2013 NBA Mock Draft: Ideal Homes for First Round's Most Talented Players

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMay 15, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Trey Burke #3 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts in the first half against the Louisville Cardinals during the 2013 NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at the Georgia Dome on April 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA draft is just over six weeks away, and although this year's class ranks among the weaker ones in recent memory, there's certainly no shortage of talent available.

While Nerlens Noel is the top player on most big boards without question, there are plenty of solid backcourt stars to choose from, including National Player of the Year Award winner Trey Burke.

Here we'll run through the entire first round of the 2013 NBA draft, highlighting the ideal homes for the most talented players.

*Ideal fits are italicized.


No. 1. Orlando Magic (20-62, Lottery Chance: 25 percent): Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, C

Aside from the excellent weather in Orlando, Nerlens Noel can't complain about being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Sure, plenty can happen from now until June 27, but at the moment Noel looks to be the top talent coming out this summer despite his injured knee.

The Magic clearly haven't been the same since Dwight Howard departed for L.A., but Noel would provide the struggling franchise with the size and inside-potential that Howard once did.

At 6'11" with a 7'4" wingspan, Noel offers shot-blocking ability, athleticism and explosiveness at the center position. He may not bring the immediate impact of a Dwight Howard, but if he continues to add strength and polishes his offensive game, the sky is the limit for this kid.


No. 2. Charlotte Bobcats (21-61, Lottery Chance: 19.9 percent): Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG

The Ray Allen comparisons are certainly fair at this stage of the game for Ben McLemore. The freshman shooting guard knocked in 42 percent of his 3-pointers last season for Kansas, and is every bit as smooth as Allen was back in the day.


No. 3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-58, Lottery Chance: 15.6 percent): Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF

Georgetown's Otto Porter would be an ideal first-round selection for the Cleveland Cavaliers, seeing as he doesn't need to dominate the basketball in order to produce. 

Porter will make his presence felt defensively at the next level thanks to his length and motor, but his ability to move without the ball will make him an offensive threat alongside an emerging superstar in point guard Kyrie Irving.


No. 4. Phoenix Suns (25-57, Lottery Chance: 11.9 percent): Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG

The Phoenix Suns need a player like Indiana's Victor Oladipo, a defensive-minded guard with an always-running motor. The 6'5" shooting guard is tough, physical and loves to rebound in addition to locking down his man on the perimeter. 

For a franchise desperate to return to contention, Oladipo makes tons of sense at No. 4 overall.


No. 5. New Orleans Pelicans (27-55, Lottery Chance: 8.8 percent): Trey Burke, Michigan, PG

There's no questioning who's the best point guard available this summer. It's Michigan's Trey Burke, a physical floor general who can create his own shot off the dribble or open up opportunities for others.

In addition to offering solid value at No. 5, Burke fills a crucial need. It's no secret that New Orleans needs an elite point guard if it's to get back to the postseason for the first time in the post-Chris Paul era.

The reigning National Player of the Year, Burke averaged over 18 points and nearly seven assists per game for the Michigan Wolverines last year.


No. 6. Sacramento Kings (28-54, Lottery Chance: 6.3 percent): Anthony Bennett, UNLV, PF

A bit raw and undersized, Anthony Bennett will likely have his name called somewhere right outside the Top Five on draft night. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, Bennett is a stud. He already has an NBA body, is explosive and can shoot the ball out to the three-point arch.

This would be a smart move for Sacramento, given Bennett's upside.


No. 7. Detroit Pistons (29-53, Lottery Chance: 3.6 percent): Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF

Shabazz Muhammad would bring a much-needed scoring punch to the Detroit Pistons next season. A 6'6" small forward who can score in almost every way possible, Muhammad averaged nearly 18 points per game as a freshman at UCLA last season. 


No. 8. Washington Wizards (29-53, Lottery Chance: 3.5 percent): Alex Len, Maryland, C

Alex Len wouldn't have to travel very far if selected by the Washington Wizards at No. 8 overall this June. The 7'1" center boasts the size and potential that very few other big men can in this year's draft, giving him added value. 

Still, there are questions about Len's toughness, strength and motor on both ends of the floor.


No. 9. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-51, Lottery Chance: 1.7 percent): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG

Not too many college basketball or NBA fans are familiar with Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but don't be surprised if the sharp-shooting guard winds up going somewhere in the Top 10 this summer.

The 6'5" shooting guard has deep range on his jump shot, can pass the ball extremely well and is a talented defensive player. Although he'll need to become a better ball handler at the next level, Caldwell-Pope would be a solid fit in Minnesota's backcourt.


No. 10. Portland Trail Blazers (33-49, Lottery Chance: 1.1 percent): C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, PG

All you need to know about C.J. McCollum is that he averaged 24 points per game last season while shooting nearly 52 percent from beyond the three-point arch. He could team with Damian Lillard in the Portland backcourt to create one of the most explosive scoring duos in the NBA next season.


No. 11. Philadelphia 76ers (34-48, Lottery Chance: 0.8 percent): Cody Zeller, Indiana, C

Philadelphia is lacking size on the interior, but Cody Zeller could be the answer to that problem. A long, 6'11" center, the former Indiana star can score around the basket and run the floor better than most bigs.


No. 12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors (34-48, Lottery Chance: 0.7 percent)): Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C

The Oklahoma City Thunder don't have an interior player who can score points down low. A majority of OKC's points come from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the outside, which can be a problem from time to time. 

Kelly Olynyk isn't the most physical of centers coming out of the college ranks this year, but his versatility on the offensive end makes him an intriguing player for the Thunder.

With the emergence of Reggie Jackson, OKC has enough wing talent already. Olynyk would allow the Thunder to throw the ball inside every now and then and get easy scoring opportunities. After all, the 7-foot Olynyk averaged 17.8 points per game on 63 percent shooting from the floor last season with Gonzaga, ranking as one of the most efficient players in all of college basketball.


No. 13. Dallas Mavericks (41-41, Lottery Chance: 0.6 percent): Dario Saric, Croatia, SF

Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have a history of drafting international talent, and Croatia's Dario Saric could be the next European to make a successful transition in Big D.

A 6'10" small forward, Saric boasts superb size, court vision and rebounding skills.


No. 14. Utah Jazz (43-39, Lottery Chance: 0.5 percent): Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG

Michael Carter-Williams is the second-best point guard available this summer, and should be a lottery pick. In this scenario, the former Syracuse floor general goes No. 14 to the Utah Jazz, an ideal fit considering Utah needs a point guard.

Carter-Williams wouldn't have to worry about dealing with the immense pressure that comes along with being a top-five pick, and instead would be able to contribute to a borderline playoff team.

At 6'5", Carter-Williams has the elite size to cause opposing NBA point guards problems on both ends of the court. Remember, he averaged over seven assists per game last season for the Orange.


No. 15. Milwaukee Bucks (38-44): Glen Rice Jr., NBA D-League, SG

Glen Rice Jr. has certainly impressed during his time in the NBA Development League, and his experience is what gives him an edge over players coming out of college this summer. 

A versatile, athletic wing player, Rice can defend and rebound extremely well for a 6'5" shooting guard.


No. 16. Boston Celtics (41-40): Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG

Jamaal Franklin is the sort of fearless player that the Boston Celtics need in order to transition into their new era. Franklin is super competitive, athletic and an explosive leaper who would bring some much-needed youth to Beantown.


No. 17. Atlanta Hawks (44-38): Pierre Jackson, Baylor, PG

Although he is undersized at 5'10", Pierre Jackson can score in a variety of ways and create for others with his ability to penetrate the defense. He averaged 20 points and seven assists per game last season for Baylor.


No. 18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets (45-37)): Rudy Gobert, France, PF

A 7'1" power forward with a 7'9" wingspan, France's Rudy Gobert is a rare athletic big man. Although he needs to get stronger and develop some post moves, he offers phenomenal potential for a team like the Atlanta Hawks, who will make back-to-back selections in the first round at numbers 17 and 18.


No. 19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers (45-37)): Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C

A raw talent, Steven Adams is ready to step in right away and bang bodies in the paint. He has a way to go before he can be relied upon on the offensive end.


No. 20. Chicago Bulls (45-37): Mason Plumlee, Duke, PF

Mason Plumlee isn't going to average 17 points and 10 rebounds per game at the next level, but his presence in the paint for a team like the Chicago Bulls would be huge. Plumlee is a great rebounder and interior defender.

His energy and athleticism would allow him to contribute right away off the bench next season.


No. 21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors (47-35)): Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece, SF

Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo has plenty of developing to do, but at 6'9" he brings great size to the table for a small forward. He's also an excellent passer and ball handler for a player his size.


No. 22. Brooklyn Nets (49-33): Tony Mitchell, North Texas, SF

North Texas doesn't often produce topflight NBA talent, but Tony Mitchell is a legitimate first-round prospect in 2013. A 6'8" small forward with an unrivaled motor, Mitchell is remarkably explosive and athletic. 

Mitchell excels on the break where his speed and leaping ability make him a huge threat.


No. 23. Indiana Pacers (49-32): Shane Larkin, Miami, PG

A sensational athlete and fast-improving floor general, Shane Larkin would be an excellent late first-round selection for the Indiana Pacers. Larkin wouldn't need to make an immediate impact in Indiana but would have an opportunity to compete for minutes in the Pacers' rotation.


No. 24. New York Knicks (54-28): Jeff Withey, Kansas, C

New York has an aging frontcourt, and former Kansas center Jeff Withey has the shot-blocking ability to not only add some youth, but some punch.


No. 25. Los Angeles Clippers (56-26): Allen Crabbe, California, SG

A big-time shooter with range, Cal's Allen Crabbe would be a great fit for the L.A. Clippers next season. He's not an elite athlete, but the Clippers have enough of those. 

Crabbe has a sweet mid-range game, plus he can rebound and defend well at the small forward position.


No. 26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies (56-26)): Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C

Louisville's Gorgui Dieng isn't going to wow on the offensive end, but his unselfish play and ability to disrupt opposing teams on the inside makes him a valuable pickup at this point in the first round, especially for a team that has plenty of room to improve on the defensive end.


No. 27. Denver Nuggets (57-25): Alex Abrines, Spain, SG

If Spain's Alex Abrines is able to continue his improvement, he'll be a great fit for a team like the Nuggets, who love to play fast, shoot from the outside and win with their athleticism. 

The 20-year-old has some flaws in his game still, but his talent on the offensive end is undeniable.


No. 28. San Antonio Spurs (58-24): Sergey Karasev, Russia, SF

Russia's Sergey Karasev is a slashing-type player that may remind some of Manu Ginobili. Although the comparisons are unfair to both players at this stage, Karasev's skills, passing ability and high basketball IQ make him an ideal late first-round pickup for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs.


No. 29. Oklahoma City Thunder (60-22): Dennis Schroeder, Germany, PG

A speedy, penetrating point guard, Germany's Dennis Schroeder has limitless potential. Although he has ways to go before he can be called on to lead an NBA offense, the Thunder can afford to take a chance on him at this stage.


No. 30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat (66-16)): Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, PG

With the final pick in the first round, the Phoenix Suns can afford to draft on potential. Kentucky's Archie Goodwin struggled plenty as a freshman last season, but that didn't hide the fact that he's a phenomenal athlete and a capable scorer.


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.


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