After the 2013 NBA champion is crowned, attention will turn to the first round of the June 27 draft. There, 30 future NBA stars will be selected to embark on their professional careers.
Every team will be constantly evaluating the best possible talent before making their selection. Where will the biggest college studs end up? Will the team that lands the first overall pick gamble by drafting Nerlens Noel? Will Otto Porter Jr. or Cody Zeller go first overall and become the NBA's next big star?
Here is a first-round mock draft.
1) Orlando Magic - Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Orlando’s needs are large in scope, but Noel could fill more needs than one.
Sure, Noel’s season came to a devastating end after he tore his ACL while chasing down a blocked shot against Florida. But general managers, coaches and scouts should take another look at this impressive basketball player.
Noel averaged over 10 points per game in 24 games for Kentucky last season. He also shot 59 percent from the field.
What’s more, Noel possesses the necessary physical prowess worthy of the first overall selection. He’s 6’10’’ with a wingspan of 7’4’’. That’s insane.
When Noel isn’t faced with creating his own offense, he’s at his best. His height and physical ability established him as one of the best finishers in college basketball last season, converting 64 percent of his attempts around the rim.
Noel would be a great fit in Orlando.
2) Charlotte Bobcats - Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The Bobcats need scorers. Lots of them. McLemore would be a tremendous fit for Charlotte for many reasons.
McLemore averaged nearly 16 points per game at Kansas last season. Moreover, he shot 49.5 percent from the field. He has the awareness to crash the boards and fight for rebounds, as he averaged over five per game last season.
He will most certainly need to fine-tune his game, but McLemore is a star in the making.
3) Cleveland Cavaliers - Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown
Cleveland finished 24-58 this year, and is in desperate need of offensive and defensive help in order to improve next season.
Otto Porter Jr. would be an ideal fit for Cleveland.
After averaging just under 10 points per game in 2011-12, Porter revved up his game and averaged over 16 points per contest last season for Georgetown. He also managed to average 7.5 rebounds per game.
Porter possesses the type of raw athletic ability worthy of a first-round pick. He’s quick on his feet, long and lengthy and his engine is always running. He’s a natural and proven decision maker with the ball in his hands, and would adapt well to Cleveland’s offense.
Given his age (19), Porter would need some time to develop his game, especially at the NBA level. No matter, his tremendous athleticism should get him over the hump.
4) Phoenix Suns - Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
Phoenix finished dead last in the Western Conference this season, and could use some size in the post. Cody Zeller would be a good pick for the Suns.
Zeller is an all-around baller, with size, strength, quickness and basketball smarts. He’s the type of player who could get the Suns out of the cellar in the West.
5) New Orleans Pelicans - Alex Len, C, Maryland
The Pelicans should select Maryland center Alex Len. A big, aggressive, intimidating player like Len could do wonders for New Orleans.
Len is very quick off his feet, and has the natural ability to make plays when he gets the ball.
6) Sacramento Kings - Victor Oladipo, SG/SF, Indiana
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NBA draft analyst Chad Ford of ESPN says Victor Oladipo has an undervalued skill that NBA teams love. http://t.co/C8sXCEG9LE #iubb5/15/2013, 8:35:17 PM
The Kings need athletes. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo would be a superb selection in the first round.
Oladipo boasts world-class athleticism and raw talent. He never gives up on a play, and general managers, coaches and scouts should love that mentality. With the proper training and coaching, this kid could become the NBA’s next biggest star.
7) Detroit Pistons - C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh
Detroit is desperate for scoring. A pure shooter like C.J. McCollum would be a fine first-round selection for the Pistons.
McCollom has a natural knack for scoring. It’s in his blood. He averaged over 21 points per game in three straight seasons at Lehigh.
8) Washington Wizards - Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
The Wizards need a leader, and Michigan’s Trey Burke is just that.
Burke is full of heart, grit and determination. He’s a fearless competitor, and is always looking to make plays. He averaged nearly 19 points per game last season for the Wolverines.
9) Minnesota Timberwolves - Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga
Minnesota could use another solid and efficient ball hawk, such as Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk.
Olynyk is a prolific scorer when given the chance. But what makes this kid so special is his ability to control the boards. He averaged over seven rebounds per game for Gonzaga last season.
10) Portland Trail Blazers - Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Michael Carter-Williams would be a logical choice for Portland. Last season at Syracuse, Carter-Williams averaged nearly 12 points per game. However, he did boast 4.9 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest.
An aggressive, talented player like Carter-Williams shouldn’t be taken lightly.
11) Philadelphia 76ers - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
Philadelphia just missed the playoffs this season. Adding some scoring touch would be highly beneficial.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would give the 76ers just what they need to get over the hump and into the postseason next year. A natural off-the-ball scorer, Caldwell-Pope has good size on the perimeter and is very fluid with the ball in his hands.
12) Toronto Raptors - Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke
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Duke’s Mason Plumlee would be a grand addition for Toronto in this year’s draft. At 6’10’’, Plumlee has great size and tremendous athletic ability. He averaged over 17 points per game last season for the Blue Devils.
Plumlee makes his living on the boards, as he averaged 10 rebounds per game last season.
13) Dallas Mavericks - Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
Tim Hardaway Jr. would fit comfortably in Dallas.
Hardaway Jr. is a natural scorer, and a good one. He averaged over 14 points per game for the second straight season at Michigan, and shot 43.7 percent from the field.
14) Utah Jazz - Lorenzo Brown, PG/SG, N.C. State
The Utah Jazz could take a big step next season by drafting N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown.
He’s probably oversized for his position, but he makes plays and is able to lead any offense. His ability to scan defenses is second to none.
15) Milwaukee Bucks - Deshaun Thomas, SF/PF, Ohio State
The Bucks could use a finisher—a player who could take them deep into the playoffs next season. That player is Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas.
Thomas averaged 19.8 points per game last season for the Buckeyes, and managed a healthy average of 5.9 rebounds per game.
What makes Thomas stand out from the rest of the pack is his experience. He played three years at Ohio State, so he won’t need much seasoning in the NBA.
16) Boston Celtics - Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
The Celtics could be without Paul Pierce next season, which means they will need to draft a shooting forward.
If he’s available, Boston should take UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad is a strong, fierce competitor. He could most certainly step in and contribute right away for Boston.
17) Atlanta Hawks - Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico
Atlanta should waste no time in selecting New Mexico’s Tony Snell. He possesses a fine shooting stroke, and a smooth on-court style.
Snell is also very explosive, and he’s capable to sneaking up on opposing defenses.
18) Houston Rockets - James Ennis, SG/SF, Long Beach State
Houston could use a scoring touch to its offense. Long Beach State’s James Ennis would fit well in Houston.
Ennis is a tremendous dunker, and creates havoc in the paint. He’s extremely strong in his lower body, and he’s capable of creating mismatches all game long.
19) Los Angeles Lakers - Reggie Bullock, SG/SF, North Carolina
Kobe Bryant is aging, and the Lakers could use another strong shooter. North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock would be a great fit.
He has plus size and length, and showed great improvement over the course of his collegiate career. He was one of the top shooters in the ACC last season.
20) Chicago Bulls - Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas
The Bulls should select a natural playmaker. Texas’ Myck Kabongo is just that.
He’s all talent, and fun to watch all the time. Capable of drawing multiple defenders, Kabongo would be the ideal pick for the Bulls to boost their offense for next season.
21) Golden State Warriors - Brandon Paul, SG, Illinois
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Brandon Paul of Illinois would be a good fit for Golden State late in the first round.
Paul is a prolific scorer, who averaged nearly 17 points per game for the Illini last season. He also converted over 40 percent of his attempts from the field.
He’s a player who has grown over the years. His turnovers have decreased, while his assists have increased.
Paul also doesn’t force plays. Instead, he creates them and looks for the right read.
22) Brooklyn Nets - Adonis Thomas, SF, Memphis
Adonis Thomas of Memphis would be a natural fit for Brooklyn.
Thomas has tremendous ball skills, and is a natural athlete with all sorts of untapped potential. Though his skills on the perimeter are subpar, Thomas is tremendous around the basket, where Brooklyn could use him most.
23) Indiana Pacers - Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor
The Pacers already have Paul George, but could add another lethal scoring threat by drafting Pierre Jackson late in the first round.
Jackson's production went up this season, averaging nearly 35 minutes and 20 points per game.
A proven scorer, Jackson would be a good fit for the Pacers.
24) New York Knicks - Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky
The Knicks need explosiveness. Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin would be a prime draft pick.
Goodwin is full of potential. He averaged over 14 points per game last season for Kentucky, but sunk 44 percent of his field goals.
25) Los Angeles Clippers - Andre Roberson, SF, Colorado
Andre Roberson is an explosive all-around athlete, and the Clippers could certainly utilize his services by drafting him.
Roberson’s range is tremendous, and, if he bulks up, he could be the type of impact player capable of defending the 3-point line and perimeter.
26) Memphis Grizzlies - Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona
Memphis should use their first-round pick on Arizona’s Solomon Hill.
Hill is the type of player capable of creating numerous mismatches for opponents. He’s very aggressive and physical with his hands, and would be an ideal fit for the Grizzlies.
27) Denver Nuggets - Dewayne Dedmon, C, USC
The Nuggets could use some size on both ends of the court. USC’s Dewayne Dedmon brings just that, and then some.
Finding a player with this kind of athletic ability is rare.
Dedmon would be a good fit in the Mile High City.
28) San Antonio Spurs - Brandon Triche, PG/SG, Syracuse
The Spurs should use their first-round draft pick on Syracuse’s Brandon Triche, who is a tremendous athlete on both ends of the court. He’s a hard-worker and takes care of business quietly.
Triche’s scoring ability is likely underrated, which is why he would be a good pick late in the first round.
29) Oklahoma City Thunder - Elijah Johnson, PG/SG, Kansas
The Thunder could use another electric player on offense. Kansas’ Elijah Johnson would be a perfect fit.
His shooting mechanics are virtually flawless, and he’s an effective finisher.
30) Miami Heat - Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville
The Heat have it all. But an experienced, four-year college player like Louisville’s Peyton Siva would be a perfect match in South Beach.
Siva is a natural leader, and was a three-year starter for the Cardinals. He’s very effective at executing the pick and roll, and is also swift on his feet.
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