2013 NBA Mock Draft: Final Predictions for Every First-Round Team

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2013 NBA Mock Draft: Final Predictions for Every First-Round Team
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By now, you've heard every possible rumor concerning every possible team and player when it comes to the upcoming NBA draft.

Although many will define the 2013 draft as a weak one, the theme going into Thursday seems to be "uncertainty."

Speculation and chatter is running rampant, but no one really seems to have a grasp of what's going on. 

The possibilities surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers' No. 1 pick are still being hotly debated, and after that, the surprises are expected to continue—whether they be trades, unexpected reaches or surprising falls. 

With that in mind, let's take a gander at how the first round might possibly unravel. 

Note: All stats come from BBstate.com, unless noted otherwise. All heights, weights and wingspans come from DraftExpress.com.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky

Dan Gilbert and Chris Gant have made it an annual event to shock people with their top-five pick (Dion Waiters in 2012 and Tristan Thompson in 2011) and it appears they up to their old tricks:

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The Cavs have narrowed down their list of prospects, according to sources, and it looks like it may ultimately come down to a battle between Kentucky's Noel and Maryland’s Alex Len. 

Alex Len is certainly intriguing. He has a talented back-to-the-basket offensive game and a very high ceiling if he continues to improve. But I've had Noel here since the draft lottery, and I'm sticking to my guns. 

The former Kentucky star may be extremely raw offensively, and there are questions about how he'll return from major knee surgery, but his athleticism and defensive instincts are unrivaled in this class. 

At worst, he'll be a dominant defensive player who can score points in transition and via offensive putbacks. At best, he'll be an All-Star. 

 

2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

It's worth noting that if the Cavaliers do take Len, the Magic won't hesitate to take Noel. They have some solid big men, but they are still likely at least a year away from contending, and pure talent and upside will take precedent over need. 

With Noel off the board, though, except Rob Hennigan to go with Victor Oladipo.

The uber-athletic guard has everything you look for in an NBA prospect—ideal size, electric athleticism, relentless energy and active hands on the defensive end. He also has a tireless work ethic and an infectious attitude. 

He has a low floor, and if he continues to work as hard as he did in college to improve, he'll hit a very high ceiling.

Oladipo is the most tantalizing player in this draft, and the Magic would be smart to grab him here with so much uncertainty surrounding other prospects. 

 

3. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV

With Anthony Bennett not being slotted here in many mock drafts, this could be one of the draft's earliest surprises. 

Otto Porter is an all-around talent who fills a position of need for the Washington Wizards, but Bennett has more raw talent. 

He is a strong (6'7", 239 lbs.), aggressive freak-of-nature athlete who attacks the hoop with power. He can also score inside or with his back to the basket, and he is a very innate rebounder

Pairing a versatile, agile big man like Bennett with John Wall could continue to push the Wizards up the Eastern Conference ladder. 

 

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len, C, Maryland

If the Bocats hadn't just drafted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Porter would likely be the pick here.

They could still very well go with the "best available player" approach and take the talented Georgetown product, but with a ferocious frontcourt tandem of B.J. Mullens and Bismack Biyombo, the 'Cats would be better served to fill a need. 

Len was inconsistent at Maryland, but as someone who didn't start playing basketball until he was 13, it was encouraging to see him take major strides as a sophomore with the Terrapins. 

He certainly still has question marks, and it would have been nice to see more production out of him this season, but this is a 7'1" true center who can score in a variety of ways in the low post, rebound and block a ton of shots. 

New head coach Steve Clifford will welcome a player with his size and caliber with open arms. 

 

5. Phoenix Suns: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

The Phoenix Suns shouldn't ask how it happened; they should just take Porter and run (not literally). 

As someone who could realistically go No. 1 overall, Porter is 6'9", has tremendous length and can contribute in every aspect of the game. 

He's not a game-changer or a 20-point-per-game scorer, but he's an intelligent role player who works extremely hard and is capable of changing the culture in Phoenix. 

 

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

Greivis Vasquez had a breakout year, but he's still inconsistent defensively and recovering from right ankle surgery. 

The Pelicans don't necessarily need to take a point guard here, but if Trey Burke, a winner with limitless range and unbelievable playmaking ability, is available, they will find it hard to go with anyone else. 

 

7. Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

The buzz surrounding Ben McLemore is not good right now. 

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According to ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), his workouts have been completely underwhelming. To make things worse, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, McLemore has reportedly signed with Rodney Blackstock , the same man who is being investigated by the NCAA.

As a player, it's hard not to like McLemore. He's a gaudy athlete, possesses a flawless jump shot and looks like a future electric scorer in this league, but his stock is slipping at the wrong time.

That being said, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him go as high as No. 2. From a talent perspective, he's deserving of that.   

 

8. Detroit Pistons:  C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh

With Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond forming one of the league's most impressive young frontcourts, the Pistons will assuredly look to the backcourt here. 

If they intend on moving Brandon Knight permanently to the 2, Michael Carter-Williams will be on their radar, but C.J. McCollum shouldn't fall past No. 8. 

The Lehigh star missed most of the 2012-13 season, but with the ability to beat defenders off the dribble or pull up from deep, he's one of the draft's most dangerous and versatile scorers.

Moreover, being able to play point guard or shooting guard should only make him more attractive for the Pistons, although I see him as a shooting guard in the future.  

 

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

There are some legitimate concerns surrounding Shabazz Muhammad, but there are very few better pure scorers in this draft. 

Although the lefty isn't great at creating for himself, he is spectacular in transition, can shoot the ball and is a warrior when crashing the offensive glass. 

The Wolves don't need a small forward for the immediate future, but Muhammad would thrive with a point guard as good as Ricky Rubio, making this a win-win for both sides. 


10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana

The Blazers just drafted Meyers Leonard, but with J.J. Hickson likely to depart during free agency, the need for depth in the frontcourt will still be a priority. 

Although many are concerned with Zeller's strength, he is big man with unreal speed and agility who can score from the block and has a consistent mid-range jumper. 

At No. 10, the former Hoosier would serve as another steal for Neil Olshey and Portland. 

 

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

Steven Adams' stock has been steadily rising ever since an impressive combine performance, and it wouldn't be surprising if he failed to drop past the Thunder, who will eventually need a replacement for Kendrick Perkins. 

Adams was quite underwhelming during his only year with Pittsburgh, but he vastly underachieved and still has a tantalizing skill set. 

 

12. Philadelphia 76ers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

Elsa/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers are in desperate need of some help on the offensive end, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a big, athletic guard with a pretty jump shot who is capable of piling up baskets in a hurry. 

The only question here is whether or not the former Georgia standout will still be available at No. 12. If he is, though, it won't take Philly long to make the selection. 

 

13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga

The Dallas Mavericks could go in a number of different ways here, and the most likely route could very well be a trade. I highly doubt Mark Cuban is interested in completely rebuilding from the start, and trading this pick along with Shawn Marion could help open up some cap space for a run at free-agent center Dwight Howard in July.

Nevertheless, should the Mavs keep the pick, Kelly Olynyk's unique and efficient game will be difficult to pass on. 

The young Canadian may not have the athleticism or explosion of some other big men in this draft, but his versatile offensive skill set, efficiency from everywhere on the floor and rare speed for a player his size makes him one of the best offensive frontcourt players in the draft.

 

14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

With Mo Williams scheduled to hit free agency, the Jazz will need a point guard. 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Of course, they are not necessarily sold on taking one with this pick and won't reach if some of the top options are already off the board. 

Although Michael Carter-Williams can be frustratingly inconsistent with his shooting and decision making, he has the size, playmaking ability and defense to make this pick look like highway robbery in a couple of years. 

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany

There's a chance the Milwaukee Bucks' backcourt could be gutted once July rolls around. 

Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick could all conceivably hit the free-agent market this summer, and although there's a chance they won't all leave, it's extremely unlikely that they all stay. 

As such, the Bucks will need some depth in the backcourt. 

Miami's Shane Larkin will get a lot of interest here, but Dennis Schroeder is a spectacular athlete with blurring quickness and a very high ceiling.


16. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

With no head coach and a rebuilding period seemingly on the way, it's unclear what the direction the Boston Celtics are headed. 

Gorgui Dieng, an elite rim protector with a constantly improving offensive game who can contribute right away, would be a nice piece to add for the C's. 

 

17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke

18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece

With two straight picks and pretty much their entire team hitting free agency in July, the Hawks have a near endless amount of options. 

As such, I have them going with one safe pick who can contribute right away Plumlee) and one risky one with an incredibly tantalizing skill set who is more of an option for the future (Antetokounmpo). 

 

19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia

Should the Cavaliers, a team in need of a small forward, land Sergey Karasev at No. 19, they should consider themselves lucky. 

In addition to addressing a position of need for them, the 19-year-old Russian, who has a high basketball-IQ, solid ball-handling skills and a deadly jumper, has been quickly rising up draft boards and could easily sneak into the lottery. 

 

20. Chicago Bulls: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State

Elsa/Getty Images

Jamaal Franklin brings the type of athleticism and hard-nosed defensive effort that Tom Thibodeau covets. 

Moreover, he is improving as a shooter, which only sweetens the deal for the Chicago Bulls. 

 

21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Rudy Gobert, C, France

With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap scheduled to hit free agency, the Utah Jazz are going to need some frontcourt depth. 

Rudy Gobert's stock has been falling, and he's somewhat of a project, but 7'2" centers with 7'9" wingspans and 9'7" standing reaches (he can almost touch the rim without leaving his feet) don't exactly grow on trees. 

If they did, those would be some scary trees. 

At No. 21 overall, the risk involved is minimal, making Gobert a smart option. 


22. Brooklyn Nets: Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina

The Brooklyn Nets don't have a lot of cap space to make much of a splash during free agency, so finding someone in the draft that is capable of contributing right away will be important for their improvement.  

Reggie Bullock, a player with the size, length and textbook jump shot to become a dangerous shooter off the bench, is just the guy they need.

 

23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

At No. 23, Shane Larkin feels like a steal. 

Yes, he's undersized (5'11", 171 lbs.), but he has talent, athleticism and perhaps most importantly, winning intangibles. 

Passing on a player who is as good as Larkin simply because of his physical traits would be a mistake, especially for a team like the Pacers, who value defense, effort and toughness. 

 

24. New York Knicks: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas

Tony Mitchell's regression last season with North Texas was downright difficult to watch, but there's no denying his blend of size, strength and pure athleticism. 

Even if he doesn't fully take advantage of his impressive raw gifts, he can serve as valuable rebounder and shot-blocker for the Knicks. 

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Glen Rice, Jr., SG/SF, Rio Grande Valley (NBA D-League)

The list of players having success after being drafted from the D-League is not a long one, but Glen Rice, Jr. has the talent to reverse that trend. He's a big, athletic guard who has deep range, is adept at attacking the hoop and rebounds well for his position. 

There are certainly concerns with him, but the Clippers would do well to get him here. 

 

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis Grizzlies): Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, Michigan

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Timberwolves are already grabbing a perimeter player in Shabazz Muhammad in this mock draft, but shooting guard is still a need. 

Tim Hardaway, Jr. showed quite a bit of inconsistency at Michigan, but his athleticism and scoring ability makes him good value right here. 

 

27. Denver Nuggets: Allen Crabbe, SG, California

The Denver Nuggets are in desperate need of a shooter, and Andre Iguodala's potential departure will only increase the need for a perimeter player. 

New general manager Tim Connelly could certainly trade this pick, but if Allen Crabbe is still available, he'd be a tremendous fit in the Mile High City.

 

28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil

The San Antonio Spurs are an organization notorious for finding international talent, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them select Lucas Nogueira, who is very intriguing. 

The Brazilian center is a bit of a project, and he is limited offensively, but he's a seven-footer with a massive wingspan (7'5"), unbelievable agility and tremendous shot-blocking skills.

With his tantalizing upside, he may not even fall this far. 

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Erick Green, PG/SG, Virginia Tech

Erick Green may not be the most rounded player, but one thing he can do at an elite level is score the basketball. As the nation's top scorer, he showcased an ability to shoot, drive and produce at a high volume from the line.

Should the Thunder lose Kevin Martin to free agency, Green would serve as a nice replacement.


30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

Jeff Withey isn't someone you build a franchise around, but as an elite shot-blocker who can contribute right away, he represents terrific value at the end of the first round. 

 

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