NBA Mock Draft 2013: Elite Scorers Capable of Making Impact Right Away

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NBA Mock Draft 2013: Elite Scorers Capable of Making Impact Right Away
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You can't win if you don't score. 

Old-fashioned basketball fans may hate the idea of that concept, but putting the peach in the basket is a crucial part of this game.

And if Damian Lillard has taught us anything this year, it's that you can find players in the draft who can add an immediate scoring punch.

So, in my first NBA mock draft, I'll take a closer look at players with the potential to score right away in the NBA.

Note: These players are in italics.

Also note: Draft order is determined by current record

Also note: I chose to keep out freshmen Glenn Robinson and Willie Cauley-Stein, who have been included in other mock drafts I've seen. 

Who should the Wizards take first?

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1) Washington Wizards select Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana

Zeller hasn't locked down the No. 1 spot like many thought he would. He still needs to add a lot of strength and work on establishing position down low.

Still, he looks like a GaZeller (h/t Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn) running the court, has unreal athleticism for a player his size and would make for an interesting transition mate with John Wall and Bradley Beal.

 

2) Cleveland Cavaliers select Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

Say it with me now: Kyrie Irving and Ben McLemore

If the idea of that backcourt playing together for the next decade doesn't make drool a little bit, you should probably check your pulse. 

In a season in which Zeller and Nerlens Noel have both failed to convince people of their spot at the top of the rankings, McLemore, in my opinion, has quickly climbed to No. 1. 

Since Washington needs a big man, though, Kansas' star freshman falls to Cleveland. 

I think Cavalier nation will be OK with that. 

McLemore has unreal athleticism. He has ideal size (6'5") with a frame (195 pounds) to still add more muscle. Most importantly, as he proved on Wednesday night against Iowa State, he can score in a hurry. 

The talented guard dropped a ridiculous 33 points (including several clutch buckets) on just 12 shot attempts. That's 2.75 points per shot. That's something I've never seen before.

He knocked down all seven of his free throws and all six of his three-point attempts and is now averaging 16.9 points per game and shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 45.9 percent from long range and 89.3 percent from the line. 

McLemore can score from anywhere on the court and has the gaudy tools to showcase that talent at the next level. 

 

3) New Orleans Hornets select Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky

Do the Pelicans dare?

Oh, they dare.

Matching up Nerlens with Anthony Davis, the player many compared him to when he was entering Kentucky, would give New Orleans one of the most intimidating, long, athletic defensive frontcourts in the league. 

 

4) Charlotte Bobcats select Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV

For a true freshman that is averaging 27.9 points per 40 minutes (sixth best in the country) and shooting 56.1 percent from the field, I feel like Anthony Bennett is flying somewhat under the radar.

Maybe it's because he's Canadian. 

Bennett is fairly undersized (6'8") for a potential NBA power forward, but that becomes less of a worry every night he puts up 20 and 10 for the Rebels. 

There isn't much the big 240-pounder can't do. He can step out and knock down the long jumper. He has the handle to take other big men off the dribble. His athleticism and ability to finish with scary authority are both off the charts. 

Throw in his ability to rebound and defend the rim, and the Bobcats would be getting a future star. 

 

5) Phoenix Suns select Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

Muhammad started out the season fairly slow because he got pretty much no time to practice in the summer and fall, but he's beginning to show why many believe he has the potential to be the No. 1 overall pick. 

The UCLA star has dropped 20 or more points in five of his past six contests and is now averaging 19.6 per game on the season. He is knocking down a ridiculous 49.1 percent of his shots and 48.6 percent of his threes. 

That's a little scary considering one his perceived weaknesses coming in was his outside shooting. 

Muhammad has above average athleticism and can beat people off the dribble, but the smooth lefty truly excels when he gets a head of steam or gets out in transition. If that happens, or if he gets into the lane any other way, he's simply impossible to stop.

Now that he's also knocking down his shots from deep, don't be surprised if he finishes the year as the nation's best overall scorer. 

 

USA TODAY Sports

6) Orlando Magic select Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

Jameer Nelson isn't getting any younger, so the Magic could use a point guard of the future. 

There are a lot of good ones in college basketball right now, but none better than Smart, who models his game after his last name and plays like anything but a freshman. 

 

7) Detroit Pistons select Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky

The Pistons are already young at four of five positions (Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond).

As such, grabbing the best available shooting guard makes sense. 

Goodwin's stock has been up and down this season, but he's an exciting athletic specimen who can get to the rim with ease. 

 

8) Sacramento Kings select Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

It's time for the Kings, who are 29th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, to start adding some defenders. 

At 6'8", Porter is not only a fantastic defender, but he would give Sacramento elite length and athleticism on the wing.

 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

9) Dallas Mavericks select Alex Poythress, SF/PF, Kentucky

Poythress still has a long way to go on the offensive end, but players with his combination of size, aggression, athleticism and ability to crash the offensive glass are rare. 

Just know that he's a bit of a project should he come out early. 

 

10) Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors) select Alex Len, C, Maryland

I could see the Thunder going with a backup point guard here, but Len will be too hard to pass up as he is quickly proving to be a top-five talent.

In fact, don't expect him to be available here in my next mock draft.  

Len is incredibly skilled for a seven-footer and has only continued to improve this season. He would get a chance to further develop into a stud in Oklahoma City. 

 

11) Philadelphia 76ers select Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas

This is a bit of a stretch. Mitchell hasn't had the season many thought he was going to have, and as a result, his stock has begun to plummet. 

But the talent is still there and Philly could be enticed to reach as it needs someone who can put the ball in the hoop.

Mitchell can do that in bunches. 

 

12) Los Angeles Lakers select C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh

McCollum's collegiate career may be over, but a broken foot shouldn't hamper his draft status.

Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant aren't going to be around forever, and McCollum, who can score from anywhere on the court, can back up both of them in the near future. 

Best point guard in this class?

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13) Utah Jazz select Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

Burke is slightly undersized (6'0", 190 pounds), but he has been the best player in college basketball this year and has seen his stock rise steadily. 

The Jazz could stand to add a number of different perimeter positions, but Burke is the type of player capable of making everyone around him better. 

 

14) Boston Celtics select Rudy Gobert, C, France

The Celtics have Jared Sullinger, but Fab Melo hasn't panned out. As such, they could use some more size for when Kevin Garnett finally calls it quits.

Gobert, who is 7'1", 230 pounds, gives them a potential stud center for the future. 

 

15) Milwaukee Bucks select Isaiah Austin, PF/C, Baylor

The Bucks don't necessarily need a big man, but at this point it's not always about filling a position of need.

Austin is a guard in a seven-footer's body. He can step out and hit the three and brings with him a very unique game. 

 

Lance King/Getty Images

16) Minnesota Timberwolves select Mason Plumlee, C, Duke

Many will call Plumlee overrated, but he's taking over college basketball right now and has impressive explosiveness to go with an NBA body.

While he won't do a lot of scoring with his back to the basket, Plumlee will give the 'Wolves athleticism, rebounding, toughness and defense. 

 

17) Denver Nuggets select Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

This might be a good time to trade for the Nuggets. 

They don't really have any major areas of need (except for center, and I already have a few teams before them reaching for a center), and Carter-Williams, with his length and passing ability, is too good to far beyond this point.

Of course, the Nuggets don't have much need for a point guard. 

 

18) Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland Trail Blazers) select Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State

If the Bobcats take a big man with their first pick, they would be smart to grab a shooting guard.

Franklin is a long, athletic talent with a lot of energy. He would be an intriguing fit next to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. 

 

19) Brooklyn Nets select James Michael McAdoo, SF/PF, North Carolina

McAdoo has been painfully inconsistent this season and his stock is falling because of it, but at this point, he shouldn't fall outside of the top 20. 

The potential to be great is still there, he just hasn't put it all together yet. 

 

20) Atlanta Hawks select Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

Withey doesn't have oozing potential, but he's a big man who will provide elite defense at the basket and solid rebounding.

He's fairly old for a potential rookie and doesn't have a great offensive game, but he has improved in that area and can step in as a role player right away. 

 

21) Chicago Bulls select Brandon Paul, SG, Illinois

Paul has turned into one of the best scorers in the country. He's elite off the pick-and-roll and can get to the hoop with effectiveness. 

Putting the dynamic guard next to Derrick Rose would give the Bulls a dominant offensive backcourt. 

 

22) Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets) select Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I'm just going to put this out there now: Oladipo is one of my favorite players in this draft.

He has good size, is extremely athletic, plays incredibly sticky defense, rebounds and has improved his offensive game this year. 

I've yet to find something I don't like about the talented shooting guard, and it would be surprising if his stock didn't continue to rise. 

 

23) Indiana Pacers select Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

The Pacers badly need some offensive firepower, and McDermott is proving once again that he is one of the best scorers in the country.

McDermott isn't overly athletic, but he's crafty, has an array of moves, is a deadly shooter and can score from anywhere on the court. He has a bit of an old man's game, but it works extremely well. 

 

24) Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors) select C.J. Leslie, SF/PF, North Carolina State

Leslie still hasn't developed on the offensive end like many thought he would, but he is an elite athletic specimen who can defend and be a force in transition.

Despite being a junior, he still has lots of potential. 

 

25) New York Knicks select Dario Saric, SF, Croatia

The Knicks don't have many holes, but they are getting up there in age and would be smart to prepare for the future.

As such, Saric, an 18-year-old project with a high ceiling, makes plenty of sense for the Knickerbockers. 

 

26) Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies) select B.J. Young, SG, Arkansas

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The T'Wolves already took Plumlee, a big man who can play a role right away, so it's only natural to take Young with this pick.

Young is a fantastic scorer, but he is still, ahem, young and can be fairly inconsistent. He has the potential to be a future stud, but serves as a bit of a project.

That makes sense for Minnesota, which already has a lot of pieces in place. 

 

27) Cleveland Cavaliers (via Miami Heat) select LeBryan Nash, SF, Oklahoma State

LeBryan Nash is Ron Artest. 

He's strong, physical, uses his body well, has a little bit of a crazy streak and can be a terrific scorer when his shot is falling. 

 

28) San Antonio Spurs select Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan

Slotting Hardaway here a year ago would have seemed insane, but he has improved immensely this season and looks like a sure-fire first-round pick. 

 

USA TODAY Sports

29) Oklahoma City Thunder select Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga

Olynyk is the most-improved player in college basketball this season. He has always had the ability to step out and hit the jumper, but he is finally using his size to score from the inside, rebound and play defense.

As a result, his draft stock is soaring. 

 

30) Los Angeles Clippers select Rodney Williams, SF, Minnesota

Williams is a future Dunk Contest champion. His athleticism is second to none, and he would thrive playing in transition with the Clippers. 

 

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