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2013 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 4.0
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 23, 2013 @ 8:00 pm In NBA Draft | No Comments
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 fourth installment:
Alex’s Notebook: The Cleveland Cavaliers winning the 2013 NBA Draft lottery may shake things up. The Cavs’ biggest need is small forward and rumor has it they like Otto Porter out of Georgetown. Porter at No. 1 may seem like a reach, but Cavs general manager Chris Grant has shown that he’s willing to take players higher than expected (look no further than Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters).
However, I still have Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky as the top overall pick for Cleveland because he has the most potential of any player in this draft class. If Cleveland really has fallen in love with Porter and wants a small forward, that could change, but for now I’m projecting that they take Noel.
The best move for Cleveland may be to draft Noel with the first overall pick (since Anderson Varejao is 30 years old and Tyler Zeller doesn’t have Noel’s upside), and then select a small forward with the No. 19 pick. If they do that, they can select someone like Sergey Karasev out of Russia (who I have them taking) or Dario Saric out of Croatia among others. That way they can fill a need and still get the best player available at No. 1, who also happens to fill a long-term need.
Another option for Cleveland is trading down, but I doubt they’ll be able to find a team that’s willing to give up any significant assets for the top pick in this year’s draft. At the draft combine in Chicago, executives were joking that they didn’t want to win the lottery this year so it’s hard for me to imagine any real interest in the top pick. I think the Cavs will get stuck making the pick, and Noel is their best bet.
Yannis’ Notebook: With the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery, Nerlens Noel is a few thorough medical examinations away from being the number one overall pick. Noel, who tore his ACL midseason at Kentucky, fits in perfectly with the Cavaliers new head coach Mike Brown and his defensive-oriented philosophy.
One of the glaring weaknesses of the team as currently assembled is a lack of shotblocking, which happens to be Noel’s biggest strength. Playing on a team with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters will also help ease the offensive burden on Noel early on until he becomes more adept on that side of the floor. While the Cavaliers will understandably listen to trade offers, this isn’t the kind of draft where the number one pick is going to warrant a lot in return.
Where things will get really interesting is with the Orlando Magic at two. They really have some great options. I could legitimately see myself changing where I go with them every week. This week it’s Victor Oladipo, simply because of the impact I think he’ll have on the culture of the team. While Ben McLemore may be more talented overall with better upside, Oladipo embodies what Rob Hennigan and Jacque Vaughn are trying to make Magic basketball about. He doesn’t take plays off, is a fierce competitor on both ends and has a disdain for losing. Point guard may be the bigger need, but guys wired like Oladipo are tougher to find.
The Wizards will be extremely nervous while they wait for the first two picks to be made because right now they almost seem to be in too good of a position to be true. They desperately need help at the small forward position and Otto Porter would be a great fit out on the wing across from Brad Beal with John Wall running the point. His addition would help them pick up where they left off at the end of the season when they finished so strong. However, if Porter doesn’t last until three for some reason, they’re going to be sorely disappointed because the drop off from Porter to the second-ranked small forward is significant.
Joel’s Notebook: The Charlotte Bobcats are probably severely bummed out by falling out of the top three picks despite having the second-worst record in the league and definitely the most dismal-looking roster in the league, but there’s a real chance they’ll end up with Ben McLemore–arguably the second best player in the draft–anyway.
If Cleveland takes Nerlens Noel (and they should), Orlando could very well take a gamble on Michigan standout Trey Burke, who would make a lot of sense for them as a potential superstar point guard of the future. Washington’s not taken McLemore with Bradley Beal in place, so that means there’s a real chance for McLemore to slide. Honestly, with pick #4, that’s about the best the Bobcats can hope for.
Washington at #3 is an interesting pick because they’ve got a real need for an athletic wing defender and frontcourt depth. Otto Porter, who played college ball right up the road at Georgetown, is the top-rated small forward in the draft and would be a great fit alongside John Wall and Beal, but Anthony Bennett could end up being one of the best two or three players in this draft. He’ll deserve a look, too, particularly with Nene and Emeka Okafor not considered long-term keepers for the Wizards. Alex Len is another possibility, though #3 may be a little high for him. Whomever they choose, the Wizards have be elated with their draft position. Considering how well they played once Wall came back last season, a full healthy year with that great young backcourt and another promising young rookie could mean a return to the postseason.
The Cavaliers may have taken the top overall pick, but it’s for those reasons that the Wizards have to be considered the big winners of this year’s lottery.
Steve’s Notebook: Not the best year to be a point guard…
There is no doubting that Michigan’s Trey Burke is the favorite to be the top point guard off the board, after he drops you can expect Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams to go and then possibly Dennis Schroeder from Germany, Shane Larkin from Miami and then Lehigh’s CJ McCollum in some order after the first two go.
The problem is who needs a point guard?
The Cavs hold the top overall pick, but Cleveland is set at point guard with Kyrie Irving.
Orlando could go point guard at #2, but that might not be where the Magic address their point guard need. They may opt for an impact guy like Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo and see what is left in the second round or at the end of the first where they could trade their way into another pick.
The Washington Wizards hold the third pick, but they are also set at point guard with John Wall.
The Bobcats might ponder a Trey Burke with the #4, but don’t they already have that kind of player in Kemba Walker?
The Phoenix Suns at #5 have Goran Dragic and Kendal Marshall whom they drafted with a lottery pick last year. Are they adding another point guard to the roster? Unlikely.
The New Orleans Pelicans might look at point guard with the #6, but with Grevis Vasquez emerging last year would Burke really be a good fit? And who really knows what the end game will be with Eric Gordon.
The Sacramento Kings at #7 might be the first team to seriously look at point guard, but with Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette already on the roster would new ownership invest another lottery pick into a point guard? And who will be calling the shots on draft night?
The Detroit Pistons might be hard pressed to pass on Trey Burke at #8, but they invested a high level pick into Brandon Knight – are they giving up on Brandon already?
The Wolves at #9 have Ricky Rubio, they are unlikely to waste a top ten pick on a point guard, especially when two guard is one of their most pressing needs.
The Blazers at #10, have the rookie of the year in point guard Damian Lillard. The Blazers profess to want toughness and size, that’s not happening with a point guard.
The Philadelphia 76ers have an All-Star point guard in Jrue Holiday, while the Thunder at #12 have a multi-time All-Star in Russell Westrbook.
Dallas, at #13, might be the first team with a real need for a point guard which means it could be a long night for point guards if the draft order stays as it is, simply because the teams at the top don’t have a lot of need for a lottery pick point guard.
The only saving grace is that the teams picking with the next 13 picks absolutely need a point guard, so the run on guards might not happen with guys in the green room this year.
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 Houston 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.
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