NBA Draft 2013: Breaking Down Best Landing Spots for Top Guards This Year

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 17, 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

With the 2013 NBA regular season coming to a close, 16 teams will eagerly look forward to leaving their mark on the postseason this year. However, as the playoffs wear on, teams will slowly but surely all end up focusing on what the other 14 franchises have already set their minds on—the 2013 NBA Draft.

The draft can bring many changes, but for all 30 teams, it ultimately provides the chance to bring in young talent who can have a big impact during next season.

This year's class sees a number of top guards seeking to prove themselves on basketball's biggest stage, and even with the likes of Marcus Smart returning to college for another year, there's still plenty of big names to watch for in the draft.

If your favorite team is in desperate need of a sharp-shooter or a great ball-handler, then this draft should excite you.

Where are the best landing spots for some of the top guards in the draft this year? Read on and find out.


Trey Burke, PG, Michigan—Orlando Magic

Burke had a stellar postseason during the 2013 NCAA tournament with the Michigan Wolverines, showing his skills as a shooter, a ball-player and a leader.

Now he'll come into the NBA draft as a genuine star whose stock is rising with every passing day, and he could very well see himself go inside the top five.

Especially now that Marcus Smart is returning to school, Burke could very well see his name called as one of the first few names this year.

Burke's toughness on defense and his ability to simply open up a game would make a great fit for a team like Orlando, who have quality talent between the 3 and 5 spot. What they don't have is a strong replacement for Jameer Nelson, and we could very well see Burke head off to the Magic as a result of that, where he would no doubt be a great fit.

The point guard has excellent poise and mental strength, and his decision-making is supreme, which will leave Orlando no doubts about selecting him.


Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas—Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns

What Ben McLemore brings to the draft is great shooting, excellent range and the ability to consistently chalk up big numbers on offense.

The Kansas guard didn't have the deep March Madness run that he would have liked, but having seen him thrive during the regular season, there's no doubt that he's ready for the NBA, and there's no doubt that many teams will be interested in his services.

If Charlotte doesn't pick up Nerlens Noel with their No. 1 overall pick, you'd have to think it'd be a great fit for McLemore. The Bobcats are 26th in three-point field goals made per game and 27th in three-point field-goal percentage—numbers that McLemore could instantly fix, having shot 42 percent beyond the arc as a freshman.

The Phoenix Suns also represent an interesting option for McLemore, with their 32 percent three-point shooting, a large part of their sputtering offense.  If the Bobcats go with Noel, and Orlando looks for Burke, then McLemore could be the perfect pick for the Suns with the No. 3 pick.

Either team would make a great landing spot for the Jayhawks star.


Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana—Oklahoma City Thunder

For the rest of the league, the last thing teams want to see is the rich get richer, but that's exactly what could happen with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the 2013 NBA draft.

Having acquired Toronto's top-three protected pick in the James Harden trade, the Thunder will intently be watching the draft lottery to see where they fall, and if this pick is around, say, No. 6 or 7, then we may very well see the Thunder make a move for someone like Hoosiers shooting guard Victor Oladipo.

The Thunder haven't found an apt replacement yet for Harden coming off the bench, and haven't seen the same bench scoring as a result since his departure.

However, having Oladipo on board could that for the Thunder, with the athletic guard more than capable of posting up some big numbers. He is quick and is a great scorer in the paint, and while he might not have the greatest court vision just yet, his ability to simply make plays will make him a huge threat off the bench.

He won't have instant pressure to perform as long as the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are running the show, which should give Oladipo the chance to establish himself in that first year—adjusting to the style of the NBA and finding his feet as a weapon on the Thunder's bench.

Then look for him to explode in his second season.


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