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 concluded and with that, here is Dime‘s fifth 2013 NBA Lottery mock draft.
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1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel – Kentucky
19 years old, Freshman
Earlier today, one of our writers wrote a piece explaining why there’s a great chance the Cavs surprise much of the nation and take Alex Len at No. 1. He’s huge, reminds everyone a little bit of Pau Gasol, and if you look at the Cavs recent drafts (Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters), they have a history of making eye-popping picks. That said, we still believe Noel is the guy here. The Cavs don’t need a star, just someone who can fit in. As long as the Kentucky big man (one of our writers called him a better version of Larry Sanders) 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. We also know the Cavs want a big man, having just tried to move this pick for LaMarcus Aldridge.
2. Orlando: Victor Oladipo – Indiana
21 years old, Junior
No one (repeat: no one) has any idea what Orlando is doing. They’re floating smokescreen after smokescreen, at one time thinking Trey Burke would be their guy then saying they’re looking to grab Ben McLemore. In the end, we’re thinking they pass on Burke and instead opt to try to acquire Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers, and then cement their backcourt of the future with a guy who’s still getting better: Oladipo. McLemore is a possibility here, but he’s had a rough workout circuit and there are a number of people who are questioning how bad he wants it.
3. Washington: Otto Porter – Georgetown
19 years old, Sophomore
The Wizards vaulted up into the top three and now have a perfect situation lining up for them as they’re ready to draft the next Tayshaun Prince. 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. We’ve also heard Anthony Bennett is a possibility here, but there are rumors the big man is WAY overweight (like 260 or so). If that’s the case, it’ll give the Wizards pause about spending a top pick on him.
4. Charlotte: Alex Len – Maryland
19 years old, Sophomore
If Oladipo falls to here, we get the feeling Michael Jordan would love him. The Bobcats/Hornets need to take the best talent available, and this is where it gets interesting. Charlotte is apparently trying to pry DeMarcus Cousins away from Sacramento. Most in the know in Sacramento don’t believe the Kings will trade him. If not, Charlotte could go with the guy who’s sliding because people don’t think he wants it bad enough, ironically looking more like O.J. Mayo every day. But then again, big men always rise on draft boards as we get closer to the draft, and it seems everyone is starting to believe they’ll take one (Alex Len). If Len goes No. 1, all bets are off here as we literally haven’t heard a peep from inside their war rooms.
5. Phoenix: Anthony Bennett – UNLV
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, even if the reports of his weight gain are true. One of our writers called him another Paul Millsap, and that’s probably a worst-case scenario. Injury concerns aren’t stopping teams from looking at Bennett in the top five. Alex Len is also a possible pick here if he somehow falls this far, but how can you pass up the next Larry Johnson? We’ve had McLemore here in the past, but recent rumors indicate he was terrible in a workout with the Suns. That means one of two things: either he really was horrible, or the Suns are purposely trying to screw with his stock to make sure they can get him.