Updated NBA Mock Draft Heading into 2013 Final Four
With the Final Four set, most of the prospects have had their final live-game auditions for NBA teams.
Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be hearing who is staying and who will be declaring for the 2013 draft.
For the guys on Michigan, Syracuse and Louisville (sorry, Wichita State), there still could be multiple games left to move the needle in the right direction.
Until I hear they are declaring, I've purposely left off Vander Blue of Marquette, C.J. Fair of Syracuse, Gary Harris of Michigan State, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh, Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado and Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston of North Carolina.
And yes, we have a new No. 1 after a string of disappointing performances from some of the top prospects on the board.
If the Los Angeles Lakers make the playoffs, 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 slated 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: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, 6'10'', C
Believe it or not, Nerlens Noel's stock has actually gone up over the past few weeks, thanks to other prospects sputtering at the worst possible time.
Nobody out there looks like a No. 1 overall pick.
Before tearing his ACL, Noel had separated himself from the pack. He was exceeding the hype as a shot-blocker, leading the country at 4.4 per game. He was scoring 10.5 points on 59-percent shooting, showing promise as a low-post threat and pick-and-roll target. Noel was also bringing in 9.5 rebounds per game, demonstrating an active motor and a will to compete.
The injury could keep Noel sidelined for the first half of next season, which is essentially nothing when you think big picture. It's not like the Bobcats will be scratching and clawing for a playoff position next season anyway.
With Noel on the shelf, others had a chance to grab the spotlight, but nobody stepped up to the plate.
Though taking an injured player isn't the ideal situation, it's the right play to make when he's the top prospect in his class. Blake Griffin didn't play a second of his rookie season and he turned out to be a pretty damn good pick.
Charlotte should either look to deal this pick or think big picture. Nerlens Noel is the big picture.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5'', SG
Ben McLemore's poor showing down the stretch of the postseason might have cost him a chance at going No. 1 overall.
He just seems to lose confidence all too easily.
It was nice to see him bounce back against Michigan, finishing with 20 points on four three-pointers made, but you didn't notice him in overtime or down the stretch.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but these first-year struggles shouldn't reflect his long-term potential. McLemore is still a top-three prospect in the field, and one the Orlando Magic could use for his shot-making and athleticism.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8'', SF
Georgetown's loss to FGCU shouldn't have an adverse effect on Otto Porter's draft stock.
He's been the most versatile and productive forward throughout his entire sophomore year, averaging 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals on 42.2 percent from downtown.
If he's on the board when the Cleveland Cavaliers are picking, Porter will fill a need on the wing.
4. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett. UNLV, 6'8'', SF/PF
The Phoenix Suns' frontcourt is one of the least athletic lines in the NBA.
Anthony Bennett is the most versatile and athletic forward on the board. His upside justifies using the No. 4 pick on him.
A shoulder injury slowed him down at the end of the season, but he was a force to be reckoned with throughout most of the year. What he lacks in size he makes up for with length and explosive hops that allow him to play above the rim.
Bennett finished his freshman year averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds on 37.5-percent shooting from downtown.
5. Detroit Pistons: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4'', PG/SG
The Detroit Pistons need a point guard and a leader. They'll get two-in-one with Marcus Smart, who can not only hold down floor-general duties but can also score and facilitate evenly.
Smart's freshman season ended early against Oregon in the NCAA tournament, but that doesn't say anything about him as a long-term prospect. He's the top option on the board for a team in need of a new lead guard to make the on-court decisions.
A backcourt of Smart and Brandon Knight would allow each guard to take turns playing on and off the ball, since they both have the versatility to handle the 1 and 2 positions.
6. New Orleans Hornets: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'5'', SG
Victor Oladipo has been a constant in Indiana's lineup all year round. His consistent efforts have boosted his stock, as most of the other prospects have had trouble stringing together two-to-three solid games in a row.
I'm not sure the Hornets are in a position to pass on guaranteed contributors, even though they could really use a big man to hold down the middle. Oladipo would bring this rotation a sense of reliability they don't currently get from Eric Gordon at the off-guard position.
7. Washington Wizards: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6'6'', SG/SF
Shabazz Muhammad's stock might be slipping, but he's too good of a fit in Washington for the Wizards to pass at No. 7.
Though scouts question his ability to make anyone else better, his ability to finish plays could be beneficial to a lineup without reliable shot-makers.
He finished his freshman year averaging nearly 18 points a game in a system that makes it difficult to do so.
The fact that he's 20 years old and not 19 shouldn't mean much in the long run.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'0'', PG
The Timberwolves operate with a "best-player-available" approach for the NBA draft. General manager David Kahn isn't afraid to pull the trigger on the guy he likes, even if it means stacking up at a position that's already occupied (particularly at point guard).
Burke has been the nation's best player, giving defenses nightmares with his ability to break them down off the dribble. His pull-up jumper is money and he's improved his long-range accuracy, yet maintains a pass-first approach as a true facilitator.
He torched Kansas down the stretch of their Elite Eight matchup, demonstrating the leadership qualities every team wants in a floor general.
Burke's talent level exceeds No. 8 overall value, but there just aren't many teams at the top of the lottery in need of a point guard.
If Orlando, which has the No. 2 pick, passes on Burke, he could slide down to Minnesota, a team that loves star-quality point guards regardless of who's already on the roster.
9. Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6'', PG
Michael Carter-Williams has guided the Syracuse Orange to a Final Four appearance in his first year starting as a point guard.
His size and length have just been too much for opposing point guards to handle. He's overwhelming on defense and can do what he pleases once he gets into the paint.
He certainly has top-10 upside considering his physical tools and position. The Kings currently start an undersized scorer at point guard. How about starting a 6'6'' natural facilitator and let Isaiah Thomas provide a jolt off the bench?
10. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1'', C
In case you were wondering, Alex Len's season hasn't ended yet.
Maryland will play in the NIT semis, after he went for 15 points, 13 boards and five blocks in a win over Alabama.
Unfortunately for Len, these types of games have come few and far between.
He'll enter the draft as your typical raw seven-footer who has flashed potential but hasn't proved it. Only the future will tell if he can turn those flashes into a steady stream of productivity.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana, 7'0'', PF/C
Cody Zeller's stock took a late-season hit, which could mean good news for a team drafting late in the lottery.
He struggled against Syracuse's zone, and wasn't much of a factor against Temple, either. A lot of his problems will be solved once he gains the confidence in his jumper, which would allow him to score without having to battle against the stronger big men inside.
Zeller still has an advanced all-around offensive game. Facing the basket with room to operate, there may not be a better bet for two points anywhere else in this field.
Whether Philadelphia brings back Andrew Bynum or not, Zeller would be a fitting half-court option for a team that likes to slow it down.
12. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 6'3'', PG/SG
We've had C.J. McCollum at this spot for a few weeks now, simply because it just makes too much sense.
Portland can use some offensive firepower off its bench, which is exactly what McCollum brings to the table.
He was averaging nearly 24 points per game before breaking his foot in early January, but he should be 100 percent by the time pre-draft festivities roll around.
Though not a natural point guard and undersized for a 2, he projects as a combo guard who can put points on the board in bunches.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, 7'0'', C
Though Gonzaga got bounced early from the NCAA tournament, it shouldn't erase what Kelly Olynyk has accomplished throughout the year.
He averaged an effortless 17.8 points on 62.9-percent shooting, scoring in volume with efficiency on a routine basis for the Zags.
Olynyk is one of the better options in the draft for half-court points because of his ability to score facing the rim or with his back to the basket in the post.
Without a center under contract in 2013-14, Dallas should be targeting a big man.
14. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6'', SF
Glenn Robinson III made some big plays down the stretch against Kansas to put Michigan in position to advance to the Elite Eight, and ultimately the Final Four.
Like we've said all year, he makes a few individual plays a game that flash his future potential. With more freedom in an NBA offense, his scoring chances will increase and his scoring repertoire will expand.
He's a big-time athlete who can finish practically everything at the rim, and his spot-up jump shot has promise.
Robinson also projects favorably on the defensive side of the ball, with the size, strength and length to defend NBA wings.
There's loads of upside here, and if he reaches it, Robinson will end up producing lottery value when it's all said and done.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Adetokunbo, Greece, 6'9'', SF
The buzz surrounding Giannis Adetokunbo is getting louder. And from the tape I've seen, I'm expecting the buzz to continue all the way up until draft day.
At 6'9'', he looks extremely fluid, with the ability to handle the ball and create off the bounce. With this type of size and versatile skill set, his high ceiling is evident.
Adetokunbo is likely to be a trendy name once workouts get going. He's the classic late bloomer—the mysterious prospect who's been hiding under a rock. And everyone wants to be the guy who flips that rock over.
At just 18 years old, he's a raw talent who has been playing against inferior competition in Greece.
But the camera doesn't lie when it shows a power forward with a monstrous wingspan who plays on the perimeter and puts it on the deck.
At this point in time, mid-first round is just a gut feeling. We'll learn more about Adetokunbo as the pre-draft process unfolds.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Jamaal Franklin, San Diego St., 6'5'', SF
Jamaal Franklin finished the year strong despite his Aztecs getting bounced by FGCU in the NCAA tournament Round of 64.
He's been a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy, yet he improved his ability to generate his own half-court offense. Franklin developed a high-post game and added a step-back jumper to his repertoire.
But it's his ability to make plays off the ball that should be Franklin's strength as an NBA role player.
He led his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals doing whatever was necessary on each individual play. He's a guy you insert into the lineup to make everyone else's life a little easier.
Cleveland could use Franklin's athleticism, passing and ability to finish plays.
17. Boston Celtics: Mason Plumlee, Duke, 6'10", C
Mason Plumlee's career at Duke didn't end the way he wanted it to, but he made the most of his senior year from an individual standpoint.
He increased his scoring average from 11.1 to 17.1, expanding his offensive game to the point where he's become a threat facing up or with his back to the basket.
Plumlee is also an underrated rebounder. He pulled in exactly 10 a game, going after balls at their highest point above the rim.
His athleticism, mobility and coordination at the center position are what drives his appeal as an NBA prospect. Boston's frontcourt plays under the rim, for the most part, and could benefit from a few easy baskets a game that a guy like Plumlee can get you.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Rudy Gobert, France, 7'2'', PF
Rudy Gobert won't be participating in this year's Nike Hoops Summit—his age makes him ineligible.
This would have been another opportunity to see him against future NBA players and check on his progression from a year ago.
What we do know is that he didn't shrink. At 7'2'', with a 7'9'' wingspan, Gobert's ability to get up and down the floor could turn him into a serious weapon.
He isn't given the opportunity to create his own offense overseas, nor does he project to be someone that will in the NBA. Gobert should be viewed as a guy who can finish above the rim, run the floor, tip in misses and disrupt opposing offensive sets.
19. Atlanta Hawks: James McAdoo, North Carolina, 6'9'', SF/PF
James McAdoo's season didn't go as planned. He was widely criticized for his decision making, motor and skill set, which hasn't really developed.
But while his approach might be in question, his physical tools remain top of the line.
He's just a sophomore, and time is on his side. Once McAdoo figures out how and when to use his tools, his versatility should present opposing front lines with all sorts of problems.
McAdoo's athleticism at the combo-forward position could help fill the void that Josh Smith is bound to leave in free agency.
20. Utah Jazz: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6'5'', SG
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope closed out the season on a tear, going for 32 points and 13 boards to cap off a year in which he averaged 18.5 points per game.
At 6'5'' with effortless athleticism, he's got the build and physical tools of your NBA 2-guard or wing.
Think of what Wesley Matthews does for the Blazers. Caldwell-Pope will spread the floor with his deep range, defend opposing scoring guards and finish at the rim off cuts and slashes.
Utah could use his athleticism, length, defensive abilities and shot-making skills.
21. Chicago Bulls: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6'6'', SG
Tim Hardaway Jr. has been a big part of Michigan's success throughout the year, acting as the team's top scoring option in half-court sets.
He struggled to shoot the ball in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, but two off-games shouldn't reflect on his long-term projection.
Hardaway's challenge at the next level will be finding a way to contribute when his jumper isn't falling. We saw that problem in Michigan's Elite Eight game against Florida.
But Hardaway's athleticism and ability to score off the ball should be exactly what the Bulls will target with their late first-round pick.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6'8'', SF
Doug McDermott finished his junior year averaging 23.2 points per game on a mind-boggling 49 percent from downtown. His Bluejays lost to Duke in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament, partly because there was too much of a load on McDermott's shoulders.
At the NBA level, McDermott won't be asked to do it all. Coaches will want to use his ridiculously accurate three-ball to spread the floor, so guys like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez can operate in space.
He moves extremely well off the ball, and with NBA point guards quarterbacking the offense, McDermott should be able to get open looks at the next level.
23. New York Knicks: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, 6'11'', C
Gorgui Dieng showed off the entire two-way repertoire in Louisville's rout of Duke.
He was knocking down mid-range jumpers off the drive-and-dish, showing off his agility and dexterity as a finisher at the rim and protecting the goal on the defensive side of the ball.
Dieng finished with 14 points, 11 boards and four blocks playing against Mason Plumlee inside.
He's nearly averaged a double-double on the year (10.2 points and 9.5 boards) while blocking 2.5 shots a game.
Dieng has the size, deceptive athleticism and a much-improved offensive game that should justify first-round value in this draft.
The Knicks could use a backup center, and Dieng's ability to defend the post, score inside and play in the pick-and-pop game would fill New York's need.
24. Indiana Pacers: Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State, 6'5'', PG
Lorenzo Brown was quick to declare for the NBA draft once Temple bounced his squad from the Madness.
Brown struggled from the floor his junior year, which was somewhat surprising considering he broke out as as sophomore.
But he did lead the ACC in assists, and really has all the tools necessary to earn a job in an NBA rotation.
He's a 6'5'' natural point guard with smooth athleticism and a crafty handle. His strength is manipulating the defense with the dribble and creating a play for a teammate.
Brown needs to improve his perimeter stroke and range, but there's upside here if he does.
The Pacers will need a new backup point guard whether they keep D.J. Agustin or not.
25. Denver Nuggets: Adreian Payne, Michigan State, 6'10'', PF
Adreian Payne finally started to look like the NBA prospect his physical tools and natural talent suggest he should be.
He went for 14 points and 10 rebounds in each of Michigan State's final two tournament games, combining for seven blocks as a defensive rim-protector.
Though his jumper was slightly off, he's clearly gained the confidence to also spread the floor as a shooter.
Denver could use a true power forward, with the keyword being "power." Payne is a strong interior presence on both sides of the ball and has the upside worthy of a first-round pick.
26. Los Angeles Clippers: C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State, 6'9'', SF/PF
C.J. Leslie will indeed declare for the 2013 NBA draft after an inconsistent career at North Carolina State (via ESPN).
He's an electric athlete, but scouts have feared there may not be a position for his frail 6'9'', 200-pound body. The best way to maximize Leslie's talents is to pair him with a point guard who can create space for Leslie to score.
Leslie averaged 15.1 points as a junior, doing most of his damage as a face-up threat or finishing off the ball.
One of the reasons the Clippers' top athletes have fared so well in the NBA is because they have a point guard who can put their physical gifts to good use.
Leslie would be a good fit in L.A. for both parties.
27. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis): Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, 6'4'', SG
Archie Goodwin has decided to enter the draft despite being far from NBA-ready (via ESPN).
He's an exceptional athlete who can hit the gap and finish in traffic, but at this point, the rest of his game is limited.
He'll need to improve his range (26.6 percent from three) and decision making (3.1 turnovers as a secondary ball-handler), as he tends to develop tunnel vision and plow into dead ends. But with his physical gifts and size for the guard position, Goodwin has upside for a team patient enough to wait.
As a finished product, Goodwin should look like something in the mold of Tyreke Evans, a combo guard whose strength is breaking down the defense and attacking the basket.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Austin, Baylor, 7'1'', PF
Isaiah Austin has been pretty quiet during the NIT despite his team's success, but NBA teams won't be looking at Austin's stat lines.
He was a top recruit out of high school because of his unique skill set for a 7'1'' prospect. With his measurements and ability to play on the perimeter, you won't find any defensive stoppers capable of contesting his shots.
He's fluid in the post and has a promising three-ball.
Whether he builds the strength (only 220 pounds for a seven-footer) to play inside will determine just how high his ceiling goes.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Dario Saric, Croatia, 6'10'', SF/PF
Dario Saric has been on NBA radars for a few years now despite being only 18 years old. At 6'10'' with the ability to handle the ball, it's not difficult to understand why.
Capable of creating off the bounce and scoring on the move, he's got a skill set you just don't see from prospects his size.
San Antonio loves going overseas and should have a firm grasp on what Saric brings to the table.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Jeff Withey, Kansas, 7'0'', C
Despite Kansas' meltdown against Michigan, Jeff Withey had himself a noteworthy NCAA tournament.
He totaled 17 blocks in three games, averaging 15 points and 10 boards.
Teams that are looking for depth at the 5 position should be targeting Withey in the late first round. He's quicker than he looks and actually has a number of counter moves on the interior that allow him to be used as an offensive option.
Withey may not be the sexiest pick, but his ability to protect the rim and finish around it are valuable services to offer.
31. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Charlotte): Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, 6'1", PG
Oklahoma City should be looking for a backup behind Russell Westbrook who can handle the ball and consistently threaten the defense as a shooter off the dribble.
Reggie Jackson shoots 24.4 percent from downtown. Isiaiah Canaan has shot over 40 percent from behind the arc in three of his four years at Murray State.
He finished his senior year averaging nearly 22 points and 4.3 assists per game. Canaan is an NBA point guard in my eyes, and others who've watched him grow as a leader are likely to feel the same.
32. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Orlando): Shane Larkin, Miami, 5'11'', PG
Shane Larkin had quite the sophomore season, blasting onto NBA radars after leading Miami to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
I'm going to operate under the assumption that Larkin leaves on a high note and enters the NBA draft. The problem for Larkin, with this particular class, is that there are a number of other points guards with higher upsides.
Still, half the teams in the NBA could use a more reliable backup point guard. Larkin's breakdown ability and long-range shooting could be a dangerous weapon for Cleveland off the bench.
33. Cleveland Cavaliers: Allen Crabbe, California, 6'6'', SG/SF
Allen Crabbe had a breakout sophomore year, but he topped it as a junior, averaging over 18 points per game.
He put up 19 and nine in a second-round upset over UNLV before the Syracuse zone shut him down in the third round.
Crabbe is an excellent long-range shooter who can create his own offense in the mid-range. At 6'6'', he's got long arms and excellent size for the 2 or 3.
34. Houston Rockets (via Phoenix): Myck Kabongo, Texas, 6'1'', PG
Myck Kabongo's status is still up in the air, but if he chooses to declare, he'll likely be taken in the early second round.
The NCAA suspended him for most of the year, but he returned for 11 games to average 14.6 points, 5.0 boards and 5.5 assists for Texas.
Kabongo was a top recruit out of high school, but struggled to adjust to the slow pace of the college game. He's a quick, breakdown guard with a pass-first mentality, and with proper mentoring and direction, he could have a solid NBA career.
The Houston Rockets should be looking for another point guard to pair with Jeremy Lin, and the in-state guard could be an enticing second-round option.
35. Detroit Pistons: Solomon Hill, Arizona, 6'7'', SF
Solomon Hill has been one of the constants in Arizona's lineup, putting points on the board from practically every spot on the floor. He's been lights-out from downtown, yet he also shows deceptive agility to score in transition or attack the basket.
NBA teams should love his combination of power and finesse, as he uses his strong, thick frame to initiate contact and his soft touch to finish.
Detroit could use his toughness and three-point stroke at the small-forward position.
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans): Erick Green, Virginia Tech, 6'4'', SG
Erick Green's season ended in a loss to NC State in a game in which he scored 15 points. Believe it or not, this was his second-lowest point total of the season.
Green led the country in scoring at 25 per game, using the long-ball, mid-range game and dribble penetration to carve up opposing ACC defenses.
Scouts question his NBA position, not his talent level. At 6'4'', 185 pounds, Green should have trouble scoring and defending bigger and stronger 2-guards.
If Green can prove he can be a secondary ball-handler and run the point in limited stretches, he should be able to produce first-round value because of his ability to score with the ball in his hands.
37. Washington Wizards: Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, 6'11'', PF/C
Lucas Nogueira's NBA appeal stems from his size and athleticism. At 6'11'', the Brazilian big man projects as a rim-protector and interior finisher.
He measured nearly a 7'5'' wingspan and approximately a 9'2.5'' standing reach, both absurd numbers that should translate on both sides of the ball.
Nogueira is still very raw, and expecting him to contribute offensively in the near future would be somewhat irresponsible. But there's a reason scouts have had their eyes on Nogueira for the past few years.
Washington could use an above-the-rim presence at the center position.
38. Portland Trail Blazers (via Minnesota): Richard Howell, NC State, 6'8'', PF
Richard Howell was North Carolina State's most consistent contributor, finishing his senior year averaging 12.7 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game on 57-percent shooting from the floor.
He went for 14 points and 15 rebounds in his team's loss to Temple in the NCAA tournament.
Howell is a physical presence down low with the ability to pound the glass and finish inside. He's also developed a reliable mid-range jumper in the drive-and-dish and pick-and-pop game.
Teams looking for interior toughness should give Howell a look anywhere in the second round.
39. Sacramento Kings: D.J. Stephens, Memphis, 6'5'', SF
D.J. Stephens totaled 12 blocks in Memphis' two NCAA tournament games, putting on a clinic that showcased his elite NBA athleticism.
Teams won't be targeting Stephens for his basketball skill set; rather, they'll be going after his physical tools and ability to make plays off the ball.
He should be able to give a team a few easy buckets a game as a finisher in the half court and in transition. Sometimes in the second round, athleticism supersedes talent.
40. Memphis Grizzlies (via Toronto): Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, 6'7'', SF
Deshaun Thomas just couldn't get a three to drop in Ohio State's disappointing Elite Eight loss to Wichita State, finishing with 23 points on 0-of-6 from downtown.
It was a perfect portrayal of why Thomas isn't the first-round pick his near-20-point average suggests he should be.
He relies heavily on his ability to connect from the outside, leading to inconsistency and poor offensive possessions.
Still, when he's on, he's tough to slow down. Thomas could be a lot more effective when he's not the No. 1 option. Memphis seems like a good fit for his shot-making skills in a limited role.
41. Philadelphia 76ers: B.J. Young, Arkansas, 6'3'', PG/SG
B.J. Young's stock isn't what it once was. Despite all the talent, Young doesn't have a natural position, which he reminds us of every time he takes the floor. He's a scorer in a point guard's body, and by the looks of it, change isn't coming.
Also, his three-point percentage dipped from 41.3 percent to 22.7 percent, which was pretty disappointing.
However, the second round is the time to forget the details and grab the talent. There's upside here if he finds a niche.
42. Denver Nuggets (via Portland): C.J. Wilcox, Washington, 6'5'', SG
C.J. Wilcox scored 20 in Washington's first-round NIT loss, capping off a junior year in which he averaged 16.8 points per game.
He diversified his perimeter repertoire this season, doing a bit more creating for himself as a shooter. Wilcox has a clean and quick release in spot-up situations and can now put it on the deck and pull up off the bounce.
He's a smooth athlete at 6'5'' and projects as a shot-making specialist to surround a team's ball-dominant scorers.
43. Dallas Mavericks: Carrick Felix, Arizona State, 6'6'', SG/SF
Carrick Felix really had a strong senior season, improving in every facet of the game and landing on NBA radars in the process.
He has excellent physical tools for the next level, standing 6'6'' with big-time athleticism and explosiveness.
Felix averaged 14.6 points and over eight rebounds a game on 50-percent shooting and 37.4 percent from downtown. He's a hard-nosed wing who isn't afraid of contact inside and can play above the rim.
And to top it off, Felix is a top-notch perimeter defender.
He could be a sleeper in this year's NBA draft, and someone who can contribute earlier on in his NBA career.
44. Utah Jazz: Nemanja Nedovic, Serbia, 6'3'', PG/SG
Nemanja Nedovic has been on NBA radars for a couple of years now.
His scary athleticism and explosiveness are what stand out the most. At 6'3'', Nedovic is a violent attacker who can really launch himself at the rim. Though more of a combo guard than a natural facilitator, he's got the handle to create offense as a playmaker both for himself and his teammates.
Nedovic's physical tools were built for the NBA game. There's upside here if he learns how to apply them.
45. Milwaukee Bucks: Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State, 6'7'', SF
Le'Bryan Nash's inconsistency has really put a dent in his draft stock.
He did average 14 points per game, and nobody is questioning his ability to score with the ball in his hands. But it's playing off the ball where Nash really struggles to get going. And at the NBA level, he must learn to play off the ball.
Nash shot 23.5 percent from three as a freshman and 24 percent as a sophomore. Becoming a better catch-and-shoot player would make him a more consistent contributor.
There's upside here if his jumper ever comes around.
46: Los Angeles Lakers: Mike Muscala, Bucknell, 6'11'', PF/C
Mike Muscala's stock took a hit when he looked physically outmatched against Andrew Smith of Butler in the NCAA tournament.
At 6'11'', Muscala still has an NBA skill set with a reliable mid-range jumper and a back-to-the-rim low-post game.
But he was exposed when Butler got physical with him, leading to a poor 4-of-17 showing with all eyes on him.
Regardless, Muscala's size and ability to rebound, defend the post and knock down jumpers are worth a look in the second round.
47. Porland Trail Blazers (via Boston): Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota, 6'8'', PF
Despite an ACL tear as a junior that's diminished his explosiveness, Trevor Mbakwe's toughness and advanced skill set in the post should increase his odds of getting drafted.
He's a good bet for two points when isolated down low, and he's proved he can step out in the mid-range and knock down 16-footers.
There isn't much upside here, but Mbakwe will be an option for teams looking for frontcourt depth and a second-unit post scorer.
48. Atlanta Hawks: Brandon Paul, Illinois, 6'4'', SG
Brandon Paul is one of the more polished scorers in the field, but his dependency on his jumper has led to many inconsistent performances.
He can create his own shot on the perimeter and has the ability to take over games, so teams will likely view him as a potential sixth man down the road.
But it will only work if he improves his shooting consistency and shot selection while showing he can create for teammates as well.
49. Chicago Bulls: Erik Murphy, Florida, 6'10'', PF
Erik Murphy didn't do himself any favors by shooting 0-of-11 from the floor in Florida's Elite Eight loss to Michigan. But his 45.3-percent three-point mark still stands, and at 6'10'', his ability to spread the floor as a stretch-4 should convince an NBA team to select him.
He'll have one responsibility once he reaches the next level, and that's catching and shooting. If he can prove to an NBA team that his jumper is reliable enough to be used in a rotation, that's all it should take for a general manager to pull the trigger.
50. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State, 6'9'', PF
Jackie Carmichael had a huge season for Illinois State, averaging 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds.
At 6'9'', 240 pounds, Carmichael is made up of pure muscle and athleticism. He's a monster on the low block with a smooth post game at the elbow.
Carmichael has the look of a bruising NBA power forward who can bang with the biggest and the baddest. The only thing holding him back is the mid-major label, but his physical tools and skill set are both built for the next level.
51. Orlando Magic (via Golden State): Russ Smith, Louisville, 6'1'', SG
Whether he has a natural position or not might be irrelevant at this point. Russ Smith has led Louisville to its second consecutive Final Four thanks to one of the most active motors in the game.
Smith should be studying a guy like Lou Williams, who at 6'1'' has found a role in the league as a scoring combo guard off the bench.
Smith's blazing speed in transition and quickness in the half court could appeal to a team that lacks backcourt athleticism.
He finished his junior year averaging nearly 19 points and three assists a game and has emerged as arguably the most prolific open-court guard in the nation.
52. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn): Travis Releford, Kansas, 6'6'', SF
Travis Releford's role at the NBA level will be exactly what it is at Kansas. He's the glue guy—Releford makes the extra pass, knocks down the open shot and defends the perimeter.
He's got the physical build to hold down the wing in the pros, with a strong frame, long arms and active hands.
Releford should be able to help add balance to a lineup with his ability to make those around him better. He's the type of guy where the box score doesn't indicate his impact on the game.
53. Washington Wizards (via New York): Patric Young, Florida, 6'9'', PF/C
Patric Young wasn't much of a factor offensively in the NCAA tournament, but his role at the next level won't demand that he scores.
His job will be to clean the glass, protect the rim and finish around it when his number is called.
Teams that lack toughness on the interior should be targeting Young as a potential interior enforcer.
54. Indiana Pacers: Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, 6'4'', PG
Nate Wolters' stock took a hit after Trey Burke badly outplayed him in the NCAA tournament.
It just means the first round is likely off limits for Wolters. The second round is a chance for a team to grab one of the nation's leading scorers and arguably the craftiest point guard on the board.
Wolters' dribble creativity opens up shots for teammates, and his ability to score on the move makes him an offensive threat whenever the ball is in his hands.
He finished the year averaging 22.3 points and 5.8 assists.
55. Memphis Grizzlies*: Cory Jefferson, Baylor, 6'9'', PF
Cory Jefferson put on a show in Baylor's quarterfinal NIT matchup with Providence, finishing with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
He's come a long way from a year ago after only averaging 3.6 points in 10.5 minutes a game. Now, he's a dominant interior presence on both sides of the ball, though he still needs some work converting his opportunities in the post.
Jefferson has one of the strongest frames you'll see at the college level, with big, broad shoulders, a defined upper body and long, cut arms. He's the type of guy you fear will take down the rim with a two-handed slam.
He should attract teams looking for size, toughness and rim-protection at the 4 spot.
Asterisk denotes Grizzlies' second-round pick is protected through the top 55 picks. The pick would belong to the Los Angeles Lakers if it falls after the first 55 selections.
56. Phoenix Suns (via Denver): Pierre Jackson, Baylor, 5'10'', PG
Pierre Jackson has gone wild in this year's NIT tournament, going for 26 points and 16 assists in a three-point win over Arizona State and 20 points and 13 assists in a win over Providence.
At the NBA level, Jackson will be used as a lightning rod off the bench, where he can provide a dull lineup with some instant offense and increased tempo.
If Isaiah Thomas can land a starting gig in the league, Jackson should have his opportunity to earn a rotation spot with a mediocre team.
57. Detroit Pistons (via LAC): Michael Snaer, Florida State, 6'5'', SG
Michael Snaer's role at the NBA level will be as a classic "Three and D" guard who shoots and defends.
He averaged at least 14 points per game and shot no less than 38 percent from downtown over his final two years at Florida State, while maintaining his reputation as an elite perimeter ball-stopper.
Teams who target Snaer will know just what they're getting, which should improve his chances at being called in the 2013 draft.
58. Minnesota Timberwolves (via OKC): Amath M'Baye, Oklahoma, 6'9'', SF
Amath M'Baye immediately announced he'll be entering the NBA draft. And it's tough to blame him.
At Oklahoma, the offense rarely went through M'Baye, who let his scoring opportunities come to him instead of the other way around.
He's a top-notch athlete with long arms and a body and game similar to Moe Harkless of the Orlando Magic. At 6'9'', he could be a tough cover on the perimeter if his offense ever comes around.
M'Baye will be a hit-or-miss prospect at the NBA level.
59. San Antonio Spurs: Mouhammadou Jaiteh, France, 6'10'', PF/C
Mouhammadou Jaiteh was recently chosen to the World Select team and will be competing among future NBA players in the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit. This will be a great chance to see what this kid is made of.
He caught scouts' eyes a few summers ago based on his raw talent and physical tools. At 6'10'', he's got a developed upper body, long, active arms and fluid mobility.
His stock could jump or plummet over the next few months with scouts likely eyeing his every move.
60. Miami Heat: James Southerland, Syracuse, 6'8'', SF
James Southerland has established himself as one of the most lethal three-point threats in the field, but the fact that he's an athletic forward at 6'8'' just adds to his appeal.
He's got a high release with deep, NBA range. Southerland is essentially open even when he's guarded because of his ability to shoot over the top of the defense.
Miami could use shot-makers to surround its ball-dominant scorers. You can count on Southerland to make shots without ever using a dribble or disrupting the offensive flow of an NBA team.