We are now past the All Star break in the NBA, and inching closer to the playoffs. Teams like Miami, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio are continuing to dominate, while teams like the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to get into the playoffs. After playoffs, there will be the offseason, and within that time there is the draft. Let’s look at my picks for the 2013 NBA draft.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore , Kansas, Shooting Guard.
The Bobcats need help pretty much everywhere, and it seems like they have made Gerald Henderson available for a potential trade in the offseason. They’re also not happy with Ben Gordon, and McLemore is now the best player available in the draft. His athleticism is a great asset, but he also shoots well from everywhere on the floor. He is still my pick for rookie of the year.
Predicted rookie statistics: 17.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 47% shooting, 40% 3 point shooting.
Previous Pick: Anthony Bennet, UNLV, Power Forward.
2. Orlando Magic: Shabazz Muhammad , UCLA, Shooting Guard/Small Forward.
Muhammed is a great pure scorer. He has the ability to attack the basket, and has a decent shot as well. Orlando is building toward the future, and they could make Muhammed the face of their franchise going forward. A lineup next year of Jameer Nelson, Arron Affalo, Muhammed, Glen Davis, and Nikola Vucevic next year actually seems like a pretty solid starting five.
Predicted rookie statistics: 16.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 44% shooting, 37% 3 point shooting.
Previous Pick: Ben McLemore, Kansas, Shooting Guard.
3. Washington Wizards: Nerlens Noel , Kentucky, Center/Power Forward.
It was sad to see Noel go down with a knee injury, but he will be able to bounce back. While the Wizards are not terrible defensively, they still give up more points than they score. Noel has the ability to develop into a game changing stopper on the defensive end, as he is averaged 4.4 blocks per game before going down with an injury. With Noel in the middle, Washington could be a playoff threat in the upcoming years.
Predicted rookie statistics: 10.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2 BPG, 52% shooting.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter , Georgetown, Small Forward.
Cleveland needs some help at the small forward position, and Otto Porter is the best small forward in college right now. The sophomore is one of the smarter players in college basketball with a great mid-range game. He still has a lot of potential to grow as a player, and with his already outstanding defensive ability, Porter could make an immediate impact for Cleveland.
Predicted rookie statistics: 13.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1 SPG, 45% shooting.
Previous pick: Shabazz Muhammed, UCLA, Shooting Guard/Small Forward.
5. Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart , Oklahoma State, Point Guard/Shooting Guard.
Smart has been running the point for Oklahoma State, and with some more grooming, he could be a legitimate point guard in the NBA. Smart is agressive, a great defender, and can really create his own shot. Add the ability to really set up for his teammates, and Smart could turn into a star one day. I also believe Sacramento will go for Smart because they really like guards that are volume scorers.
Predicted rookie statistics: 12.2 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.3 RPG, 42% shooting.
Previous Pick: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, Point Guard.
6. New Orleans Hornets: Alex Len , Maryland, Center.
New Orleans will be able to have an athletic front court with the addition of Len. Having Len, Anthony Davis, and Al-Farouq Aminu for the future would make one of the longest front court trios in the NBA. Len needs to work on his rebounding skills, and bulk up a bit, but his 7’1 frame and athletic ability can really make an impact for the soon to be Pelicans.
Predicted rookie statistics: 9.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1 BPG, 51% shooting.
7. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo , Indiana, Shooting Guard.
Oladipo is a physical freak. Not only that, but he is efficient, and smart on the floor. His defense is also outstanding. His comparisons to Dwayne Wade can attest to all of that. If he can work on his passing skills, he will be an absolute stud at the NBA level. He would provide the Suns with a lot of excitement, and a player that can be molded into a star.
Predicted rookie statistics: 14.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 49% shooting, 41% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Alex Poythress, Kentucky, Small Forward
8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Bennett , UNLV, Small Forward/Power Forward.
Minnesota needs to put players around Kevin Love to help them succeed, and finally make a playoff push. Bennett could come in off the bench and provide a spark of athleticism the Timberwolves will need, as they will probably be looking to trade away Derrick Williams.
Predicted rookie statistics: 9.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 48% shooting, 32% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, Point Guard/ Shooting Guard.
9. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams , Syracuse, Point Guard.
Detroit will most likely lose Jose Calderon to free agency this offseason, thus losing their pass first point guard. However, Carter-Williams averages almost eight a game while scoring a respectable 12.5 points a game. While he is not outstanding defender in the grand scheme of things, he is averaging a ridiculous 2.9 steals a game, and has the athleticism to develop into a good all around defender. If he can be more consistent, he could work out for the Pistons if they choose to go with a Carter-Williams and Knight backcourt.
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.3 PPG, 5.2 APG, .8 SPG, 39% shooting.
Previous pick: Otto Porter, Georgetown, Small Forward.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder (From Houston [From Toronto]): Isaiah Austin , Baylor, Center.
Oklahoma City still look like the winners of the James Harden trade, as they are able to pick up a valuable lottery pick here. Because Oklahoma City only has decent depth in the front court, the 7’1 Austin makes sense here. He needs to bulk up to reach his potential, but if he can do that, he will be an outstanding center in the NBA in a few seasons.
Predicted rookie statistics: 5.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, .4 BPG, 44% shooting.
Previous pick: Rudy Gobert, France, Power Forward.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: James Michael McAdoo , UNC, Small Forward/Power Forward.
I feel as though McAdoo could really fit in Philadelphia’s scheme. He is not the overwhelming stud that some fans unfairly decided he would be, but the sophomore is still averaging a respectable 14.8 points per game, and eight rebounds a game. His athleticism, potential, and desire to win make him a valuable prospect.
Predicted rookie statistics: 8.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 43% shooting.
Previous pick: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Point Guard/Shooting Guard.
12. Dallas Mavericks: Alex Poythress , Kentucky, Small Forward/Power Forward.
Poythress is an extremely athletic player who is best suited to play small forward in the NBA, but could definitely log some minutes at the four. Poythress needs to improve his consistency dramatically, but still shoots a high percentage from the floor. If his consistency improves, he will be a threat to drop 18-20 points a night one day.
Predicted rookie statistics: 7.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 44% shooting, 35% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: James Michael McAdoo, UNC, Small Forward/Power Forward.
13. Charlotte Bobcats (From Portland): Mason Plumlee , Duke, Power Forward/Center.
Mason Plumlee is athletic, experienced, and comes from a winning program. The Bobcats need as much winning as possible right now, as they are having another miserable season. He is averaging a double double on almost 60 percent shooting, and could provide the Bobcats with some much needed front court depth.
Predicted rookie statistics: 9.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1 BPG, 53% shooting.
Previous pick: Isaiah Austin, Baylor, Center.
14. Phoenix Suns (From Los Angeles Lakers): Rudy Gobert , France, Power Forward/Center.
Phoenix could use some more depth at the center position, and that is what Gobert should provide them with. Gobert is 7’1, 20 years old, has a 7’9 wingspan, and great shot blocking instincts. He needs to get bigger, and work on his offensive skills, but the defense is already there. He does shoot an insane 75.4% from the field, but that mostly comes from dunks and lay ups.
Predicted rookie statistics: 5.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 54% shooting.
Previous pick: Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, Shooting Guard.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Trey Burke , Michigan, Point Guard.
It is no secret that Brandon Jennings will most likely be leaving the Bucks this summer. A good potential replacement could be Trey Burke. Burke plays with fire, has a burning desire to win, and averages almost 19 points and seven assists. If Milwaukee can resign J.J. Redick over the offseason, they could have a really good backcourt going forward.
Predicted rookie statistics: 11.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, 44% shooting, 34% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Glen Robinson III, Michigan, Small Forward.
16. Utah Jazz: C.J. McCollum , Lehigh, Point Guard/Shooting Guard.
Damien Lillard’s success out of a small school could cause teams to take a chance on McCollum. His scoring ability would provide Utah with some more offense, and an exciting point guard. With the spark of McCollum, who is shooting just under 50 percent from the field, and over 50 percent from three, plus their plethora of big men, the Jazz could be a legitimate contender in the West in a few years.
Predicted rookie statistics: 13.1 PPG, 4.0 APG, 46% shooting, 41% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Trey Burke, Michigan, Point Guard.
17. Atlanta Hawks (From Houston): Archie Goodwin , Kentucky, Shooting Guard.
Atlanta could use another athletic wing player, and Goodwin’s athleticism is off the charts. He is also able to distribute pretty well, and has the potential to become a good shooter. For now, his ability to relentlessly attack the basket should be attractive to an Atlanta team that may not have Louis Williams to start the season next year.
Predicted rookie statistics: 10.2 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.6 RPG, 41 % shooting.
Previous pick: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Shooting Guard.
18. Boston Celtics: Willie Cauley-Stein , Kentucky, Power Forward/Center.
Boston has potential front court problems next year as Jared Sullinger’s back that raised a red flag before the draft proved to justify the red flag, as it will cause him to miss the rest of the season. Fab Melo is nowhere near NBA ready, and Kevin Garnett will be their only truly reliable post presence next year. Cauley-Stein has stepped up in place of the injured Nerlens Noel and proven he has the ability to hit the boards, score down low, and play solid defense. He has the potential to learn from Garnett, and become a very good defensive center in the NBA. Also, he was a 7′ wide receiver in high school. (I just like throwing that out there.)
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1 BPG, 54% shooting.
Previous pick: Mason Plumlee, Duke, Power Forward/Center.
19. Utah Jazz (From Brooklyn [From Golden State]): Glen Robinson III , Michigan, Small Forward.
The Jazz could use a physical small forward who is able to put the ball on the floor and drive. Robinson could be a great backup for Gordon Hayward, and Utah’s depth allows him time to grow even more into the dominant player he has the potential to be.
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 48% shooting, 32% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, Power Forward/Center.
20. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Mitchell , North Texas, Small Forward/Power Forward.
One way or another it seems like Josh Smith will be heading out of Atlanta over the offseason. the Hawks should look for a player to replace Smith, and a clone of Josh Smith will be available here in Tony Mitchell. Mitchell is an amazing athlete with the potential to be great. However, like Smith, he makes poor decisions sometimes. Despite the poor decisions, he could be just what the Hawks need.
Predicted rookie statistics: 10 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 44% shooting.
21. Brooklyn Nets: Dario Saric , Croatia, Small Forward/Power Forward.
The Nets just need to get deeper after their very solid starting five. Saric is a prototypical European small forward. He is 6’10 and about 225 pounds, so he needs to add to his frame, but he has the ability to shoot from anywhere on the court, and can play beneath the basket once he adds weight.
Predicted rookie statistics: 5.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 47% shooting, 34% 3 point shooting.
22. Chicago Bulls: Jamaal Franklin , San Diego State, Shooting Guard.
Chicago needs a guard with the ability to score off the ball. He cannot hit the three as well Chicago really needs, but he can improve on that. Franklin is athletic, and really likes to score, and Chicago needs a shooting guard capable of putting up double digits per game. He also grabs just under 10 rebounds a game, which is another factor of his athletic ability.
Predicted rookie statistics: 5.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 40% shooting.
Previous pick: Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke, Shooting Guard.
23. New York Knicks: Kelly Olynyk , Gonzaga, Power Forward/Center.
New York is an old team in the front court, and Amar’e Stoudemire is constantly dealing with injuries. Olynyk needs to add weight, but he is proficient in the post, and can score well, plus he has the ability to stretch the floor like Stoudemire. He could be a quality backup, and after learning from the experienced front court of New York, and putting on weight, he could step into the starting role.
Predicted rookie statistics: 5.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, .4 BPG, 56% shooting.
Previous pick: Jeff Withey, Kansas, Center.
24. Indiana Pacers: C.J. Leslie , North Carolina State, Power Forward.
Indiana can go with the best player available, and C.J. Leslie is the best player available at this point. He could be a good back up big man and even play a little small forward. Leslie needs to develop a jump shot, but he has a lot of potential with his athleticism.
Predicted rookie statistics: 3.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, .5 BPG, 49% shooting.
Previous pick: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, Power Forward/Center.
25. Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr. , Michigan, Shooting Guard.
Denver has a lot of players capable of scoring, but they need more of a threat from deep. Hardaway shoots just under 40% from three, and is still growing as a player. He could develop into a key part of the Nuggets’ rotation as he continues to develop his ball skills and defense.
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 47% shooting, 36% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, Shooting Guard.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Houston [From Memphis]): Le’Bryan Nash , Oklahoma State, Shooting Guard/ Small Forward.
Minnesota needs to continue to bring in talent to surround Kevin Love with, and Nash could prove to be an interesting choice. The sophomore is filled with potential, and is averaging just under 14 points a game. He is extremely athletic, and though he does not do much to improve the three point shooting situation in Minnesota, he can create his own shot, and can be a key member of the Timberwolves’ bench.
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.8 PPG, 2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 42% shooting.
Previous Pick: C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State, Power Forward.
27. Los Angeles Clippers: Sergey Karasev , Russia, Small Forward.
Los Angeles is just a few pieces away from challenging the Thunder and the Spurs for the best team in the West. Right now, their roster is full of average small forwards, and the young Karasev could make an impact for the Clippers. Though he has an awkward shot, he has NBA three point range, and can space the floor. He’s not athletic like the other members of Lob City, but he can attack the basket and get to the free throw line.
Predicted rookie statistics: 6.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 45% shooting, 37% 3 point shooting.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, Small Forward.
Oklahoma City does not have any glaring needs, but it would be nice to have a good backup for Kevin Durant. Durant plays nearly 40 minutes a game, and the amount of time he spends on the court leaves him more susceptible to injuries, and exhaustion. Thomas is scoring around 20 points a game at Ohio State, and has improved his three point jumper. He could provide nice insurance for the Thunder, and develop into a quality back up.
Predicted rookie statistics: 2.9 PPG, 1 RPG, 44% shooting, 33% 3 point shooting.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers (From Miami): Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, Point Guard.
Going forward, a lineup of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Otto Porter, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller looks like a pretty promising starting five. From there, however, a good bench needs to be built for the future. Coming out of a small school, Canaan over 21 points a game, and hits on just under 40 percent of his tries from deep. He could end up being a solid backup who can learn from Irving, and develop his game to be able to really get his teammates involved more in the future.
Predicted rookie statistics: 3.9 PPG, 2 APG, 40% shooting, 34% 3 point shooting.
Previous pick: Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State, Point Guard.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Jeff Withey , Kansas, Center.
It is sad that in the near future, Tim Duncan has to retire. What is not sad, however, is that Jeff Withey, shot blocking professional, falls to them here. Withey averages four blocks a game, and does not shy away from contact. His ability to rebound and score down low also make him valuable. If he can have a season of learning from Tim Duncan, Withey could be San Antonio’s center of the future.
Predicted rookie statistics: 4.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1 BPG, 53% shooting.
Previous pick: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, Shooting Guard.
That is my second edition of my 2013 NBA first round mock draft! My first one can be found here . Comments, questions, suggestions? Leave a comment in the comments section, and I will get back to you!