2013 NBA Mock Draft: Players Who Need a Great Performance in March Madness

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIMarch 22, 2013

2013 NBA Mock Draft: Players Who Need a Great Performance in March Madness

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    The 2013 NCAA Tournament is officially upon us. As a result, NBA scouts and general managers have already taken notice of the prospects that could be joining their respective franchises in just three months.

    The question is, which players need great performances in March Madness to help improve their draft stock?

    Some prospects need to salvage their draft stock after their reputations have taken a hit due to a lack of victories or individual production. Others have the necessary upside, but scouts remain uncertain about whether or not that potential can be met.

    Let's evaluate some of these prospects and ideal fits before the madness creates a prisoner of the moment mentality.

     

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1. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 24.24 PER, 16.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG

     

    Pros

    Superb athlete; attacks the basket with fearless aggression; finishes well in traffic; elite three-point shooter; crashes the glass well; handles the ball better than expected; active hands on defense.

     

    Cons

    Doesn't always dominate the way his talent suggests he should; strong player, but he must bulk up to play at NBA level; can become passive and disappear.

     

    Why It Works

    The Charlotte Bobcats have created a potentially elite perimeter duo with point guard Kemba Walker and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Walker is a dynamic playmaker, while MKG is a phenomenal defender.

    Why not create a trinity with shooting guard Ben McLemore?

    Charlotte currently ranks 26th in both three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals made. McLemore would be the ultimate cure-all, as his ability to catch-and-shoot would work perfectly alongside Walker's drive-and-dish tendencies.

    If that's not a good enough reason, McLemore is the best player on the board for a team in severe need of help.

2. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 24.23 PER, 15.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 2.9 SPG

     

    Pros

    Excellent size for the point guard position; very strong and plays physically; excellent finisher around the basket; powerful dribble-penetrator; possesses quickness to take opponent off of the bounce; very active defender with disruptive hands; natural leader and respected character.

     

    Cons

    Tweener; very poor jump shooter.

     

    Why It Works

    Nerlens Noel would have made sense here if it wasn't for the shocking rise of rebounding machine Nikola Vucevic. Due to his emergence, however, the Orlando Magic must look for perimeter aid.

    Where better to go for help in that area than combo guard Marcus Smart of the Oklahoma State Cowboys?

    Jameer Nelson is a high-quality point guard that has proven capable of running Orlando's offense into the playoffs. With that being said, Nelson is also 31 years old and there is no telling how much longer his prime will last.

    General manager Rob Hennigan comes from an organization that values athletic point guards. Smart fits that bill, and he has proven to be a natural leader while attending Oklahoma State.

    Smart is the type of player that a team can build around.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 27.88 PER, 16.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 42.7% 3PT

     

    Pros

    True leader and floor general; lacks a glaring weakness in terms of skill; very long and athletic player; superb mid-range jump shot; shoots well off of the dribble; excellent three-point shooter; elite all-around defender; sees the floor well; solid facilitating abilities.

     

    Cons

    Must bulk up to defend the post at the next level; tendency to be too selfless; not an explosive athlete.

     

    Why It Works

    Cleveland Cavaliers fans want the team to draft Nerlens Noel, secretly because they're holding out hope for LeBron James to return to where he started in 2014. The question is, will Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers actually refrain from drafting a small forward in order to pursue LeBron?

    That would be very unlikely.

    This isn't to suggest that the Cavaliers will not be in the running for James, but instead, it acknowledges what they've learned since his departure. If you have no contingency plan, there will be nothing but negative repercussions.

    With or without him, Cleveland still needs help at small forward.

    Kyrie Irving is running point, Dion Waiters is at shooting guard and Tristan Thompson plays power forward. All three of those players are still very young and are considered to be a big part of Cleveland's future.

    Furthermore, center Tyler Zeller was a first-round draft choice in 2012. Anderson Varejao, meanwhile, was not dealt at the trade deadline, thus suggesting that Cleveland remains committed to their injured star.

    Selecting a do-it-all small forward is the only logical move.

4. Detroit Pistons: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Hoosiers

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 29.09 PER, 13.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.2 SPG

     

    Pros

    Elite defender; once-in-a-lifetime athlete; superstar caliber motor,; two steps ahead of everyone else on the court; effortlessly explosive leaping ability; tough, rugged player; tenacious on both ends of the floor; rapidly improving in all phases of the game.

     

    Cons

    Doesn't always take charge in late-game situations. Is he a star who picks his spots or one who takes over a game?

     

    Why It Works

    The Detroit Pistons are a team that is in dire need of a point guard, but the fact of the matter is, Michigan's Trey Burke has yet to prove that he's worthy of being a top-5 draft choice.

    Drafting a superstar in the making is a nice fallback plan.

    Victor Oladipo is one of the most incredible pure athletes in the history of college basketball. He glides across the floor, explodes off of the ground and appears to do it all with ease.

    To go along with those physical gifts, Oladipo is also so far ahead of the competition from a mental standpoint that it becomes unfair.

    Whether or not he'll pan out is unclear, but Oladipo has every trait of a superstar. He dominates defensively, possesses elite athleticism and displays the mental traits that few are blessed with.

    Detroit could be finding their franchise player with this one.

5. Phoenix Suns: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 18

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 27.09 PER, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG

     

    Pros

    Very long player with a 7'4" wingspan; elite athlete; runs the floor like a guard; thrives on defense based off of anticipation, not athleticism; defends the post well; passes well out of the post and from the top of the key; swift dive off of screens; rapidly developing offensive game.

     

    Cons

    Coming off of a severe knee injury; must bulk up in order to thrive as an interior player; could stand to add a face-up game; poor free throw shooter.

     

    Why It Works

    To put it simply, absolutely no one on the Phoenix Suns' roster is irreplaceable. This is a franchise in turmoil and everyone should be considered expendable.

    A great step in the right direction would be to find an anchor to improve the NBA's 22nd-ranked scoring defense.

    Noel is bona fide star, as he can alter the game without having the ball in his hands offensively. With that being said, he has the capacity to develop into a 20 point and 10 rebound per evening type of player.

    Paired with his Defensive Player of the Year upside, Noel is what you call an elite prospect. The Suns would take a giant step towards recovery by drafting him.

6. New Orleans Hornets: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA Bruins*

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 21.99 PER, 17.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 40.0% 3PT

     

    Pros

    Powerful athleticism; born winner; natural leader; strong-bodied penetrator with elite finishing skills; sees the floor well; better than expected range from beyond the arc; excellent motor; great length with a 6'11" wingspan.

     

    Cons

    Must develop his right hand; struggles to shoot off of the dribble.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    There are concerns that Shabazz Muhammad is a one-dimensional player who cannot facilitate. It's important that he proves that he is an elite athlete and can complement his scoring with distributing skills.

    Doing so could push Muhammad back into the conversation for the top pick.

     

    Why It Works

    The New Orleans Hornets could stand to add a center to work alongside Anthony Davis. By drafting Shabazz Muhammad, however, they'd have an insurance policy for Eric Gordon and his injury woes.

    Although Muhammad is not a shooting guard, he's an elite slasher that can provide a scoring spark should Gordon go down with yet another injury.

    Furthermore, the Hornets could go small-ball with Muhammad on the floor. Due to his ability to slash and score, they can place Ryan Anderson at the 4 and Anthony Davis at the 5 if they run an up-tempo style.

    Al-Farouq Aminu has proven to be a superb rebounder, and center is a greater need, but Muhammad is a no-brainer at this point in the draft.

7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, Michigan Wolverines*

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 20

    Experience: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages

    29.76 PER, 19.2 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.6 SPG

     

    Pros

    Outstanding court vision; poised player and floor general; commands the respect of his teammates; knows what pass to make and when to make it; shockingly responsible with a high usage rate; beautiful jump shot; disruptive defender.

     

    Cons

    Active, but not an elite defender; gambles on the passing lanes. Is he a star or a quality point guard?

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    In terms of collegiate players, the common belief is that Trey Burke is the best point guard in the nation. He won the Big Ten Player of the Year award and is a finalist for the Wooden Award.

    During the NCAA Tournament, however, Burke must prove that he can make the leap to the NBA. Leading Michigan past VCU in the Round of 32 could go a long way towards doing that.

     

    Why It Works

    One way or another, the Sacramento Kings are going to be under new ownership. With this in mind, one can't help but imagine that they will go with the most in-demand position in basketball during the first round.

    Fortunately for the Kings, future franchise player Trey Burke is here to work the pick-and-roll with DeMarcus Cousins.

    Burke has emerged as one of the best players in the nation. He has a phenomenal mid-range game, works well off of the bounce and facilitates with poise, maturity and decisiveness.

    With all due respect to the Kings' currently overloaded crop of lead guards, Burke blows the rest of the field away.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Harris, Michigan State Spartans

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 18

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.08 PER, 12.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.4 SPG

     

    Pros

    Plays a physical brand of basketball; stronger than his frame would suggest; excellent jump shooter from mid and three-point range; handles the ball well; noteworthy athlete; always looking to make a play; long and active defender.

     

    Cons

    Trouble with a minor shoulder injury.; can be a streaky shooter at times; untapped potential that would be best met with another year in school.

     

    Why It Works

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA. They're 30th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage this season, and they are the only team that is currently shooting below 30.0 percent.

    Adding an off-guard who can convert from beyond the arc is the only option.

    Not only can Gary Harris shoot the lights out, but he's an excellent defender. Playing alongside Andrei Kirilenko, Harirs could help Minnesota reach the defensive potential that head coach Rick Adelman imagines for them.

    Harris would be the perfect fit in Minnesota.

9. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett, UNLV Rebels

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 28.24 PER, 26.9 MPG, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG

     

    Pros

    Pure and utter power; massive wingspan and wide frame; solid jump shooter with range beyond the three-point line; crashes the boards well; has improved as a shot blocker as the season progressed; surprisingly elite athleticism.

     

    Cons

    Tendency to disappear during big games; lacks finesse in the post; relies heavily upon his power down low.

     

    Why It Works

    The Washington Wizards are a young team with a solid roster. They have their backcourt of the future, have built a deep frontcourt and possess a fair mix of youth and veteran prowess.

    At this stage of the game, it's all about taking the best player available.

    Anthony Bennett would fit in well with the Wizards, as he is more than capable of running in transition with John Wall. Furthermore, he'd provide Washington with a powerful interior presence.

    By studying under Nene, Bennett could reach his All-NBA caliber potential.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers*

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    Position: Center

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 30.93 PER, 16.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.1 SPG

     

    Pros

    High character player; outstanding motor with a never-say-die attitude; very skilled around the basket; runs the floor well; can score with both hands; developing face-up game.

     

    Cons

    Desperately needs to add bulk to his frame; won't be able to execute physical style without muscle.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    Cody Zeller must remind scouts that he, not Alex Len, is the best center not named Nerlens Noel. With Kelly Olynyk's rapid rise up draft boards, that becomes an even more urgent need.

     

    Why It Works

    The Philadelphia 76ers are going to have a tough decision to make this offseason in regards to Andrew Bynum. Bynum has yet to play a single game in their uniform and has now undergone yet another knee surgery.

    Regardless of what they do with Bynum, the Sixers must create depth via the draft.

    Whether or not Cody Zeller will become the star Bynum has proven to be is debatable. What is known, however, is that Zeller is a character player with a superb motor.

    For a 76ers team that flat out gave up on this season, a player who never quits is exactly what they need.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 24.04 PER, 26.5 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.9 BPG

     

    Pros

    Ideal size and frame for the NBA; skilled around the basket as a passer and scorer; quality face-up game; can pass out of the post; capable with both hands.

     

    Cons

    Must add muscle to his frame; has not taken control in the manner that his talent suggests; very passive player.

     

    Why It Works

    Until he develops an aggressive pattern or mean streak, Alex Len is not going to become a superstar. Fortunately for Len, all of his shortcomings can be covered up by joining the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The main reason for that is the fact that Len's greatest strength is OKC's most significant weakness.

    The Thunder are an elite offensive team, but they have absolutely nothing in the form of a back-to-the-basket presence. By drafting Len, however, they'd have a player who can keep a defense honest.

    Len's ability to facilitate and score out of the post would change everything for the Thunder.

12. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Orange*

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 21.25 PER, 12.0 PPG, 7.7 APG, 4.8 RPG, 2.7 SPG

     

    Pros

    Unparalleled size at his position at 6'5"; excellent ball handler; superb facilitating abilities; thrives in the drive-and-dish; very quick off of the bounce; utilizes length and height to pick up steals.

     

    Cons

    Weak frame for his height; absolutely horrendous three-point shooter; rattled easily in late-game situations.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    Michael Carter-Williams has all of the star potential in the world as a 6'5" point guard. Unfortunately, he consistently falls apart during late-game situations.

    MCW must prove that he can handle the pressure under the bright lights in order to justify a lottery pick selection.

     

    Why It Works

    If there is anything that the Dallas Mavericks need, it's a point guard. Darren Collison is solid, but he's hardly the star that Mark Cuban so desperately desires.

    As a 6'5" elite facilitator, Michael Carter-Williams could fit that billing.

    MCW would be able to step in from the opening tip, creating the potential for an elite pick-and-pop tandem with Dirk Nowitzki. More importantly, he can be the franchise point guard that Rick Carlisle needs to mold his offense around.

    Whether or not Carter-Williams will reach his potential is questionable, but there are few coaches as great as Carlisle for the job.

13. Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland): Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils*

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 23

    Class: Senior

    2012-13 Season Averages

    26.48 PER, 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 BPG, 1.0 SPG

     

    Pros

    Elite prospect with his back to the basket; mobile player who can run in transition; respected energy player; high motor; crashes the boards hard and defends the rim well.

     

    Cons

    Needs to add muscle to play in the post; can disappear under the bright lights.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    Midway through the 2012-13 college basketball season, Mason Plumlee was viewed as the runaway favorite for the National Player of the Year awards. Now, it appears as if Plumlee has become an afterthought.

    A dominant performance throughout March Madness could go a long way towards restoring his reputation and improving his draft stock.

     

    Why It Works

    The Charlotte Bobcats can create their perimeter of the future by drafting Ben McLemore to pair with Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The next step in their progression would be to find a reliable low-post presence.

    It's too early to give up on Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens, which is why the team will improve their standing at the power forward position.

    By drafting Mason Plumlee of Duke, the Bobcats would have a budding back-to-the-basket scorer. This would add a new dimension to an offense with the potential for greatness.

    More importantly, Plumlee is capable of running in transition.

14. Utah Jazz: Alex Poythress, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 20.16 PER, 11.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 42.4% 3PT

     

    Pros

    Very long and supremely athletic; powerful presence on defense; can defend both forward spots and the 2 in a pinch; attacks the glass well; consistent shooter with his feet set.

     

    Cons

    Disappears at times very passive player; efficiency not met by a sense of urgency; must improve his ability to shoot off of the dribble.

     

    Why It Works

    The Utah Jazz are a much-improved team when it comes to their perimeter play. Mo Williams has been superb when healthy, Randy Foye is shooting the lights out and Gordon Hayward has made tremendous strides.

    To cap it all off, it would behoove the Jazz to add a small forward that is capable of playing lockdown defense.

    Alex Poythress and the Kentucky Wildcats may have experienced a devastating exit from the NIT, but he remains the ideal fit here. His athleticism and rangy defense would serve well on a team with an elite interior.

    How far along he comes offensively is a question for another day.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Glenn Robinson III, Michigan Wolverines*

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 19.19 PER, 10.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.0 SPG

     

    Pros

    Outstanding athlete; explosive leaper; high basketball IQ; son of an NBA legend; long player with great range on defense; effortless scoring ability.

     

    Cons

    Must improve his consistency as a jump shooter; can disappear at times; not always aggressive.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    Glenn Robinson III is an elite athlete with the potential to be one of the NBA's elite slashers. With that being said, he's failed to display the necessary aggression to thrive as a scorer.

    In the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Robinson III could quiet the critics by displaying such tenacity.

     

    Why It Works

    As has been the case for quite some time, the Milwaukee Bucks are in need of a small forward. They're both undersized at the position and possess a lack of depth.

    Who better to draft than the son of one of the Bucks' all-time greatest players?

    Glenn Robinson III is a big time athlete coming from the University of Michigan. He is following in the footsteps of his father, Glenn Robinson Jr., in providing a potentially elite scoring punch.

    The question is, can GR3 reach his upside? In Milwaukee, he'd have a chance to do so.

16. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Suns, from Lakers): Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs*

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    Position: Center

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 36.57 PER, 25.7 MPG, 17.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 BPG, 65.2% FG

     

    Pros

    One of the most efficient players in the nation; true 7'0" big man with a versatile game; scores with both hands; capable with his back to-the-basket; runs the floor well in transition; excellent motor and energy.

     

    Cons

    Must bulk up; could crash the glass harder; rather inexperienced.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    Kelly Olynyk is an intriguing prospect due to his size, frame, tenacity and efficiency. Whether or not he will be able to thrive at the NBA level, however, is unclear.

    Olynyk could quiet the critics by leading the Zags to a deep turnament run.

     

    Why It Works

    The Cleveland Cavaliers landed an all-around perimeter threat in Georgetown's Otto Porter earlier in this mock. To complement him, the Cavaliers should bring in an energy player at the 5 with big time potential.

    Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk can be that guy.

    Most casual fans view Olynyk as the best player on a mid-major team. Oftentimes, that means he has nothing to offer.

    The fact of the matter is, Olynyk has all of the traits that can be found in a quality NBA center. This is a special young man with the upside for greatness.

17. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, California Golden Bears*

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 23.07 PER, 18.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG

     

    Pros

    Rangy shooter; capable from beyond the arc; elite rebounder for his position; active defender; excellent length; all about positioning.

     

    Cons

    Not an elite athlete; shooting percentages are down in 2012-13.  

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    After playing a key role in California's upset of No. 5 UNLV, Allen Crabbe has proven capable of handling the spotlight. The key moving forward will be for Crabbe to put up yet another quality performance.

    If he does, this pick will be justified.

     

    Why It Works

    The Chicago Bulls still need a shooting guard that can shoot of the catch and create his own shot. While that player might be hard to come by, it's rather mind-boggling that the Bulls still lack their greatest need.

    By drafting Allen Crabbe of the California Golden Bears, however, the Bulls could cure those woes.

    Crabbe is an excellent jump shooter with great length. As Tom Thibodeau would approve of, Crabbe is also a scrappy defender with active hands.

    Crabbe is the perfect fit in Chicago.

18. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville Cardinals*

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    Position: Center

    Age: 23

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 23.60 PER, 10.0 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.5 BPG, 1.3 SPG

     

    Pros

    A true defensive anchor; intimidating presence in the paint; constantly improving rebounder; very athletic big man with explosive leaping ability; extraordinary 7'4" wingspan; selfless contributor.

     

    Cons

    Has yet to develop a back-to-the-basket game; old for his class at age 23; struggled with a wrist injury in 2012-13.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    In terms of raw ability and potential, Gorgui Dieng may be the best interior defender not named Nerlens Noel. With that being said, Dieng missed a significant amount of time this season and his reputation suffered because of it.

    Stepping up to anchor Louisville's elite defense could go a long way towards pushing Dieng up draft boards everywhere.

     

    Why It Works

    The Boston Celtics have a deep perimeter and a quality interior tandem in Jared Sullinger and Kevin Garnett. With that being said, Boston's elite defensive unit lacks a true rim protector.

    Gorgui Dieng could step in from Day 1 to improve the Celtics in that regard.

    Dieng is the perfect blend between patience and activity. He's excellent at defending the post and thrives in altering shots.

    This would be a perfect fit for the Louisville big man.

19. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 22.81 PER, 23.6 MPG, 8.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.1 BPG

     

    Pros

    Elite athlete; explosive leaper; 7'0" monster in the paint; dominant shot blocker; continues to improve with each passing performance.

     

    Cons

    Underwhelming rebounder; in desperate need of bulk. 

     

    Why It Works

    The Atlanta Hawks have a franchise point guard in Jeff Teague and an All-Star power forward in Al Horford. The Hawks also have a sharpshooter in rookie John Jenkins and a versatile scorer in Lou Williams.

    The next logical step is to build the frontcourt with a rim protector. Willie Cauley-Stein can be just that.

    Cauley-Stein may stay in school, but if he comes out, he'll certainly be a hot commodity. Due to the rise of other centers, however, Atlanta could luck out and land the elite athlete.

    This is the type of rim-protecting athlete that could enable Horford to make a full-time move to the 4.

20. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): B.J. Young, Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 20.38 PER, 15.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.4 APG

     

    Pros

    Ideal size at 6'3"; very quick off of the bounce; always in attack mode; thrives in big games; explosive athlete; sees the floor well; powerful player.

     

    Cons

    Severe drop in three-point shooting from 2011-12 (41.3) to 2012-13 (22.7); jump shooting is a concern; could stand to add muscle; could be more of a combo guard.

     

    Why It Works

    Mo Williams is a high-quality point guard that can lead the Utah Jazz to a postseason berth. With that being said, Williams is also 30 years old and is coming off of three consecutive seasons in which injuries have been an issue.

    Drafting point guard B.J. Young would not only provide Utah with a point guard for the future, but it would provide a protege for Williams.

    Young possesses excellent size and an uncanny ability to attack the basket off of the bounce. He's a menace in the open court, works well off of screens and is a budding facilitator.

    Young could push Utah over the edge in future seasons.

21. Atlanta Hawks: Dario Saric, Croatia

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 18

    Class: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages: N/A

     

    Pros

    Very big for his position at 6'10"; handles the ball well and is very skilled; sees the court beautifully; crashes the glass well.

     

    Cons

    Inconsistent shooter from beyond the arc; must bulk up to play in the NBA; not a supreme athlete.

     

    Why It Works

    Chances are, the Atlanta Hawks will be looking to build for the future through the draft. Due to general manager Danny Ferry's history with the San Antonio Spurs, going international is a likely route.

    Dario Saric of Croatia is an attractive option.

    Saric is a 6'10" small forward that runs the floor well and has experience in international competition. He's more of a point forward than a slashing wing, but he serves his purpose in this scenario.

    Atlanta could use a 3, and Saric makes the most sense here.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Isaiah Austin, Baylor Bears

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 19.33 PER, 13.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.6 BPG

     

    Pros

    7'0" forward with elite athleticism; extraordinary wingspan; three-point range; handles the ball well; elite shot blocker; can defend the perimeter off of rotations. 

     

    Cons

    Very thin; unclear what position he's meant to play; does not always dominate in the way his size and ability suggests; unpolished in the post.

     

    Why It Works

    The Brooklyn Nets need to decide upon who they will move forward with as their franchise power forward. In order to decide that, the Nets must go through the draft.

    Baylor's Isaiah Austin may have seen his stock take a hit due to the team missing the NCAA Tournament, but he'd be the perfect fit in Brooklyn.

    Austin can run the floor in transition, protect the rim and step out for a three-pointer. As a seven-footer with elite athleticism, Austin has legitimate star potential.

    There's a strong possibility that he rises up draft boards come June. If he doesn't, Brooklyn should be crossing their fingers for this.

23. New York Knicks: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Senior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG

     

    Pros

    Elite scorer with deep three-point range; thrives under pressure; active on both ends with quick hands; can take an opponent off of the dribble; capable shooter off of the dribble.

     

    Cons

    Undersized at 6'3"; has spent a significant amount of time out due to injury; must bulk up; not an elite athlete; unclear what position he's meant to play.

     

    Why It Works

    C.J. McCollum is an elite prospect that should be going in the lottery. Unfortunately, he's played just 12 games in 2012-13 and has fallen off of the radar in favor of other rising shooting guards.

    This is perfect for the New York Knicks, as they're in dire need of young ball handlers.

    McCollum would fit right in with the Knicks, as he's a lethal three-point shooter that can take it off of the bounce. This will offer the Knicks yet another option in their rotation of combo guards.

    The difference for McCollum will be his youth.

24. Indiana Pacers: Archie Goodwin, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 18

    Class: Freshman

    2012-13 Season Averages: 16.40 PER, 14.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.1 SPG

     

    Pros

    Quality size with a massive 6'10" wingspan; thrives in penetrating off of the dribble and finishing at the basket; very good ball handler; exceptionally competitive player; smooth and explosive athlete.

     

    Cons

    Very poor three-point shooter; can get frustrated mid-game and allow it to effect his play; must improve his jump shot.

     

    Why It Works

    Archie Goodwin should be going in the lottery. He's one of the best shooting guards in the nation, has skills that translate to the NBA and has an undeniable tendency to score in late-game situations.

    Fortunately for the Indiana Pacers, Goodwin is falling right into their laps.

    Lance Stephenson has emerged as a quality player, but he's hardly the offensive threat that Goodwin could become. Finding a balance between the two could create the perimeter pairing needed to take the pressure off of Paul George.

    Goodwin is a steal at this point.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Jeff Withey, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Center

    Age: 23

    Class: Senior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 27.23 PER, 13.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 3.8 BPG

     

    Pros

    Extraordinary shot blocker; true 7'0" big man with excellent length; runs the floor well; developing a solid post game; scores well with both hands around the basket.

     

    Cons

    Underwhelming rebounder; can become predictable in the post; must add muscle to his permitting frame.

     

    Why It Works

    The Los Angeles Clippers are a team with extraordinary depth. With that being said, they're also a team that lacks a true low-post presence.

    With this in mind, it's imperative that they add the missing piece to their puzzle by drafting center Jeff Withey.

    Withey would serve as a last line of defense, as all of his shot blocking traits translate to the NBA. He's a patient player with extraordinary length and impeccable timing.

    As a member of the Clippers, Withey would work well out of the post and add a new dimension to their offense.

26. Denver Nuggets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia Bulldogs

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 27.62 PER, 18.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, 37.3% 3PT

     

    Pros

    SEC Player of the Year; big time scorer with deep three-point range; elite rebounder for his position; high-quality ball handler with distributing skills; active hands on defense.

     

    Cons

    Although a solid ball handler, can be turnover prone; lacks an in-between game; could stand to bulk up.

     

    Why It Works

    The Denver Nuggets are an elite offensive unit due to their ability to get out in transition and attack the basket. With that being said, they struggle in the half court due to their 25th ranked three-point shooting.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would go a long way towards curing said woes.

    Caldwell-Pope is an aggressive scorer that can get to the basket or step back for a three-point shot. While he lacks an in-between game, KCP is the type of player that can thrive in the Nuggets' system.

    Denver needs a shooter and Caldwell-Pope is that guy.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis): James Michael McAdoo, UNC Tar Heels*

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    Position: Combo Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    2012-13 Season Averages: 17.08 PER, 14.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.4 SPG

     

    Pros

    Tantalizing athlete; great 7'1" wingspan; rebounds well; plays active defense with great hands; runs well in transition; finishes well around the basket; very quick; improving face-up and back-to-the-basket games.

     

    Cons

    Non-factor as a shot blocker; undersized for his position; must add muscle; tweener, but not quite athletic enough to play the 3.

     

    What He Needs to Prove in NCAA Tournament

    James Michael McAdoo took a nosedive down most draft boards, as he and the North Carolina Tar Heels both struggled this season. In order to restore his status as a lottery pick, he'll need to step up.

    Until then, he's falling into Minnesota's lap.

     

    Why It Works

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team with remarkable depth at most positions. The area they struggle, however, is with offensive production from their reserve big men.

    James Michael McAdoo is a low-risk, high-reward way of curing that.

    McAdoo is a lottery pick talent, which suggests that he's deserving of this draft choice. Minny will not be wasting their time on a player that could emerge as an All-Star, in the best case scenario.

    At worst, he's a high-quality athlete to bring in for pinch situations.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 22

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 19.54 PER, 12.1 PPG, 7.2 APG, 4.3 RPG, 2.0 SPG

     

    Pros

    Extraordinary size as a 6'5" point guard; extraordinary dribble-penetrator; top-tier facilitator; works the drive-and-dish well; very quick; performing at an elite level defensively in recent weeks.

     

    Cons

    Old for his class; must improve his jump shot; could stand to bulk up.

     

    Why It Works

    The Oklahoma City Thunder addressed their biggest need by drafting center Alex Len earlier in this mock. Next up will be addressing the absence of a reliable reserve point guard behind Russell Westbrook.

    Drafting Lorenzo Brown could go a long way towards curing those woes and landing a draft piece for the future.

    Brown has been playing at an elite defensive level in recent games, dominating the likes of Virginia's Joe Harris and Virginia Tech's Erick Green. If this can become a trend, the Thunder will have found a player who could significantly improve their defense.

    Perhaps a backcourt of Brown and Russell Westbrook is feasible for the future.

29. San Antonio Spurs: Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's Gaels

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 22

    Class: Senior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 21.58 PER, 16.0 PPG, 6.4 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 38.5% 3PT

     

    Pros

    International experience for Australia; great size for the point; can play off-ball; lethal three-point shooter; great feel for the game; genuine leader; elite pick-and-roll facilitator; aggressive.

     

    Cons

    Hardly an elite athlete; could struggle with his lateral quickness; can force the issue during late-game situations.

     

    Why It Works

    The San Antonio Spurs are a team that values international prospects that can shoot and embrace a team-oriented style of play. With Manu Ginobili set to be a 35-year-old free agent, drafting for the future breeds the need for a replacement.

    Matthew Dellavedova fits both of those bills.

    Dellavedova is a 6'4" combo guard that is elite with the pick-and roll and is a dangerous three-point shooter. He has great size for the point and is more than capable of working off-ball.

    If San Antonio is looking for Ginobili's replacement, Dellavedova could be the perfect player.

30. Phoenix Suns (via Cavs, from Heat): Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State Aztecs

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    2012-13 Season Averages: 23.87 PER, 16.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.5 SPG

     

    Pros

    Elite athlete; outstanding slasher with extraordinary finishing abilities; elite rebounder; quality size with extraordinary length; a true competitor.

     

    Cons

    Hasn't been playing shooting guard for the Aztecs; very inconsistent jump shot; must expand range; shot selection must improve; needs to add muscle, although strong already.

     

    Why It Works

    The Phoenix Suns found their center of the future with Nerlens Noel. The next step is to find a source of offense that can attack the basket.

    There are few players better than Jamaal Franklin in that regard.

    Franklin is an elite slasher that attacks with power and poise. He's also an elite rebounder and a legitimate game-changer with his ability to rise above defenders and throw down a highlight-reel dunk.

    Franklin will need to improve his jump shot in order to truly make his mark in the NBA, but the raw ability is there.