2013 NBA Mock Draft: In-Depth Projections for 1st-Round Action
The 2013 NBA draft may not have an elite talent at the top, but there is plenty of depth. Wherever your team drafts, there will be a good player available.
This 2013 NBA mock draft is an in-depth look at how the first-round action could shake out.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
With their backcourt set, the Cavaliers could really use a big man to anchor the paint. Enter: Nerlens Noel. Noel is coming off an ACL injury, which may mean rustiness when he does come back.
According to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, the former Kentucky star said that he’s hoping to be ready by late December:
Nerlens Noel says hopes ready to go by Christmas. Says injury a blessing, working on other aspects. Will be a bettter player for it, he says— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) May 16, 2013
Even if his return to the court is delayed, it won't hurt the Cavs too badly, as they are not in a position to contend.
Noel offers rare defensive prowess, and while his offensive skills are a bit of a work in progress, he will be a game-changer defending the rim. The Cavs defense ranked last in opponents' field-goal percentage last season. Adding a rim protector like Noel is prudent if the Cavs want to take the next step.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The Magic do have shooting guard Arron Afflalo under contract for three more seasons. But, McLemore may be too good to pass up.
The shooting guard has worked out for the Magic, according to Mary Stevens of SportsTalkFlorida:
McLemore is a dynamic shooter, as he shot 42 percent from beyond the arc last season. He provides instant offense and might end up being the best player in this draft.
The Magic, who need a lot of offensive help, would benefit from the young shooting guard's presence. He's a young player but offers the most upside of anyone in this draft.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
The Wizards are set in the backcourt with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Now, adding a slashing wing should be the priority.
The perfect fit, then, is Otto Porter. It seems that the Wizards are honing in on Porter, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweeted:
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
Porter is a good shooter and should benefit from the drive-and-kick game. He's solid defensively, as well.
The Wizards are starting to wisely build around John Wall. Last season, Bradley Beal became a true backcourt mate. Now, the Wiz will start to upgrade the frontcourt, and Porter is the perfect place to start.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len, C, Maryland
The Bobcats desperately need a big man. They ranked last in points in the paint, 27th in rebounding and 23rd in opponent points in the paint.
Unless Nerlens Noel is still here, the pick will be Alex Len. He's a 7'1" athletic big man who plays good defense, rebounds and blocks shots.
Len could also team with Kemba Walker on a devastating pick-and-roll game. And, as Bismack Biyombo continues to improve, the Bobcats, with one selection, could turn a weakness up front into a real strength.
5. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV
Bennett may be the most talented player in this draft. The 6'7", 239-pound forward is a terrific athlete who also has range, as he shot 38.3 percent from three.
He doesn't have a true position, but the one thing that is clear is that Bennett can put up points.
The Suns need to start putting up consistent points. Michael Beasley is an enigma. Bennett could excel in the pick-and-pop game with Goran Dragic and make the Suns fun to watch again.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Oladipo's fall ends here. While he's not a true point guard, the Pelicans can't afford to pass on the tough-minded defensive stud.
His best strength is his defense, and he projects as a lockdown perimeter defender. Between Oladipo and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans could have the best young defense in the league.
While there is a bit of a glut at shooting guard, Oladipo could probably guard and play three positions.
His athleticism is special and he could instantly turn New Orleans into an up-tempo, fast-break creating team.
7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
The Kings have a lot of needs, but with the team seemingly in constant turmoil, a true leader is needed most.
Enter: Trey Burke. Burke was fantastic in the NCAA tournament and would finally give the Kings a true point guard. By drafting Burke, not only do they upgrade over Isaiah Thomas, but they can shift Tyreke Evans to shooting guard.
The Kings were 25th in assists per game with just 20.8. Burke could better facilitate the ball between Evans and DeMarcus Cousins while instilling a real sense of toughness and purpose to the team.
8. Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh
McCollum is just a ridiculous three-point shooter, as he shot 52 percent from behind the arc last season.
His shooting will help spread the floor for Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe inside.
McCollum will probably fit best as an undersized 2-guard in Detroit and his potent shooting will really open up the offense.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
The Timberwolves finished 25th in points per possession last season. A shooter is desperately needed.
Caldwell-Pope would be a good choice. He would fit nicely with Ricky Rubio in the backcourt and help to take some of the attention off of Kevin Love. He's a smooth shooter with plenty of athleticism and should also make an impact on the defensive side of the ball.
He will instantly improve a Timberwolves offense that should be better than it is.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
Portland could use more frontcourt depth. Kelly Olynyk will play that role well.
Probably too deficient on defense to be a full-time starter, Olynyk's smooth, varied offense game will look even better coming off the bench.
Combined with LaMarcus Aldridge, the selection of Olynyk would give the Blazers a lot of options. Olynyk can form a nice pick-and-pop duo with Damian Lillard, opening up space down low for Aldridge.
It's a bit high for a backup, but Olynyk will be a big producer. He is a nice fit for Portland.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana
With the Andrew Bynum situation in flux, the 76ers need a reliable big man. Zeller, while not much of a shooter, has tremendous athleticism and can run with Jrue Holiday.
He was productive in college and will bring solid effort every night. The pick-and-roll game would instantly improve and his size is desperately needed.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors): Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF, UCLA
The Thunder really need someone to replace James Harden, and Muhammad is the best option. He's a pure scorer. He needs work on his jump shot but the hard-charging Muhammad can put the ball in the basket.
Adding a pure scorer will take pressure off of Kevin Durant, who needs help. Kevin Martin was not an adequate replacement for Harden, and Muhammad has the best chance to replicate Harden's all-around game.
If the Thunder don't expect too much from Muhammad on defense, then he could easily flourish playing alongside Durant as a sixth man.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
Dario Saric is probably the best foreign player in the draft, and the Mavericks, who want to save cap space in attempt to make a splash this offseason, could stash Saric overseas for a few years.
When he does come over, the Mavericks will get a high-volume scorer who is similar in many ways to Dirk Nowitzki.
SI.com has reported that he's still technically in the draft, despite his agent saying that he will not enter his name. The Croatian has until Monday to officially withdraw.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Michael Carter-Williams' fall ends in Utah. The Jazz, who really need an upgrade over Randy Foye and Mo Williams, will appreciate Carter-Williams' length and athleticism.
He has the potential to be a defensive menace, as he averaged nearly three steals per game last season.
His jump shot is a work in progress, and he could probably afford to add a few more pounds to his slender frame.
But Carter-Williams is unique and his size makes him able to guard three positions.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
The Bucks need backcourt help. J.J. Reddick is a free agent, while Brandon Jennings is an unrestricted free agent. Monta Ellis can opt out of his contract.
Schroeder is a lightning-quick point guard with top-notch passing skills. At only 19, Schroeder has unlimited potential.
After a few years of experimenting with an nontraditional backcourt that didn't have a prototypical point guard, the Bucks can finally add a true point guard to the mix to help stabilize the offense.
16. Boston Celtics: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
Jamaal Franklin is an all-around player who does everything well. He plays top defense, can handle the ball and can score.
Teamed with Avery Bradley, Franklin could help provide some of the best perimeter defense in the league. This could help turn the Celtics into a fast-break team, which is where Rajon Rondo excels.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Dieng is one of the best shot-blockers and will help improve an interior defense that struggled last season.
They could move Al Horford to his natural power forward position, and while Dieng doesn't offer much offense, he is the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
It's a no-brainer for the Hawks.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Reggie Bullock, SF, UNC
The Hawks get some help on offense with the selection of Reggie Bullock.
He can play multiple positions and is a good shooter. He's not flashy, but Bullock could instantly become the starting small forward, offering solid defense and reliable offense.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
Tony Mitchell is one of the most athletic players in the draft and has earned comparisons to Kenneth Faried.
The power forward would bring a defensive intensity to the Cavs that they are currently lacking. Teamed with Tristan Thompson, and in this mock, Nerlens Noel, the Cavs frontcourt would become suddenly pretty menacing and crazy athletic.
Mitchell will provide tough interior defense and good rebounding, in addition to a pretty good offensive game.
20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
The Bulls desperately need a shooter, and Crabbe is one of the better ones in this class. He shot around 38 percent from distance in his career.
While Crabbe's best trait is his shooting, he's also a decent defender with good size to bang on the boards.
He'll be a nice addition off the bench for Chicago.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
The Jazz could use some frontcourt depth, and Plumlee is a solid, dependable big man.
He has a good post game, and the 7-footer plays solid defense.
Plumlee is not flashy but could easily play 15-20 minutes as a backup for Al Jefferson.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Other than Brook Lopez, the Nets need some more consistent frontcourt help.
Adams is a risk. While he didn't do much at Pittsburgh, the 7-footer with a 7'5" wingspan has unlimited potential.
He might have to spend some time in the D-League, but he offers good potential as a rebounder with an excellent back-to-the basket game.
23. Indiana Pacers: Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece
The Pacers roster is pretty set, but they could use another swingman, especially if they don't retain Danny Granger.
Adetokunbo is a raw 18-year-old, but he has point-forward skills and has shown an ability to put the ball in the basket.
He will have to spend a few years in Europe, but Adetokunbo has nearly unlimited upside if he can put it all together.
24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
The Knicks desperately need frontcourt depth, and Withey, with his no-nonsense defensive play, is a perfect fit.
He averaged 3.9 blocks per game and is great at protecting the rim. He's not much of an offensive threat, but his best skill will be staying out of the way of Carmelo Anthony.
Tyson Chandler seemed to suffer from the heavy workload in the paint and his effectiveness diminished as the season went on. Withey offers youth and defense and will become a valuable rotation player.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
With Chris Paul entering free agency, the Clippers need an insurance plan.
Larkin is a super-fast point guard with good passing skills and will fit well with Blake Griffin in Lob City. He's a pass-first guard, one who will quickly endear himself to teammates.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies): Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico
The T-Wolves need all the offensive help they can get, and Snell offers that.
He shot 39 percent from three and will be excellent in the corner as the recipient of the drive-and-kick game.
27. Denver Nuggets: Rudy Gobert, C, France
Rudy Gobert is incredibly raw and desperately needs to put on some pounds. But it's hard to say no to a center with a remarkable 7'2" wingspan and an impossible 9'7" standing reach.
His size is his best trait, which makes him a nice blank slate for the Nuggets to build on. If he does develop, the combination of Gobert and Kenneth Faried would make the Nuggets' interior defense quite formidable.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Sergey Karasev, SG/SF, Russia
The Spurs love drafting international talent, and Karasev might be the most NBA-ready of all the foreign players.
He's a 6'7" wingman who can handle the ball and is a good shooter. He's a finisher and could eventually take over for Manu Ginobili.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Glen Rice Jr., SG, D-League
The Thunder need to surround Kevin Durant with as much offensive talent as possible.
Rice, although not much of a shooter, dominated the D-League and is an improving defender. He's a slasher and would be a nice complement as a backup to Durant.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
The more offensive talent the Suns can get, the better. Hardaway is a good shooter but can also finish at the rack.
He's a perfect fit as a sixth man and will provide instant offense off the bench.
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