HoopStuff 2013 NBA Mock Draft
By Brandon Hartman: HoopStuff Senior Writer
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel- C – Kentucky
– Cleveland, I’m starting to think you wanted Lebron to leave you. First came Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, then Dion Waiters and now you will once again have the first pick of the draft. To top it all off, there are budding rumors that the King himself will return to Cleveland after 2014 and a better and more mature version of Lebron at that. Noel would be the freakishly athletic shot stuffing center that would be the perfect complement to the players already in Cleveland.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore- SG -Kansas
-Orlando 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 is a great piece to start the rebuild. Orlando has a good amount of money at their disposal, so this will be an interesting and crucial off season for the franchise.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter- SF -Georgetown
-Mr. Solid. That would be the perfect nickname for Porter as he seems to be solid at all parts of his game. Good shooter, great work ethic, can carry the load, great defender and an elite athlete; there is not much wrong with Otto’s game. The Wizards must be thrilled that they can now grab the hometown hero that they always wanted. He slots right into the position that the Wizards wanted to address the most.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett- PF- UNLV
– Charlotte was robbed again! For the second year in a row the Bobcats (Hornets), have been let down by the lottery. This position won’t hurt them too bad because it still gives them the opportunity to address their lack of quality big men. Bennett has a ton of upside and would be a safer pick then the other highly rated big man, Alex Len.
5. 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 great court vision and shooting is exactly what this team needs. The Suns would be in a great position if Burke slid to them at 5, which could very well happen, considering the other teams ahead of them have other needs to fill besides point guard.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Victor Oladipo- SG- Indiana – Grabbing two great athletes in back to back drafts can never be a bad thing. Oladipo would be a great fit in New Orleans, where he would be given a huge role on both offense and defense. He can both jolt an offense forward with a burst of speed and then become a one-man road block on defense with his hustle and athleticism. He has the tools to develop into one of the best lock down defenders in the league. At this point in the draft, Oladipo is the safest selection for New Orleans.
7. Sacramento Kings: Shabazz Muhammad- SF- UCLA -Sacramento needs stability. The city has been through a lot to keep from shipping the franchise off to Seattle and Shabazz would be the perfect gift to the fans. His potential and athleticism makes him a must pick in the top ten, and is excellent value here as the seventh pick. 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 already in place to average big numbers and lead his team in scoring from the start. He will need to develop his defense and learn to pass, but he has a chance to be a star one day, despite his current weaknesses.
8. Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum- SG- Lehigh
-Detroit has managed to fill the two most important positions on the court, point guard and center, with great players in Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe. Adding McCollum would check off a scoring two-guard from their remaining needs. His speed and scoring would be the perfect complement to Knight and would help take the scoring burden off of Monroe. This is a risky pick, but his big upside will be enough to persuade Detroit to take a shot.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cody Zeller- C- Indiana
– Even if they manage to bring back Nikola Pekovic at center, the T-Wolves would be wise to draft the talented Zeller. His quickness for his size is uncanny and he would be a great fit in the rotation. He would have to bulk up to be a true center, but his ability to play at power forward would give him the opportunity to see playing times at both positions.
10. Portland Trailblazers: Alex Len- C- Maryland
-The possible loss of JJ Hickson to free agency will hurt, but the Blazers might find a quick replacement in Len. His skill set and size might just give him the best upside of any player in the draft, but at this point he is only a potential contributor to an NBA lineup to start his career. He would be a great player to be paired with LaMarcus Aldridge upfront, once ready to be a starting center in the NBA.
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. He would be in a position to get quality minutes early in his career for the Sixers and his controlled finishing around the rim would certainly make him a fan favorite for the notably harsh Philly fans.
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 have lacked since the departure of James Harden. More depth in the Thunder’s backcourt is a needed and it would be addressed with this pick.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric- SF- Croatia
-Mark Cuban loves to take chances and Saric is an unknown in 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 the Croatian 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 down low to their big men. The impending loss of Mo Williams will give Carter-Williams a great chance to develop right away as a key role player and possible starter.
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. The Bucks would have to take the big man if he fell this low.
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. He is a high energy player that might just find a place in this league for years to come.
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. He might make a great backcourt pairing with Jeff Teague in the future.
18. Atlanta Hawks (From Houston): Jeff Withey- C- Kansas
-Atlanta can address the backcourt with one pick and the frontcourt 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. He would be a solid pick for the Hawks this low.
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 an underrated quality of Crabbe. He would be another tool in the shed for the Cavaliers to develop and use later on.
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. His grit and strength is the perfect match for the battling Bulls.
21. Utah Jazz (From GSW): Giannis Antetokounmpo-SF-Greece
– Meet the biggest mystery player in this draft. His incredible intangibles and great performances in Europe have seen him slide up the draft board and could see him go in the top fifteen. A team willing to take the risk might just be the one that comes up with one of the best players 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, court awareness and scoring that would greatly benefit the Pacers. He would be George Hill’s back up from day one and become an instant fan favorite.
24. New York Knicks: Isaiah Austin- PF- Baylor
– Austin might just be a steal this low in the draft. The numbers he put up in the NIT would have solidified his spot as a lottery pick,
if those games were actually in the big tournament. Only time will tell if the lottery teams missed out on him.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Pierre Jackson- PG- Baylor
-Another star from 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 and play for a team that already has great chemistry.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Glen Rice Jr. – SG- Developmental League/Kicked Out of Georgia Tech
-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. Would have been a high draft pick if he had stayed in school, but he is an excellent prospect.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Deshaun Thomas- PF- Ohio State
– Thomas would put up big numbers off the bench for OKC, as he is an excellent offensive player, which is a big need, which makes this a solid pick.
30. Phoenix Suns: Rudy Gobert- PF- France
– Gobert is the big body that Phoenix could use and develop as an apprentice to Luis Scola. His measurements are top notch, as he is 7’1,” with a huge wingspan, which could make Gobert a steal with the last pick in the draft.