Let me start by saying that this took a lot longer than I expected to write. I enjoyed every second of researching prospects, contracts, and teams. This is absolutely a field I want to be involved in professionally. I want to have the privilege of either evaluating prospects or covering a professional basketball team as a beat writer. Hopefully this mock draft comes out very accurate and I could e-mail it over to Chad Ford and other NBA Draft blogs and get some sort of writing jobs. The effort that went into this merits it. It’s one of my favorite projects yet. That being said let’s get down to business, I ain’t got no time to play around what is this..
Ryan Buchanan, (@EminemAndMnMs) 2013 NBA Mock Draft
(1st Rd, 1st Pick)
Let me start my mock draft, and this lengthy Noel analysis, by saying Cleveland needs to trade this pick.
Nerlens Noel is the most talented big man in the NBA draft. He can put up a lay-up in record big-man time, he can rip down rebounds with a 7’4 wingspan, and most of all, he could get up and get weak shit out of there before it hits the cylinder. He did it over 4 times a game before he tore his ACL three months ago. Every expert mock draft has him going first. But Cleveland has bigger problems than finding a center.
Did people forget how nasty Anderson Varejao was on the glass before the season-ending blood clot? It’s not like Tyler Zeller cost them games, that was Tristan Thompson’s futility and lack of perimeter talent. Why crowd the front-court with injuries when you could TRADE the pick for an established SF/PF and dump salary in the process and make a bid for free agency?
Small forward Luke Walton, who was essentially grand-fathered into the league, and Daniel “Booby” Gibson, have expiring contracts. If Cleveland lets them expire, it gives them $10.8M to spend. If I’m Dan Gilbert, the only way I’m drafting Nerlens Noel is if I know Varejao’s injury is going to impact his entire career, or if I’m deep in trade talks with teams with the knowledge I’m drafting Nerlens.
While Kyrie-Noel sounds like an awesome AAU type of 1-5 connection, I don’t think it will get Cleveland to the play-offs in their first year, at least. Cleveland has bigger issues to address in perimeter scoring and perimeter defense departments.
All this being said, which I feel is required, I think he will come off the board to the Cavaliers, and be put on the trade block immediately. Dan Gilbert is a type of guy who loves a rush. What better rush is there than having a third of the league clamor for your first overall pick?
Round 1, Pick 2
This pick COULD go to Trey Burke, who, in the end, will be a better player than McLemore, but this is the Magic we’re talking about, who should drop the ball and go with McLemore. Orlando needs a guy to make plays. They need a guy with a superstar attitude. Burke and McLemore both have these traits. They can either get Burke, who will make plays for himself, and occasionally the rest of the Magic-less Magic, or they can get McLemore and have a better chance at creating a spectacle, reviving Orlando. I think both guards are better than Nelson and maybe even Afflalo. McLemore will start immediately, and average over 15 points a game, and probably 15-20 shots a game. There is no team in the league starting from scratch more so than the Magic.
I’m surprised I wasn’t signed by the Orlando Magic last year and given starting minutes. They may have a decent front-court next year, with Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. Almost every decent player on the team is a PF/C, and if you think Arron Afflalo is the answer at guard, and will ever be the star of any team, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Adding to the hilarity that is the Orlando Magic, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson are getting a combined $20.6M next season. Hopefully they sign a smart combo guard who can teach McLemore along the way.
Third (pick) is the one w/ the hairy chest
I know nothing about Otto’s chest. What I do know, is that either Otto Porter or arguably Anthony Bennett will be starting for the Washington Wizards a few weeks into the season, if not to start it. Bennett played a 4 in college, and will likely move to a 3.. for he is a mere 6’7. In addition, since Trevor Ariza has a player option, and Martell Webster is a free agent, I’m slotting a truer small forward, in the wake of Jan Vesely, Otto Porter, at the third spot. Otto compares himself to Tayshaun Prince, which I completely agree with him about. He does a little bit of everything: passes, plays defense, steals, blocks, rebounds, occasionally shoots, makes the guys around him better, and has an NBA intelligence and awareness. With the offensive emergence of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington needs to branch into the realm of acquiring an intelligent perimeter defender who will make smart plays and passes. He will also play excellent help defense when Beal and Wall lose their man mid-penetration. Like a girl who just moaned the name of her ex-boyfriend. Nobody beats the Wiz.
Charlotte Eventually Hornets
(1st Rd, 4th Pick)
A lot of mock drafts have Charlotte drafting a shooting guard. Ben Gordon has a $13.2M player option, which he would be crazy not to accept, which will keep him on the team. Henderson will probably stay on as well, pleased with his playing time and his club option. Then we have Kidd-Gilchrist, who will probably start against next year, and probably Biyombo and Haywood at center again. McRoberts will probably seek more money, which he deserves, but I don’t think the Bobcats will be smart enough to give, which leaves a deep hole, seeking a stretch 4, with versatility and an established game. Bennett can play outside and in, and will bring down rebounds as well. I think they should get a center. Hopefully they do. There are better players and options than Anthony Bennett available, but I think Charlotte goes for this kid.
(1st Rd, 5th Pick)
I really hope this happens. When push comes to shove, Shabazz
Muhammad is the more talented version of the average of Michael
Beasley, Jared Dudley, and Wesley Johnson. He’s crafty like Beasley, a shooter like Dudley, and will probably be unhappy with the team in a few years like Wesley Johnson. He has a bit of an attitude, calling himself the best player in the draft. He’s a bit of a ball hog, piling up only 27 assists in 1000 minutes. But I think Phoenix needs this.
They have no fresh perimeter scoring. Scola is washed up and
Jared Dudley has a low ceiling. Shabazz Muhammad would be an
excellent fit at guard/forward and enable Goran Dragic to have someone to pass to in transition. I’m very high on Muhammad. That’s not an opium joke.
New Orleans .. Pel.. …..I can’t
(1st Rd, 6th Pick)
The only things that are going well for the … you know.. are the
emergence of Greivis Vasquez as their point guard and their
versatility at the F/C with Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, and although not great, Robin Lopez and Jason Smith. Aminu showed some bright spots on the glass this year and may emerge into a threat next year.
Aminu and Oladipo are both pretty good defenders, and each of them are from Nigeria. Aminu is the descendant of Nigerian kings and Oladipo’s mother is an excellent high jumper. These two can absolutely create an advantage in perimeter defense, if they can use communicating in Hausa or Igbo to their advantage. I’m serious about this. If I were a coach I would definitely bunk those two together and develop their potential unique chemistry. Watch out for the Morris twins this year and you’ll understand.
Sacramento not Seattle, Kings not Sonics
I had a tough time with figuring out who the Kings were going to get
at 7. MCW may not be the best player available, but its whom they
need. A point guard who can facilitate the offense. The Kings move
around players a lot and you never know what they’re gonna do. Jason Thompson is locked up for cheap and I believe will be a long time King. I also believe they will give Cousins what he wants after he grows up and has an awesome year this year. I believe Tyreke is
looking for too much money and a winning team, and that the Kings lose him. This will be a bad move on both parties, but it gives the Kings the opportunity to get a SF in free agency. While Isaiah Thomas had a bit of a break out season at point guard duties, he is a point guard because he is short, and I don’t think the Kings want him starting big minutes. Therefore, I give this pick to a new 6’6 Kings point guard named Williams. It is a bit of a stretch pick at 7, but his pass first mentality is what Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins need.
Trey Burke is a Top 5 player in this draft. If the Magic pass on him,
he’s going to drop. Washington has Wall, Charlotte seems to want to
stick with Kemba, Dragic has locked in a point guard role for
Phoenix, Charlotte doesn’t need him, and then there’s Sacramento, who is looking for intelligence over a playmaker. Burke may have both, but I know that Burke would love to play for the Pistons. He has said so himself, and it would give the Pistons the superstar they have lacked since Grant Hill. Because Burke will be one. Brandon Knight has not panned out as a facilitator and may not. This kid doe…
Overrated. I do not think he will be good.
Minnesota does need to replace Pekovic, who is going to have an offer sheet this season which will likely consist of some big buck offers that the Timberwolves may not be able to match. This schlub, Len, is probably who they’re going to go for, over Olynyk, who has more range, better leadership, more experience, more explosion, more intensity, and is simply better. Minnesota may also address their need at shooting guard, but they can get a good one at 26th. Shooting guard is a deep position in this draft.
(1st Rd, 10th Pick)
The Blazers will likely lose center JJ Hickson this year to free
agency because they will not be able to afford him. He will probably
be seeking a multi-year deal around $25-30M and I don’t think the
Blazers are desperate to keep him. Aldridge, Batum, and Matthews
already make a combined $30M, which is a fairly large sum for three
players. His departure would mean Meyers Leonard becomes the starting center, unless they move Aldridge to center, and that should not happen.
Rudy Gobert of France is a long center who is exactly what
Portland lacks in both Leonard and Hickson. He is an excellent
defender who is great around the rim like Hickson was, and he has a
lot of frame to add muscle to. He also gives Batum a French friend to
talk to about snails and armpits. I like Meyers Leonard, but he is
not ready to be in the rotation. He fouls a lot and isn’t a great
defender. Rudy Gobert should be a lock to go to the Blazers if he is
(1st Rd, 11th Pick)
The Bynum situation absolutely destroyed the 76ers last season. They were an absolute joke inside, and made a mockery of on multiple occasions. In my daily fantasy basketball season, I also picked a center going against the 76ers almost daily and never thought twice about it. Now, Philadelphia can extend Bynum’s $16.8M contract, or they can add that $16.8M to their cap space and draft a scoring center with experience in Zeller, who can provide length inside, as well as some intelligence, (which they need), because the Sixers are probably the dumbest team in the league, with exception to my interview buddy Charles from Hofstra University. They also have the option to free $5M+ onto the cap with the departure of Nick Young and $4.6M+ off the cap from Dorrell Wright. Those two are expendable in my opinion, the SG position is getting deeper and deeper, and outside shooting is available in free agency. If they do not plan on keeping Bynum, The Sixers will get a glass-savvy center that can play smart inside with Thaddeus and Hawes, and if they keep him they will go after a
guard/forward, with Turner’s club option coming up next year.
Oklahoma City Thunder
(1st Rd, 12th Pick)
Withey, you say? Withey, I say. First of all, my thoughts are with
all who lost something in the Oklahoma tornado. Kevin Durant should be hungrier than ever this season. Westbrook should be back. Ibaka has emerged as one of the great defensive power forwards, if not, the best. It is obvious that the weak links on the Thunder are at shooting guard, which Scott Brooks sort of uses as a flex position, and their joke of a center, Kendrick Perkins.
The Thunder are looking for an intelligent center, and being that they acquired Ibaka, I know they love defense, and I know they love Jeff Withey. He played nearby in Kansas, and I don’t doubt Oklahoma City scouts came out there to watch him more than a few times. He was the defensive anchor for Kansas, and I believe will be the starting center for the Thunder in the middle of this year and will lead every team in shots blocked for years to come. A lot of people hate on Withey. No idea why. He’s awesome.
(1st Rd, 13th Pick)
Siva’s stock will rise. This pick could go to Shane Larkin if his
draft stock improves, or it could go elsewhere if they sign Jarrett
Jack, but if neither of the two happen, Mark Cuban is a big fan of
winners in college basketball, and wants a winner, a smart point guard who can lead a team intelligently, like Peyton Siva. Dallas also
needs a big man, but I’m sure they won’t shy away from signing and
starting Chris Kaman for cheap. Darren Collison’s stock decreased
dramatically this season and he has a cheap club option next season.
Dallas has eight options/free agents this year, all players who played
this season, so Dallas may be going after a big-name center in free
agency. I think Pekovic will be the guy. Siva is ready for the pros, and by the end of the year, I believe that Rick Carlisle will go with an optimal starting line-up of Siva, Mayo, Crowder, Dirk, and newly acquired Nikola Pekovic, readying themselves for a play-off run once again.
The Jazz have a lot of issues. Millsap and Jefferson are both
destined to be free agents. If they choose to replace these two Utah
staples with Favors and Kanter and sign neither one, Utah will have
the money to sign whoever they want in free agency, which leaves their options endless. And who knows what free agent Mo Williams wants, but he’s not the answer for Utah at point guard. Utah has two picks in the first round, and I believe they will get one later, because
centers are running small in this mock draft. Hayward is the eventual fill at small forward. Although I like Burks, it’s not like he will be a top-10 shooting guard next year, but Utah can sign a shooting guard. Expect a whole new team from Utah next season. I think Olynyk will go to Utah because he is the type of gritty, intelligent player that Utah likes, and one of the best players available at this point.
This is also a very tough pick to gauge. But one thing that is not
tough to gauge, is that they will be losing some outside shooting.
Ellis has a player option, Jennings has an offer sheet, and Redick and
Dunleavy are both free agents and both from Duke so nobody wants them.
I’m just hating on Duke. Thats the state of Milwaukee and Russian
dude Sergey Karasev should fix that. He will give Ilyasova a foreign
buddy who can play the rebound and shoot from outside game with.
Milwaukee was weak inside with the exception of Larry Sanders, but
their larger issue to address is in the backcourt. I say Ellis gets
an extension and comes back and takes point guard duty, which I’m sure he would like. But two tall forwards who can rebound and shoot the three from outside is something I like Milwaukee would find appealing.
The Green Team in Boston
Kevin Garnett is, foreseeably, leaving, and Paul Pierce is getting
old. Jeff Green is more than ready for a spot in the rotation this
year, and Boston seems to like Brandon Bass. I think Gorgui Dieng
will help fill out the front end of the roster and give Boston the
defensive 6’11 presence and leadership at center that they will need
with the foreseeable departure of Garnett. Fab Melo is not going to
cut it and neither is Chris Wilcox. Doc Rivers may be gone, so this
may not have an impact, but Louisville played zone defense, and so
Atlanta has back-to-back picks at 17 and 18. Atlanta has terrible
guards who are expendable, soft defenders, and streaky and stupid
shooters. Josh Smith is very likely to leave, and this leaves Al
Horford as the center of the Hawks front-court for a team who will
have no backcourt next year. Korver and Devin Harris are also
free agents, and I don’t think Atlanta wants to be stuck with Dahntay
Jones. Atlanta needs a scoring guard who can play minutes. This kid CJ is a scoring combo-guard who averaged over 23 points a game at Lehigh this season, and reminds me a LOT of Jason Terry, who was drafted by the Hawks. If CJ McCollum drops this far, he should absolutely be selected by the Hawks. Now for that potentially explosive SF/PF tweener, athlete who can bring the house down with a Josh Smith style jam..
Yep. The CJ Squad. Now they just have to get CJ Watson and Cory
Joseph and they’ll be unstoppable. I’m kidding. CJ Leslie is the
incredibly poor and young man’s version of Josh Smith. I think Josh
Smith had a horrible year this year. I think Leslie will bring some
spunk to Atlanta that they will lose with the loss of Smith. Mike
Scott and Leslie would fill similar roles on the team, Scott being
more traditional and Leslie acting as more of the athlete with the
great help defense. It’s a bit of a stretch for a first rounder, but
I think it is what the Hawks will need if they don’t go after a SF/PF
in free agency who can play big minutes.
With their second pick of the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select
their eventual replacement for Tristan Thompson, who was a
disappointment last year. Cleveland arguably needs a 2, a 3, a 4, and a 5.
I think they go for the most talented forward available in Tony
Mitchell. He is big, physical, has more speed than Speights, and he’s
what the Cavaliers need inside. He has an NBA player look, unlike
anyone on the Cavaliers aside from Irving or Varejao. If Mitchell
goes to the Cavaliers, I think he will take the starting role away
from Tristan Thompson. He is better on offense than Tristan, as well as defense,
and has plenty experience.
KCP at the 20th pick should be going from a Bulldog uniform to a Bull uniform with the 20th pick. Rip Hamilton is getting old. He showed no signs of aging but I’m sure it’s something the Bulls are thinking about. Jimmy Butler has seemed to find a role on the Bulls, but for the most part, it’s a defensive one. If they want a big offensive shooting guard who can give them some extra rebounds as well as shoot from outside, Caldwell-Pope should be their guy. Boozer may be on the block and gone, but Gibson will step up next year and I don’t think there’s enough talent left for the Bulls to go after a big. I can vividly see Caldwell-Pope in a Bulls jersey. Also, Nate wants his money. So he’s dipping. Bulls can’t afford him. Especially with Rose PROBABLY playing next year.
Blackjack pick, 21st
I love this kid. He drives to the hole faster than any point guard I
saw last year in college basketball. His athleticism is off the
charts, and Utah could definitely use him, especially since they won’t have Millsap or Jefferson to count on inside, to post up and put up decent shots.
Utah has been missing the speed and transition that
John Stockton brought for a long time, and while he may not be as
awesome as a passer, and may be 5’11, he will sure bring the speed to
the young Utah offense. If Utah gets Larkin in this draft, they will
be near the top of the list in the NBA for points per game if Hayward
can maximize his outside potential. Utah is going to be the team to
watch in a few years. Maybe less, depending on what they do in free
agency. Hopefully they add some perimeter scoring.
Glen, I mean, wait no, Glen Rice
He’s got the outside shot. He’s got the genetics for it. He’s got
the Brooklyn swagger. He’s also got the experience. He’ll sell
jerseys too. I know I’d buy one. And I’m a Knick fan. But it’s
tough to say what the Nets need. They’re a bit of an anomaly. They
had an on-and-off season and played at top level versus the Bulls.
Crash Wallace got banged up last year in every game, and Kris
Humphries has proved how soft he is since Kim left him. Gerald
Wallace is 10.1M this season and Humphries will be gone at the end of this season.
Glen Rice gives Joe Johnson an athletic buddy behind the
arc who can spend time in the gym shooting threes with Mirza Teletovic and the Nets can become one of the most dangerous outside teams in the league. I think they stick with Evans at power forward. It’s more of a gut feeling than a logical one.
Ben Hansbrough and Tyler Hansbrough. Miles Plumlee and Mason Plumlee. It just makes sense. The Pacers are band of brothers, and that band of brothers is having a hell of a playoff run, and plays team
basketball. Power forward David West deserves whatever he wants from the Pacers and should re-sign with them. I believe the rest of is staying put, and they won’t be making any major changes.
Mason Plumlee adds a third 7-footer that they can put in the game if
Hibbert and Mahinmi both get into foul trouble. Plumlee is nice, and
should have a decent NBA career. He’s also a gritty big man who is
white, which helps his Pacers draft stock. Winky face.
THE New York Knickerbockers
Probably some foreign guy I have never heard of, but hopefully Jackie Carmichael
My Knicks. The Knicks have some personnel problems they need to address, as well as many needs. They seem okay with Felton, Shumpert, JR, and probably Prigioni on his last legs in the backcourt. Kidd seems done.
In the front court, they should have Chandler, Martin, Amare, and
occasionally Carmelo, because Wallace, Thomas, and Camby all seem done. The middle of the line-up is actually what seems dead to me, since it looks like they will be slotting Carmelo at the power
forward. There’s a lack of an athletic perimeter guy who can shoot
from the outside and rebound off the bench, similar to what JR does at SG off the bench, and Galinari and Wilson Chandler used to do for us.
I’m hoping Chris Copeland stays a Knick and has a role on the team,
but since he is defensively soft, I want someone with Copeland’s game who can also defend. We’re too cluttered inside for another inside guy. Camby is likely staying, and getting over 4M for sitting on the bench. Amare will be getting almost 6 times that. I could say the Knicks should get James Southerland out of Syracuse, who has a sweet jumper, mid-range game, and intelligence, but it would be too early and Knick fans who don’t watch college ball would not agree.
While an efficient and intelligent rebounder would be nice, or a savvy point guard who can facilitate and score, we will stick with Felton and JR, and we will likely look for an efficient, athletic, third option, Wilson Chandler-like player in this draft. I would love a center though.
Los Angeles Clippers
Odom is leaving, Grant Hill may retire, Billups might leave, and the
Clippers need someone who will replace Caron Butler. I don’t think
there is anyone in the draft they will be able to find to replace Paul
if he leaves and they will start overrated Bledsoe in that interest.
The Clippers will all of a sudden lack scoring and need an effective
perimeter scorer. Deshaun Thomas is that guy. He will fit right in
with Los Angeles, and I believe he is the perfect fit for them, in
what will likely be a difficult season for the Clippers next year if
they lose Chris Paul to free agency.
The Wolves should go after a scoring guard but I think they’ll go
after a scoring small forward with the uncertainty of Chase Budinger.
Minnesota loves white foreign kids who can shoot from the outside and is soft and will not be good, but the Timberwolves will likely waste this pick on another white foreign kid when they can get a great shooting guard like Jamaal Franklin.
His name is Green, so is Denver, so he’s going to
Denver. Nah. In reality, Brewer is a free agent, Andre Miller is
getting old, and Andre Iguodala has a player option, which he should accept but who knows what he’s thinking.
This leaves the Nuggets fairly weak at the guard/forward position. The Nuggets are always looking for team players. Players who are versatile. He can score at will, he averaged 25 points a game for the Hokies last year, and his style is up-tempo, which fits perfectly with the Nuggets. Erick Green has Kevin Martin like potential in my eyes, but is smarter than Kevin Martin. I have high hopes for this kid. High hopes. Nuggets get a steal at 27.
San Antonio Spurs
This little guy. Its tough to say what the Spurs need. They are so complete and can
win with anyone. Ginobli is getting old, and Danny Green has fit in
just right at his spot. Kawhi Leonard is the new kid in town, and the
new staple at small forward. Tim Duncan is immortal, and Tiago
Splitter is getting better and better. But how much legs does Tony
Parker truly have? He is still playing at an elite level, but his
Wade-off period is coming around the corner, and I don’t think Cory
Joseph is the answer. Pierre Jackson is an intelligent facilitator,
and a warrior who plays a lot bigger than his 5’11 frame. I believe
the Spurs will like him a lot, and will pass on Dennis Schroeder
because he is too young. Schroeder will likely go before Jackson, but Jackson’s awesome handles will get him the attention of the Spurs.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Something about Dennis Schroeder screams Oklahoma City Thunder to me.
I don’t quite know what it is, but it doesn’t look like Reggie Jackson
is the right back-up for Russell Westbrook. Schroeder might be. He
has more of a skill set and more potential for such a young kid. He’s
also lightning quick, which sustains that tempo that Oklahoma City
doesn’t want to ever lose over the course of 48 minutes. He’s very
interesting. He’s German and black. I don’t know how that even
happens. But yes, OKC should draft a point guard if they didn’t lock
up a replacement for Perkins yet.
I have faith that the Suns will be terrible for years to come. Their
contracts are absurd. Gortat has a lot of work to do. Is Dragic
really that good? Dudley and Beasley are both trash boats. And I
don’t even know who their shooting guard is at this point. Point
guard and the Morris twins are probably Phoenix’s strongest assets.
Adekotunbo could be a good risk to take here, who knows he could have defensive instincts like Deng and transform the team. Honestly I know nothing about him and I have no clue who in this draft would make Phoenix better because Phoenix doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing.
Scola, Gortat, Dudley, Garrett, Beasley, and Frye all proved that they belong in hefty bags because they’re all trash. That being said, I think they take Colton Iverson. O’Neal is a free agent, Hadaddi isn’t
good, Frye is bad, and Gortat may not work out. Colton Iverson is a perfect project pick.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you read this novel of a mock draft and inspire me to write more.