The 2013 NBA Draft happens tonight and in recent days, I’ve been thinking that this draft is just like “The Facts of Life.” Yeah, you can hate me for embedding the theme song in your brain later. Of course, I don’t expect many of you to remember the show because I’m old, but humor me for a minute.
Nerlens Noel has been the most talked about player and is the most intriguing, but at this point is known more for one thing — blocking shots like a hot chick blocks dudes on Twitter. Noel is the Tootie of the draft, just looking cool on rollerskates, but really, what else? Ben McLemore is like Blair with his pretty jumper and ridiculous athleticism, looking all attractive to NBA GMs all around the league. However, many feel that he needs to be more aggressive and not prim and proper like Blair was all the time. Anthony Bennett is like Jo, a bad ass that can do everything, but keeps people at a distance in the beginning sort of like Bennett to some teams because of his tweener status. Jo could look pretty and beat you up like Bennett’s ability on the perimeter and post. Easy comparison.
Every single bust to come in this draft is like Natalie. Just really annoying. Every single star to come out of nowhere from this draft is like George, who was played by George Clooney. Do I really need to explain this one?
And, of course, David Stern is Mrs. Garrett, a cool character from another era and show (Diff’rent Strokes … hate me again) who lost some gusto towards the end. Luckily, in comes Beverly, I mean Adam Silver to take over and close things out.
In the first season, there was a bigger cast of characters that just fell off and who seemed a lot more interesting — Nancy (a Katy Perry lookalike before Katy Perry), Sue Ann (seemed like it had to be her or Blair that moved forward in the show; too many blondes!), Cindy (an energetic blonde; more blondes in the 1980s, what a surprise!) and Molly, played by Molly Ringwald before she became the “it” girl of the 1980s and a personal crush of mine. I’m sure there will be some players that fill in these “lesser” characters, but enough reminiscing and let’s get mocking!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
There have been a few names mentioned at this spot, primarily Nerlens Noel, along with Alex Len and Otto Porter. However, I think the Cavs bust out another Tristan Thompson-type draft move where the team drafts a player many didn’t see coming. Although, both NBA TV and I do. Regardless, I thought in terms of, do I want a player whose ceiling is Dikembe Mutombo or Ray Allen with fictional, but actual, Jesus Shuttlesworth athleticism? I love Geico commercials, but not that much.
2. Orlando Magic: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Some people say that the Magic have their center for the future in Nikola Vucevic, but I’m not buying it. Great season, no question, but I do think Noel can be pretty damn good in this league if he doesn’t go the Greg Oden route with injuries. However, I’d keep Vucevic because after four years, Noel will follow the trend of Magic centers and leave anyway. Kidding! I think.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Porter has been moved around, up and down, all over mock drafts, but I think he’ll settle in where most initially had him anyway. It just makes too much sense. It’s like something the Wizards haven’t had in a while: perfect harmony.
4. Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets: Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV
I have faith in Rich Cho and I think his modus operandi will be to draft BPA (best player available) for the foreseeable future. I’m sure he’s hoping for some redemption and the team to win next year’s lottery and take Andrew Wiggins, but it’s kind of obvious the basketball gods hate the Bobcats/Hornets when it comes to odds. In any case, Bennett is one of a few players that could end up being the best player of this draft.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
I’ve never changed my opinion of whom the Suns will draft. I’m stubborn like that.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
I keep seeing that the Pelicans give no f—s about Greivis Vasquez’s very good performance this past season and will draft Trey Burke if he’s available. Maybe it’s a smokescreen, but I’ll fall for it and consider the discontent from either point guard this coming season as karma for being part of the rigging of last year’s lottery. Wish Burke all the best.
7. Sacramento Kings: C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh
McCollum has been seeing a bit of jump in mock drafts lately and for good reason as he can shoot, like, really well. He’ll need to adjust to playing the point guard position, but he could end up being a truly core piece of the team with new ownership.
8. Detroit Pistons: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
What? This makes no sense! The Pistons have Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond already, why Zeller? Because he’s basically NBA-ready and while he has a limited ceiling he has the least downside and complements both of the aforementioned bigs well with his ability to shoot outside, run and post. Seriously, this could be a great three-man rotation at the 4 and 5 spots.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alex Len, C Maryland
Len falling this far after speculation he can go as high as the first overall pick may remind some of when Brook Lopez was considered high before the 2008 NBA Draft, but fell to 10th overall to the then-New Jersey Nets. Len would complement Kevin Love’s ability to hit the outside shot and be a favorite of Ricky Rubio’s on the break.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Loads of potential here with Adams and he could develop into a great defensive presence for the Blazers, something that J.J. Hickson was not. Adams will just need to be aggressive, consistent and put the work in.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
I’m pretty sure there’s no more Andrew Bynum in the Sixers world, but who really knows? Still, I think they’ll go big and go with one of the best offensive centers in the draft, if not the best. Defensively, he’ll still need work. But hey, as long as he stays healthy to man the middle, he would have achieved more than Bynum ever did for the franchise.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Sergey Karasev, SG/SF, Russia
Karasev has caused a lot of speculation around the Dallas Mavericks pick at 13. Rumor has it that many teams want to trade with the Mavs, who are very open to trading the pick, in order to select Karasev. However, I have it that the Thunder will do to teams what they do during the regular season: break their hearts. Karasev is an excellent shooter and lift the burden a bit from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on offense.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
If the Mavs keep this pick, expect them to go point with a tall point guard in MCW, who has excellent vision because of his height, but also has a problem turning the ball over that he’ll need to overcome.
14. Utah Jazz: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
If the Jazz keep this pick (rumors abound that they want to combine their 21st overall pick to move up), expect them to go point guard. It’s a huge need and some speculate that Schroeder is a poor man’s Rajon Rondo at this point of his very young basketball career.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
This pick can turn into Shane Larkin or Isaiah Canaan if they Bucks want to move forward from Brandon Jennings, but since it’s known that Monta Ellis is gone, I think they’ll make the more reasonable move to replace him at the two. Caldwell-Pope has impressed enough that he may squeeze into the lottery, so this could turn out to be perfect for the Bucks.
16. Boston Celtics: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
The only thing certain about the Celtics right now is that everything is uncertain. They could go big here, but my thinking is that they’ll need some scoring, which Muhammad is very good at doing. Some say the only good thing he can do. However, there was a time when he was considered a number one overall pick, so there’s that.
17: Atlanta Hawks: Lucas Nogueira, PF/C, Brazil
This could be excellent value for the Hawks here and would allow Al Horford to finally move over to the four spot where he’d likely be a bit more efficient, if that were possible. His athleticism and potential, particularly defensively, are pretty much elite. He’s a bit of a project, but the ceiling is too high for the Hawks to let him pass.
18: Atlanta Hawks: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
Larkin was very impressive at the NBA Draft Combine and has moved up significantly in mock drafts relative to before the combine. With Jeff Teague being a restricted free agent and Devin Harris, unrestricted, the Hawks could select Larkin as an insurance policy that they’d be more than fine with letting run a team that’s currently in flux.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tony Mitchell, SF/PF, North Texas
Mitchell is a very gifted forward prospect that is one of the more athletic in this draft. He can board, block shots and run all day and night. Adding Mitchell and McLemore in this mock draft will make the Cavs very fun to watch. I’d expect the Cavs to play Mitchell at the four spot.
20. Chicago Bulls: Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico
Had Snell here in my previous mock draft and he’s here again. Really good shooter with great defensive characteristics and instincts. Tom Thibodeau should be very happy if the Bulls nab Snell.
21. Utah Jazz: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
Plumlee isn’t a sexy name, especially when you consider he played at Duke, but he should be a very solid NBA player for the next several years because of his athleticism and BBIQ. Schroeder could potentially find him and Derrick Favors for a lot of oops.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
There are some questions about his knees, but Dieng’s upside as a rebounder and defender is worth the chance. Has some surprisingly solid offensive moves as well, but is still a weakness.
23. Indiana Pacers: Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State
The possibility of D.J. Augustin leaving via free agency will likely have the Pacers looking at the point guard position. Canaan is a late riser and could be a great addition to Indiana as he can play the point, but also score and play tough defense. He could even play alongside starting point guard George Hill at times.
24. New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, Michigan
J.R. Smith is likely gone, so here comes Hardaway, Jr. to replace him. Out with the old J.R. and in with the new Jr. See what I did there? Yeah, that was corny.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
I said this before, but I’ll say it again — Crabbe is like a poor man’s Ben McLemore. If that comparison holds true, he’ll do very well with the Clip Joint and new head coach Doc Rivers, who allows young players to develop and can get the most out of them.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Giannis Adetokoubo, SF, Greece
Adetokoubo could be a Euro stash pick, but he’s basically made it known that he wants to play in the NBA next season. He has excellent length as a 6-foot-9 small forward and solid instincts. Still raw, but has a lot of big potential with an actual chance of reaching it.
27. Denver Nuggets: Nate Wolters, PG, South Dakota State
Excellent ball handler that will be a crowd-pleaser in Denver. Will be able to play alongside Ty Lawson as their abilities can complement each other very well as Wolters would allow Lawson to play off the ball to have more scoring opportunities. A bit slow, but smooth on offense.
28: San Antonio Spurs: Reggie Bullock, SG/SF, North Carolina
A typical Pop type of player — he hits threes, gets to the rim and plays smart. Plus, he has a nice Euro step.
29: Oklahoma City Thunder: Rudy Gobert, C, France
Ridiculously athletic big man, but very limited offensively. Has a 7-foot-9 wingspan. What?!?! Has time to develop with a solid Thunder squad.
30. Phoenix Suns: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
Nice big man that can play excellent defense and a great value here at the end of the round.
And there you have it, folks. Guessing.
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