2013 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 6.0
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 sixth installment:
Alex’s Notebook: With the draft combine behind us and individual workouts getting underway, several players have been helping their stock lately and, as a result, are on the rise in my mock draft this week.
The first player who has gained quite a few fans around the league is Dario Saric out of Croatia. Saric was once projected to be a late first-round pick, but it’s sounding more and more like Saric could go in the top 15. The small forward, who just turned 19 in April, has a ton of potential and a 6’10 frame to cause match-up problems in the NBA. He is very skilled and some executives believe that he could eventually become an All-Star, which can’t be said for many prospects in this class. Saric is widely regarded as the best international player in the draft and he may continue to climb in the coming weeks. This week, I have Saric going to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 15.
Another player who has been on the rise is Steven Adams. Scouts and executives began raving about Adams at the combine, with quite a few saying that he could climb into the lottery. Adams is a legit seven-footer and he’s not just skin and bones, weighing in at 255. He’ll have the opportunity to climb when he begins individual workouts against some of the other top big men. If he’s able to perform well in the workout setting, he could continue to move up draft boards. The 19-year-old has more potential than older center prospects like Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk and Gorgui Dieng, which could help him on draft night. I have Adams going No. 11 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers this week.
Last week, I wrote about Rudy Gobert and how he would be a perfect fit for the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 12, but there’s a chance that he won’t be available when they’re on the clock. Even though Gobert is extremely skinny and raw, his potential has intrigued a lot of executives. You can’t teach a 7’2 frame, 7’8.5 wingspan and 9’7 standing reach. He’s certainly going to be a project, but more and more teams are becoming interested in taking him despite the work needed to make him an NBA player. I still have Gobert going at No. 12, but he could move up as we get closer to the draft.
The final player who I have moving up this week is Giannis Adetokunbo out of Greece. The 18-year-old forward could end up being a very special player down the road and executives have been speaking very highly of him. He’s 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan and enormous hands, similar to San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard. Adetokunbo has an impressive skill set and the ability to play multiple positions. He’s somewhat raw because he’s still a teenager, but he has a lot of upside. As teams do their homework and learn more about Adetokunbo, don’t be surprised if his draft stock continues to increase. This week, I have Adetokunbo going at No. 22 to the Brooklyn Nets.
Yannis’ Notebook: Although he may not get the kind of credit he deserves, former Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn did a lot of good. Most people forget how unstable of a situation he took over. The Timberwolves were set back years by the moves former GM Kevin McHale made. Their cap situation was far from ideal and if it wasn’t for a swift draft-day deal for Kevin Love, there wouldn’t have been anything to be overly optimistic about.
However, poor drafting was ultimately Kahn’s undoing. He infamously drafted three point guards in the first round, only to trade away Ty Lawson, who has turned out to be the best of the group. He passed on DeMarcus Cousins for Wes Johnson because of some red flags that Cousins had. Those red flags have turned out to be somewhat legitimate, but Johnson didn’t pan out. If they were enamored with Cousins’ potential as much as they were Johnson’s professionalism, Kahn probably still has his job right now.
So, as Flip Saunders prepares for his first draft in Kahn’s place, it’s really important that the Timberwolves walk away as one of the winners and they’re in a pretty good position to do so.
There is going to be a talented center on board at No. 9 for the Wolves to take in preparation for Nikola Pekovic’s potential departure. If someone like Alex Len drops to them, that could really factor into whether they pay Pekovic’s price tag this summer, which will undoubtedly be high.
Later in the first round with the 26th pick that they received from the Memphis Grizzlies, the Wolves should have a handful of different shooting guards to address their need at the two guard spot. Tim Hardaway Jr., Tony Snell, Ricardo Ledo and Glen Rice Jr. would all be upgrades for the Timberwolves who could help them as soon as next year despite being late first round picks.
With two second round picks, both in the latter portion of the second round, the Timberwolves could have the opportunity to move up in the draft and shake things up a bit. But, even if they stay put, they’re in a fine position to address their two major needs. It just comes down to who Saunders feels most confident in investing in.
Whoever he goes with, the selection will be analyzed heavily because as stated earlier, lackluster draft choices has been as detrimental to the Timberwovles’ cause as injuries over the last couple of years.
Joel’s Notebook: There are so many stories worth following in this month’s draft, but a pretty major one that hasn’t gotten as much attention as it probably should have is the fact that Oklahoma City, arguably the best team in the Western Conference before Russell Westbrook went down for the count in the first round of the postseason, has a lottery pick this year.
It’s fun brainstorming what a team that already has so much talent might do with a pick that high, but the consensus thus far has been that they’re likely to draft a big that would eventually replace Kendrick Perkins. Steven Adams worked out for the Thunder this week, for example, but it’s just as probable they go after Cody Zeller, Rudy Gobert, or Gorgui Dieng with that twelfth overall selection.
Notice, though, that I have them taking Michael Carter-Williams there, despite the fact that about 90% of the mock drafts I’ve seen have him going one pick later to the Dallas Mavericks, for whom getting MCW would be a best-case scenario. Sam Presti is pretty good judge of talent, though, and Carter-Williams looks like he might be this year’s late-lottery steal. Having traded away Eric Maynor, they need depth at point guard, something that was painfully obvious in the playoffs, and he seems like an ideal guy to marinate a little bit behind Westbrook.
Of course, drafting a big guy when all those great big guys are available would also make a lot of sense, but Carter-Williams could very well be the best player available when Oklahoma City makes their selection, and point guard is a bit of a need for them, as well.
My other big changes this week include having Alex Len drop to pick #9, which Minnesota would absolutely love because it would keep them from having to overpay Nikola Pekovic this summer, and having Dennis Schroeder fall out of the lottery. There’s no good reason for either of those; just the way the cookies crumbled. And yes, I still think Ricky Ledo is a first-round pick.
Steve’s Notebook: This week’s entry will really be more of a quick hit notebook, so here is what we are hearing:
Tim Hardaway Jr, is really doing well in workouts. He is coming across as well-rounded and proven and that seems to be appealing to teams looking for a player who can play right away. Hardaway was initially projected as solid second rounder in April and now it seems almost impossible that he does not go in the first round.
Jamaal Franklin is getting a lot of the same buzz. Franklin badly sprained his ankle during training in early May and is just about ready to start seeing teams. He did some light shooting at a recent Pro-Day in Las Vegas and while his ankle was still a little tender, his shot was really falling and the interest level in Franklin from a workout perspective is very high. It’s safe to say Franklin is now a firm grab in the 10 to 20 range.
Our man Colton Iverson, who is doing a draft blog for HOOPSWORLD, continues to show strong in workouts. Iverson completed 27 ½ reps in the Celtic Run, an endurance test the Celtics put prospects through after their draft workouts, which was several reps better than the players he worked out against. Iverson continues to flirt with the bottom of the first round, which would be a huge gain for a kid many projected in the 40’s almost a month ago. It’s still very possible Iverson slides into the 2nd, but it now looks like he could secure a selection in the 30’s which typically includes some guaranteed money.
Sergey Karasev has returned to Russia after a brief trip stateside. While his workout last weekend in Vegas wasn’t spectacular, it’s easy to understand why teams talk so highly of Karasev as a draft pick. He is a lights-out shooter that really comes off of screen well. He is a work in progress on the defensive side as most international players are. Word is Karasev may have gotten a decent first round promise, and some are speculating that it could be the Cavs at 19. The problem is Atlanta could have eyes for him with one of their two picks ahead of Cleveland and you never know how that will impact trades and teams moving up to grab their guy.
Word has it that Memphis is willing to “buy” into the first round for the right pick, they join teams like Detroit and Minnesota that are looking to either trade up or trade out of some of their picks.
As expected, the Cavaliers, Magic and Wizards have all started talking about options to move their picks. It’s unlikely that either of the top three gets moved, but it will generate some chatter as veteran players are being mentioned as bait in some of these moves. Most of this is due diligence that comes with a soft draft class and teams that have rosters full of young guys. Nabbing the right veteran could be more meaningful that atop three pick, especially for a team trying to make the playoffs next year like Cleveland and Washington.
The “eye of the beholder” is in full effect for the 2013 NBA Draft – reports of bad works out are starting to surface and then immediately followed by amazing workout reports on the same player. Keep in mind there are 30 groups of observers looking at the same crop of players, some are in love, and some are clearly not. The message from teams continues to be the same — there is a lot of parity in this draft class and that the gap between players talent wise has never been smaller, so it will truly be who your team falls in love with because the rankings may get tossed on the window on draft day.
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.