On the Clock: Mock Draft 2013
By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers, Bobcats, Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, NicolasBatum, Nuggets, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Sixers, Spurs, Suns, Thunder, Timberwolves, Wizards
In professional sports, very little can be predicted accurately. Sometimes you can get a good idea of which team may win a particular game or even advance so far in a playoff series, but predicting sports is something which should probably be taken with a grain or two of salt.
Certainly predicting something such as the NBA draft can be nearly impossible. It was pretty clear that New Orleans was going to take Anthony Davis with the top pick last season. That's exactly what happened. Then, Charlotte selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second pick and a lot of the predictions -- or mock drafts -- basically flew out the window.
It's not always that easy. Go back to the Blazers now-infamous 2007 first selection. Right up to the time Greg Oden's name was announced, several of us weren't sure if it would be his name or Kevin Durant's we would hear. Never mind about the debate of "would've, could've, should've" for now. The point is who, if anyone will we draft with this year's selection at number 10?
Your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, far be it for me to not enter my own predictions into the pool. So, with that said ... Kassandra is on the clock.
Here are the selections for the first round of the 2013 NBA draft:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
: Nerlens Noel (7'0" center, Kentucky) -- The Cavs could go a couple different ways with their second top pick in three years, but they're in it for the marathon; not the sprint. They take Noel even though he won't likely see game time until early 2014.
2. Orlando Magic
: Ben McLemore (6'5" guard, Kansas) -- They need to start somewhere, don't they? It's a pretty safe bet they will go with McLemore here. That is, if Cleveland doesn't surprise some by taking him at number one.
3. Washington Wizards
: Cody Zeller (7'0" center, Indiana) -- What will help the Wizards the most is some big guys in the middle. Zeller has been rising in draft stock and he'll peak here.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
: Alex Len (7'1" center, Maryland) -- The Bobcats need a big guy inside and, while this may seem a bit high for Len to be selected, they jump at the chance to nab him.
5. Phoenix Suns
: Otto Porter (6'9" small forward, Georgetown) -- The Suns are basically starting from scratch. Porter is a solid selection for them.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
: Victor Olapido (6'4" shooting guard, Indiana) -- Indiana's push through the NCAA tournament will seal the deal for Olapido here; he'll make immediate history by becoming the first-ever "Pelican" selected.
7. Sacramento Kings
: Anthony Bennett (6'7" small forward, UNLV) -- The Kings have guards and some promising big men. They'll take Bennett to fill the gap in between.
8. Detroit Pistons
: Shabazz Mohammed (6'6" small forward, UCLA) -- The Pistons are set at the point and are happy with Andre Drummond, so they take Mohammed without blinking an eye.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
: Kelly Olynyk (7'0" center, Gonzaga) -- David Khan is out of the land of lakes, so no point guards taken here. Olynyk gives them some depth behind both Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.
10. Portland Trail Blazers
: Trey Burke (6'1" point guard, Michigan) -- Two years, two lottery picks, two point guards. Analysts will have been screaming after pick eight when he's still available. The Blazers will take him as Damian Lillard's backup and part-time backcourt partner.
11. Philadelphia 76ers
: Lucas Nogueira (7'0" center, Brazil) -- It's no secret that Andrew Bynum's health is one of the biggest questions in the entire league. Therefore, they select the Brazilian as a project with plans to develop him quickly.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
: Steven Adams (7'0" center, Pittsburgh) -- The Thunder select Adams, who won't be asked to contribute immediately. They'll bring him along slowly.
13. Dallas Mavericks
: Dennis Schroeder (6'2" point guard, Germany) -- The Mavs have Darren Collison, but can't pass up Schroeder's quickness and burst. In the least, this pick provides them some depth at the point.
14. Utah Jazz
: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6'6" shooting guard, Georgia) -- The Jazz are looking for an exciting player who can put points on the board. That is Caldwell-Pope's pedigree and they take him rather quickly.
15. Milwaukee Bucks
: Tony Snell (6'7" small forward, New Mexico) -- Milwaukee is loaded with bigs, and have Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick at the guard spots. Snell is a safe pick here.
16. Boston Celtics
: Mason Plumlee (6'11" power forward, Duke) -- The Celtics are always looking for big guys; Plumlee is their guy.
17. Atlanta Hawks
: Michael Carter-Williams (6'6" point guard, Syracuse) -- The Hawks are building and start with Carter-Williams in the backcourt.
18. Atlanta Hawks
: Tim Hardaway, Jr. (6'6" shooting guard, Michigan) -- The build continues with this pick of Hardaway.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers
: Dario Saric (6'10" power forward, Croatia) -- The Cavs have been building their team for a couple of years. Saric will be expected to back up Tristan Thompson.
20. Chicago Bulls
: Shane Larkin (5'11" point guard, Miami) -- Going through a season without Derrick Rose showed the Bulls where they are most vulnerable. Larkin is selected to provide depth behind him.
21. Utah Jazz
: Gorgui Dieng (6'11" center, Louisville) -- You can never have enough bigs and the Jazz are pleased at the chance to pick a national champion.
22. Brooklyn Nets
: Rudy Gobert (7'2" center, France) -- The Nets could use some depth at several positions, but when the athletic Gobert is available, it doesn't take them long to pull the trigger.
23. Indiana Pacers
: Giannis Adetokoubo (6'9" small forward, Greece) -- The Pacers are looking for a couple pieces to come off the bench to take the next step. Adetokoubo's comparisons to the Blazers' Nicolas Batum intrigues them.
24. New York Knicks
: Tony Mitchell (6'9" power forward, North Texas) -- The Knicks fill some depth by taking Mitchell, an athletic player with solid skills.
25. Los Angeles Clippers
: Jeff Withey (7'0 center, Kansas) -- The Clips hope Withey can be brought along to spell DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves
: Lorenzo Brown (6'5" shooting guard, North Carolina St.) -- Minnesota likes Brown, who can provide some assistance off the bench as a true shooting guard.
27. Denver Nuggets
: Sergey Karasev (6'7" small forward, Russia) -- The Nuggets love the opportunity to draft the Russian sharpshooter, who can play either wing position.
28. San Antonio Spurs
: Allen Crabbe (6'6" shooting guard, California) -- The Spurs diversify the shooting guard position with Crabbe, who possesses a deadly outside shot.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder
: Erick Green (6'3" point guard, Virginia Tech) -- Much like the Bulls, the Thunder saw what happens when your court general becomes injured. They fill some depth here with the selection of Green.
30. Phoenix Suns
: Glen Rice, Jr. (6'6" shooting guard, NBA Developmental League) -- The Suns take a chance on Rice, who has D-League experience. He becomes the second "Jr." of a former NBA player taken in the first round (Hardaway).
That's it; the 30 picks of the first round -- exactly how they will be picked!
The Blazers are actually a bit new to the having the 10th selection in the first round. The only other time they were slotted to pick there was in 1980 when they selected Ronnie Lester, who was traded to Chicago. Other than that year, Portland has never selected in the 10th spot.
What will Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts do with the 10th pick?
Some other notable number 10 picks include: Gus Johnson, Paul Westphal, Johnny Dawkins, Kurt Thomas, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Paul George.
The Blazers have three second-round picks, though my feeling is that Neil Olshey will either trade some or all of them, or they will be used as draft-and-stash selections (players sent outside the NBA to hone their skills, a la Jon Diebler from a couple of years ago). Those Blazers second-round picks are numbers 39, 40 and 45.
Certainly, there's the possibility that the Blazers could trade the 10th pick (or any one or more of the second rounders). As much as we cannot predict the draft, we may just be able to predict that the Blazers will be very active on draft day.
The 2013 NBA draft will begin at 4 p.m., June 27, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be televised on ESPN.
In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever.