The 2013 NBA Draft is just a day away, but a lot of questions still remain about what teams will do. Who will the Cleveland Cavaliers take with the No.1 overall pick? How many freshmen will go in the lottery? Will there be a major trade involving established stars and first-round picks?
Despite all of the uncertainty, the players that will go near the top of the draft seem to be coming into focus. While the order in which the top prospects get selected may be unknown, a few members of this year’s class have solidified themselves as top picks.
Nerlens Noel and Alex Len are expected to be the first two big men taken on Thursday. Not only are they projected to go within the first few picks, but both players are being considered by the Cavaliers at the No.1 spot. Noel committed to Kentucky as arguably the best prospect coming out of high school. Since the draft combine, though, Len’s stock has continued to rise. The center played two years at Maryland and scouts believe he has the tools to be an All-Star.
Ben McLemore and Trey Burke are widely considered to be the best guards in the 2013 draft. Shortly after the NCAA Tournament, McLemore began to garner some buzz as the potential top selection. Burke has never been strongly considered as a candidate to go first overall, but the national player of the year, probably, won’t make it past No.6. Several mock drafts have the New Orleans Hornets taking the Michigan guard, who averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists per game last season.
A major trade could affect the destinations of the best players in the draft. There have been rumors that Cleveland would explore dealing the top pick, and according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the organization has already made an offer. Katz reported that the Cavs tried to trade the No.1 pick, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Minnesota, though, rejected the offer.
2013 NBA Mock Draft
1) Cleveland Cavaliers, C, Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
2) Orlando Magic, SG, Ben McLemore, Kansas
3) Washington Wizards, SF, Otto Porter, Georgetown
4) Charlotte Bobcats, C, Alex Len, Maryland
5) Phoenix Suns, SG, Victor Oladipo, Indiana
6) New Orleans Pelicans, PG, Trey Burke, Michigan
7) Sacramento Kings, PF, Anthony Bennett, UNLV
8) Detroit Pistons, PG, Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
9) Minnesota Timberwolves, SG, C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
10) Portland Trailblazers, C, Cody Zeller, Indiana
11) Philadelphia 76ers, C, Steven Adams, Pittsburgh
12) Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors), C, Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
13) Dallas Mavericks, SF, Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
14) Utah Jazz, PG, Shane Larkin, Miami