2013 NBA Mock Draft: How All 30 First-Round Picks Project Entering June
NBA draft workouts are now in full force, with the projected second-rounders' schedules all starting to pick up.
The first two weeks in June are when teams start working out first-round and lottery (projected) draft picks. This is the time frame when draft boards begin to take shape. Some prospects get bumped up, and others get weeded out.
General managers are also working the phones to test the value of their picks. Cleveland's Chris Grant will be listening to calls from now til June 27, waiting to hear what offers roll in. Every team drafting at the top should be exploring the trade market or at least gauging the level of interest in its draft slot.
If each team stays put, this is what the 2013 draft might look like.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, 6'11'', C
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Until we hear otherwise, Nerlens Noel seems to make the most sense for the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 1. They could use an interior athlete and rim protector, as well as a player with long-term upside.
Georgetown's Otto Porter makes just as much sense in terms of need, though not in terms of value. He doesn't project as someone capable of producing like a No. 1 overall pick.
Don't rule out the Cavs trading down to get Porter or established talent from a team looking to move up. But if Cleveland stays put, expect Noel to be the guy.
2. Orlando Magic: Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'1'', PG
Trey Burke Pro-Player Comparison
Orlando will likely be choosing between Trey Burke and Ben McLemore, and that's if a team doesn't look to trade up in an attempt to land someone like Victor Oladipo.
But if Orlando keeps this pick, I have to believe that Burke has the edge. Orlando currently has a starting shooting guard in place, and there are questions surrounding McLemore's mentality.
If you've written off Burke because of a mediocre agility time at the combine, you're fishing too deep.
Burke was the top player in college basketball and demonstrated every skill and quality a team should be looking for in a point guard. Unless the Magic believe Jameer Nelson is in their long-term plans, Burke should be qualified to take over the wheel.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8'', SF
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Otto Porter makes sense here when you go down the checklist. There aren't any questions surrounding his game, physical transition or character. Washington could also use a reliable presence on the wing who can contribute across the board on both sides of the ball.
He's a shooter, slasher, playmaker, defender and rebounder—depending on what you're looking for on that particular possession. Porter may not have All-Star upside, but you won't find many other options that do. The Tayshaun Price comparison is spot-on.
Porter should be worthy of a top-three pick this year given the certainty he presents.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5'', SG
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I ultimately expect the Bobcats to trade this pick, as there should be a number of teams looking to move up and snag Victor Oladipo. But if they keep it, Ben McLemore would be the prospect who offers the most upside as an offensive scorer and defensive asset.
Charlotte essentially needs talent at whatever position it can find it, and if McLemore is on the board four picks deep, it would be hard to imagine Charlotte passing.
Oladipo would obviously be considered, but there are too many similarities here between him and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Charlotte could use an offensive mismatch more than another energy guy.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'5'', SG
Victor Oladipo Pro-Player Comparison
The Suns are going to have to fight off teams looking to move up in order to have a chance at Victor Oladipo.
Based on who's left, Oladipo would offer Phoenix the top risk-to-reward ratio of anyone on the board.
It's also possible that Phoenix receives some offers for the pick, but unless it's getting back an established player, it should come away with Oladipo if the opportunity presents itself.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1'', C
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Though Alex Len won't be able to work out for anyone (fractured foot), teams understand that he offers the highest possible reward of any center available.
New Orleans could use an offensive upgrade at the 5, where Robin Lopez isn't much of a threat.
Though Len isn't NBA-ready, he's shown the upside of a prospect worthy of a top-five pick. At 7'1'' with fluid athleticism, he has the physical tools you can't teach and a developing skill set with promise.
7. Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6'', PG
Michael Carter-Williams Pro Comparison
Though Anthony Bennett is still on the board, I'm not sure the Kings would grab another undersized power forward after taking Thomas Robinson in 2012 and dealing him at the trade deadline.
Michael Carter-Williams would give them a true orchestrator with a wild mix of size and athleticism, which would be an upgrade over Isaiah Thomas—an undersized scorer forced to play out of position.
Carter-Williams' stock is on the rise after an impressive showing at the combine.
8. Detroit Pistons: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 6'7'', SF/PF
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With other prospects on the rise, Anthony Bennett's inability to work out (shoulder surgery) might actually work against him.
Bennett is an explosive combo forward who's undersized enough to exclusively play the 4, which might prevent teams from reaching without being able to see him work out prior to the draft. He'd be a fit with the Pistons, a team that needs to add some versatility up front, as an inside-outside scoring weapon.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6'6'', SG
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While Minnesota has been rumored to be looking to trade up for Victor Oladipo, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN1500.com, the team is in need of shooting and athleticism.
If Oladipo is off limits, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes sense as a Plan B. The Timberwolves would get both shooting and athleticism here, as well as a defensive asset who can lock down the perimeter.
Assuming all goes to plan with the transition process, Caldwell-Pope would be an excellent fit in Minnesota's lineup. He'd have one of the top passing point guards in Ricky Rubio, who could find him around the arc and create opportunities in the half court.
Caldwell-Pope been a hot name over the past few weeks, and unless he disappoints during workouts, expect to hear his name as a late-lottery option.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 6'3'', PG/SG
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Portland appears to be in the market for a guard and has expressed interest in trading up to steal Victor Oladipo, according to Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest.
If that's not in the cards, then C.J. McCollum might be.
McCollum was averaging nearly 24 points on a mesmerizing 51 percent shooting from downtown before breaking his foot in January. He's a lights-out scorer who can handle the ball in a secondary role—strengths that traditionally translate to sixth-man duties.
Portland could really use some offensive firepower off the bench, and McCollum would provide a cheap source of it.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana, 7'0'', PF/C
Cody Zeller Pro-Player Comparison
Based on team needs, it's possible that Cody Zeller slips out of the top 10 and right into the arms of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Zeller impressed athletically at the combine, and he should continue turning heads during team workouts.
His main competition will be Alex Len, as lottery teams looking for a big man are likely to consider them as the top two options on the board after Nerlens Noel. But Len's upside tops Zeller's, given Len's extra size and length.
Still, Zeller offers great value 11 picks deep in a draft without many sure things.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Mason Plumlee, Duke, 7'0'', C
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With a number of seven-footers likely on the board, you have to assume the Thunder will be targeting one of them.
Mason Plumlee makes the most sense considering his athleticism and ability to play above the rim. It's just not something they get from Kendrick Perkins. Kelly Olynyk will be an option, though he's not the rim protector or rebounder that Plumlee is.
Considering Oklahoma City's ability to get out and run, Plumlee makes the most sense as a frontcourt addition.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric, Croatia, 6'10'', PF
The consensus seems to be that the Mavericks are either looking to draft-and-stash or deal this pick.
Let's assume they go with Option A: Dallas is going to have a tough time finding anyone in this draft worthy of a guaranteed contract who can contribute next year.
Dario Saric has been linked to Dallas early in the process, seen here via Chad Ford of ESPN (subscription required). Teams are intrigued by the upside he offers as a 6'10" versatile combo forward who can facilitate from the wing and create off the dribble.
At only 19 years old, Saric isn't NBA-ready, but the Mavericks could let him develop overseas while they build for the present.
14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, Germany, 6'2'', PG
Dennis Schroeder has the most upside of any point guard on the board, thanks to his NBA quickness and playmaking ability with the ball in his hands.
He shredded USA's team defense at the Nike Hoops Summit. That team was made up of projected top-10 picks in next year's draft.
Utah should be in the market for a starting point guard, and I'm not sure there will be one around at No. 21 overall. The Jazz can grab Schroeder at No. 14 and fill another need more easily with their second pick in Round 1.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6'6'', SG/SF
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Shabazz Muhammad is trying to work off the skepticism that's grown about his draft stock.
Unless he really impresses a team during these workouts, I'm anticipating a draft-day slide for the controversial scorer.
Whether or not you believe his game will translate, he still offers value as a sizable wing with an unstoppable motor. Muhammad proved at UCLA that he can knock down shots with range, though creating them will be his obstacle moving forward.
Given his ability to put the ball in the hole and the presence he offers on the wing, Milwaukee would be an ideal landing spot for his services.
16. Boston Celtics: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, 7'0'', C
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Steven Adams recently worked out for the Boston Celtics (according to ESPN Boston), and all reports came back positive.
Adams has been on the rise after showing off his skill set at the combine.
Even without the skill set, Adams is an athletic specimen at 7'0" with a monstrous 7'4.5" wingspan. Those physical tools alone could be used in Boston's one-dimensional frontcourt, though Adams will need a couple of years before he's ready to contribute offensively.
Adams is your classic upside pick, and considering there isn't anyone available capable of contributing to a 2013-14 title run, long-term potential seems like a reasonable quality for Boston to target.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, 7'0'', C
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Atlanta has to be thinking big with one of its two picks. Kelly Olynyk's size, scoring instincts and offensive polish would make him an immediate frontcourt upgrade in Atlanta's rotation.
For a seven-footer, Olynyk has that rare ability to put it on the floor and beat his man off the dribble. He'd give Atlanta an option for half-court points, as well as a prospect capable of contributing during his rookie season.
Gorgui Dieng would also be an option, but Olynyk's offensive skill set might be too much to pass up.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, 6'5'', SG/SF
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Jamaal Franklin's athleticism and versatility should help fill in for Josh Smith once he inevitably leaves in free agency.
He has a diverse skill set, with the ability to score, pass and rebound all at high levels. Franklin is the type of guy you can insert into any lineup in attempt to give it a jolt.
Consider Franklin an off-ball playmaker who can contribute without having his number called. In the meantime, he's improving his on-ball creativity as a scorer. Franklin is a jumper away from really rounding out his game and improving his chances at getting minutes right away.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Sergey Karasev, Croatia, 6'7'', SF
The Cavaliers could grab an NBA-ready international prospect in Sergey Karasev, who's produced at high levels overseas despite being only 19 years old.
Karasev is a lights-out shooter with a quick release and deep range. He's a floor-spacer and ball-mover on the perimeter, with a high basketball IQ and the ability to create off the dribble.
A team in need of shot-making and on-court discipline can count on Karasev to give it offensive credibility.
20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, California, 6'6'', SG
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Allen Crabbe's ability to score off the ball would be an ideal skill to add alongside Derrick Rose. He's extremely similar to Rip Hamilton with how he scores off curls and down screens, popping out to catch and fire.
Crabbe was one of the top shooters at the combine, which just helped confirm what we already knew.
As a 6'6" athlete with long arms and a deadly shooting stroke, Crabbe might be a better half-court scoring option than Marco Belinelli for Chicago.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Rudy Gobert, France, 7'2'', PF/C
The Jazz could be in jeopardy of losing Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap or both. Rudy Gobert would give them a secret weapon up front—a 7'2" monster with an unprecedented 7'8.5" wingspan.
And this monster can move. Gobert has the mobility to get up and down the floor and make plays above the rim.
With Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors now ready to roll, Gobert could have time to develop his offensive game and add to his frame.
Whether the Jazz need a big man or not, Gobert's upside becomes too difficult to pass up 21 picks deep.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Snell, New Mexico, 6'7'', SG/SF
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Tony Snell should benefit from a pre-draft process that allows teams who haven't scouted him a chance to assess him individually.
Snell has your prototypical length and size for an NBA wing, combined with an accurate three-point stroke and deceptively slick handle. Those are appealing qualities for a Brooklyn Nets team whose reliable wing options are getting up there in age.
Snell is going to impress during workouts, even if his lack of strength sets off some alarms.
23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, Miami, 5'11'', PG
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Indiana can address its backup point guard position and scoring depth in one shot with Shane Larkin.
Larkin's standout performance during the athletic testing at this year's combine has earned the attention of NBA staffs. Though slightly undersized, he's an excellent pick-and-roll point guard in the half court, but he can also push the ball in transition and provide a scoring boost off the bench.
Larkin would be ideal in a lineup with minutes available. The more reps he gets, the quicker he catches on. And based on what we've seen over the last two years, Larkin is a fast learner.
24. New York Knicks: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, 6'11'', C
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The Knicks' front line was badly exposed by Indiana in the playoffs. Their depth wore thin over the course of the series.
Gorgui Dieng would give them a space-eating interior presence, one that could protect the rim and finish around it. There isn't much upside with Dieng, but if reliable backup centers were readily available, the Knicks would already have one on their roster.
Dieng fills a need yet also offers solid value this late in the draft.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Tony Mitchell, North Texas, 6'9'', PF
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Tony Mitchell's sales pitch will center around his elite athleticism and strength for a 6'9" forward.
He's still figuring out what position he plays, but Mitchell's physical tools are too enticing to pass up this late in the draft.
Whether he finds a niche or not, Mitchell should still be able to contribute as a finisher above the rim and as a rebounder and shot-blocker. He'd give the Clippers much-needed depth up front, as well as an upside prospect who has room to grow offensively.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Giannis Antetokoumpo, Greece, 6'9'', PG/SF
Giannis Antetokoumpo will remain a question mark for the new few years. Whether he goes in the first round will depend on a team's willingness to roll the dice.
I've seen Minnesota gamble overseas before, and with its second first-round pick, this would be another strong opportunity.
At 6'9", Antetokoumpo can handle the ball like a point guard, which is what drives the intrigue surrounding his potential.
He played in Greece's second division, so his highlight reels should all be taken lightly. However, the upside is real. Regardless of the competition he's faced, Antetokoumpo is still an exceptional athlete with a uniquely versatile skill set.
27. Denver Nuggets: Glen Rice Jr., Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 6'5'', SF
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After seeing Glen Rice Jr. tear up the D-League last season, NBA general managers might now be inclined to offer him guaranteed money.
Rice was a scoring machine, getting buckets from every spot on the floor as a shooter, slasher and finisher in transition. For Denver, he'd fill the hole left by Danilo Gallinari, whose torn ACL late last year will likely sideline him for a good chunk of next season.
Considering we've seen him thrive against former draft picks and NBA players, Rice is now considered a first-round target.
28. San Antonio Spurs: C.J. Leslie, N.C. State, 6'9'', SF/PF
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If there's one thing that San Antonio needs based on what's currently on the roster, it's frontcourt athleticism.
And C.J. Leslie can offer a whole lot of it. He tested as the most agile athlete at the combine. That holds some significance considering he's trying to prove to scouts he can play some small forward.
Leslie has the athleticism and natural talent for NBA play; some just question whether he has the mindset and skill set. But if he is able to exploit his strengths and mitigate his weaknesses, we could be talking about a steal this late in the draft.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, 6'0'', PG
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If Oklahoma City keeps this pick, it should have a number of solid backup point guard options available.
Isaiah Canaan would be my choice here, given his ability to run a team, break down defenses and shoot with accuracy out to 27 feet. Canaan has the build and confidence of an NBA point guard, and though his 6'0" size is concerning, his 40.5-inch max vertical leap is not.
Canaan would allow Reggie Jackson to focus less on distributing and more on attacking as a scorer.
30. Phoenix Suns: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6'6'', SG
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Tim Hardaway Jr. has had a strong pre-draft season so far, finishing first amongst shooters during three-point drills at the combine.
But Hardaway's biggest obstacle moving forward will be finding ways to contribute when his jumper isn't on.
He's a tremendous athlete with your typical 2-guard physique, and he projects as a complementary scoring guard who can put points on the board in bunches. Phoenix could use any offense it can get, and Hardaway Jr. would offer great value this late.