With the NBA Draft upon us within a matter of hours, it is time to take a look at my final mock draft of the season.
Every team has worked out their prospects and done their homework on players that they hope will be future stars in the league.
Who will hit the jackpot and who will crap out?
Apr 2, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len (25) puts up a shot against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half of the NIT Tournament Semi-Final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s not waste any time and find out in my final 2013 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Player Name: Alex Len
Position, School: C, Maryland
For the first time all year I don’t have Nerlens Noel going No. 1 overall. Len has been gaining a lot of steam and could be the guy the Cavs select with the top choice. Len can score, rebound and block shots and has enormous upside as an NBA center. He will fit in nicely with a talented young core in Cleveland.
2. Orlando Magic
Player Name: Victor Oladipo
Position, School: SG, Indiana
Oladipo stays at No.2 on my board this week. His toughness, defense and leadership might be more appealing to a rebuilding team although the Magic could still target a point guard like Trey Burke here. Oladipo is the best on-ball defender in this class, which will greatly improve the Magic defense. He is an explosive athlete and if his offensive game continues to improve, Phoenix could have themselves a future star.
3. Washington Wizards
Player Name: Otto Porter
Position, School: SF, Georgetown
The Wizards could look at Noel here, but ultimately they won’t be able to pass on Porter. Washington has their backcourt for the future in John Wall and Bradley Beal, so here is an opportunity to add a 3 that can complement those guys. Porter’s versatility and his ability to affect the game without shooting the ball are major pluses on a team that already has several starters who like to score the ball. Porter can do it all at both ends of the floor and is a future NBA star.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Player Name: Nerlens Noel
Position, School: PF, Kentucky
The Bobcats have a couple nice young pieces in place with Kemba Walker and Michael-Kidd Gilchrist. Now it’s time to address the need for a productive post player. Charlotte could go multiple directions with this pick as they need help at the 2, 4 and 5, but considering the fact that they get no frontcourt scoring, I like them going with Noel here here. UNLV’s Anthony Bennett makes a lot of sense but they can’t let Noel slip any further. Knee injury or not, Noel has the makings of a dominant NBA big man. He has more upside than anyone in the draft and Charlotte can be a little patient waiting for his knee to heal completely and put on some weight.
5. Phoenix Suns
Player Name: Ben McLemore
Position, School: SG, Kansas
The Suns have plenty of needs but maybe their biggest is a legitimate backcourt scorer. With great athleticism and an elite scoring ability, McLemore could be a go-to player early in his career. While he was a bit inconsistent last season, McLemore still has plenty of room to grow and his natural skill translates well to the next level. With plenty of options available to them, it would be hard for the Suns to pass on McLemore’s upside.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
Player Name: Trey Burke
Position, School: PG, Michigan
Even with Greivis Vasquez in place, the Pelicans will have a hard time passing on the best point guard on the board. Bennett could also be an option here, but Burke makes sense as a pure point guard with a winning track record. It will just be another piece of the puzzle in what looks to be a very bright future in New Orleans. Burke is a point guard that can pass as well as he scores and has a very bright NBA future ahead of him.
Mar 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Anthony Bennett (15) during practice the day before the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
7. Sacramento Kings
Player Name: Anthony Bennett
Position, School: PF, UNLV
The Kings are basically starting over again and one of the first building blocks needs to be adding a legit point guard of the future. Bennett is one of the most complete players in the draft and has as much upside as anyone. He is one of the most versatile players in the draft and has the strength to play inside at power forward and the handle and shooting ability to play small forward if needed.
8. Detroit Pistons
Player Name: Michael Carter-Williams
Position, School: PG, Syracuse
The Pistons are strongly considering a point guard so they can move Brandin Knight off the ball. With Burke gone, they really can’t go wrong with Carter-Williams. He’s a pure point guard who makes everyone better and he’s also an excellent on-the-ball defender. He needs to develop his jumper and add strength, but Carter-Williams is a great passer who has good size for the position and has a ton of upside.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Player Name: C.J. McCollum
Position, School: PG/SG, Lehigh
This is probably a reach, but I like McCollum a lot and think he’s a great fit in Minnesota. I don’t view McCollum as a point guard in the NBA but think he could be very good off the ball. The Timberwolves are still searching for an answer at shooting guard and have shot only 30 percent from behind the arc on the season. McCollum is a guy who can really knock down the long-range shot, connecting on 51 percent on his three-point attempts. He will be this year’s Damian Lillard.
10. Portland Trail Blazers
Player Name: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Position, School: SG- Georgia
The Blazers have a great starting five but no depth at all. Caldwell-Pope has as much upside as any scorer left on the board. With some good young pieces already in place, it makes sense for Portland to add a potential future backcourt mate for Damian Lillard. He is a lethal shooter with deep range who is also a big-time defender. Caldwell-Pope is a guy who instantly makes Portland better.