With the 2013 NBA Draft just hours away, I have officially set my picks for what is sure to be a night of suprises. The questions start right at the top with the No. 1 overall pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Will the Cavs go Big Men Nerlens Noel or Alex Len? Or possibly a a wing player like Ben McLemore or Otto Porter? I can’t remember the last time we had a draft without a definite top choice, and we won’t know that answer until tonight when David Stern kicks off the draft in New York. This is a draft without that number 1 star, but a very deep draft, loaded with talent all the way through the first round. Without further ado, here is my final 2013 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers-Alex Len, Maryland, C
As we get closer to the draft, all signs lead to Alex Len being the No. 1 selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. The 7’1″ big man out of Maryland flew up draft boards everywhere with a strong 2012-13 campaign, as well as help from an injury to Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. Len could find himself protecting the rim with 2011 first roun pick Tristan Thompson for years to come in Cleveland.
2. Orlando Magic-Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, C
Everyone’s pick to go first overall at the end of this year’s college basketball season, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel finds himself dropping ever so slightly to Orlando at No. 2. Orlando may opt to go for a wing player, but I think they take Noel to start off the rebuilding process with a rim protector they haven’t seen since oh…I don’t know…Dwight Howard?
3. Washington Wizards-Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF
Washington has received many calls about giving up the No. 3 overall pick, but they have made it clear they’re staying put to draft Georgetown swingman Otto Porter. Porter will fit in perfectly with the Wizards along side backcourt mates John Wall and Bradley Beal.
4. Charlotte Bobcats-Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG
McLemore was once in contention for the number 1 overall pick, but the Bobcats have to be excited to (hopefully) pick him up at No. 4. The player with possibly the most upside in the draft, McLemore is an athletic freak who shot the ball very well from 3 last year in Kansas. He should be the go-to scoring option for PG Kemba Walker for years to come.
5. Phoenix Suns-Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG
Speaking of athletic, Indiana SG Victor Oladipo is another guy who could be selected earlier in the draft. I have him sliding to Pheonix at No. 5 where he will fit right in with his excellent athletic ability and standout defense. Look for Oladipo to be a cornerstone in the Pheonix rebuilding process.
6. New Orleans Pelicans-Trey Burke, Michigan, PG
With Eric Gordon possibly out in New Orleans and Austin Rivers seamingly a bust, look for the Pelicans to take the best point guard available in the draft, who happens to be Michigan’s Trey Burke. Burke showed leadership ability this past year and is a better option to incumbent Grevis Vazquez. Look for Burke to be given the keys to the New Orleans offense immediately.
7. Sacramento Kings-Cody Zeller, Indiana, PF/C
With Thomas Robinson off to Houston, the Kings could use someone to give them a spark down low along side DeMarcus Cousins. I have a feeling Indiana big man Cody Zeller could be just the man for the job. With the ability to play both power forward and center, Zeller could be the second piece to one of the most dynamic young front courts in the league.
8. Detroit Pistons-CJ McCollum, Lehigh, PG/SG
CJ McCollum is a little known point guard who plays big time basketball. With Brandon Knight seemingly moving to shooting guard, the Pistons are going to take the best available point guard, which should be McCollum. Out of Lehigh, McCollum could be this years Damian Lillard.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
The Timberwolves need outside scorers to complement Kevin Love, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has proven he can do just that. The reigning SEC player of the year, expect Caldwell-Pope to fit right in in Minnesota and make an immediate impact.
10. Portland Trail Blazers-Anthony Bennett, UNLV, PF
Anthony Bennett, a big man who has proven he can shoot the ball too, has fallen a bit after not working out at this years combine due to injury. The UNLV product will turn out to be a steal at No. 10 and very well might replace disgruntled Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
Well that round out your top 10, here’s my prediction at numbers 11-30.
11. Philadelphia 76ers-Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C
12. Oklahoma City Thunder-Giannis Adetokunbo, Germany, F
13. Dallas Mavericks-Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG
14. Utah Jazz-Dennis Schroeder, Germany, PG
15. Milwaukee Bucks-Sergey Karasev, Russia, SF
16. Boston Celtics-Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C/PF
17. Atlanta Hawks-Mason Plumlee, Duke, PF
18. Atlanta Hawks-Shane Larkin, Miami, PG
19. Cleveland Cavaliers-Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF/SG
20. Chicago Bulls-Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG
21. Utah Jazz-Rudy Gobert, France, C
22. Brooklyn Nets-Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, SG
23. Indiana Pacers-Reggie Bullock, North Carolina, SF
24. New York Knicks-Allen Crabbe, California, SG
25. Los Angeles Clippers-Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, C
26. Minnesota Timberwolves-Tony Mitchell, North Texas, F
27. Denver Nuggets-Tony Snell, New Mexico, SF
28. San Antonio Spurs-Mouhammadou Jaltah, France, PF/C
29. Oklahoma City Thunder-Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C
30. Phoenix Sun-Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, PG
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my NBA Draft recap!