2013 NTCF NBA Mock Draft

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again and even more surreal that the Celtics will be drafting players who will not be playing for Doc Rivers. Boston has been at the center of trade rumors galore, specifically surrounding Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It could be time for the C’s to enter full-blown rebuild mode with Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley at the core.

ImageWith that said, here’s a look at who could go where in the latest edition on the NBA’s “incoming class.” As always Scottie and I picked every other selection to figure out who will be wearing what color jersey come Friday morning.

(Also, as always… I get the first pick! @BIG3Sports always gets honors hahaha.)

1. Cleveland – Nerlens Noel – F/C – Kentucky

Rumors continue to swirl that the Cavaliers could be taking Maryland big man Alex Len, while there are still others that expect the Cavs to trade the pick. I’m sticking with Noel, Imagewho without the injury would be a shoe-in here. A defensive game-changer in the post, he should pair well with the backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

2. Orlando – Victor Oladipo – G  – Indiana

With the trade winds kicking up that Aaron Afflalo could be moved to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, it opens up a spot at the two guard. Oladipo is my favorite player in this draft and that’s for his defense alone, especially after meeting him at the Sweet 16 this year. He could grow into a tremendous player for years to come. Ben McLemore could also get a look here, while another team could trade up for a shot at Alex Len or Nerlens Noel, depending on who’s still on the board.

3. Washington – Otto Porter, Jr. – SF – Georgetown

The Hoya product is one of the most well-rounded prospects this year and is hands-down the best small forward in the draft. A chance to stay home would be a perfect fit for the Wizards who have a big need at the 3.

4. Charlotte – Alex Len – C – Maryland

Len has been shooting up draft boards and could be the No. 1 pick overall.  Michael Jordan may want to take Ben McLemore here, who is the best shooter in the draft, but the Bobcats need help down low big time and can’t pass on Len or even Anthony Bennett.

5. Phoenix – Ben McLemore – SG – Kansas

I saw McLemore play in late December in Allen Fieldhouse and was not overly impressed. ImageHe often looked disinterested and rarely took over. However, he puts up the purest shot of anyone this season and has the ability to make top 10 plays driving to the rim. On a team loaded with seniors its not surprising that he was not the focal point. He could be the best of the best of 2013 when look back a we few years from now.

6. New Orleans – Anthony Bennett – F – UNLV

The Pelicans have said they will take the best player on the board at pick No. 6, which is Bennett. He has injury questions and is said to be overweight, but should be able to shed the pounds and make a formidable one-two duo with last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Davis.

7. Sacramento – Michael Carter-Williams – PG – Syracuse

A 6-foot-6 point guard with the best floor vision in the class. Not a bad pick for a team that just needs to keep stockpiling talent. He would be able to work in slowly, playing behind Isaiah Thomas and with rumors of Jimmer Fredette to Indiana, it could be a good situation for the young Syracuse guard.

8. Detroit – Trey Burke – PG – Michigan

Another player with a chance to stay home. The National Player of the Year has some serious talent but is undersized. With Brandon Knight proving to be a better 2 than 1 guard, Burke could eventually pair with the former Kentucky prospect and make a dynamic 1-2 punch in the backcourt.

9. Minnesota – C.J. McCollum – G – Lehigh

Even though he comes the Patriot League and was injured for most of the season, he was second in the nation in scoring at almost 24 points per game when he went down, and led ImageLehigh to an upset of Duke in 2012. McCollum can play either guard spot and shoot it well, but can immediately come in and defend.

10. Portland – Cody Zeller – F/C – Indiana

Indiana becomes the first team with two players off the board as the seven-footer goes to a team in desperate need of size to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge. Zeller can really run the floor and while he does not do some things well, he plays hard and is a student of the game. He could see minutes right away with last year’s draft pick Meyers Leonard still learning the NBA game.

11. Philadelphia – Steven Adams – C – Pittsburgh

Another team in need of size, especially with the status of Andrew Bynum completely up in the air. Adams is a tank, but a raw and unrefined one. With seasoning, he could become a starting center in the League for years to come.

12. Oklahoma City – Kelly Olynyk – F/C – Gonzaga

Make it three-straight centers. Olynyk could immediately help the Thunder on the low block with a bevy of low-post moves. There are some questions if he is strong enough or can defend at an NBA level, but the offensive production makes him worth the risk at the end of the lottery.

13. Dallas – Shabazz Muhammad – SF – UCLA

Dallas is actively trying to trade the pick to clear cap space and make a run at Dwight Howard so taking the best player on the board may make sense. Muhammad has a lot of question marks around his character, but remember; this kid can play. With the right coach and the right situation he could flourish.

14.  Utah – Shane Larkin – PG – Miami

It is amazingly obvious that the Jazz need a point guard. Larkin ran a heck of an offense for the U this year and though undersized, he has proved to be an active sparkplug with Imagetons of energy. If not Larkin, Utah could take German point guard prospect Dennis Schroeder.

15. Milwaukee – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – SG – Georgia

The Bucks will be without Monta Ellis next year and while they truly need a small forward, taking the SEC player of the year to try and replace Ellis may not be a bad idea. Caldwell-Pope did not shoot overly well last season, but was asked to do entirely too much on a bad Bulldog team.

16. Boston – Lucas Nogueira – C – Brazil

The Celtics could go in a number of directions. They need size, a backup point guard and more talent in general. If they are truly in full-rebuild mode they could take a project center like Nogueira. He could develop into a dynamic force down low, but will take a few years to get there.

17. Atlanta – Sergey Karasev – SF – Moscow

Karasev has been shooting up draft boards as of late in a small-forward depleted draft class. Josh Smith may be on the outs and Karasev could step into some serious minutes for the Hawks.

18. Atlanta – Mason Plumlee – C – Duke

Plumlee looked good at Duke, but scouts fear he does not have a high upside. Even if he can replicate what he did for Coach K, he could prove to be a strong pivot for ATL, allowing Al Horford to move to his natural power forward position.

19. Cleveland – Reggie Bullock – SF – North Carolina

Another team in need of a small forward as they have even been linked to Paul Pierce. They should be in take the best player available mode, but could move up or deal the pick. Right now Chad Ford has them taking Bullock… that’s good enough for me.

20. Chicago – Tony Snell – SF – New Mexico

The Bulls need help on the wing even with the emergence of Jimmy Butler. Snell, Crabbe, Goodwin, Ledo or Franklin could also be in play here.

21. Utah – Rudy Gobert – F/C – France

Gobert is physical freak at 7-2, with a 7-9 wingspan, but is wildly small in frame and needs Imageto put on serious weight. He could turn out to be a serious player in the right situation, but needs at least three years to start to contribute on an NBA roster.

22. Brooklyn – Giannis Adetokunbo – SF – Greece

His people are playing him up as a point guard and he needs the ball in his hands to be truly effective but at 22 he could be a great pick for the Nets. Foreign players are always a risk, but this is one that could pay off.

23. Indiana – Dennis Schroeder – PG – Germany

It is highly unlikely that Schroeder will still be available here, but it would be a good fit for the Pacers who need a backup point guard after D.J. Augastin proved to be ineffective in the playoffs this year.

24. New York – Ricardo Ledo – SG/SF – Providence

PC fans are familiar for Ledo, but only because he did not play for them this year. He has a ton of talent, but could not make the grades. Had he played this season he may be much higher up on this board. He could be a steal for whoever takes him late in this draft.

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Gorgui Dieng – C – Louisville

Dieng looked to be a defensive force for the Cardinals in the NCAA Tournament with a developing low-post game. A team could reach for him around 15-20, but if he slips, don’t expect him to get past the Clippers who could need some muscle around Blake Griffin, especially if they trade DeAndre Jordan.

26. Minnesota – Jeff Withey – C – Kansas

Withey was a player who really stood out when I watched the JayHawks in person back in December. He runs the floor ok for a big man and can finish at the rim, but his defense is what sets him apart. He is no overly built, but uses his body well. With an offensive minded coach, he could develop a decent low-post game and can easily step in for Pekovic right now.

27. Denver – Jamal Franklin – SG – San Diego State

Another player I anticipate going earlier in the draft, he did it all at SDSU. Exteremly athletic if not a tad wirey, he would fit well with a Denver team that is full of athletes and likes to get up and down.

28. San Antonio – Nate Wolters – PG – South Dakota State

The Spurs are always an interesting team to pick for and even though they have Gary NealImage behind Tony Parker, Wolters could be a good fit (although they still may be able to get him in the second round). The Jack Rabbits were a popular upset pick over Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tourney because of the 6-5 point guards ability to shoot.

29. Oklahoma City – Tony Mitchell – F – North Dakota

A physical specimen in the mold of the “Manimal” Kenneth Faried, he has fallen down the board to questions about his character. He may have not played against the toughest competition, but has shown the ability to play the game. A solid pick this late in the draft.

30. Phoenix – Tim Hardaway, Jr. – SG – Michigan

Your dad was Tim Hardaway. You should be a first round pick.

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