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NBA Mock Draft 2013: Cleveland Cavaliers Lead Interesting First Half
Perhaps one of the most interesting days in a long team is at hand for the NBA draft. Nobody is entirely sure what will happen, which players are locks for which teams and how many trade can be expected. Given the supposed "weakness" of the class, one can imagine it might lack drama. History suggests that may not be the case. So what can fans expect from their teams come draft night?
#1 - Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlen Noels - Center - Kentucky
Try as they might it isn't likely the Cleveland Cavaliers will be able to unload the top pick. In that case they can't afford to overthink things. Alex Len talk aside, Nerlens Noel is the big man with the highest upside, and they need one badly.
#2 - Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo - Guard - Indiana
There is no doubt it is a foot race for top guard in the draft but a lot of GMs have voiced a preference for Victor Oladipo given his work ethic, leadership and athletic capabilities. Either way the Orlando Magic get needed help in the back court.
#3 - (trade) Minnesota Timberwolves - Ben McLemore - Guard - Kansas
It doesn't take long does it? People wondered where the first trade would come from and the Wizards oblige by handing the 3rd pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves who gleefully scoop up Ben McLemore to help their offense, having lost out on Oladipo.
#4 - Charlotte Bobcats - Anthony Bennett - Forward - UNLV
Talent is talent. There is no denying the Charlotte Bobcats don't have enough of it. They need help in all sorts of ways but especially rebounding and interior points. Anthony Bennett is gifted big man who could thrive under Steve Clifford and Patrick Ewing.
#5 - Phoenix Suns - Otto Porter - Forward - Georgetown
Luck has a lot to do with success in the NBA draft and the Phoenix Suns count themselves lucky to land Otto Porter. The small forward is hyper athletic, a tenacious defender with a developing jump shot that has scouts very excited.
#6 - New Orleans Pelicans - Trey Burke - Guard - Michigan
Anthony Davis is set in the front court. The New Orleans Pelicans now need somebody on the outside who can take advantage. Trey Burke was arguably the best point guard in the nation. His offensive arsenal and polished game would make a fine addition.
#7 - (trade) Oklahoma City Thunder - Alex Len - Center - Maryland
Little to no interior offense doomed the Oklahoma City Thunder against Memphis, so they don't hesitate to send a message about their intentions when they hand their two first rounders to Sacramento for promising center Alex Len, argued to have a higher ceiling than any center in the draft.
#8 - Detroit Pistons - Michael Carter-Williams - Guard - Syracuse
Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond form a nice foundation in the Detroit Piston front court. What they need at this point is help on the back end. Michael Carter-Williams not only brings the typical point guard traits like vision, ball-handling, and quickness. The biggest selling point is his exceptional size at 6'6".
#9 - Washington Wizards - Cody Zeller - Forward - Indiana
Having collected an extra first rounder as well as forward Derrick Williams from Minnesota, the Washington Wizards continue stacked their front court by adding Cody Zeller. While not very physical he is smart, mobile, tall (7'0") and can score around the basket.
#10 - Portland Trail Blazers - Kelly Olynyk - Center - Gonzaga
Having been robbed of getting Zeller, the Portlan Trail Blazers can't afford to pass up Kelly Olynyk, who is probably the best big scorer left in the draft. While somewhat weak defensively, putting him next to LaMarcus Aldridge could create a potent combo for Damian Lillard to feed.
#11 - Philadelphia 76ers - Steven Adams - Center - Pittsburgh
Hopes are that Andrew Bynum will finally suit up for the Philadelphia 76ers next season. However, on the chance his injury problems continue, taking the raw but gifted Steven Adams to stash away for later makes a ton of sense for this retooling team.
#12 - Sacramento Kings - C.J. McCollum - Guard - Lehigh
Things seem to work out well for the Sacramento Kings. They move back five spots and get an extra first round pick and still land a player that can really help them. C.J. McCollum isn't a traditional point guard but he can bring the team loads of offensive firepower, having averaged 23.9 points per game in college.
#13 - Dallas Mavericks - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Guard - Georgia
There is no secret trading this pick is preferrable for the Dallas Mavericks but nobody is biting thus far. If that happens than the team needs to be smart and add some offense around Dirk Nowitzki. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a dynamic shooter who can hit from anywhere and defends with equal fervor on the other end.
#14 - Utah Jazz - Dennis Schroeder - Guard - Germany
It's a no brainer here. Point guard is a glaring need for the Utah Jazz and Dennis Schroeder has all the tools: quickness, speed, passing, and penetration. His skills are still developing but if they are harnessing properly could give the Jazz a superb building block.
#15 - Milwaukee Bucks - Shabazz Muhammad - Forward - UCLA
With perhaps their top four scorers set to leave in free agency, it doesn't need to be said that finding offense is a must for the Milwaukee Bucks in the draft. Shabazz Muhammad has a lot of doubters because of flaws in his game but scouts remain convinced he is a gifted scorer, rebounder and plays with great intensity. Milwaukee needs all of that.