Sunday, June 23, 2013

NBA Mock Draft with Analysis

Before I begin the mock, I want to comment on the NBA Finals.  Game 7 just ended, bringing a close to one of the greatest playoff series I have ever witnessed.  Enough talk about LeBron James wilting late in games.  He put the team, including the other big 2, on his back, and pushed through a solid SA team for a title.  I am in awe of LeBron James' performance.  Wade had a good game, and Bosh struggled.  Timmy D showed he was ageless in a more phenomenal sense than Benjamin Button.  Parker was solid.  San Antonio was exploited at the 2 guard spot defensively.  It was a phenomenal series, and brings much excitement with it into the NBA Draft, one week from today.  Without further adieu, here is an updated mock draft:
  1. Cleveland- Nerlens Noel PF/Kentucky- I still have a hard time believing Noel won't be the pick.  He is the best player on the board, and could become an All-Defensive player.  He has the best shot of being an All-Star out of this draft class.
  2. Orlando- Victor Oladipo SG/Indiana- I wouldn't be surprised if he went 3-5, but he is a better value here.  Oladipo is the best perimeter defender, which pairs well with the rest of the roster.  If Oladipo can become a good scorer, he could wind up as the best player in the draft class. 
  3. Washington- Otto Porter SF/Georgetown- Porter can shoot, defend, rebound and handle the ball all at an above average level for small forwards.  He is versatile, and fits next to Wall like Deng fits next to Rose, albeit on an emerging stage rather than a proven stage.  Washington could be a playoff team next year.
  4. Charlotte- Alex Len C/Maryland- It sounds like the pick will come down to Bennett and Len, but Len makes much more sense here.  The Bobcats don't have an option at center outside of Biyombo, who was a reach on his own draft day.  Len will have a learning curve, but the Bobcats can afford to be patient.  He could be a very good starter, and has high potential.
  5. Phoenix- Ben McLemore SG/Kansas- McLemore has supposedly had a series of poor workouts.  He is still a great shooter and the best scorer from the perimeter in the draft.  He'll stay in the top 5.
  6. New Orleans- Trey Burke PG/Michigan- Sources are starting to say that Demps may prefer Carter-Williams, but that may be a smoke screen.  Rivers is not a PG, so they should address the position.  Burke can score and distribute solidly, and is a very good athlete.  He will be the best PG in the draft class.
  7. Sacramento- Anthony Bennett PF/UNLV- Sacramento has a lot of needs.  Bennett seems to be the consensus top player on the board (I'm not in the consensus here), and could fit as a 3 or 4 man next to Patterson and/or Cousins.  He is long and strong, with a good shot, but is not very quick, and is a classic tweener.  Seems like a Kings-esque pick.
  8. Detroit- Michael Carter-Williams PG/Syracuse- Detroit is solid in the frontcourt with Monroe and Drummond, so they add a PG in Carter-Williams who could play with Knight, and potentially guard 2's.  He has to become a better shooter, and make better decisions against top talent, but he is a great value at this point for Detroit.
  9. Minnesota- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG/Georgia-Minnesota has not been able to score from the wing, particularly the 2-guard spot.  They even brought in Brandon Roy last year, who all Blazer fans loved, but knew was done in the NBA.  Caldwell-Pope is a terrific shooter with good defensive potential.  I have seen many mocks with McCollum here, but they don't need another PG option, as they already have Rubio, Ridnour, Barea and Shved.
  10. Portland- CJ McCollum G/Lehigh- Portland would be torn not to select Zeller here, but they go for McCollum instead.  He is a fantastic shooter and ball handler, though he needs to improve his court vision and defensive fundamentals.  Portland would expect him to be the 6th man, and play next to Damian Lillard at times in what could be a very tantalizing backcourt.
  11. Philadelphia- Cody Zeller PF/Indiana- The Sixers would turn in their card in record time.  Zeller fits perfectly in Philly, who has no low post scorer.  Zeller is a good athlete, and is tremendously skilled, showing some jump shot range too.  His defense is nothing to write home about, but I would expect it to improve at least above league average standards.
  12. Oklahoma City- Steven Adams C/Pittsburgh- Oklahoma City played Thabeet at backup center, which should be a short term option.  Adams has lots of defensive potential, but is very raw offensively.  He will have time to develop in Oklahoma, and a second unit of Adams, Jones III and Lamb, who were both drafted last year, will have lots of potential.
  13. Dallas- Giannis Antetokounmpo SF/Greece- I have to admit it- I am more intrigued by the Greek than I probably should be.  He can shoot, handle the ball, make plays, block shots, etc.  He does everything well, though his instincts need to improve a lot.  His biggest knock is a lack of competitive experience, though he played well in his first U-20 national team games.  I think someone takes a shot on him in the lottery.
  14. Utah- Shabazz Muhammad SF/UCLA- The UCLA supposed prodigy failed to live up to expectations, and is now underrated after all of the criticism he has taken.  When teams pass on players for what they cannot do, they live to regret it.  These are the reasons players like Kawhi Leonard, DaJuan Blair and others fall on draft day.  Muhammad is a terrific scorer and a great rebounder for a guard.  Don't rule him out as high as #7 to Sacramento.
  15. Milwaukee- Sergey Karasev SF/Russia- Milwaukee is potentially going to lose both Ellis and Jennings- though Ellis is crazy to think he can make more than the Bucks just offered him.  They need outside shooting, and Karasev may be the best in the draft.  He has a quick release and plays hard.  After seeing the effects guys like Redick and Klay Thompson have had as 3 point shooters, Karasev will go high.
  16. Boston- Ricardo Ledo SG/Providence- I have Ledo ranked 30, but he is a bit of an enigma.  On one hand he is a terrific scorer and defender, though his instincts are brutal.  On the other, he was academically ineligible at Providence, and was called the "worst person ever" by one of his former coaches.  He is a boom or bust type pick- and one Danny Ainge won't be afraid to make.
  17. Atlanta- Dennis Schroeder PG/Germany- Schroeder had his coming out party at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland.  He is a speedy guard who excels penetrating through the lane.  He could go as high as 13 to Dallas.
  18. Atlanta- Rudy Gobert C/France- What you see is what you get from Gobert.  He is massive, and decently athletic for his size.  He wants to come over right away, and he could pair well with Al Horford on the minutes they play together.
  19. Cleveland- Tony Mitchell SF/North Texas- Mitchell's draft stock fluctuates based off of who you read.  I wouldn't hesitate to take him late in the lottery, but he falls in this mock.  Mitchell can shoot and rebound, and could back up both forward spots in Cleveland.
  20. Chicago- Shane Larkin PG/Miami- Chicago needs outside shooting and a backup PG.  Larkin fits the bill, and has lots of potential to be a 6th man for Chicago.  He is small, which limits his upside to play with Rose, but he is the best player available at this juncture.
  21. Utah- Isaiah Canaan PG/Murray State- Supposedly Utah is enamored with Canaan, which allows them to address the wing position at pick 14.  Canaan is a fantastic shooter who could develop into a starter one day.
  22. Brooklyn- Lucas Nogueira C/Brazil- "Bebe's" stock is highly on the rise, and he could go late lottery, starting with Dallas as 13.  He is massive and rail thin, and has potential as a rim protector in 3 years.
  23. Indiana- Kelly Olynyk PF/Gonzaga- Olynyk is not a great athlete, but is a very skilled 4 man with height.  With David West's impending free agency, and Hansbrough's inconsistent play, look for Olynyk to be picked up here if he falls.
  24. New York- Gorgui Dieng C/Louisville- Dieng could go high as well.  The 15-35 range is very volatile, and players could go anywhere within the range without much thought.  Dieng is a rim protecting big man with a good outside shot and high post passing.  A good fit for NY.
  25. LA Clippers- Jeff Withey C/Kansas- Withey is a tremendous shot blocker who excels at defending without fouling.  He is raw offensively, and at 24 may not improve much more, but his ability to have a solid defensive impact gets him drafted here.
  26. Minnesota- Mason Plumlee PF/Duke- Plumlee was recently referred to on Blazersedge as a "Wal-mart" center.  He does everything well until he is overused.  For 15 mpg, he could be a fantastic value.
  27. Denver- Allan Crabbe SG/California- Crabbe also shoots the ball well, though his game is more limited than others before him.  Denver desperately needs shooters, and Crabbe fits the style and depth that Denver has promoted.
  28. San Antonio- Erick Green G/Virginia Tech- Green was the leading scorer in the NCAA, but is not as polished offensively.  Given the struggles San Antonio had with their guard play late in the NBA Finals, Green could be a good grab.  Don't count out Serbia's Nemanja Nedovic here either- he should be a first round pick, but probably slips to round 2 (Hello Portland! hopefully...)
  29. Oklahoma City- Reggie Bullock SF/North Carolina- Oklahoma City can use some outside shooting as well, and Bullock has potential to be a 3 & D player who could replace Sefolosha one day.  He is low ceiling, but fits so well.
  30. Phoenix- Glen Rice Jr. SF/NBDL- Rice could go much higher, but red flags push him to Phoenix at 30.  After adding McLemore and Rice, Phoenix has some legitimate wing scoring options for Dragic to play with.

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