2013 NBA Mock Draft: Complete First Round Breakdown with Potential Trades

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJune 4, 2013

Mar 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Anthony Bennett (15) during practice the day before the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NBA draft is just over three weeks away, thus placing 30 teams in position to build their future. From college stars to international prospects on the rise, there's no shortage of players available in this year's draft.

The question is, where will they go and how will the potential for trades impact what transpires?

With every passing season, the world speculates what trades could transpire on draft day. While everyone wants to see a game changing exchange of top picks, that isn't always the case.

Sometimes, all it takes is one deal to reshape the structure of a draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

Position: Power Forward/Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7'0", 206 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.09 PER, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a position that no franchise wants to be, as they hold the top pick in a rather lackluster draft. With that being known, there is a genuine possibility that the Cavaliers trade back in order to maximize their value.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to do so is significantly minimized when no player has emerged as the surefire top pick.

The Cavaliers could go with a small forward, but the possibility to land Nerlens Noel is the most fitting selection at first overall. Not only is Noel the player with the most significant upside, but Cleveland has a glaring need for a shot blocker.

Tristan Thompson is a legitimate building block, but the Cavaliers are nothing short of underwhelming at center.

Anderson Varejao is an elite rebounder, but defensively, he makes a minimal impact protecting the rim and is statistically the worst defender in the NBA. Tyler Zeller could be a quality player, but the upside is limited.

Otto Porter is my personal preference, but Chad Ford of ESPN Insider reports that Noel is the Cavaliers' top choice.

2. Orlando Magic: Trey Burke, Michigan Wolverines

Position: Point Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'1", 187 pounds, 6'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

29.76 PER, 18.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 38.4% 3PT

The Orlando Magic have a wide variety of options here, as their voids appear at both guard spots. The question is, do the Magic want to find their point guard of the future or land a versatile scorer that can space the floor?

With Jameer Nelson older than 30 and battling injuries, point guard is the way to go.

Trey Burke out of Michigan is a dynamic playmaker that can help bring everything together in Orlando. Not only is he lethal off of the bounce as a scorer, but he runs the pick-and-roll well and thrives in the open court.

With precision on every pass and impeccable decision-making, Burke could be something special.

The key here is that Burke is an unquestioned leader that steps up in the clutch and commands the respect of his teammates. Outside of his ability to post strong numbers, Burke is the type of player that knows how to get hot quickly.

There's a lot that you can teach a player, but having the clutch gene is rare.

3. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett, UNLV Rebels

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'8", 240 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

28.24 PER, 27.1 MPG, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 37.5% 3PT

Since the 2013 NBA draft lottery, I've had the Washington Wizards selecting Otto Porter with the third overall draft choice. Up until last night, the only reason I believed that would change is if the Cleveland Cavaliers took Porter first overall.

And then franchise player John Wall told Eric Detweiler of The Washington Post that he wants Washington to draft a power forward that thrives in the pick-and-pop.

At No. 3, the only player that truly fits that mold is versatile combo forward Anthony Bennett out of UNLV. Not only is he a bruising low-post player that can finish with both hands, but he's more than capable of stepping out for a jump shot with three-point range.

The elite athleticism and superstar upside is just an added benefit.

Bennett is a work in progress defensively, but the Wizards were the eighth-ranked scoring defense and ninth in rebounding during the 2012-13 regular season. Unfortunately, they were also 28th in scoring offense, which displays their need for scorers.

As for why they'd listen to Wall's requests, it's simple—they were 5-28 when he was injured and 24-25 when he was healthy. Not much else changes besides his return, in that time.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'5", 189 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.24 PER, 15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 42.0% 3PT

The Charlotte Bobcats are in a dream world with this pick, as their need for a shooter is undeniable. They were 27th in three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals made, which places their ability to get over the hump in serious doubt.

After all, an offense with no shooters is the most likely to go dry.

Ben McLemore would help to round out an already solid perimeter, as Kemba Walker is a borderline All-Star and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a defensive terror. What the Bobcats need, however, is a pure scorer that can lead Charlotte through the regular season.

Walker has upside in that regard, but things aren't the way they used to be—dynamic scorers are only as good as their elite counterpart.

With McLemore and Walker leading the charge, Charlotte would go a long way towards improving their 26th ranked scoring offense. More importantly, the former Kansas Jayhawks star will be the shooter they so desperately need.

Ranking 27th in three-point field goal percentage is a great way to be a bottom feeder in today's NBA.

5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Hoosiers

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'4", 213 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

29.09 PER, 13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.2 SPG, 44.1% 3PT

The Phoenix Suns have a decision to make, as they must choose between Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter. 

It all starts with his balance of supreme athleticism and elite fundamentals.

The best way to describe Oladipo is as a cross between current Suns shooting guards Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown. Oladipo possesses Brown's explosive athleticism, all the while possessing Dudley's defensive prowess and spot-up shooting ability.

Paired with world class upside, Oladipo could be the franchise player that Phoenix needs.

If nothing else, Oladipo will provide an infectious motor that inspires the players around him to give their all. Paired with lock down defensive abilities, Oladipo could be anywhere from Tony Allen to Dwyane Wade when it's all said and done.

That's a wide range, but one worth exploring.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

Position: Small Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'9", 198 pounds, 7'2" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.88 PER, 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 42.2% 3PT

The New Orleans Pelicans have multiple options here, as power forward appears to be the only position they have locked in for the future. Their options here, however, are limited to one player.

Otto Porter out of Georgetown.

Porter could go No. 1 overall, but if he doesn't, the Orlando Magic will pass him over and thus lead to a drop to third. With John Wall all but requesting the selection of Anthony Bennett, that now creates the potential for a further dip, as the Charlotte Bobcats have no need for a small forward at No. 4.

That creates a scenario in which the Phoenix Suns choose between Porter and Victor Oladipo—they chose the latter in this scenario.

To put it simply, there is no better fit for the Pelicans than Porter. Not only is he an elite defensive prospect, but he's a dynamic playmaker on offense that handles the ball, facilitates for his teammates and shoots the three at a high clip.

Porter could be an All-Star, but he falls victim to the unpredictability of the draft and falls to No. 6—motivation that he didn't even need.

7. Sacramento Kings: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Orange

Position: Point Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'6", 184 pounds, 6'7" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

21.25 PER, 11.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 4.9 RPG, 2.8 SPG

Michael Carter-Williams is often criticized for his poor shooting ability, but that's literally the most coachable trait in basketball. For instance, Kawhi Leonard shot 29.1 percent from beyond the arc in his final season at San Diego State before converting at a clip of 37.5 percent during his first two seasons in the NBA.

Carter-Williams is capable of doing the same.

Even without a jumper, Carter-Williams is the best facilitator in this draft class and the top defender at his position. For perspective, five point guards ranked in the top 10 in both assists and steals by position—three of them were All-Stars.

Did we mention that Carter-Williams is 6'6'?

For a Sacramento Kings team that has struggled with finding a direction offensively, landing the draft's best facilitator is the most rational route to follow. Not only can Carter-Williams lead the offense, but he can put DeMarcus Cousins in position to make high-percentage looks.

A luxury DMC hasn't experienced just yet.

8. Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia Bulldogs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'6", 204 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.62 PER, 18.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, 37.3% 3PT

The Detroit Pistons are in perimeter limbo, as they possess tweeners at both point guard and shooting guard. Whether it's Brandon Knight attempting to be a floor general or Rodney Stuckey trying to shoulder the scoring load, Detroit's value of ability over fit has hurt them severely.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can begin the perimeter rebuilding process.

Caldwell-Pope is one of the few two-way shooting guards in this draft, as he thrives in an equal capacity on either end of the floor. From his deep three-point range to his ability to contain a slashing scorer, the SEC Player of the Year has it all.

His star upside is debatable, but if Detroit is looking for a shooting guard that can contribute in every category across the board—and they should be—Caldwell-Pope is the ideal target.

The former Georgia Bulldogs star has a strong handle and passes well for his position, but the key is that he can create his own shot. While he's better fit to work off of the ball, Caldwell-Pope does stand at 6'6" and 204 pounds with a 6'8' wingspan.

When you have the body and skill set to thrive at the next level, possessing a respected motor not only brings it all together, but it makes you a safe pick—that's exactly what Caldwell-Pope can be for a Pistons team in need of certainty.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins

Position: Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7'1", 225 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.04 PER, 26.4 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.1 BPG

The Minnesota Timberwolves are preparing for their first offseason under Flip Saunders, which will thus bring a new direction to the franchise. While Nikola Pekovic could be a piece of that new initiative, his defensive irrelevance is too powerful to ignore.

For that reason, Minnesota makes a move for the future as they draft Alex Len.

Len is only 19, which suggests that he can sit behind Pekovic before taking over as the starter. Seeing as Len has a wide array of skills on offense and blocks shots at a respectable clip defensively, the upside is intriguing enough to believe he can take over in the near future.

For a team that is young and consistently far removed from the postseason, building a legitimate core is the only way to truly rebuild.

The Timberwolves have quality players on their roster, but they also have four point guards that attempt to play the 2. Those investments have prevented Minnesota from building up depth across the board, thus leaving them exposed at key positions.

Drafting a shooting guard is an option here, but Pekovic is in his prime and displaying no signs of improving defensively—Len is the best fit.

10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Position: Combo Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'3", 197 pounds, 6'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

33.95 PER, 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 51.6% 3PT

According to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, the Portland Trail Blazers are looking to trade a draft choice for an established center. Seeing as the 10th overall selection is the only first round selection they possess, the odds are stacked against them.

At the end of the day, they simply cannot match the value of an established center with the 10th overall draft choice in this year's weak draft.

Fortunately for Portland, they address a significant void in their roster, drafting C.J. McCollum to bolster their second unit. After their bench was historically bad, averaging 18.5 points per game as a collective unit.

That's 6.2 points lower than the second-worst team in that regard.

McCollum can offer an instant scoring presence, serving as the sixth man for a team with a postseason caliber starting lineup. While finding a franchise center could be a key, the operative need here is the absence of a second unit scorer.

The only question remaining is simple—will Portland let their back court fall victim to fatigue for a second straight season?

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 7'0", 230 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

30.93 PER, 16.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG

The Philadelphia 76ers have an All-Star point guard in Jrue Holiday and a defensive dynamo with offensive burst in Thaddeus Young. Evan Turner remains an interesting player to watch, while Spencer Hawes has spurts of strong play, but Philadelphia truly has little on their roster in the department of untouchable.

So why not address your league-worst scoring offense and bring in, arguably, the best scoring big man in this draft?

Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers is attempting to make the transition to power forward, and the tools are certainly there for a successful switch. Not only does Zeller stand at 7'0", but he's an explosive athlete that scores in an unpredictably well-rounded manner.

Whether he's backing his man down, putting the ball on the floor or shooting a long jumper, Zeller can do it all.

According to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider, Zeller has wowed scouts in recent weeks with his ability to shoot the three-ball. Pulling all of these traits together, scouts have thus created player comparisons of high praise.

Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge—now that's an upside worth exploring.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors): Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA Bruins

Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'6", 222 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

21.99 PER, 17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 37.7% 3PT

The Oklahoma City Thunder need a center, but the absence of James Harden was equally as devastating. For that reason, OKC will be forced to choose between a center at No. 12 or a dynamic scorer.

Due to the decline of Shabazz Muhammad, however, the Thunder will capitalize on the ability to draft an upside-ridden scorer.

Muhammad is similar to James Harden in the sense that he's a southpaw slasher that can thrives in finishing around the basket. While Muhammad is far removed from Harden's ability to facilitate, the upside is there for him to be one of the better players from this draft class.

It's all about reaching that potential.

In Oklahoma City, Muhammad's flaws as a jump shooter would be masked by the openings created by Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. More importantly, his length at 6'6" and 222 pounds with a 6'11" wingspan proves that his body is ready for the NBA game.

Developing a jump shot is far from an impossibility, so Muhammad's decline is overstated.

13. Brooklyn Nets (via Mavericks): Dario Saric, Croatia

Mavericks Receive: No. 22 Pick, MarShon Brooks, Tyshawn Taylor, Cash

Nets Receive: No. 13 Pick, Vince Carter

Position: Small Forward

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'10", 223 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The Dallas Mavericks could use this pick, but they've been rumored to be interested in trading down to clear up cap space. They capitalize on this opportunity, trading down to the No. 22 pick and acquiring MarShon Brooks in the process.

The Brooklyn Nets thus take Dario Saric and find their longterm answer at small forward and, if groomed properly, as a stretch 4.

Brooks may be tough to pass with, as fans love his upside as a scorer, but the Nets have Joe Johnson under contract and hardly ever used the former Providence star in 2012-13. For that reason, they're best off by using him as trade bait to move up in the draft.

They do just that, also including Tyshawn Taylor, as C.J. Watson is the established backup and Deron Williams will not lose his starting role.

By selecting Saric, the Nets would address their need for an offensive playmaker at small forward. While players such as Tornike Shengelia and Mirza Teletovic could be of a high quality, Saric is viewed as a potential star from this year's draft.

Seeing as Brooklyn loves dipping their toes into the international market, Saric is the perfect player to expand their brand and one day become a face of their franchise.

14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, Germany

Position: Point Guard

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'2", 165 pounds, 6'8" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The Utah Jazz could go in any number of directions, but their true need still boils down to the point guard position. While Mo Williams remains a productive player, the Jazz must build for the future as their veterans enter free agency.

According to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider, the Jazz are interested in selecting Schroeder.

Schroeder is a lightning quick point guard that thrives in the open court and finishes strong around the basket. In the half court, Schroeder utilizes a paralyzing stutter step to keep his opposition off-balance and enter the paint.

While his tendency to search for contact can be detrimental, Schroeder is a 19-year-old point guard with sensational gifts—the growing pains are welcome with his upside.

The key here is Schroeder's build, as he stands at 6'2" with a 6'8" wingspan. With a frame similar to Rajon Rondo and a play style similar to Ty Lawson, Utah could make Schroeder into their franchise lead guard.

A risk worth taking.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State Aztecs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'5", 191 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.87 PER, 17.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG

The Milwaukee Bucks are in position to lose both Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick via free agency. Even franchise point guard Brandon Jennings is set to become a restricted free agent.

It's time to find a player that they can build around.

Jamaal Franklin is something of an enigma, as his elite athleticism is often overlooked due to the absence of a three-point shot. The truth of the matter is, Franklin is one of the most well-rounded players available.

For evidence, Franklin led San Diego State in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals per game—that's an NCAA Tournament team, not just another dud school.

With the Bucks, Franklin could provide a potentially elite defensive presence due to his supreme athleticism and massive wingspan. Offensively, Franklin handles the ball well and possesses the killer instinct necessary to develop into a star.

Few traits translate from the college ranks to the NBA, and Franklin has quite a few.

16. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville Cardinals

Position: Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 6'11", 230 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.60 PER, 9.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.5 BPG, 1.3 SPG

The Boston Celtics are a team that could enter a rebuilding process, but may also look to win with their current core. Regardless of what they opt to do, Boston needs to find a player that they can use as a legitimate building block.

As it always has in Boston, their rebuilding process—whether immediate or extensive—begins down low.

The Celtics have long competed for titles by way of their smothering defense, but they were unable to do so in 2012-13. Kevin Garnett continues to have a powerful impact, but Boston lacked any form of a rim protecting shot blocker.

Gorgui Dieng of the Louisville Cardinals can be that player.

Dieng is an NBA-ready player, as he pairs a 7'4" wingspan with explosive athleticism and sound defensive fundamentals. There is room for improvement, but Dieng should be able to block shots at a high level and step out to defend the pick-and-roll.

When it comes right down to it, few players are as perfect to become Garnett's protege as Dieng.

17. Atlanta Hawks: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh Panthers

Position: Center

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 7'0", 255 pounds, 7'5" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

22.59 PER, 23.4 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 BPG

The Atlanta Hawks have voids to fill at virtually every position, as they enter the offseason with limited players under contract. Perhaps the only place the Hawks can feel comfortable is at power forward, where Al Horford continues to quietly play at an elite level.

With all of this being established, the Hawks simply cannot afford to swing and miss on a franchise center—with or without Dwight Howard, they need to draft one here.

Steven Adams is the ultimate project player for the Hawks, as he's a true 7'0" center that weighs in at 255 pounds with a 7'5" wingspan. Beyond the physical gifts is Adams' excellent touch around the basket, which suggests that he could be a go-to low-post player.

If not, Adams' build and explosive leaping ability makes for elite defensive potential.

The Hawks need that defensive presence for the long haul, and head coach Mike Budenholzer is the perfect figure to mold Adams' a game. While some view the Miami Heat's singular success with the small ball approach as the sign of the NBA, the league's elite share the possession of an interior presence.

Adams is worth experimenting on, as he could be that player for the Hawks.

18. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Glen Rice Jr., NBA D-League

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'6", 211 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The Atlanta Hawks made a wise decision to land a center worth building around at No. 17. One pick later, they make another decision to improve their future, as they select an off-guard of a defensive-minded nature.

Consider Glen Rice Jr. to be Mike Budenholzer's new Danny Green.

Rice Jr. is an electrifying athlete that explodes in transition and throws down SportsCenter worthy dunks. With that being said, there's more to his game than leaping ability and lateral quickness.

Rice Jr. can shoot at a high percentage and defend as well as any player in this draft.

Whether he's racking up steals or not, Rice Jr.'s length and athleticism permits rangy defense. With a 211-pound build and experience in the D-League, Rice Jr. is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft.

At 22, Rice makes this pick one of instant gratification with undeniable upside.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Suns, from Heat): Allen Crabbe, California Golden Bears

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'6", 197 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.07 PER, 18.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG

The Cleveland Cavaliers landed a defensive-minded big man with the first overall draft choice. With their second first round selection, the Cavaliers must address another void, as they struggle to shoot the three-ball.

Enter Allen Crabbe.

Crabbe possesses deep three-point range and the size necessary to rise over the average NBA defender. While he is at his best working off of the ball, Crabbe is more than capable of creating his own shot.

The fact that he crashes the boards as well as any other guard simply makes this pick an easy selection.

Crabbe is a versatile scorer that can attack off of the bounce or settle for jump shots, knocking them down with relative ease. While his shooting percentages may be less than ideal from a year ago, Crabbe played as more of a lead guard.

Working off of the ball with Kyrie Irving would make creating his own shot a whole lot easier.

20. Chicago Bulls: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Position: Center

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 7'0", 234 pounds, 6'10" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

36.57 PER, 26.4 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG

The Chicago Bulls are a legitimate championship contender with a healthy roster, but their lack of depth will continue to plague them. While the absence of a shooter might be noteworthy, the Bulls have one area that they cannot ignore.

Without depth in the front court, the Bulls will not be able to maintain their elite level of play throughout the postseason.

The most ideal target for the Bulls is Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk. Not only is he one of the most efficient players in this draft, but Olynyk is a skilled scorer that plays in a manner more similar to a guard than a forward.

Just don't think you're in the clear when he posts up, as Olynyk can finish with either hand.

Olynyk's ability to make an impact offensively, all the while providing an unquestioned motor for the second unit. After Chicago missed Omer Asik in such a devastating manner, Olynyk could be the cure-all the Bulls need.

If nothing else, Olynyk provides the best possible value at No. 20 overall.

21. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Reggie Bullock, North Carolina Tar Heels

Position: Small Forward

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'7", 200 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.13 PER, 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 43.6% 3PT

The Utah Jazz landed their point guard of the future at No. 14, bringing in the blazing speed of Dennis Schroeder to run the show. With their second pick, the Jazz address another position of need by landing a shooter at small forward.

Reggie Bullock certainly fits the bill.

Gordon Hayward is a high-quality contributor, but the 23-year-old is more of a tweener between the 2 and 3. Regardless of where he plays, the Jazz appear to be committed to a system in which they work through their bigs.

In order to properly build around Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, however, the Jazz will need to acquire as many shooters as they can.

Bullock certainly fits the bill, as he shoots at a clip above 40.0 percent from beyond the arc and stands at 6'7" with a 6'9" wingspan. Not only does this allow Bullock to finish in traffic, but it creates defensive upside.

That combination is worth exploring.

22. Dallas Mavericks (via Nets): Rudy Gobert, France

Mavericks Receive: No. 22 Pick, MarShon Brooks, Tyshawn Taylor, Cash

Nets Receive: No. 13 Pick, Vince Carter

Position: Power Forward

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 7'2", 238 pounds, 7'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The Dallas Mavericks made a key move earlier in the draft, trading down in exchange for young players and cap space. In this scenario, the Mavericks use the No. 22 pick by selecting one of the most upside-ridden individuals available.

French power forward Rudy Gobert.

Gobert is one of the most physically gifted players in the history of the NBA draft, standing at 7'2" with a 7'9" wingspan. While his frame and athleticism are question marks, Gobert has the length necessary to make an impact defensively.

Why not place faith in Dirk Nowitzki's ability to help Gobert hone his other skills?

At worst, Gobert is a low-risk selection at No. 22 that Dallas can invest a minor salary in. At best, Gobert pans out and becomes one of the most physically imposing players in the NBA.

Why not take a gamble at No. 22?

23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin, Miami Hurricanes

Position: Point Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'0", 171 pounds, 5'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

22.40 PER, 14.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 40.6% 3PT

The Indiana Pacers are fresh off of an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. During that time, they nearly upset the Miami Heat and were thoroughly exposed for having one glaring weakness.

Indiana doesn't have a second unit.

Regardless of what else they need, the Pacers must start their search for improvement by finding a legitimate second unit point guard. George Hill runs point in an adequate manner, but the Pacers proved to have nothing to offer when he comes off of the floor.

Shane Larkin can put an end to that.

Larkin is a defensive menace that overcomes his height deficiency with active hands and elite athleticism. Not only is he explosive, but Larkin has excellent lateral quickness and thus makes his mark against any caliber opponent.

The fact that he can create off of the bounce and shoots at a percentage above 40.0 percent from beyond the arc is just an added bonus.

24. New York Knicks: Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils

Position: Power Forward/Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 7'0", 238 pounds, 6'11" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

26.48 PER, 17.1 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.0 SPG

Even with Jason Kidd's retirement, the New York Knicks aren't getting any younger. They lack depth in the front court, need help at all perimeter positions and will not overcome the rest of the Eastern Conference until they become more athletic.

They can kill two birds with one stone by drafting center Mason Plumlee out of Duke.

In the half court, Plumlee is a strong finisher that works well in the post and has a reliable face-up game. Defensively, Plumlee is a consistent rebounder that boxes his man out and blocks shots at a high rate.

With that being said, it's all about transition with Plumlee.

The former Duke star is a walking alley-oop, running the floor as well as most guards and exploding off of the floor. He's often looking to dunk everything in sight, but has developed a maturity on offense that leads to the smart basket being made.

Plumlee may not be a star, but New York needs help in the front court and will likely look to free agency for their perimeter. 

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Jeff Withey, Kansas Jayhawks

Position: Center

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 7'0", 222 pounds, 7'2" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.23 PER, 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 BPG

The Los Angeles Clippers have countless options here, and they all tie back to the absence of a half court offense. When it comes down to it, however, the Clippers must maximize value at No. 25 overall.

For that reason, Jeff Withey is the pick.

Withey may not be the explosive athlete that we're used to seeing in Los Angeles, but he's one of the best interior defenders in the nation. While DeAndre Jordan may block shots, Withey is a polished defensive product with potentially elite fundamentals.

Perhaps most importantly, Withey utilizes his height and length to defend the pick-and-roll and offset the attacks of even the quickest ball handlers.

Offensively, Withey works well enough out of the post for the Clippers to feel comfortable giving him touches. With a developing mid-range game, he can also work the pick-and-pop and provide a new element to L.A.'s offensive game.

Finding a shooter is another option, but Withey is the only available prospect that could see significant minutes during his rookie year in Los Angeles.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Grizzlies): Sergey Karasev, Russia

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 19

Height & Weight: 6'7", 197 pounds, 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The Minnesota Timberwolves landed their center of the future with their first selection, bringing in Alex Len out of Maryland. Up next for the T-Wolves is the undeniable need for an actual shooting guard.

Sergey Karasev can be that player.

Minnesota has experimented in recent years, attempting to run duel point guard sets. While that may work for some teams,  the absence of a true shooting guard has led to Minnesota struggling on offense.

For evidence, note that the T-Wolves were 30th in three-point field goal percentage.

While Karasev may be young and underdeveloped as a player, the upside is in place for a quality NBA career. With Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko as members of the Timberwolves' roster, the home country familiarity is present, as well.

No pick is easy in this draft, but all signs point towards this selection.

27. Denver Nuggets: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State Racers

Position: Point Guard

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'0", 188 pounds, 6'5" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.28 PER, 21.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG

The Denver Nuggets have a need for three-point shooters, but they're more likely to address that void through free agency. Via the draft, the Nuggets will acknowledge just how thin of ice they're walking on with a 37-year-old backup point guard.

As fate would have it, Isaiah Canaan is a perfect fit for the Nuggets.

Canaan is an efficient lead guard that scores in a variety of manners and facilitates at an adequate clip. Not only can he handle the ball, attack off of the dribble and shoot the three-ball, but Canaan does it all with consistency.

For a team that lives and dies by their offense, that combination of skills at the point guard position is pivotal to their success.

Defensively, Canaan overcomes his undersized stature with strength and a 6'5" wingspan. He's capable of swiping steals, but Canaan's true strength will be his ability to play the pick-and-roll due to his strength and physicality.

Canaan's upside is as high as most other point guards in this draft, which makes Denver's selection an easy one.

28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, Brazil

Position: Center

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'11", 218 pounds, 7'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages


The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the most consistently great organizations in the NBA for the better part of two decades. Unfortunately, the day we never expected to come is approaching, as Tim Duncan is 37 and his potential retirement is looming.

Even if Duncan is to defy father time for a few more seasons, the Spurs must find his long-term replacement.

Lucas Nogueira is not quite ready to step in and provide quality minutes, but that doesn't mean the upside isn't present. Not only is Nogueira one of the most athletic big men available, but he's improved his work ethic and thus become a top prospect.

With the Spurs, a system-oriented team, Nogueira could maximize his world class upside.

On the surface, the Brazilian star is a 6'11" athlete with a massive 7'6" wingspan and explosive athleticism. Digging deeper, Nogueira is a quality shot blocker, but is raw fundamentally on both ends of the floor.

Who better than Duncan to become his mentor?

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mike Muscala, Bucknell Bison

Position: Center

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'11", 230 pounds, 7'1" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

36.34 PER, 18.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.4 BPG

The Oklahoma City Thunder could have gone with a center with their lottery pick, but there simply aren't elite offensive centers at that stage. Surprisingly, arguably the most skilled center in this draft can be found at No. 29.

Bucknell Bison center Mike Muscala.

Muscala has quality size at 6'11" and 230 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan. While he's not the most explosive athlete, Muscala is a versatile scorer that thrives working out of the post, but can also face up.

With NBA three-point range, Muscala is nothing short of a promising prospect on the offensive end of the floor.

In other areas of the game, Muscala is an aggressive rebounder that passes well and blocks shots at a high rate. For a Thunder team that needs to find Kendrick Perkins' long-term replacement, they couldn't find a more ideal fit than Muscala.

The value here is similar, if not better than what they could get a No. 12.

30. Phoenix Suns (via Cavs, from Lakers): Tony Snell, New Mexico Lobos

Position: Small Forward

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'7", 198 pounds, 7'0" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

17.16 PER, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.6 RPG, 39.0% 3PT

The Phoenix Suns landed a potential star with their first selection, placing Victor Oladipo at shooting guard. Even with Oladipo, however, there are holes in Phoenix's perimeter, as they simply cannot shoot the basketball.

Tony Snell can help put an end to those woes.

Snell is one of the better shooters in this year's draft class, as his ability to pull up in transition is met by the length necessary to thrive while working off of the ball. Perhaps most importantly, Snell has something that few other shooters do.

Elite athleticism.

Snell is a menace in the open court, pairing explosive leaping ability with powerful strides. His all-around game is in need of significant improvement, but Snell should be able to contribute early in his career.

Phoenix needs shooters, so the risk is minimal for that very reason.


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