The 2013 NBA draft lottery will be held on Tuesday, May 21, and the league will help shape the fortunes of every team that did not make the playoffs last season when the lotto balls are selected by league officials.
Considered a "weak" draft by some pundits, it's been hard to nail down what the top 14 is going to look like this year. It's hard to nail that information down every year, but few have asserted themselves as lottery-worthy solely on their amateur play.
The NBA Scouting Combine will help give some insight to which prospects are shooting up the board, and buzz from inside NBA sources will help us figure some of that out as well.
Without even a clear-cut No. 1 pick yet and the 2013 NBA lottery still to come, change is the name of the game with respect to the 2013 draft. While that change will certainly creep up again before the June draft, it's not too early to highlight a few players continually creeping up in mock drafts and buzz about the lottery.
Here's a look at the 2013 lottery odds, three players you should pay attention to if your team has a top-14 pick and a complete preview for said lottery in the sections below.
Full Lottery Odds
|1||Orlando Magic||25 percent|
|2||Charlotte Bobcats||19.9 percent|
|3||Cleveland Cavaliers||15.6 percent|
|4||Phoenix Suns||11.9 percent|
|5||New Orleans Pelicans||8.8 percent|
|6||Sacramento Kings||6.3 percent|
|7||Detroit Pistons||3.6 percent|
|8||Washington Wizards||3.5 percent|
|9||Minnesota Timberwolves||1.7 percent|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||1.1 percent|
|11||Philadelphia 76ers||0.8 percent|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto)||0.7 percent|
|13||Dallas Mavericks||0.6 percent|
|14||Utah Jazz||0.5 percent|
Prospects Ready to Crash Top 14
Dennis Schroeder, Germany
Heralded by some as the most intriguing prospect in the 2013 class, Dennis Schroeder is a point guard from Germany who has lit his league on fire with pure athleticism, speed and an ability to refine his jump shot in a short time.
In short, Schroeder could be the first point guard taken after Trey Burke leaves the board—his potential is that good.
According to European Prospects on Twitter, Schroeder will be in attendance at Chicago's combine and will then stay in the United States for some additional training:
Dennis Schröder flew to Chicago yesterday for the combine. After the three days in Chicago, he will be in Washington to work out for 6 days— EuropeanProspects (@ChristopheEPcom) May 14, 2013
A 6'2", 170-pound point guard, Schroeder is quick off the dribble and eats up defenders for lunch. Several scouting reports (like this one from NBADraft.net) place him in the class of guys like Darren Collison and praise his ability to use his quickness to his advantage.
Weaknesses for Schroeder include a consistent jump shot and an ability to avoid the turnover, but those are issues that are very minimal if you are of the theory that NBA coaching helps curb the raw side of an NBA athlete.
The point guard class is very weak this year, and Schroeder is the kind of guard whom a team with an established guard might take a chance on at the bottom of the lottery, or a team without any kind of point guard stability might take a stab at once the top point guard comes off the board.
Familiarize yourself with this guy's game—he could be taken before you have time to look up his highlight film.
Giannis Antetokoumpo , Greece
In terms of pure "wow" factor, Giannis Antetokoumpo is the only player in the class of 2013 who makes you literally stop what you are doing and watch his highlight film.
Listed at 6'10" and playing point guard for his current team, there's literally no end to the intrigue surrounding his game. What position should he play in the NBA? At 6'10", with excellent handles and the ability to play above the rim, you could argue his case at nearly every position on the floor.
If you're looking for a sleeper, this is your guy. If you listen to Eurohopes (on Twitter), Antetokoumpo might be the biggest sleeper since the most decorated European player of all time:
Giannis Adetokunbo ('94) might be the biggest sleeper in the NBA draft since Dirk Nowitzki. His profile: bit.ly/ZAZ6HU— Eurohopes (@Eurohopes) May 6, 2013
If you'll remember, Nowitzki was taken with the No. 9 pick in the 1998 draft. Antetokoumpo isn't listed that high—yet—but he has a chance to be taken in the lottery just on pure athleticism and intrigue alone.
There's no amount of words or descriptions that can do justice to this kid's current collection of highlights. It's a shame he won't be at the NBA Scouting Combine, but he will make his way into the top 14 when people get a chance to study his rare attributes for another month or so.
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Not currently listed on many big boards as a lottery pick, there's a good chance team need could force teams to start looking harder at one of the few four-year standouts in this year's draft.
Plumlee played for Duke for all four of his eligible years and helped the team to a championship during his freshman season (2010).
Stepping into a full-time role during his last two seasons for the Blue Devils, Plumlee averaged 11.1 and 17.1 points, respectively, from 2011-13 and added over nine rebounds in each of those two seasons.
He has a high motor, is very active on the glass and his length makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in the "mid-tier" section of the draft, largely because guys like Indiana's Cody Zeller, Maryland's Alex Len and Kentucky's Nerlens Noel will all likely be off the board by then.
Which prospect is a lottery lock?
Plumlee reminds me of current Indiana Pacer Tyler Hansbrough, but his offense game isn't as developed as the current NBA forward's was when he entered the league from North Carolina.
However, Plumlee clearly has plenty of upside as a gadget forward who can come in, provide a physical presence inside and help a team in the rebounding department, all the while working toward getting better inside and with his back-to-the-basket game.
Don't be surprised when Plumlee winds up somewhere near the top 10 selections; largely like the point guard class situation—when teams need a specific kind of player, the reaching begins. Plumlee might not have clear lottery talent, but his work ethic and production in college could vault him here to stay after the combine is over.
Full Lottery Predictions
|1||Orlando Magic||C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky|
|2||Charlotte Bobcats||SG Ben McLemore, Kansas|
|3||Cleveland Cavaliers||SF Otto Porter, Georgetown|
|4||Phoenix Suns||C/PF Cody Zeller, Indiana|
|5||New Orleans Pelicans||SF Anthony Bennett, UNLV|
|6||Sacramento Kings||SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana|
|7||Detroit Pistons||PG Trey Burke, Michigan|
|8||Washington Wizards||C Alex Len, Maryland|
|9||Minnesota Timberwolves||SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||C/PF Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga|
|11||Philadelphia 76ers||C/PF Mason Plumlee, Duke|
|12||OKC Thunder (via TOR)||PG Dennis Schroeder, Germany|
|13||Dallas Mavericks||PG/SG C.J. McCollum, Lehigh|
|14||Utah Jazz||PG/SG/SF Giannis Antetokoumpo, Greece|
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 ESPN2. For reairs of the NBA combine, NBATV will be airing Day 1 coverage on Saturday, May 18, at 12 p.m. ET. Day 2 replays will be Sunday, May 19, at 12 p.m. ET.
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