2013 NBA Mock Draft: Best-Case Situations for Every NBA Team
Over two-thirds of the NBA has entered offseason mode already this May, meaning it's time to start talking 2013 NBA draft.
While this year's class lacks a can't-miss talent like Anthony Davis a year ago, there are a handful of former college stars to choose from, and a plethora of future NBA role players on the board.
Despite injury, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel looks like the overwhelming favorite to go No. 1 overall regardless of who wins the draft lottery later this month. You can't teach size, and at 6'11", Noel possesses the ideal combination of talent, skill and potential.
Wondering how the other 29 picks will shape up?
Here we'll run down the entire first round of the 2013 NBA draft, breaking down the best-case situation for all 30 selections.
No. 1. Orlando Magic (20-62, Lottery Chance: 25 percent): Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, C
Despite Noel's devastating knee injury suffered last February, he's the best player available this summer. He's no Anthony Davis, but at 6'11", he possesses the size to become a difference maker on the interior for the Orlando Magic in the post-Dwight Howard era.
No. 2. Charlotte Bobcats (21-61, Lottery Chance: 19.9 percent): Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG
The Charlotte Bobcats need lots of help if they are going to pick themselves up off the mat this offseason. Kansas guard Ben McLemore can't turn around the franchise by himself, but his ability to score from anywhere on the floor makes him an ideal selection at No. 2.
A lot depends on how the ping-pong balls fall into place for Charlotte this May.
No. 3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-58, Lottery Chance: 15.6 percent): Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF
There's a lot to love about Otto Porter's game. An unselfish player who can both score and defend, Porter would be an excellent addition to a Cleveland Cavaliers franchise that already features a backcourt star in Kyrie Irving.
Porter is an excellent mover without the ball and wouldn't take away from Irving's opportunities to score or create for the Cavs.
On top of that, Porter is still on the rise as a player. His game is still improving and the list of weaknesses is shortening.
No. 4. Phoenix Suns (25-57, Lottery Chance: 11.9 percent): Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG
The days of Steve Nash and the run-and-gun offense in Phoenix are long gone, as the Suns are in full-on rebuilding mode heading into this year's draft.
At No. 4, the best the Suns can hope for is Indiana's Victor Oladipo, a player who shines on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively, Oladipo must continue to improve, but his athleticism should help him do just that.
No. 5. New Orleans Pelicans (27-55, Lottery Chance: 8.8 percent): Trey Burke, Michigan, PG
Trey Burke is the most talented point guard in this year's class, and if still available at No. 5, he's the best possible pickup for the new-look New Orleans Pelicans, who would be able to team him up with last year's No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Davis.
New Orleans obviously needs a point guard capable of lifting it to the next level, and Burke's combination of scoring and vision should allow him to thrive in the Big Easy.
One of the big question marks about Burke is his defense and whether he'll be able to keep opposing guards in front of him. Physically, there's no doubt he can, but will the effort be there on a consistent basis?
No. 6. Sacramento Kings (28-54, Lottery Chance: 6.3 percent): Anthony Bennett, UNLV, PF
Anthony Bennett is the best player on the board at No. 6 for the Kings. One of few players coming out with huge upside, Bennett has star potential, something Sacramento needs in order to remain relevant.
No. 7. Detroit Pistons (29-53, Lottery Chance: 3.6 percent): Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF
One of the most offensively gifted players in this year's class, Shabazz Muhammad could help the Detroit Pistons put more points on the board in 2013-14. Like many of the early picks in this year's draft, Muhammad will come with a bit of risk attached.
No. 8. Washington Wizards (29-53, Lottery Chance: 3.5 percent): Alex Len, Maryland, C
It says a lot about this year's draft class that Alex Len is projected to be a Top-10 pick, but if there's a landing spot that makes sense for the former Maryland center, it's Washington.
Just a few miles down the road from College Park, the nation's capital would be a solid fit for Len. John Wall is an absolute stud and the Wizards are heading in the right direction.
If Len can add to his arsenal of post moves and get stronger, he obviously has the size at 7'1" to make his presence felt around the rim.
Credit Len for making major strides from his freshman to sophomore year at Maryland. You can't knock the effort even if the production sometimes left a bit to be desired.
No. 9. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-51, Lottery Chance: 1.7 percent): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope flew under the radar for the most part playing for a lackluster Bulldogs program, but his ability to shoot the ball from distance makes him a valuable first-round prospect.
The Timberwolves, who will draft twice in the first round, would be wise to give him a look at No. 9.
No. 10. Portland Trail Blazers (33-49, Lottery Chance: 1.1 percent): C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, PG
A great shooter, C.J. McCollum would be a big-time addition to any NBA franchise. In Portland, he could team up with Damian Lillard to form one of the most lethal scoring backcourts in the league.
No. 11. Philadelphia 76ers (34-48, Lottery Chance: 0.8 percent): Cody Zeller, Indiana, C
Cody Zeller's reputation took a hit along with Indiana in this past NCAA tournament, but he's still a great option for a team like Philadelphia. The Sixers lack size inside and Zeller brings tremendous value at No. 11 overall.
No. 12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors (34-48, Lottery Chance: 0.7 percent)): Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C
Kelly Olynyk may not be the most dominant big man coming out this year, but his versatility on the offensive end makes him an intriguing prospect, especially for a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, who don't have a player who can score down low.
No. 13. Dallas Mavericks (41-41, Lottery Chance: 0.6 percent): Dario Saric, Croatia, SF
A 6'10" small forward out of Croatia, Dario Saric has plenty of improving and developing to do before he can become a star at the NBA level, but his potential is seemingly endless.
No. 14. Utah Jazz (43-39, Lottery Chance: 0.5 percent): Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG
The Utah Jazz have yet to find their point guard of the future following Deron Williams' departure. That said, they will be hard-pressed to pass on Syracuse floor general Michael Carter-Williams.
Although he must become a more consistent shooter in order to make teams pay in the pick-and-roll game, he has excellent vision and is a sensational athlete when he wants to get to the rim.
No. 15. Milwaukee Bucks (38-44): Glen Rice Jr., NBA D-League, SG
Glen Rice Jr. was a star in the NBA Developmental League this past season, averaging 25 points and nine rebounds per game. He should get a look from several NBA teams in need of a backcourt boost this summer, including the Milwaukee Bucks.
Rice brings more experience to the table as a former D-League star and therefore has the potential to make an impact right away next season.
No. 16. Boston Celtics (41-40): Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG
The Boston Celtics need to bring in a player who can infuse them with some energy and provide them with more athleticism. Depending on how the board looks at this point, San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin is a solid fit here in the middle of the first round.
No. 17. Atlanta Hawks (44-38): Pierre Jackson, Baylor, PG
Although he's undersized, former Baylor guard Pierre Jackson does so much well on the offensive end that teams will have a hard time passing on him. Atlanta can use him as a playmaker off the bench.
Whether he's scoring or assisting others, Jackson will be a productive player with the ball in his hands.
No. 18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets (45-37)): Rudy Gobert, France, PF
Like a lot of international prospects, Rudy Gobert is a bit of a risk and also a player who will need time to develop. The speed and quality of play in the NBA is greater than anywhere else on the planet, but the French star has a ridiculous 7'9" wingspan to assist him in his transition.
No. 19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers (45-37)): Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C
Pitt center Steven Adams has an NBA body already and can make an impact defensively on the interior. Unfortunately, he's still incredibly raw offensively and will need time to improve in order to become a consistent contributor.
No. 20. Chicago Bulls (45-37): Mason Plumlee, Duke, PF
Don't expect Mason Plumlee to achieve the same level of offensive success in the NBA that he did at Duke last season. He's got to acquire some go-to moves at the next level, but his athleticism and ability to outrun opposing big men down the floor set him apart from some of the other bigs coming out this year.
No. 21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors (47-35)): Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece, SF
Giannis Antetokounmpo brings plenty of size and length to the table as a 6'9" small forward. He's only 18 years old, though, and will need to quickly adapt to the NBA pace.
Still, the Jazz can afford to take a gamble with this pick assuming they land their point guard at No. 14 overall.
No. 22. Brooklyn Nets (49-33): Tony Mitchell, North Texas, SF
A high-energy player with outstanding athleticism, North Texas' Tony Mitchell could become Deron Williams' favorite target in transition.
Mitchell can elevate and plays with superb speed, quickness and effort for a 6'8" forward.
No. 23. Indiana Pacers (49-32): Shane Larkin, Miami, PG
Miami's Shane Larkin blossomed into a superstar last season, demonstrating great vision and an excellent shooting touch from outside.
The fact that Larkin is only 5'11" could be a bit of an issue for him at the NBA level, but there's no denying that he's a phenomenal athlete and a great fit potentially behind George Hill in Indiana's backcourt.
No. 24. New York Knicks (54-28): Jeff Withey, Kansas, C
It's no secret that the New York Knicks are an old team with an aging frontcourt rotation. Kansas center Jeff Withey offers some size along with excellent shot-blocking prowess should the Knicks opt for a big man.
No. 25. Los Angeles Clippers (56-26): Allen Crabbe, California, SG
Allen Crabbe does a lot of things well and would be a strong pickup for the Los Angeles Clippers late in the first round this summer. Crabbe can score on the offensive end thanks to his smooth jump shot, and he defends with excellent effort.
No. 26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies (56-26)): Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C
A long, shot-blocking big man, Gorgui Dieng offers great value for the Minnesota Timberwolves this late in the first round. He doesn't have to touch the ball to be effective and his unselfish style of play will set him up to become an instant-impact role player.
No. 27. Denver Nuggets (57-25): Alex Abrines, Spain, SG
The European invasion continues with Alex Abrines, a top-flight scorer out of Spain.
Abrines can handle the ball and shoot with range. Overall, what he does well suits Denver's style, making him a best-case situation for the Nuggets in Round 1.
No. 28. San Antonio Spurs (58-24): Sergey Karasev, Russia, SF
Sergey Karasev is a 19-year-old forward from Russia who can shoot the ball well and certainly make an impact off the bench for a deep, veteran team like the San Antonio Spurs.
No. 29. Oklahoma City Thunder (60-22): Dennis Schroeder, Germany, PG
Germany's Dennis Schroeder has some physical and mental developing to do, but is definitely worthy of a first-round selection in 2013. And if there's a team in position to wait patiently for him to pan out, it's the Thunder.
Plus, it's not difficult at all to imagine him fitting in right away with OKC. He's a speedster in the open floor and an aggressive player on the offensive end.
No. 30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat (66-16)): Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, PG
Archie Goodwin has loads of potential, making him a best-case scenario for the Phoenix Suns with the last pick of the first round.
Goodwin's shooting woes are no doubt holding him back, but there's nothing wrong with drafting a project player late. You're not going to find a whole lot of future NBA stars at this point in the draft, so why not draft on potential?
Don’t forget to catch the 2013 NBA Draft Combine action on Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17. The event will be broadcast both days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on ESPN 2. For re-airs of the NBA Combine, NBATV will be airing Day 1 coverage on Saturday, May 18 at noon ET. Day 2 replays will be Sunday, May 19 at noon ET.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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