Needless to say, I am excited for Thursday’s NBA Draft. It’s an exciting time for this Cavaliers franchise and the options they possess, thanks to prior deals and a rigged lottery, are seemingly endless.
Well today, I want to get you all ready for the draft and what to expect come Thursday.
Of course, you all know my dream scenario, but I wanted to share what I think will realistically occur come draft night.
Also, before you read this, and if you haven’t already, check out More Than a Fan’s Cavs Draft Podcast featuring Alex Raffalli, Ben Cox, Cleveland Jackson, Josh Flagner, and yours truly. It was awesome having those guys on and you shouldn’t miss the hilarity, and thoughtful Cavs insight, that ensued.
This is it: my one and only 2013 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Nerlens Noel C Kentucky
After much deliberation, the Cavs take Nerlens at number one. He has the most raw talent of anyone in this draft and, risky or not, the player with the most talent is the player you want on your roster.
The Cavs weighed their trade options and eventually decided that they wouldn’t get enough. Chris Grant is a master in terms of fleecing other teams in trades, but this time they wouldn’t fall for his tricks.
The Cavs fill a position of need while adding to the abundance of young, raw talent on the roster. I don’t think anyone will complain… Oh, who am I kidding? It’s Cleveland. I’m sure we’ll all complain.
2. Orlando Magic- Ben McLemore G Kansas
Orlando takes the second most talented player in this draft in McLemore. What McLemore lacks in mental capacity, he more than makes up for in athleticism and shooting ability. Orlando needs anything they can get and right now, McLemore is their best option.
3. Washington Wizards- Otto Porter SF Georgetown
Porter is the clear pick for Washington, as he fills a position of need and is, without a doubt, the most pro-ready player in the top five. He has tremendous size, tremendous defensive ability, tremendous athleticism, and tremendous scoring ability. What he lacks, however, is the ability to make plays in isolation, which isn’t at all what he will be used for. Washington picks up the second coming of Tayshaun Prince with the third pick of the draft.
4… This is where things will start to get interesting. Alex Len is still on the board, and teams are going to do their best to trade up and get him. Look for a trade here with Charlotte, and don’t be surprised if it is none other than the Miami Heat who come into the fold here at four. It will take Bosh and plenty of picks, but the Heat could be in the market for their big man right here. We’ll pretend, however, that the Bobcats keep the pick.
4. Charlotte Bobcats- Alex Len C Maryland
Len is my favorite player in this draft, but that’s for a different discussion. He’s the most skillful big I’ve seen in a long time. Coupled with incredible size and great athleticism, Len could be the steal of this draft. However, his toughness and work ethic is often called into question, as he was bodied up by people half of his size in college. He lacks that go-getter’s mentality, but maybe that will come with the right NBA coaching.
Many Maryland fans believe that if Len was equipped with a talented point guard, he would have been one of the best college basketball players in the nation last season.
Of course, as with Noel, there is a serious injury issue: STRESS FRACTURE. Stress fractures often mean bad things for NBA big men, so the risk is certainly there. If a team decides that the stress fracture is a non-issue, Len could be taken number one overall.
5. Phoenix Suns- Victor Oladipo G Indiana
I think this has been the one pick that is essentially set in stone for Thursday. Oladipo is an athletic freak who defends maybe better than anyone in this draft. He fills a position of need in Phoenix and begins the rebuilding process for the Suns.
6. New Orleans Pelicans- Trey Burke PG Michigan
The New Orleans franchise begins the Pelicans era with the National Player of the Year in NCAA Basketball. Burke lead Michigan to a National Championship Game appearance and almost cut down the nets in Atlanta. Burke is a talented offensive player who will begin his journey to become the next Chris Paul, minus the passing talent and overall talent, on Thursday night.
7. Sacramento Kings- Anthony Bennett PF UNLV
It’s been rumored that Bennett is overweight and undersized as he goes through these workouts, but in the end, he’s still a gifted player. Sacramento may need size, and need size quickly, if Demarcus Cousins bolts town, and Bennett, even undersized, will give them that strength and toughness in the post.
8. Detroit Pistons- Kentavius Caldwell-Pope SG Georgia
Caldwell-Pope certainly flew a little bit under-the-radar as he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, but he certainly grabbed the attention of NBA Scouts all over the league. A scorer-extraordinaire, the Pistons grab Caldwell-Pope to be the oversized partner at SG to Brandon Knight’s undersized frame at the position. Caldwell-Pope is going to be one of the steals of the draft, and it’s going to the be Pistons who reap the benefits.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves- CJ McCollum PG Lehigh
McCollum is another understated NBA talent, coming from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Pistons were thinking about McCollum a pick earlier, but went against it as they already have enough undersized two-guards. McCollum is going to add depth to an already talented Timberwolves roster. It remains to be seen whether or not Minnesota will stay at number nine, or if they will try to jump up in the draft.
10. Portland Trailblazers- Cody Zeller PF/C Indiana
Things in Portland are a little bleak right now, but one thing is for sure: the Trailblazers need size. Zeller brings size and skill, athleticism and toughness, IQ and polish, all of which the Trailblazers need. Portland is another team that could be looking to take a crack at some of the talented bigs near the top of the draft. If it doesn’t work out for them, however, they’ll be more than happy to take Zeller at ten.
11. Philadelphia 76ers- Steven Adams C Pittsburgh
Great size. Great strength. The Sixers find a huge talent at number eleven.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kelly Olynyk C Gonzaga
He may have small arms, but he has huge heart on the basketball court. That counts for something. Oklahoma City makes a great pick in Olynyk.
13… This pick is going to be moved, the question becomes where. Does Cleveland grab it? Does it go elsewhere? Shawn Marion and the number thirteen pick will not belong to the Dallas Mavericks after Thursday, so I don’t think I can make an assumption on this pick quite yet. However, let’s say Cleveland does in fact take this pick for 19 and the second rounders.
13. Cleveland Cavaliers- Sergei Karasev SF Russia
The Russian son-of-a-coach instantly fills the Cavaliers giant hole at the three position. He’s an incredible passer with good athleticism and decent scoring ability. Anything is better than Alonzo Gee… Am I right Alex Raffali?
14. Utah Jazz- Mason Plumlee C Duke
Plumlee is another extremely skilled center, one of which the Jazz will love for years to come. After losing Jefferson and Millsap, Utah won’t skip a beat thanks to Favors and Plumlee.
15. Milwaukee Bucks- Shabazz Muhammad SF UCLA
An undersized SF with some interesting off-the-court issues, Muhammad drops to fifteen. Coming into UCLA, he was regarded as one of the best prospects in the country. If Milwaukee can help him figure it out, watch out.
16. Boston Celtics- Michael Carter-Williams PG Syracuse
A huge point-guard, the Celtics pick up Carter-Williams who would have been picked by Dallas, had they not traded it to Cleveland. Carter-Williams is the start of a new era in Boston, one in which Paul Pierce, KG, and Ray Allen are not a part of.
17. Atlanta Hawks- Shane Larkin PG Miami
Atlanta missed out on Karasev, thanks to the Cavs, and they know that Chris Paul isn’t visiting any time soon. Larkin is an incredible scorer; one that Danny Ferry needs badly.
18. Atlanta Hawks- Reggie Bullock SF North Carolina
With Josh Smith well on his way, the Hawks begin to replace his nearly irreplaceable size and skill with Bullock. Bullock is a big small forward, one who can play defense and score very well.
19. Dallas Mavericks- Tim Hardaway JR. Michigan
The Mavericks picked up the 19th pick in their trade with Cleveland, and they make great use out of it. Still looking for a guard, the Mavs take the second Michigan product of the first round in Hardaway JR. Daddy will be proud looking on from the crowd.
20. Chicago Bulls- Giannis Adetokunbo SF Filathlitikos International
The Bulls miss out on Hardaway thanks to Dallas, but are able to manage when they catch the falling Adetokunbo at 20. With Luol Deng on the mend after a horrible flu, Adetokunbo is already beginning to look like the replacement at the three.
21. Utah Jazz- Dennis Schroeder PG Braunschweig International
Utah picks a project at 21, one that may not see the NBA for a little while. Schroeder is a very small point guard, but very skilled as a ball-handler and passer. It will be interesting to see what he is able to do at the NBA-level, once he gets there.
22. Brooklyn Nets- Gorgui Dieng C Louisville
The NCAA National Champion goes to Brooklyn to play for Jay-Z. Things aren’t all that bad for Dieng, eh? Brooklyn adds a project, but one that could be worthwhile at the center position.
23. Indiana Pacers- Rudy Gobert C Cholet International
Gobert is an intriguing center with great size and strength. He does need work however, and as the Pacers have Hibbert, they could work with him on the raw aspects of his game.
24. New York Knicks- Jamaal Franklin SG San Diego State
The Knicks pick the leader of the San Diego State Aztecs at 24. A great combination of size, athleticism, and scoring-ability, the Knicks could have a steal on their hands. There isn’t much Franklin can’t do, and hopefully he’ll be able to help the Knicks reach the next level
25. Los Angeles Clippers- Allen Crabbe SG California
Missing out on Franklin, the Clippers get the next best thing in Crabbe. With Doc Rivers now at the helm, the Clippers are looking for something to push them to the next level and, just like the Knicks, Crabbe could do it. A big shooting guard, talented in every way, watch Crabbe make an impact for the Clippers in 2013-2014.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lucas Nogueira C Estudiantes International
Nogueira comes from a team that, when translated into English, means “student”. A student is exactly what Nogueira will be in Minnesota with talented bigs Pekovic and Love leading the way. Minnesota could have a trio of incredibly talented bigs to go along with their passing superstar, Ricky Rubio.
27. Denver Nuggets- Tony Mitchell PF North Texas
The Nuggets are on a bit of a free fall, as they’re likely losing Iguodala to go along with their head coach, George Karl, but Mitchell will certainly slow that fall. A huge power-forward, Mitchell is a monster on the boards, a defensive speciality, and a physical specimen who can put the ball in the basket from almost any angle.
28. San Antonio Spurs- Isaiah Canaan G Murray State
The San Antonio Spurs are in a state of limbo, as of this moment. After a haunting NBA Finals run, this could be the end for Ginobli and Duncan, rendering the Spurs full of questions for the upcoming season. Canaan is a solid talent coming from a small school like Murray State, and could help the Spurs on the road to recovery.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder- Jeff Withey C Kansas
I’m surprised at how Withey fell this far, but he certainly did. Withey is a shot-blocking fiend, blessed with great size and great length. However, Withey’s shortcoming is his weak frame. He needs to add muscle if he wants to dominate the NBA the way he did the NCAA. Withey is going to be a steal wherever he goes, and of course, the Thunder find their potential replacement for Kendrick Perkins.
30. Phoenix Suns- Ricky Ledo SG Providence
The Suns stack up on guards in the first round, picking Oladipo at four, but Ledo is an entirely different case. He is a tall, lengthy shooting guard with incredible offensive capability, almost entirely the opposite of Oladipo. He may be a project, but Ledo will help the Suns very soon.
*Editor’s Note: This post has been added to the DC Pro Sports NBA Mock Draft Database. 71% of their listings have the Cavs taking Nerlens Noel.