NBA mock draft – 6/7/13
by Erik C. Anderson, USA TODAY Sports
As the Finals get going and the NBA Draft approaches June 27, teams are in the midst of working out various draftees.
We’ve compiled who each NBA team is likely to draft based on NBA Combine performances, individual team needs and reports. This list may change before the draft on June 27 as updates become available.
Here’s what we think.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers, Noel Nerlens, C
Cue up Kid n’ Play–Noel Nerlens and his flat top are coming to Cleveland.
After the New Orleans Hornets (now, Pelicans) drafted Anthony Davis for his athleticism and shot-blocking ability, the Cavaliers will follow suit and take Noel, widely considered the top prospect the 2013 draft offers.
Nerlens controlled the paint defensively for the Kentucky Wildcats, blocking 4.4 shots per game, making him a perfect match for coach Mike Brown’s defense-first approach. Although his college career ended with an ACL injury, reports say his knee is ahead of schedule and will make a full recovery.
Drafting Noel gives Cleveland future depth in the front court that features recent first-round picks Tyler Zeller (2012) and Tristan Thompson (2011). Cleveland would also have a chance to develop Noel’s’ man-to-man defense under the tutelage from low post stalwart Anderson Varejao. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a strange combination of Varejao’s floppy hair and Noel’s flat top?
Current salaries on books for 2013-14: $36,199,098
Team needs: SF, C, PG
2. Orlando Magic, Victor Oladipo, SG
The Magic need help.
Things were grim for the Orlando Magic in the post-Dwight-Howard era, missing the playoffs and posting a 20-62 record under first year coach Jacque Vaughn. Replacement center Nikola Vucecic emerged as a talented threat for the Magic, and with their logjam of young forwards, Orlando looks to be going guard at the No. 2 slot.
Enter, Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo brings some size and dynamic athleticism to the two-guard position, giving the Magic flexibility to spell Arron Affalo with a capable defender and/or pair the two. The Indiana guard should shore up the Magic’s 23rd ranked defense that gave up 101.1 points per contest last year.
Current salaries on books … [For more on NBA mock draft, Cleveland goes with Nerlens Noel, click here.]