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2013 NBA Mock Draft: How Restructured Top 3 Shapes Rest of the Draft

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2013 NBA Mock Draft: How Restructured Top 3 Shapes Rest of the Draft
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In yet another unpredictable twist of fate at the NBA draft lottery, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the rights to the first overall selection despite owning the third-best odds. Joining them in the top three were the Orlando Magic and, surprisingly, the Washington Wizards.

The question is, how does the restructured top three shape the rest of the draft?

Cleveland entered the lottery with 15.6 percent odds to win the first overall draft choice, ranking third behind Orlando and the recently renamed Charlotte Hornets. The Wizards, meanwhile, had odds of just 2.8 percent, but still managed to crack the top three.

Yet another instance of the draft lottery defying the odds and completely reshaping the draft.

The key here is that it's about much more than who goes from No. 1 to No. 3.

Instead, it's about the impact that these three teams will have on the rest of the draft. Let's find out how that'll happen.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

Position: Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7'0", 206 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.09 PER, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2013 NBA draft lottery, thus winning the rights to the first overall draft choice. With this selection, the Cavaliers fill the need that has plagued them for quite some time—the absence of a rim protector.

Anderson Varejao is an elite rebounder, but he's one of, if not the worst, defenders in the NBA. Tristan Thompson is coming along well, but he too lacks the defensive presence that Cleveland needs down low.

Nerlens Noel may be disturbingly thin, but he's one heck of a shot-altering interior presence.

Noel averaged 4.4 blocks per game during the 2012-13 college basketball season. More importantly, he played behind a Kentucky perimeter that gave a questionable effort on the defensive end of the floor.

If Cleveland needs a safety net, Noel is the player for them.

 

2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'5", 189 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.24 PER, 15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 42.0% 3PT

 

For those who believe that the Orlando Magic were unlucky at the 2013 NBA draft lottery, don't fool yourselves. The Magic had reason to be hesitant about drafting Nerlens Noel, who is now the player headed to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This opens the door for Orlando to comfortably select Ben McLemore of the Kansas Jayhawks.

According to Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops, the Magic "covet" McLemore. Kotoch also reports that Orlando would have traded down to a team targeting Noel had they landed the first overall draft choice, which displays their intentions to pass over the shot blocker.

All is well at No. 2.

McLemore makes sense for the Magic, as they need a star scorer along their perimeter to complement an already solid core. Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris were phenomenal after the All-Star break, but they're also more inclined to put it on the floor.

With McLemore spacing it out with his jump shooting, Harkless and Harris can slash, while Nikola Vucevic can continue crashing the boards. More importantly, Orlando will add a player with All-Star upside and the safety of becoming a quality rotational piece as a shooter.

Trey Burke is also an option here.

 

3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

Position: Small Forward

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'9", 198 pounds, 7'2" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.88 PER, 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 42.2% 3PT

 

This couldn't have gone any better for the Washington Wizards, as the best player in this draft for them is Otto Porter of the Georgetown Hoyas. It just so happens that, at No. 3, the Wizards are in prime position to select Porter.

A dream pick, to say the least.

Porter is a long player that is a menace as an on-ball defender. Not only can he pick up steals and block shots, but he does a great job of containing slashers and pressing up on jump shooters.

One way or another, Porter is going to find a way to contest plays and make a significant impact defensively.

On the offensive end of the floor, one of the Wizards' most significant weaknesses in 2012-13 was their lack of perimeter shooters and shot creators. It just so happens that Porter shoots at a clip above 40.0 percent from beyond the arc and is an outstanding passer.

For what it's worth, Washington ranked eighth in scoring defense last season—adding Porter is simply throwing fuel on a raging fire.

 

4. Charlotte Hornets: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Hoosiers

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'4", 213 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

29.09 PER, 13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.2 SPG, 44.1% 3PT

 

If the Charlotte Hornets have learned anything from the Chicago Bulls, it's that effort is more powerful than talent if you have a superstar leading the charge. By drafting Victor Oladipo, the Bobcats would buy into that mindset.

Good luck finding a perimeter with a better collective motor than Kemba Walker, Oladipo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Fortunately for Charlotte, Oladipo also has legitimate superstar potential as a two-way player that can take over a game at any given moment. Not only is he more mentally developed than anyone else in this year's draft class, but he has another advantage.

He's one of the most explosive athletes and the top perimeter defender available—all that's needed is the offensive game. You know, the offense that's already in place.

It's all about getting rid of that passive offensive nature.

Oladipo is dangerous coming off of the bounce, which was noticeable every time he decided to stop letting his teammates have their 15 minutes of fame. On a Hornets team that needs a commanding presence offensively, it's unlikely that he makes that same mistake twice.

Oladipo is talented enough to be an All-Star caliber player for a long, long time—Charlotte's going to realize that.

 

5. Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins

Position: Center

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 7'1", 225, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.04 PER, 26.4 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.1 BPG

 

The Phoenix Suns have multiple options here, with every position but point guard fair game. With Victor Oladipo off of the board, however, the options are suddenly limited for Phoenix, as only so many players appear worthy of this selection.

Center Alex Len is the one they invest in.

Marcin Gortat is still a high-quality player, but the Suns have a new general manager in Ryan McDonough. As is often the case when a new face takes office, McDonough is likely to look for the personnel that suits his vision.

As a product of the Boston Celtics, that all starts inside.

Gortat could serve in that role, but the Suns appear to be a few years away from contention. For that reason, McDonough would be better off selecting Len as his franchise center and dealing 29-year-old Gortat for the maximum value.

It's all about building for the future in Phoenix, and Len is a promising player to start with.

 

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, Michigan Wolverines

Position: Point Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'1", 187 pounds, 6'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

29.76 PER, 18.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG

 

The New Orleans Pelicans need a point guard, and Greivis Vasquez's one-dimensional game simply won't cut it. In fact, New Orleans has needed a point guard since Chris Paul departed in 2011.

It's time to fill that void.

The Pelicans have started creating a defensive-minded core, with Anthony Davis protecting the rim and Al-Farouq Aminu manning the 3-spot. What they need, however, is direction on offense, as they too often fall into isolation sets.

Enter Trey Burke.

Burke jumps into the most ideal situation possible, as he's drafted by a team with an elite three-point shooter in Ryan Anderson. Not only can Anderson help him run the drive-and-dish game, but Eric Gordon provides depth in the spot-up shooting department.

Burke could go No. 2 to Orlando; but if he slips, New Orleans won't let him get past No. 6.

 

7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, UNLV Rebels

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'8", 240 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

28.24 PER, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 37.5% 3PT

 

The Sacramento Kings possess one of the NBA's premier centers in DeMarcus Cousins. What they lack, however, is a building block at power forward.

They'll fill that void by selecting Anthony Bennett out of UNLV.

Bennett is a bruising player, standing at 6'8" and 240 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan. He's also an intriguing athlete that can step outside with three-point range, thus making him the ideal fit alongside DMC.

The upside is debatable, but Sacramento would certainly have one of the most powerful interiors in the NBA between Bennett and Cousins.

The most intriguing aspect of this pairing is that both men are capable of stepping out for a mid-range jump shot. While Bennett may have more range than Cousins, each can take the opposition off of the bounce and attack the rim.

Good luck finding another interior duo that can do that and still back you down in a bruising manner.

 

8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Orange

Position: Point Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'6", 184 pounds, 6'7" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

21.25 PER, 11.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 4.9 RPG, 2.8 SPG

 

The Detroit Pistons have one of the most promising interiors in the NBA with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. They also have no idea how to move the basketball around the perimeter or find their big men in position to score.

Enter Michael Carter-Williams.

Carter-Williams is a 6'6" point guard with a 6'7" wingspan and a vicious crossover. Carter-Williams also has a gorgeous floater, which almost makes up for the fact that he can't shoot the three-ball—almost.

Did we mention that Carter-Williams is the best pure facilitator in this draft?

It may be true that there are no stars in this year's draft class, but it's rare that you find a point guard that stands at 6'6" with the quickness necessary to actually play the position. It's even more unlikely that you'll find a player at 6'6" that facilitates and possesses legitimately elite defensive potential.

Carter-Williams can distribute the ball, 7.3 assists, and play the passing lanes, 2.8 steals, while the Pistons were 22nd in assists and 25th in steals—what more do you need to know?

 

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'3", 197 pounds, 6'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

33.95 PER, 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 51.6% 3PT

 

During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 30th in three-point field goal percentage and 28th in three-point field goals made. If that doesn't tell you what the T-Wolves need, I'm not sure what will.

Fortunately, C.J. McCollum is available here.

Adding a shooter wouldn't normally be a focus at No. 9, but Minnesota needs a player that can create their own shot. Fortunately, McCollum is one of the rare players that not only creates his own shot, but does so in an efficient manner.

Again, this shouldn't be too difficult to understand.

McCollum is undersized at 6'3", but he makes up for it with a 6'6" wingspan and the uncanny ability to create offense for himself and those around him. Minnesota may not need any more facilitators, but versatility is a strength that all general managers value.

McCollum possesses just that.

 

10. Portland Trail Blazers: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA Bruins

Position: Guard/Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'6", 222 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

21.99 PER, 17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 37.7% 3PT

 

The Portland Trail Blazers don't need a small forward, but they are desperate for a scorer to lead their second unit. After ranking dead last in bench scoring and witnessing their starting lineup collapse due to fatigue, there's no reason to hesitate here.

Muhammad is the player for Portland to pick.

Muhammad could go earlier, but there is reasonable concern after he struggled to shoot the ball at the scouting combine. He's still one of the top prospects available, but Muhammad is plummeting down draft boards due to his perceived one-dimensional game.

According to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, general managers are concerned with his selfish approach and could see Muhammad falling out of the lottery.

Chances are, Muhammad drops no further than No. 10, as Portland needs a scorer to come off of the bench. It just so happens that an NBA sixth man is expected to be selfish while providing energy and points.

Pairing Muhammad with Will Barton on the second unit would certainly improve their greatest weakness.

 

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia Bulldogs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'6", 204 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.62 PER, 18.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.0 SPG. 37.3% 3PT

 

The Philadelphia 76ers will likely be looking to create depth at the center position, but there are other needs to target. That includes their lack of consistent shooters from beyond the arc, as Philadelphia was 21st in three-point field goals made.

Considering that the 76ers also lacks a perimeter defender that they can trust, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope couldn't be a more ideal fit.

Caldwell-Pope is lethal from beyond the arc, shooting with limitless range and possessing the ability to create his own shot. Standing at 6'6" and 204 pounds with a 6'8" wingspan, he also has the build necessary to rise over an NBA defender.

Being able to put it on the ground is just an added benefit.

If that's not enough, the SEC Player of the Year is a high-quality defender that uses his length and athleticism to play the passing lanes and crash the boards at a high level. Averages of 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals should prove that.

Caldwell-Pope is a safe pick that could help Jrue Holiday push the 76ers into the future.

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers

Position: Center

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 7'0", 230 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

30.93 PER, 16.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG

 

No matter how hard the Oklahoma City Thunder have tried to ignore this truth, they will never win a title without an interior scoring presence. They have some of the top young stars in the league, but they also live and die by the jump shot.

Cody Zeller could change that.

Zeller may not be a franchise player, but he's a strong finisher around the basket that can score out of the post or face-up for a jump shot. Not only can he shoot from mid-range, but Zeller can take his man off of the bounce.

One way or another, he'll find a way to score.

As for his physical makeup, Zeller weighed in at a larger-than-expected 7'0" and 230 pounds. He also pulled out the biggest standing vertical of any player standing at 6'9" or above over the past decade.

The Thunder don't need a star at center, but instead a player that they can trust to provide the interior buckets when their jumpers falter—Zeller can bring that production to Oklahoma City.

 

13. Dallas Mavericks: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville Cardinals

Position: Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 6'11", 230 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.60 PER, 9.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.5 BPG, 1.3 SPG

 

The Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA championship with Dirk Nowitzki leading a cast of three-point shooters and Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense. In the two seasons since, however, Chandler has departed and the Mavericks have dropped down the standings.

It's time to find Chandler's replacement.

Gorgui Dieng is the first name that comes to mind, as he possesses the physical gifts, defensive skills and championship pedigree Dallas needs. The latter can be found in the fact that Dieng was the anchor for the national champion Louisville Cardinals.

A team led by former NBA head coach Rick Pitino.

Dieng stands at 6'11" and 230 pounds with a 7'4" wingspan and explosive leaping ability. He's also a patient defender that anticipates slashing scorer's movements and defends the pick-and-roll in a strong manner.

With an improving mid-range game and strong passing skills, Dieng can be the franchise center Dallas is searching for.

 

14. Utah Jazz: Dario Saric, Croatia

Position: Small Forward

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'10", 223 pounds, 6'11" Wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Utah Jazz have a young frontcourt worth marveling, as they pair former top-five picks Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. They also have one of the better three-point shooting cores, but lack the shot creators to maximize their ability.

Dario Saric of Croatia is the perfect player to help in that regard.

Saric has extraordinary size for the small forward position, standing at 6'10" and 223 pounds with a 6'11" wingspan. Not only is Saric skilled as a ball handler, but he passes well and has improved his pull-up jump shot.

With the development of a post-up game, Saric could be one of the NBA's premier playmakers.

Saric has the size and skills to command a lottery pick, and Utah is the perfect team for him. They need a player that can create for others, as their role players are better off of the catch than picking up their dribble.

This won't answer their need for a point guard, but Saric's upside is undeniable.

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State Aztecs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'5", 195 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.87 PER, 17.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG

 

The Milwaukee Bucks are a team preparing for a massive roster overhaul, as both Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick are prepared to become unrestricted free agents. In order to move into the future, the Bucks will need to end this period of disarray quickly, via the draft.

Jamaal Franklin is the dynamic player to turn their woes around.

The issue for Milwaukee is that they've lacked direction since Michael Redd's tenure with the team ended. Brandon Jennings and Larry Sanders are both potential All-Stars, but they haven't been provided with the supporting cast necessary to lead this team into the future.

Not only is Franklin a tantalizing athlete, but he's as well-rounded as they come—he led the San Diego State Aztecs in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in 2012-13. Milwaukee won't find better value than this.

 

16. Boston Celtics: Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Position: Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 7'0", 238 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

26.48 PER, 17.1 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.0 SPG

 

The Boston Celtics could go with Steven Adams, but they require a player that can make more of an immediate impact. They could opt to draftJeff Withey, but they need to get more athletic in the frontcourt.

For that reason, Mason Plumlee is the pick at No. 16.

Plumlee is a walking alley-oop who thrives in transition, all the while maintaining a diverse skill set in the half court. He can score with both hands around the basket and has significantly improved his back-to-the-basket game since the 2011-12 season.

It doesn't hurt that Plumlee is a strong rebounder and a quality shot blocker—two areas that Boston struggled in during the 2012-13 season.

As for the efficiency factor, Plumlee averaged 17.1 points per game on 59.9 percent shooting from the field. This comes as he routinely garnered double-teams against an elite level of competition.

You know your pick is safe when you hear those numbers.

 

17. Atlanta Hawks: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh Panthers

Position: Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7''0", 255 pounds, 7'5" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

22.59 PER, 23.4 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 57.1% FG

 

The Atlanta Hawks are in an interesting position here, as their need for a center is met by the availability of quite a few options. There are players that are prepared to contribute sooner than the New Zealand big man, but Steven Adams has the highest upside of any other big man available here.

Quite frankly, it's not even close.

Adams has the perfect body for an NBA center, standing at 7'0" and 255 pounds with a 7'5" wingspan. With the quintessential frame comes a player who is consistently aggressive, attacking the glass on both ends and blocking shots at every turn.

As for the concerns about his offensive game, Adams shined at the scouting combine by draining jump shots as if they were layups—suddenly, my longstanding claim that he's a future All-Star doesn't sound so crazy.

 

18. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Glen Rice Jr., NBA D-League

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'6", 211 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 D-League Averages

23.7 MPG, 13.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 38.5% 3PT

 

The Atlanta Hawks improved their interior defense with their first pick, landing a center that thrives as a rebounder and shot blocker. They must now complement their scoring guards with a perimeter defender.

There aren't many better than Glen Rice Jr. in that regard.

Rice Jr. is improving his reputation due to his ability to shoot the three-ball, but the truth of the matter is, it's all about defense here. He's a solid complementary scorer at the next level, but his size and athleticism permit him to become a lead option defensively.

Having played against professionals in the NBA D-League gives Rice Jr. an early advantage over his fellow rookies, which is something Atlanta needs with such a thin roster.

 

19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Suns, from Heat): Allen Crabbe, California Golden Bears

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'6", 197 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.07 PER, 18.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers landed the rim protecting big man that they so desperately need with the first overall draft choice.

With their second first round pick, they must now address their two most significant voids remaining: the lack of a consistent three-point shooter and the absence of a ball handler to shoulder the load while Kyrie Irving is on the bench.

Allen Crabbe is the ideal player to fill both of those needs, as he's a rangy three-point shooter with strong ball handling skills. Crabbe split the lead ball handling duties at California, which is a major reason he and Dion Waiters can coexist with Irving on the sidelines.

If that's not enough to peak your interest, Crabbe stands at 6'6" with a 6'11" wingspan and is a very strong perimeter defender—consider him to be the definition of a well-rounded off guard.

 

20. Chicago Bulls: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Position: Center

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 7'0", 234 pounds, 6'10" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

36.57 PER, 26.4 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG

 

The Chicago Bulls made one of the most inspiring postseason runs in recent memory, overcoming the absence of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich to upset the Brooklyn Nets and take a game from the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, their ultimate undoing was due to the word that no player can overcome.

Fatigue.

Injuries aside, the Bulls were gutted of their depth during the 2012 offseason, with the most notable departure being center Omer Asik. Without him on the roster, Joakim Noah was thrust into nights of 40-plus minutes as he battled plantar fasciitis.

Consider Kelly Olynyk to be the second coming of Asik with significantly higher potential offensively, as the Gonzaga product finishes well around the basket and has a smooth mid-range jump shot.

 

21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Dennis Schroeder, Germany

Position: Point Guard

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'2", 165 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Utah Jazz landed a playmaker in Dario Saric, but that doesn't eliminate their need for a point guard. Mo Williams is one of the more underrated play makers in the league, specifically as a three-point shooter, but that too leaves a void for a younger alternative.

Dennis Schroeder out of Germany can be that player.

Schroeder has an intriguing build at 6'2" with a 6'9" wingspan, which has drawn reasonable comparisons to Rajon Rondo. In terms of playing style, however, Schroeder is quite similar to Ty Lawson, as his game is predicated on attacking the basket and using change-of-direction abilities.

With a paralyzing stutter step and the uncanny ability to draw contact around the basket, Schroeder could be the playmaker Utah needs to round out their young and promising core.

 

22. Brooklyn Nets: Rudy Gobert, France

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 7'2", 238 pounds, 7'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

Rudy Gobert is one of the most awe-inspiring physical specimens in NBA history. You can debate that if you'd like, but when you look to compare a player that stands at 7'2" with a 7'9" wingspan, there aren't many others that come to mind.

The Brooklyn Nets are the team that gambles on Gobert.

The Nets have one of the game's elite rebounders at power forward in Reggie Evans, but he's also 33 and a virtual non-factor offensively. Gobert is no guarantee to be a strong player in the NBA, but when you're picking at No. 22, it's hard not to go all-in on such a massive athlete.

Gobert is a strong leaper that blocks shots well and has a pretty turnaround jump shot, so there is some substance here.

 

23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, Miami Hurricanes

Position: Point Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'0", 171 pounds, 5'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

22.40 PER, 14.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 40.6% 3PT

 

The Indiana Pacers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but they're also a squad with thin scoring depth. Paul George leads a strong enough offensive attack by the starters, but a weak bench can be debilitating.

Finding a point guard to lead your second unit is a great place to start.

Shane Larkin is the perfect fit for the Pacers, as he thrives on defense and leads offensively. Not only can Larkin handle the ball well, but he creates off of the pick-and-roll and shoots the three-ball at a high clip.

If that's not enough for you, Larkin recorded a 44-inch vertical leap.

Get familiar.

 

24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, Kansas Jayhawks

Position: Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 7'0", 222 pounds, 7'2" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.23 PER, 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 BPG

 

The New York Knicks may want to get younger and more athletic, but the key at No. 24 is value. In this instance, there is no player more valuable than Jeff Withey of the Kansas Jayhawks.

It just so happens that the Knicks need a rim protector to provide depth behind Tyson Chandler, and Withey may just be the top interior defender in this draft.

Withey is a dominant force around the rim, blocking and altering every shot that comes his way. Not only is he long and intelligent while contesting attempts, but his anticipation skills are in the top tier.

Athleticism isn't on his side, which is why he slides as Steven Adams rises, but Withey is one of the safest picks in this draft.

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Sergey Karasev, Russia

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'7", 197 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Los Angeles Clippers are a team with a very specific need. They're an explosive transition offense with an elite defense to boot, but when the game is slowed down, they lack the personnel necessary to score in the half court.

Sergey Karasev is the player they're looking for to cure those woes.

Karasev is your traditional slasher, in the sense that he uses his length and body control to enter the lane and finish in traffic. The advantage that Karasev has over the average player is that he's a 6'7" shooting guard that can step out for a three-point shot.

For a Clippers team that has only two players that can create their own shot—unrestricted free agent Chris Paul and sixth man Jamal Crawford—Karasev is a perfect fit.

 

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Grizzlies): Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece

Position: Small Forward

Age: 18

Height & Weight: 6'9" & 215 pounds

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo is beginning to lose steam, and with good reason. His entire star profile came about after fans and analysts heard that he's a 6'9" point guard and watched deceiving YouTube videos.

And then it was revealed that he's playing against poor competition in the lower tiers of Greek basketball.

Antetokounmpo is an interesting product due to his size and skills, but there's a strong possibility that he goes in the second round. In fact, the only reason I'm listing him at No. 26 is because Minnesota needs to go for value here.

What's more valuable than a draft-and-stash player that stands at 6'9" and handles the ball like he's 6'3"?

 

27. Denver Nuggets: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State Racers

Position: Point Guard

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'0", 188 pounds, 6'5" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.28 PER, 21.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 37.0% 3PT

 

The Denver Nuggets are the upper-class of the NBA in terms of offensive production, but that doesn't mean they're flawless. Even as they pile on the points, Denver was 25th in three-point field goal percentage.

Would they really pass over a player that can shoot the ball at a high clip, defend his position and serve as the replacement to Andre Miller?

Isaiah Canaan stands at 6'0", but he possesses a 6'5" wingspan and uses every bit of that length to play disruptive defense. The true strength of his game, however, is Canaan's ability to come off of high screens for a three-point shot or a crisp entry feed.

For a Nuggets team that hasn't heard of defense, can't make a three-point shot and has a 37-year-old point guard leading their second unit, this is a pick that goes without a second thought.

 

 

28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, Brazil

Position: Center

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'11", 218 pounds, 7'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The San Antonio Spurs may be riding his world-class production to yet another season of title contention, but Tim Duncan will retire at some point—we think. When that day comes, the Spurs will need a replacement.

There are few better options than Lucas Nogueira of Brazil.

Nogueira stands at 6'11" and 218 pounds with a 7'6" wingspan and exciting athleticism. His offensive game is unpolished, but the physical tools are in place for Nogueira to thrive under the guidance of The Big Fundamental.

With a heralded work ethic, Nogueira could turn out to be one of the better players from this draft.

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina Tar Heels

Position: Small Forward

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'7", 200 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.13 PER, 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 43.6% 3PT

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder addressed their most glaring void with their first pick, landing an interior scorer. With their second pick of the first round, it's imperative that the Thunder target their second unit.

With no defined scoring options but Kevin Martin coming off of the bench, OKC needs to add shooters that can carry the load for short periods of time.

Reggie Bullock certainly fits the bill, as he shoots the three-ball at a clip above 40.0 percent. Bullock also stands at 6'7" with a 6'9" wingspan, which displays just how difficult it is to contest his shot.

Paired with intriguing defensive potential, Bullock could be a legitimate game changer for the Thunder with the proper seasoning.

 

30. Phoenix Suns: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan Wolverines

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'6", 199 pounds, 6'7" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

18.05 PER, 14.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 37.4% 3PT

 

The Phoenix Suns improved their interior early, landing the best available center in Alex Len. They must now target their putrid three-point shooting with their second of two first round draft choices.

Tim Hardaway Jr. appears to be the most ideal fit.

Hardaway Jr. has great size for the position, standing at 6'6" with a 6'7" wingspan. Shot selection can be an issue for him, but the man with NBA lineage is unquestioned when it comes to his pure shooting ability.

Phoenix needs players that can fill it up and Hardaway Jr. projects to be that type of player.

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