Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Mock Draft 2013: Grading the Experts' Picks

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJune 6, 2013

Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Mock Draft 2013: Grading the Experts' Picks

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    Draft day is quickly approaching, and perhaps no team stands to improve themselves more than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Owners of pick Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33 overall, the Cavs have the opportunity to add some significant talent to their roster, even if they do end up trading a pick or two.

    For now, mock drafts all over the web are popping up with their best guesses of who the Cavs will take at all four spots.  One of the picks is widely agreed upon, while others seem to be wide open.

    The following is a collection of some of the most respected mock drafts from around the web, with brief descriptions of all projected Cavalier picks.

    Which mock drafts would fill the Cavs' needs the best, and which would flunk out should general manager Chris Grant choose to listen to them?

    Here is the first 2013 Bleacher Report collection of Cleveland Cavaliers mock drafts, complete with graded analysis.

Cavs Mock No. 1: NBADraft.net

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    Pick No. 1: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

    Ben McLemore is an outstanding shooting guard who can score in a variety of ways.  He has the potential to be the next Ray Allen and could be the best player in the draft.

     

    Pick No. 19: Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF, UCLA

    Shabazz Muhammad is a dynamic scorer who can play either wing position.  A poor combine could have him falling out of the lottery, but he still remains an intriguing prospect with good basketball I.Q.

     

    Pick No. 31: Erick Green, PG, Virginia Tech

    ACC Player of the Year Erick Green led the NCAA in scoring at 25.0 points per game.  He's more of a scorer than passer, however, and at 22 would be best as combo guard off the bench.

     

    Pick No. 33: Glen Rice Jr., SG/SF, NBADL

    Glen Rice Jr. is an athletic wing who played in the developmental league last season.  He's a good shooter from deep with impressive 40.5" vertical leap but off-the-court issues led to his dismissal at Georgia Tech. 

     

    Grade: C

    No center?  No post help?  No thank you.

    The highlight of this mock draft from NBADraft.net would be landing Muhammad in the late first round, as he was once in the running for the first overall pick.  Some good things here, but ultimately too guard-heavy and no shot-blocker that Cleveland needs.

Cavs Mock No. 2: DraftExpress.com

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    Pick No. 1: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

    Nerlens Noel is a dynamic shot-blocker who could be a future Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.  He needs to add muscle to his thin frame and is currently recovering from a torn ACL.

     

    Pick No. 19: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a good athlete and scorer who too often falls in love with his jumper.  Great rebounder for his size and position with 7.1 boards per game his sophomore year.

     

    Pick No. 31: Erick Green, PG, Virginia Tech

    ACC Player-of-the-Year Green led the NCAA in scoring at 25.0 points per game.  He's more of a scorer than passer, however, and at 22 would be best as a combo guard off the bench.

     

    Pick No. 33: Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence

    Ricky Ledo is a good shot-creator and scorer who can play either guard position.  He's declaring for the draft despite not playing at all last season due to academic issues.

     

    Grade: C+

    Noel finds himself where most project him to go at first overall for DraftExpress.com's mock draft.  The backcourt for the Cavs would get a shot of athleticism and scoring, even though it's not Cleveland's biggest need. 

    Nothing was done in this draft to address small forward, so I can't justify giving it anything higher than a C+.

Cavs Mock No. 3: CBSSports.com

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    Pick No. 1: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

    Dynamic shot-blocker who could be a future Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.  Needs to add muscle to thin frame and is currently recovering from torn ACL.

     

    Pick No. 19: Tony Mitchell, SF/PF, North Texas 

    Tony Mitchell is a combo forward with good size and athleticism.  Had academic issues earlier in career and largely underperformed in college.  Potential to be a great shot-blocker and defender. 


    Pick No. 31: Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence

    Good shot-creator and scorer who can play either guard position.  Declaring for draft despite not playing at all last season due to academic issues.

     

    Pick No. 33: C.J. Leslie, SF/PF, N.C. State

    C.J. Leslie is a good athlete whose best position in the NBA is likely an undersized 4.  He's not a good shooter from deep and will need to add weight to play in the post.

     

    Grade: B-

    Noel and Ledo make a return to the Cavs' draft projections from CBSSports.com, but this time Cleveland gets help at forward.

    Mitchell and Leslie are probably both best at power forward, and it would be nice to see the Cavs grab a true small forward instead.  Mitchell has All-Star potential if given a few years and the right coaching to push him.

Cavs Mock No. 4: WalterFootball.com

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    Pick No. 1: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

    Do-it-all small forward Otto Porter excels in all areas but dominates in none.  Could be a perfect fit for the Cavaliers and their need at the 3.

     

    Pick No. 19: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

    Steven Adams has impressive size (7'0", 250 pounds) and skill set for a big man.  Good defender who needs some developing but could be solid starter down the road.

     

    Pick No. 31: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami

    Undersized point guard Shane Larkin can do a little bit of everything.  Good shooter from deep (40.6 percent) who can rack up steals on the defensive end.

     

    Pick No. 33: Glen Rice Jr., SG/SF, NBADL

    Athletic wing who played in developmental league last season.  Good shooter from deep with impressive 40.5" vertical leap but off-the-court issues led to his dismissal at Georgia Tech.

     

    Grade: A-

    The best collection of talent thus far is from WalterFootball.com.  The Cavs get the best fit for their team with Porter, even if he'd be considered a "reach" at No. 1.

    Adams is my favorite "second-tier" center in the draft and could be a very good player with the right developing.  I'm not a fan of adding another young point guard to the roster, but Larkin at 31 would be a good value.

Cavs Mock No. 5: MyNBADraft.com

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    Pick No. 1: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

    Dynamic shot-blocker who could be a future Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.  Needs to add muscle to thin frame and is currently recovering from torn ACL.

     

    Pick No. 19: Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia 

    Dario Saric is one of, if not the best international prospect in the draft.  He's a good passer and hard worker who has All-Star potential. 


    Pick No. 31: Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, France

    Mouhammadou Jaiteh has good size at nearly 7' and 250 pounds.  He has only been playing basketball for five years and will need some time to develop.

     

    Pick No. 33: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky

    Archie Goodwin is the youngest player in draft who left UK after just one season.  Good scorer and hard worker who needs to improve his three-point shot.

     

    Grade: B

    The center position has certainly been addressed here by MyNBADraft.com, with the Cavs grabbing three players 6'10" or taller.  Saric is very skilled but will probably be better at the 4 than the 3, still leaving a hole at small forward.

    Goodwin was a surprise entry given Kentucky's disappointing season, but he has the skills to develop into an NBA starter at some point in his career.

SI, ESPN and Hoops World 1st-Round Mocks

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    SI.com: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

    Solid picks, put Caldwell-Pope doesn't help to fill a position of need.

    Grade: B-

     

    ESPN.com: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky and Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia

    Karasev is one of my favorite options with the 19th pick.  He has a lot of Manu Ginobili in him and could start for the Cavs at small forward.

    Grade: A-

     

    HoopsWorld.com: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky and Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia.

    Again, this would be a nice collection for Cleveland to pick up.  Karasev could go anywhere from No. 9 to the end of the first round, so getting him at No. 19 would be good value.

    Grade: A-

Recap

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    A couple of notes and observations from the mock drafts listed:

    —Nerlens Noel was by far the popular choice for the Cavs to select first overall.  Six out of eight mock drafts pegged Noel to go first.

    —Ben McLemore and Otto Porter were the only other players projected to go first overall to the Cavs.  With McLemore and Dion Waiters playing similar styles of games, I just can't see the Cavs keeping both if they draft McLemore.

    —Pittsburgh freshman Steven Adams was picked to go to the Cavs at No. 19 just once.  If the Cavs don't draft Noel first overall, Adams would be a great pickup that late.  He comes from a very athletic family and is just getting used to playing in America, having grown up in New Zealand.

    —There was a five-way tie for second-most projected player to the Cavs outside of Noel.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Sergey Karasev, Erick Green, Ricky Ledo and Glen Rice Jr. all saw their names pop up multiple times in either the late-first or early second round.

    Something tells me that the Cavs will be active in trading up, and even possibly trading back, when the actual draft rolls around.  Don't expect them to keep all four picks, and keep an eye out for one or more to be traded for a veteran player instead.