by Ajay Atayee

2013 NBA Mock Draft

The Washington Wizards sure didn’t win the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday, but they pulled everything but the Power Ball by earning the 3rd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Here’s one mock draft based on the results of that lottery. Remember, this is only the first edition; there will be more to come. Some players’ stock will rise and others’ will fall, as there is still plenty of time between now and draft day on June 27.

This mock simply looks at the draft rankings of the players eligible along with perceived needs of each lottery team.

Note: The NBA comparison provided along with each selection highlights a certain skill set that the player shares with a current or former pro.

1. CLE:

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky PF 6-11

This may not be the consensus pick but it’s still a no brainer for the Cavaliers. Although small forward may be the most glaring issue in their starting lineup, Nerlens Noel will be too enticing to pass up. Assuming his rehab from the torn ACL goes as planned, the most physically gifted player in this draft and can be depended on to help on the defensive end immediately. Tyler Zeller will keep the starting job warm for Noel until he’s ready.
NBA Comp: Larry Sanders

2. ORL:

Ben McLemore, Kansas SG 6-5

The Magic will turn to Ben McLemore as the consolation prize to the Noel sweepstakes. McLemore has prototypical size and all the physical tools one could ask for in a shooting guard but will he be able to consistently shoulder the offensive load for an NBA team? Recent questions about his character don’t tend to support his cause.
NBA Comp: J.R. Smith

3. WAS:

Otto Porter, Georgetown SF 6-8

The Wizards add the lengthy Otto Porter to team up with their young core of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Martell Webster performed admirably for the Wizards at small forward in 2012-2013 but his deal is up this summer and Trevor Ariza is the only other SF on the roster. Porter is a skilled offensive player who possesses the ability to stretch the floor while also having the vision to find open teammates. It shouldn’t take him long to crack the starting lineup for the Wizards.
NBA Comp: Tayshaun Prince

4. CHA:

Anthony Bennett, UNLV PF 6-7

The former (and future) Charlotte Hornets address their weak frontcourt with the most skilled offensive post-player in this draft. Before a mid-season shoulder injury, Bennett was living up to the hype that followed him to UNLV from high school. His extended shooting range will help space the floor for teammates Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist while his wide-frame and impressive wing-span (7’1”) will allow him to effectively score in the paint right away.
NBA Comp: Zach Randolph

5. PHX:

Victor Oladipo, Indiana SG 6-4

The Phoenix Suns could go in a million directions here. Outside of Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat, they don’t have a quality starter on their roster. Oladipo brings an aggressive, pit-bull mentality to the defensive end of the floor and he proved last season that he can be relied on as a dependable shooter.
NBA Comp: Danny Green

6. NOR:

Trey Burke, Michigan PG 6-1

The New Orleans Pelicans were disappointed when they fell a few spots in the draft order but they ultimately get the player they coveted. Trey Burke is a skilled floor general who can create for others under pressure. His extended shooting range and great court vision makes him a potential terror in the pick and roll. Burke will be the engine that runs the Pelicans.
NBA Comp: Chris Paul

7. SAC:

C.J.McCollum, Lehigh PG 6-3

The Sacramento Kings add a complimentary piece next to Tyreke Evans with C.J. McCollum. Though he has impressed at times, Isaiah Thomas has clashed with head coach Keith Smart. McCollum needs to prove that he is capable of being a lead guard and not just a combo threat that should come off the bench.
NBA Comp: Steph Curry

8. DET:

Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA SG/SF 6-6

The Detroit Pistons need help on the wing and they get it with the mercurial Shabazz Muhammad. Being a lefty, it’s hard not to compare Muhammad to Houston Rockets star James Harden. Muhammad has similar offensive tools but questions about his leadership and focus continue to linger.
NBA Comp: James Harden

9. MIN:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia SG 6-5

Minnesota needs help at shooting guard; best player available is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. KCP is a scoring threat that will add a true three-point threat to the Timberwolves’ backcourt.
NBA Comp: Quincy Pondexter

10. POR:

Alex Len, Maryland C 7-1

The Trail Blazers would be elated to see Alex Len slip to them at ten. This would be an ideal situation for Len in that he wouldn’t be expected to play heavy minutes immediately. The Trail Blazers add a talented big man who, with the proper development, could turn into a starting caliber player. Len will have time to learn next to All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and eventually could push Meyers Leonard, last year’s 11th overall pick, for playing time.
NBA Comp: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

12. PHL:

Cody Zeller, Indiana C 7-1

Philadelphia rolled the dice by trading for Andrew Bynum and his expiring contract. They make a safer investment in a center by selecting the Cody Zellar. He may not be the potential star many believed he was after his freshman year but Zellar is still an excellent athlete who possesses a high basketball IQ.
NBA Comp: John Henson

13. OKC (TOR):

Rudy Gobert, France C 7-1

The run on center continues as the Oklahoma City takes French big man Rudy Gobert. He may be a year away from playing in the NBA but his ridiculous 7’9” inch wingspan makes him a worthy investment. This is a typical low risk, high reward move the Thunder have become known for in recent years.
NBA Comp: JaVale McGee

14. DAL:

Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse PG 6-5

There is a strong possibility the Mavericks trade this pick in order to dedicate more money towards free agency. If they keep it they could get 6-5 point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois are both free agents after next year, Dallas needs a back up plan incase they whiff on landing a pg in free agency again.
NBA Comp: Shaun Livingston

15. UTH:

Dennis Shroeder, Germany PG 6-2

International prospect Dennis Shroeder has all the physical tools you look for in a point guard. The Jazz don’t currently have any of those under contract next season so part of rebuilding that position starts in the draft.
NBA Comp: Rajon Rondo

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