NBA Mock Draft 2013: 7 Prospects Who Make the Most Sense for Lottery Teams
The 2013 NBA draft has been tagged as a weak draft by many NBA pundits.
While there might not be any franchise-changing superstars, every year there are several NBA draft prospects who, for NBA teams looking to build a team that can legitimately contend for a championship year in and year out, can be very important pieces to the puzzle.
Teams like the Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have shown in the 2013 NBA playoffs that small-market teams can be successful if they do their homework for the NBA draft.
The most successful NBA teams don't focus all of their energy picking apart what each prospect can't do, they look at what a prospect's strengths are and how those strengths will help their team.
The 2013 NBA draft is full of intriguing prospects and, if they end up in the right situation, could really flourish into game-changers.
Here are seven prospects to look for in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Georgetown Small Forward Otto Porter
Small Forward Otto Porter would step right into the position on the Cavaliers and be a starter immediately.
While Porter didn't have the type of NCAA tournament that many expected him to have, he proved during the regular season that he is an all-around player. According to bigeast.org, he posted a 48 percent field-goal percentage and was top 10 in the Big East in points per game, minutes per game, free throws, rebounds and steals.
He is also known to be a very good defender, something the new Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown will put a huge emphasis on.
Porter's efficiency rating could be argued as more impressive because he played an entire season, unlike Noel.
Porter still has plenty of upside and by playing alongside a point guard of Kyrie Irving's caliber, he will get plenty of good looks.
He is more ready to contribute on both ends than any other player in the 2013 NBA draft, and he will fill the one position the Cavaliers haven't addressed in their past two drafts.
Orlando Magic: Kansas Shooting Guard Ben McLemore
The Orlando Magic have needs at every single position except for center as Nikola Vucevic is a rising star.
The Magic really need an explosive guard to pair with Vucevic, and McLemore fits the bill.
McLemore is still a work in progress and is not as ready to contribute as someone like Otto Porter. However, due to his excellent athletic ability to make plays in transition and being a good spot-up shooter, he should be able to provide scoring immediately.
According to draftexpress.com, the area McLemore needs to improve the most is his ball-handling, as he struggles to create high-percentage shots for himself. He is believed to have excellent defensive potential with his chiseled frame, quick feet, decent wing-span and ability to cover ground quickly.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated told 92.3 The Fan that McLemore is a guaranteed All-Star.
The Magic desperately need perimeter scoring, and that is McLemore's strength.
Washington Wizards: Kentucky Center Nerlens Noel
The Washington Wizards potentially have a dynamic backcourt in first-round picks John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Now, they must find a big man to compliment them.
Nerlens Noel is widely considered to be the best pure talent in the draft.
He is coming off an ACL injury and won't be able to play until around Christmas, but his shot blocking and overall defensive ability should immediately translate to the NBA when he returns.
Noel has a very limited offensive game as most of his points came from dunks, but a good coach should be able to help him develop a decent offensive game over a couple of years.
He has the ability to be a Ben Wallace or Marcus Camby-type defensive presence, making it extremely difficult for teams to get easy points in the paint.
Noel runs the floor like a guard and, being only 19 years old, he has plenty of time to develop some effective post-moves.
Pairing Noel with a backcourt of Wall and Beal should have Wizards fans excited for the future.
Charlotte Bobcats: UNLV Power Forward Anthony Bennett
The Charlotte Bobcats have some nice developmental pieces in Kemba Walker and Michael-Kidd Gilchrist. They could be a lot more effective if they had a reliable post presence.
Bennett does most of his work in the post as he has some very good post moves and can also hit an open 15 footer.
Bennett averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game for UNLV and displayed excellent versatility as he stepped out and played small forward on occasion.
He is also a very explosive athlete who does a very good job running the floor in transition.
One concern is that Bennett is only 6'8'', which makes him a tweener. People said the same thing about former Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger before last year's NBA draft, and he was effective for the Boston Celtics before getting hurt.
His wingspan of 7'1'' also helps him out as he is a lot longer than the average 6'8'' big man.
The Bobcats ranked 26th in scoring last year, so having a talent like Bennett, who can consistently get high-percentage looks in the paint, will also help spread out the opposing defense.
Phoenix Suns: Indiana Shooting Guard Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo is a guy the Suns and new general manager Ryan McDonough could make a statement with in terms of what type of players they want to be a part of their franchise going forward.
Oladipo brings intensity to both ends of the floor and has maybe the biggest upside of any player in this draft.
He improved dramatically as a shooter over his college career and everyone already knows how good he is defensively.
NBA GMs are always looking for players that have the work ethic to improve their game every year. Oladipo has proven that he is that type of player. He was not expected to be anywhere near as good as he ended up being when he first arrived at Indiana.
He wasn't even a top-100 recruit out of high school.
Besides the Morris brothers, the Suns really have no young, exciting pieces to build around. Oladipo could develop into the leader this team has lacked since the days of Steve Nash.
New Orleans Pelicans: Michigan Point Guard Trey Burke
While the New Orleans Pelicans did draft Austin Rivers in last year's NBA draft, he has proven that he isn't a true point guard.
Adding Burke would give the Pelicans a great trio, in addition to Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.
It would also give the Pelicans some flexibility in allowing them to look for potential trade offers for Eric Gordon, who is signed to a 4-year, $58 million contract.
Burke is another one of those players that has an extraordinary work ethic as, according to draftexpress.com, his pure point rating went from 57th among all NCAA point guards two seasons ago to second best last season.
Burke's top strengths are his ball-handling and shooting ability in combination with his great quickness. His extra long wingspan of 6'5'' will allow him to be a good defender as well.
Rookie point guards have had a lot of success the past two seasons, and the Pelicans have the opportunity to pick up one of their own.
Sacramento Kings: Lehigh Point Guard C.J. McCollum
The Kings can't afford to pass up a talent like McCollum, who has emerged as one of the biggest names in this year's NBA draft.
While many haven't seen him play that much at Lehigh, he is the total package offensively and has great size for the position—standing at 6'3''.
He is a long, fluid combo guard whose best skill is simply getting buckets. He isn't the most explosive athlete, but, according to draftexpress.com, he has shown excellent ball-handling ability to create his own shots and has a high basketball IQ.
McCollum could be this year's Damian Lillard, a small-school point guard who can score with the best of them right away.
DeMarcus Cousins and McCollum could be a lethal point guard-big man combo for many years.