2013 NBA Mock Draft: Pick-by-Pick Predictions for Round 1
Mark my words—you won't want to miss the 2013 NBA draft.
Whether you're tuning in solely to find out if Nerlens Noel goes No. 1 overall or you're following your favorite team to find out the direction of the franchise, the 2013 NBA draft is full of talent and players who can be immediate difference-makers for NBA teams next season.
Here's a look at my latest 2013 NBA mock draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers already have a budding shooting guard in Dion Waiters, I wouldn't be so sure that's enough to stop them from drafting arguably the best player in the draft.
Fox Sports' Sam Amico reports that the Cavs have already discussed the possibility of taking the 6'4" shooter No. 1 overall, which would pair the sniper with dynamic point guard Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
McLemore shot 42 percent from three-point territory as a freshman this past season and is the type of player who can come in and immediately give any offense a shot in the arm.
There's always the chance that Cleveland trades the pick, but if it hangs onto it, McLemore is the pick for me.
2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
With McLemore off the board, the Orlando Magic go with the best player available in Victor Oladipo out of Indiana.
Oladipo had one of the best motors in college basketball and is a lockdown defender. If he continues working on his jumper, Oladipo's athletic ability combined with his defensive prowess are enough to justify him as a No. 2 overall pick.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
The Washington Wizards have too many holes to count that they need to fill up and down their roster, but the best selection for them with the No. 3 overall pick is Otto Porter Jr.
Porter is a dynamic player who impacts the game in all facets, whether it be scoring, rebounding or defending, and is only going to work out for the top three teams in the draft, according to RickBonnell of the Charlotte Observer:
Agent David Falk confirms Otto Porter will work out only for top 3 (CLE, ORL, WASH.). So Wizards are Porter's floor.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 11, 2013
That said, pairing Porter with John Wall would immediately upgrade the Wiz for the 2013-14 campaign.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel could still be available when the Charlotte Bobcats' No. 4 pick rolls around, and I'm buying it.
NBA player-personnel source: Kentucky's Nerlens Noel could still be available when Charlotte Bobcats select No. 4: http://t.co/NJEBJ9Za5I— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 11, 2013
I think Noel's knee injury may scare some suitors off, and with other premier talent like McLemore in the draft, I don't think it's a guarantee that Noel goes first.
Besides, the Bobcats are in dire need of a big man to complement Kemba Walker, and Noel is the best big man in this year's draft.
5. Phoenix Suns: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
If the Phoenix Suns are going to put points on the board and contend in the Pacific Division, they need to find a scorer like C.J. McCollum in the draft.
Jared Dudley isn't going to cut it at shooting guard, and McCollum shot an absurd 52 percent from three-point range last season, making him the pick for a Suns offense that needs scoring.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Who wouldn't want a 7'1" athlete who can score and block shots in the middle of the paint?
If the New Orleans Pelicans draft Maryland center Alex Len, they'll boast arguably the best rim-defending defense in the NBA with the likes of Len and Anthony Davis.
7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Shoulder surgery has prevented Anthony Bennett from participating in the NBA draft combine, but he doesn't think it's going to hurt his draft stock, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
Drafting Bennett would give the Sacramento Kings a strong frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins already manning the center position, as both men are excellent rebounders, with Bennett being the superior athlete and scorer.
8. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
The Detroit Pistons need a fan favorite, and after spending two productive seasons at Michigan, there's no doubt in my mind that it wouldn't take long for Detroit fans to take to Trey Burke.
Burke earned the respect of everyone with his clutch playmaking abilities in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and has proven to be the most dynamic point guard of the 2013 class.
Burke's defense could definitely use some work, but his court vision and drive-and-kick skills definitely make up for it.
Detroit certainly doesn't have a set point guard, but that could all change by bringing in a talent like Burke.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
Think the Minnesota Timberwolves need a shooting guard?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a straight-up shooter who can immediately add points to the T-Wolves offense. He's a smooth athlete and has one of the quickest shooting releases in his class—making him a solid option for Minnesota, which ranked 20th in points per game this season.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
There's not much depth behind LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson in the paint for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Steven Adams is a monster on the glass and has one of the best motors for a seven-foot center. Adams would bring a physical presence to Portland, which it could use in the Northwest Division.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana
The Philadelphia 76ers have a ton of work to do, and while they can't take back the Andrew Bynum deal, the Sixers can still improve their post game with Cody Zeller.
Zeller played center in college but is built more for the 4 spot in the NBA. He runs the floor extremely well and would be able to go coast-to-coast alongside Jrue Holiday.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors): Rudy Gobert, C, France
France's Rudy Gobert is extremely athletic for a 7'2" big man and would give the Oklahoma City Thunder a different type of big man in the paint than they already have in Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
He's is a lengthy shot-blocker who can run the floor and can be a productive offensive player in the right system.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
The Dallas Mavericks should be looking to get younger at forward, and Giannis Antetokounmpo gives them the best chance.
He's a 6'9" forward who can handle the ball and put the ball in the basket. While the 18-year-old does need to add some weight and strength to his body, the ceiling is high for the international player.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Move over Mo Williams and Randy Foye, because Michael Carter-Williams is coming for the starting spot for the Utah Jazz.
Carter-Williams is a big-bodied point guard (6'6", 185 pounds) who does a little bit of everything. He scores, passes and rebounds, and he has some of the most active hands on defense, which led to him averaging nearly three steals per game.
Carter-Williams' ball-handling and court vision make him the obvious choice as a starter over Williams and Foye if drafted by the Jazz.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
Kelly Olynyk was one of the bigger names in college basketball this season, averaging nearly 18 points and seven rebounds per game.
For a 7'0" center, Olynyk doesn't rebound or block shots all that well, which makes him primarily a mid-round pick because of his size and ability to knock down shots from the perimeter.
Olynyk would bring a different dimension to what the Milwaukee Bucks big men already do, which is why I like him to the Bucks at No. 15.
16. Boston Celtics: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
The Boston Celtics are essentially in a rebuilding mode with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both getting up there in age. That said, a young talent like Shabazz Muhammad would fit the Celtics' winning culture.
Muhammad is a natural scorer who penetrates well to the basket, and his motor is rarely matched by his opponents. If he continues working on his jumper, he has a chance to be a stud in the NBA.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
The Atlanta Hawks lack a player who can slash to the basket and finish around the rim, but that's what they'd be getting in Jamaal Franklin out of San Diego State. Franklin averaged 17 points and nine boards per game—an impressive rebounding mark for a 6'5" guard.
His outside shot needs work, but there's no doubting that Franklin has explosive ability when driving to the basket.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
The selection of Gorgui Dieng is strictly a defensive pick for the Hawks.
I think they'll address the offense with the No. 17 pick in Franklin and then bolster their interior defense and rebounding with Dieng, who's one of the better shot-blockers in the 2013 draft.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
Already having drafted Ben McLemore with the No. 1 overall pick, the Cavaliers will get another young power forward similar to Tristan Thompson.
Tony Mitchell has the athleticism to guard multiple positions on the floor and has incredible leaping ability. If he puts more work into his jump shot, he'll be able to help the Cavs stretch the defense.
20. Chicago Bulls: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
The Chicago Bulls are set with Derrick Rose at point and in the frontcourt, but I think it could use some depth on the wing.
Tim Hardaway Jr. penetrates to the basket with speed and power and showed the ability to knock down the three, as he shot 37 percent from downtown this past season. Hardaway Jr. is a solid athlete, and his game will only get better with a point guard like Rose.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
Jeff Withey is the type of player who can immediately come off the bench and provide some solid minutes for the Jazz behind Al Jefferson.
Whithey is a block machine—he averaged 3.9 per game last season at Kansas—and can score around the basket. If he's still on the board at No. 21, Utah has to take him.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke
The biggest questions surrounding the Brooklyn Nets entering the season are their forward positions.
Gerald Wallace was just terrible this season. And while Reggie Evans was a beast on the boards, the Nets need more of a scoring threat from their forwards—which is where Mason Plumlee enters the picture.
Plumlee is an excellent post scorer and would complement Brook Lopez, who can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper.
23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
Seeking depth at point guard behind George Hill, the Indiana Pacers take Shane Larkin, who was productive during his time at Miami.
Larkin shot 40 percent from three-point range last season and would join a Pacers team that can definitely shoot it from outside.
24. New York Knicks: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
J.R. Smith was a nice boost for the New York Knicks this season, but they need a more reliable shooting guard who has more control. Allen Crabbe was a reliable scorer at Cal and chips in big on the boards for a 6'6" guard.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
While Dennis Schroeder is still a bit raw to be an NBA starter, he has an explosive first step and would certainly be an exciting young player in L.A. with Blake Griffin.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
I have Sergey Karasev as a small forward, but he can also play at the 2. He's 6'7", and although he's largely an average athlete compared to the rest of the class, Karasev effectively slashes to the basket and finishes around the rim.
It's time the Timberwolves start putting as much talent as possible around Kevin Love.
27. Denver Nuggets: Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina
I think there's a chance the Nets take Reggie Bullock before he gets to No. 27, but if he's there, I think the Denver Nuggets snatch him.
Bullock played both guard and forward at UNC and contributed in the scoring and rebounding departments. He comes from a reliable program in North Carolina, which should be valued by a young team like the Nuggets.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Glen Rice Jr., SG, D-League
If it weren't for the lack of a consistent jump shot, I could see Glen Rice going considerably higher in the draft. He's an athletic wing who rebounds excellent for his 6'6" frame and defends exceptionally well.
I think he's the type of player Gregg Popovich covets for his tight-knit system.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State
Russell Westbrook's injury during the 2013 NBA playoffs proved that you can never have enough young talent at the point guard position.
Isaiah Canaan may be more of a scoring guard, but he has point guard size (6'0") and the speed that fits perfectly with what the Thunder like to do on offense.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Tony Snell, G/F, New Mexico
Tony Snell would be an excellent late-round find for a team like the Phoenix Suns looking for offense.
Snell is an excellent shooter—39 percent from three this past season—and excels in catch-and-shoot situations.
If Snell hits the weight room, he'll significantly increase his chances of being able to take the body off of screens at the NBA level.
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