2013 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 7.0
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 seventh installment:
Alex’s Notebook: It’s looking like Dario Saric will pull out of the 2013 NBA Draft and instead remain in Europe next season. Saric was widely regarded as the top international prospect in the draft and, in recent weeks, had helped his stock. Some executives believed that he even had a shot at the lottery, but now we may never know.
If Saric does indeed pull out, it helps other small forwards like Giannis Adetokunbo, Sergey Karasev, Reggie Bullock and Glen Rice Jr. among others. It also means that the 2014 NBA Draft will be even more loaded, adding another talented player to a class that is already expect to include Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Marcus Smart among others.
Over the last several weeks, my 30th overall pick has changed a few times. I’ve had several different players from Mouhammadou Jaiteh to Allen Crabbe to Shane Larkin, and it’s still up for grabs as far as I can tell. This week, I put Nate Wolters at No. 30, simply because he’s one of my favorite players in this draft class and I believe he’s deserving of a first-round pick.
Wolters starred at South Dakota State, where he was one of the best scorers in the country in recent years. At 22 years old, he may not have as much potential as some of the younger players in this draft class, but he has an incredible work ethic and desire to be great. While training for the draft at the renowned IMG Academy in Florida, Wolters was working out four or five times a day and he did the same thing while he was with the Jackrabbits. Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has proven himself as a great talent evaluator and he could be the person who recognizes Wolters’ upside.
Yannis’ Notebook: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there’s beginning to be some new names surface in the mix for the top overall selection.
Nerlens Noel, while very solid in his half season at Kentucky, wasn’t dominating at a level where he was undoubtedly deserving of the top overall selection. He just showed the most promise in a year where all of the other top prospects failed to surpass what he did after he went down with a torn ACL.
However, Maryland’s Alex Len, who is also out for the next few months after having a stress fracture in his ankle repaired, is starting to be mentioned as an option for the Cavaliers, or whoever may end up making the top overall selection. I didn’t move him up to the top spot this week, but he’s in a good position to go no lower than four, where I have him now.
Len is much more of a traditional center than Noel. He can score with his back to the basket and while not as good of a defender as Noel, he’s not that bad on that end of the floor.
If Len were able to workout for teams right now, they could be falling in love with him even more once they see him in a setting where he’s not held back by teammates who struggled to get him the ball. But, since Noel is dealing with the same issues – we have a very interesting couple of weeks ahead of us.
Joel’s Notebook: I’ve had Nerlens Noel at the top of this thing since we started doing these consensus mock drafts almost two months ago, but to be that certain about Cleveland’s top pick when so much uncertainty surrounds the selection just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s time to shake things up, and considering news broke over the course of the last week that Cleveland was considering Ben McLemore, that was enough for me to make him the top pick this time around. I do think he’s got the best prospects as a pro in this draft class, so it would make sense if the Cavs just went ahead and made him the #1 overall selection, then worried about what to do with Dion Waiters later. Plus, there are going to be so many talented big men available when Cleveland picks again at #19, it might be wise to wait for a backup center, talented as Noel may be.
Beyond that, I’ve been trying to figure out which will player will end up being selected several picks higher than any mock draft projections, and at this point I think the best bet is Michael Carter-Williams. Every mock I’ve seen has him hovering around the 12th or 13th pick, but if a team decides they want a real, prototypical point guard, he’s someone that could easily leap up in the draft, perhaps even going higher than Trey Burke. I could see Detroit giving MCW a look at #8, and maybe even New Orleans at pick #6. People love Carter-Williams’ length and court vision, even if they do think he’s got a long ways to go. Still, he’s my best bet to be the guy that goes way sooner than we expect, though we’ll certainly see plenty more of those kinds of picks late in the first round.
Finally, Dario Saric has pulled his name from the draft, which really made the second half of this thing tougher than ever to figure out. I really liked Saric’s prospects, but he’ll allow a borderline first-rounder like Ricky Ledo or Erick Green to slip in and get that guaranteed contract. Good for them, but bad for the teams picking in the latter half of the first round. Looks like the 2014 draft class is going to be that much stronger.
Steve’s Notebook: After spending the better part of last week sitting with NBA GM’s and talent evaluators in Treviso Italy at the adidas Eurocamp, there are a few names that carry a little more weight in the draft process than others. Here are a few:
Anthony Bennett; if you want a sleeper to go in the top three, Bennett could be your man. More than one executive marveled that he might have the tools and the game to be the Rookie of The Year in the right situation and that while some guys like Ben McLemore may go a spot or two higher, the best overall scorer might be Bennett.
Shane Larkin; if you are looking for that player that could go six or seven spots higher than you think he should it might be Larkin. After a dismissal workout with the Milwaukee Bucks, Larkin has been electric in several workouts and may have himself a floor with the Boston Celtics at 16. The problem is the Jazz seem to have eyes for Shane too, so there could be some jockeying going on the grab the super athletic point guard out of Miami.
Speaking of Miami, sources close to the testing process commented that all of the Miami guys in the draft tested athletically among the top band for their position. The word is the University of Miami brought in a major strength and conditioning coach that really emphasized speed and power, which likely explains the huge jump the program had last season in the NCAA and why all of the Miami guys have tested so well in workouts.
Lucas Nogueira; if there is a player that may have helped himself at Eurocamp it was probably Lucas. He was noticeably bigger, which showed progression in the weight and strength department, but he also showed why he’s been on the draft radar for two years. Lucas is bouncy and disruptive and you can see that he might be an interesting prospect with the right development program. Several teams met with Lucas in Italy, and there is a chance Lucas could go very high in the draft. As one executive quipped, you could draft Lucas and his extreme upside or you could draft a kid that’s a little more proven but doesn’t have nearly the ceiling. It’s safe to say Lucas Nogueira is a first round draft pick later this month.
Giannis Adetokunbo; did not play in Eurocamp, but was part of a tournament about 45 minutes outside of Treviso. Each night about an hour before Giannis’ games, the gym in Treviso would empty as scouts and GM’s scurried to get more looks at Giannis. The overall word is good. He has a long NBA body, has some decent tools, but is absolutely a work in progress. There is a sense that not only will Giannis get drafted in the first round he could go in the teens to Atlanta, who may want to draft and stash a player rather than carry two first round picks into camp. Giannis won’t be a player that contributes next year, but according to the buzz from Italy he could be an interesting player in a couple of years.
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.