2013 NBA Mock Lottery

For the second year in a row, I’m putting out a mock lottery before I release a mock draft closer to the actual draft night. It’s been said a lot, but this draft is not very strong. There isn’t too much separating the top four players to me–and that’s not in a good way–and the back end of the lottery is far from spectacular.

But I still think it’s important to predict the order in which nineteen year old men will be selected, only to change that order in a few weeks. Yeah.

You should also check out my writeup dispelling some common misconceptions about the NBA Draft Lottery.

1

Nerlens Noel

C 7-foot 206 lbs Kentucky 19 Years Old

The Cavaliers luck out again, winning their third lottery in eleven years. They have cornerstone starters at point guard, shooting guard, and power forward, so that leaves them essentially looking at Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter Jr. for the first overall pick. Porter will help more right now, but he doesn’t have nearly the ceiling of Noel, who could be a better version of Anderson Varejao.

2

Ben McLemore

SG 6-foot-5 189 lbs Kansas 20 Years Old

Had the Magic landed the number one pick, there’s no chance Noel could have lived up to the other three number one picks Orlando has had: Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, and Dwight Howard. The Magic is a bit of a mess and really just needs talent, so Ben McLemore makes the most sense since he’s the next best player on the board.

3

Otto Porter Jr.

SF 6-foot-9 198 lbs Georgetown 19 Years Old

Porter is probably my third favorite player in the draft after Noel and Bennett, and he’s a perfect fit for Washington. They already have franchise building blocks in John Wall and Bradley Beal, so they just need a forward who make an impact even without the ball. Bennett also makes some sense here, too.

4

Anthony Bennett

PF 6-foot-8 240 lbs UNLV 20 Years Old

The Horncats need help at about any position other than point guard and small forward. The Bobcats biggest issue last year–besides a lack of talent–was a lack of a quality big man. Anthony Bennett is only 6-foot-8, but he has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and he dominated on the glass last year. Like fellow Charlotte draft pick and former Running Rebel Larry Johnson, Bennett overcomes his lack of height with a strong perimeter game.

5

Victor Oladipo

SG 6-foot-4 213 lbs Indiana 21 Years Old

No team is in a bigger mess than the Suns. They have no young player you can point to and say that they will be a starter in the future. Kendall Marshall, the Morris twins, and Wesley Johnson may all become nice role players, but nobody will win a NBA championship with Michael Beasley starting. With Marshall and Goran Dragic on roster, Trey Burke doesn’t make a ton of sense here, but Victor Oladipo is the hard-working type of player the Suns need to build around.

6

Trey Burke

PG 6-foot-1 217 lbs Michigan 20 Years Old

New Orleans would be lucky if Trey Burke fell this far. They desperately need an upgrade at point guard since Austin Rivers looks like he may go the way of Jonny Flynn, and Burke could supply some extra star power to the team. Burke, Eric Gordon, and Anthony Davis would be a very nice core.

7

Tyler Zeller

PF 7-foot 230 lbs Indiana 20 Years Old

Zeller started the year as the favorite to be the number one pick, and at one point nearly fell out of the lottery. But after putting up ridiculous numbers at the NBA Draft Combine, I think his stock will rocket back up in the coming weeks. He’s definitely better than Alex Len. But the Kings need a forward who can make an impact without needy the ball–since the draftee wouldn’t get the ball playing with Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Freddette, Marcus Cousins, John Salmons, Isaiah Thomas, and DeMarcus Cousins.

8

Shabazz Muhammad

SF 6-foot-6 222 lbs UCLA 20 Years Old

I’m still a big Shabazz Muhammad fan despite a so-so freshman year, a poor combine, and the revelation that he is a year older. The Pistons need a wing player to compliment Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond, and Muhammad would fit  the bill. This could be the fourth consecutive lottery that a potential All-Star falls to the Motor City.

9

C.J. McCollum

SG 6-foot-3 197 lbs Lehigh 21 Years Old

I’m not a huge fan of McCollum since he’s undersized and didn’t face much competition at Lehigh, but the similar thing (schedule-wise) was said of Damian Lillard last year. The Wolves are lacking on the wing, and they’ve been searching for a shooting guard since Randy Foye left (that’s a low bar). The Timberwolves like the guy, so maybe they’re onto something. I don’t know.

10

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SG 6-foot-6 204 lbs Georgia 20 Years Old

I’m not really sure what took so long for teams to like this guy. He put up big scoring numbers at UGA (partially because he was the only redeemable player on the roster) and even rebounds well. And he has legitimate shooting guard size. The Blazers will likely look at Caldwell-Pope or go big with Alex Len–who probably shouldn’t still be on the board at ten.

11

Alex Len

C 7-foot-1 225 lbs Maryland 19 Years Old

The Sixers need size, and they’ve got plenty of options in this scenario. Alex Len has had his ups and his downs, but he has a chance to be one of the best players in the draft. He’s the tallest non-Rudy Gorbert player in the draft, and he has a nice offensive skill set that wasn’t shown off at college because he didn’t get the ball enough at Maryland. Between the options available at this point and his health, I don’t see the Sixers bringing back Andrew Bynum.

12

Steven Adams

C 7-foot 255 lbs Pittsburgh 19 Years Old

With the departure of Andrew Bogut, the Bucks are seriously hurting for size. Terrence is another weird character–he’s the size of a small forward, but he’s not quick enough to guard the position. He’s got a world of talent, but often will disappear for halves at a time. I see him as a stretch four in the pros–like he played at Kentucky–but he could go much lower than this in the draft.

13

Dario Saric

SF 6-foot-10 223 lbs Croatia 19 Years Old

This pick likely comes down to Dario Saric and Michael Carter-Williams for the Mavs. Both are home run picks and fill different needs. Darren Collison is good, not great at the point guard, and the Mavericks have no long-term players at small forward. Dallas apparently thinks Saric can be a star, and he has that upside, and he could prove to be a worth heir apparent for Dirk Nowitzki.

14

Michael Carter-Williams

PG 6-foot-6 184 lbs Syracuse 21 Years Old

Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors look like franchise building blocks, and the Jazz really like Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, so that leaves them with a nice big hole at point guard. Enter, Michael Carter-Williams. He’s got incredible size and great athleticism; his only problem is that he has a broken jump shot. If he’s off the board here, Shane Larkin could make a lot of sense, even as a massive reach.

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