The 2013 NBA Draft is a little more than ten hours away. The Memphis Grizzlies don’t have a first round pick, but they have been rumored to have interest in trading into the first round. (SPOILER ALERT WE’RE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS MOCK DRAFT)
In the meanwhile, 24 other teams do have a first round pick. For 30 players, their name will be called by David Stern as they learn where they will begin their career in the NBA. So, without further ado, here’s the Beale Street Bears 2013 NBA mock draft!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
From Otto Porter to Victor Oladipo to Alex Len, the Cavs have seemed to be linked to just about every conceivable player with the first pick. Don’t fall for it–even with the ACL injury, Nerlens Noel is easily the best prospect in this draft class. He could offer the game-changing shot-blocking the Cavaliers are missing, and he might just be their center of the future.
2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana
Most of us know Oladipo as the kid who came out of nowhere and made his way to first team All-American honors. He’s a very exciting player, and between his athleticism, his energy, and his perimeter defense, there’s plenty to like. Orlando is simply gathering assets, and Oladipo might be one of the best in the draft after Noel.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, F, Georgetown
An extremely talented do-it-all forward, Otto Porter can defend, make plays, and spread the floor. Washington has John Wall and Bradley Beal, two very bright young talents, and Porter is exactly the caliber of supporting player the Wizards could use to continue to turn their franchise around.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Alex Len could really go anywhere in the first half of the lottery. The stress fracture in his foot is worrisome, especially since it has to support a 7’1″, 255 lbs frame. That said, Len’s size comes with proportional potential, and he has great offensive touch. Charlotte is in dire need of good players, and I suspect they’d be thrilled to see Len available.
5. Phoenix Suns: Ben McLemore, G, Kansas
The Ray Allen comparisons might be unfair to Ben McLemore, but he’s certainly a very good prospect. His upside as a catch-and-shoot player is appealing, and he’s a terrific defender as well. Phoenix will gladly take on an asset like him in their rebuilding efforts.
6. New Orleans Hornets: Trey Burke, G, Michigan
The winner of the Naismith Trophy last year, Trey Burke is truly a dynamic offensive player. He can create for himself and he can create for others. The Hornets reportedly covet Burke, and would be willing to draft him even with Grievis Vasquez already on the roster.
7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV
6’7″, 240 lbs, and born in Toronto, Ontario, Anthony Bennett is a very interesting prospect. He bangs down low, and matches that with surprisingly nice touch from close to the rim all the way out to the three-point line. Who knows if DeMarcus Cousins will stick in Sactown, but Bennett will help the Kings up front with or without Cousins.
8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse
Michael Carter-Williams is a 6’6″ point guard, which is plenty interesting on its own. His playmaking talent is noticeable immediately and he makes the right pass well, whether subtle or flashy. The Pistons shifted Brandon Knight to shooting guard this season, and MCW would join a bright young Pistons core of Knight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, Georgia
Minnesota needs three-point shooting desperately, and have been searching for a shooting guard for a long time. Enter shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and his very nice stroke from deep. He fulfills all of their needs, and unsurprisingly, word is the Wolves are interested.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
C.J. McCollum is essentially the second coming of Damian Lillard: a point guard armed with an incredibly deadly jumpshot. The Portland Trail Blazers are desperate for bench depth, and McCollum could be a nice player to have waiting to check in.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, F/C, Indiana
Andrew Bynum didn’t pan out for the Sixers, but perhaps the offensively talented Zeller can to replace him. He compliments a polished low-post game with a nice mid-range jumper, and was projected to be in the mix for the first pick before the season.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Steven Adams is very raw, but the defensive potential is easy to fall in love with. Oklahoma City, having the luxury of time, can draft Adams and stash him for the future as they continue to roll with their current group.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Schroeder, G, Germany
The speedy point guard Schroeder can easily be stashed overseas to develop, meaning he won’t count against the salary cap as Dallas chases Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in free agency. Long-term, he could be the point guard that Darren Collison failed to be this season for the Mavs.
14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, G, Miami
Another point guard, Larkin is a little undersized but Utah will gladly draft him to fill their need at the position. He’s a dangerous scorer and a decent passer, and his pick-and-roll talent fits nicely with the Jazz’s young bigs, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shabazz Muhammad, G/F, UCLA
The controversy is strong with Shabazz, but I’ll leave all of that drama for now. Just know that he’s one of the best pure scorers in the draft, if nothing else, and he can help the Bucks replace the scoring of free agents Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
16. Boston Celtics: Kelly Olynyk, F/C, Gonzaga
As was the case with Jared Sullinger last year, the Celts will be there to stop the slide. Kelly Olynyk could go about five picks earlier, but Boston will gladly make him and his inside-outside scoring another offensive weapon for Rajon Rondo.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
Mason Plumlee is a fundamentally sound, if unspectacular, center who scores, defends, and rebounds well. With Josh Smith likely to depart Atlanta in free agency, Plumlee is ready to step in and join the Hawks’ platoon of bigs.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Sergey Karasev, G/F, Russia
Though only 19 years old, Karasev is already well into his development as a player. He’s very skilled offensively, with a nice jumpshot, slashing ability, and intelligent passing. Atlanta can draft and develop him to be part of their future.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Reggie Bullock, G/F, North Carolina
The Cavs reportedly like Karasev, but if they can’t get him as their small forward of the future, they’ll gladly take Bullock. Bullock’s three-point shooting is top-notch and he nicely rounds out the group of prospects the Cavs have amassed.
20. Chicago Bulls: Giannis Adetokunbo, F, Greece
The 18 year old Adetokunbo has a long way to go in his development, but his length is incredible and he shows great upside as a complete basketball player (i.e. Nicolas Batum). The Bulls, with no immediate needs, can simply develop him overseas.
21. Utah Jazz: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are likely to be let go through free agency by Utah, who has Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter ready to replace them. They could draft the seasoned Gorgui Dieng, a skilled shotblocker with a nicely developing offensive game, to replace Favors and Kanter on the bench.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil
Nogueira is very much a project center, but his 7’5″ wingspan combined with his agility lends itself to exciting defensive and rebounding potential. Classic draft and stash for the Nets, who will likely look to make trades or signings for their needs.
23. Indiana Pacers: Rudy Gobert, C, France
Get this: Rudy Gobert has a 7’8″ wingspan and a 9’7″ standing reach–freakish. That said, Gobert is already 21, yet still has much developing to do. Indiana will likely take a “best player available” approach into the draft, however, and Gobert is easily the most interesting option.
24. New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Michigan
Consistency is still a concern in his jumper, but Hardaway can spread the floor and defend well as a “3-and-D” player. The Knicks don’t have many needs, but with Jason Kidd and possibly J.R. Smith gone, they can draft and develop an off-guard in Hardaway.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Allen Crabbe, G, California
Crabbe is first and foremost an excellent shooter, and also a passable defender. Provided Chris Paul returns to Clipperland (likely, with Doc Rivers now in the fold), Crabbe is exactly the type of role player you’d like to support him with.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tony Mitchell, F, North Texas
Tony Mitchell’s physical profile is very impressive and he takes advantage of them around the basket on both ends, scoring around the basket well while blocking shots and rebounding. He regressed last season, but Minnesota might be willing to replace Derrick Williams, a constant subject of trade rumors and a very similar player, with Mitchell.
27. Denver Nuggets: Tony Snell, G/F, New Mexico
Snell is another “3-and-D” player–there are noticeably more of them at this stage in the draft. He has smooth shooting stroke and takes advantage of his intriguing length defensively, and Denver will happily add him to their deep roster.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Jamaal Franklin, G/F, San Diego State
Jamaal Franklin has a very complete game, able to do a little bit of just about everything. He’s the perfect type of role player for San Antonio to develop and perfect, à la Kawhi Leonard.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Erick Green, G, Virginia Tech
Green improved drastically last season, and made a name for himself as a scorer. The Thunder’s lack of shot-creators proved itself when Russell Westbrook went down in the playoffs, and with Kevin Martin possibly gone through free agency, Green could appeal to the Thunder.
30. Phoenix Suns: Glen Rice Jr., G/F, Rio Grande Valley
The Suns will draft the best available player here in their search of assets, and there’s a wide list of players for whom it could be. Glen Rice may be that guy. He’s a perimeter scorer capable of creating his own shot, and I imagine the Suns would be glad to have one of those.