2013 NBA Mock Draft: Teams That Will Score Great Value Picks
While this year's NBA draft has no sure-fire superstars, the lack of consensus is certain to make the first round exciting.
Usually by this point of the process, the early picks are well known and there is only a little debate over most of the lottery. However, there are multiple players all capable of becoming the first overall pick in this year's draft.
Of course, the end result is that some very good prospects will slip through the cracks and end up becoming valuable additions for other teams.
Here is a look at the full first round of the draft, with extra emphasis on those who will end up being sleepers in italics.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
There are a few realistic options for the Cavaliers with the first pick, but they will want to take someone with high upside and a high floor. When healthy, Nerlens Noel represents both of those factors for this improving squad.
The shot-blocker will instantly improve one of the worst defenses in the league, and he could provide some balance down the road to this guard-heavy lineup.
In his best season, how many points will Ben McLemore average?
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
While last season did not go well for Orlando, the young players in the frontcourt displayed enough ability to believe that they can be a big part of the future.
This leaves a need for a big-time perimeter scorer, and Ben McLemore is the best one in the draft. With his shooting ability and athleticism, he could be a go-to scorer on a good team in the NBA.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Fans want this pairing for the local connection, but the fit works perfectly beyond that. Otto Porter will line up alongside Bradley Beal and John Wall, and he will fill up the box score in every category while also being a good defender.
Although he is not the type of player who will become a superstar, he will absolutely turn the Wizards into a winning team next season.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Charlotte needs a lot of help to make the current roster a competitive one. This gives the team an opportunity to draft one of the more versatile players in the class.
Anthony Bennett can score inside and outside and will be able to play either forward position at the next level. Few teams have the ability to give him freedom offensively as much as the Bobcats will.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
There are plenty of scouts who see Victor Oladipo as the best overall player in the draft. He is an elite on-ball defender and has a developing offensive game as well.
Unfortunately, most of the early teams on the clock have a bigger need in the frontcourt and would be willing to let the Indiana guard pass them by.
This only ends up being a good thing for the Phoenix Suns, who could use an influx of talent virtually everywhere on the court. Oladipo will immediately be the player used to guard the best opponent, and he will make shots from deep when he is open.
Although he lacked aggressiveness with the ball last season, he should become a go-to scorer at some point down the line.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, C, Maryland
While Alex Len has the raw ability to be the No. 1 overall pick, he is not elite in any area. He is not a shot-blocker, and he is not good enough yet offensively to trust that he will live up to that pick.
At this stage, however, he will have less pressure to contribute right away. He would be able to then provide a big-time tandem in the frontcourt between him and Anthony Davis.
7. Sacramento Kings: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
The Kings recently had a bunch of players in for workouts, and ESPN's Chad Ford reports that Shabazz Muhammad had the best one.
Even with his question marks, the wing knows how to get the ball into the net. While this sounds simple, this has been an issue for Sacramento for the past couple of years.
8. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
It would not be surprising to see Trey Burke go anywhere from the No. 2 pick until here, but the Detroit Pistons represent the best fit for the young player.
Every other team among the early selections has someone at point guard who could remain in that spot for the near future.
On the other hand, the Pistons really only have Brandon Knight, and he would be better off playing off the ball as a shooting guard. Alongside Burke, the two young players would form one of the better backcourts in the league.
Burke has elite skill in just about every aspect of being a true point guard, and he will have a nice long career in the NBA.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
Minnesota needs a scoring threat from the 2-guard position, and C.J. McCollum is the best one available. Although he is capable of playing point guard, he is better suited off the ball where he only has to worry about creating opportunities for himself.
If he can shoot as well as he did at the start of this season, he will be a huge addition to the Timberwolves right away.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
The biggest problem with this selection is the similarities to last year's pick Myers Leonard. However, Cody Zeller is much more advanced with his game and should be able to help early on.
After a few successful years at Indiana, Zeller showed that he can run the floor well and will score consistently within 5-10 feet of the basket.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
This selection is all about potential. Steven Adams looked uncoordinated and out of place throughout his one year at Pittsburgh, although his size and athleticism has scouts drooling.
Philadelphia needs help at center, especially if the team does not re-sign Andrew Bynum. With a young roster, this could be a worthwhile risk.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
In this run of centers, Kelly Olynyk would actually be the best fit for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Gonzaga big man has a wide skill set as a scorer. He can shoot from deep, score inside or beat his man off the dribble with ease. With the Thunder looking for more scoring options from their big men, this would be a good pairing.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Assuming the Mavericks are unable to get Chris Paul this summer, they desperately need a long-term option at point guard.
Michael Carter-Williams is the second-best player on the board at his position, and his size will allow him to succeed at both ends of the court.
14. Utah Jazz: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was inconsistent enough over his career for people to doubt his ability. Still, he has the shooting stroke and athleticism to make him an elite shooting guard if given the chance.
Utah needs help in the backcourt in both spots, and Caldwell-Pope represents a lot of upside here.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
Milwaukee snuck into the playoffs last season, although the squad will have a hard time replicating this with both backcourt players possibly on their way out.
However, ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the team is likely to attempt to re-sign Monta Ellis, leaving point guard as a position of need:
And a free-agent rumble: There's a rising belief in exec circles that Bucks prefer to re-sign Monta Ellis over Brandon Jennings this summer— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 29, 2013
While Shane Larkin is likely to drop down boards due to his lack of height, he can do anything else you could want a point guard to do. He can create for himself or his teammates, make shots from deep, and play tenacious defense.
The Miami guard is one of the quickest and most athletic players in the class, and the Bucks will be getting a great player if they draft him here.
16. Boston Celtics: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
Boston is at the point where it needs to start rebuilding. This gives the squad an opportunity to select a long-term prospect who might not be able to help out right away.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has not proven himself against high-level competition, but he has the pure skill to get scouts excited. The Celtics would be smart to grab this boom-or-bust player.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Rudy Gobert, PF, France
Rudy Gobert is all about size and length. Even if he cannot help right away, his physical tools will allow him to succeed around the basket as a rebounder and defender.
With two picks, Atlanta can afford to take a bit of a risk with one of the selections.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
Although Jamaal Franklin is not a good shooter for his position, he has the agility and intelligence to get his points in other ways. He is also a strong rebounder for his size and does the little things necessary to help his team win.
This will at least put him in an NBA rotation for a long time.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Glen Rice Jr., SF, Rio Grande Valley
The biggest hole on Cleveland's roster is at small forward. If the team goes with a big man with the first overall pick, it must grab a wing later in the first round.
Glen Rice Jr. is certainly one of the riskier players in the class, but his athleticism and proven success in the D-League will make him a good selection for this improving team.
20. Chicago Bulls: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
Last year's postseason run proved that the Bulls have a lot of good players capable of helping the team. When healthy, there are few spots where the team needs to improve.
Still, it can always use depth inside, and Mason Plumlee is one of the more NBA-ready players in the class. He is an elite rebounder and can score consistently around the basket. This will allow him to contribute right away for the contending squad.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
If Dennis Schroeder is still on the board, Utah absolutely needs to grab the point guard with this pick.
The German player has shown his skill on a limited basis, but he has the chance to be a starting guard in the NBA. The Jazz need a long-term answer at the position, making this a no-brainer.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
While there are players with higher ceilings in the class, there might not be a safer player than Jeff Withey.
The Kansas star is as experienced of a player as there is in the draft. He has played an important role for an elite team throughout his career and knows what it takes to play at a high level.
He is also one of the best interior defenders around and should immediately contribute to whichever team drafts him.
Brooklyn needs players who will help the squad contend right away, and Withey might be the best option they could have.
23. Indiana Pacers: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
Indiana does not need any addition to its starting lineup, but the team could use someone who can help contend for a championship next season.
Allen Crabbe will provide a much-needed shooting option off the bench and will make the Pacers that much stronger in next year's playoffs.
24. New York Knicks: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Gorgui Dieng's age limits his upside. At 23 years old, he is at the point where he should be virtually as advanced on both ends of the court as he can be.
Still, the Knicks need depth in the frontcourt, and Dieng is much younger than the rest of the roster. His defensive abilities will help the team early in his career.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia
Sergey Karasev is one of the better shooters in the class, and he would be an immediate help to whichever team is lucky enough to grab him.
For the Clippers, he will provide some help in a needed area and will help spread out opposing defenses, leading to some better options in the middle of the court.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies): Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina
After adding a scoring option at guard with McCollum, Reggie Bullock will continue to improve the offense at small forward.
The North Carolina product is a fantastic shooter for his size and has the strength and agility to be a solid defender on the other end of the court. Minnesota had one of the worst offenses last season, and it could use more help on the perimeter for when everyone is healthy.
27. Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
Tim Hardaway Jr. struggled with consistency last season at Michigan as he often took ill-advised shots. This should be less of an issue in the NBA, as he will only be needed for instant offense off the bench.
The guard has experience playing at a high level, and he should be able to help Denver in their hopes for contention next season.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky
The Spurs obviously do not need much to help the team right now, but the aging roster will need someone to take over eventually. Archie Goodwin's upside is unmistakable, even if he needs a few years to contribute.
He will also be a nice help on the defensive end thanks to a quickness that is not found on the rest of the roster.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence
Many teams will be nervous about taking Ricky Ledo after the guard did not step onto the court last season. He was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA, which is a big red flag.
That being said, he still has a lot of talent that will make him a great prospect for any NBA organization.
The guard is an excellent shooter with the ability to slash to the hole when defenders get too close. He is also incredibly long and will be able to play bigger than his 6'6" size will indicate.
While general managers should expect him to be raw in his first season after missing out on college ball, he could be a solid long-term prospect for the Thunder.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
Contending teams will not want to take a risk on Tony Mitchell after a terrible last season with North Texas. However, Phoenix has the ability to take a chance on a player who is one of the more athletic players in the class.
If the forward can start dunking in games as well as he can in warmups, he could be a good player in the NBA.
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