Although we may be getting ahead of ourselves, it is never too early to get a jump on scouting the next draft class and analyzing where the next batch of prospects currently project in the draft order. Well, here it is, our 2013 NBA Mock Draft 3.0. Throughout the coming college season and during the summer months leading up to the draft we will continually update you with new mocks and will even feature scouting profiles as we did this summer. For those interested in getting a head start on college basketball, keep your eyes peeled for Kentucky’s incoming freshman Nerlens Noel and UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, as both should be very fun to watch this year.
|NO.||TEAM||PLAYER||POS||SCHOOL||YEAR||HT / WT|
|1.||Charlotte||Ben McLemore||SG||Kansas||Fresh||6-5 / 195|
Analysis: Until recently, I was not fully sold on Ben McLemore. I thought that he was picking his spots too much and only asserting himself when he needed to. I would attribute this to his youth and he would still be a top 5 pick in my eyes. After Kansas went through their 3-game losing streak though, I have seen him come alive from start to finish of almost every game. He can do it all: shoothing, slashing, ball-handling, great court vision, and of course, the athleticism. Along with this, I have not stopped hearing his work ethic and competitiveness praised which is the additional attribute that propels him to the top of this mock draft. Charlotte adds another very important piece. And although they desperately need some size up front, they will have solidifed their backcourt with one of the most dynamic scoring tandems.
|2.||Orlando||Marcus Smart||PG||Oklahoma State||Fresh||6-4 / 225|
Analysis: Marcus Smart’s draft stock was limited early due to what we thought was a lack of position. Many teams weren’t sure whether he was a 1 or 2. Since then though, he has taken full control of Oklahoma State’s offense at the PG position and given his talented supporting cast of Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash the opportunity to play off the ball more. In turn, Smart has become a more consistent distributor with no dropoff in scoring.He has found himself getting to the free throw line more and more. In addition, he finds himself racking up rebounds, steals, and blocks as well. He has shot all the way up to the upper echelon of the draft and owns the title of Big 12 Player of the Year now. I don’t see any reason why Orlando passes up on this multi-talented point guard.
|3.||Washington||Nerlens Noel||C||Kentucky||Fresh||6-11 / 225|
Analysis: Since going down in early February, we have all reaffirmed our initial thoughts that Noel is a prized prospect and fully worthy of the no. 1 high school recruit title he was given when he initially signed with Kentucky. The rest of the freshmen have stepped up and played well at times, but none have had the affect that he had on the game. And although he has to continue developing and come back from this knee injury, I see no reason why he is not one of the first guys off the board. Washington needs a greater offensive and defensive presence inside and they can attain that with this pick.
|4.||Cleveland||Otto Porter||SF||Georgetown||Soph||6-8 / 205|
Analysis: Otto Porter has been doing it all for Georgetown and he was recently named the Big East Player of the Year. He helped his team best some of the annual powerhouses in the Big East by beating Notre Dame, Marquette, Louisville, and Syracuse twice. He has had some signature games racking up stats in every category as well as being the emotional leader for the Hoyas. It has been great to see him develop between last year and this year as well as throughout this season. He helps the Cavs out in a lot of ways and adds a big piece to their youth movement.
|5.||Sacramento||Shabazz Muhammad||SG/SF||UCLA||Fresh||6-6 / 225|
Analysis: I would like to see Sacramento find a pass-first point guard, but none come available this early in the draft unless they reach. Assuming they stick around in this spot, they should aim for taking the best player available. Although the freshmen of the year seems to be a 2-horse race between McLemore and Smart, Muhammad is arguably the most skilled scorer in the draft. Along with that, his frame is very developed despite only being 19. Muhammad is a guy that can help as a scorer right away, and his court-vision skills and defense will be soon to follow
|6.||New Orleans||Cody Zeller||PF/C||Indiana||Soph||6-11 / 240|
Analysis: Zeller’s draft stock has dropped slightly due to a combination of other top prospects stepping up, as well as some of his struggles during conference play. At times he still looks unstoppable running the floor and finishing above defenders, but he’s also struggled against some of the Big Ten’s upperclassmen like Trevor Mbakwe, Jarred Berggren, and Derrick Nix. Although Zeller ended up winning most of these one-on-one matchups, it was not to the extent that scouts would like to see out of a high lottery pick. A lot of attention has shifted to Oladipo as the focal point of Indiana which doesn’t help Zeller’s exposure, but if they are both playing great and Indiana makes a deep run in the “Big Dance”, then expect both of their draft stocks to soar. Either way, he won’t get by New Orleans who can solidify thir talented frontcourt with this pick.
|7.||Phoenix||Kelly Olynyk||PF/C||Gonzaga||Junior||7-0 / 240|
Analysis: Kelly Olynyk has probably surprised everyone that has watched him. His long hair does not get in the way of his court vision or jumpshot. He is the best player on arguably the best team in the country. He can play inside and out and does not try to distinguish himself from the offensive system unless he has to. He fits the bill of an inside-out stretch big man, but also has toughness inside that makes him a handful for opposing teams. His team’s success has given him the spotlight to warrant such a high draft spot. Most people do not have him going this high, but Phoenix will not be disappointed.
|8.||Minnesota||Victor Oladipo||SG||Indiana||Junior||6-4 / 215|
Analysis: Victor Oladipo’s draft stock has soared in the last two months according to most scouts. Most consider him a lottery pick, and some have even compared him to Dwayne Wade. I cannot quite buy into that, but regardless, Oladipo has the highest motor in college basketball on both ends of the floor and sells out every play. He fills every column on the stat sheet (including turnovers), but still a lot of the things he does for the Hoosiers are not found on the statsheet. He has defended the best guard on opposing team every game and never lets up. Oladipo is only 20 despite being a junior, so he still has plenty of basketball growth ahead of him. His game on offense relies more on brute athleticism than skill at this point to compare him to Dwayne Wade. The Timberwolves biggest need is a 2-guard, but Oladipo does more for this team than fill a spot. He will dramatically help Minnesota’s defense, as well as stretch the opposing team’s defense so that there’s more space for his teammates to operate.
|9.||Detroit||Anthony Bennett||SF/PF||UNLV||Fresh||6-7 / 240|
Analysis: Anthony Bennett was once the front-runner for freshmen of the year, but due to some shoulder issues and UNLV’s lack of national spotlight, he has not gotten all the attention he warrants. There may not be a better finisher around the basket in this lottery. Bennett has great touch inside and can step out and shoot as well. I think he can slide in next to Monroe, and they can play off each other. Bennett definitely has the athleticism to play the 3 in the NBA as well, which, paired with Drummond and Monroe, could create a formidable frontcourt for years to come.
|10.||Oklahoma City||Alex Lens||C||Maryland||Soph||7-1 / 240|
Analysis: The ACC has quite a few talented frontcourt players, and Lens has done a great job against most of them especially Mason Plumlee. Lens still needs to use his body size more effectively, but he has the touch and basketball IQ that a lot of 7-footers lack. Lens will fit very well into what the Thunder are trying to do with their big men. He will facilitate their offense even more when OKC is ready to fit him into the full-time rotation, which shouldnt take too long.
|11.||Philadelphia||Mason Plumlee||C/PF||Duke||Senior||6-11 / 240|
Analysis: I don’t know if the 76ers can ever think Bynum will be their franchise cornerstone. Although I liked the angle they took in that trade initially, it’s turning out to be a big setback. They need big men desparately. They have some very solid young guards with Holiday and Turner, but they’re going to keep losing ground in the paint unless a big is present to keep the defense honest. Plumlee has put in a lot of work at Duke and seems prime to help right away.
|12.||Dallas||Trey Burke||PG||Michigan||Soph||6-0 / 190|
Analysis: Trey Burke has come up big for Michigan game after game on both ends of the floor, making him the pick for Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. His size is still a limiting factor, but there is still so much to like about Burke. His competitiveness, athleticism, and clutchness are all huge upside. He makes his talented Wolverines go. Dallas has made it clear they are in the market for a point guard and since they have good size at most positions across the board, I don’t think they would be giving up as much with Burke at the 1. He flourishes in the pick and roll game which could be dynamic with stretch forwards like Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion (if he stays), as well as with O.J. Mayo, who can slash or shoot, much like Tim Hardaway does for Burke at Michigan currently.
|13.||Charlotte||Willie Cauley-Stein||C||Kentucky||Fresh||7-0 / 245|
Analysis: Charlotte can solve another hole in their lineup, and though it may take some time to pay dividends, Willie Cauley-Stein will be able to help the Bobcats immensely. They are lacking big men right now and relying too much on the slashing of their backcourt to score in the paint. Cauley-Stein will free up paint space and help cover the floor on defense. They could go with one of other big men available, but I don’t think any offer as much toughness as Cauley-Stein.
|14.||Phoenix||CJ McCollum||PG/SG||Lehigh||Senior||6-3 / 190|
Analysis: Phoenix has Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall, but McCollum has the size and offensive skill set to play off these guys as well as run the point when necessary. He has slid to the mid first round due to his foot injury and lack of exposure in his senior year, but most scouts have already seen enough to know that he can help right away.
|15.||Milwaukee||Glenn Robinson III||SF||Michigan||Fresh||6-6 / 210|
Analysis: Glenn Robinson getting drafted by the Bucks sounds familiar. Like father, hopefully like son I hear the Bucks saying. The Bucks currently have three starting-caliber guards, Larry Sanders making huge strides at C, and a solid rotation of PF’s. The missing puzzle piece is an athletic wing. Glenn Robinson III has a lot still too learn, but he can score from anywhere on the floor and guard four different positions. He plays almost a power-forward role at Michigan and has done a great job on defense and on the boards which further show multi-faceted he is. With Burke and Hardaway departing for the draft, I see Robinson doing the same and getting picked mid-first round by a team like the Bucks that need a dynamic SF.
|16.||Boston||Rudy Gobert||C||France||INT||7-1 / 230|
Analysis: Boston has done a good job getting some younger players into the backcourt rotation even with Rondo’s injury, but upfront they really need some size and youth. They have not had a true center since they traded away Perkins. Gobert has great size but also has versatility. He has played against solid professional competition and will not be in a huge rush to come to play in the states with Garnett up front.
|17.||Atlanta||James McAdoo||PF||North Carolina||Soph||6-9 / 230|
Analysis: With the likely departure of Josh Smith, Al Horford is going to need some support in the frontcourt. McAdoo has been critical to UNC’s squad this year and has the athelicism and ball skills to excel at the next level. He is great at catching the ball going to the hoop and has a great nose for the ball under the basket. These attributes will help replace Josh Smith and keep the Hawks athleticism at a high level.
|18.||Utah||Michael Carter-Williams||PG||Syracuse||Soph||6-6 / 185|
Analysis: Utah is a pass-first point guard away from being a complete team. They have some solid, offensively versatile swingmen in Hayward and Burks, as well as a plethora of big men up front with Marvins Williams, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson. Even though a couple of these guys could be moving in free agency, the youth and potential up front is promising. Now they just need to find someone to facilitate the offensive weapons. Michael Carter-Williams has struggled as of late in league play, but with his length and court vision, the Jazz are going to be lucky to have him fall into their lap.
|19.||Utah||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||SG||Georgia||Soph||6-5 / 205|
Analysis: The other thing the Jazz are lacking is a highly athletic presence in their backcourt. Former first rounders Hayward and Burks are good players, but their basketball IQ and versatility help them excel, while Caldwell-Pope’s strengths are his athleticism and charisma on the court. His performance helped him win the SEC player of the year this year. His athleticism will help him strengthen the Jazz’s defensive efforts as well. These back to back picks solidify the backcourt for Utah and help them match their skill and potential in the frontcourt.
|20.||Brooklyn||Alex Poythress||PF||Kentucky||Fresh||6-8 / 215|
Analysis: Poythress looked just as solid as Noel for Kentucky out of the gates, but everyone quickly realized how raw his game was. Still, Poythress has made a lot of big plays down the stretch both inside and outside to keep his team’s chances alive. Brooklyn has been trying to fill some players into the frontcourt rotation so Poythress would be a great fit. They don’t need someone to come in and score right away, but they could definitely use the versatility off the bench while he develops his overall game.
|21.||Chicago||Allen Crabbe||SG||California||Junior||6-6 / 210|
Analysis: Allen Crabbe has been overshadowed by some of the younger players in the PAC-12, but he’s quietly been having a very good season for Cal. Recently, he has gotten the attention he deserves by taking home the PAC-12 Player of the Year honor. He’s got solid size for a 2-guard and can score from anywhere on the floor. He doesn’t need to have the ball to create shots as he is great playing off screens. Everyone has now seen how solid the Bulls are even without Rose, and when he comes back healthy, he will love having another shooter on the wing. Crabbe has a game similar to Rip Hamilton, but with his youth and possible upside, he will get a chance to develop into the Bulls system on a team with a chance at the title right off the bat. It will be a great experience for this upper classmen as he transitions to the NBA.
|22.||Atlanta||Doug McDermott||SF||Creighton||Junior||6-7 / 225|
Analysis: Atlanta tried to solve the departure of Joe Johnson with signing Kyle Korver and Lou Williams, and while they each have played a solid role while keeping Atlanta in contention when expectations were originally very low, they need more young scorers to ease into their new gameplan with Josh Smith most likely gone at the end of the year. McDermott has been putting up huge numbers in college, scoring from all over the floor and having a knack for being in the right place at the right time. What’s more impressive though is that McDermott can get these points by playing within the flow of his team’s offense and doesn’t need to break down defenders in isolation situations to achieve this. He is a calculated player who can help the Hawks right away.
|23.||New York||Myck Kabongo||PG||Texas||Soph||6-1 / 180|
Analysis: The Knicks made a great play this offseason by bringing in Jason Kidd to New York to be the glue for this talented team of veterans. Kidd has done a good job playing to his strengths and developing skills that have kept him as a valuable asset to teams despite his age, but he is now 39 and will not be around forever. Myck Kabongo is a player at Texas that not everyone has gotten a chance to see due to his Sophomore suspension for receiving benefits. Do not let this suspension raise your red flag for “character issues”, because watching him run the point for the Longhorns shows that he has all the intangibles on the court. He is a bit of Brandon Jennings type as he loves to change pace quickly and sometimes puts up questionable shots, but overall is just doing what he can to help his team win. If the Knicks get him, he will be making some great plays at the Garden in no time.
|24.||Indiana||Lorenzo Brown||PG||NC State||Junior||6-4 / 185|
Analysis: Everyone on the Pacers team is oversized for their position, so why not add in one other guy that has great size for his position. Watching Lorenzo Brown play and distribute is a fun thing to watch with all of the solid bigs on the Wolfpack. He likes to put the ball on the floor and even pulls down some solid rebounding numbers. The Pacers have built their team on length and athleticism and are still lacking a distributing PG to feed all of their players; Lorenzo Brown satisfies both of these criteria and could help put this Pacer team over the top in years to come.
|25.||Denver||Tim Hardaway Jr.||SG||Michigan||Junior||6-6 / 190|
Analysis: Denver has been a very surprising team to watch this year as they out-hustle, out-rebound, and out-run opposing teams. They could still really use a solid shooter from the outside, and they would get that with Tim Hardaway. As a bonus, he also has great athelticism and size at that position that will help him fit into the Nuggets scheme. Hardaway has played against the best competition the college level has to offer and played significant time for 3 years now in Ann Arbor. He is ready for the next step and will stretch defenses that play against him in the NBA with his range.
|26.||Minnesota||Dario Saric||PF/SF||Croatia||INT||6-10 / 225|
Analysis: Minnesota should address their swingman issues early on in the draft, and hopefully at this point they will be able to make a pick that they do not need to rely on right away. Dario Saric has the ball skills of a small forward, but the height of a center. At only 18, he just needs to bulk up and smooth out his game before coming over to play in the NBA. Keep in mind, Minnesota has had a good amount of success drafting and developing young, international players of late.
|27.||LA Clippers||CJ Leslie||SF||NC State||Junior||6-9 / 205|
Analysis: The Clippers’ biggest enemy is their lack of depth at all positions on the floor except for point guard. They put a lot into bringing Chris Paul over and have had some great draft picks. They made the play to get Jamal Crawford which has really helped the scoring in their backcourt. Drafting a guy like CJ Leslie helps the Clippers across the board because of his versatility. At 6-9, he can play above the rim, but also handle the ball on the perimeter or in the high post. He came to NC State as a raw athlete prospect, but quickly developed great ball skills. He can be a solid rotational player for the Clippers right off the bat.
|28.||Oklahoma City||Isaiah Canaan||PG||Murray State||Senior||6-1 / 200|
Analysis: Isaiah Canaan has done a great job of exposing the Murray State Racers as a solid mid-major to the nation. He gets as much credit as anyone for accomplishing that feat. He is exceptionally good at outside shooting and can muscle his way through defenses with his sturdy frame. The Thunder could use someone at the point guard position to spell Russell Westbrook or even give him the chance to play the 2-guard in some sets. Canaan’s experience and maturity will allow him to be that guy and perhaps fill out the only position on the Thunder roster that lacks depth.
|29.||Cleveland||Tony Mitchell||PF||North Texas||Soph||6-8 / 235|
Analysis: Tony Mitchell had been called a lottery pick early on in the college season due to his explosiveness on both ends of the floor. He has continued that defensively, but his offensive prowess has tapered off a bit as the season has progressed. Nevertheless, the potential is there, and the Cavs could use a strong defensive presence as most of their younger players are offensive-minded. Mitchell is still young, but his body is ready for the NBA game and his skills and basketball IQ are sure to follow.
|30.||San Antonio||DeShaun Thomas||SF||Ohio State||Junior||6-7 / 225|
Analysis: DeShaun Thomas has really developed into an all-around nightmare for defenses. His strength is unmatched at the SF position, and his first step is swift whether he’s facing the basket or backing down his defender. He calmly approaches the double-teams he receives and has gotten better and better at making the right decision with all of the extra attention facing him. He is arguably the best-scorer in the Big Ten and is still developing as a player. Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson are both due to be free agent’s after this year for the Spurs, so it’d be great to bring in another swingman that has all the individual ball skills and can buy into the Spurs system.
Last Updated: March 26, 1:30 AM