As we close in on the final hours before the 2013 NBA Draft, we’ve drawn up our final projections for the first 14 picks and present you with our Mock Draft. Of course, with all the hoopla surrounding the top three picks and the relentless changes of heart, Abdullah, Joe, Trevor and Charles are merely going out on a limb as we take one final shot at these picks, before this brain twister of a draft finally gets underway. So, here goes.
1. CLEVELAND (Abdullah) – NERLENS NOEL
The Cavs have a strong belief in choosing players with the most upside, and Noel defines that attribute better than anyone else in the draft. Noel’s length provides a strong presence on defense, while his versatility and passing ability make him a threat on offense.
2. ORLANDO (Joe) – VICTOR OLADIPO
I believe this comes down to either McLemore or Oladipo for Orlando and ultimately Victor’s defensive prowess along with his athleticism will put him over the top as the choice over Mac here. Little bit of hometown bias here as well for the Dematha alum. Beal vs Oladipo for the next few years should be fun.
3. WASHINGTON (Trevor) – OTTO PORTER JR.
The best fit for the Washington Wizards falls into their lap with the selection of SF Otto Porter. His all-around versatile game will immediately make an impact on the Wizards roster as he pairs up with John Wall and Bradley Beal. He should fit in seamlessly on offense as he is unselfish and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to make an impact, and his length and team defense approach from Georgetown will mesh well in Washington . Not only will he be able to contribute right away, but he will be the perfect player to grow long-term with Wall and Beal.
4. CHARLOTTE (Charles) – ANTHONY BENNETT
The Bobcats are in desperate need of an offensive jolt to its frontcourt. While there are concerns about his true position and his weight, Bennett has proven that he knows how to score. He has a great outside shot for a big man and should mesh well playing alongside drive and kick players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
5. PHOENIX (Abdullah) – BEN McLEMORE
The Suns, who were once comprised of multiple all-star players, are looking to rejuvenate stardom in the desert, and B-Mac could be the one to develop into that role. For Phoenix, this pick will clearly be on the premise of best available talent. The Suns have needs at just about every position, including the back court, so the selection of McLemore makes the most sense.
6. NEW ORLEANS (Joe) – TREY BURKE
With the way this draft had unfolded I think the New Orleans Angry Birds would be more than content with the selection of Burke here. With a healthy Gordon, a budding superstar in Davis and the sweet shooting of Ryan Anderson and the addition of the former Wolverine floor general the Pelicans could make some noise in a tough Western Conference.
7. SACRAMENTO (Trevor) – CJ McCOLLUM
The Kings could honestly go in any direction here, but it sounds like the really like CJ McCollum (have had him in for 2 workouts). Alex Len could also be a possibility here if they wanted to pair him with DeMarcus Cousins, but I think the potential and scoring of combo guard CJ McCollum, aka this year’s Damian Lillard, is too much to pass on.
8. DETROIT (Charles) – ALEX LEN
While the Pistons seem to be set on their frontcourt of the future with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, Joe Dumars has a tendency of taking the best player available regardless of need. This move actually benefits Len. Even with his tremendous upside, pretty much everyone is in agreement that Len can use some time to develop and in Detroit he should be able to be brought along slowly.
9. MINNESOTA (Abdullah) – KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE
Minnesota suffers from an inconsistent backcourt and has a dire need for a go-to scorer. With Rubio’s questionable health and a 2 guard position that is open for applications, Caldwell-Pope serves as the right fit for this squad. He can shoot from just about anywhere on the floor and has a knack for making good passes which makes him a multi-dimensional threat on offense. Oh, and not to mention he’s pretty well-tuned defensively as well.
10. PORTLAND (Joe) – CODY ZELLER
Portland is in a nice position where they are not looking for this draft pick to come in and be a starter. With the pressure off I think the Blazers go with Zeller who could provide great minutes off the bench and spell Hickson or Aldredge and compete for some of Myers Leonard’s minutes.
11. PHILADELPHIA (Trevor) – STEVEN ADAMS
Philadelphia will be looking to take a big man here after their failed “The Andrew Bynum Experiment.” I think they would have liked to see Cody Zeller fall here, but if he goes to Portland at 10, Adams is the highest rated big with the highest ceiling left on the board. Kelly Olynyk could be another option, but at 7’0 and 255 pounds Steven Adams give them a center with an NBA body and a lot of potential. And he also probably doesn’t salsa dance.
12. OKLAHOMA CITY (Charles) – LUCAS NOGUIERA
Only 20 years old, the Brazilian big man is an intriguing prospect. He is the definition of raw but if any team has the luxury of drafting on pure potential it’s the Thunder. Noguiera won’t come in and contribute right away but in a few years he’s going to be a nice complement to Serge Ibaka down low.
13. DALLAS (Abdullah) – SERGEY KARASEV
This 19 year old Russian has a deadly knack for scoring with his lethal spot up jumpers and the idea of him developing alongside Dirk Nowitzki has certainly been of some appeal to the Mavs. Kaserov would be an effective a young body with superb defensive tendencies
14. UTAH (Joe) – MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS
Utah could go a number of directions with this pick considering 4/5ths of their starting lineup dont have contracts for next year but PG has been a position of need since Deron Williams left town. To pick up Carter-Williams here would be a steal in my opinion. I love his height obviously but even more so his attitude towards the game. He’s got a pass first mentality, good court vision and has played in a big boy conference under a Hall of Fame coach. Pair him with Favors, Kanter and Gordon Heyward and Utah is looking a lot better in ’13-14.