NBA Mock Draft 2013: Breaking Down How 1st Round Will Unfold
The 2013 NBA draft is just about here, as teams have a pretty good idea of who they want at this point.
Who the Cleveland Cavaliers will select at No. 1 overall is still up in the air, while it's going to be interesting whether some teams drafting in the top 10 go for potential or more of a sure thing.
From big men to rim-rattlers to sharpshooters, here's my 2013 NBA mock draft for the first round.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky
Nerlens Noel may need some work on the offensive end and he needs to add strength, but his potential on the defensive side of the ball as a premier shot-blocker is hard to pass up. After adding point guard Kyrie Irving in 2011, the Cavaliers would do well to add a paint protector in Noel.
2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Victor Oladipo's defense and improving offensive game, combined with his toughness and character, could see him rise past expectations in the pros. While Kansas' Ben McLemore may hold more potential on the offensive end, there are a lot of questions surrounding the 20-year-old, from his inconsistency to his ability to create his own shot.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
With John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt, adding a do-it-all player like Otto Porter who can play off the ball makes a lot of sense. Porter also offers on-the-ball, disruptive defense to the team.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len, C, Maryland
With an aging frontcourt, the Bobcats would do well to add a young big man with promise. Alex Len has soared up draft boards, as teams appear to be intrigued by his blend of offensive and defensive skills.
5. Phoenix Suns: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
At this point, the Suns—in need of an impact shooting guard—can't afford to pass up a player with Ben McLemore's potential. It may not be a seamless transition to the Association, but McLemore has the skill set to be a dynamic scorer for Phoenix down the line.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Anthony Bennett has an inside-outside offensive game, possesses excellent rebounding skills and has good range (he shot 38 percent from beyond the arc last season at UNLV). He also possesses the strength to compete in the post, as well as the athleticism to play small forward.
7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
The Kings are in desperate need of a point guard who can distribute the ball efficiently. They have a lot of shoot-first guards, but not a true playmaker. Trey Burke is not only an electric scorer, he possesses impressive passing skills.
8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
The Pistons apparently could see Brandon Knight starting at shooting guard, per Chad Ford of ESPN.com (subscription required). If that's the case, Michael Carter-Williams is just the kind of pure point guard they need.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
The Timberwolves need a sharpshooter alongside Ricky Rubio to spread the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is not only one of the top shooters in the class, he has underrated rebounding skills—he averaged 7.1 boards last season at Georgia.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
The Trail Blazers need a scorer off the bench. Enter C.J. McCollum, who shot 52 percent from downtown last season at Lehigh. McCollum also displayed the ability to rise to the occasion against Duke in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
Cody Zeller possesses the scoring skills, athleticism and basketball IQ to make it as a starter in the NBA. He needs to add strength, but he could potentially develop into a solid player down the road.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
Mason Plumlee possesses a wide range of skills, from scoring to rebounding to shot-blocking. He appeared to be coming into his own last season at Duke. His explosiveness and ability to run the floor should fit in well in Oklahoma City.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
Shabazz Muhammad's jump shooting is the biggest concern, but he possesses eye-opening athleticism and explosiveness. He's also a workout warrior, displaying the drive to rise past expectations.
14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
Dennis Schroeder has the quickness, explosiveness, vision and passing skills to be a solid starter in the NBA. He will need to work on his jump shot, but there is a lot to like in the point guard from Germany. The Jazz need a true point guard.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
With Monta Ellis expected to opt out of his contract this summer, the Bucks need to start looking for a replacement at shooting guard. Jamaal Franklin would be the ideal pick at this spot, exhibiting a well-rounded game.
16. Boston Celtics: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Steven Adams still needs to work on his offensive game, but he already possesses an intriguing blend of size, toughness and rebounding at 19 years of age. He could pan out in Boston with some work.
17. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Rudy Gobert, PF, France
Rudy Gobert's combination of athleticism, size and rebounding ability appears to be garnering interest from more than a handful of teams. He needs to add strength at 7'1", 220 pounds, but his natural ability is impressive.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece
Giannis Antetokounmpo offers great potential, and the Hawks are in a position to wait and develop the youngster as they rebuild. The Greek's combination of fluidity, vision and passing skills has drawn comparisons to Scottie Pippen.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
The Cavaliers could use someone who can shoot the ball on the wing. They ranked 23rd in three-point percentage last season. Sergey Karasev is considered one of the best shooters in the class, and he's a smart player.
20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, SG, Cal
After ranking 20th in the NBA in three-point shooting last season, the Bulls would be wise to add a sharpshooter, especially with Derrick Rose due to collapse defenses in 2013-14. Allen Crabbe is one of the best shooters in the class, with deep range.
21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap headed for free agency, the Jazz need frontcourt depth. Kelly Olynyk's scoring ability and passing skills will be welcomed in Utah.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina
The Nets need outside shooting. Reggie Bullock not only has the versatility to play shooting guard or small forward, he also shot 44 percent from downtown at North Carolina last season.
23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (FL)
Shane Larkin is not only an excellent pick-and-roll point guard, he's a dangerous shooter with deep range. He may be under 6'0", but he possesses a wide range of skills that should help him overcome that. He would be a great backup to George Hill in Indiana.
24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
Given the Knicks' aging frontcourt, Jeff Withey would fill a need for the squad. Withey is a tough rebounder and shot-blocker who can convert at the rim. He could eventually replace Tyson Chandler down low.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor
Backup guard Eric Bledsoe has been thrown around the rumor mill throughout the summer. If he departs Los Angeles, Pierre Jackson could be a suitable replacement. Jackson is short for an NBA player, but his explosiveness and passing skills should help him overcome that.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gorgui Dieng, C, Lousville
With Nikola Pekovic and backup Greg Stiemsma headed for free agency, the Timberwolves need a big man. Gorgui Dieng may surprise in the NBA, given his shot-blocking, rebounding and improved jump shot.
27. Denver Nuggets: Ricardo Ledo, G, Providence
Ricardo Ledo was considered one of the top scorers in high school before being ruled academically ineligible in 2012-13. While the Nuggets could use some shooters, all the top shooters will be off the board at this point. Ledo could be a nice scoring option for them off the bench.
Is Lucas Nogueira a steal this late in the draft?
28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil
Not only do the Spurs apparently love to develop international players, fellow Brazilian Tiago Splitter should help Lucas Nogueira transition to pro ball in the United States. Nogueira is being dubbed the Brazilian Nerlens Noel because of his potential on the defensive side of the ball.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
The potential is certainly there for Tony Mitchell. He can be an excellent defender and rebounder, and he's one of those athletic freaks. On the other hand, he was inconsistent at North Texas and was inefficient offensively. Still, you can't pass up his potential this late in the draft.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Heat): Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico
Tony Snell needs to add strength and improve his ball-handling, but he's impressed scouts with his athleticism, length, defense and shooting ability. It would be a surprise if the New Mexico product fell out of the first round. The Suns could use all the scoring they can get.
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