2013 NBA Mock Draft: Post-2013 NCAA Tournament Edition
Michigan and Louisville impressed Monday night as the two best college basketball teams in America—but the NBA draft doesn't necessarily reflect team success.
Throughout March Madness, there were a number of NBA prospects who really shined under the lights. Others shriveled. One actually crept out from under a rock and introduced himself.
Over the next few weeks, we'll know more about who is staying in school and who is leaving for the NBA. Until then, let's take a new look at the NBA draft, post-NCAA tournament edition.
Until I hear they are declaring, I've purposely left off a number of prospects. Coach Roy Williams recently hinted that North Carolina is "much closer to having all of them back", referring to James Michael McAdoo (projected late first round), Reggie Bullock (projected second round) and P.J. Hairston (projected second round).
The following players could all improve their draft stocks with another year in school: Vander Blue (projected second round) of Marquette, C.J. Fair (projected second round) of Syracuse, Gary Harris (projected mid-to-late first round) and Adreian Payne (projected second round) of Michigan State and Spencer Dinwiddie (projected second round) of Colorado.
Remember, this is a fluid process and the field of eligible prospects is subject to change at any moment.
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, 6'11'', PF/C
I still feel strongly about Nerlens Noel being the top prospect on the board.
The only question is whether the team that wins the lottery will risk taking an injured player with the No. 1 pick.
Noel's stock has actually gone up over the past few weeks with his competing prospects sputtering at the worst possible time.
At full strength, which you have to assume he'll get to, Noel has the chance to make an impact on a franchise that no other prospect is capable of making.
Without any short-term answers, Noel makes sense as a long-term investment.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5'', SG
Though Ben McLemore might have played poorly down the stretch of the postseason, it shouldn't reflect his long-term outlook as a prospect.
There isn't a better mix of perimeter shooting, athleticism and defensive potential on the board. He needs to improve his ability to create his own shot, but McLemore is an excellent play-finisher when there's room for him to attack.
Though Orlando could use a point guard, I'm not sure reaching for one at No. 2 is the answer when Ben McLemore is still on the board.
3. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 6'7'', SF
I'm going to stick with Anthony Bennett and the Phoenix Suns as a match early in the pre-draft process. Phoenix's frontcourt is lacking both in talent and athleticism, and Bennett combines the most potent blend of explosiveness and upside on the board.
A shoulder injury slowed him down at the end of the season, but his high ceiling had already been established.
Bennett finished his freshman year averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds on 37.5 percent shooting from downtown.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8", F
Otto Porter's draft stock remains stable despite Georgetown's loss to Florida Gulf Coast.
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.
Porter doesn't have Anthony Bennett's upside, but he's a safer pick without any questions surrounding his position.
The fact that he's a lock to contribute at the next level increases his value as a low-risk option. Considering Cleveland's uninspiring crop of small forwards, Porter could start right away and become an immediate member of the core.
5. Detroit Pistons: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4'', PG/SG
Marcus Smart's ability to play both guard positions effectively should work in his favor on draft day.
While he's not a pure point guard, teams will value his pass-first approach and floor-general qualities. They'll also welcome his aggressiveness and ability to take over as a scorer.
And to top it off, Smart is one of the top defenders in the country.
There's no risk here. Teams that lack leadership in the backcourt should be targeting Marcus Smart within the top five picks.
Detroit needs a new member of the offense to take control and make the decisions. Smart is a guy you can trust.
6. New Orleans Hornets: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'5'', SG
The Eric Gordon experiment in New Orleans hasn't fared too well, which could make Victor Oladipo an eventual replacement and draft-day target.
Oladipo is reliable, can score off the ball, defends at a high level and defines the term "coachable." Eric Gordon is injury-prone, needs the ball in his hands and is now feuding with coach Monty Williams in just his second year with the team.
Victor Oladipo has been a constant in Indiana's lineup all year. And now that he's become an offensive threat with the ball in his hands, he offers two-way services as a scorer and defender.
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 Gordon at the off-guard position.
7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'0'', PG
Trey Burke showcased the entire offensive arsenal in the championship game against Louisville. He was a nightmare off the dribble, stopping and popping from everywhere within 26 feet of the hole or taking it to the rack and finishing after contact.
The only thing working against Trey Burke in the 2013 NBA draft is the amount of teams in the top 10 searching for a starting point guard.
Burke led the country in assist-to-turnover ratio while scoring almost 19 points a game in the toughest conference in America. During the NCAA tournament, he illustrated his leadership qualities time and time again.
Burke has the potential to start at the next level, while the Sacramento Kings need a true quarterback for the offense.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1'', C
In Maryland's last two NIT games, Alex Len went for 15 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks against Alabama, and he went 16, nine and six against Iowa.
Len didn't have the year we'd thought he'd have after he put up 23 points and 12 boards on Nerlens Noel in the opener.
But Len's potential has been flashed, and it's worthy of a top-10 pick. The Thunder can afford to gamble on the odds of that potential coming to fruition.
9. Washington Wizards: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6'6'', SG/SF
Shabazz Muhammad and the Washington Wizards would actually be a good match.
The Wizards lack athleticism and offensive weapons at the wing. And though Muhammad may not be the go-to scorer we anticipated, he's got excellent physical tools, an active motor and the ability to make shots and finish at the rim.
His ceiling isn't as high as originally thought, but there's a place for Muhammad's offensive services in an NBA rotation.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6'', SF
Glenn Robinson's stat sheets should be ignored, as he's fourth in the team's offensive pecking order and his opportunities are limited.
He's one of my favorite prospects in the class because of his long-term, two-way potential as a defender and off-ball scorer.
Robinson's ability to play above the rim contributes to reliability as a finisher. He's a back-door transition and spot-up target, and has a promise as a pull-up shooter off the dribble.
Robinson is a few years away, but a team looking to make a splash should reach for a kid like Robinson. Minnesota could use an athlete on the wing anyway while they wait for Robinson's offensive game to evolve.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana, 6'11'', PF/C
Cody Zeller's vulnerability has dented his draft stock. Despite his talent at 6'11'', we've seen big men take Zeller out of his comfort zone by getting physical.
And it's not going to get any easier once he reaches the next level.
However, the talent is there, as his 16-point, eight-rebound average in the Big Ten suggests.
There's no doubt he can be an upgrade to an NBA frontcourt. It's just a matter of how high his ceiling goes.
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
Before breaking his foot in January, C.J. 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 an offensive repertoire consisting of step-back and pull-up jumpers, NBA three-point range and a tight handle on the ball.
McCollum is a combo guard who can provide offensive firepower off an NBA bench. His ability to play on and off the ball will allow him to play alongside a guy like Damian Lillard or behind him as a secondary ball-handler and backup point guard.
Portland's bench could certainly use a jolt.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, 7'0'', C
Next to Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk is the most skilled big man in the field. He may not have the athleticism of Mason Plumlee or Alex Len, but he's a better bet for points in the half court with the ball in his hands.
Dallas should be in the market for a center without anyone under contract next season.
Olynyk's incredible junior year made waves on NBA radars, but don't expect him to take home any awards at the draft combine.
14. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6'', PG
Michael Carter-Williams was brutal in Syracuse's loss to Michigan, finishing with two points, two assists and five turnovers in 35 minutes.
It wasn't the type of showing he wanted to put on against players he'll be directly competing against for draft position.
There's loads of upside considering his size and athleticism for the position, but MCW still has plenty of hurdles to hop over before he should be considered a potential star at the next level.
The Jazz point-guard situation is slightly embarrassing. They should be prepared to grab the best one that falls to them.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, 6'5'', SF
San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin is up there with the most versatile wings available.
He's the only player in the country to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. Franklin has also improved his ability to generate half-court offense. He's become a threat with the ball in his hands attacking the rim, stepping back or fading away in the post.
Teams looking for a prospect to make things happen on the wing should be targeting Franklin's services in the mid-first round. And Milwaukee's wing is awfully underwhelming.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Mason Plumlee, Duke, 7'0'', C
Mason Plumlee is the most fluid and athletic big man in the class outside of Nerlens Noel, making him a reliable finisher in the half court and transition.
He's also one of the top rebounders in the country, averaging 10 boards a game by locating the ball and grabbing it at its highest point.
With a point guard who can create easy scoring opportunities for teammates, Plumlee will be an excellent option as a high-percentage finisher.
He averaged 17 points and 10 boards as a senior.
17. Boston Celtics: Giannis Adetokunbo, Greece, 6'9'', SF
Danny Ainge flew out to Greece to get a look at Giannis Adetokunbo, a rising international prospect. Ainge was quoted as telling the Greek media that he reminded him of a young Scottie Pippen (via Sheridan-hoops).
Though it was against inferior competition, the "Greek freak" went for 19 points and nine rebounds with the Celtics' general manager on hand.
At close to 6'10'', Adetokunbo 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.
I've got a feeling that Ainge isn't the only one keeping tabs on Adetokunbo.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, 7'0'', C
Steven Adams is a first-class athlete at 7'0'', but his raw offensive game has stood out more than his exceptional physical tools.
He actually played one of his best games of the year against Wichita State in the NCAA tournament and quickly decided to leave on that note.
The upside is there, but it could be a while until it's reached. Adams is still trying to figure out his offensive role, as his skills are quite unrefined.
Atlanta needs all sorts of help up front. Adams would be more of a long-term investment but one that could pay off big down the road.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Lorenzo Brown, NC State, 6'5'', PG
With Devin Harris' contract expiring and Shelvin Mack not a realistic backup option, the Atlanta Hawks will need to target a point guard somewhere in this draft.
Lorenzo Brown struggled from the floor his junior year, which was somewhat surprising considering he broke out as a sophomore. But he did lead the ACC in assists, and he really has all the tools necessary to earn a job in an NBA rotation.
Brown has the ideal size for an NBA point with the athleticism, pass-first mentality and dribble creativity. He's got the look of a point guard at the next level.
20. Utah Jazz: Isaiah Austin, Baylor, 7'1'', SF/PF/C
Isaiah Austin filled up the stat sheet in the NIT championship game, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocked shots.
He's super skilled for a kid his size with a post game that's tough to guard because of the high release point on his shot.
But he's incredibly skinny and easy to move, hurting his upside a bit.
Austin will need to work on his game off the dribble or get a little stronger to help maximize his combination of size and talent.
Utah's frontcourt situation is in question with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson as impending free agents, and there just aren't many talented wings in this draft.
21. Chicago Bulls: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6'6'', SG
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope closed out the season with 32 points and 13 boards against LSU to cap off a year in which he averaged 18.5 points per game.
He's exactly the type of player the Bulls could use as a starting 2-guard. Caldwell-Pope is long and athletic with excellent defensive tools and an accurate three-point stroke.
He'll play the same role Wesley Matthews plays for Portland.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6'7'', SF
Brooklyn desperately needs a wing who can spread the floor for the guards, because Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse are just not threatening enough.
Doug McDermott has shot between 48 and 49 percent from downtown in each of his past two seasons. He's the top shooter in the class, and at 6'7", McDermott can do some damage inside the arc as well.
With McDermott, Brooklyn would be able to fill a need without having to dip into the free-agent pool.
23. Indiana Pacers: Rudy Gobert, France, 7'2", PF
Though 7'2", Rudy Gobert's mobility should allow him to play multiple frontcourt positions.
He projects as a defensive disruptor who can provide energy and off-ball playmaking as a finisher above the rim.
With his physical tools, Gobert should have the advantage on most 50-50 balls around the basket.
Whether he's a need or not, Gobert becomes too tough to pass on at a certain point in the first round.
24. New York Knicks: Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6'10'', PF/C
Mitch McGary's wild NCAA tournament has splattered him all over NBA radars.
His size, athleticism, mobility and awareness were on display throughout each game.
NBA teams will covet his motor and instincts, which he uses to grab offensive rebounds, pass from the post and finish on the move.
And though it wasn't a strength of his throughout the year, McGary has shown a soft touch at the rim and on his mid-range jumper.
We're still not sure if McGary will be declaring, but there are teams out there, like the Knicks, that need an active motor up front to provide depth for the veterans.
25. L.A. Clippers: Tony Mitchell, North Texas, 6'8'', SF/PF
Tony Mitchell was quick to announce he'll be entering the 2013 NBA draft after a disastrous year that triggered his stock to plummet.
However, his athleticism didn't go anywhere. And in today's game, elite physical tools can supersede one's skill set this early in a career.
Considering Mitchell's elite athleticism, his upside is first-round worthy even if his position is unclear.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis): Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, 6'5'', SG
After hinting he'd return following Kentucky's first-round loss in the NIT, Archie Goodwin seemed to have a change of heart.
That's probably because he was convinced he'd be a first-round lock.
Despite an uninspiring freshman year, Goodwin's upside remains unchanged. He's an athlete and a deadly attacker off the dribble who can finish in heavy traffic.
If he ever refines his perimeter game and improves his decision-making, Goodwin would be a steal this late.
27. Denver Nuggets: Cory Jefferson, Baylor, 6'9'', PF
Between his powerful upper body and developing offensive game, Jefferson has now put himself on the first-round radar. He's an elite finisher at the rim and has improved his ability to create his own shot in the post.
Jefferson hasn't announced his intentions yet. He can either choose to ride the wave into the 2013 draft or return as a prospect to watch in 2014.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Sergey Karasev, Russia, 6'7'', SF
Sergey Karasev has announced he'll be declaring for the 2013 NBA draft.
Just 19 years old, Karasev is a versatile wing who can create off the bounce and finish off the catch. He's got a beautiful lefty stroke with NBA range and can put it on the deck to set up teammates for buckets.
Karesev is averaging over 16 points per game overseas and fits the bill as a San Antonio draft target.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, 6'11'', C
Gorgui Dieng came up big for Louisville in the championship game, knocking down mid-range jumpers and showing off a comfortable sweeping hook shot in a tight second half.
This type of offensive progression has put him on NBA radars, as his defensive potential has always been noted.
He's got the size, instincts and offensive touch to land a role as a backup center.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6'5'', SG
Tim Hardaway Jr. didn't have the greatest NCAA tournament from an individual standpoint.
He struggled from long range, which affected his overall performance. He's going to have to convince scouts he can get himself easier looks in the half court, just in case his jumper isn't falling.
Right now he looks like an off-ball shot-maker and explosive finisher with the ability to score in bunches. The Suns could use the offensive firepower he offers.
31. Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, 6'1'', PG
Isaiah Canaan is arguably the top shooting point guard in the field, with a career 42 percent three-point mark and 304 makes over four years at Murray State.
He's an excellent ball-handler who can pull up from 25 feet away or dribble over a screen and knock down the stop-and-pop mid-range jumper.
Canaan would play the role that Derek Fisher is playing now for Oklahoma City, as a secondary ball-handler and perimeter scorer—except that Canaan is super quick with the ability to break down the defense.
I'd have him higher on the board if more teams were looking for a point guard.
32. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Orlando): C.J. Leslie, NC State, 6'8'', SF/PF
C.J. Leslie has declared for the 2013 NBA draft after three up-and-down years at NC State.
He's a phenomenal athlete and a mismatch facing the basket against slower-footed big men. But his success at the next level will depend on his ability to play on the perimeter.
Leslie isn't strong enough to play the 4 on a full-time basis, but his elite athleticism is undeniable. He's a high-risk, high-reward prospect.
33. Houston Rockets (via Phoenix): Myck Kabongo, Texas, 6'2'', PG
A top recruit out of high school, Myck Kabongo struggled to adjust as a freshman, which resulted in his return to Texas a sophomore. But the NCAA suspended him for the majority of his sophomore year after he was accused of accepting impermissible benefits.
Kabongo played well in his 11 games, averaging 14.6 points, 5.0 boards and 5.5 assists. Kabongo has some upside because of his quickness, instincts and high basketball IQ.
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.
34. Cleveland Cavaliers: Allen Crabbe, California, 6'6'', SG
Allen Crabbe was one of the first to announce he'll be declaring for the 2013 NBA draft.
He averaged over 18 points per game his junior year, creating his own offense in the mid-range and converting his spot-up long-range opportunities.
With good size and long arms, Crabbe's ability to put the ball in the hoop should translate from one level to the next. He'll likely be a top-three scoring option whenever he's on the floor.
35. Detroit Pistons: Shane Larkin, Miami, 5'11'', PG
Shane Larkin doubled his scoring average and raised his three-point percentage to 40 percent as a sophomore.
NBA teams will love his quickness off the dribble and ability to break down the defense, though I'm not sure he's polished or strong enough to run an offense on a full-time basis.
He'll come into the league fighting for a backup role, and he could at least be used as a jolt off the bench.
Detroit could be losing Jose Calderon and Will Bynum, and with Brandon Knight playing better off the ball, Larkin could be a target early in the second round.
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans): Erick Green, Virginia Tech, 6'4'', SG
Erick Green led the country in scoring at 25 points per game, torching defenses off the dribble with the long ball, mid-range game and the fast break.
He's not considered a first-round prospect as a 6'4'', 180-pound scoring guard, but Green is simply too effective in terms of generating offense.
He'll find a role as a secondary ball-handler and source for offensive firepower off the bench.
37. Sacramento Kings: Jeff Withey, Kansas, 7'0'', C
One of the top defensive prospects in the field, Jeff Withey put himself on NBA radars by improving his low-post game.
However, this is a center-heavy draft with a number of more athletic seven-footers slated to go earlier.
Withey would be a potential steal in the second round for a team that lacks an interior defensive presence and frontcourt depth.
38. Memphis Grizzlies (via Toronto): Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, 6'7'', SF
Deshaun Thomas has earned himself a label as a prolific perimeter scorer. His lack of athleticism and mediocre defensive tools have put a dent in his draft stock, but someone will target the offensive firepower he can offer.
He averaged almost 20 points per game, but despite spending most of his time on the perimeter, Thomas has never shot 35 percent from downtown.
Thomas will need to prove he can be a consistent three-point threat for teams to consider giving him minutes at the next level. Memphis seems like a good fit for his shot-making skills in a limited role.
39. Washington Wizards: Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, 6'11'', PF/C
Brazilian big man Lucas Nogueira's NBA outlook projects as a rim-protector and interior finisher.
He measures 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 has the reputation as a raw offensive player, but there's a reason scouts have had their eyes on Nogueira for the past few years.
40. Portland Trail Blazers (via Minnesota): Richard Howell, NC State, 6'8'', PF
Richard Howell appears to have what it takes to provide frontcourt depth for an NBA lineup.
He averaged a double-double as a senior by providing NC State with a consistent physical presence on the interior. Howell is a reliable finisher at the rim and as a drive-and-dish target at the elbow.
Any team looking for a power forward to provide some toughness inside and a presence on the glass should have Howell highlighted on its second-round boards.
41. Philadelphia 76ers: B.J. Young, Arkansas, 6'3'', PG/SG
B.J. Young's game is made for the combo-guard position, but he has to be careful not to fall into the "tweener" category.
Despite being a prolific scorer off the dribble, Young is too small and light to play the 2-guard position and lacks the instincts of a point guard. To make matters worse, his three-point percentage dropped to a disastrous 22 percent as a sophomore.
But there's no questioning his ability to generate offense and attack the rim. Teams will view Young as a potential source for points off the bench. His ceiling will depend on his ability to adapt and find a niche.
42. Denver Nuggets (via Portland): C.J. Wilcox, Washington, 6'5'', SG
C.J. Wilcox projects as a perimeter scorer who can stretch the defense and finish in the open floor.
He averaged over 16 points for Washington this year after improving his ability to create open looks for himself. Wilcox can spot-up off the ball or pull up with comfort.
At 6'5" with long arms and good athleticism, Wilcox also projects favorably on the defensive side of the ball. Wilcox should be a reliable source for three-point shooting and perimeter defense.
43. Dallas Mavericks: Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State, 6'9'', PF
Jackie Carmichael is one of the most physically imposing big men in the class. He's 6'9", 240 pounds of pure muscle and athleticism.
As as senior, Carmichael averaged over 17 points, 9.3 boards and 2.1 blocks, bullying defenders inside on both sides of the ball and beating them with touch from the post.
Carmichael won't have much trouble making the physical transition.
44. Utah Jazz: Nemanja Nedovic, Serbia, 6'3'', PG/SG
Nemanja Nedovic is an explosive point guard who many have referred to as the "European Derrick Rose."
Don't get too excited. The comparison is based on a common athleticism that allows them to play above the rim, which is a rare capability for a point guard.
He's been on NBA radars for a couple of years now and is expected to declare in 2013.
Nedovic's physical tools were built for the NBA game. There's upside here if he learns how to apply them.
45. Milwaukee Bucks: Tony Snell, Milwaukee Bucks, 6'7'', SG/SF
Tony Snell was one of the first to declare for the 2013 NBA draft after a strong junior season helped New Mexico earn a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.
He's an NBA-caliber athlete with excellent size and ridiculous length for either wing position. Snell shoots the three really well, hitting at least 1.8 per game at a 38 percent clip as a junior.
There's usually a place in the league for big-time athletes who can shoot and defend.
46. Los Angeles Lakers: Mike Muscala, Bucknell, 6'11", PF/C
Mike Muscala averaged 18.7 points and 11 rebounds as a senior at Bucknell. He might have hurt his chances at the first round with a poor showing in the NCAA tournament, but his entire body of work justifies a spot in the second round.
He's one of the more polished offensive big men in the class. If Muscala shows he can take a beating and still tap into his talent, he'll be a solid option late in this draft.
47. Portland Trail Blazers (via Boston): Brandon Paul, Illinois, 6'4'', SG
One of the most polished scorers in the field, Brandon Paul's inconsistencies have hurt his value as a prospect.
He can create his own shot on the perimeter and has the ability to take over games, but Paul is a little too dependent on his outside shot.
Paul's game is built for the sixth-man role. He'll need to change his shot selection, improve his consistency and show he can involve his teammates to land a spot in a rotation.
48. Atlanta Hawks: Solomon Hill, Arizona, 6'6'', SF
Solomon Hill has developed a reliable three-point stroke to go with deceptive agility and a strong frame that allows him to get to the rim and finish after contact.
He's an offensive option for half-court points from every spot on the floor.
Hill played well in the NCAA tournament, and as a senior prospect, he should be able to contribute sooner rather than later.
Teams looking for a wing to contribute offensively right away should be targeting Hill anywhere in the second round to provide some half-court buckets.
49. Chicago Bulls: Carrick Felix, Arizona State, 6'6'', SG
Carrick Felix finished second in the Denny's Slam Dunk Competition, showcasing his elite athleticism in style.
Felix averaged 14.6 points and over eight rebounds a game on 50 percent shooting and 37.4 percent from downtown this last season. He's a hard-nosed wing who isn't afraid of contact inside and can play above the rim.
The senior guard also built himself a reputation as being one of the top defenders in the country.
He's really expanded his game and has landed on NBA radars in the process.
50. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota, 6'8'', PF
Trevor Mbakwe returned from ACL surgery to lead the Big Ten in rebounding in less than 25 minutes per game.
Already 24 years old, Mbakwe is more of a man than a college student, which Cody Zeller could tell you a little something about. Mbakwe went for 23 and 12 in Minnesota's upset win over Indiana in late February, using his strength and power to muscle for position down low.
Mbakwe is an excellent post player whose stock took a hit after he lost some of his explosiveness following surgery.
But he should still be able to come in and contribute right away for a team that needs some half-court points, rebounding and a physical presence inside.
51. Orlando Magic (via Golden State): Kenny Kadji, Miami, 6'11'', PF
Kenny Kadji has the size to play the 4 or the 5 with the range to step out behind the arc and spread the defense as a stretch option.
He's also capable of putting it on the deck and shooting on the move, making him a multidimensional threat once the ball touches his hands.
Kadji is turning 25 in May, so there's not much upside here. But if a team is looking for size and immediate results, Kadji will be an option in the second round.
52. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn): Travis Releford, Kansas, 6'6'', SF
Travis Releford's role at the NBA level will be to provide a lineup with some glue and consistency, which is essentially what he's done for the Jayhawks over the past two years. 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, and the ability to make teammates better. Releford makes the plays that don't show up in a box score.
53. Indiana Pacers: Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, 6'4'', PG
Nate Wolters' letdown game against Trey Burke may have hurt his first-round chances, but it shouldn't have knocked him out of the draft.
He finished the year averaging 22.3 points and 5.8 assists. Indiana could use him as a backup point guard whether they bring D.J. Augustin back or not.
54. Washington Wizards (via New York): Russ Smith, Louisville, 6'1'', SG
Despite a poor individual performance in the championship game, Russ Smith still nailed a couple of shots down the stretch.
Teams will view him as a lightning rod off the bench to make some plays when the offense gets stagnant.
He's got the ability to score points in bunches and get his team a couple of easy buckets in transition.
Smith could be worth the risk at the tail end of the second round.
55. Memphis Grizzlies*: Michael Snaer, Florida State, 6'4'', SG
Michael Snaer 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.
At the NBA level, he'll be asked to shoot, defend and provide some stability in a lineup.
The good news for Snaer is that he's already established an identity, which means it will be easier for a team looking for a "Three and D" guy to seek him out. Memphis likes defensive-oriented players who can play off the ball offensively. I like the fit.
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. Detroit Pistons (via LAC): James Southerland, Syracuse, 6'8'', SF
Though James Southerland didn't show up until the last few minutes against Michigan, he already earned NBA scouts' attention.
You wouldn't know it from his role at Syracuse, but Southerland is a very capable athlete with good size for a wing. His physical tools along with a lethal three-point stroke has landed him on NBA radars as a long-range specialist and versatile defender.
57. Phoenix Suns (via Denver): Pierre Jackson, Baylor, 5'10'', PG
Pierre Jackson was named MVP of the NIT tournament after leading Baylor over Iowa in the championship game. He averaged 19.6 points and 11 assists in five games, straight-up torching defenses that had no answer for his speed and quickness off the dribble.
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 faster 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.
58. Minnesota Timberwolves (via OKC): D.J. Stephens, Memphis, 6'5'', SG/SF
D.J. Stephens blocked 12 shots in Memphis' two NCAA tournament games, putting on a clinic that showcased his elite NBA athleticism.
This late in the draft, teams won't be targeting Stephens for his basketball skill set. It's his unique athleticism and ability to make things happen without the ball in his hands that will draw NBA interest.
Stephens projects as a defensive asset and offensive finisher.
59. San Antonio Spurs: Seth Curry, Duke, 6'2'', SG
Seth Curry at times carried Duke down the stretch, generating his own offense on a consistent basis.
His accuracy and ability to create his own shot on the perimeter have at least landed him in the second-round conversation. If anyone's going to overlook the details and focus on talent and character, it's San Antonio that seems like a fit.
60. Miami Heat: Ryan Kelly, Duke, 6'11'', PF
Though Ryan Kelly really struggled down the stretch, he's done enough throughout his career to be considered a realistic NBA candidate.
Kelly will be targeted for his ability to stretch the defense and protect the post. His services will be best used in a lineup that has a number of ball-dominant scorers.
Any team in need of frontcourt depth could give Kelly a look late in the second round.