2013 NBA Mock Draft: Projecting All the Picks and Trades in Round 1
You're correct if you feel as though nothing has been settled in the 2013 NBA draft.
At this point, the No. 1 pick is usually predetermined, with one prospect standing head and shoulders above the rest. This year, Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore and even Otto Porter are still in the mix, and we won't have a definitive answer as to what the Cleveland Cavaliers will do until David Stern enlightens us.
Many teams will also be trying to trade picks in this draft, but it will likely be a fruitless task.
The draft class is undeniably weak at the top, and it's less appealing than ever to move up in the order or gain a first-round pick. Some moves will be made, but not many.
So, who is your team taking? Where is your favorite player going next year?
Read on to find out.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Alex Len
Vitals: 7'1", 255 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.2 steals, 2.1 blocks
This spot was Nerlens Noel's to lose for a long time, and he's lost it. I phrase it that way because Alex Len hasn't been participating in workouts and winning it, he just happened to move up via interviews and concerns about Noel.
According the The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto, Len is the pick if the Cleveland Cavaliers decide to go big in the draft:
2. If the Cavs draft a big man, it will be Maryland center Alex Len. He's 7-1, 255 pounds and looks and moves like an NBA center. He's 21, but has a stress fracture in his foot. Maybe he'll be fine, but big men with stress fractures in their feet are a worry. Cavs fans remember the ordeal of Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
My willingness to put Len in this No. 1 spot is not an endorsement of the Cavs' potential decision. In fact, I think this makes him the most overrated player in the draft.
He has a great deal of long-term upside, but there are just as many red flags as there are with Noel: the stress fracture, his lack of production at Maryland and more.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore
Vitals: 6'5", 189 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks
With Nerlens Noel still on the board, the Orlando Magic could be tempted to spurn the Kansas shooting guard for a shot at the former favorite for the No. 1 spot, but Nikola Vucevic has something to say about that.
Ben McLemore still makes the most sense here, as he's the top talent in this draft class and could immediately help provide the team with another premier scoring option. He's one of the few players ready to step into a starting lineup from day one.
Drafting McLemore also allows general manager Rob Hennigan to trade Arron Afflalo later on, although that won't be for any picks in this particular draft.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter
Vitals: 6'9", 198 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.9 blocks
This pick comes down to Otto Porter and Anthony Bennett for the Washington Wizards, and Porter makes much more sense because he's a safer selection.
Bennett has more upside, All-Star potential even, but Porter doesn't have red flags surrounding his mentality and size. In fact, it's quite the opposite, as his length is a major asset and he's commonly viewed as a cerebral player.
The Georgetown product's mid-range shooting and ability to knock down perimeter jumpers will help spread the court for John Wall, and he can also make a major difference on the defensive end.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel
Vitals: 7'0", 206 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 4.4 blocks
Nerlens Noel's draft-day fall ends at No. 4 as we finally come to a team that could (a) use a talent upgrade at center and (b) doesn't need to worry about competing during the 2012-13 season.
The 19-year-old out of Lexington doesn't need to rush his rehab to play for the Charlotte Bobcats, and he should wait to make his debut until he's at 100 percent. He shouldn't wait until he's at 110 percent because that's literally impossible.
Noel is a game-changer on defense, and the hope is that he'll eventually be able to contribute offensively as well. Even if he doesn't, though, the Bobcats can use a premier talent like Noel on either end of the court.
Charlotte needs some luck to turn the franchise around, and Noel falling to No. 4 would be a nice start.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo
Vitals: 6'4", 213 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.8 blocks
Victor Oladipo is one of the safest picks in this draft because he has very few questions surrounding him. Even if his offensive game doesn't pan out, the former Hoosier will still be worth taking at No. 5.
At worst, Oladipo becomes a second coming of Tony Allen: an offensively limited shooting guard who plays some of the best perimeter defense in the NBA. Given his lateral quickness, instincts, athleticism and body, Oladipo is almost certain to have a major impact on the less glamorous end of the court.
That said, it appears likely that Oladipo's offense will translate, as he has a multi-faceted game that relies both on his perimeter shooting and knack for exploding to the rim.
Phoenix could use help at the wing positions, and Oladipo is clearly the best option left on the board here.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke
Vitals: 6'1", 187 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.5 blocks
The New Orleans Pelicans don't have a glaring need for a point guard while Greivis Vasquez is still on the roster, but Trey Burke is too much to pass up for the former Hornets. Although Vasquez might have just challenged the league leaders in assists per game, he'd still fit in fantastically at the 2, allowing Burke to take on the more traditional point guard role.
The sample size was limited, but the former Maryland Terrapin was actually slightly better on offense when he played shooting guard during the 2012-13 season, according to 82games.com.
Burke is already viewed as a consummate professional, even though he has yet to be paid for his services. A fiery competitor who takes the game seriously, the Michigan product truly lives up to the "floor general" moniker bestowed upon his position.
He's deceptively—and selectively—athletic, and both his scoring talents and ability to control a game are quite impressive.
7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett
Vitals: 6'7", 239 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.2 blocks
This pick is quite important for the Sacramento Kings, as Vivek Ranadive and the new management are trying to get things started off on the right foot.
Anthony Bennett's motor is a deterrent, but not enough to push him out of the No. 7 spot. He's too physically gifted, with the strength to bully smaller players in the post and the quickness to go around bigger ones on the perimeter.
The UNLV power forward is undersized, but his lanky arms and athleticism help him make up for it.
If his jumper can continue to grow more consistent, he'll be a nice pick-and-pop option in the Association. Additionally, pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins makes for a great inside-outside frontcourt combination and would alleviate a lot of the pressure on the guards.
8. Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum
Vitals: 6'3", 197 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 23.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks
C.J. McCollum is an incredible playmaker. Not because of his passing—which he didn't really get a chance to showcase in a Lehigh system that called for him to shoot a lot—but because of his ability to create his own shots.
If the Detroit Pistons pull the trigger on McCollum, expect the squad to run out an amorphous backcourt, allowing the 21-year-old rookie and Brandon Knight to play both point guard and shooting guard, depending on the matchups.
The Pistons need to add playmakers and outside shooters to spread the court for Knight's drives and Greg Monroe's post moves, and that's exactly what McCollum brings to the table.
If he winds up in the Motor City, he'd make a strong Rookie of the Year push.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Vitals: 6'6", 204 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks
The Minnesota Timberwolves are targeting wing players at No. 9, which means it'll either be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Shabazz Muhammad. With the former rising up the boards and the latter falling, the selection is obvious.
KCP has everything that Flip Saunders is looking for.
He's a deadly outside shooter and has the defensive potential to become a premier two-way talent. He also doesn't need to worry about creating off the dribble much because Ricky Rubio usually dominates the ball.
Most importantly, KCP brings legitimate size to the 2-guard position, which has been a rarity in Minnesota over the last few years.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Steven Adams
Vitals: 7'0", 255 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.0 blocks
Steven Adams has an incredible amount of talent, but it will be a while before he becomes more than a defensive specialist. The Pittsburgh one-and-done will be an offensive liability as a rookie, but he's already worth playing simply because he has size and is remarkably athletic.
The Portland Trail Blazers need two things this offseason: depth and a center.
No. 10 is not the place to find depth, unless C.J. McCollum falls out of single digits. That leaves big men, and Adams, Cody Zeller and Kelly Olynyk are the leading candidates.
Because defense is the priority to ease some of the pressure on LaMarcus Aldridge, Adams is the pick here. That said, he's also the most talented of the trio, even if all the talent has yet to surface.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller
Vitals: 7'0", 230 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks
Cody Zeller's fall out of the top 10 is no longer surprising, as we've seen his stock dip further and further as his sophomore year progressed. Once viewed as a candidate to go No. 1, the former Indiana Hoosier couldn't live up to the lofty expectations.
That said, he fits the needs of the Philadelphia 76ers perfectly.
Philly desperately needs a post presence, ideally one that can contribute on both ends of the floor. Jrue Holiday slipped a lot as the 2012-13 campaign progressed, and having a quality player on the blocks would ease a lot of the heavy burden.
Zeller will be a better NBA player than he was in the NCAA, as he'll be able to play at a faster pace and work in the post more as the deeper three-point arc opens things up for him. He's a fantastic athlete and a skilled big man, making him the easy pick here if he's still available.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Dennis Schroeder
Team: NY Phantoms
Vitals: 6'2", 165 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 11.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.0 blocks
The Oklahoma City Thunder present us with the first spot in the draft that is almost completely unpredictable. General manager Sam Presti can go in a number of different directions, choosing to draft Shabazz Muhammad as a Kevin Martin replacement, shoring up the frontcourt with Kelly Olynyk or drafting a backup point guard.
After Russell Westbrook went down in the postseason, the last need became more readily apparent. Reggie Jackson isn't the distributor that OKC needs, and he's playing well enough as a scorer that he'll eventually be looking for a bigger contract.
Dennis Schroeder solves that problem immediately, as he's the rare international prospect who's ready to come in and immediately contribute. The German point guard is blindingly quick, and he consistently reminds me of a more athletic version of Rajon Rondo.
13. Cleveland Cavaliers (From Dallas Mavericks): Shabazz Muhammad
Vitals: 6'6", 222 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks
Here comes our first (and only) trade!
According to Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks have been talking about what seems at first like an unfair deal:
Sources tell SheridanHoops.com the Cavs are in serious discussions to acquire Shawn Marion from Dallas in a lopsided trade that would allow them to move up from No. 19 to No. 13 in the first round by relieving the Mavs of Marion’s $9.3 million salary, allowing Mark Cuban more salary cap flexibility to use on July 1.
Mark Cuban denies these rumors, but we've learned that anything can happen leading up to and on the day of the draft.
From the Cavs perspective, they also get a chance to immediately shore up the small forward position with the Matrix, but they also have the ability to draft Shabazz Muhammad and guarantee the future of the position as well.
It's the rare mutually beneficial deal that seems completely one-sided at first glance.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams
Vitals: 6'6", 184 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.8 steals, 0.5 blocks
The Utah Jazz have a lot of potential at four of the five positions. Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter appear to be the future at shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center, respectively.
That leaves the Jazz wanting to draft a point guard, and they'll be able to choose from Michael Carter-Williams and Shane Larkin. Dennis Schroeder is unfortunately off the board after going one pick earlier to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Jazz don't need to be too concerned with the ability to compete right away, so Larkin's experience running pick-and-roll sets as the primary ball-handler doesn't help him much here. Instead, the length and upside of MCW are too much to pass up.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shane Larkin
Vitals: 5'11", 171 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.1 blocks
The Milwaukee Bucks could go in a number of directions during the 2013 NBA draft, seeing as many of their primary players during the 2012-13 season are now unrestricted free agents. With a center secured in the form of Larry Sanders, it's time to go small.
And by small, I mean really small.
Shane Larkin might be only 5'11", but he has remarkable hops and blazing quickness with the ball in his hands. He might end up being a bit of a liability defensively, but that wouldn't be too different from the last backcourt the Bucks employed.
The former Miami floor general has a great deal of experience running pick-and-roll sets, which will ease his transition to the NBA, and his shot-creating abilities are quite advanced for a 20-year-old prospect.
16. Boston Celtics: Giannis Adetokunbo
Vitals: 6'9", 196 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.0 blocks
After giving Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers, it appears more likely that the Boston Celtics are moving into rebuilding mode.
Nothing would signal that more than selecting 18-year-old Greek forward Giannis Adetokunbo with the No. 16 pick in the draft.
A prospect so raw you could mistake him for an uncooked steak, Adetokunbo and his giant hands have burst onto the draft scene in recent months. His athleticism and ball-handling skills are both intriguing, and he's the prototypical boom-or-bust prospect.
The C's can afford to be patient with this young man who spent last year playing for Filathlitikos. There's no rush to bring him along, which makes Beantown the perfect landing spot for his long-term potential.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Kelly Olynyk
Vitals: 7'0", 234 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.1 blocks
The Atlanta Hawks can basically do whatever they want during this draft with the first of their back-to-back picks.
With only Al Horford, John Jenkins and Lou Williams on the roster, Danny Ferry can literally draft any position he sees fit. Jenkins and Williams are both best suited for roles off the pine, and Horford can play either power forward or center.
Kelly Olynyk's draft-day fall ends here, as the Hawks feel the need to add legitimate size.
He may be perceived as "soft," but the Gonzaga product is oozing with skill, whether he's working with his back to the basket or facing up on the perimeter. Olynyk and Horford would form a deadly offensive punch in the frontcourt.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Sergey Karasev
Vitals: 6'7", 197 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks
With the second of their back-to-back picks, the Atlanta Hawks should focus on a player they can draft and stash overseas for continued development.
According to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, that's exactly one of the options general manager Danny Ferry is toying with leading up to the proceedings:
The Hawks are exploring several options, including trading one or both of their back-to-back picks and/or using a pick on a player they can stash overseas.
Sergey Karasev is commonly viewed as an NBA-ready swingman who should settle in as a sharp-shooting small forward, but he could still get a little more seasoning across the pond. After all, he's only 19 years old.
Atlanta is attempting to save as much cap space as possible for the free-agency period, so going international makes sense at No. 18.
19. Dallas Mavericks (From Cleveland Cavaliers): Rudy Gobert
Vitals: 7'2", 238 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.9 blocks
The Dallas Mavericks are another squad looking to clear up cap space.
After trading away Shawn Marion and opening up the books even more, the Mavs find themselves drafting at No. 19 (the Cleveland Cavaliers' original second spot in the proceedings) instead of No. 13. That gives them more of an ability to justify using a pick on a high-upside international prospect.
Rudy Gobert is another raw product, but his wingspan is nearly unheard of. His 7'9" arms lend credence to the belief that he can immediately function as a rim-protector and alley-oop threat in transition. In fact, Gobert can just about dunk without jumping.
It will take a while before the French center fills out his frame enough to avoid getting pushed around in the Association, but his physical tools ensure that it will be time well spent.
20. Chicago Bulls: Gorgui Dieng
Vitals: 6'11", 230 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.5 blocks
The Chicago Bulls can go one of two directions with the No. 20 pick.
They can draft a wing player and attempt to find another scoring option to support Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, or they can select a defensive big man in order to replace Omer Asik's production and allow Joakim Noah to rest occasionally.
Thanks to the presence of Jimmy Butler, who continues to emerge and look like a potential star, the latter is the bigger priority, and no remaining prospect has the defensive presence of Gorgui Dieng.
The Louisville center will need to corral his aggressiveness, only blocking shots when it makes sense to do so rather than putting himself out of position on the boards, but he has great instincts, size and athleticism.
21. Utah Jazz: Mason Plumlee
Vitals: 7'0", 238 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.4 blocks
The Utah Jazz have already secured their point guard of the future in the form of Michael Carter-Williams, so now it's time to go big and add some depth to the frontcourt.
Mason Plumlee has typically been going in the teens during most mock drafts, but he slides to Salt Lake City in this one, where the Jazz greedily snatch him up. The Duke product may not be the most glamorous prospect out there, but he's a great athlete who plays smart and well-rounded basketball.
A true 7-footer, he'd also bring another infusion of athleticism to Utah.
The Jazz are all about stockpiling talent right now, and Plumlee would do the trick at No. 21.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Vitals: 6'6", 185 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks
The Brooklyn Nets eventually need to plan on replacing Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, so drafting Tim Hardaway Jr., a 6'6" shooting guard out of Michigan who can also play a bit at the 3, is the ideal fit.
Ball-handling is the area that Hardaway needs to spend the most time on, but that's not a primary concern on a team that features Wallace, Johnson and Deron Williams. He'd immediately settle in as a scoring threat off the bench while making MarShon Brooks expendable and even more likely to swap teams in a trade.
Jamaal Franklin and Ricky Ledo are both options here, but Hardaway Jr.'s spot-up scoring abilities are exactly what newly minted head coach Jason Kidd could use in the Barclays Center.
23. Indiana Pacers: Ricky Ledo
Vitals: 6'6", 197 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: N/A
Ricky Ledo is one of the biggest mystery men in this draft class, as he could either flame out quickly in the NBA thanks to a complete lack of post-high-school experience, or he could make good on his remarkable scoring talents.
Due to the depth of the roster that's already in place, the Indiana Pacers can afford to make the high-upside gamble.
At best, he'll immediately function as the offensive spark off the bench—a role that the Pacers desperately need to fill. At worst, he'll develop on the pine, and Indiana will have to look elsewhere for second-unit offense.
24. New York Knicks: Jamaal Franklin
School: San Diego State
Vitals: 6'5", 191 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks
Jamaal Franklin could presumably go much earlier in the draft, so the New York Knicks should thank their lucky stars if he falls into their lap at No. 24.
The former San Diego State standout is one of the most versatile players in this draft class. Despite his 6'5" frame, he's an incredible rebounder, and he can score at the rim or on the perimeter, handle the ball in transition or settle in as a lock-down defender.
Franklin is poised to become one of the steals of this draft class, unless a wing-happy team like the Atlanta Hawks grabs him a handful of picks earlier.
He might be the rare pick that Knicks fans don't boo.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Tony Snell
School: New Mexico
Vitals: 6'7", 198 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks
Tony Snell has been rising up the draft boards as June 27 draws nearer, and his ascent stops with the Los Angeles Clippers at No. 25.
Coming out of New Mexico, the 21-year-old is still a bit raw, but his physical profile allows him to stand out. While possessing the outside shooting ability and ball-handling skills of a shooting guard, Snell's 6'7" frame and 7'0" wingspan make him a natural fit at small forward. He's an incredible athlete, with great leaping ability and quickness.
The Clippers could use help at both wing positions, as those were the clear weak spots during the 2012-13 season.
Snell, even if he just becomes a catch-and-shoot guy who helps space the floor, fits in nicely with the current roster.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lucas Nogueira
Team: Estudiantes Madrid
Vitals: 7'0", 220 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 5.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.1 blocks
The Minnesota Timberwolves have two picks in the first round, and they've already spent the No. 9 selection on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, shoring up the shooting guard position with his versatility, size and shooting ability.
Now, the focus lies on adding frontcourt depth.
Jeff Withey and Mike Muscala are options here, but Lucas Nogueira has the most long-term upside. And since Minnesota is hoping not to be decimated by injuries again, upside is something that Flip Saunders can look for in the draft.
Bebe, as he's commonly referred to, is an athletic marvel of a 7-footer, and he should immediately become a transition and shot-blocking threat. The JaVale McGee comparison made by former scout Tony Barone is not a faulty one.
27. Denver Nuggets: Allen Crabbe
Vitals: 6'6", 197 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks
After Andre Iguodala's decision to opt out, shooting guard becomes more of a priority than it was leading into the draft. The Denver Nuggets could also choose to trade out of this slot—but there aren't enough standouts left to draw interest—or draft an international player as a stash candidate.
However, with Lucas Nogueira off the board, there aren't any international players left who are worth taking in the first round.
Shooting guard it is, and Allen Crabbe is the best of the remaining candidates. He's a potent scorer who could add an outside element to Denver's offense, which notoriously struggled from the perimeter and thrived in the paint.
Crabbe, if he pans out, would definitely help space out the court.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Mike Muscala
Vitals: 6'11", 230 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.3 blocks
The San Antonio Spurs have a definite knack for finding the diamonds in the rough, so it makes sense for them to take analytical marvel Mike Muscala. Statistically, the Bucknell big man is one of the best players in this draft class.
Problem is, he went to Bucknell and routinely bullied players far smaller than he was.
Muscala should develop into a rotation big, and the Spurs are a great place for him to live up to the potential. His presence would also allow San Antonio to feel less worried about pursuing Tiago Splitter, who enters the offseason as a free agent.
At this point, doesn't it seem like whoever the Spurs draft, regardless of what pick is used, is going to develop into a star?
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Withey
Vitals: 7'0", 222 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 3.9 blocks
The Oklahoma City Thunder need a big man with this selection after taking Dennis Schroeder in the lottery, and no remaining center is in the same tier as Jeff Withey. Colton Iverson is the next best on the board, but he shouldn't be a first-round pick.
Withey is a phenomenal shot-blocker, but he's not just a player who specializes in rejecting attempts.
The Kansas product is also a solid post defender and a good finisher around the basket. He'll never create his own offense in the post, but he's not an offensive liability like some defensively oriented big men.
Plus, just sit back and imagine the shot-blocking potential of a Serge Ibaka-Jeff Withey frontline. That would be terrifying to any guards hoping to drive into the paint against the Thunder.
30. Phoenix Suns: Reggie Bullock
School: North Carolina
Vitals: 6'7", 200 pounds
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 13.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.3 blocks
The Phoenix Suns have already selected Victor Oladipo, but that shouldn't prevent them from looking for value and drafting Reggie Bullock. After all, Oladipo is a shooting guard and Bullock a small forward.
The former Tar Heel is the prototypical glue guy in this draft. He's not the alpha male on the team, but he's willing to put his skills to work in whatever role his coach thinks is best, whether that's defense, scoring from the perimeter, crashing the boards or just hustling.
Bullock doesn't have remarkable long-term upside, but he's about as safe as it gets at the end of the first round. He could certainly be taken as early as the late teens, making it a potential steal if the Suns are able to select him at No. 30.