The 2013 NBA Draft may be the weakest draft class in history. There aren’t any franchise players coming out of this draft that you can choose from. You never know if someone like Trey Burke or Otto Porter could end up being a star, but none of these players stand out as players that can be the number one guy for a franchise.
It was a bad year to be a bad team, but there is still plenty of talent to choose from. There seems to be more big men than in recent years. With NBA teams starting to play more “small ball”, it’ll be interesting to see if the value of drafting a big man drops this year. That shouldn’t be the case because center still remains to be a valuable position.
This will only be a first round mock draft because the second round is far too unpredictable and there will be trades that will mess up everything. I’m sure there will be a trade at some point tomorrow. Cleveland will keep their first pick because of teams knowing how weak the draft is and wanting to keep their star players. Portland showed that by rejecting the first and nineteenth pick after Cleveland wanted LaMarcus Aldridge.
1.Cleveland Cavaliers- C Nerlens Noel
He’s not the best player in the draft, but Cleveland wants to add a center. They will stick with Noel, who was an elite shot blocker and rebounder at Kentucky. This pick is a bit of a risk with Noel coming off a torn ACL. He’s still a bit raw offensively as well.
2. Orlando Magic- SG Ben McLemore
If it weren’t for the emergence of Tobias Harris, they would have taken Otto Porter instantly. Trey Burke was a possibility here as well Orlando has reportedly discussing trading Aaron Afflalo for Eric Bledsoe. McLemore needs to be more aggressive late in games, but his playmaking ability will really benefit them.
3. Washington Wizards- SF Otto Porter
This could push the Wizards into playoff contention. The 2013 Big East player of the year is arguably the best player in this draft due to his all-around ability. He can do it all from shooting, passing, rebounding, and defending. A trio of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter would give opponents major issues.
4. Charlotte Bobcats- C Alex Len
Charlotte needs size and won’t pass up on the seven foot one beast from Maryland if he’s still available. Although he was very inconsistent, Len has the potential to be an all-star with his craftiness in the post and shot blocking. He needs to be more aggressive in the post, as he develops in the NBA. Charlotte will be depending on him.
5. Phoenix Suns- SG Victor Oladipo
You won’t hear anyone criticize Oladipo. He will immediately be one of the best defensive guards in the NBA. Don’t expect him to be a 20-point scorer, but he should be very efficient and play within his role. If he can improve on his dribbling and being more aggressive, he could be an all-star for years to come.
6. New Orleans Pelicans- SF/SG Kentavious Caldwell Pope
This is a bit of a reach that New Orleans can afford. The trendy pick is Burke, but how can they bench Greivis Vasquez after the year he just had? They have faith in Velasquez, which is why they’ll go for the best wing scorer available. Caldwell-Pope was on a bad Georgia team, yet one of the best scorers in the country.
7. Sacramento Kings- PF Anthony Bennett
No team is more in rough shape than Sacramento right now. Their best player is DeMarcus Cousins, who wants out if he doesn’t get a max deal. Bennett may be undersized, but he is very versatile and can play like a point guard. After the failed experiment with Thomas Robinson, they need someone to pair with Cousins.
8. Detroit Pistons- PG Trey Burke
At last, Burke is finally off the board. Rodney Stuckey will either be traded or fazed out of the rotation. Jose Calderon is a backup at this point and Brendon Knight has been a disappointment. Burke will finally give them a dependable point guard, which hasn’t been seen in Detroit since Chauncey Billups.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves- SF Shabazz Muhammad
Muhammad was considered to be the best freshman in the country. Despite UCLA failing to live up to high expectations, Muhammad was as good as advertised. He can be the game-changing second scorer that the Timberwolves desperately need. If Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio can stay healthy, they can push for the last two-playoff seeds in the West.
10. Portland Trail Blazers- C Steven Adams
It took while for him to adjust to Jamie Dixon’s offense at Pittsburgh. His stats don’t say much, but Adams has major upside. Portland needs more depth inside and he would be the perfect fit to play off of LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s still pretty raw; so he’ll need a full season before being fully relied on to contribute. Within three years, he could turn out to be one of the best centers in the league.
11. Philadelphia 76ers- C/PF Cody Zeller
Kelly Olynyk was the other option here, but I’ll go with Zeller. Andrew Bynum situation continues to be a mystery. Even though Syracuse’s athletic big men exposed Zeller for being too predictable, Philadelphia needs help rebounding. Zeller is a much better rebounder than Olynyk and is a better scorer in the post.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder- C Kelly Olynyk
This would be an exciting fit. Oklahoma City is in a great predicament having a top 15 pick despite being one of the best teams in the league. They need a scoring big man and Olynyk can provide that. With his reliable jump shot, he’ll be the perfect guy to play off of Russell Westbrook on pick-and-rolls.
13. Dallas Mavericks- PG Michael Carter-Williams
Dallas is in a position to take the best player on the board. Carter-Williams was inconsistent at times during the regular season. His performances against Indiana and Marquette were outstanding in the NCAA tournament. Dallas is in desperate need of a floor general and Carter-Williams has proven he can be one.
14. Utah Jazz- PG Dennis Schroeder
Ever since Utah traded Deron Williams, they’ve had problems trying to find a component point guard. They need to take a point guard and Schroeder best fits the need. He is very explosive and is the best passer in the draft. He’ll be able to make players around him better such as Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
15. Milwaukee Bucks- PF/SF Giannis Adetokunbo
He is one of the top three international players entering the draft. Adetokunbo is six foot nine, yet he can dribble like a point guard. He is very athletic and well rounded for his size, which has drawn comparisons to Lamar Odom. He’ll need time to adjust to the physical play though due to his lanky frame.
16. Boston Celtics- SG CJ McCollum
Boston will be in rebuilding move and will look to take the best player available. Even though McCollum was injured for half of the season, he’s still an explosive scorer that Boston needs in their back court. His stock has slipped due to teams needing a point guard or center. A future pairing with Rajon Rondo could be the fastest back court duo in the league
17. Atlanta Hawks- SF Sergey Karasev
With Josh Smith leaving this summer, the Hawks have a huge hole to fill. Karasev is a lights out shooter, who has become more consistent in creating his own shot and taking over games in Russia’s top league. Unlike some international prospects, he’s NBA ready and should play big minutes immediately.
18. Atlanta Hawks- C Mason Plumlee
He needs to put on some more weight, but he’ll be able to slide into center. That will relieve Al Horford from carrying the entire load offensively down low. Plumlee is athletic for being seven feet tall and has shown how well he can finish around the rim. It’ll come down to him putting on more weight, so he can hang with true centers down low.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers- SF Glen Rice Jr.
After getting kicked out of Georgia Tech, who would have thought Rice had the potential to be a first round pick? Rice Jr. was phenomenal in the last three months of the D-League and impressed many general managers with his all-around play. He isn’t a sharpshooter like his dad was, but he can be a quality wing scorer that the Cavaliers desperately need. This is a reach that Cleveland can afford to take.
20. Chicago Bulls- SG Jamaal Franklin
Franklin can do it all and has the athleticism that Chicago desperately needs in their backcourt. He led San Diego State in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. The only thing holding him back is his below average three-point shooting. Tom Thibodeau loves on ball great defenders and he’s getting one in Franklin.
21. Utah Jazz- SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway Jr. didn’t play well during the NCAA tournament, which hurt his stock a little bit. Still he is very explosive off the dribble and reliable from three-point range. Utah needs someone like that in their backcourt, after getting little production from the shooting guard position last season.
22. Brooklyn Nets- PF Tony Mitchell
The Nets need help in the frontcourt with Kris Humphries leaving and Reggie Evans playing far too many minutes last year. Mitchell has the tendency of shooting too many jumpers for a player his size. He’ll need to learn how to move without the ball better as well. Still he’s very athletic and explosive, who can give the Nets a boost offensively at power forward.
23. Indiana Pacers- PG Shane Larkin
Larkin fell off the board due to his smallish frame at six foot weighing only 170 pounds. George Hill was starting to become a non-factor as the playoffs wore on. Larkin is a playmaker that could get hot at anytime during the game. He could be the player that can push Indiana to finally beat Miami in the playoffs.
24. New York Knicks- C Gorgui Dieng
With the Knicks constantly running the pick-and-roll, why not get the best center in the draft in doing that? He had great chemistry with Peyton Siva, which was part of the reason why Louisville won the national championship. New York desperately needs a big man, who is willing to be a workhorse down low. The 2013 Big East defensive player of the year can be that player.
25. Los Angeles Clippers- C Lucas Nogueira
DeAndre Jordan is on the trading block, while Aaron Afflalo could be coming in to fill a void at shooting guard. That leaves center as a need and they can take someone that can play in the open floor. Nogueira is fast for someone, who is seven feet tall. He needs to put on more weight, but he would fit well in the Clippers’ style of play.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves- SG Allen Crabbe
Ricky Ledo is someone that Minnesota can pick here, but they’ll be scared off by his issues off the court. Crabbe is battle tested and has played heavy minutes at California for all three years he was there. He is a great shooter, which is something Minnesota needs after being dead last in three-point percentage last year shooting 30 percent.
27. Denver Nuggets- SG Ricky Ledo
Denver isn’t afraid of bringing in projects considering JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried were projects coming into the league. Ledo is an explosive scorer and will help Denver from three-point range, where they shot only 34 percent as a team. He isn’t very experienced, but Denver can bring him along slowly and develop him.
28. San Antoino Spurs- SF/SG Tony Snell
It’s obvious that Manu Ginobili can no longer play at a high level. San Antonio needs to find his replacement and Snell would fit that role. He is a very good shooter, which fits well with the mold of great shooters in San Antonio. He can play off screens and is very athletic. He needs to bulk up though, since being six foot seven and weighing below 200 pounds won’t help you last in the NBA.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder- C Rudy Gobert
Oklahoma City is in the position to draft a project. Gobert’s wingspan is seven foot eight and is freakish long. The issue is that he’s very slender for being seven foot two and can be pushed around in the paint. He can be a game changer down the road if he is dedicated to working on his post game and bulking up.
30. Phoenix Suns- SF Reggie Bullock
Phoenix struggled in many areas last season. They were third to last in three-point percentage at 33 percent. Bullock is one of the best shooters in the draft and doesn’t shy away from shooting. He’ll never be a star in the NBA, but he’ll be a solid player that can be counted on to score whether if he’s starting or coming off the bench.
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