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The common-sense 2013 NBA mock draft
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 24, 2013 @ 11:56 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
There will be overthought. With more than a full month between the order-determining lottery and Thursday’s NBA draft (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), teams are sure to have put in many hours thinking and rethinking every player. That often leads to picks such as Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan or Michael Olowokandi first overall. So this mock draft takes a step back and tries to not to predict but project.
Here’s USA TODAY Sports’ common-sense approach to the 2013 NBA draft:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: SG Ben McLemore, Kansas
No one in this draft makes sense as a No. 1 pick. The talent at the top is weaker than any draft since at least 2006, when Andrea Bargnani was selected first overall by the Toronto Raptors. Moreover, none of the top prospects are ideal fits for the Cavaliers.
The best fit might be Otto PorterJr., but he lacks the upside to go first. That leaves McLemore, Anthony Bennett, Nerlens Noel and Alex Len. Noel and Len are centers with high upside, but both have leg injuries. Could a season defined by leg injuries lead to a draft headed by a player who can’t even play yet because of one? That might be likely, but it doesn’t make it right.
McLemore is the prospect who seems most likely to wind up an All-Star for years to come. He’s a smooth scorer who doesn’t force anything, an important factor for a guard playing next to Kyrie Irving. Dion Waiters, whom the Cavs drafted No. 4 overall last season, is more of a combo guard who could be better off the bench and could play next to McLemore in smaller lineups. McLemore also is ready to play for a team that could make a surprise playoff push next season.
2. Orlando Magic: C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
McLemore would be the better fit here, too, but the Magic have the opportunity to take a risk with this pick because they’re not going to be very good next season either way. Point guard is the biggest need, but Trey Burke would be a reach at this point. Noel, who is coming off knee surgery, … [For more on The common-sense 2013 NBA mock draft, click here.]
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