2013 NBA Mock Draft: Projecting Most Important Moves of First Round

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29:  Ben McLemore #23 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the South Regional Semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on March 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For teams that missed out on the NBA postseason, the June 27 draft cannot come soon enough to bring hope back to the fanbase.

Every organization is looking for the next star to help lead a squad to a championship. For some teams, they are very close and just need an additional piece. Others need a major overhaul.

Still, there is talent out there for each team if you look hard enough.

Here is a mock draft with emphasis on the squads who really need to make the right pick in the first round. 

Note: Draft order based on standings as of 4/17. 


1. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

Orlando has some young talent in the frontcourt, but there is a huge need for players who can put up points on the perimeter. 

While Marcus Smart would have been ideal, he decided to return to Oklahoma State. Ben McLemore is still a great consolation as an elite scorer who is ready to contribute at the next level immediately.


2. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

The Bobcats have not done a lot of things well over the past few years. They cannot score or defend, and unsurprisingly cannot win games.

Last year's first-round pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has shown potential, but he is not contributing as much as you would hope for the No. 2 overall selection.

This makes it even more important to nail the first pick in this year's draft. Nerlens Noel might come with risk after tearing his ACL during the season, but he has the most upside of anyone in the class.

The elite shot-blocker will greatly improve the defense and with time could become a force on offense as well. Charlotte has time to spare, so this is a smart pick.


3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

The Cavaliers' biggest hole is at small forward after filling the rest of the starting lineup through the draft in recent years. This makes Otto Porter the perfect option as someone who can do pretty much everything you need on a basketball court.

Porter can score, pass, rebound and plays excellent on-ball defense, and all of this will be welcome in Cleveland.


4. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

Phoenix was one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this season. What better way to fix that then adding the best perimeter defender in the draft.

Victor Oladipo has the strength, size and athleticism to guard multiple positions in the NBA, and he can make shots when left open. He might never be a star, but he will certainly help the Suns win games.


5. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

While power forward is not the biggest need for the Hornets, Anthony Bennett has enough versatility that you can draft him regardless of positional necessity.

The UNLV star is very athletic and can either score around the basket or shoot from the outside, making him a valuable part of any NBA team. 


6. Sacramento Kings: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

Shabazz Muhammad is not perfect, but he is still one of the best pure scorers in the entire class. He has the athleticism to get to the rim and has a solid mid-range game as well.

It would be worth the risk for Sacramento to grab the inconsistent player and hope that he focuses more at the next level. 

7. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

Detroit has some solid players in the frontcourt and now it needs a franchise point guard to pass them the ball.

In all likelihood, the Pistons saw in the NCAA tournament what college basketball fans saw all year: Trey Burke is an amazing point guard.

The Michigan star can score from anywhere on the court and also has great vision that allows him to make everyone on his team better.

Even though he is a little undersized at 6'0", he will be a great point guard in the NBA.


8. Washington Wizards: Alex Len, C, Maryland

There are few long-term solutions on the Wizards right now. Alex Len can become a formidable center for the future with the size and potential to be a big-time player on both ends of the court.

Washington loves drafting for upside, and Len has a lot of it.


9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

Although Gary Harris was not the most consistent scorer in the nation, he was quite impressive when he was on.

Once he becomes more aggressive on offense, he will be a huge help to a Minnesota team that often struggled to put points on the board.


10. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Toronto Raptors): Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

As good as Oklahoma City is, the team could still use help in the interior. Cody Zeller would fit in perfectly as someone who can run the floor in this fast-paced attack.

He has a very polished game for his age and would be able to contribute quickly in the NBA.


11. Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke

Due to the loss of Andrew Bynum for the season, Philadelphia had very little production from the frontcourt this season.

Mason Plumlee cannot shoot, but he is one of the best scorers around the basket and can rebound as well as anyone in the class. His low ceiling is countered by his high floor as he is certain to be in the league for a long time. 


12. Portland Trail Blazers: Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan

Although Glenn Robinson was rarely the person you noticed while watching Michigan play, he is definitely going to turn heads in the NBA.

His ability to play much bigger than his size (6'6") would indicate he will reduce concerns about his lack of height. His leaping ability and solid rebounding skills will make him a big-time player in the NBA.


13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

Michael Carter-Williams is 6'6" and can handle the ball like someone much smaller. This makes him a dangerous player running the point.

The Syracuse star uses his size to get into the lane, where he can either finish at the basket or find teammates for open shots. His vision is also outstanding as he often looks to make plays for others instead of himself. 

One of the reasons Dallas struggled this season was the inability of Darren Collison to effectively run the offense. Carter-Williams could step in right away and become the point guard for years to come.


14. Utah Jazz: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

Looking at the success that Damian Lillard had this season out of a small school like Weber State, there is no reason to not have faith that C.J. McCollum could do the same.

The guard is an excellent shooter and all-around scorer and he will be able to continue this ability at the pro level to give Utah some balance outside.


15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga

Even with Larry Sanders in the middle of the defense, Kelly Olynyk can play alongside him and be a nice complement to the young center.

Olynyk is a force on the offensive side of the court with the ability to get points in many different ways. He is very polished and could help the young playoff team right out of the gate.


16. Boston Celtics: Rudy Gobert, PF, France

Boston has reached a point where it needs to start thinking toward the future. In this case, it means drafting a long-term answer in Rudy Gobert, who might not be able to help the team for the first few seasons.

However, the long and athletic forward has loads of potential and could be a future star for the Celtics.


17. Chicago Bulls: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

When Derrick Rose returns next season, Chicago will be set at almost every position. The squad still lacks a true shooting guard that will be there for a long time.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a pure shooter that has plenty of range, which will come in handy as he is certain to get plenty of open looks on a talented team in Chicago.


18. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Lakers): Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan

Mitch McGary helped his draft stock in the NCAA tournament more than anyone else in the field. He averaged a double-double after an up-and-down regular season and showed scouts his ability to be an excellent rebounder.

Cleveland could use this high-energy player to come off the bench and get plenty of production in a hurry.


19. Atlanta Hawks: Isaiah Austin, PF, Baylor

If Josh Smith leaves town after the season, Atlanta will need to draft some high-upside players to eventually replacement. There are few prospects with as much potential as Isaiah Austin.

The 7'0" center was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school as an athletic forward who could also stretch the defense with outside shooting.

While he was not always a consistent threat for Baylor, he often showed flashes of brilliance that makes people believe he could be a top player in the NBA.

At this point in the draft, Austin is the best pick the Hawks could make.


20. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets): Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas

Making two risky picks with back-to-back selections is not always wise, but at least it doubles the chances that one of them will pan out.

Tony Mitchell's is a good perimeter defender already, and Atlanta should take the chance that he eventually develops his offensive game. 


21. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Jamaal Franklin, SF, San Diego State

After adding a quick outside shooter in McCollum with the first pick, Utah will look to get an athletic wing who can slash to the basket and get points near the basket.

Jamaal Franklin struggles as a shooter, but he makes up for it in his length and rebounding ability. This will make him more of a small forward than a shooting guard despite being listed at 6'5".


22. Brooklyn Nets: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

Brooklyn needs some depth at center, and there are few better options in this class than Jeff Withey. The center was third in the nation in blocks per game and his defensive ability should make him a solid rotational player for years in the league.


23. Indiana Pacers: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia

With one of the deepest lineups in the league, Indiana has little need for most players around this stage of the draft. 

As a change of pace, the organization should look to draft Dario Saric, the small forward from Croatia who can already fill up the stat sheet and has plenty of room to improve. In a few years, he could be a very useful player for this contending squad.


24. New York Knicks: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

The Knicks have one of the oldest rosters in the NBA and injuries were a big problem throughout the season. They need to add someone in the draft that can provide depth and play right away, preferably in the frontcourt.

Gorgui Dieng has that ability, as the center is one of the best interior defenders in the class. Based on defense, he could have started for an NBA team this season.

While his offense remains a work in progress, he did show in the national championship game a solid skillset that included a mid-range jumper and some decent hook shots.

If he is given a chance to succeed, he could be a regular for the Knicks immediately.


25. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

Minnesota has never had a problem drafting high-risk, high-reward players. Steven Adams fits that description as an incredible raw talent.

The center often looks out of place on the offensive end, but Minnesota can play him sparingly next season and allow him to improve slowly until he is ready to contribute on a consistent basis.


26. Los Angeles Clippers: Allen Crabbe, SG, California

Adding a young shooter who can eventually take over as a stud off the bench is all the Clippers could ask for at the end of the first round. 

Allen Crabbe might never be a starter, but he can be a great sixth man to help a good team get points in a hurry. 


27. Denver Nuggets: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky

Nothing about Kentucky's season went according to plan, but Archie Goodwin provided a few bright spots as the team's leading scorer.

He still has a lot to work on, which will be perfect on the deep roster in Denver where he will not have much pressure to succeed.


28. San Antonio Spurs: Lorenzo Brown, PG, North Carolina State

Tony Parker is not getting any younger, although he continues to play well. Still, the Spurs need depth in the backcourt after watching injuries slow down the season.

Lorenzo Brown is incredibly quick and his size allows him to be a big-time playmaker. His skills translate to the next level and he could be a starter in the NBA.


29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan

Tim Hardaway Jr. does not have the handle that his father did, but his athleticism and shooting ability will take him far in this league.

The Michigan star can give the Thunder added depth in the backcourt as someone who knows how to score in a hurry.


30. Phoenix Suns (from Miami Heat): C.J. Leslie, PF, North Carolina State

While C.J. Leslie is not a great rebounder for his size, his skills on the offensive end are solid. He can drive to the basket and finish consistently at or above the rim.

Phoenix needs help all over the court, and Leslie is someone that can help this team get better.



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