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 luck out with the first pick of this year’s draft. To top it all off there are budding rumors that the King himself will return to Cleveland after 2014, 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 all ready in a Cavaliers jersey.
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, sorry the Hornets now, have been let down by the lottery. This position won’t hurt them to 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 a great court vision and shot, is exactly what this team needs. The Suns would be in a great position if Burke slid to them at 4, which could very well happen considering the other teams have other needs to fill besides point guard.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len- C- Maryland
– Grabbing two great big men in back to back drafts can never be a bad thing. Alex Len’s stock has been rising faster than any other player recently, even putting him in the conversation for going first overall. The Pelicans grabbed Anthony Davis to play power forward in last year’s draft and drafting a physical freak like Len at center could give them a potentially dominant frontcourt.
7. Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo- SG- Indiana
-Sacramento needs stability. The city has been through a lot with the whole location process and now that it is settled, Oladipo would be the perfect gift to the fans. His athleticism and defensive awareness already would put him in the running as one of the league’s best defenders and with Sacramento, he would have time to develop his offensive game. He is an unselfish player and Sacramento needs more of that.
8. Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum- SG- Lehigh
-Detroit as 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 Rubio’s Knight and would help take the burden off of Monroe. This is a risky pick but the 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 snap up the talented Zeller. His quickness for his size is uncanny and he would be a great lineup filler. 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: Shabazz Muhammad- SF- UCLA
-At one point in time, Muhammad was a potential number one pick. One subpar overall season of college ball later and here he is just making the top ten. The one thing you can’t question about Shabazz is his offensive skill sets and scoring ability, that are just waiting to be unleashed in the NBA. A few years of maturity and Muhammad might be a major steal in this draft. At the worst, the Trailblazers would get much needed scoring off of the bench, which would not be a bad thing.
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 has lacked since the departure of James Harden. More depth in the backcourt is a need of the Thunder and 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 in 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.
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 front court pairing with Jeff Teague in the future.
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. 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 a quality of his that is underrated. 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 back up 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 biggest reward.
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 that would greatly benefit the Pacers. He would be D.J Augustine’s back up from day one and a fan favorite.
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: Glen Rice Jr. – SG- No team/Kicked off Georgia Tech
– A few seasons of development in the NBA might transform Rice Jr. into a starter at shooting guard that the Clippers could use. They need a long-term starter and Rice could become that for them, but for now provide needed scoring off of the bench for the Clips.
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 all ready has great chemistry.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Pierre Jackson- PG- Baylor
– You can’t help but be reminded of Nate Robinson as you watch the 5-10” speedster explode down the court. He would be another offensive weapon off of the bench and a valuable rotation player for the Spurs.
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. He would definitely be an interesting selection this late in the 1st round for the Thunder.
30. Phoenix Suns: Rudy Gobert- PF- France
– Gobert is the big body that Phoenix could use and develop as an apprentice to Louis Scola. The intangibles are there, 7-1” with a huge wingspan and explosive leap, that could make Gobert a steal with the last pick in the draft.