2013 NBA Mock Draft: Latest First-Round Projections for Each Team

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJune 4, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Trey Burke #3 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts in the first half against the Louisville Cardinals during the 2013 NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at the Georgia Dome on April 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA draft seems to become more and more unpredictable every year, and the 2013 class will follow suit as no sure-fire No. 1 pick has asserted himself as of yet.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers picking first overall yet again, things aren't as simple for them as in recent years when they picked LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with the top pick. This year, they look to an inconsistent group of players that features no obvious franchise-changing gem among them.

As per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Cavs may be talked into dealing the top pick due to this issue and a slew of great players they could find later in the draft. Though as of now, Cleveland general manager Chris Grant has yet to make a move.

But this year's drama will only begin with the No. 1 overall pick, as things will only get cloudier later in the first round as far as predictions go.

Let's take a look at who each team should select with their first-round picks.


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

As I mentioned earlier, the Cavs' plans for their top pick are unclear and could very well change leading up to draft day. But until that happens, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Nerlens Noel going No. 1.

Cleveland couldn't go wrong with Georgetown's Otto Porter either. But Noel boasts huge potential, and if he lives up to that hype, he'll be a defensive force for years.

Noel comes into the Association while battling an ACL tear, but don't let that make you think he'll be any less destructive of a defensive presence in his first few years in the league.


2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

The Magic enter the 2013 draft in a much better position than last year, with the No. 2 pick and a much better group of youngsters to build a team around. That's why McLemore is the obvious pick.

There's no guarantee of a future franchise player in this draft, but if there is one, it's McLemore. He's the best pure shooter in the draft, and despite his consistency issues, it'll only take time for him to transition into a future star in the league.

McLemore is exactly the type of player the Magic need to build their new-age team around. General manager Rob Hennigan may have found his man.


3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

Draft boards are starting to become more concrete with Porter in the top three, and for good reason. There isn't a player in this draft that is more balanced on both ends of the floor than Porter.

Like I said before, don't be surprised if the Georgetown product comes off the board before the Wizards can nab him. But if he's available, John Wall and Co. will have a huge piece on the way.


4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

UNLV prodigy Anthony Bennett is one of the most imposing physical specimens in this draft and will prove to be an immediate contributor for the Bobcats.

Bennett comes into the draft with prototypical NBA size, but it's unclear which position would suit him best. He's a bit too big to play the wing position at small forward, but at 6'8", he may struggle with the length of some power forwards.

It's not the franchise player that owner Michael Jordan is looking for, but Bennett will be a huge addition in Charlotte.


5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

The Suns will be beyond lucky to have the safest pick in the draft fall into their laps with the fifth overall pick.

Oladipo will immediately be a defensive stopper in the NBA upon his arrival, and his huge improvement in shooting over the 2012-13 season shows he'll be able to form a consistent jump shot.

Phoenix has been searching for some firepower and excitement for their franchise, and Oladipo will answer the call brilliantly.


6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

The scenario of Trey Burke falling to No. 6 shouldn't be something the Pelicans plan for, but they won't be able to turn down the Michigan star if he's available.

New Orleans looks to have a solid core with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon, as well as upcoming stud Austin Rivers. But Rivers looks nothing like the future starter at point guard, which Burke would fit incredibly well.


7. Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

It'll be tough for the Kings to pass up on the potential of Shabazz Muhammad, but Michael Carter-Williams gives them a better fit for the system they're running.

Carter-Williams will help organize their backcourt and bring a defensive focus to the unit while continuing to improve his game with a massive amount of upside.


8. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

Muhammad is the most talented player in this draft at scoring and attacking the basket, which is exactly what the Pistons need on the wing to compete with the NBA's elite.

An elite wing scorer is crucial to any team's success, and Detroit can't turn down the possibility that Muhammad turns into a star. At No. 7, he's a high-reward pick that won't come back to bite them.


9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

The T-Wolves really could use an elite perimeter scorer in this draft, so don't be surprised if they decide to trade up and explore that option. But if they stay put, they should go with Cody Zeller.

Zeller is a more offensively-talented version of his older brother, Tyler and will help shore up Minnesota's frontcourt. Somebody needs to do the dirty work with Kevin Love dominating offensively, and Zeller could be that guy.


10. Portland Trail Blazers: Alex Len, C, Maryland

This pick makes sense no matter how you look at it.

The Trail Blazers have had their fair share of disappointment in drafting centers (see: Greg Oden), but here they'll find one of the safest picks in the draft and a contributor who should fill a void for many years.


11. Philadelphia 76ers: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

There's no conceivable way of seeing the 76ers draft anyone other than a center with the 11th pick, and they'll reach for Louisville defensive stopper Gorgui Dieng here. He's not as polished as other candidates, but his ceiling is huge after showcasing his dominance with the national champion Cardinals.


12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga

The Thunder struggled to find consistent contributions in their frontcourt this season, which played a huge part in their playoff exit to the Memphis Grizzlies. Olynyk will fill that need and take some of Kendrick Perkins' minutes early on in his career.


13. Dallas Mavericks: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh

It remains to be seen if the Mavs are going to shop this pick (per ESPN), but they'll be kicking themselves if they pass up on McCollum.

The Lehigh product is lethal from long range and can score in many different ways. The passing ability isn't there, but the Mavs need scoring on the perimeter and that's exactly what McCollum will bring.


14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany

Germany product Dennis Schroeder has been climbing up draft boards all season, and he'll likely be the best pick available at No. 14 for Utah. He already has the size necessary to compete in the Association, and he's a bit more polished than we usually see at this position.


15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami

With the potential departure of Brandon Jennings, the Bucks may desperately need a point guard when the 15th pick comes rolling around. While a move for Trey Burke would certainly change the franchise, they'd do well with Larkin.

Larkin showed his ability to take over games late in the 2012-13 season with the 'Canes, and he'll turn into a solid starter in the league if he can surround himself with the right players.


16. Boston Celtics: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

The middle of the first round is sure to be dominated by centers, and Steven Adams is a huge reason for that.

The 7'0" stud has already been worked out by the Celtics, per ESPN Boston, and it was all positives coming out of it. Adams has great upside and should bode well for Boston's frontcourt in the long-term.


17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke

There's no doubt that the Hawks will go big with one of their two first-round picks. With players like Olynyk, Adams and Dieng off the board, Plumlee isn't too shabby of a pick and should help shore up Atlanta's frontcourt issues.


18. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston): Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State

Jamaal Franklin is one of this draft's best wing players, as he brings athleticism and firepower to the position. With Josh Smith's potential departure, the Hawks will be in dire need of both of those traits.


19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Lakers): Rudy Gobert, C, France

You may be wondering why the Cavs would pick two centers with two first-round picks, but look at their frontcourt before writing it off.

Anderson Varejao can't seem to stay healthy enough to make an impact, while Tristan Thompson offers very little help defensively. Tyler Zeller was pegged to be a potential starter, but his ceiling has lowered to that of a role player.

Picking Noel would help, but not immediately by any means due to his ACL recovery.

Gobert, on the other hand, comes in with professional experience despite being just 20 years old. His upside has him going off some boards early in the first round, and the Cavs would do well to land him at No. 19.


20. Chicago Bulls: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas

The 6'8" phenom was expected to be a top-five pick before a sophomore slump, but much of his issues can be attributed to the entire North Texas team caving in. Mitchell can still produce, and in the Bulls' system, he'll offer some much-needed scoring depth.


21. Utah Jazz (from Golden State): Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan

Don't expect Tim Hardaway Jr. to be available for the Jazz at pick No. 21, but they won't be able to pass up on him if he's there.

Having already solidified their backcourt earlier in the draft, Utah can afford to go out on a limb in the hopes of landing two future backcourt starters.


22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico

Tony Snell is the lengthy wing scorer that the Nets desperately need to pair up with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. His strength is an issue, but he won't be expected to be a bruiser with Brooklyn. He'll just have to score.


23. Indiana Pacers: Lorenzo Brown, PG, N.C. State

The Pacers will look to improve their backcourt with this pick and find a more reliable backup to George Hill. While they won't be happy losing out on players like Burke and Larkin, the 6'5" Brown will be able to offer an interesting contrast to the shorter Hill.


24. New York Knicks: Dario Saric, F, Croatia

The Knicks don't have any big needs other than a rotational big man, but they won't find that type of value here and will gamble on an international talent. Saric has the size and athletic ability that you'd want from any overseas player.


25. Los Angeles Clippers: Giannis Antetokounmpo , SG, Greece

Coming off a 56-win season, the Clippers don't have many needs—given they hang onto Chris Paul. In that case, they'll be able to gamble on an international player who has been hyped for some time.


26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

The reigning SEC Player of the Year went on a tear through the NCAA last season, showing his ability to do it all and carry a hapless Georgia team. Now, he'll just have to man some of the scoring responsibility and continue to develop as a game-changer.


27. Denver Nuggets: Glen Rice Jr., SF, Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Glen Rice Jr. made himself a household name in the D-league last season, tearing up his opponents with a well-balanced scoring arsenal.

He can shoot, attack the basket and find open teammates. His ability on the wing made him stand out among other D-league players, allowing him to make the jump into the Association.

With the Nuggets in desperate need of some wing scoring in the wake of Danilo Gallinari's ACL injury, Rice would make for an immediate impact off the bench.


28. San Antonio Spurs: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

The Spurs never have glaring needs on their roster, but that may change this offseason. Their inability to rebound has been exposed in the playoffs, despite their ascendance to the NBA Finals.

Withey will dominate the glass defensively and help Tim Duncan rebound. Plus, as Duncan's career inches closer to retirement, Withey will give the Spurs some stability when that finally happens.


29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia

OKC won't be able to find a long-term starter at this position, but Karasev offers enough versatility to help this pick make sense. They won't be getting their next James Harden, but Karasev should log some hard-earned minutes off the bench.


30. Phoenix Suns (from Miami): C.J. Leslie, G, N.C. State

As I mentioned in their fifth pick, the Suns need to get better on the defensive side of the ball. Oladipo will help the most, but Leslie is no slouch defensively and will turn into a solid role player in the Association.


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