Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pre-Combine NBA Mock Draft

(Editor's Note: The following mock draft is a joint venture between SuiteSports.com's Jeremy Conlin and RoundballDaily.com's Kels Dayton. If you don't know about RoundballDaily, you need to axe somebody. 

Well, since you axed, it is one of the best hoops blogs on the net run by our buddy Kels (who chats with us every week on our "Taking You to School" podcast). RoundballDaily tackles college and pro hoops, all with a sense of humor and appreciation of the game. -Joe)

By Kels Dayton and Jeremy Conlin

(Additional Editor's Note: My only contribution to this entire process was convincing Kels that Cleveland would take Otto Porter over Anthony Bennett at #3. Seriously, that's it. But my name is on the byline for some reason. Take it up with Joe if you don't like it. -Jeremy)

Mothers sobbing hysterically!! Giant teenagers in expensive suits!! Awkward handshakes with Commissioner Stern!! It can only mean one thing…the NBA Draft! We spoke to scouts, coaches, trainers and agents to come up with this, the most accurate mock draft you'll find anywhere from year to year. Picks, of course, are subject to change, but here's a pre-combine, pre-lottery look at what each team might do. Official draft lottery will be set on May 21.  

1. Unknown Orlando- Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky. Noel is probably the best talent in the draft and should go No. 1 no matter who wins the lottery because big men like him are hard to find. He is a freakish athlete and defensive dynamo, and has small forward-speed.  

2. Charlotte- Ben McLemore, G, Kansas. McLemore is super-athletic and has a great shooting touch and elite-level speed. Charlotte could sure use him, as could Cleveland, Phoenix, New Orleans, Sacramento...  
3. Cleveland- Otto Porter, G/F, Georgetown. Porter's do-everything game and prodigious scoring ability make him a top pick. He isn't a game-changer and won't have an immediate impact, but he could be a solid player for a long time.  
4. Phoenix- Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV Bennett is a powerful, athletic 4 who had scouts drooling even before he arrived at UNLV. Though he was inconsistent as a freshman, scouts love his versatility and natural gifts.  
5.plat_r_pelicanslogo2_mb_600New Orleans- Alex Len, C, Maryland He's a project, but New Orleans has the time and patience for such a player. Though they drafted Anthony Davis last year, it never hurts to have multiple talented big men.  
6.Sacramento- CJ McCollum, G, Lehigh McCollum is rising up draft boards despite a season-ending injury in January. He compares to Blazers Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who also came from a small school.  
7. Detroit- Shabazz Muhammad, G, UCLA Detroit needs guys who can put the ball in the basket, and that's what Muhammad does best. He's kind of selfish--but that's okay--because the Pistons need scorers.  
8. Washington- Cody Zeller, C, Indiana The Wizards desperately need a productive big man, and Zeller would fill that need nicely.  
9. Minnesota- Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana The Wolves have needed a 2-guard since before David Kahn passed on Steph Curry and took Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn (hey, that's 2 guards, right?). Oladipo gives them what they desperately need.  
10. Portland- Mason Plumlee, C, Duke. This just feels like a Blazers pick. They always seem to fall in love with stiff, lengthy centers who bring little offensive skill to the low post.  
11. Philadelphia- Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse. MCW makes sense for Philly because his length and defensive ability in the backcourt perfectly match what the Sixers are all about.  
12. Oklahoma City- Trey Burke, G, Michigan. The Thunder will likely look for a point guard in the first round, just as an insurance policy for Westbrook. If Oladipo were available here, he may make the most sense, but Burke is a great backup plan.
13. <a href='http://www.nbadraft.net/nba_draft_trades/2013' title='Thunder receive Mavericks' 2013 first-round pick. (top 20 protected until 2017). via Rockets (Harden) via Lakers (Odom) (Jordan Hill trade)' class='mock_team_link'><strong>*Dallas</strong></a> Dallas- Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany. The German point guard is rising up draft boards after an impressive showing at the Nike Hoop Summit.
14. Utah- Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga. The Gonzaga big man could end up helping fill the void left by Al Jefferson if Utah isn't able to retain him.   
15.Milwaukee- Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia The 6-10 swingman would be a nice choice for Milwaukee, which seems to have an affinity for foreign talent.  
16. Boston- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia The Celtics will love his athleticism and pure shooting ability. He'd be a great choice to help out a backcourt that was floundering with Jason Terry last season.  
17. Atlanta- Tim Hardaway, Jr., G, Michigan. The Hawks could use a player like Hardaway Jr., whose shiftiness and athletic ability could give them some much-needed backcourt punch.
 18. Atlanta- Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville. The Hawks could use a defensive presence like Dieng on the interior. 

19. Cleveland- Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State. Buckeye fans know how well Thomas can score the basketball, and the Cavs could use a big man prospect with athleticism.  
20. Chicago- Jamaal Franklin, G, San Diego State. Franklin seems like the Bulls' kind of player. He has the potential to be a quality defensive player and could be a bigger version of Jimmy Butler.  
21. Utah- Lorenzo Brown, PG, NC State. The Jazz could use a franchise point guard, and Brown has all of the tools to become a quality player at the next level.  
22. Brooklyn- Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia. The logical choice for the Nets because they need another shooter and Karasev is a sensation in Russia, where owner Mikhail Prokhorov hails from.  
23. Indiana- Tony Mitchell, SF/PF, North Texas. Another guy from a small school with tremendous athleticism and potential. Plus, he's got a bland name. See: Paul George, Danny Granger.  
24. New York- Rudy Gobert, C, France. The Knicks need another big man to back up Chandler, and Gobert would be the perfect selection here if he falls into their lap, no matter how much he gets booed by Knicks fans.  
25. L.A. Clippers- Tony Snell, G, New Mexico. Snell gives the Clippers a spot-up shooter and defensive presence in the backcourt, something they desperately need. He'd fit perfectly in L.A.  
26. Minnesota- Erick Green, G, Virginia Tech. If Green falls into the Wolves' lap at 26, there's no way they don't take him. It's possible that Minnesota could trade up to take a shooter like Green.  
27. Denver- C.J. Leslie, F, NC State. The Nuggets could use Leslie at the small/power forward slot. He's athletic enough to play well in their up-tempo offense, and works well in the half court.  
28. San Antonio- Jeff Withey, C, Kansas. The Spurs will love Withey's shot blocking ability and prowess on the defensive end.  
29. Oklahoma City- Giannis Adetokoubo, SF/PF, Greece. The 6-9 big man has the potential to become a nice contributor at the next level and would fit well in OKC's offense because he runs the floor well.  
30. Phoenix- Shane Larkin, G, Miami (FL). The Suns will take a chance on Larkin because they could use a point guard and like the way he runs a team. 

Second Round Coming Soon!