2013 NBA Mock Draft: Calculated Selections for Every First-Round Pick

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2013 NBA Mock Draft: Calculated Selections for Every First-Round Pick
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The 2013 NBA draft is nearly upon us, with just over three weeks separating us from the greatest day of every prospect's career. Unfortunately, that also means scouts and general managers are without pause as they crunch numbers, study film and thus determine which player is the best fit for their organization.

The question is, what are the calculated selections for every first round team to make?

It's easy to go with the best player available and thus hope that they pan out as the star their reputation suggests they can be. With that being said, being the player with the best reputation doesn't mean that you're the best fit for a franchise.

Here's how the teams should be drafting upon deep, unbiased evaluation.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

Position: Small Forward

Age: 20

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

 

It's becoming more and more difficult for me to part with the idea that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select Nerlens Noel first overall. With that being said, a calculated selection in which all factors are acknowledged lead to one determination.

Otto Porter should be going to Cleveland.

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Porter is viewed as a player with a lower ceiling than Noel, but his upside remains around the realm of Danny Granger or Luol Deng. He's long, mature and disruptive on defense, skilled offensively and more than capable of hitting the three-ball.

The Cavaliers need every single one of those traits if they're to make the leap into postseason contention.

Cleveland is at it's best when Kyrie Irving has the ball in his hands, but the All-Star simply doesn't have the supporting cast to truly create scoring opportunities. Instead, he's forced to take it himself and thus become predictable and exposed to contact and potential injuries.

With Porter's ability to work the catch-and-shoot game, that issue would be erased.

Furthermore, Porter can handle the ball and facilitate, which enables Irving to work off of the ball and helps neutralize the absence of a backup point guard. Defensively, Porter makes up for his lack of elite athleticism by playing the angles.

Fans and analysts may nitpick, but Porter is the type of player that helps lead a team to a title—he may not be the best player, but he's certainly the most complete.


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

 

According to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider, the Orlando Magic are interested in pursuing a trade that is centered around Arron Afflalo and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe. Some may view this as a sign of their desperation for a point guard, but there's another way to look at it.

As a rebuilding team, Orlando isn't intent on moving forward with Afflalo at the 2—that's why they take Ben McLemore here.

At worst, McLemore will be a solid NBA player that gets by on his ability to shoot the three-ball and score in transition. At best, McLemore will be one of the better scorers in the NBA, pairing a lethal jump shot and supreme athleticism with the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack.

With Maurice Harkless at the 3, Tobias Harris thriving at power forward and Nikola Vucevic a nightly double-double threat at center, McLemore can be the scorer to round it all out.

Trey Burke out of Michigan remains a possibility, but even if Orlando fails to execute this trade, McLemore is the logical choice. Per Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops, the Magic "covet" McLemore and have listed him as their top choice.

As the chips fall into place, McLemore can be the player that helps Orlando rise from the ashes.

 


3. Washington Wizards: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

Position: Power Forward

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

 

I haven't eliminated the possibility of Nerlens Noel being a center, but being able to put on weight and actually doing it are two completely different things. It's particularly alarming that some (John Calipari here) are suggesting he'll get up to 240 pounds, as if adding 35 pounds is an average act.

Again, I don't doubt that Noel can, we just can't evaluate him as a center as long as he's a guard-like 206 pounds—not when the likes of Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol are going to be posting him up.

With all of this being said, Noel has all of the tools to be a very good power forward in the NBA. Not only is he an explosive athlete, but Noel's motor and transition prowess enables him to be a threat on the offensive end.

An ideal comparison is Serge Ibaka when he entered the league.

Before Ibaka was making mid-range jump shots like they were lay-ups, he was limited offensively. Even still, he was blocking shots at as high a rate as anyone else in the league and thus earning his time on the floor.

Noel can do the same.


4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, UNLV Rebels

Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

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

2012-13 Season Averages

28.24 PER, 27.1 MPG, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 37.5% 3PT

 

For quite some time, I've listed Victor Oladipo as the player that the Charlotte Bobcats would select here. Even as he drops one pick, Oladipo remains the No. 1 player on my big board and thus warrants this selection.

With that being said, there is one area that will forever cripple the Bobcats until they address it—they have zero legitimate back-to-the-basket threats.

Anthony Bennett can be the interior presence that they've so desperately needed, as he has the power to back an opponent down and athleticism to pop out to the perimeter. At 6'8" and 240 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan, he also has the frame to be the ultimate mismatch against any player.

Few perimeter players are strong enough to prevent him from backing down, and even less power forwards are athletic enough for when he takes it beyond the three-point line.

The Bobcats already have a dynamic playmaker at point guard in Kemba Walker, and also have a defensive specialist at small forward with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. With Bennett joining the squad, Charlotte would suddenly have a legitimate core to build around.

With a stacked 2014 NBA draft on the horizon, the possibilities are limitless for what this team could become.


5. Phoenix Suns: 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

 

The Phoenix Suns are in a position in which every single position is up for grabs. Fans may favor certain players, but there is a new general manager in town, and there's no reason to believe he won't be looking to rebuild this team in the manner he deems best.

How much better of a building block could you find than the player with the best motor in the nation?

At worst, Oladipo is a lockdown defender with supreme athleticism that permits him to thrive in the open court. At best, Oladipo is a genuine superstar that utilizes his motor and work ethic to hone every deficiency in his game and become one of the truly elite all-around players.

Why wouldn't you take this gamble?

The Suns are in a transitional period, as they spent some big money during the 2012 period of free agency and finished with the worst record in the Western Conference. The main reason for that truth wasn't the level of ability, but instead the lack of a team identity or motor.

Oladipo has an unparalleled effort level, thrives on defense, explodes in the open court and is significantly better in the half court than people acknowledge—this is a no-brainer.


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, 38.4% 3PT

 

The New Orleans Pelicans are in an interesting predicament, as they have building blocks in Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis. With that being said, they have little else in the department of proven commodities, which has their draft board wide open.

At the top of their list should be Michigan Wolverines point guard Trey Burke.

Burke a dynamic playmaker that can make an impact both as a scorer and facilitator. While his lack of elite lateral quickness is concerning, Burke has made up for any physical weaknesses by thriving on the court.

At the end of the day, that's where it counts.

Burke is strong as a drive-and-dish facilitator, which bodes well considering Anderson is a key piece of their puzzle. Furthermore, Burke creates for himself well off of the bounce, finishing around the basket and shooting with limitless range.

Greivis Vasquez may be a solid player, but Burke is franchise player material—the disparity is too grand to ignore.


7. Sacramento Kings: 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 Sacramento Kings have a variety of options here, as there aren't too many positions in their rotation that are truly set in stone. When you get down to the core of the Kings' issues, however, one position presents a glaring void above all else.

Point guard.

Isaiah Thomas is a high-quality player with a motor that any coach would love to have in their lineup. With that being said, the No. 1 void for the Kings has long been the absence of a direction on the offensive end of the floor.

How better to fill that void than to draft the best facilitator in this year's draft?

Thomas is strong, but he's also 5'9", while Michael Carter-Williams stands at 6'6" with a 6'7" wingspan. Unlike players such as Tyreke Evans and Tony Wroten Jr., Carter-Williams is not just a tall point guard, but one that is of a pass-first nature.

Paired with elite defensive potential, Carter-Williams has legitimate upside—the only question mark is his jump shot, which is the most coachable trait imaginable.


8. Detroit Pistons: 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 Detroit Pistons would have preferred to land a point guard, but C.J. McCollum is panning out as more of a tweener. After seeing Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey fail to become genuine point guards, that's a risk they simply cannot afford to take—again.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope steps in as an upgrade over their current situation and offers compensation for the absence of a point guard.

Caldwell-Pope has great size for the position, standing at 6'6" and 204 pounds with a 6'8" wingspan. Furthermore, he's a consistent three-point shooter with deep range and an excellent rise on his jump shot.

More importantly, the reigning SEC Player of the Year has the upside of a lockdown defender.

Detroit has long been a team that thrives on the presence of jump shooters and defenders, specifically at small forward. While the upside may be different, Pistons fans can view Caldwell-Pope as the Richard Hamilton of their return to glory.

Paired with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, Caldwell-Pope could make the Pistons a very dangerous team.


9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7'1", 225 pounds, 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 Minnesota Timberwolves need to improve at three-point shooters, but that's a void that can be filled through free agency or their later draft choices. In fact, there is no way to justify selecting a player at No. 9 solely based on the need for a shooter.

Instead, the Timberwolves acknowledge the fact that Nikola Pekovic is a strong offensive weapon, but one with limited defensive upside.

For that reason, Minnesota targets center Alex Len in the 2013 NBA draft, placing their trust in his upside. As a two-way center that is a dynamic playmaker in the low and high posts and a quality shot blocker on defense, Len could be a legitimate game-changer.

For a team that already has Kevin Love, finding a shot blocker to mask his defensive ineptitude is the key.

C.J. McCollum is another option, but the last thing that the T-Wolves need is another undersized scoring guard. For that reason, they feel comfortable investing in Len, as his upside is met by a genuine need in Minnesota.

With few actual centers in this range, Minnesota doesn't have much of an alternative.


10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Position: Combo 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

 

Admittedly, I'm not sold on C.J. McCollum's ability to be a full-time point guard at the next level. What I am certain about, however, is that McCollum is one of the most NBA-ready prospects in this draft, and that he has the skills necessary to build a lengthy career.

Most importantly, the young man can flat out score the basketball.

McCollum is always in attack mode, whether he's creating for himself or for his teammates. For that reason, he fits right into the Trail Blazers' glaring need for a second unit scorer.

For those that feel a shot blocking center is more important, the need here is clear—Portland ranked dead last in second unit scoring.

McCollum is a lethal three-point shooter that can create his own look from beyond the arc. Furthermore, the Lehigh star can attack the basket off of the bounce and find his way into the paint for two points.

Dynamic scorers are far too valuable to overlook, and that makes McCollum the ideal selection.


11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Power Forward

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

 

Chances are, Cody Zeller will end up playing more as a power forward than a center. Not only is he athletic enough to play the position, but Zeller is displaying the traits of a lethal scorer at that position.

According to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider, he's also showing the ability to be a stretch 4—one of the most valuable breeds of player in today's NBA.

Zeller told us at the NBA draft combine we'd be surprised by his shooting and he backed up that claim Thursday. I tracked his NBA 3-point shots and he shot 72 percent for the workout. That's terrific, especially for a 7-footer. His midrange jumper was even better. Zeller showed the ability to shoot off the bounce and with his feet set. He was especially effective in the corners, where he shot 80 percent from the field for the day.

Combine that small sample with other known qualities of Zeller—he's the fastest big man in the draft (both laterally and in sprints), has the highest standing vertical (35.5 inches) of any player 6-foot-9 or taller in our database, great hands and a high basketball IQ

Several scouts compare him to a young Chris Bosh. A few others to LaMarcus Aldridge. They are both interesting comparisons -- rail-thin college centers who made the transition to power forward in the pros.

You can let his reputation get the best of your unbiased evaluation or you can acknowledge the ability.

Zeller is an explosive athlete that shoots the ball at a high clip, but was forced to play predominantly out of the post at Indiana. When he did face-up, however, Zeller displayed the ability to shoot with range or place it on the floor.

One way or another, Zeller knows how to put the ball in the basket—something Indiana needs to do after ranking dead last in scoring offense.

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA Bruins

Position: Shooting Guard/Small 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 Oklahoma City Thunder could target a center here, as they simply will not overcome the Miami Heat without an interior presence. With that being said, OKC has two first round draft choices and the value here is too great to pass over.

After struggling to overcome the absence of James Harden in 2012-13, they land another southpaw that can create his own shot.

Shabazz Muhammad may be dropping down draft boards, but that's mainly a result of his lack of diversity. While he thrives as a scorer and rebounder, Muhammad calls his own number too often and plays mediocre defense.

With that being said, OKC needs another scorer—the 2013 NBA playoffs exposed just how much of a two-man game they truly rely upon.

Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson have upside at the point guard position, while Kevin Martin is lights out from distance. With that being said, Martin is a free agent and, even if he does re-sign, OKC needs a player of Harden's mold to continue.

Muhammad certainly fits the bill.

 

13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric, Croatia

Position: Small Forward

Age: 19

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

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Dallas Mavericks have multiple voids to fill, as they boast an elite power forward in Dirk Nowitzki and a dominant defender in Shawn Marion. With that being said, there are question marks for their team moving forward.

It's worth taking a chance on Dario Saric.

Saric is a dynamic playmaker that stands at 6'10" and 223 pounds with a 6'11" wingspan. Not only is Saric capable of utilizing his length as a scorer, but he's a quality ball handler that can create off of the bounce.

While there may be holes in his game, Dirk Nowitzki is the perfect mentor for Saric.

Not only can Nowitzki help develop Saric's offensive game, but Marion can provide an impact on his defensive progression. Together, Nowitzki and Marion can help mold Saric into one of the most dynamic perimeter players in the game.

According to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider, Dallas is interested in Saric and believes he could be a star in the NBA.


14. Utah Jazz: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State Aztecs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'5", 191 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

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

 

The Utah Jazz could go in a handful of directions here, with their two most notable voids at point guard and general perimeter athleticism. There are multiple options here, specifically with the abundance of athletes on the board.

With point guards likely to be on the board later in the draft, they address their need for a pure athlete.

Jamaal Franklin is an extraordinary leaper that explodes off of the ground and bursts into transition. While the Jazz must find a point guard, their potentially elite interior will only be utilized to their fullest extent if there is an elite athlete to push the pace and step up defensively.

Franklin can be that player.

Not only is Franklin an elite athlete, but he's one of the most versatile players in the 2013 NBA draft. He led San Diego State in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals per game.

Franklin may not have the most polished jump shot, but his versatility is strong enough for Utah to bite.

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks: 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 Milwaukee Bucks have two players that they can build around in point guard Brandon Jennings and center Larry Sanders. They also have forwards that offer up intrigue with Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson.

What Milwaukee lacks, however, is a perimeter that they can move forward with—Allen Crabbe can be the player to bring it all together.

Crabbe possesses excellent size for the 2, standing at 6'6" with a 6'11" wingspan. With his physical gifts also comes the ability to shoot from all over the floor, as Crabbe has deep three-point range and the ability to take it off of the bounce.

Crabbe's time in college also displayed his ability to take on the role of a primary ball handler and facilitate.

This versatility makes him an intriguing pick at any point of the draft, but Milwaukee's needs are too strong to let him pass. Both Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick are set to become free agents, thus resulting in their undeniable need for a shooter.

With Crabbe's ability to shoot, as well as his defensive upside, this pick is easy to make.


16. Boston Celtics: 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 Boston Celtics haven't yet made it clear where they're headed as a franchise, which makes this pick so difficult to project. They could go with an established player and thus build upon their current core, or they could blow it all up and pursue a new direction.

In this scenario, the Celtics take the short-term route.

Steven Adams may have the higher upside, but the Celtics are coming off of a year in which they drafted Fab Melo for that very reason. What Boston needs is a center that can step in and contribute from the opening tip, and that's Gorgui Dieng.

Dieng also projects to be the perfect protege for Kevin Garnett.

At worst, Dieng will step in and provide explosive athleticism and much-needed length for a team that is aging and undersized along the perimeter. At best, Dieng will be able to start in Boston in the long-term as he blocks shots, passes out of the high post and shoots the mid-range J as well as any other center available.

There's always a risk, but if Boston wants to find the ideal center to fit their needs, Dieng is the player.


17. Atlanta Hawks: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh Panthers

Harry How/Getty Images

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

 

The Atlanta Hawks aren't short on needs, as the only noteworthy player that's currently under contract is power forward Al Horford. John Jenkins is a quality shooter, but other than the occasional role player, Atlanta is moving forward with mountains of cap space and minimal players under contract.

So why not take a chance on a project player?

Steven Adams has the perfect NBA body at 7'0" and 255 pounds with a 7'5" wingspan. Adams is also an aggressive rebounder, an imposing defensive presence that thrives as a shot blocker and one of the most explosive big men available.

For a Hawks team that's set for the future with Al Horford at power forward, landing a center should be a focus.

Previously viewed as a big body with potential but little substance, Adams has displayed a better touch around the basket than scouts had presumed. For that reason, there is reason to believe that Adams can make a two-way impact in the NBA.

Even if he is to remain a big body with defensive upside, that's a risk worth taking at No. 17.


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 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Atlanta Hawks have a variety of options here, as they've already landed their project center of the future. Their next choice must be an equally as calculated selection, as the Hawks pursue a player that they can use to build their franchise up.

If there's anything we know about Mike Budenholzer's offensive genius, it's that he can never have too many shooters—enter Glen Rice Jr.

Rice Jr. was once a troubled player at Georgia Tech, fighting off character issues and failing to understand the concept of team basketball. SInce then, the 22-year-old has joined the NBA D-League and become a two-way player with a significantly improved motor.

Expect the Hawks to give him a chance at redemption.

Rice Jr. possesses excellent size at 6'6" with a 6'11" wingspan, and also has range defensively due to his elite athleticism. He's also a significantly improved jump shooter that has expanded his range to well beyond the three-point line.

Rice Jr. would be the type of player that could thrive with the San Antonio Spurs, which is exactly why he'd do well under Budenholzer.


19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Suns, from Heat): Rudy Gobert, France

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

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

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

There are safer picks, such as Mason Plumlee and Jeff Withey, as they can serve as instant impact players that block shots and have a strong skill set offensively. There are shooters such as Reggie Bullock and Sergey Karasev that provide similar intrigue.

When it comes down to it, however, the Cavaliers simply will not pass over the undeniable upside of power forward Rudy Gobert.

Gobert's physical gifts are unlike anything we've seen before, standing at 7'2" with an absurd 6'9" wingspan. There is no denying how much of a project Gobert will be, as he may not be ready to contribute for 2-to-3 years.

With that being said, Cleveland can't expect to find a franchise player at No. 19—all they can hope for is a player that will help them develop in the long run.

Gobert isn't as explosive as some might believe, and his offensive skills are overstated by those that have studied the ever-deceiving YouTube videos. With that being said, any player with this size and length has the upside to be something special.

Seeing how far Tristan Thompson has come in two short years, why can't Gobert do the same?


20. Chicago Bulls: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Harry How/Getty Images

Position: Center

Age: 22

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

2012-13 Season Averages

36.57 PER, 26.4 MPG, 17.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG, 62.9% FG

 

The Chicago Bulls may be in the market for jump shooters, but said players can be found via free agency. For a team that's hoping to contend for a title, and not just a playoff spot, selecting a shooter at this stage wouldn't necessarily guarantee an instant upgrade.

For that reason, the Bulls address their most glaring void—the absence of a second unit center.

Joakim Noah is one of the most impressive players in the NBA, mainly due to his ability to fight through pain and play 40-plus minutes. With that being said, Chicago needs to provide Noah with some form of rest, and drafting a high-motor big man is the way to do that.

Consider Kelly Olynyk to be Omer Asik with a significantly higher upside.

At worst, Olynyk's energy will provide a spark to Chicago's second unit, breathing life into an often sedated group. At best, Olynyk will use his skills on the offensive end to provide a new dynamic on offense.

As a player that can face-up and shoot, score in transition or work out of the post, it's hard not to like Olynyk.

 

21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): 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 Utah Jazz found the explosive athlete that can push them over the edge with their first selection. Up next is addressing what has plagued them since Deron Williams departed in 2011.

Utah needs a point guard.

Mo Williams doesn't get enough credit for how good he's been throughout his career, but he's also 30 and coming off of a season in which he missed 36 games. By pairing Williams with Miami Hurricanes floor general Shane Larkin, however, Utah can create a postseason caliber tandem.

Between Williams' sharpshooting and Larkin's defensive ability and elite athleticism, the upside is undeniable.

Larkin, an All-ACC All-Defensive Team selection, has range on defense and comes up with steals as well as any in this draft. Offensively, he's similar to Trey Burke in the sense that he thrives in creating off of the bounce.

Larkin could be the steal of the draft at No. 21.


22. Brooklyn Nets: Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils

Position: Power Forward/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 Brooklyn Nets are in need of an answer at power forward, as Reggie Evans' elite rebounding ability is met by offensive irrelevance. Keeping Evans on the floor is no issue, but finding a backup—or long-term replacement—that can produce offensively is a key.

Duke Blue Devils big man Mason Plumlee certainly has the ability to be that player.

Plumlee is a walking alley-oop, thriving in the open court and exploding off of the ground in an extraordinary manner. In the half court, Plumlee has drastically improved his low-post game and finishes well with both hands.

Plumlee is also a strong rebounder that plays better defense than he's often given credit for.

This isn't to say that Plumlee is a potential All-Star, but instead acknowledging that he's a two-way player that Brooklyn can trust. If that's not enough to sway your vote of confidence, note that Plumlee would join Brook Lopez and thus create a colossal front court.

Plumlee just so happens to be the athletically gifted rebounding presence that Lopez is not.


23. Indiana Pacers: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State Racers

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

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, 1.7 SPG

 

The Indiana Pacers have one of the best starting lineups in professional basketball, which is why they're in the Eastern Conference Finals. With that being said, the Pacers also have one of the thinnest benches in the NBA.

Improving starts at point guard.

Dennis Schroeder may have more upside, but the Pacers aren't looking for a franchise point guard here. Instead, they need a player that can contribute immediately and provide a brand of efficient scoring.

Isaiah Canaan fits that mold.

Canaan is one of the most efficient players in this draft, and a down year by his team has marred a quality individual season. Regardless of position, he's one of the best three-point shooters in this draft and thrives in creating off of the dribble.

With respectable defensive ability, Canaan would be a perfect fit in Indiana.

 

24. New York Knicks: Dennis Schroeder, Germany

Position: Point Guard

Age: 19

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

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The New York Knicks are in a difficult predicament, as they need to get younger at every position. While landing a rim protecting center such as Jeff Withey may be the easy selection, the Knicks live and die by the play of one position.

Point guard.

Dennis Schroeder is an ideal fit for the Knicks, as his ability to attack the basket off of the bounce is met by massive defensive upside. Not only does he stand at 6'2", but Schroeder boasts a 6'8" wingspan and has the lateral quickness necessary to maximize those physical gifts.

The question is, can he facilitate?

Schroeder is similar to Raymond Felton, in a sense, as both players remain in attack mode on every possession they play. The difference is that Felton has learned to use his penetration skills as a way to get his teammates involved.

Why not let Felton and Jason Kidd teach Schroeder how to do the same?


25. Los Angeles Clippers: 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 Los Angeles Clippers need to find shooters, and that should be a priority here. With that being said, the Clippers also need a rim protector that knows how to score out of the low-post, thus providing their currently absent form of half court scoring.

Jeff Withey can help in both regards.

Offensively, Withey is capable of scoring with both hands, working out of the post and using his length to score over defenders. While he won't compete for any scoring titles, he's reliable enough in that regard that L.A. can feel comfortable playing him for more than just his defense.

With that being said, Withey's being drafted because of just that—his defense.

A case could be made that Withey is the best shot blocker in this draft class, as he manages to contest every shot sent his way without elite athleticism. Instead, Withey uses his length and anticipation skills to make an impact defensively.

Despite lacking the mobility some might desire, Withey is more than capable of stepping out to defend the pick-and-roll and thus picking up a guard off of a rotation.


26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Grizzlies): Sergey Karasev, Russia

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 19

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

2012-13 Season Averages

N/A

 

The Minnesota Timberwolves may have an abundance of point guards and facilitators, but they have a surprising lack of scorers. After addressing their need for a two-way center, the T-Wolves now touch upon their other area of weakness.

Their absence of a shooting guard.

Sergey Karasev has an excellent build for an NBA off guard, standing at 6'7" with a 6'9" wingspan. Bulking up is a priority for Karasev, but he has the frame necessary to do just that.

With his skills somewhere in between intriguing and thrilling, Karasev is the easy pick for Minnesota.

While his three-point shooting prowess is overstated, he is dangerous in the catch-and-shoot department. More importantly, he can create his own shot and finishes well in traffic.

There could be a project element here, but Karasev has the skill and body type necessary to thrive in Minnesota.


27. Denver Nuggets: Reggie Bullock, 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 Denver Nuggets may be one of the best offenses in the NBA, but topping the league in scoring offense only works if you can't be slowed down. For the Nuggets, every postseason, they run into the same issue.

When the game slows down—and it always does—Denver simply cannot compete.

The Nuggets' greatest deficiency is their three-point shooting, as they simply do not possess a consistent threat from beyond the arc. While he may be more of a situational shooter, the Nuggets would go a long way towards improving their woes by drafting Reggie Bullock.

The UNC star thrives in catching the ball in stride and finishing with a transition three.

Seeing as Denver is constantly in transition, the Nuggets are in prime position to find a player that can contribute close to immediately. While small forward may not be a need on paper, Denver will not get over the hump until they learn to shoot and play defense.

Bullock can be a strong contributor in both regards.

 

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 have been one of the best teams in the NBA when it comes to maximizing the value of their draft choices. Despite picking in the bottom of the first round more times than not, the Spurs always acknowledge what matters most.

How well a player fits into their plans.

Lucas Nogueira's physical gifts and upside make him a first round prospect, as he stands at 6'11" with a 7'6" wingspan and exciting leaping ability. Fortunately for the Spurs, they need to get younger in the front court, as Tim Duncan isn't getting any younger.

Duncan may defy father time forever—and ever—but that doesn't discount the Spurs' need to get more athletic down low.

Nogueira may end up being more of a power forward, but his aggressive style of play could bring a new element to San Antonio. Not only is he a strong shot blocker, but he attacks the glass on both ends and has earned praise for his improved motor.

As for his offensive fundamentals, who better to mentor Nogueira than Duncan?


29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mike Muscala, Bucknell Bison

Position: Center

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'11", 230 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

36.34 PER, 18.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.4 BPG

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder went value with the No. 12 pick and must now aim for the best possible fit at No. 29. In this instance, the top option for the Thunder is Bucknell center Mike Muscala.

A skilled offensive prospect that could provide everything OKC has been lacking.

Muscala is a very skilled offensive big man, working well out of the post and finishing a high percentage of his looks. Not only can he back his man down, but Muscala also has range beyond the NBA three-point line on his jump shot.

When it comes to big men with scoring ability, Muscala is at the top of the list.

Defensively, Muscala is a monster on the glass and has improve dramatically on the defensive end. He won't win any awards for his work, but Muscala will contest shots and put his respected motor on full display.

Best of all? Muscala finished his college career with a mark of 81.9 percent from the free throw line.


30. Phoenix Suns (via Cavs, from Lakers): Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan Wolverines

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 lucked out with their first pick, landing shooting guard Victor Oladipo to be their first building block. With their second pick, however, they must be thinking value, as their roster remains filled with holes.

It just so happens that landing another shooting guard is the way to go.

Hardaway Jr. has upside, as he pairs a smooth stroke from beyond the arc with the ability to handle the ball and defensive upside. Hardaway Jr. is far from Oladipo's equal, but if learning from Jared Dudley for a year or two is in store, he could certainly benefit.

It's all a matter of focus.

Hardaway Jr. has seen his defensive intensity questioned, but the ability and upside is undeniable. Offensively, the same can be said, as Hardaway Jr. pairs deep three-point range with a 6'7" wingspan and the ability to attack off of the bounce.

Hardaway Jr. may be more NBA ready than we're giving him credit for, but if Phoenix is thinking of a long-term two-man tandem at shooting guard, Hardaway Jr. projects to be a strong sixth man.

Pre-draft measurements via DraftExpress.

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