Dime Mock Draft 2.0: A Major Trade Involving DeMarcus Cousins Could Shake Up The Top 5 Picks

Does this draft class suck? Well, more than a few “experts” maintain it’s not one of the best you’ll ever see. That being said, we don’t really know what’ll happen until these young fellas get drafted and hit the floor. There are plenty of teams that could use Ben McLemore or Anthony Bennett or Alex Len. Now, after the lottery, we have a better grip on which teams will get them.

The NBA Draft Lottery is now concluded and with that, here is Dime‘s second 2013 NBA Lottery mock draft.

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1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel – Kentucky
7-0, C
19 years old, Freshman

The Cavs don’t need a star, just someone who can fit in. As long as the Kentucky big man passes his physical concerns, this should be a no-brainer. Suddenly, Cleveland could have a very interesting foundation. This pick fits because a) he’s the best player available if we’re talking metrics, something Cleveland acknowledges, and b) they’ve kept close tabs on his injury status.

2. Orlando: Ben McLemore – Kansas
6-5, SG
20 years old, Freshman

We could see the Magic going for Victor Oladipo, but in the end, we’ll stay here with McLemore, who is probably the most talented player in this draft and the most likely to develop into an All-Star. Orlando has holes everywhere, especially at point guard. We’re hearing they’re not as high on Trey Burke as initially expected, and could swing a deal for Eric Bledsoe with the plan being having a future backcourt of Bledsoe/McLemore.

3. Washington: Otto Porter – Georgetown
6-8, PF
19 years old, Sophomore

The Wizards vaulted up into the top three and now have a perfect situation lining up for them. They absolutely need a small forward. It’s probably the biggest hole on their roster. And Porter shoots it well and can play without the ball. This is a perfect fit. The team just has to hope Cleveland doesn’t buck the trend and take the wingman first overall.

4. Charlotte: Victor Oladipo – Indiana
6-4, SG
21 years old, Junior

The Bobcats/Hornets need to take the best talent available, and Oladipo not only works hard but is a great two-way player… and he’s still improving. (Plus, we get the feeling Michael Jordan would love him.) Yet this is where it gets interesting. Charlotte is apparently trying to pry DeMarcus Cousins away from Sacramento. Something tells us this pick is going to get traded one way or another.

5. Phoenix: Anthony Bennett – UNLV
6-7, PF
20 years old, Freshman

The last time UNLV had a lottery selection, it was Marcus Banks back in the day. We’re pretty sure Bennett is going to be a little bit better than that. Injury concerns aren’t stopping teams from looking at him in the top five.

6. New Orleans: Trey Burke – Michigan
6-1, PG
20 years old, Sophomore

This is probably the biggest fall you can expect Burke to take. With the influx of tremendous guards into the league in the last few years, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him sneak into the top three or four, ESPECIALLY if Charlotte makes a deal to move out of the No. 4 spot.

7. Sacramento: Alex Len – Maryland
7-1, C
19 years old, Sophomore

The Kings could go a number of different ways with this pick, but we’re guessing they go with someone big. If we had to guess, we’d say DMC is on another team very, very soon. If that happens, expect Len to get a look. He’s enormous, has his head in the right place. Plus, big men always rise as we get closer to the draft. The Kings once took Jason Williams at the No. 7 spot, and he immediately helped turn around their franchise. But they won’t find anyone that exciting in this year’s class.

8. Detroit: Shabazz Muhammad – UCLA
6-6, SF
20 years old, Freshman

Detroit could use another wing scorer, and Muhammad has the type of credentials that could scream overrated or, perhaps, future All-Star.

9. Minnesota: Cody Zeller – Indiana
7-0, PF/C
20 years old, Sophomore

We’re putting Lil’ Zeller here because, honestly, we don’t have any idea what the Wovles will do with this pick. A big man makes sense considering the cloudy futures of both Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. And Zeller has SHOCKED everyone with his combine numbers.

10. Portland: Rudy Gobert – International
7-2, C
20 years old, International

We have a feeling Gobert once last past OKC. But Portland is adamant about putting a real center next to LaMarcus Aldridge. Yes, they took one last year in Meyers Leonard as well, but there’s also this: how many young players does the team need? An international pick makes perfect sense. We’re betting it’s either Gobert or Dario Saric.

11. Philadelphia: C.J. McCollum – Lehigh
6-3, PG/SG
21 years old, Senior

One of the most boring teams in the league needs all the scoring help they can get. And McCollum can fill it up.

12. OKC (from Toronto): Michael Carter-Williams – Syracuse
6-6, PG
21 years old, Sophomore

We’ve already seen how effective Russell Westbrook can be at the two. Putting him next to MCW could be deadly.

13. Dallas: Dario Saric – International
6-10, SF
19 years old, Croatia
Chad Ford is reporting that Dallas is enamored with Saric. If he slips past them at No. 13, we’re guessing Boston and Danny Ainge will be quick to secure another longterm building block.

14. Utah: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Georgia
6-6, SG
20 years old, Sophomore

Utah can pretty much take the best player available, but they could use another shooter. Georgia’s finest is being talked about in some circles as a possible top-10 pick. He’d bring size to a backcourt that could use it.

15. Milwaukee: Kelly Olynyk – Gonzaga
7-0, C
22 years old, Junior

At this point, the Bucks could go with a shooter like Cal’s Allen Crabbe, but they also need more size down load. Olynyk has some skill so he would fit next to a defensive stopper like Larry Sanders.

16. Boston: Glen Rice Jr. – Georgia Tech
6-6, SG
22 years old, D-League

Rice Jr. dominated at times in the D-League this year, and there’s a growing consensus in Boston that the team will get rid of Paul Pierce. They already needed help on the wing spots and this should do the trick. The other option is Dennis Schroeder, but he’s almost too much of a clone of Rajon Rondo.

17. Atlanta: Steven Adams – Pittsburgh
7-0, C
19 years old, Freshman

If Josh Smith leaves, as expected, Atlanta will be even thinner than normal upfront. Al Horford isn’t a center to begin with, and what they have behind him is not worth much. Adams would be a nice piece to add.

18. Atlanta (via Houston): Allen Crabbe – Cal
6-6, SG
21 years old, Junior

If the Hawks go for a longterm project big with their first pick, we’re guessing they try to get a shooter with the second. Crabbe can stroke it, and is a surprisingly explosive athlete.

19. Cleveland (via L.A. Lakers): Jamaal Franklin – San Diego St.
6-5, SG
21 years old, Junior

The Cavs need scorers more than anything else, and while Franklin can’t shoot, he can do everything else. If they take Noel at the top spot, we suspect Cleveland will look to add more depth on the wing here.

20. Chicago: Gorgui Dieng – Louisville
6-11, C
23 years old, Junior

An easy match, now that Omer Asik has moved on and the Bulls struggled to find a replacement.

21. Utah (via Golden State): Dennis Schroeder – International
6-2, PG
19 years old, Germany

The fast-rising point guard could go as high as No. 15, but if he slips here there’s no way Utah lets him pass. The lead guard spot is arguably their biggest need and with a sneaky-athletic lineup, Schroeder would fit in nicely.

22. Brooklyn: Tony Mitchell – North Texas
6-8, SF
21 years old, Sophomore

The Nets need scorers and defenders on the wing, and could use someone to ultimately replace Gerald Wallace. Crash is falling off faster than anyone expected. Mitchell is sort of an unknown at this point, but great combine results have some convinced he can be an effective wing.

23. Indiana: Shane Larkin – Miami
6-0, PG
20 years old, Sophomore

The Pacers have lacked a reliable backup point guard ever since Darren Collison fell off the deep end. Larkin would be an improvement over D.J. Augustin.

24. New York: Mason Plumlee – Duke
7-0, C
23 years old, Senior

Who knows what Amar’e Stoudemire‘s future holds? And at this point, Plumlee has fallen far enough. If you’re the Knicks, you have to grab him here.

25. L.A. Clippers: Sergey Karasev – International
6-7, SF
19 years old, Russia

Karasev is a fantastic shooter, and could help down the road next to Chris Paul. With Billups and Bledsoe both having cloudy futures, more backcourt help could be key for the Clippers.

26. Minnesota: Tim Hardaway Jr. – Michigan
6-6, SG
21 years old, Junior

When asked what he wanted most out of this draft, Kevin Love admitted he needed a lights-out shooter. Hardaway Jr. makes sense here, especially if they go big in the lottery. Plus, people at Michigan have been saw this guy already carries himself like a NBA vet.

27. Denver: Giannis Antetokounmpo – International
6-9, SF
18 years old, Greece

The Nuggets are so deep they really don’t need another rookie right now. Antetokounmpo doesn’t have much experience, playing in a lesser division overseas. But he’s still a very interesting talent.

28. San Antonio: Lucas Noguiera – International
6-11, C
20 years old, Brazil

Because it only makes sense, right? The Brazilian big man is also rising quickly on draft boards… he might not even make it this far.

29. OKC: Reggie Bullock – North Carolina
6-7, SF
22 years old, Junior

Bullock is a more athletic Jared Dudley: someone who can do a little bit of everything and won’t mind playing a utility role off the bench. His versatility would work well in OKC.

30. Phoenix (via Miami): Jeff Withey – Kansas
7-0, C
23 years old, Senior
Many don’t believe the shotblocking monster will drop past Brooklyn at No. 22. If he does, we suspect his size and defense will get him a guaranteed deal somewhere in the bottom half of the first round.

What do you think?

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