NBA Mock Draft, Picks 13-20

Andrew ButlerCorrespondent IJune 4, 2008

        13. Portland Trail Blazers - Joe Alexander, West Virginia SF

     Portland should consider themselves lucky that Alexander is even still available here.  Joe by far has the most relentless work ethic in this draft, which has left scouts drooling. He also has the second fastest 3/4 court sprint in the predraft combine, and was the second strongest player in the bench press. 

At that, he's put up amazing numbers in college while Huggins is teaching him basic post moves at WVU because he only has five years of basketball competition, and he's still learning. 

With his Jordan style free throw line dunks, putting up 66 points in two games against a UConn defense that is one of the best in the country, and 40 points, 21 rebounds, six assists, four turnovers and four blocks against Duke and Xavier in the NCAA tournament, he's proved he's clutch. 

This is my favorite player in the draft. He knows how to draw the foul, and has excellent passing ability and shot blocking skills.  The Blazers have the third worst offense in the NBA and are horrible at drawing the defensive foul, Alexander is a perfect fit in their lineup with their needs at SF.

        14.  Golden State Warriors - DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M C

    The Warriors had the best offense this year and the worst defense in the NBA, which speaks for itself.  With Patrick O'Bryant likely leaving, along with Mickael Pietrus, the Warriors have Biedrins, old Croshere and Harrington, and even resorted to bringing back Chris Webber this year at low post. 

DeAndre Jordan lacks a serious offensive gameplan, with his 7.9 ppg on a 20.1 minute average.  He's the best chance at being a bust in the lottery this year and will be a major project that should expect results in the long term. 

He is turnover and foul prone and he shoots less than 45% from the free throw line.  He plays great defense and gets a lot of blocks and thats exactly what the Warriors need. He fills a critical need as a backup C and allows Harrington to focus at PF. He's the best defensive prospect available, fills a needed position and is a bargain at #14.

         15. Phoenix Suns - Brandon Rush Kansas, SG/SF

     The Phoenix Suns have many needs with their aging team, with six players coming into their 10th season in the NBA, of which three are starters, with injury ridden Grant Hill entering his 14th season, and old Shaq entering his 16th season. 

     Although a versatile, defensive, and fast C who can play in transition may be one of their biggest needs, they have others as well.  At one point during the season they were forced to pick up Gordan Giricek, who won't make it as a starter.  Word on the street is that the Suns have a liking for Rush in their future.  Rush has some ball handling issues, but he has a solid jumper, even with hands in his face, and he shoots 41.9% from 3-point range. He also rarely commits the foul displaying disciplined defense. Since his ACL injury, he should be looking much better in the NBA then how he performed in college

        16. Philadelphia 76ers - Donte Greene, Syracuse SF/PF

     Philadelphia have the 23rd best ppg, worst 3 point%, 23rd most assists, and the  worst FT% in the NBA, they have their work cut out for them.  The 76ers have Dalembert, Miller and Iguodala starting in their lineup and the proper backups for most of them, leaving PF and SG/SF looking for a starter to regenerate their offense. The best 3 point shooter in Philly is backup PG/SG Louis Williams at 36%.

I like Donte Greene because he's 6'9'' and he hits 34.5% of his three's, he has the explosiveness to take it to the rim, extremely athletic, and is an excellent perimeter shooter and he's just a freshman.  He reminds me a lot like Kevin Durant just without as much productivity, the only down fall is that Greene may require good coaching to become a great player.  Greene with his frame and height makes him a versatile threat and may take the pressure off of the other 3 point shooters.

        17. Toronto Raptors - Roy Hibbert, Georgetown C

     The Raptors are third to last in rebounds, and other than that, they look good offensively, defensively they are mediocre, which is where they should look to make most of their improvements. 

The only area with a real weakness may be center, where undeveloped Bargnani lays, and behind him Nesterovic is getting up in age.  The Raptors are most likely looking for a center that can hold his own in the paint, is outstanding defensively, along with some sort of offensive production and thats exactly what Hibbert is best at.

There's questions about his conditioning and being foul prone, but with the Raptors situation right now, he'll be a perfect role player defensively, somewhat of a reach, but a certain upgrade in a needed area.  McGee is available, but he's good at blocking and only blocking, he lacks a lot of awareness in many departments and is likely to be a bust, and right now the Raptors have Bargnani and are looking for a sixth man, and good defense which Hibbert will be good for.

        18. Washington Wizards - Nicolas Batum, France SF

     The Wizards are at huge risk of losing Antwan Jamison and Gilbert Arenas in free agency, although we've heard Arenas say we he will and won't come back.  So it's almost a coin flip and with Jamison's age, they are iffy on re-signing him for a big contract, but he's an integral part of the Wizards and theres few that are better than Jamison.

As of right now the biggest need of the Wizards may be a guard, with Arenas being injured, lack of productivity from Stevenson, and Daniels getting up in age. This will force Batum and Butler to share the SG/SF positions. I considered Budinger, but Batum's defense is better, and Budinger has a few other questions about him.

       19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kosta Koufos, Ohio State C

     This may be the perfect fit for Cleveland, with Illgauskas getting old and lacking a lot of youth at the low post for Cleveland. Koufos brings a solid offensive game which Cleveland needs badly and allows them to play in transition more with Koufos court speed and conditioning.  His offensive talents supercede his defense, but he's a good shot blocker and is mobile.

This is an offensive upgrade that Cleveland needs badly, and is a steal at the 19th pick. There's also few SG available to consider either, and at that, Daniel Gibson is one of the most underrated young players and quickly rising in the NBA.

        20. Denver Nuggets - Ty Lawson, North Carolina PG

     This year and next year may be the only two years left before A.I. and Camby have to start calling it quits. Nene Hilario will be back although he's often injured, and Kenyon Martin is not playing up to par. 

With McGee available although he's a likely bust and a horrendous free throw shooter along with many other questions, Denver has to look at what will make the Nuggets at least advance past the first round. 

That answer is Ty Lawson. There isn't a single PG on their team that looks capable of staying a full season, or playing at the level they would prefer with Carter and Atkins.  Lawson dishes out assists like none other, is very fast, and is effective on transition, something that fits the style of play by the Nuggets.  He pushes up the tempo and minimizes turnovers, great fit and Karl loves him.