2013 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 2.0
Each year HOOPSWORLD puts together a team of writers to look at the NBA Draft. The idea here is to illustrate how differently (or similarly) writers from various NBA markets see the 2013 NBA Draft. So with that out of the way…
Here is the second installment:
Check out Version 1.0 |
Alex’s Notebook: The big news this week is that Anthony Bennett and Alex Len have sustained injuries that require surgery and will sideline them for several months.
Bennett will have rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder today, which will cause him to miss the combine, pre-draft workouts and summer league. He could miss up to four months as he recovers from the surgery. Last week, I had Bennett as the fourth overall pick, but I moved him to ninth in this week’s mock draft. Shoulder injuries are tough to recover from and it may scare teams away. Bennett is very talented and he has a lot of potential, but I’ve already talked to one league source who believes he could slip out of the top 10. I didn’t go that far, but there’s no question his injury affects his draft stock.
Len will undergo surgery to repair a partial stress fracture in his left ankle. He will also miss all of previously mentioned activities, as he’s expected to be out four-to-six months as he recovers. Len dropped three spots in my mock from last week to this week. Like Bennett, I believe his injury could cause him to slip on draft night because teams get worried when they see a big man with a stress fracture in his ankle. Len is a good player, but this is a bad injury for a center to have during the pre-draft process.
B.J. Young moved into my mock draft this week because I believe some team will fall in love with him once he starts individual workouts. The 19-year-old has a ton of upside and all of the tools to be a very good player. He’s 6’4 with a nearly 6’8 wingspan and he’s incredibly athletic, as evidenced by our video of Young’s pre-draft training. Young is going to surprise people and is a potential sleep in this draft class.
Yannis’ Notebook: In my seven years of covering the draft, this is the first time that I can recall the center position being the deepest. We’re in a day and age where the game is mostly dominated by perimeter players. Playing fast has become the new trend; very few teams have true five men who they look to dump it down to on the low block and run their offense through.
Even with 11 centers projected to go in the first round of most mock drafts, including the most recent version of our full mock, that’s not going to change. That’s because most of them fit the mold of today’s “new age” center, the kind that doesn’t need the ball to be effective – or the kind that could be really effective if given the ball a lot, depending on how you want to look at it.
Kelly Olynyk, Cody Zeller and Alex Len are the three best offensive centers in this draft. Len and Zeller, and perhaps Mason Plumlee to a lesser extent as well, should be able to contribute at the next level with their back-to-the-basket game, but Olynyk is much more of a face up guy who is more effective in the high post than low post.
The others, Gorgui Dieng, Jeff Withey, Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Mouhammadou Jaiteh and Lucas Nogueira, are much more defensive-minded centers. They could eventually become offensive threats, but it’s going to take a couple of years of development before it’s considered a strength of theirs.
So, from a numbers perspective it may seem like the center position is making a comeback with this year’s draft, don’t get caught up in that storyline because that’s just not the case. The game will be as fast and void of traditional center play going into 2013-14 as it has been these last few years.
Joel’s Notebook: Well, the injuries to top draft prospects continue, as another one bites the dust in UNLV standout Anthony Bennett. He will have rotator cuff surgery on Wednesday that will keep him out approximately four months which means, like potential top pick Nerlens Noel, he will be unable to take part in the NBA Draft Combine and Summer League. Despite the injury, though, both players are still likely top five picks, and when you toss in projected lottery pick Alex Len of Maryland, out 4-6 months after ankle surgery, this draft is really starting to look a little dismal. There’s a pretty serious chance that three of the top ten players selected will not participate in workouts or Summer League. That speaks volumes for how flat a draft must be for that to be the case. Any other year, and guys like this would drop.
Bennett, though, is the biggest tragedy. He’s projected to fall in the 4-10 range as it stands, but there are some that believe he would have been the third guy off the board after Noel and Kansas’ Ben McLemore had he been given the opportunity to improve his stock during the workout process. That’s probably not going to happen now, but Bennett is still one my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s a big guy with a really nice skill set, and if he drops at all because of this injury, it could end up helping some team to steal him later than he deserves.
Steve’s Notebook: After roughly a week on the road with various NBA Draft prospects in numerous gyms and work outs facilities there is one common theme emerging – no one wants to be who they were in college.
Shooting guards want to be point guards; power forwards want to be small forwards and everyone seems to be trying to re-invent themselves for the draft.
The problem with that thinking is that NBA teams do put a tremendous amount of stock in a player’s collegiate body of work and in the game film they have studied for months. For many players the idea of a position change at the next level just isn’t supported by the game film.
While the official listing of players invited to the annual NBA Draft Combine in Chicago has not been released yet, early word is several notable draft prospects were not included, mainly because of they either haven’t shown enough in game film to justify their draft stock or that teams just are not buying how some players are being positioned in the marketplace.
Historically, more than 85% of the players invited to the Draft Combine end up getting drafted, so there is a window for non-invites to get selected on draft day, but with so many players trying to present themselves as something other than what is on their game film, some guys are going to have a hard time selling NBA teams that they are not the player they were when teams scouted them and that is a recurring theme from players in multiple gyms across the country.
The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday June 27th in Brooklyn.
So who are these guys?… Alex Kennedy has covered the NBA for four years and covers the NBA from Orlando. Yannis Koutroupis is HOOPSWORLD’s college basketball editor. He has also covered the NBA for seven years and covers the San Antonio Spurs, the Houstons Rockets and the D-League. Joel Brigham has covered the NBA for eight years and covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD including the Bulls and the Pacers. Steve Kyler is the editor and publisher of HOOPSWORLD and has covered the NBA for 13 seasons and has handled the Mock Draft for USA Today Sports for the past three years.