NBA Mock Draft: All the Picks 1-10
The NBA Draft is the league's annual icing on the cake after the season comes to an end. This year's draft comes exactly a week after the seven-game NBA Finals, and is set to showcase some of the nation's top young talent.
But what will actually happen?
Will the Cavs trade the #1 pick? Can the Jazz trade up to snag their point guard of the future?
PolicyMic's Mike Calabrese peers into his crystal ball, predicting the top 10 picks of the 2013 NBA Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Nerlens Noel - C - Kentucky
Once he's healthy, he'll be one of the best shot blockers in the game. Offensively he has a long way to go, but Calipari said he was incredibly coachable. This is the same coach that firebombed the rest of his team last season, so his word counts.
2. Orlando Magic
Victor Oladipo - SG - Indiana
His stock has been on the rise thanks to stellar workouts and interviews. He's ready to be a difference maker on defense from day one and he'll play his butt off, which is attractive to a team in rebuilding mode. If he develops a perimeter game he could end up as an All-Star in a few years.
3. Washington Wizards
Otto Porter - SF - Georgetown
Draftniks love to throw around the phrase "high ceiling." Porter, on the other hand, has a "low floor." At worst, he'll be a valuable bench player capable of defending multiple positions. I think he'll end up being the best player selected in this draft and a perfect complement to John Wall.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Alex Len - C - Maryland
This is a disastrous pick and who better to make it than the hapless Bobcats. The NBA names a first team, second team and third team All-NBA starting five each year. The last time a center made one of those All-NBA teams without making an all-conference team during their college years was Robert Parish in 1989. "The Chief" didn't make an all-conference team for two reasons. The first was that the NCAA had placed Centenary on probation, which meant that none of Parish's stats (21.6 pts, 16.9 rebs) were recognized. The second reason was that Centenary was not a member of a conference at the time. Point being, great centers have historically dominated on the college level, something that Len has failed to do.
5. Phoenix Suns
Ben McLemore - SG - Kansas
McLemore's stock has been in free fall but he's a top-five talent. The big question when it comes to McLemore is his aggressiveness. Is he lousy off the dribble because he lacks a killer instinct or does he lack the handles to put moves on pro defenders? The good news is that he should be a solid three-point shooter from the get-go.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Bennett - SF/PF - UNLV
Scouts have thrown around the word superstar with this kid and New Orleans might be a great landing spot for the 20 year-old. If he works on his range he could be a total mismatch at the three with Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez splitting time in the front court. Bottom line is that the Pelicans finished in a tie for 24th in terms of points scored last year and need a shot in the arm on the offensive end. Bennett is the best scorer available.
7. Utah Jazz (Projected Trade With The Sacramento Kings)
C.J. McCollum - PG - Lehigh
In this scenario the Jazz would trade their 14th and 21st picks for the Kings' 7th overall selection. The Kings have been shopping the pick and have been linked to at least five different players during the pre-draft process. The Jazz, on the other hand, really like McCollum and if they stand pat at 14 they could miss out on the top three PG prospects (McCollum, Burke, Carter-Williams). McCollum is more of a combo guard who can really fill it up but he's worth the gamble as a PG.
8. Detroit Pistons
Trey Burke - PG - Michigan
The Pistons are one more solid draft pick away from making the playoffs. Monroe, Knight and Drummond just need a floor general to lead them and Burke is a proven playmaker. This pick would also go in line with the Pistons' successful strategy of taking the best player available regardless of need. And having a Michigan man in the backcourt can't hurt ticket sales at the Palace.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - SG - Georgia
This kid can fill it up from anywhere and knows how to put a team on his back. The T'Wolves need a two-guard as badly as any team in the NBA and KCP has the skill set to give them 15 points per game right away. The only way Minnesota passes on him is if they succeed in pulling off a mega trade and move up to select Oladipo, the only player they have higher on their board at SG.
10. Portland Trailblazers
Steven Adams - C - Pittsburgh
This is a scary pick for Portland. Sam Bowie and Greg Oden might as well read the pick at the same time and say "jinx." The good news here is that expectations will be low. Adams is a project who won't be ready for major minutes until at least 2015. If they take their time and develop him properly, he could be a quality starting center in the league. Michael Carter-Williams would be the pick if they get gun-shy about taking another big man in the top ten.