June is finally here, meaning it’s time to take another glimpse at the 2013 NBA draft via an updated mock with selections for each team in the first round.
With less than a month to go before commissioner David Stern hits the podium and begins calling names, there shouldn’t be many major slips or rises up the big board.
However, there have been a few players that have improved their stock at the combine and private workouts that are starting to get recognition.
Let’s take a look at some of those and more in the latest mock.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
The Cavs are exploring their options here according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, but they’ll be hard-pressed to find a team willing to give up a fair offer for the No. 1 pick in a weak draft.
That should be no problem for Cleveland, as Noel fits in with the current roster just fine and should be a major contributor when he’s finally back on the court.
2. Orlando Magic: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
Much like the Cavs, Orlando is attempting to find a suitor for the No. 2 pick (as per Ford) and could go a different direction if it swings a trade for a starting-caliber point guard.
Regardless, the Magic will be fine if they stand pat. They’ll get a major upgrade over Jameer Nelson here with Burke and finally have the perfect player to handle the ball for this young squad.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Washington may have been the biggest winner of the lottery, as it shot up to No. 3 when the ping-pong balls fell—despite finishing a respectable 10th-place in the Eastern Conference.
Now it is primed to either flip the selection for a veteran that could aid in a playoff push, or sit back and grab Porter—a safe pick that should immediately be able to start at the small forward position.
While he’s not an elite scorer, Porter can play off of Bradley Beal and John Wall with his defensive capabilities, willingness to rebound, ability to knock down open shots and more.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The ‘Cats may have fallen down in the lottery, but they may still have a chance to nab a player they direly need at No. 4.
McLemore has the look of a franchise scorer with his quick release and infinite range, but has to become more consistent to shoulder the load in Charlotte.
5. Phoenix Suns: Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana
Zeller dominated at the draft combine, proving to scouts that he’s much more athletic than formerly believed.
While he was always likely to fall in the lottery later this June, it seems he could now go as high as No. 5 to Phoenix, where I have mocked him here.
As an NBA-ready big man that can run the floor and finish around the hoop, he’ll immediately help the downtrodden Suns.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
The Pelicans are going to need a scoring wing that can handle being the top option in case Eric Gordon goes down with another injury.
Muhammad would be a great sidekick and could eventually develop into a talented swingman capable of carrying a team. It may take some time and he may not be great in other areas, but this youngster can simply score the rock.
7. Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
The Kings have too many players that need the ball in their hands to make an impact, don’t try hard enough on defense and have poor attitudes when things aren’t going their way.
Oladipo changes all of that, as the tenacious defender can inspire his teammates and only needs the rock when he’s wide open. Those attributes have brought IU plenty of victories during his time in Bloomington, and soon he could help lead Sacramento back to prominence.
8. Detroit Pistons: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Bennett is a big forward that can seamlessly slide between the 3 and 4.
With the Pistons' major strength being their frontcourt, Bennett would likely spend most of his time at the small forward spot in the Motor City.
Due to his size, athleticism and three-point shooting ability, he could be quite an asset and would obviously make this team even stronger on the boards.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
KCP is starting to look like the top option at the shooting guard spot in this draft, as the Bulldogs star can do it all.
He’s a marksman from range, has the athleticism to guard his position and ability to get to the cup with ease. His weak points are passing and handling, which shouldn’t be an issue when sharing a backcourt with Ricky Rubio.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len has the size to dominate in the NBA, but he may not have the mindset.
Portland needs to gamble here, as it need to improve at the center position—especially with J.J.Hickson expected to move on in free agency.
If Len can become more aggressive and continue to improve his low-post game, the Terps star will pay dividends on the Blazers’ investment.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Adams proved that he’s a worthwhile prospect and could make a name for himself in this league with a great showing at the combine.
He’s still light years away from contributing offensively, but he clearly has the coordination and size to defend any big man in a one-on-one situation. The Pittsburgh star could be a nice fit for the in-state Sixers, especially after the Andrew Bynum saga made the team desperate for a pivot.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors): Rudy Gobert, C, France
Gobert is showing the early signs of a bust, but that won’t stop a team with nothing to lose in the late lottery from taking a gamble on his sheer size.
The Frenchman can almost reach the rim standing up, so he could technically become a dominant player if he ever becomes more athletic, works on his offense and sharpens up his defense.
The Thunder could take a stab at No. 12, stash him in Europe and then use his rights as a trading chip in the future, or eventually bring him over to the States when he’s ready.
13. Dallas Mavericks: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
The Mavs will rush to the podium if McCollum is available at No. 13, as the sweet-shooting guard appears to mesh well with their rebuilding roster.
While he may be a bit undersized and unproven as a point guard, McCollum is a sniper that can also knife his way to the hoop via underrated athleticism and handles. Expect him to play both guard positions, depending on the scenario and matchups at hand.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
The Jazz couldn’t ask for a more suitable prospect to fall into their lap, as Carter-Williams is exactly what this club needs.
He’s not much of a shooter and needs to improve his handling skills, but the Orange star can pass extremely well and possesses a lengthy 6’6” frame that can lock opposing guards down with ease.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
The Bucks frontcourt is chock-full of defensive-minded players that have trouble scoring. This has led to an unfair burden on their trio of guards—Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick and Brandon Jennings—and clearly didn’t work out in 2012-13.
Milwaukee backed into the playoffs and was promptly swept, proving that this team needs to not only make some tough decisions on those backcourt stars in free agency, but also bring in a big man that can score.
Olynyk would be a great complement to Larry Sanders and Co. for his ability to shoot the ball out to the three-point line and score with his back to the basket. His defensive is atrocious, but the Zags star wouldn’t likely be utilized to guard dangerous PFs and Cs.
16. Boston Celtics: Dario Saric, F, Croatia
The Celtics showed their age and lack of talent throughout the regular season and playoffs, proving that their championship window is closed and rebuilding must start in earnest.
While they clearly aren’t going to find an instant superstar at No. 16, they could take a chance on a high-reward developmental project in Saric.
The Croatian sensation is one of the best facilitators in the class and has an immensely high ceiling to complement his gifted basketball I.Q. If he continues to improve at this rate, he could be a serious star in the Association within the next five years.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke
Plumlee has a low ceiling and no significant upside, but he’s a hard worker that will give 10-to-15 good minutes a night by banging for boards, defending relentlessly and generating extra possessions.
The Hawks need this type of player on their roster if they are going to make serious playoff runs in the future.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Glen Rice Jr., SG, D-League
Rice Jr. may be a bit older than some of these other prospects, as he’s spent time at both Georgia Tech and on the D-League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
There are some character concerns, but those seem to be in the past as this swingman interviewed well at the combine. This NBA legacy prospect can score the basketball, clean the glass and pass well, plus play the 2 or 3 with equal efficiency.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil
The Cavs could add some insurance to their frontcourt with this pick, but it’s likely they trade it with enough young pieces on their roster.
Should they stand pat, Nogueira is a solid prospect that can develop by remaining a part of the international game. When he’s finally ready, Cleveland will come calling.
20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
The Bulls need to bring in a big shooter that coach Tom Thibodeau can teach to play defense. With Caldwell-Pope off the board, Crabbe looks to be the next best option here for Chicago.
This Cal star is a bit streaky, but can easily knock down open looks—of which there should be plenty with Derrick Rose on the floor—and has the frame to guard his position.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Tony Snell, G/F, New Mexico
If Utah goes with Carter-Williams with its first selection in the first round, as it did in this mock, expect someone with more range and firepower to have his name called at No. 21.
Snell is the type of dead-eye three-point shooter that Utah lacks on its current roster and would be a great complement on defense with his incredible athleticism.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
The Nets could use a talented center behind Brook Lopez, making Withey a slam-dunk selection here at No. 22.
The Jayhawks product may never be a star and certainly isn’t much of an offensive force, but he can come in and protect the rim, defend his position, block shots and grab rebounds when the starter is off the floor.
23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
Larkin proved that he’s one of the more special athletes in this class at the combine, leaping and sprinting his way up big boards and likely into the latter portion of the first round.
The Pacers, currently battling the Heat in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, don’t have a pressing need in any particular area, but could get a nice boost to their second-unit and hopefully someone who could improve their woeful entry passes with this pick.
24. New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
J.R. Smith holds a player option on his contract, meaning the Sixth Man of the Year could opt out and sign elsewhere this summer.
If that happens, expect the Knicks to try and replace some of his scoring ability via the draft. Hardaway Jr. seems like a natural fit for the Smith role in the Big Apple, as he’s a relentless gunner that can pile in points from anywhere on the court.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
Schroeder is an intriguing prospect that is vaulting up the big boards after a solid showing at the Nike Hoops Summit.
The German can penetrate into the paint with ease and then finish at the rim or pass out to an open teammate with equal efficiency. If he continues his high level of play in workouts leading up to the draft, this young man just may land in the lottery.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
The T-Wolves need to continue to add three-point shooting to their roster, which makes Karasev a smart selection at No. 26.
He may not project as a great contributor in other areas, but the Russian could come over to Minnesota—joining countrymen Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved—and immediately rain down three-pointers against his opponents.
27. Denver Nuggets: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
The “Greek Freak” reminds me of Bismack Biyombo, an international enigma that scouts and general managers could project to become anything based on extremely limited footage and examinations.
If he pans out, Antetokounmpo may become a 6’9” point forward that takes the league by storm. Otherwise, there’s a good chance he never even makes it onto American soil and winds up having his rights traded three times in the next five years.
For Denver, the risk is worth the reward. The Nuggets possess a loaded roster with plenty of contributors, meaning they can stash him overseas and wait to see how he develops, possibly using him as a trading chip to bring in a star.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
Franklin is a freakish athlete with insane rebounding abilities for an off-guard, but he’s lacking a credible jumper that will force defenders to respect him at the next level.
If the Spurs can teach him to shoot—as they did with former Aztec and current San Antonio stalwart, Kawhi Leonard—they’ll have yet another late-round steal on their hands.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Dieng’s stock has cooled since he put together a special performance in the national championship game, but the Thunder should not let him slip past them at No. 29.
This Cardinals star is one of the better low-post passers in the college game and can immediately soak minutes at the center position by protecting the rim with his big body and blocking shots. There’s nothing more you can ask for from the second-to-last pick in the first round.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
Mitchell is a versatile forward that can guard both the 3 and 4 with ease. He’s a high-motor player that wants to grab every rebound and seems to do so for stretches.
If he hits his ceiling as a scorer, the Suns have an absolute steal on their hands with this pick.
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