2013 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round March Madness Edition
With March Madness upon us, it's time we rolled out our first two-round 2013 NBA mock draft.
Though there isn't much star power at the top, this is a deep field filled with potential long-term role players.
This is a draft in which the lottery is likely to decide who goes where and when. We had Nerlens Noel as the No. 1 guy before his ACL tear, but not many teams can afford to risk a valuable high draft pick on an injured, raw talent.
If an obvious NBA prospect isn't on the board, chances are it's because we don't feel he'll declare in 2013. This includes Kentucky's Alex Poythress, Arkansas' B.J. Young, Pittsburgh's Steve Adams, Michigan State's Gary Harris and Adreian Payne and Syracuse's C.J. Fair.
Notes for the First Round
If the Lakers make the playoffs, which they're currently slotted to do, the Cleveland Cavaliers will swap places with them using the Miami's Heat's draft pick (which Cleveland acquired in the LeBron James sign-and-trade) as part of the deal that sent Ramon Sessions to Los Angeles.
And once the Lakers get moved to the Miami Heat's drafting spot, that pick goes directly to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Steve Nash sign-and-trade.
Oklahoma City gets Toronto's first-round pick, which the Thunder acquired in the James Harden deal from Houston (originally gained in the Kyle Lowry trade).
If Portland lands in the bottom 12, which it is currently slotted to do, it keeps the rights to its 2013 first-round pick.
The Atlanta Hawks receive Houston's top-14 protected pick, which they obtained from the Brooklyn Nets in the Joe Johnson deal.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5'', SG
The Charlotte Bobcats aren't in any position to take chances, and Kansas' stud freshman Ben McLemore offers the most favorable risk-to-reward ratio.
Worst-case scenario, Charlotte ends up with an elite three-point threat and electric two-way athlete.
Odds are that doesn't happen, however, as we've already seen progression in McLemore's game with every month in his redshirt freshman season. He's improved his overall floor game, knocking down shots off the dribble and attacking the rim off the bounce.
Without any legitimate go-to options in the field, McLemore projects as a potent complementary scorer with long-term starter potential. He's an absolute lock to make an impact at the next level.
2. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4'', PG/SG
Orlando has stockpiled a bunch of wings over the past few years, acquiring Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless and Arron Afflalo through trades. And with Nikola Vucevic's emergence as a second-year center, the next move in the rebuilding process is finding a future point guard.
Marcus Smart has been the most trustworthy lead guard in college basketball, quarterbacking Oklahoma State to a Top 15 national ranking, averaging 15.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
ESPN's Dave Telep, one of the most respected basketball minds in the business, couldn't have tweeted it better:
With this draft why not reduce your risk, take Marcus Smart high call it a day. Upside of many will never outweigh the known w/him.— Dave Telep (@DaveTelep) March 15, 2013
Smart's leadership qualities, along with an NBA-caliber scoring repertoire and a pass-first approach, should be targeted by any team in need of a new floor general.
3. New Orleans Hornets: Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8'', SF/PF
Otto Porter has established himself as one of the better bets in the class, demonstrating his versatility on offense and court coverage on defense.
He's averaging 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds on 42.7 percent from downtown, showing the ability to score from every and any angle in the half court or transition. His length and mobility makes him a threat to get from the perimeter to the rim, while his touch allows him to convert in the mid-range or behind the arc.
Porter would be a perfect fit in New Orleans, who could use a complementary scorer on the wing that can create, finish and defend.
4. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 6'7'', SF/PF
The Phoenix Suns could use an offensive firecracker, and Anthony Bennett's versatility as a perimeter threat and physical interior presence would give the Suns a dynamic frontcourt mismatch.
Bennett's devastating athleticism and power give him star potential—one of a few prospects with that type of upside.
He's averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds on 53.8 percent shooting and 38 percent from downtown. Bennett is a dynamic inside-outside forward who can spread the floor as a shooter or humiliate defenders at the rim.
Think Larry Johnson 2.0.
5. Clevland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, 6'11'', C
If Nerlens Noel doesn't go to Charlotte, it's possible he takes a mini-slide down the board with Phoenix in need of offense, Orlando set at center and Otto Porter's emergence as a top-flight NBA prospect.
Noel would be a fit in Cleveland and an eventual replacement up front for Anderson Varejao.
The Cavs would get solid value with Noel at No. 4, as he has arguably the most upside of any prospect in the field. Cleveland could use frontcourt athleticism and a defensive presence, and Noel would be able to offer both.
6. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6'6'', SG/SF
The Pistons would get excellent value at No. 6 if Shabazz Muhammad is on the board. He can give Detroit a need and a want as a scoring option at the wing.
Muhammad can play off the ball as a three-point threat and slasher, though he still has to work on creating offense.
He projects as a complementary scorer, using movement off the ball to separate from his defender instead of the dribble.
Muhammad has lost some of his luster as premier NBA prospect, but 17.8 points per game on 40 percent from downtown speaks for itself. He is a born scorer with a knack for putting the ball in the hole.
7. Washington Wizards: Cody Zeller, Indiana, 6'11'', PF/C
With their backcourt likely set and no scoring wings left on the board, the Washington Wizards should focus on acquiring a scorer in the post.
Cody Zeller is the most polished offensive big man in the country, with the ability to get points with his back to the rim or facing the hoop.
He's gotten pushed around under the basket at times, but he's only a sophomore and there's room for physical growth.
Zeller is averaging 16.9 points and eight rebounds on 57.3 percent shooting, and he's doing it for a top team in the best conference in America.
8. Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG, 6'5''
The Sacramento Kings were never known for over-thinking draft targets. They go after who they want and ignore the details, like DeMarcus Cousins' attitude or Jimmer Fredette's physical tools.
After back-to-back failed drafts, the Kings have to hit in 2013. Victor Oladipo is a lock for a productive NBA career and would give the Kings a motor they don't currently have in the lineup.
Oladipo has really emerged offensively as a junior, raising his field-goal percentage from 47 percent to 60 percent and his three-point percentage from 20.8 percent to 44 percent. He's also creating his own offense off the dribble as an aggressive attacker and a reliable finisher in traffic.
Oladipo's new-found offense and lockdown defensive tools would be a pleasant addition to Sacramento's erratic rotation.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1'', C
Alex Len has shown promise and upside in isolated situations as a sophomore at Maryland.
He's demonstrated a potentially unguardable post game with a high release point at 7'1'' and the agility and athleticism to create his own shot.
Though Minnesota has Nikola Pekovic, he's missed a lot of games early in career with injuries. Len would also give the Timberwolves an above-the-rim presence and face-up game, something Pekovic doesn't offer.
At No. 9, Len has arguably the most upside of anyone left on the board. Victor Oladipo should be a target, but he might not be available.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, 7'0'', C
Something tells me Andrew Bynum's time in Philadelphia will be short lived.
Without many scoring wings in the pool, Willie Cauley-Stein should be a draft-day target. Don't judge him on what he's done as a freshman at Kentucky, and ignore the 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds. Instead, focus on the 62 percent field-goal clip and 2.1 blocks in only 23 minutes per game.
He's raw offensively, but has shown promise in the post using his length and monster drop steps to create separation and a soft touch on his over-the-shoulder hook shot.
Defensively, he's a space eater and reliable source for rim protection. I'm expecting Cauley-Stein to impact games the way Andre Drummond has for Detroit as a finisher, rebounder and shot-blocker.
11. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Mason Plumlee, Duke, 6'11'', C
Oklahoma City could use some athleticism at the center position and an above-the-rim presence up front.
Mason Plumlee has had a huge senior season, averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds, transforming himself from an off-ball playmaker to an option for points in the post.
Plumlee's mobility for a 5 should make him a glowing target for Russell Westbrook coming off back screens in the half court and in transition on the break.
He's one of the few players in the field who should be able to help his team out right away.
12. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 6'3'', PG/SG
If Portland finishes in the bottom 12, it gets to keep its first-round pick.
This lineup is missing firepower off the bench, which is exactly what C.J. McCollum can bring to the table offensively.
Before breaking his foot in January, McCollum was averaging nearly 24 points per game on 51.6 percent from downtown. He's the most polished scoring guard in the country, with the ability to light it up from the perimeter, create offense off the dribble or run the point as a game manager.
With McCollum's ability to play off the ball, he should be able to slide into the 2-spot and play alongside Damian Lillard. He'll be a fine option for points off the bench.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, 7'0'', C
2013's breakout college basketball star Kelly Olynyk has exploded up draft boards after dominating the West Coast Conference.
He averaged an effortless 17.5 points on 65 percent shooting, scoring in volume with efficiency on a routine basis for Gonzaga.
Olynyk's offensive instincts, advanced post game and deceptive mobility allow him to generate half-court points. There hasn't been anyone this year who's found a way to contain him.
Dallas doesn't currently have a center under contract for 2013-14, and Olynyk at No. 13 would be the top option on the board.
14. Utah Jazz: Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'0'', PG
With a slow, elderly point guard tandem in Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley, Utah should target the lightning quick floor general out of Michigan.
Trey Burke has been spectacular in his sophomore year, averaging 19.2 points and 6.7 assists while leading the country in assist-to-turnover ratio. He's a nightmare for opposing defenses who have struggled to contain his dribble creativity, and with a much improved mid-range jumper, he's become a dual-threat off the pick-and-roll.
In the mid-first round, the Jazz should have the option between Burke and Michael Carter-Williams. At this point, the Michigan product seems like the safer bet.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: James Michael McAdoo, UNC, 6'9'', SF/PF
Milwaukee lacks athleticism and versatility at the 3 and 4, which is exactly what James Michael McAdoo brings to the table.
McAdoo has struggled with efficiency as a sophomore, but his responsibilities won't play to a go-to scoring role at the next level, unlike at North Carolina.
He's at his best making plays off the ball as a finisher, yet poses as a serious face-up mismatch with quick foot speed and agility for a 6'9'' forward.
McAdoo has shown the ability to create his own shot in the mid-range, which is usually half the battle for most raw prospects. Once they start dropping, teams will regret passing on him in the 2013 draft.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6", SF
If the Lakers make the playoffs, the Cavaliers have the option of swapping Miami's pick (which they own) with L.A.'s.
Cleveland lacks athleticism and an offensive threat at the wing, and though Glenn Robinson III isn't NBA-ready, he's got the chance to be a big-time player when he is.
There's a lot of Andre Iguodala in Robinson's game, showing explosive finishing abilities and a promising mid-to-long range jump shot.
This would be an upside pick. Robinson's potential down the road is too appetizing to pass on without any sure things on the board.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6'', PG
With Devin Harris and Jeff Teague impending free agents, and the only other point guard on the roster being Shelvin Mack, the Atlanta Hawks should be ready to snatch up Michael Carter-Williams if his late-season struggles cause him to slip.
Carter-Williams' unique size and length for a natural point guard is what makes him so appealing as a prospect. He tore through non-conference play to start the year, but has regressed in the Big East since teams took away his driving lanes.
However, none of this reflects how high his ceiling is. If Carter-Williams develops a reliable jumper and improves as a decision-maker, he's got the potential to fulfill a long-term starting role.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Rudy Gobert, France, 7'1'', PF
As of right now, Rudy Gobert is essentially a numerical measurement as opposed to a player. At 7'2'' with a nearly unprecedented 7'9'' wingspan, his skill level at this point is somewhat irrelevant.
When you watch him play, you notice his mobility and activity level—not necessarily his talent. With his dimensions, Gobert covers a ton of ground both on the floor and in the air.
He isn't given the opportunity to create his own offense overseas, nor does he project to be someone that will in the NBA. But Gobert should be able to give a team easy buckets in the half court as a finisher, as well as keep balls alive and tip in some misses.
Atlanta doesn't have much length in the lineup and could use Gobert's above-the-rim presence to make life easier on the offensive end.
19. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6'5'', SG
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been one of the hottest guards in the country the last two months of the season. NBA radars picked him up at the start of his freshman year, but he chose to return to improve his scoring efficiency and consistency.
He did just that as a sophomore, averaging 18.5 points per game while raising his three-point percentage from 30.4 percent to 37 percent.
At 6'5'' with smooth athleticism and long arms, Caldwell-Pope also projects as an effective perimeter defender.
He's getting to the line nearly three more times per game than he was last year and looks to be a solid two-way wing who can drive it or shoot it.
Utah needs backcourt help and offensive firepower, and that's what Caldwell-Pope can provide.
20. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Austin, Baylor, 7'0'', PF
Isaiah Austin falls under the "intriguing" category for his 7'0'' size and fluid perimeter game.
He's flashed it all as a freshman; we just haven't seen it in one steady stream.
With a ridiculously high release point, Austin can ultimately get off whatever shot he wants. He's capable of knocking down spot-up three-pointers, scoring in the post or attacking facing up in the mid-range.
Boston could get a young, high-upside asset, something it doesn't have many of at the moment. Austin may not be able to help out right away, but that shouldn't factor into the Celtics' draft strategy.
21. Chicago Bulls: Tim Hardaway, Jr., Michigan, 6'6'', SG
The Bulls have needed a scoring presence at the off-guard slot for a while and should have the opportunity to select Tim Hardaway, Jr. with pick No. 21 in the draft.
Hardaway's game is predicated on perimeter offense, which he struggled to efficiently convert as a sophomore.
But as a junior, Hardaway raised his three-point percentage from 28.3 percent to 37.3 percent. He's been a reliable shot-maker from the perimeter and effective finisher at the rim.
Hardaway's scoring prowess and athleticism would give the Bulls something they don't get from Marco Belinelli and Rip Hamilton.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, 6'5'', SF
The Brooklyn Nets should be coveting someone who can help out right away. Jamaal Franklin falls into the top tier of athletes in the class and would give them an added motor, shot-maker and rebounder on the wing.
He's averaging 9.5 boards at just 6'5'' to go along with 16.7 points per game.
Franklin would bring a new level of athleticism to the 3-spot that Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse wouldn't know anything about.
Check out the video above. It's got to be the highlight of the year.
23. New York Knicks: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, PG, 6'1''
The Knicks will likely be targeting a point guard to team up with Raymond Felton. Coincidentally, Canaan could be his clone.
At 6'1'' with a wide, sturdy frame and a bounce to his step, Canaan is a bowling ball that can penetrate the defense and bounce off contact. He complements his attack game with an accurate three-point s