We are less than four weeks away from the 2013 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 27th in Brooklyn.
From now until the draft, our contributors will either post their initial mock draft and then make updates, as necessary.
Here is the first-round projection from Kyle Baillargeon:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky
It really looks like the Cavaliers are looking to trade this pick. But, we don't do trades in mock drafts, so the pick is Noel. Ultimately, he's the best choice for the Cavs, assuming his knee injury doesn't limit him once he's fully healed. The Cavaliers won't push Noel to come back until he's ready. In a few years, he could anchor the defense, much like Marc Gasol does in Memphis.
And there's a good chance the Cavaliers will be just as bad next year, giving them the opportunity at Andrew Wiggins or one of the other potential studs in a loaded 2014 draft.
2. Orlando Magic: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
The Magic need help everywhere, and though they have 31 year-old Jameer Nelson as the incumbent PG, it's expected that he'll be phased out of the Magic's long-term plans. Other players in the draft may look like they have higher upside, but with a draft class as questionable as this one, it would make the most sense to go with the National Player of the Year.
3. Washington Wizards: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
With his scoring ability, Bennett has the chance to be the best player in the draft. His position is undefined due to his size, but he could slide to the three or play the four in smaller lineups. The Wizards aren't expected to contend next year, so they should take a shot on the player that has possibly the highest upside, with the hopes that in a few years they'll have a superstar on their hands.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
McLemore does one thing in the draft better than just about anyone else: Shoot. He's also a great athlete who can run the floor. Considering the dearth of top-tier shooting guards in the league, we could be talking about him as a top five or six two-guard if he expands his game over the next few years. He's the smart pick.
5. Phoenix Suns: Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown
The Suns would have a steal if Porter falls to them. He doesn't necessarily have the upside of those taken before him, but he can contribute right away and would be a good young piece for the organization to build off of as they try to start fresh.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len is a tough call, as he has all the tangibles but needs to put it all together. It would give New Orleans a potentially great young front court, not unlike Utah and Detroit. If the Pelicans think that they can trade Eric Gordon (with they may want to), Victor Oladipo could be the pick instead.
7. Sacramento Kings: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
The Kings have a hole at power forward. Zeller is very athletic and doesn't need the ball in his hands to make an impact on the court. Sacramento doesn't have enough players like that. He could be a good compliment to Boogie Cousins.
8. Detroit Pistons: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Oladipo is an excellent defender and would help the Pistons right away. He's also shown himself to have the makings of a tremendous leader. There's a good chance that he won't slip this far, but if he does, Detroit will have found themselves another good young player at value.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
One of the reasons Kevin Love gets so many rebounds is because the Wolves throw up a ton of bricks. McCollum is an excellent shooter from long range. He was a point guard in college, but some guy named Rubio will push him to shooting guard. This is one of the most obvious picks in the draft, but also one of the smartest.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Adams is a name that's become hot of late, with his great showing at the combine. He's definitely raw, however. However, he wouldn't be called on to contribute much offensively if he goes to Portland. Let him bang down-low, play defense and rebound, and he could be a good compliment to LaMarcus Aldridge.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
Saric is considered the top foreign player in the draft. Is he more Dirk Nowitzki or Jan Vesely? That's the risk. But the 76ers have shown that they're willing to take risks (see: Andrew Bynum trade) if they think it will make them a better team.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
Trading James Harden was a terrible move. And Kevin Martin really isn't good anymore. Caldwell-Pope falls somewhere in the middle of these two on the basketball spectrum. He's a good shooter and a smart ball player.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Darren Collison is a nice player, but Carter-Williams could be the Mavericks' Rajon Rondo. He has the chance to make an impact right away.
14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
Another player who brings Rondo comparisons, rumors are that Schroeder has an early-round promise from someone. The Jazz have a need at point guard and may very well be that team.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas
The depth of the draft shows with this pick, as Mitchell could go here, or he could fall out of the first round. With so many players having roughly the same risk, the Bucks should go with the athletic Mitchell whom some (including Mitchell himself) compare to Kenneth Faried.
- Continue to Picks 16-30
- 2013 NBA Mock Draft from Kevin Hanson
- Our NBA Mock Draft Database
- Also, check out: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | NFL Mock Draft Database
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