2013 NBA Mock Draft: Breaking Down Easiest First Round Selections

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIApril 11, 2013

2013 NBA Mock Draft: Breaking Down Easiest First Round Selections

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    With the 2013 NCAA tournament concluded and the 2012-13 NBA regular season nearing the same fate, our focus has shifted to the stars of tomorrow. As the declarations of intent pour in, our field of prospects is beginning to take shape.

    The question is, what are the easiest first round selections for every team to make?

    We're destined to see scouts and general managers over-think picks and make selections that force us to scratch our heads. In that same breath, we'll also witness teams take gambles on players that end up panning out.

    The question is, what picks would make the most sense?

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 195 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.24 PER, 15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG

     

    The Charlotte Bobcats are a young team with a promising perimeter. Kemba Walker has proven to be one of the better young point guards in the NBA, averaging 17.4 points and 5.7 assists in 2012-13, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the second overall draft choice in 2012.

    All they need now is an off-guard who can shoot.

    The Bobcats are 26th in three-point field goals made per game and 27th in three-point field goal percentage. As a freshman with the Kansas Jayhawks, McLemore made 2.0 three-point field goals per game on 42.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

    Is there anything more to think about here? Charlotte needs a scoring guard who shoots consistently.

    McLemore is that and more.

2. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'4", 225 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.23 PER, 15.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 3.0 SPG

     

    The Orlando Magic have a very promising core moving forward. With the likes of Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris, Orlando is already in position for future success.

    With that being said, the Magic do have a long-term question mark at point guard and could stand to improve at the shooting guard—so why even hesitate in drafting a combo guard with star potential in Marcus Smart?

    Jameer Nelson continues to perform at a high level, averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 assists per game. With that being said, Nelson is also 31 and has missed 23 games due to injury in 2012-13.

    Seeing as Smart is an athletic dynamo with an NBA body, elite court vision and is dominant in the passing lanes, this is a no-brainer.

3. Phoenix Suns: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'11", 215 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.09 PER, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG

     

    There's a overwhelmingly powerful possibility that Nerlens Noel turns out to be the best player in this draft class. Not only is he a dominant interior defender, but he's a rapidly developing offensive product who can serve as a scorer, distributor, ball handler and low-post presence.

    It's all about improving upon the skills that are already in place.

    While some will look to players with athletic gifts and throw out the word "upside," Noel is the true definition. He has ability in every phase of the game and simply needs to work to improve his current set of skills.

    Who better to build around than a player of that caliber? For the Phoenix Suns, there is no one better.

    That's why they should be thankful that Noel's knee injury pushed him down this low.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'8", 200 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.88 PER, 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 42.2% 3PT

     

    When it comes to Otto Porter of the Georgetown Hoyas, you never want to stop listing his statistics. Not only is it a testament to how well-rounded Porter is as a player, but it's impossible to find an area in which he's struggled.

    That's what you refer to as a safe pick.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers would love to leave the small forward position open in hopes of signing LeBron James in 2014—even if they don't admit it. With that being said, Porter is a one-of-a-kind player who can do everything.

    As much as I hate using such a generalization, it's true.

    Porter can shoot the ball, as he's converted 42.2 percent of his three-point field goals. He can also take it off of the dribble, facilitate an offense or become the primary ball handler.

    On defense, his length is one of the numerous weapons that makes him elite. Not only can he disrupt passing lanes and block shots, but Porter is a leach in on-ball situations.

    Although his athletic gifts are limited, Porter is going to be a very good player at the next level.

5. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, Michigan Wolverines

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'1" & 175 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    29.76 PER, 18.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG

     

    In 2012-13, Michigan Wolverines point guard Trey Burke was the best player in the nation. He won both the Naismith and Wooden awards, and led the Wolverines to their first NCAA Championship Game appearance since 1993.

    With this in mind, how could the Detroit Pistons possibly pass on their in-state hero?

    For starters, drafting Burke would do wonders for the Pistons from a PR perspective. With his meteoric rise to fame, Burke is the perfect player to bring interest back to a team that fills the lowest percentage of seats per game in the NBA at 66.1 percent.

    The second-lowest is the Cleveland Cavaliers at 78.0 percent.

    In terms of basketball decisions, this is even more of an easy pick. Burke is an elite point guard that could front a franchise for years to come.

    Considering Detroit has a major void at the point, there's no reason to hesitate on this one.

6. New Orleans Hornets: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Hoosiers

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 214 pounds, 

    2012-13 Season Averages

    29.09 PER, 13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.2 SPG

     

    It's no secret how highly I think of Victor Oladipo as an NBA prospect. If not Nerlens Noel, your best bet for finding the top player from this class is the Indiana perimeter man.

    For the New Orleans Hornets, there is no one but Noel who fits better than Oladipo.

    According to John Reid of The Times-Picayune, the Hornets are exploring the possibility of trading Eric Gordon. This comes on the heels of yet another injury-plagued campaign in which Gordon missed 39 games.

    The time for a trade couldn't be better—nor could the replacement.

    Oladipo is a superstar waiting for his moment to break out. The things he does on the court are paralleled to the greats, as he appears to be two steps ahead of the competition from a mental and physical perspective.

    Under head coach Monty Williams and alongside Anthony Davis, Oladipo could make the Hornets one of the best defensive teams in the NBA as soon as next season.

7. Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Orange

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 175 pounds, 6'5" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.25 PER, 11.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 4.9 RPG, 2.8 SPG

     

    On paper, the rational decision would be to plug a true small forward into this rotation. Upon further evaluation, however, the Kings have two options to decide between.

    Do they create one of the most powerful frontcourts in the NBA with Anthony Bennett and DeMarcus Cousins? Or do they finally find a legitimate starting point guard with Michael Carter-Williams?

    The decision is easy, as Sacramento ranks 25th in the NBA in assists per game and 29th in assist percentage—a metric of how many of your field goals come off of assists.

    This isolation style of basketball can be entertaining, especially with ball handling guru Tyreke Evans and elite center DeMarcus Cousins. Unfortunately, entertainment does not always breed victories.

    By drafting Carter-Williams, the Kings would have a point guard with elite size and world class facilitating abilities—a break from the norm.

8. Washington Wizards: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA Bruins

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'6", 225 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.99 PER, 17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 37.7% 3PT

     

    The Washington Wizards have one of the most promising young cores in the NBA today. At the heart of that core is point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal.

    So why not round it all off with small forward Shabazz Muhammad?

    Since Wall returned from an early season knee injury, the Wizards are 24-22. This comes with a young core of players and an inconsistent rotation in which the likes of Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza are consistently thrown in at the small forward position.

    To say that Muhammad would push this team over the edge in the long-term would be an understatement.

    Muhammad is one of the most revered competitors in the nation, as his motor and work ethic have gone unquestioned. With a massive wingspan and the strength defend multiple positions, Muhammad would be a valuable commodity.

    Keep in mind, Washington is already the seventh-ranked scoring defense.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Bennett, UNLV Rebels

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'8", 240 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    28.24 PER, 27.1 MPG, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 37.5% 3PT

     

    There comes a point for every NBA franchise in which they must acknowledge what's been lost. For the Minnesota Timberwolves, that's the fact that they have quality players at every position but still can't sniff .500.

    It's time to take the best player available.

    Derrick Williams has improved, but there are few signs pointing in the direction of his rise to stardom. Furthermore, general manager David Kahn does not believe Kevin Love, who has missed 59 games in 2012-13, is a superstar (via Yahoo! Sports).

    For that reason, it's time that the T-Wolves select the best available player.

    Anthony Bennett is an enticing athlete who can score from all over the floor. He shot 37.5 percent from distance at UNLV and is a monster in the post.

    There is bust potential, but Bennett is the easy pick here.

10. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers

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    Position: Center

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'11", 210 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    30.93 PER, 16.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG

     

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have the opportunity to fill their biggest void with a lottery pick. With Kendrick Perkins serving as a defensive stopper, the Thunder must now land a center whom they can dump it down low to on offense.

    Enter Indiana Hoosiers big man Cody Zeller.

    Zeller is a skilled scorer around the basket, as he can finish with both hands around the rim. He also has a face-up game and is significantly improved as a back-to-the-basket scorer.

    For the Thunder, he doesn't need to be a star—he simply needs to produce when the jump shots aren't falling, thus collapsing the opposing defense.

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Gary Harris, Michigan State Spartans

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 18

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'4", 210 pounds & 6'6" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.08 PER, 12.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.3 SPG, 41.1% 3PT

     

    The Philadelphia 76ers are a young team who struggle to make defensive stops and have displayed an inconsistent effort on both ends of the floor. In order to cure those woes, they must fill the void at their biggest hole of all.

    Shooting guard.

    Gary Harris is a superior defender to every off-guard currently on Philadelphia's roster. He's also a reliable shooter from mid-range and beyond the arc, which makes him exactly what he seems.

    The complete package—an easy decision if there ever was one.

12. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Senior

    Height & Weight: 6'3", 190 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    33.95 PER, 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG

     

    The Portland Trail Blazers rank 30th in the NBA in second unit scoring offense. A major reason why is their lack of any reliable source of offense via the bench.

    With that in mind, who better to draft than super efficient scoring guard C.J. McCollum?

    McCollum can handle the ball as a lead guard or step off as a two-guard. He can score off of the bounce and thrives in catch-and-shoot situations.

    Regardless of how he does, McCollum simply scores.

    This is what Portland needs most, as McCollum can step in and lead their bench in scoring from day one. Furthermore, McCollum can apply defensive pressure better than Portland's current cast.

    This could be a franchise-altering pick.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 7'1", 225 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.04 PER, 26.4 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.1 BPG

     

    The Dallas Mavericks are a team that lives by the moniker of, "Title or bust." Until they find a franchise center, however, their elite pairing of O.J. Mayo and Dirk Nowitzki will never flourish.

    Maryland Terrapins big man Alex Len could be that player.

    There's a chance that Len never pans out and ends up being an ultra-skilled big man that lacks aggression. There's also the possibility that Len discovers his mean streak and maximizes his world class potential.

    At pick No. 13, there's not too much risk in exploring those options.

    Len has a similar skill set to that of Pau Gasol. He has a solid face-up game, works well out of the post, passes as well as any big and protects the rim at a quality rate.

    Just like Gasol, however, Len has yet to display a consistent form of aggressive play—if that changes, we could be seeing a star in the making.

14. Utah Jazz: Glenn Robinson III, Michigan Wolverines

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'6", 210 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.19 PER, 11.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.0 SPG

     

    The Utah Jazz could be looking for a big man here, as both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are pending free agents. With that being said, they're more likely to be pursuing a veteran big to back up the younger Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

    With that in mind, the Jazz are quite likely to pick Glen Robinson III off of the board in this scenario.

    Robinson III is an explosive athlete who gets into the paint off of the dribble and finishes well around the basket. As the 2012-13 college basketball season progressed, Robinson III also emerged as a dominant force on the glass.

    With his ability to get out in transition and take it off of the bounce in the half court, Robinson III is the easy selection for Utah in this position.

    The Jazz have significantly improved their perimeter, as they rank ninth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. With Gordon Hayward's recent emergence, they may just be set at the small forward.

    With that being said, Hayward has been efficient at the shooting guard and Robinson III's slashing abilities could permit Utah to open up the perimeter in all new ways.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dario Saric, Croatia

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: N/A

    Height & Weight: 6'10", 223 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    N/A

     

    The Milwaukee Bucks are a team with quality depth in the frontcourt and a star-studded backcourt. With a lack of quality play at small forward, however, the Bucks are in need of an upgrade along the perimeter.

    In order to fill that void at the three-spot, it would behoove the Bucks to draft Dario Saric out of Croatia.

    Saric is a skilled swingman who sees the floor well and facilitates at a high rate. Perhaps most intriguing of all, Saric stands at 6'10" and possesses a 6'11" wingspan.

    After having success with international product Ersan Ilyasova, the confidence in this pick should be high.

16. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville Cardinals

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    Position: Center

    Age: 23

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 6'11", 235 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.60 PER, 9.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.5 BPG, 1.3 SPG

     

    The Boston Celtics are an elite defensive team who thrive in pressing the perimeter and contesting shots around the basket. Unfortunately, the Celtics struggle to block shots and have thus ranked 16th in opponent points in the paint.

    Even if they were thriving at center, it's important to note that Kevin Garnett is 36—Boston needs a center for the future.

    Louisville Cardinals big man Gorgui Dieng can be that player for Boston. Not only is he a dominant shot blocker, but he rebounds well on both ends and passes as well as any big man in this draft class.

    Consider Dieng to be the perfect KG protege.

    Furthermore, Dieng comes from a system in which he served under a hard-nosed, defensive minded player's coach in Rick Pitino. The transfer to Doc Rivers would be all the more manageable with this in mind.

    Plain and simple, Dieng is the perfect fit in Boston.

17. Phoenix Suns (via Lakers): Allen Crabbe, California Golden Bears

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 6'6", 210 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.07 PER, 18.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG

     

    The Phoenix Suns landed a franchise player with their first pick, landing center Nerlens Noel to anchor their defense. Their next step is to improve their offensive attack by solidifying their perimeter with a three-point shooter.

    There aren't many players who fit that bill quite like Allen Crabbe out of California.

    Thus far in 2012-13, Phoenix ranks 29th in three-point field goal percentage and 26th in three-point field goals made per game. Although Jared Dudley is a solid defender and reliable shooter, he's far from a prolific scorer.

    Crabbe has the potential to do everything that Dudley contributes but at a higher level.

    Crabbe is a physical defender who gets up in an opponent's face and never hesitates to violate the personal space laws. He's also a lethal dribble-penetrator who can step back for a three-point shot.

    As long as Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall feed him in the right places, Crabbe should thrive in the catch-and-shoot game from beyond the arc.

18. Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Withey, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Center

    Age: 23

    Class: Senior

    Height & Weight: 7'0" , 235 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.23 PER, 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 BPG

     

    The Atlanta Hawks have an elite two-way player in Al Horford who has been playing out of position throughout his NBA career. In order to shift him to his rightful position of power forward, however, Atlanta must land a rim protecting center.

    There aren't many better than Jeff Withey out of the University of Kansas.

    Withey is an elite shot blocker, despite lacking any top tier athletic gifts. The key for Withey is his ability to anticipate dribble-penetration, thus capitalizing on his length to alter and block shots.

    That's exactly what Atlanta needs as they find a defensive anchor to complement Horford at the power forward.

19. Chicago Bulls: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia Bulldogs

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 190 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.62 PER, 17.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.0 SPG

     

    The Chicago Bulls remain in need of a reliable scoring shooting guard with Richard Hamilton battling injuries and Marco Belinelli proving to be a quality, but inconsistent source of offense. Even as Jimmy Butler displays promise, he's far from a spot-up shooter.

    Once Derrick Rose returns, that's exactly what the Bulls will need to complement his drive-and-dish abilities.

    Fortunately for Chicago, reigning SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may just be available. Assuming he does come out early, Caldwell-Pope would be coach Tom Thibodeau's dream selection.

    Caldwell-Pope scores at a high rate, shoots well from beyond the arc, defends with tenacity and crashes the boards hard—what's not to like for Chicago?

20. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Archie Goodwin, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 18

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 195, 6'10" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    16.40 PER, 14.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.1 SPG

     

    Once the 2013 NBA Draft rolls around, Archie Goodwin will become a lottery pick. Until that time comes, however, we must evaluate his current stock.

    As it presently stands, Goodwin will fall to the Atlanta Hawks at 20—a perfect fit.

    The Hawks are a team that is prepared to undergo a massive overhaul during the 2013 period of free agency. Only five players are under contract for 2013-14, which includes the injured Lou Williams and rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott.

    In other words, there is a need for a little bit of everything—that includes a slashing scorer who can get to the basket and put it in at virtual will. You know, what Goodwin does.

    This kid could be 2013's Dion Waiters.

21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs

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    Position: Center

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 7'0", 238 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    36.57 PER, 26.4 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG

     

    With the 14th overall draft choice, the Utah Jazz solidified their perimeter by drafting swingman Glenn Robinson III. Although they're likely to be looking for a veteran big man in free agency, there is too grand of a possibility here.

    Kelly Olynyk is a lottery pick caliber player who can step in as an energy player from day one.

    Olynyk thrives around the basket, finishing with both hands and utilizing his size and powerful frame to impose his will. Olynyk has proven capable with his face-up game and is often praised for his motor on both ends of the floor.

    As a member of the Jazz, Olynyk would likely reprise that role as a high-motor player as he backs up Enes Kanter.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 23

    Class: Senior

    Height & Weight: 6'10", 230 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    26.48 PER, 17.1 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.0 SPG

     

    The Brooklyn Nets have an undeniable need for stability at the power forward position. Although they possess depth, there appears to be no sense of certainty as to which player will fill in.

    Drafting a young, mobile power forward could be the answer, which brings Mason Plumlee's name into the conversation.

    Plumlee runs the floor well in transition, crashes the boards and passes well out of the post. He's also improved with his back to the basket and is developing into a reputable rim protector.

    Plumlee has lottery pick upside, so this is a steal for Brooklyn.

23. Indiana Pacers: P.J Hairston, North Carolina Tar Heels

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 220 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    26.02 PER, 14.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.3 SPG, 39.6% 3PT

     

    The Indiana Pacers are a complete team that has proven to be the class of the NBA when it comes to the defensive end of the floor. They have All-Stars at small forward in Paul George and Danny Granger, as well as All-Star center Roy Hibbert.

    The question is, do they have the offensive power necessary to make a run to the NBA Finals.

    As it presently stands, they do not. Although a healthy Granger would go a long way towards helping in that regard, the team has to be looking to move George to small forward on a full time basis and starting Lance Stephenson at the shooting guard.

    With that in mind, drafting P.J. Hairston becomes the perfect route to explore.

    Hairston is one of the most promising off-guards in this draft class. He's a lethal three-point shooter with a superb build and overwhelming physicality on defense.

    Seeing as Indiana ranks 22nd in three-point field goal percentage, Hairston's sharpshooting and powerful frame would be a welcome addition.

24. New York Knicks: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 7'0", 240 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    22.59 PER, 23.4 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 BPG

     

    The New York Knicks are in need of young depth at—literally—every single position. Only one player is younger than 27 and six of their players are older than 35.

    Their first step in the right direction would come by selecting 19-year-old New Zealand product Steven Adams to solidify their interior.

    Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler continues to play at an elite level, but the depth behind him is limited, at best. Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are 38 and 39, respectively, and neither appear to be getting any younger.

    Adding Adams, an elite shot blocking prospect, could cure those woes.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State Aztecs

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 6'5", 195 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.87 PER, 17.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG

     

    The Los Angeles Clippers are a team that has become synonymous with the word, "explosiveness." If there is an area in which they must improve, however, it is in the half court and on the glass.

    Where better to look than off-guard Jamaal Franklin out of San Diego State?

    Franklin led the Aztecs, an NCAA tournament team, in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals per game. He's an athletic dynamo with phenomenal handles, which suggests that he'll fit perfectly in L.A.'s style of play.

    More importantly, Franklin could provide depth for a team that could lose Eric Bledsoe somewhere down the line. Sorry Clippers fans, but as long as Chris Paul is in town, that's a possibility.

    Franklin could help ease the pain.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis): Reggie Bullock, UNC Tar Heels

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'6", 185 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.13 PER, 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 43.6% 3PT

     

    This is a pick that I continue to come back to, as it works for the Minnesota Timberwolves on too many fronts to ignore. Although Sergey Karasev of Russia is a legitimate possibility, the T-Wolves would be foolish to pass up on this pick.

    Not when they rank 30th in three-point field goal percentage and Reggie Bullock is a lights out shooter from everywhere on the floor.

    Bullock converted three-point field goals at a clip of 43.6 percent during the 2012-13 season. He's also a long athlete who plays physically and has the muscle mass to overpower the opposition.

    As his frame fills out, Bullock could emerge as one of the better all-around off-guards in the NBA.

27. Denver Nuggets: Isaiah Austin, Baylor Bears

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    Position: Power Forward/Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height & Weight: 7'0", 215 pounds, 7'3" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.33 PER, 13.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.7 BPG

     

    The Denver Nuggets are one of the most explosive teams in the NBA. They're third in the league in scoring offense and thrive in getting out in transition.

    What Denver lacks, however, is a half-court game and a rim protector that is not named JaVale McGee.

    By drafting Isaiah Austin out of Baylor, the Nuggets would acquire an elite athlete to man the interior. Paired with the likes of McGee and Kenneth Faried, Austin should fit right in to their style of play.

    The question is simple—will the Nuggets gamble on a three-point shooter at this stage or simply go for the best player available?

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Doug McDermott, Creighton Bluejays

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    Height & Weight: 6'7", 210 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    33.28 PER, 23.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 49.0% 3PT

     

    The Oklahoma City Thunder don't need a star to come in via the 2013 NBA Draft. Instead, they need role players who will step into areas of weakness and provide a greater sense of consistency.

    There's no bigger question mark remaining than OKC's inconsistent second unit offense.

    Kevin Martin is a lights out shooter, but the Thunder cannot continue to place the offensive burden entirely on him. They must land other shooters, whether by way of the draft or free agency, to help space the floor for the bench.

    Doug McDermott can do all of that and more if he comes out this season.

    McDermott is a lights out shooter from beyond the arc. He can also take it off of the dribble, plays with an edge and crashes the boards hard.

    There's reasonable questions about his defense, but for a Thunder team in need of scoring depth, McDermott is the easy pick here.

29. San Antonio Spurs: Rudy Gobert, France

29 of 30

    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: N/A

    Height & Weight: 7'1", 220 pounds, 7'9" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    N/A

     

    It's no secret that the San Antonio Spurs love to bring over international players. They're taught in more of a systematic manner than Americans and end up thriving in Gregg Popovich's evenly distributed offensive flow.

    With 7'1" power forward Rudy Gobert boasting a 7'9" wingspan—not a typo–one can't help but imagine that the Spurs are intrigued.

    Tim Duncan is playing at an All-NBA caliber level, ranking 20th in scoring, 10th in rebounding and third in blocks per game. WIth that being said, Duncan is 36 and father time will catch up with him at some point.

    We think.

    With this in mind, it's important for the Spurs to find a protege for Duncan to mold into the next face of the franchise. Even if Gobert is unable to live up to those insurmountable expectations, he could be a difference maker somewhere down the line.

    This is an easy pick if he's still on the board for San Antonio to swipe up.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Heat): James Michael McAdoo, UNC Tar Heels

30 of 30

    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height & Weight: 6'9", 223 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    17.08 PER, 14.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.5 SPG

     

    When you have the 30th pick in the NBA Draft, you must answer one question before making your decision. Do you take the player who fills your need but may not make your roster, or do you make a low-risk pick on a player with star potential?

    29 out of 30 general managers would likely go with the latter—the other one would simply be acting modest.

    The Cavaliers aren't going to get much greater value here than they would in the second round with picks 32 or 34. With that being said, if James Michael McAdoo falls to 31, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be insane to let him pass.

    McAdoo could go higher, but as the field plays out, he's looking more and more like this year's Perry Jones III—star potential with a side of uncertainty.