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2013 NBA Mock Draft

After a fortnight of Doc Rivers [1] talk, believe it or not, the NBA draft is Thursday night. When you wake up Friday, the entire Celtics [2] roster could be traded, but for now we’ll take a stab at how the 2013 edition of the league’s most unintentionally comical night might unfold.

1. Cavaliers [3]: Nerlens Noel (Kentucky [4]). Despite a knee injury early in his freshman season that’s the latest in what is a concerning injury history for a 19-year-old, the 7-foot center and Everett, Mass., product is the best player on the board in a draft without superstars. Still developing offensively, he’s an elite shot blocker.

2. Magic: Ben McLemore (Kansas). Already facing questions about a few rumored poor workouts and his relationship with an agent prior to leaving college, the 20-year-old shooting guard can still shoot the lights out.

3. Wizards: Otto Porter (Georgetown). Considered “a sure thing” by many as a big body (6-9) on the wing, the 20-year-old’s Washington D.C. ties make too much sense here.

4. Bobcats: Victor Oladipo (Indiana). A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who isn’t considered a great shooter, the 21-year-old is lauded for his leadership, freak athletic ability and defensive skills.

5. Suns: Anthony Bennett (UNLV): The Suns need help just about everywhere, so why not begin with a 6-foot-8 20-year-old forward who can hurt you inside and out?


6. PelicansAlex Len (Maryland): We don’t have a Pelicans logo in our system yet; that’s how weird writing Pelicans is. Anyhow, the 7-foot-1, 20-year-old center’s ability to space the floor would complement Anthony Davis [5] nicely in the frontcourt — if he lasts to No. 6 in the draft.

7. Kings: Trey Burke (Michigan): I’m not a huge Burke guy, but the 20-year-old point guard is known as a shooter, distributor and leader, and those are all good things, especially for this team.

8. Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse): When’s the last time Massachusetts produced two guys in the top 10? The 21-year-old Hamilton native — a long, pass-first point guard (6-6) who can defend — would make a nice backcourt pairing with the undersized Brandon Knight [6].

9. Timberwolves [7]: Cody Zeller (Indiana). Widely considered marginal physically at 20 years old, but Kevin Love [8]‘s presence complements this skilled and smart 7-foot center.

10. Blazers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia). A 20-year-old rising star in this year’s draft, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard’s defense and shooting gives Portland a backcourt pairing with Damian Lillard for the future.

11. 76ers: Steven Adams (Pittsburgh). Somewhat of a mystery in Jamie Dixon [9]‘s system across the state at Pitt, the 20-year-old New Zealander is a well-built 7-footer with plenty of potential.

12. Thunder (via Raptors). Sergey Karasev (Russia): A skilled and fundamental 6-foot-7 southpaw, the 19-year-old could provide depth on the wing to a team with a history of foreign picks.

13. Mavericks: C.J. McCollum (Lehigh). Potentially the Lillard of this draft, the 21-year-old polished pick-and-roll point guard fills a need in a backcourt that should also include O.J. Mayo.

14. Jazz [10]: Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga). My favorite anecdote about this 22-year-old 7-footer? He has short arms. I don’t know why I love that, but I do. Regardless, he’s not a great athlete, but can space the floor and give the Jazz some frontcourt insurance should they lose Al Jefferson [11] and Paul Millsap this summer.

15. Bucks: Shane Larkin (Miami). If Milwaukee plans on eventually moving on from both Brandon Jennings [12] and Monta Ellis [13], the 20-year-old point guard’s quickness would pair nicely with J.J. Redick.

[14]16. Celtics: Dennis Schroeder (Germany). While he’s still developing and there are questions about his competition, the 19-year-old point guard could give Danny Ainge the backup point guard behind Rajon Rondo [15] he’s been searching for. There’s also the chance he stays overseas another year, giving Boston some cap relief.

17. Hawks (via Rockets): Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA). While he’s got more red flags than the Kremlin, the 20-year-old wing was once considered the best prospect in this class.

18. Hawks: Mason Plumlee (Duke). Atlanta can’t make two risky picks in a row, and the 23-year-old big is about as stable a pick as this team could make. He is what he is.

19. Cavaliers (via Lakers): Allen Crabbe (California). If Cleveland takes Noel — or even Len — with the No. 1 pick, this team needs to follow with a wing, and, at 6-foot-7, the 22-year-old is the best one left.

20. Bulls: Reggie Bullock (Bulls). Chicago needs shooting, and the 22-year-old provides that on the wing. Plus, he’s 6-foot-7 and can defend multiple positions, fitting Tom Thibodeau [16]‘s system.

21. Jazz (via Warriors): Isaiah Canaan (Murray State). If Utah goes big with its first pick, the team should grab a point guard here, and the 22-year-old fits the bill.

Louisville [17]): Brooklyn needs defense and immediate contributors, and provided his knees hold up the 6-foot-11 center should be able to do both.

23. Pacers: Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State). Indiana turned Kawhi Leonard into George Hill, so why not draft the Spurs star’s 22-year-old former teammate and prototype, too.

24. Knicks: Tony Mitchell (North Texas).The 6-foot-9, 21-year-old forward has some effort questions surrounding him, so it’s only natural New York fans boo this pick.

25. Clippers: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan). After trading for a seasoned and respected coach in Doc Rivers, why not draft a 21-year-old shooting guard in a similar mold?

26. Timberwolves (via Grizzlies [7]). Glen Rice Jr. (Georgia Tech). With its second pick in the first round, Minnesota can take a risk here. The 22-year-old shooting guard is that guy.

27. Nuggets: C.J. Leslie (N.C. State). A big (6-9), athletic wing, the 22-year-old was once an elite prospect and may still be despite his underwhelming collegiate career.

28. Spurs: Rudy Gobert (France). San Antonio has a history of grabbing European projects, and the 20-year-old is just that. Plus, 7-foot-2 guys don’t grow on trees. They are trees.

29. Thunder: Giannis Adetokundo (Greece). The 18-year-old forward is considered a major project with a ton of potential, and Oklahoma City can afford to take that risk with this pick.

30. Suns (via Heat): Archie Goodwin (Kentucky). The 6-foot-5 shooting guard didn’t have the Wildcats career many expected, but he’s just 18 years old and still talented.