The Runner Sports

2013 NBA First Round Mock Draft

*Last Edited 6-25-13, 9:10 PM*

The NBA draft is coming up fast! June 27th is the big day and there could possibly be many surprises as there are every year. Teams are being pretty tight lipped about who they want, with very little coming out about who will go where. Here I will give you another mock to speculate, starting at pick number one.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky, FR.

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Measurements: 7’0, 206 pounds, 7’4 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.9 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.4 BPG, 59% shooting.

Noel needs to add weight, strength, and a midrange game, but he fits perfectly here for the Cavs. The 7 footer tore his ACL during the regular season in his freshman year at Kentucky, so he will not be cleared to play right away in the NBA. Even when he is cleared, it will be a long process to get him into game-ready shape and adjusted to the NBA. A player like Alex Len has similar upside and can play right away, so why wouldn’t they grab him instead? Well, it may actually be more beneficial for them to wait for Noel and lose some more this season. Why? The Cavs have needed a small forward since LeBron left, and the 2014 NBA draft will see players like Andrew Wiggins, Glenn Robinson III, Julius Randle and possibly Jabari Parker coming out. Any one would fit well for the Cavs, and are expected to be lottery picks. Noel gives Cleveland the most long term upside as an athletic shot blocker, and the chance to grab a dynamic 3 next year.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 9.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 54% shooting.

 

2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana, JR.

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Measurements: 6’4, 213 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 28.4 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.2 SPG, 60% shooting.

Oladipo flew up draft boards thanks to an impressive junior campaign. If you had told me before the year started that an Indiana player would be going in the top two picks, and it wasn’t Cody Zeller, I would say you’re crazy. If you had told me at the end of the season that a shooting guard would go number two, and it wasn’t Ben McLemore, I’d say you’re crazy. However, Zeller exposed his weaknesses by staying in college for another year, and McLemore has been rather unimpressive in workouts. Both of these have worked for Oladipo, who sports a 42″ vertical. The kid can flat out fly, and he has the potential to continue developing for the Magic. The Magic will be trying to swing a trade to bring Eric Bledsoe to Orlando, which will include sending Arron Afflalo to the Clippers. Having Bledsoe and Oladipo would make for an explosive backcourt, and a starting five of Bledsoe, Oladipo, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, and Nikola Vucevic sounds very solid. Oladipo and company would be able to make Orlando forget about the Dwight Howard era pretty quickly.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics:  14.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 48% shooting.

 

3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown, SO.

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Measurements: 6’9, 198 pounds, 7’2 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 35.4 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 48% shooting.

Washington seems to be pretty high on Porter, and could use a small forward that can do it all. Porter may not end up as a go-to scorer in NBA, but he’s a great defender, a solid passer, and a good ball handler. The lengthy forward needs to add more weight and exert more effort more often, but he’s everything Washington needs to compliment the combination of John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt. Porter has a deadly midrange game, can create his own shot, and has NBA three point range. He hit 42% of his threes last year after hitting 23% in his freshman year, which means he still has even more room to improve. If Porter hits the weight room and continues to improve his game, he could help turn the Wizards into a contending team within a few years.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 11.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 45% shooting.

 

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV, FR.

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Measurements: 6’8, 240 pounds, 7’1 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 27.1 MPG, 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 53% shooting.

Charlotte never really says where they’re going, but they like to draft based on potential, and that points to Anthony Bennett. The undersized four is capable in the pick and pop game and has tremendous finishing ability. He can grab rebounds, and with his length and athleticism can become a very good defender. He needs to improve his post game, but he’s powerful and strong, making him able to bully his way in the post against weaker defenders when possibly playing the 3. Speaking of 3, Bennett can hit from deep with some consistency. The leaper hit 38% of his threes in college, and has the potential to hit the NBA three with consistency. The Bobcats have a pretty big weakness in the front court, and pairing Bennett with Bismack Biyombo would give the Bobcats a young front court with the potential to develop into very dynamic duo.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 13.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, .7 BPG, 50% shooting.

 

5. Phoenix Suns: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas, FR.

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Measurements: 6’5, 189 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 32.2 MPG, 15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2 APG, 50% shooting.

McLemore was, at one point in time, my favorite for the number one pick. But that was when I believed Orlando would be picking number one, before the lottery balls bounced in Cleveland’s favor, and before McLemore started struggling in workouts. However, just because he is struggling does not mean he isn’t worth this pick. The shooting guard sports a 42″ vertical, and shot 42% from three while taking 4.7 threes a game. His sweet stroke will make defenders play up on him in the NBA, and his athleticism will allow him to blow by defenders if he develops his handles more. He poses a big problem on both ends of the floor, as his quickness really allows him to stay in front of people. McLemore should easily become the Suns’ go to scorer, and he will fill the hole at shooting guard. Pairing the electric McLemore with Goran Dragic will give Phoenix a much better backcourt than they’re used to having.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 16 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 47% shooting.

 

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, C, Maryland, SO.

Alex-Len

Measurements: 7’1, 225 pounds, 7’4 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 26.4 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 53% shooting.

Alex Len has been shooting up draft boards purely based on potential. There have been rumors of him going number one overall to the Cavs, but I see him going to New Orleans here. He’s a perfect fit to pair with Anthony Davis in the front court, as both are good shot blockers and rebounders, and Len’s skilled post and perimeter game compliment Davis’ perimeter game and high flying dunks. Like Davis, Len needs to add strength to reach his potential. The former gymnast has the ability to become a true center, which is very valuable in a league with less and less traditional big men. The Pelicans could also go with a point guard like Trey Burke here, but Greivis Vasquez has been solid, and Austin Rivers could still transition to the point eventually. New Orleans is another team built on potential, as they have Davis, Rivers, and Al-Farouq Aminu all developing, and potentially becoming very good pros. With Alex Len in the fold, and a possible healthy Eric Gordon (if he stays on this team) the Pelicans could have a starting five of Rivers, Gordon, Aminu, Davis, and Len in a few years. If every player improves like they should, that could be scary.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 6.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1 BPG, 54% shooting.

 

7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan, SO.

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Measurements: 6’1, 187 pounds, 6’6 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 35.3 MPG, 18.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46% shooting.

The Kings have needed a point guard for years, and Isaiah Thomas isn’t the long term answer as a starter, though he has played fairly well. Sacramento needs a pure point guard. They need a guy who can come in and actually run an offense while setting up all of the scorers on the roster. Burke sees the floor as well as any player coming out this year, and is the physical leader the Kings need as their floor general. Another option here is Michael Carter-Williams, but the last time the Kings drafted a 6’6 point guard it didn’t work out like they hoped. The Kings didn’t have a player average over four assists last year, so while Burke is capable of scoring, and has a great shot off the dribble, he will be placed in more of a distributing role. Burke will be fine with this, because he is a competitor and simply wants to win. Though Thomas has done admirably in his role, the starting point guard spot should be Burke’s from the start.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 13.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, 2 RPG, 44% shooting.

 

8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse, SO.

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Measurements: 6’6, 184 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 35.2 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 2.8 SPG, 39% shooting.

Detroit needs a pure point guard as well, and when Carter-Williams is on, he’s one of the best floor generals in this class. He has a 41″ vertical, can create his own shot, he hits floaters down the lane, has range to the three point lane, and is scary when he’s hitting. But that’s only when he’s on his game, and his inconsistency hurts him. As seen above, he only shot 39% from the field, which is unacceptable from a 6’6 point guard expected to be the leader of an offense. He still has great vision and handles, but can be turnover prone when he gets frustrated. Despite his offensive flaws, he is still a weapon penetrating defenses off the dribble and setting up teammates. He is also a big defensive weapon, using his length to strip opposing players of the ball and to play passing lanes. He fits with Detroit because of Brandon Knight, who will be playing shooting guard going forward, is a bit undersized. Teams traditionally like a bigger wing to pair with their smaller point guard; Detroit would just be flipping the idea. Knight can always guard the primary ball handler on defense with Carter-Williams on the 2-guard. Either way, if Carter-Williams improves his consistency, he can become a big weapon in the NBA.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 6.8 PPG, 4.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 41% shooting.

 

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia, SO.

Measurements: 6’6, 204 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 33.9 MPG, 18.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 43% shooting.

The Timberwolves seem to like Caldwell-Pope a lot. Flip Saunders likes him a lot, and he would fill the role of 3-point shooter on the team. Caldwell-Pope hit 37% of his threes this past season while taking an eye popping 7 threes a game. He was the go to scorer in Georgia, and he would be the main perimeter guy for Minnesota. Caldwell-Pope still needs a midrange game, and to improve his handle, plus he relies too heavily on his three point shooting, but he has a quick stroke that can do a lot of good for the Timberwolves going forward. Caldwell-Pope is an outstanding defender as well. He has quickness, and a long wingspan to keep opposing players in front of him. Playing next to Ricky Rubio to set him up would make Caldwell-Pope an even more dangerous weapon.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 13.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 44% shooting.

 

10. Portland Trailblazers: C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh, SR.

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Measurements: 6’3, 197 pounds, 6’6 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31 MPG, 23.9 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 50% shooting.

Portland already has the point locked down with Damian Lillard in the picture, but they need a scoring wing to complement him. McCollum is undersized, but the 6’3 guard has a 38.5″ vertical, and is more of a two guard in a point guard’s body. He broke his foot this year early in the season, but has proven to be an elite scorer through four years in college, only averaging under 20 PPG in his freshman year (19.1). He also was hitting on 52% of his threes during his senior season, and if he can carry that into the NBA, he will be a very good pro player. Defensively, McCollum uses his quickness and length to rack up steals, and is great at creating transition opportunities as well as running the break. McCollum will provide shooting from deep for Portland, and they showed with Lillard that small school kids can transition to the NBA.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 46% shooting.

 

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana, SO.

Measurements: 7′, 230 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 29.5 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 56% shooting.

What a difference a year makes. Had Zeller come out last year, he most likely would have been a top three pick. The big man shot 62% from the field and won scouts’ hearts. However, Zeller wanted to finish his degree (which he would have completed next year) and came back for his sophomore year. His sophomore year saw his lack of physicality exposed, and his struggle with bigger men. As a result, he dropped down in the draft, but only to pick 11. Zeller needs to add weight, but his skill, athleticism, and finesse is undeniable. He has a vertical of 37.5″, and continually showed his touch around the rim. Zeller is smart, and a hard worker. He will hit the gym a lot to add on the pounds, and he would give Philly the big man they really need. If he works hard to become stronger, he could be in the running for Rookie of the Year.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 12.4 PPG, 7 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 56% shooting.

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh, FR.

Measurements: 7′, 255 pounds, 7’5 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 23.4 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2 BPG, 57% shooting.

OKC needs to find an eventual answer at the center position, and Adams has a ton of potential. He’s long, athletic, and can rebound well. He reminds me of Tyson Chandler when he was just coming out. His game has a long way to go, but he can contribute on defense immediately, and finish easy baskets at the hoop. He’s truly hit or miss, and could very easily flame out of the league and be a wasted pick; but the potential is great enough to justify this pick, and the Thunder already have a pretty complete roster. If Adams realizes his potential, and turns into the star NBA center he could be with a refined offensive game, this will be another example of the Thunder winning in the NBA draft.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 3.3 PPG, 2 RPG, .8 BPG, 53% shooting.

 

13. Dallas Mavericks: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA, FR.

Measurements: 6’6, 222 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 30.8 MPG, 17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, .8 APG, 44% shooting.

Muhammed’s draft stock has been slowly falling since he entered college. A lot of his flaws, like the inability to go right while driving, were exposed as the focal point of UCLA’s attack. It was also found out that he is 20 years old instead of 19, but he still averaged a hair under 18 PPG, and hit on 38% of his threes. With Muhammed’s ability to score, he can take some pressure off of Dirk Nowitzki, and Dirk’s interior presence will help the small forward’s game. Muhammed has the potential to be a star in the NBA, and if he develops well enough, he could be a key building block for Dallas going forward. 

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 14.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 46% shooting.

 

14. Utah Jazz: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke, SR.

Measurements: 7′, 238 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 34.7 MPG, 17.1 PPG, 10 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 60% shooting.

Not a lot of scouts are as high on Mason Plumlee as I am, as they think he has a low ceiling. However, I believe the athletic 7 footer has a lot of potential he can still realize. Plumlee was never the focal point at Duke, but he always did exactly what he was asked. He scored with his athleticism, and solid midrange game. However, he is a hard worker, and will be working on refining his low post game in the NBA. Plumlee also has confidence, and is NBA ready after playing four years at the college level. The Jazz will be losing some key big men, and could use a rotational piece that can contribute immediately. Plumlee fits that bill, and will bring energy off the bench.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 6.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, .5 BPG, 57% shooting.


15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami, SO.

Measurements: 6′, 171 pounds, 5’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 36.4 MPG, 14.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 2 SPG, 48% shooting.

Larkin electrified the nation all season, leading a very good Miami team with his energy and talent. While he’s small, and his wingspan doesn’t do him any good, the point guard measured out to have a 44″ vertical, which is insane. He also showed his quickness throughout the season and during the combine. He’s aggressive, quick, and a tough floor general. He hit 41% of his threes this year as well, so he would provide Milwaukee with a more consistent threat at point guard than Brandon Jennings ever was. Larkin is able to play from day one, and play well leading Milwaukee without the drama they’re used to in the backcourt. He will struggle to drive to the hoop and finish due to his size, but his poise and ability to lead an offense will make him a great pick for the Bucks here.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 12.9 PPG, 6.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 45% shooting.

 

16. Boston Celtics: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany, 19 Years Old.

Measurements: 6’2, 165 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 24.7 MPG, 11.6 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.4 RPG, .9 SPG, 42% shooting.

The Celtics will be rebuilding pretty soon, and if they want to try to compete for another year or two, or if they want to start the rebuilding process now, Schroeder would be a great pick here. The biggest thing that jumps off the paper to me is that the quick point guard needs to add a lot of weight. But even without the 20  pounds he needs to add, the point guard is fast, a good penetrator, ball handler, and distributor. His lengthy wingspan can help him become a great defender, and rack up a lot of steals if he’s taught correctly by the Celtics’ current point guard, Rajon Rondo. If the Celtics are looking to compete for another couple years, he will be a solid role player on the team, but if they want to start rebuilding as soon as possible, Schroeder could be a good backup for Rondo, then take over for him if Boston decides to actually trade him away.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 7.5 PPG, 3.8 APG, 1.9 RPG, .6 SPG, 44% shooting.

 

17. Atlanta Hawks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece, 18 Years Old.

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Measurements: 6’9, 215 pounds, 7’3 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 22.5 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1 BPG, 47% shooting.

Antetokounmpo is the player in this draft that no arena announcer wants his team to draft. But teams should be salivating over the young prospect, and it’s very possible he goes off the board even before this. He’s a raw prospect, and has a long way to go before he can compete at the professional level, but if the Hawks are looking to be competitive for a long time, he could possibly be a can’t-miss. The long forward has all of the physical tools to be a great professional player, and that combined with his handle and passing ability for a big man makes him intriguing. He needs to improve his jumper, and the competition he played against was never stellar, but he represents this year’s international prospect with the most potential. It’s possible Atlanta lands both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in free agency, but if not they will probably enter rebuilding mode, and Antetokounmpo could be an amazing centerpiece for that process.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: N/A (Will stay in Europe for at least a couple more years.)

 

18. Atlanta Hawks: Kelly Olynyk, PF, Gonzaga, JR.

Measurements: 7′, 234 pounds, 6’10 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 26.4 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG, 63% shooting.

Olynyk will never be a great shot blocker or rebounder, but he would be playing next to Al Horford, who is a beast on the boards. What the Gonzaga big man does bring is efficient scoring, with the ability to score from everywhere on the court. He shot 63% from the field, and it wasn’t like he was only scoring around the basket. The 7 footer has a pretty jump shot, and has range out to the three point line. He will stretch the floor well in Atlanta, and would give the Hawks two big men capable of hitting mid range shots. If he can build strength, and work on his rebounding, he could turn into a very good NBA player, but for the most part you know what you’re getting from Kelly Olynyk: an efficient, scoring big who will frustrate fans with a lack of defense and toughness.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 8.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, .7 BPG, 54% shooting.

 

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia, 19 Years Old.

Measurements: 31.6 MPG, 6’7, 197 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 17.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2 APG, 43% shooting, 42% 3 point shooting.

After using their first pick on a big man, the Cavs should look to add a shooter here. Karasev can hit from NBA three point range, and hit consistently. He can also slash to the basket, and has a pretty high basketball IQ. He’s a different type of player than Dion Waiters, Cleveland’s starting 2. Though he can get to the hoop like Waiters, his quick stroke makes him a legitimate three point shooting threat. That is good news for a team that finished 23rd in 3 point shooting last season. Karasev could also play some small forward for Cleveland, which is a position of need for them. His vision will also help set up his teammates off of drive and kicks, and he will overall be a solid NBA player with a few years of development.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 7.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 45% shooting, 37% 3 point shooting.

 

20.  Chicago Bulls: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville, JR.

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Measurements: 6’11, 245 pounds, 7’4 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.1 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 53% shooting.

Dieng gained a lot of hype by helping Louisville through March Madness, and playing a pivotal role in helping them to win the National Championship. He brings NBA readiness. He’s already 23 years old, and many scouts say his ceiling is relatively low. He is limited offensively in the post, but he brings a pretty good mid range shot. Defensively, he is very capable of manning the middle of the second unit. He may not have blocked as many shots as Kansas center Jeff Withey, but his solid base and athleticism will make him the better pro. He will hit shots when they’re needed, and swat a shot or two away every game he plays in. While he won’t be a dynamic pro, he can contribute immediately, and is a safe bet to be a solid backup. The Bulls need a better backup center, and Dieng would be able to contribute immediately for the Bulls.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 4.8 PPG, 4 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 51% shooting.

 

21. Utah Jazz: Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State, SR.

Measurements: 6′, 188 pounds, 6’5 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 36.5 MPG, 21.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.5 RPG, 43% shooting.

The Jazz really need a point guard, and they appear to be higher on Canaan than players like Shane Larkin or Dennis Schroeder. That works out because Canaan should definitely be available here. The scoring point guard was the focal point of Murray State’s offense, and though his 3-point shooting fell to 37% this past year, he hit that many while shooting 8.2 threes a game. He shot over 40% every other year in college from deep. He’s an efficient, quick guard with the ability to penetrate the lane, and even though he lacks ideal point guard size, he would be more than capable of running the offense in Utah. Canaan could prove to be NBA ready, and could easily start right away for the Jazz.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 12.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 2.1 RPG, 44% shooting.

 

22. Brooklyn Nets: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State University, JR.

Measurements: 6’5, 191 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 33.1 MPG, 17 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG, 41% shooting.

I love Jamaal Franklin. He’s an athletic, do it all guy, and he truly did it all for SDSU. He was the go to scorer for the Aztecs, he grabbed the most rebounds for them, and was the leading assist man. He didn’t have the best supporting cast in college, and often played out of position, but that should all be fixed in the NBA. Franklin will be a dynamic shooting guard with the ability to play small forward at times thanks to his ridiculous wingspan. He’s also super athletic, sporting a 41″ vertical, and quickness. He plays with a lot of heart and toughness, and can become an incredible defender. The biggest thing with Franklin is that he needs to improve his jump shot. The guy shot 28% from deep this past season, but he’s working on improving that. The Nets are strapped for cash, and if a player like Franklin falls to them here, he will be a big improvement over guys like Jerry Stackhouse and Keith Bogans.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, .9 SPG, 43% shooting.

 

23. Indiana Pacers: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil, 20 Years Old.

Measurements: 7′, 220 pounds, 7’6 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 13.3 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, .3 APG, 1.1 BPG.

Nogueira has only been seen in limited action by scouts, but from what can be seen of him, it’s easy to tell why scouts are so high on him. The big man with a huge wingspan is athletic, can block shots, and can rebound with the best of them. He averaged 3 blocks per 36 minutes in 2012, and aggressively goes after shots in the air as well as boards. He needs to improve offensively, and add weight to keep up with NBA big men, but he has a ton of potential. Indy is looking for a point guard or a big man, and with no point guards really worth this pick, a big with a ton of potential could do a lot for the Pacers going forward. If Nogueira can realize his immense potential as a big man, the Pacers get a huge win here. Even if he doesn’t, he will be a great defensive backup for years to come.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 2.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, .4 APG, .8 BPG.

 

24. New York Knicks: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas, SO.

Measurements: 6’9, 235 pounds, 7’3 Wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 32.4 MPG, 13 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 44% shooting.

What He Brings: Mitchell is a very intriguing prospect. He has lottery level talent that he showcased his freshman year at North Texas. Last season he hit 57 % of his shots and 44% of his threes to score 14.7 PPG along with 10.3 RPG and 3 BPG. He could have been a top 15 pick last year, and many mocks had him there in the 2013 draft before the season started. Unfortunately, due to a coaching change that affected him too much, Mitchell imploded this year. Still, in drills he has been incredibly impressive, and he has a 38″ vertical. He’s small for a power forward, but he has long arms and great athleticism. He can score, he can block shots from the weak side, and he can rebound. His implosion this season, and questions about his resilience have teams apprehensive to pull the trigger on him, but the Knicks are not one of those teams. They need a stretch forward capable of hitting long shots and playing solid weak side defense, and Mitchell is a player they seem to like a lot.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 7.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 48% shooting.

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Ricardo Ledo, SG, Providence, FR.

Measurements: 6’6, 197 pounds, 6’7.25 Wingspan.

2012 Statistics: N/A

Ledo was supposed to be one of the top Freshmen this past season, as he was a dynamic high school scorer. Ledo, however, was ruled ineligible by the NCAA before playing a single college game. Despite never playing in college, Ledo declared for the 2013 draft, and should be available when the Clippers pick. Ledo has a great handle, and very good court vision. He’s capable of playing point guard for periods of time, but will spend most of his time as a 2, considering Chris Paul is sort of the point guard in LA. He’s smart, strong, and can shoot lights out, making him a strong candidate for the steal of the draft. The issues with Ledo are not concerning his talents, rather his experience and off court issues. He has the highest ceiling in the draft at the 2, and if the Clippers develop him well, he could become an All Star. If CP3 remains on the Clippers, and Ledo gets to play next to him, he could have a very good rookie season.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 9.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 43% shooting.

 

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Reggie Bullock, SG, UNC, JR.

Reggie Bullock

Measurements: 6’7, 200 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.4 MPG, 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 48% shooting.

Bullock had a breakout season for UNC after hiding in the shadows for his first two years. The shooting guard did just that, shoot, and did so efficiently. He shot 48% from the field, and 44% from deep, which would make him a welcome addition in Minnesota. The Timberwolves have been searching for a 2 capable of hitting the three for a while, as they don’t really have a sniper on the roster. Bullock can score, and is capable of driving to the basket as well, so he isn’t a one dimensional shooter, like we’re so used to seeing. Paired with Ricky Rubio, who will be dishing him the ball for many open looks, Shabazz Muhammed, Kevin Love, and Nikola Pekovic, Bullock could help make Minnesota’s starting five more than formidable.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 8.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 46% shooting.

 

27. Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF, Michigan, JR.

Measurements: 6’6, 199 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 34.8 MPG, 14.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 44% shooting.

The Nuggets will probably lose Andre Iguodala, and will need an NBA ready wing to take some of his minutes when he’s gone. Hardaway is not the defender Iggy is, but he can be a great shooter and defender on the floor, he just needs to put forth the effort. Hardaway is athletic, maxing out at a 37.5″ vertical, and showing good quickness on the floor. He finishes well around the rim, and is capable of flying high and playing above the rim. Hardaway shot 37% from behind the arc in 2012, shooting a hair over 5 a game. To shoot that well with that many attempts is a great sign. He also shot lights out at the combine. The other important thing is Hardaway’s ability to create his own shot. He needs to improve his handle, but he has the ability to make some offense happen for himself. He settles too often for long, contested jumpers, and really needs to get better at exerting effort at all times on the floor, but he could be a good fit with Denver’s fast paced offense.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 7.3 PPG, 2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 43% shooting.

 

28. San Antonio Spurs: Rudy Gobert, C, France, 20 Years Old.

Measurements: 7’2, 238 pounds, 7’9 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 16.5 MPG, 6.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 77% shooting.

The Spurs need another big man with Tim Duncan at the end of his career, and the 7’2 Gobert would be huge for them to get here. Once considered a lottery prospect, scouts have lost faith in him as they are not sure if he’s truly NBA ready. However, despite the questions, the center can hit the 12 foot mark while jumping, and has an uncanny ability to block and alter shots at the rim. His wingspan is bigger than Roy Hibbert, and if Gobert can stay up and down as well as Hibbert, he could be a huge defensive presence. He needs to add strength, weight, and a post game, but he has a ton of potential, and will be a defensive presence in the NBA for a long time. He can also rebound well, and finish in transition. The Spurs like European players, and Gobert fits that bill.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 3.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1 BPG, 57% shooting.

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico, Jr.

Measurements: 6’7, 198 pounds, 7′ wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.2 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.6 RPG, 42% shooting.

OKC needs to pick up a backup to spell Kevin Durant for periods of time, and Snell is my best available wing at this point. Snell’s collegiate career was marred by inconsistency, but he is long, athletic, and can shoot well from deep. Snell shot 39% from deep last season, and is more than solid off the catch and shoot. Snell has the length to be an incredible defender, using his long arms and quickness to pick up opposing players. If Reggie Jackson continues to develop into a great backup point guard, Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, and Snell could make up part of an exciting, young second unit for the Thunder. Snell’s presence will surely help the Thunder continue their quest for a championship, and will hopefully allow KD some rest throughout the game.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 3.1 PPG, 1.3 APG, .8 RPG, 44% shooting.

 

30. Phoenix Suns: Allen Crabbe, SG/SF, California, JR.

Allen Crabbe, Klay Thompson

Measurements: 6’6, 197 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 36.2 MPG, 18.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 46% shooting.

Crabbe had a hand in his face every time he shot for Cal this past year. He was the primary everything for the team, and defenses keyed in on him. Crabbe has a sweet shooting stroke, and when he gets an open look you can pretty much guarantee the ball is going in the net. His athleticism is there, but it’s not outstanding, especially for a guard. He needs to put more weight on his body to adjust to the NBA game, and just needs to get stronger in general. His defense needs to improve, but he has the measurements to be a pretty good defender. The Suns draft McLemore with pick five in my mock, so Crabbe would be playing the small forward position if they see the court at the same time. They could really use another 3-point shooting wing, as they don’t really have an answer at the 3.

Predicted 2013-2014 Statistics: 6.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 44% shooting.

 

This concludes my first round mock draft. Any comments, questions, or suggestions? Leave a comment below, and I would love to get your input! Make sure you like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for more NBA draft news!

 

(Photo one source) http://www.funpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/espn_pod_nov14_01Nerlens-Noel.jpg

(Photo two source) http://assemblycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/victor-oladipo.jpg

(Photo three source) http://www.nba-draft.com/images/OttoPorter.jpg

(Photo four source) http://nbadraftchat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/bennett.jpg

(Photo five source) http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2012/11/26/ku_bkc_sjsu_20_t640.jpg?a6ea3ebd4438a44b86d2e9c39ecf7613005fe067

(Photo six source) http://fullscalesports.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Alex-Len.jpg

(Photo seven source) http://5centwords.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/burke.jpg

(Photo eight source) http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Michael+Carter+Williams+Georgetown+v+Syracuse+uSyaXEI5_4ex.jpg

(Photo nine source) http://media.lehighvalleylive.com/thebrownandwhite/photo/2012/03/10711894-large.jpg

(Photo ten source) http://sportsbycolin.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/chi-indianas-cody-zeller-heads-ap-allamerica-t-001.jpg

(Photo eleven source) http://solecollector.com/media/sneakers/images/shabazz-muhammad-adidas-rose-773-ucla-pe-04.jpg

(Photo twelve source) http://air.news.gr/cov/19/1919524_b2.jpg

(Photo thirteen source) http://roundballdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Gorgui+Dieng+Marshall+v+Louisville+2aF6UNcSQ6Rl.jpg#sthash.two2mGuf.dpuf

(Photo fourteen source) http://thebrooklyngame.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/AP684562328398.jpg

(Photo fifteen source)  http://images.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/blogs/ucla.ocregister.com/crabbe.jpg#sthash.two2mGuf.dpuf

Author: Rob Wegley