Dorell Wright played for Golden State before his mysterious disappearance.
Watford has really sound rhythm and mechanics as a catch-and-shoot 3, nailing 43 percent of his three-point attempts. At 6'9", he should draw some power forwards as defenders, which will allow him to stretch the floor and create half-court spacing.
Though not shifty enough to create much off the dribble, Watford is capable of attacking north and south and finishing at the rim.
Despite a low ceiling, Watford has a defined role at the next level as a spot-up three-point specialist.
53. Los Angeles Clippers: Michael Snaer, Florida State
The self-proclaimed best shooting guard in the country doesn't have to worry about confidence. His concern should be getting open, which is what limits his ceiling as an NBA shooting guard.
Snaer's selling points are his ability to make mid-range jumpers and three-pointers, as well as his tenacious on-ball defense.
Plenty of NBA teams use defensive-minded shot-makers at the starting off-guard position. This isn't to say Snaer is a starter, rather that there's a role out there for his style of play.
54. Philadelpha 76ers: Phil Pressey, Missouri
Pressey is one of those guards who can dominate a game without taking a shot. His speed and quickness can tire out a defense that can't afford a second on its heels.
Whether it's dribble penetration or a break off the outlet, Pressey plays the game in permanent turbo mode.
What's promising for Pressey is that all he'll be asked to do is create shots for teammates—exactly his job at Missouri. One of the tinier floor generals in college basketball, Pressey's ability to facilitate and distribute should help overshadow his physical limitations.
55. Dallas Mavericks: Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
Wolters has been incredible to watch over the past two years, averaging 19 points and 21 points per game, respectively, for the Jackrabbits.
He uses a crafty dribble to swerve in and out of traffic and eventually finds the space he needs to lay it up or float it over.
He's got good size for a point guard but isn't the quickest off the bounce. He could struggle turning the corner against longer and stronger athletes.
He's got potential as a pick-and-roll point guard at the next level, but will need to prove threatening as a shooter to prevent defenders from going under screens.
56. Toronto Raptors: Richard Howell, North Carolina State
Howell is one of the few power forwards in this class that offers toughness and intimidation inside. Though not exactly the most fluid athlete, he's one of the strongest rebounders in the country and could have a specialty role at the next level. He's actually got some wiggle in the post and also sports a promising mid-range jumper.
Though there's no real upside here, teams lacking an enforcer down low could want 10 tough nightly minutes from Howell.
57. Brooklyn Nets: Robert Covington, Tennessee State
Robert Covington sounds more like a famous war general than an NBA prospect, but he's deserving of a mention after a breakout junior year.
A 6'9" stretch small forward, Covington is lights out from three, shooting over 45 percent in back-to-back years. He averaged 17 points a game last year and has shown a knack for knocking down jumpers with range. Stretching the floor will be his most coveted NBA attribute.
58. Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael Dixon, Missouri
Dixon hasn't drawn much NBA attention, mainly because he's considered a scorer in a point guard's body.
But he's proven that his quick first step and elusiveness off the dribble can help break down a defense and create shots for others. He's averaged over three assists in back-to-back years, despite being the secondary ball-handler behind Phil Pressey.
The fact that he's shot 35 percent from behind the arc in all three years of college only improves his chances of being selected.
59. San Antonio Spurs: Oleksandr Lypovyy, BC Donetsk
Lypovyy made a name for himself at this summer's Adidas Eurocamp as a guard with size and defensive versatility.
Offensively, he's a 6'6" guard with the ability to facilitate and use his dribble as a weapon. Guards with size and a handle who can also contribute defensively are worth a look somewhere throughout the draft process.
60. Los Angeles Lakers: Pierre Jackson, Baylor
Jackson can thank guys like Isaiah Thomas, who have succeeded despite owning that dreaded "under six-foot" label.
Jackson is an incredible athlete whose selling point surrounds his elite quickness off the bounce and breakdown capabilities.