HoopStuff 2013 NBA Mock Draft
By Brandon Hartman: HoopStuff Senior Writer
1. Orlando Magic: Nerlens Noel- C – Kentucky
– How can Orlando finally get over Dwight? Draft another freakishly athletic shot stuffer and watch him develop into one of the league’s best defenders. His work ethic and attitude all ready put Dwight to shame, making him a perfect fit for a franchise in need of a dedicated star. Plus, he has much cooler hair than Dwight.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore- SG -Kansas
-Charlotte needs a jolt to wake up the franchise and McLemore can bring the electricity. A dangerously quick athlete, McLemore has the ability to run the court and find his open looks. He would be a great partner for Kemba Walker and would help take the pressure off of an over worked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter- SF -Georgetown
-Mr. Solid. That would be the perfect nickname for Porter as he seems solid at all parts of his game. Good shooter, great work ethic, can carry the load, great defender, and elite athlete are all traits of Porter’s game. He gives Kyrie Irving and new coach Mike Brown another piece to work with.
4. Phoenix Suns: Trey Burke- PG- Michigan
-For the Suns to ever get better they need to stem the blood flow from the gaping wound that Steve Nash left behind. Trey Burke can be the gutsy leader and natural point guard that this team needs to move on from the Nash era. His ability to play mistake free, combined with a great court vision and shot, is exactly what this team needs.
5. New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Bennett- PF- UNLV
-Grabbing two great athletes in back to back drafts can never be a bad thing. The Pelicans will be thrilled if Bennett falls to them and can pair him with the Great Unibrow himself, Anthony Davis, to essentially create an elite frontcourt for years to come. He might be a bit undersized but his explosiveness is just too tempting to pass up on.
6. Sacramento Kings: Shabazz Muhammad- SF- UCLA
-The Kings have had a lot to deal with these last few months but would do well to take Shabazz if he falls to them. His strength is NBA ready and will allow him to create needed separation to get his shot off and boy does he like to shoot. The skill set is all ready in place to average big numbers and lead his team in scoring from the start. He will need to develop his defense to be truly great though.
7. Detroit Pistons: Victor Oladipo- SG- Indiana
– Detroit needs grit. The kind of grit that Brandon Knight showed when trying in vain to block DeAndre Jordan…well maybe not that much grit. Oladipo brings the speed and energy that Detroit craves. He has the tools to develop into one of the best lock down defenders in the league. His potential and athleticism makes him a must pick in the first round.
8. Washington Wizards: Alex Len- C- Maryland
– More of an upside than Cody Zeller and is from around the DC area. The Wizards can add another piece for the future with Len. He has a chance to learn the trade from both Nene and Emeka Okafor, and will have a chance to develop by playing behind them for a few years. Everyone’s favorite player to compare him to is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, which would not be a bad thing for the Wiz.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum- SG- Lehigh
-Minnesota must be hoping that this will be their last consecutive time in the lottery. Adding McCollum to a core of Rubio, Love, and Williams might be what it takes. His speed and scoring would be the perfect complement to Rubio’s court vision.
10. Portland Trailblazers: Cody Zeller- C- Indiana
-The possible loss of JJ Hickson to free agency will hurt but the Blazers might find a replacement in Zeller. His quickness for his size is uncanny and could lead him to being paired with Lamarcus Aldridge. He would have to bulk up to make that pairing work though.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Kelly Olynyk- C- Gonzaga
-Don’t stop trying to find a franchise center Philly! Bynum might have been a bust but Kelly Olynyk might at least get on the court. Olynyk was a very polished player in college and only time will tell if that will translate into the NBA.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (From Toronto): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- SG- Georgia
-Getting this pick from Toronto might just be a stroke of genius as it allows them to try and do what they do best: develop superstars from the draft. Caldwell-Pope might be the lethal shooter off the bench that the Thunder has lacked since the departure of James Harden.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric- SF- Croatia
-Mark Cuban loves to take chances and Saric is the ultimate unknown of this year’s draft, making them a perfect match for each other. He is known for being both a great scorer and passer and Cuban might see Saric as a future replacement for his other European star, Dirk Nowitzki.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams- PG- Syracuse
– The Jazz have been searching for their franchise point guard for years now so they might as well take a chance on Carter-Williams. A great basketball IQ makes him the perfect distributor that the Jazz need to get the ball in low to their big men.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Gorgui Dieng- C- Louisville
-As long as the Bucks can keep either Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings, they can finally upgrade their center position. We have known for a while that Samuel Dalembert is not the long term answer and the athletic Dieng might just be that.
16. Boston Celtics: Mason Plumlee- C- Duke
-The aging Celtics will need a dash of youth added to the mix, which the explosive Plumlee could provide. He is an excellent shot blocker and rebounder who is mobile enough to get up and down the court and battle with the bigs of the league.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Jamaal Franklin- SG- San Diego State
-With back to back picks, Atlanta could really do some damage in this draft. Franklin is a player who excels in causing damage. His explosiveness and athleticism makes him great at slashing to the basket and drawing fouls.
18. Atlanta Hawks (From Houston): Jeff Withey- C- Kansas
-Atlanta can address the back court with one pick and the front court with the next. Withey provides a strong presence around the basket and has a lot of raw potential that can be developed while playing behind Al Horford.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (From LAL): Allen Crabbe- SG- California
-Crabbe would provide instant offense coming off the Cavaliers bench. He has a great release from both mid and long range and his scrappiness is a quality of his that is underrated.
20. Chicago Bulls: Steven Adams- C- Pittsburgh
-The Bulls are in need of help on the inside which Adams could provide. Adams is a powerful rebounder with excellent hands and would fill a need as the backup to Joakim Noah.
21. Utah Jazz (From GSW): Rudy Gobert- PF- France
-Gobert is the big body that Utah needs if they do part ways with Al Jefferson. The intangibles are there, 7-1” with a huge wingspan and explosive leap, that could make Gobert a steal this late in the draft.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Adreian Payne- PF- Michigan State
-Payne is a tough and gritty player who has a decent touch on his shot. His strength on the boards would give the Nets more power on the inside.
23. Indiana Pacers: Shane Larkin- PG- Miami
-The Pacers are a couple of pieces away from being a complete superpower in the East. Larkin brings a lot of potential with his distribution and court awareness that would greatly benefit the Pacers. He would be George Hill’s back up from day one.
24. New York Knicks: Isaiah Austin- PF- Baylor
– Austin might just be a steal this low in the draft only for the reason that we didn’t get to see him in the NCAA Tournament. The numbers he put up in the NIT would have solidified his spot as a lottery pick. Only time will tell if the lottery teams missed out on him.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Pierre Jackson- PG- Baylor
-Another star for the NIT champions, Jackson is the kind of athlete that would fit perfectly in lob city. You can’t help but be reminded of Nate Robinson as you watch the 5-10” speedster explode down the court. He would give a jolt to the offense when Chris Paul needs a rest.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Memphis): Tony Mitchell- SF- North Texas
-Mitchell is an athletic rebounder with a whole lot of potential. Not having the greatest of opportunities to showcase his talents at North Texas, Mitchell might just be worth a shot for the T-Wolves with this late pick.
27. Denver Nuggets: Archie Goodwin- SG- Kentucky
-Goodwin would be a good fit for the Nuggets. He would provide a kick off the bench and would have the chance to develop under Iguodala.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Glen Rice Jr. – SG- NBDL
-Rice has been on fire lately in the D-League and has made enough noise for scouts to take notice. The locker room presence of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker would keep Rice out of trouble, making this a great landing spot for him.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Deshaun Thomas- PF- Ohio State
-Would put up big numbers off the bench for OKC. He would make a great one-two punch with Ibaka at power forward.
30. Phoenix Suns: Tim Hardaway Jr. – SG- Michigan
-Pairing Hardaway Jr. with Michigan teammate Trey Burke in Phoenix just had to happen in this mock draft. He supplies some more scoring for a team that has lacked in that category.