2013 NBA Mock Draft: Assessing Each First-Round Slot After Lottery
When all was said and done at the 2013 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers had once again walked away with the No. 1 overall pick.
Nick Gilbert is a god.
After landing Kyrie Irving with the top pick in 2011, the Cavaliers have an opportunity to land another future star in 2013.
But who will they draft? Kentucky center Nerlens Noel? Georgetown small forward Otto Porter? Perhaps they trade back.
Here's a look at my latest 2013 NBA mock draft, post-lottery edition.
*All measurements and combine information via Chad Ford of ESPN.com
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Despite tearing his ACL in February, Nerlens Noel is widely considered to be the No. 1 prospect in the class based on potential. The Cavaliers aren't going to pass up on potential, just like they did with Kyrie Irving in 2011. Learning under Anderson Varejao will benefit the 19-year-old.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
Ben McLemore has the most upside out of any shooting guard in the draft. He was inconsistent at Kansas, but he's also only 20 years old. McLemore's athleticism (he dropped a 42-inch vertical at the combine) and scoring ability are impressive. Plus, he reportedly did well in interviews.
3. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
The fact that Anthony Bennett is coming off rotator cuff surgery hasn't appeared to sway many teams. He's an athletic, powerful prospect who has an inside-outside game. He also has great hands underneath. The Wizards have a void at power forward.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Victor Oladipo has already shown excellent defensive skills. Combined with his improving jumper, he could be a top-five pick in the draft. Plus, you would have to think Michael Jordan would recognize his undeniable heart.
5. Phoenix Suns: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
The Suns have needs all over the court. Otto Porter is the kind of do-it-all player who can help them on both sides of the ball. Porter's work ethic came through last season when his jumper improved dramatically.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, G, Michigan
Greivis Vasquez had a solid season for New Orleans last year, but it's hard to pass up on the potential of Trey Burke, especially at No. 6 overall. Burke has a scintillating blend of scoring and playmaking ability. He wouldn't be a bad sixth man for the Pelicans to start off his NBA career.
7. Sacramento Kings: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Alex Len missed the combine due to ankle surgery, but he's one of the most promising big men in the class in my mind. His combination of athleticism, versatility, rebounding, shot-blocking ability and passing skills will be hard to pass up for the Kings, who currently lack an identity.
8. Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
The Pistons are in need of some talent and scoring ability on the wing. Enter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, one of the best shooters in the class. Caldwell-Pope also has the athleticism to translate nicely to the pros.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
The Timberwolves need an outside shooter to complement point guard Ricky Rubio. McCollum shot 52 percent from beyond the arc for Lehigh last season. His electric performance against Duke in the 2012 NCAA tournament also showed he has the chops to step up his game against better competition.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
Whether Cody Zeller can succeed at center is debatable. He didn't exactly quiet concerns about his toughness or strength in the 2013 NCAA tournament. But planting him at power forward alongside the developing Meyers Leonard isn't a bad way to go. Zeller has the mobility, scoring repertoire and basketball IQ to succeed at the next level.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
When I think Mason Plumlee, I think solid prospect. He's not going to jump out at you, but he has the size, athleticism, rebounding ability and mid-range game to be a legit starter in the frontcourt for the 76ers.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
Kelly Olynyk isn't explosive, but he runs the floor well for a big man, he has a nice inside-outside offensive game, and he has a non-stop motor. That fits well with the fast-paced Thunder.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
Shabazz Muhammad's stock likely dropped after the combine. He comes with character concerns, he shot poorly in Chicago and he's small for a small forward (6'6"). On the other hand, his wingspan (6'11"), offensive potential and work ethic will likely keep him in the lottery.
14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (FL)
Shane Larkin's size has undoubtedly raised questions (5'11"), but he does so much well that it's hard for me to put too much stock into that. He has great range, he's incredibly athletic and explosive (posting the second-best vertical leap in combine history) and he plays pesky defense. He's the true floor general the Jazz need.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
Long, athletic and explosive, Jamaal Franklin is fun to watch. You add in his elite rebounding ability and undeniable heart and you have a strong candidate on the wing for the Bucks, who may lose Monta Ellis in the summer.
16. Boston Celtics: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
I'm not sold on Michael Carter-Williams as a top-10 pick, given his inconsistent jump shot, but he would be a good fit for the Celtics. The Celtics know a thing or two about point guards who can slash to the rim and set up their teammates (i.e. Rajon Rondo). Even if Rondo stays in Boston, Carter-Williams would be an excellent backup. He's also shown the pesky defense Doc Rivers loves.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Rudy Gobert, PF/C, France
Rudy Gobert certainly passes the eye test. He's not only 7'2", he recorded a wingspan of nearly 7'9" and a 9'7" standing reach, both record measurements at the combine. He may not have great hops, but it's not like he has to jump out of the gym with those measurements anyway. Gobert's scoring ability near the hoop, rebounding skills and shot-blocking ability would inject Atlanta's frontcourt with some life.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
With the Hawks potentially headed for rebuilding mode as Josh Smith enters free agency, they can afford to be patient with a young prospect like Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nobody knows how the Greek will respond to higher-level competition, but his fluidity to the hoop, passing skills and handles have drawn comparisons to Scottie Pippen. No one's saying Antetokounmpo will become the next Pippen, but his skill set is certainly reminiscent.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
Dario Saric has the fluidity, passing skills, rebounding ability and versatility at 6'10" to be a solid pro, but his jump shot and defense need work. Still, the Cavaliers, who could use some help on the wing, aren't likely to pass up the Croatian here.
20. Chicago Bulls: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia
It's no secret that the Bulls need outside shooting. Sergey Karasev has one of the sweetest strokes in the class. The 19-year-old shot 49 percent from downtown for the Triumph in the Eurocup in 2012-13, via EuroBasket.com. Karasev is also a heady player, which coach Tom Thibodeau should enjoy.
21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Steven Adams was already widely considered a first-round pick before the combine, given his size, athleticism, defensive skills and rebounding ability. But Adams' shooting touch surprised a lot of people at the combine. With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap headed for free agency, the Jazz could use some depth behind developing big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico
Tony Snell's draft stock skyrocketed at the combine. There are questions about his effort on the hardwood, but he can light it up and possesses the athleticism and size (6'7") to eventually make a difference in the NBA. He ranked second among all participants in lane agility testing at the combine. The Nets need shooters.
23. Indiana Pacers: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
Dennis Schroeder continues to attract considerable buzz throughout the draft process. The 6'2" prospect is more of a shoot-first point guard now, but his quickness, ability to penetrate the lane and handles have raised eyebrows. He would be a strong candidate to back up George Hill in Indiana.
24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
Jeff Withey averaged 3.9 blocks in his final season at Kansas—that number isn't a fluke. The seven-footer is widely-considered to be one of the best defensive post men in the class. He would be a fine successor to Tyson Chandler in New York.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor
Pierre Jackson may be under 5'11" in shoes, but his explosiveness has drawn comparisons to Nate Robinson. Those comparisons are legit in my mind. When you watch game tape of this kid, he leaps out at you...literally. He needs some work on his jump shot, but his slashing and passing ability are hard to ignore. He would be a nice backup for Chris Paul if Eric Bledsoe leaves in the summer.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Nikola Pekovic figures to be a hot item in free agency this season. Even if the Timberwolves are able to re-sign him, they could use some depth in the frontcourt. Dieng's defensive skills and shot-blocking ability were evident in Louisville's run to the national championship. His mid-range game also improved down the stretch.
27. Denver Nuggets: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
The Golden State Warriors exposed the Nuggets' lack of outside shooting in the first round of the playoffs this season. Allen Crabbe—who ranked fifth among all participants in shooting drills at the combine—would be a great fit. Crabbe shot 38 percent from beyond the arc at Cal.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Glen Rice Jr., SG, Georgia Tech
Against better competition than college, Glen Rice Jr. averaged 25 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in the playoffs for the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season. Those numbers exemplify his well-rounded game. Did I mention he registered a 40.5-inch vertical at the combine?
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricardo Ledo, PG, Providence
Ricardo Ledo was being hailed as one of the best scorers in high school in 2011-12, but he was ruled academically ineligible in 2012-13. He does come with some character concerns (including fluctuating effort out on the hardwood), but he's still only 20 years old. He has great size (6'6") as a combo guard, he can attack the lane and he shows an eye-opening knowledge of the game. Not a bad option off the bench for the Thunder.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Heat): Alex Abrines, SG, Spain
Alex Abrines could end up being a steal. The 20-year-old didn't get a whole lot of minutes on powerhouse Barcelona this season, but when he did, he made them count. He scored 21 points in 21 minutes on April 4 in Euroleague play. He added 10 points in 14 minutes against Panathinaikos. He's athletic, he can score from deep and he's efficient. Adding strength will be crucial for the Spaniard.
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