NBA Mock Draft 2013: Forecasting Every First-Round Pick After Combine
The 2013 NBA combine has officially concluded as we look ahead to the draft lottery on Tuesday night.
Some prospects improved their stock in Chicago, while others were overshadowed by the more athletic and explosive.
It's worth noting that being extremely athletic doesn't automatically preface success in the pros, as we've seen countless times. You generally need a combination of skills to live up to the lofty expectations of the NBA.
That's not to say being athletic can't help your stock, though. We've also seen the athletically-challenged fall flat in the jump to the NBA.
Here's my latest 2013 NBA mock draft, taking all of this into account.
*All measurements and combine information via Chad Ford of ESPN.com
1. Orlando Magic: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Despite being nearly 7'0" in shoes, Nerlens Noel weighed in at a staggering 206 pounds at the combine. That is razor-thin. Noel also tore his ACL in February. But Noel's wingspan measured in at about 7'4" and his standing reach measured in at 9'2" at the combine. Plus, his shot-blocking ability and rebounding prowess while at Kentucky is hard to ignore.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
Ben McLemore showed bouts of inconsistency at Kansas and he measured in at under 6'5" in shoes, but he's still young at 20 years of age. His reach measured in at about 6'8", as well. Also, you can't ignore the athleticism, fluidity and shooting touch he showed while at Kansas. He's a project, but his skills translate very nicely to the NBA.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Otto Porter may be the surest thing in the entire draft class. He's shown a well-rounded game, he has legit size for the NBA and he improved his shooting range dramatically last season at Georgetown.
4. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Victor Oladipo may have measured in at about 6'4" in shoes at the combine, but he does have the wingspan (6'9") to make up for it. He also has the heart and determination. Oladipo was an excellent defender at Indiana and he improved his jump shot dramatically last season.
5. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, G, Michigan
I originally had Shabazz Muhammad here based on his potential, but the red flags are too hard to ignore. Greivis Vasquez is coming off a tremendous season, but Trey Burke has more potential as a complete point guard. Plus, he can be a legit sixth man in his rookie season for the Pelicans.
6. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV
Anthony Bennett just had rotator cuff surgery, but he is a versatile, powerful, athletic prospect who just may be a top-five pick in this year's draft. He has the athleticism to play small forward for the Kings and the strength to bang down low in the post.
7. Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
The Pistons are in desperate need of a shooter on the wing. Enter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope is not only a terrific shooter with deep range, his athleticism translates to the pros. This kid has been soaring up draft boards, and the combine only helped his cause.
8. Washington Wizards: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len is just coming off ankle surgery and he missed the combine while other big men impressed, but I still think he's the pick for the Wizards. At just 19 years of age, he's already shown the athleticism, versatility, rebounding, shot-blocking ability and passing skills to be a good one in a couple of years.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
It would be a surprise if the Timberwolves passed up C.J. McCollum here if Caldwell-Pope was off the board. McCollum shot 51 percent from three-point range last season at Lehigh.
He's also been known to step up on the big stage (see: March 2012).
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
I'm not the biggest fan of Cody Zeller (it's hard to teach a mean streak), but there is no question the offensive skill set is there. I like him better as a power forward than a center. The Trail Blazers could use some depth in the frontcourt.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
The more I look at Mason Plumlee, the more I don't understand the lack of enthusiasm directed his way. He's athletic, can run the floor, has NBA size, has a nice midrange game and can crash the glass.
The one concern, I suppose, is that he's 23 years old already, but his breakout senior campaign at Duke makes me look the other way in that regard.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
The Thunder aren't in position to wait around for a prospect to develop. They've been gunning for a title for a while now and the crushing loss of Russell Westbrook in the playoffs due to injury was hard to stomach. Kelly Olynyk has the athleticism, shooting touch and ability to put the ball on the floor to be a good fit with Oklahoma City.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
This may be where Shabazz Muhammad's slide ends. There are questions about his character, he shot poorly in drills during the combine and he measured in at 6'6" (shorter for a small forward), but his wingspan (6'11") helps matters and he attacks the rim with authority. The Mavericks could use some help on the wing.
14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (Fla.)
Some may say Michael Carter-Williams is a better point guard prospect than Shane Larkin (I'm not even sure that's the case), but there's no debating Larkin is a better fit for the Jazz than Carter-Williams. The Jazz need someone who can shoot at point guard and Larkin can certainly do that.
He's also incredibly athletic (registering the second-best vertical leap in combine history), he sees the floor well and he's a pesky defender. Yes, he's under 6'0", but I don't care at this point. He has the tools to defy the odds in the NBA.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
The Bucks have a plethora of swing players headed for free agency this summer, including Monta Ellis. Jamaal Franklin does all the little things right, he can finish and he improved his jump shot at San Diego State. It's a logical pick for the Bucks.
16. Boston Celtics: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Even if Rajon Rondo stays (I expect him to, by the way), the Celtics need a backup. Michael Carter-Williams is not only a disruptive defender (something Doc Rivers will love), he's a quick point guard who can get into the lane and set up things for his teammates. He also has great size (about 6'6") to go along with his athleticism at point guard.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
I haven't swayed from my picks for the Hawks. With Josh Smith likely headed out of Atlanta, Giannis Antetokounmpo makes sense, as far as ability and where the Hawks stand now. Antetokounmpo is 19 years old and raw, but he's already drawing comparisons to Scottie Pippen given his fluidity, vision, passing skills and finishing ability. I think he's worth the gamble.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Rudy Gobert, PF, France
Rudy Gobert measured in at 7'2" in shoes at the combine. He has a wingspan measuring in at about 7'9". And he has a 9'7" standing reach. Those are ridiculous measurements that have scarcely ever been seen at the combine. He's long, athletic and crashes the glass.
The question is, can the 20-year-old translate from the French League to the NBA? I'll you what: His measurables certainly stack up.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Steven Adams may not be here at No. 19 overall, but if he is, the Cavaliers have to jump on him. He has great size and athleticism for the position, attacks the glass and shocked at the combine with his shooting touch. He could be a steal in a couple of years.
20. Chicago Bulls: Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
The Bulls, as always, need outside shooting. Sergey Karasev shot 49 percent from downtown for the Triumph in the Eurocup in 2012-13, via EuroBasket.com. Coach Tom Thibodeau also figures to love his basketball IQ.
21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
With both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap headed for free agency this summer, the Jazz need to think about adding some depth (and competition) behind Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. I'm a fan of Gorgui Dieng, and I think he could go earlier than this, but if he drops here, he's a strong pick for Utah. His shot-blocking skills, rebounding ability and improved offensive game could make him a solid pro.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico
With a sharpshooter like Karasev off the board, I could see the Nets going with Tony Snell. Snell has rocketed up draft boards, based on his measurables and shooting touch.
He ranked second among all participants in shooting drills at the combine, he has good size at shooting guard (6'7") and he has a wingspan of nearly 7'0".
23. Indiana Pacers: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
As a backup to George Hill, Dennis Schroeder is a good fit in Indiana. He's extremely quick, gets into the lane at will and can find his teammates. He also has a wingspan of nearly 6'8", so there's that.
24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
With the Knicks aging in the frontcourt, Jeff Withey makes sense. His excellent shot-blocking ability and rebounding skills make him a potential successor to Tyson Chandler in New York.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor
With Eric Bledsoe potentially leaving this summer, the Clippers could find a capable backup to Chris Paul in Pierre Jackson. He has drawn comparisons to veteran Nate Robinson based on his outstanding hops and explosiveness.
Jackson also has solid shooting range to complement his slashing ability. He's another kid whose lack of size (5'10") doesn't bother me all that much.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
Dario Saric's ability to play point-forward at 6'10" has raised eyebrows, but I'm still not sold on his athleticism (or lack thereof), jump shot, handles or defense. He's a skilled, crafty, versatile player, but I don't know if he should be drafted as early as some suggest.
27. Denver Nuggets: Allen Crabbe, SG, Cal
Allen Crabbe shot 38 percent from downtown during his career at Cal, but that doesn't even begin to explain his range.
Denver's lack of outside shooting was exposed by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs this season. Crabbe—who ranked fifth among all participants in shooting drills at the combine—makes a ton of sense.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Glen Rice Jr., SG, Georgia Tech
Glen Rice Jr. has not only expanded his game in the D-League (he averaged 25 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in the playoffs for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers), he's also a solid on-the-ball defender. Gregg Popovich figures to be interested in such a player with NBA bloodlines.
Will Ricardo Ledo succeed in the NBA?
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricardo Ledo, PG, Providence
Ricardo Ledo was widely considered to be one of the nation's top high school scorers in 2011-12 before being ruled academically ineligible for the 2012-13 campaign. But the fact remains, he has good size for the position (6'6"), he has a good understanding of the game and he impressed at the combine.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Heat): Alex Abrines, SG, Spain
Alex Abrines was able to find minutes on one of the best teams in Europe this season, despite being just 20 years of age. He's quick, athletic and a big-time shooter. Sounds like someone who could help the Suns in due time.
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