Yesterday, we hit you with the first part of our 2013 NBA Mock Draft, going through and selecting on behalf of the lottery teams. Today in part 2, we’ll mock the rest of the first round. Onward!
With the 15th pick, the Milwaukee Bucks would be thrilled to select Shabazz Muhammad, forward from UCLA.
AO: The Bucks are in NBA no mans land, just good enough to make the playoffs and be swept. That’s not where you want to be. There are lots of rumblings about the potential re-signings, or non signings, of the overrated back court of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Assuming one of those two will be back (max), and the hilarious offensive-ineptitude of their frontcourt, the Bucks have a strong need for scoring across the board. Shabazz is a guy who was rated #1 in this draft for a long period. His quick one year tenure at UCLA was forgettable, but no one doubts this is one of the most skilled guys in the draft. He can score, handle and shoot. Passing and defense are another issue, but at #15, the Bucks would be lucky to grab someone who could potentially lead their team in scoring.
With the 16th pick, the Boston Celtics take Kelly Olynyk, center from Gonzaga University.
KOBEshigawa: I’m not wild about this pick for the C’s, but with the trade of Doc Rivers and seemingly impending departure (through trade or buyout) of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, it seems that the rebuilding process has begun in earnest. Boston will need a big man competent enough to finish on virtuoso passes from Rajon Rondo for the foreseeable future, and if Kelly Olynyk is anything, that’s what he is. He’s a decent enough rebounder, and hopefully with some work can be a Tiago Splitter-type starting center next to whatever power forward comes down the pipeline for Boston.
With the 17th pick in the draft, the Atlanta Hawks take Mason Plumlee, forward from Duke University.
The CDP: Although you would be correct in assuming that he is another tall white guy taken at the end of the lottery who is more likely to bottom out than make an important contribution to an NBA playoff series… well… I got nothing. But, as far as 7 foot stiffs go, Plumlee is athletic enough and can run the floor like an awkward gazelle. The fact that he’s a Duke Blue Devil is an obvious demerit, but you can’t teach size, which the Hawks need.
With the 18th pick, the Atlanta Hawks select Giannis Adetokunbo, forward from Greece.
The CDP: While the prospect of getting to laugh giddily while their announcers butcher his name all season weighed heavily in the decision, Giannis has ALSO been rising up draft boards in recent weeks. This Greek Gamble doesn’t even have a definitive NBA position at this point, but he’s skilled, has point forward potential, and played well enough for Greece’s under 20 team to turn some heads. While Giannis is equally likely to play in the D-League or overseas as he is in the NBA in 2013-2014, his talent and European intrigue convinced the Hawks to take the plunge here.
With the 19th pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Sergey Karasev, forward from Russia.
El Miz: Karasev is a 6’7 lefty who, although he will turn just 20 years old at the end of October, was a go-to scorer for an upper level European team last year. Young but experienced, Karasev has a great deal of upside, as he already has NBA skills on the offensive side of the ball. He is a coach’s son who can shoot the NBA 3, create his own shot, and set his teammates up. Karasev also fills a void the Cavs have on the wing, giving them a player with length who can play the 2/3 to go along with the Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters backcourt of the future. Finally, the Cavs are known to rely heavily on their analytical database, shocking many last year with their selection of Dion Waiters even though the Cleveland front office had Dwyane Wade pegged as an analytical comparison. Karasev is the final player on the draft board with a WARP projection of 2.0 or better (compliments of Kevin Pelton at ESPN); such a number usually translates to an NBA starter.
With the 20th pick, the Chicago Bulls select Ricardo Ledo, guard from Providence College.
6 on Hibbert: The Bulls take a high-risk, high-reward player in Ledo, who could be this year’s Lance Stephenson. Ledo flew under the radar this year because he was academically ineligible in college. His success will depend on his ability to grasp the nuances of the NBA game, and he might have trouble with a complex defensive system like Thibodeau’s. Nevertheless, he’s a top notch athlete and physical with a nice stoke that could help put points on the board for the Bulls, and could potentially develop into a valuable defender if he’s willing to give the effort.
With the 21st pick, the Utah Jazz select Shane Larkin, guard from University of Miam.
Bockerknocker: We’re getting to the end of the first round, where sure things are rare as can be. Our mock has assigned German wunderkind point guard Dennis Schroeder to Utah, but it might be a good idea to draft value here and take another PG in Miami’s Shane Larkin.
But seriously, Larkin could be a nice piece to dangle in front of the teams picking at the end of the first round (Brooklyn, Indiana, New York, San Antonio, and Phoenix) who are interested in moving up to fill a backup lead guard need. Or, Larkin could be an attractive complementary piece in any sign-and-trade deal involving Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap, both of whom cannot possibly return to Salt Lake City after the emergence of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Larkin displayed leadership on a relatively senior-laden Miami Hurricanes team, and also played well from season’s beginning to season’s end, wowing audiences in the form of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He may be a bit undersized, but if there was ever an era to be undersized, it’s now.
With the 22nd pick, the Brooklyn Nets select Gorgui Dieng, center from the University of Louisville.
(For this pick we brought in friend of MAMBINO and a true Brooklyn Nets fan, who took time to crawl out of the swamps of New Jersey to lend his expertise on who BK would take in this situation)
Hario: If the draft goes the way this mock has I’d full expect Dieng to be the pick. He will shore up a need, protecting the rim when Brook is out of the game, and provide a backup and some flexibility if Andray Blatche were to leave or if he is re-signed and moved to starting PF.
Dieng is offensively challenged but if he can play 15 min a game with some hustle, rebounding ability, and shot blocking that would fill a need. With the rumors of MarShon brooks on the trading block, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nets try to trade him for a later first-rounder/early second rounder to pick up a bench scorer. Personally I would have considered Hardaway, Jr. or Allen Crabbe as guys to take here, but I think GM Billy King will go Dieng.
With the 23rd pick, the Indiana Pacers select CJ Leslie, forward from North Carolina State University.
AO: Indy is depressed that a decent PG didn’t fall to them. They’ll have to address their DJ Augustin issue through free agency, because the rest of the point guards here don’t inspire much or fit into Indy’s system (sorry Nate Wolters). I could see the Pacers moving this pick to address their bench, or as part of a Danny Granger trade. Nonetheless, in this mock Indy will take CJ Leslie, a 3/4 hybrid from NC State. Leslie is an athlete who has the physical tools, but will have to learn to defend. On offense, he’s very crafty and can score in a variety of ways despite not being a great shooter. He’s a 1st round talent that many have pegged in the 2nd round.
With the 24th pick, the New York Knicks select Reggie Bullock, forward from the University of North Carolina.
El Miz: Given that the franchise is committed to playing NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony at the 4 spot, the Knicks have a gaping hole at small forward. The Bockers also need to add more shooters to take advantage of the double teams that Melo draws in the post. Bullock fits both needs, as he has prototypical size for the 3 (6’7″, 210 lbs.) and is an efficient 3-point shooter. He leads all 2/3 draft prospects in points out of the catch and shoot, something he will be asked to do almost exclusively playing a starter with Carmelo. There is some talk of the Knicks being enamored with North Texas sophomore Tony Mitchell, who looked like a sure-fire lottery pick after his freshman season only to have a dud of a sophomore campaign. While the Knicks could certainly go that direction, it seems like their draft pick need will be dictated by how free agency could play out. With rumors that Chris Copeland will get an offer beyond the mini-MLE that the Knicks can offer him, their need for a 2/3 shooter takes primacy over adding more athleticism and depth to the front line.
With the 25th pick, the Los Angeles Clippers select Tim Hardaway Jr., guard from the University of Michigan.
The CDP: Especially if they trade Bledsoe, the Clippers will need additional backcourt depth and Tim Jr. will be able contribute veteran moxie and shooting immediately. The Clippers are in win now mode and they have to love the ability to get a player like this at the 25 spot. He’s athletic and a natural scorer – if Chris Paul can get his shot selection in line and have him defend with consistency, this pick could be a steal.
With the 26th pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Jeff Withey, center from the University of Kansas.
KOBEshigawa: Like the Olynyk pick for Boston, I’m not wild about this pick, simply in that picking 22 or 23 year-olds as first rounders hardly screams out “upside”. Still, the Timberwolves have a definite needs here with incumbent center Nikola Pekovic available as an unrestricted free agent. If he were to leave, Minny needs a guy to simply play defense, rebound and be gigantic in the post alongside Kevin Love. Jeff Withey isn’t a lot of things, but those three he can do. It’s just a matter of whether or not he can do them on the NBA level. At this point in the first round, it’s worth finding out.
With the 27th pick, the Denver Nuggets select Jamaal Franklin, forward from San Diego State University.
6 on Hibbert: At 27, the Nuggets take the best available player on their board, Jamaal Franklin from SD State. Can’t say I know much about this kid, but he has the potential to be a “3 and D” player, and he went to the same school as Kawhi Leonard. That’s enough to tantalize Denver into taking him to add to their stable of athletic wing players – which gets admittedly more thin if they let Iguodala walk this year, as many expect they will.
With the 28th pick, the San Antonio Spurs select Tony Mitchell, forward from the University North Texas.
BockerKnocker: San Antonio could really use a swingman with the likely departure of Gary Neal via free agency and the possible retirement of Manu Ginobili. But, Danny Green really fits into the Popovich system as the starting 2-guard, and if North Texas’ Tony Mitchell is still on the board at the end of the first round, the Spurs have to take him. He had a great frosh year, followed by an unimpressive sophomore season. However, if we’ve learned anything about San Antonio, it’s that they get the most out of their players. Mitchell will flourish because Kawhi Leonard has, and he’ll flourish playing next to Leonard.
With the 29th pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Tony Snell, forward from the University of New Mexico.
KOBEshigawa: After taking center Steven Adams with the first pick, the Thunder need to fortify their shooting at the swing position. Kevin Martin may leave in free agency, so OKC is best served taking an athletic small forward that can shoot the three, as well as defend (Martin’s fatal flaw). Snell disappointed in this junior season, but the skills are there.
With the 30th pick, the Phoenix Suns select Nate Wolters, guard from South Dakota State University.
AO: Because this draft is over and why not throw a white guy in there? Wait, what? There’s a whole other round? I’m in! Another round of beers please.
Enjoy the draft everyone, and remember to bid Commissioner Stern adieu with a healthy dose of at-home boos. He’d love nothing more.