With the NBA Draft just hours away, rumors are swirling like crazy, and still, nobody knows for sure who is going to be the number one overall pick.
The Detroit Pistons will have a lot of decisions to make come draft night, but like almost every draft night now, the right player seems to always fall in GM Joe Dumars’ lap.
Who will it be this time? Ben McLemore who is seemingly slipping by the minute. Could it be Victor Oladipo who many GM’s think might be too safe of a pick, or is it Georgetown Hoya Otto Porter. Who now with the recent rumors of the Wizards targeting UNLV forward Anthony Bennett, is seen slipping as far as number eight to Detroit in some mock drafts.
I’m looking forward to possibly the most exciting NBA Drafts in recent years. With so many possible trades and the increased amount of head scratching picks bound to happen.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel: C
- As we are now just hours away from the Cavaliers selection, it sounds like the Cavs are leaning more towards Noel, instead of Len.
2. Orlando Magic – Ben McLemore:
- The Magic select the top prospect in the draft at number two, but may go with Trey Burke here if they do not think they can acquire Clipper guard Eric Bledsoe.
3. Washington Wizards – Anthony Bennett: SF/PF
- The Wizards have been rumored all along to select Georgetown small forward Otto Porter at number three, but have seem to fall in love with UNLV standout Anthony Bennett. Bennett is a 6’7″ back to the basket power forward, that may not have a true position, but may be the most talented player in the draft. He has drawn comparisons to NBA legend Larry Johnson and Utah Jazz big man Paul Milsap.
4. Charlotte Bobcats – Otto Porter: SF
- The Bobcats at number four snag the top small forward in the draft in Otto Porter. Reports have surfaced that the Charlotte Bobcats (soon to be Hornets) are shopping last years lottery selection Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, so they can select Porter and move him to the starting small forward spot. A bit of a surprise because Kidd-Gilchrist would probably be the number one overall pick this year if he had stayed in school. I expect may teams to give a call to Michael Jordan and Rich Cho (Bobcats GM). One team I think will make a run at Kidd-Gilchrist is your very own Detroit Pistons, who have a gapping hole at that position.
5. Phoenix Suns – Alex Len: C
- Len slides all the way down to number five in this final edition of the 2013 NBA mock draft. He will fit nicely with point guard Goran Dragic and will slide next to center Marcin Gortat in the frontcourt. These two 7-footers create a huge front line for the Suns.
6. New Orleans Pelicans – Trey Burke: PG
- Even with Grevis Vasquez playing the point guard spot in New Orleans, the Pelican’s staff isn’t sold on him, and they may go with Michigan point guard Trey Burke with their lottery pick. Burke is a leader, and a great ball handler that can grow with the Pelicans young group of guys. Burke and last years number one pick Anthony Davis, could combine for a formidable pick and roll combo for years to come.
7. Sacramento Kings – Victor Oladipo: SG
- Oladipo slides all the way to seven, and the Sacramento Kings could not be happier. if there is one sure-fire good player in this draft it is Victor Oladipo. He is a determined person with a good head on his shoulders. He is also a freakish athlete with relentless hustle on the defensive end.
8. Detroit Pistons – Michael Carter-Williams: PG
- I have had both Shabazz Muhammad as well as Michael Carter-Williams in this spot before, and after talking to some draft insiders, it sounds more and more like Carter-Williams will be the pick if none of the top seven slide to Detroit.
The 6’6″ point guard will run an offense with two young, up and coming big man, as well as a dynamic young combo guard in Brandon Knight. And with the selection of MCW, the Pistons can keep Brandon Knight at the 2-spot and cross guard the backcourt positions on defense. This will take away the defense liability that is Brandon Knight at the shooting guard spot, by the two simply cross matching. MCW is a pure point guard and a true playmaker that will be the first long-term pure point guard the Pistons have had since Chauncey Billups. Carter-Williams makes perfect sense at number eight, and will be a solid addition to the Pistons young core of Knight, Monroe, and Drummond.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves – C.J. McCollum: SG/PG
- The Timberwolves are set in the frontcourt with double-double machine Kevin Love, and big man Nikola Pekovic. The Wolves will most likely be looking for a scorer in the upcoming draft and McCollum was the best scorer in college basketball last year averaging 23.4 points per game. McCollum would fit nicely in the backcourt next to European sensation Ricky Rubio.
10. Portland Trailblazers – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: SG
- If McCollum is off the board, it has been rumored that the Blazers would want to ship their pick for some proven veteran help. Caldwell-Pope has been a player on the rise because of his lockdown defense and his smooth shooting stroke. if the Blazers can’t find a taker for their lottery pick, KCP would be a solid addition for a young Blazers team.
11. Philadelphia 76ers – Cody Zeller: C/PF
- The 76ers head into the draft with a dark cloud above their heads. They traded for franchise center Andrew Bynum during last years offseason, but did not play a single minute for the Sixers the entire season. Philly most likely will not re-sign the big man and can instead draft a seven footer that can take his place next year. Cody Zeller was the favorite as the number one pick to start the year, but was out performed by his Indiana teammate Victor Oladipo. Zeller averaged over 16 points per game and grabbed almost 10 rebounds a game. He can help Jrue Holiday by creating a solid pick and roll partner for years to come.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Steven Adams: C
- With the success that the Thunder have had over the last three years, they do not need to draft anybody that is already NBA ready. They can draft a solid prospect and bring him along slowly. Steven Adams is a seven footer that has the potential to be a starter in the NBA if he is brought up correctly, and he will have the opportunity to do so in Oklahoma City.
13. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Schroeder: PG
- Mark Cuban and the Mavericks are trying to make a major splash in free agency and that means saving every last penny. By selecting the German point guard, they get a solid point guard of the future and somebody that knows and loves to run the pick and roll offense. They can also keep Schroeder overseas for a year, and save up more money to go after big time free agents this summer.
14. Utah Jazz – Shane Larkin: PG
- The Jazz are in need of a solid point guard to build with going into the future. Mo Williams played the starting role last year for the Jazz, but with yet another season passing, the Jazz’s need of point guard becomes even stronger. With Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, and Dennis Schroeder off the board, the Jazz select the next best point guard prospect in the extremely athletic Shane Larkin.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – Shabazz Muhammad: SG/SF
- General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, John Hammond, needs to get the fan base excited again and with the potential departure of guard Monta Ellis, they are in need of a scoring shooting guard. The Bucks select a now underrated Shabazz Muhammad to add scoring next to point guard Brandon Jennings.
16. Boston Celtics – Kelly Olynick: C
- The Boston Celtics have been known for snatching up players that have slipped on draft night, like Jared Sullinger last year. With all of the rumors swirling about the possible rebuild of the Celtics and trading of Kevin Garnett, the Celtics could look to add another big man this year. Olynick played extremely well in his Junior season at Gonzaga and would fit nicely as a post player in Kevin Garnett’s possible absence next year.
17. Atlanta Hawks – Allen Crabbe: SG
- The Hawks can add some nice young talent with their back-to-back lottery selections and add some perimeter shooting by drafting Crabbe. Allen Crabbe played extremely well in the NCAA tournament when they upset Anthony Bennett and UNLV in the first round.
18. Atlanta Hawks – Rudy Golbert: C
- With the Hawks addressing the backcourt with their last pick, they may want to help bolster their frontcourt with the possible absence of Josh Smith next year. Golbert is very raw, but is a seven footer with rebounding ability. The big man from French could be a steal down the road for the Hawks if they string him along slowly.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers – Sergey Karasev: SF
- Cleveland seems to have set their target on drafting Sergey Karasev, the foreign swingman with their second first round selection, and all signs point to a future marriage between the two on draft night.
20. Chicago Bulls – Gorgui Dieng: C/PF
- Gorgui Dieng: C- Another big man comes off the board here with NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion Louisville Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng, Coming into the year Dieng was a very raw offensive player but began to come into his own when it counted, during their Championship run in the NCAA tournament. Dieng averaged 2.5 blocks a contest and shot over 53 percent from the field. Dieng would come in and fit nicely next to Joakim Noah and make a paint protecting 1-2 punch in Chicago.
21. Utah Jazz – Tony Mitchell: PF/C
- The Jazz selected their point guard of the future with their first pick of the first round and will look to go big this time around. With the possible departure of Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson, the Jazz might want to add another young big man to the Kanter-Favors duo. Tony is a scoring forward on the block, he averaged 13 points per game and grabbed nearly 9 rebounds a contest. He also is an above average rim protector averaging 2.7 blocks a game.
22. Brooklyn Nets – Mason Plumlee: C
- As the Nets’ season got underway they have had a problem filling the hole at the power forward position. The first half of the year, Kris Humphries started at the four spot, but eventually fell out of favor in interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo’s rotation. Reggie Evans started the second half of the year at the forward spot, as well as in the playoffs. Evans is a monster on the glass, posting multiple 20 rebound games since being inserted in the staring lineup, but has failed to provide any offensive help for Brooklyn, Plumlee can be more effective at the offensive end and will provide Deron Williams with an athletic big man to throw lobs to.
23. Indiana Pacers – Jamaal Franklin: SG
- San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin, has dropped drastically over the last few weeks because of his struggles at the NBA Draft Combine held in May. The Pacers already have their two swingmen set with Paul George and Danny Granger, but Franklin can come in and help provide scoring off the bench. Franklin has NBA range that can help spread the floor for second unit point guard D.J. Augustin.
24. New York Knicks – Giannis Antetokoumpo: SF/PG
- The Knicks always seem to surprise everyone on draft night and I do not expect anything less of them this year. With the Greek star still on the board, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Knicks stash their first round selection for a few years over seas.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Rickey Ledo: SG
- It has been rumored that the Los Angeles Clippers are shopping their late first round pick to keep from taking a hit to their cap flexibility. The Celtics were also rumored to be trying to acquire this pick and they have really like Ledo heading into the draft. Ledo was recruited heavily headed into last year, but was unable to play because he was academically ineligible. This leaves Ledo as one of the biggest mysteries of the 2013 NBA Draft.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Reggie Bullock: SF
- The Timberwolves again, address their problems on the wing with North Carolina swingman Reggie Bullock. The main need for Minnesota is the shooting guard spot even after addressing it with their first selection of the draft. Bullock comes from a great program at North Carolina under head coach Roy Williams. Bullock is a good outside shooter and would make a good fit next to Rubio.
27. Denver Nuggets – Glen Rice Jr.: SF
- Rice is one of the best athletes in this year’s draft and would be a nice fit to what is already an extremely athletic team. Rice played last year for the NBA Development League team the Rio Grand Valley Vipers. He helped lead them- along with Andrew Goudeluck-to a league championship.
28. San Antonio Spurs – Tim Hardaway Jr.: SG
- The Spurs always seem to find a diamond in the rough, and this year will be no different. Hardaway Jr. is a solid perimeter shooter with NBA range, that can stretch the floor for Tony Parker and Patty Mills. He will be coached well under Gregg Popovich and will be a solid backup to Kawhi Leonard.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tony Snell: SG/SF
- Tony Snell of New Mexico has shot up draft boards because of his excellent perimeter shooting and his athletic 6’7″ frame. The Thunder can add another young shooter to their team, and continue to grab steals late in the draft by selecting Snell.
30. Phoenix Suns – Jeff Withey: C/PF
- The Phoenix Suns finish off the first round of the draft by selecting stretch big man Jeff Withey from the University of Kansas. The Big man played well early on for the Jayhawks but was lost in the shadows of top five pick Ben McLemore. The Suns love to space the floor with shooters and Withey has shown that he has the ability to get dirty down low, but can slide outside for a 15-20 foot jump shot.
37. Detroit Pistons – Archie Goodwin: SF/SG
- Kentucky shooting guard Archie Goodwin would be a nice insertion of young talent on the wing for the Pistons. Goodwin played well for the Wildcats, playing in the shadow of projected top three pick Nerlens Noel. Goodwin averaged just over 14 points per game and almost five rebounds per game. Goodwin is a slasher that gets most of his baskets attacking the rim, he needs to develop his jump shot more if he wants to succeed at the next level.
56. Detroit Pistons – Alex Abrines: SG
- I still feel that the Pistons will select an overseas player with their last pick in the draft, and still feel that they can afford to stash a young and talented Abrines overseas for a few years.