NBA Mock Draft for 2013

By Paul Grossinger

I don't care who the GMs pick.  Let's start there.

Most basketball GMs are terrible.  Let's face it – just horrible.  So, instead of reading their minds, let's just pick the right guys in the right order.  In fact, since its almost always best to take the most talented, best makeup guy on the board, let's just cut out team context all together.

It does make for something fun to bet on though! But of course, before that, you have to know how to bet on those sports betting sites.

So, without further ado...

Nerlens Noel, C

Don't fool around: when you suck, start by building a strong, big defense centered on a post stud.  Noel can be that guy – he is Emeka Okafor with more offensive upside.  Scouts are harping on his offensive lapses, which is ridiculous.  The kid is 18 and has about 10 real college games under his belt; he is a project to develop but if you won't take a chance on nurturing a 7'1" defensive freak with superstar talent, you should not be in the business.
Ben McLemore, SG

McLemore looks like Ray Allen with less height and more athleticism.  His 6'3" height is concerning, especially as he is a pure shooting wing, but the talent here is exceptional.
Anthony Bennett, PF

He looks a bit like a cross between Shawn Kemp and Antoine Walker.  Bennett can be a star – in fact he may have the most upside of any player in the draft.

Trey Burke, PG

I've watched him for years at Michigan and I believe Burke is a future NBA star.  He has the ball-handling, leadership, and shooting ability to quarterback a team for a decade. Whether he will become a strong starter or all-star…time will tell.

C.J. McCollum, G

McCollum is a born scorer with playmaking and passing ability.  The comparisons to Damien Lilliard are apt but he actually reminds me of  a young Baron Davis – with better shooting accuracy.

Otto Porter

Porter is a solid player in every area.  He is a well-polished, strong prospect.  My concern is I am not sure I see a single truly elite skill, which is a hall-mark of big-time prospects who fail to live up to their potential.  He could be a star – or he could be Evan Turner.

Steven Adams, C

Adams could make an all-NBA defense list – today.  He is a clear defensive difference maker on the floor.  Offensively, he is D-league level raw but he is definitely a project worth taking on for a rebuilding team.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF

Muhammad is a context pick – he absolutely has to go to the right team.  If he goes to a poorly–run organization, he will become the next Tyreke Evans; that is to say a waste of God-given talent.  But if he goes to an excellent organization that snagged a top pick – the Thunder come to mind – his innate scoring abilities give him a chance to be special.

Cody Zeller, C

Let's stop the "overrated" comments.  Zeller is legitimately 6'11", far more athletic than advertised, and a gifted passer and team leader.  He will be a decade-plus starter in the NBA for a playoff team.

Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel
Feb 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA: Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) passes the ball around Auburn Tigers forward Allen Payne (2) and center Rob Chubb (41) in the first half at Rupp Arena. Photo Courtesy by Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports.

Alex Len, C

Len is mostly upside and projection, courtesy of poor use of his talents at Maryland, but his skill set, makeup, and size are all exceptional.  It's hard to see him busting out of the league.

Victor Oladipo

I love his defense and leadership – but I'm not sold on his size and shooting.  Is he a true star guard – or a backup combo guard who plays elite defense? 

Dario Saric, SF

Saric is a classic point forward: he has excellent court vision and basketball IQ.  In many ways, he resembles Hedo Turkoglu with more polish on his resume.

Seth Curry, G

I may be the only person ranking him this high – but I'm going to defend it.  Draft prospects with elite skills almost always make it in the NBA.  Curry is the best shooter in the draft – bar none except perhaps McLemore.  He has ball-handling talent and strong makeup from Duke.  His brother, Stephen, is a top-3 point guard in the NBA and his father, Dell Curry, is a respected NBA alum.  Remind me again why he isn't a mid-first round pick?

Jeff Witney, C

He's limited – sure.  But he is the best shot blocker in college basketball.  He will bring instant defensive credibility to a team struggling with post defense and has just enough offensive juice to stay on the floor.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG

His size, playmaking ability, and floor vision scream top-five pick.  But his often-poor decision making, inconsistency, and Syracuse's poor record of developing strong NBA players screams bust potential.  I'd grab him – but not before a dozen other guys.

Kelly Olynk, C

He is a winner and a skilled forward-type with center size.  No team drafting Olynk should bring him in as the No. 1 option but he can be a No. 2 scoring option on offense – a better version of Andrea Bargnani who isn't softer than melted margarine.

Gorgui Dieng, C

While limited, he has a clear role to play on an NBA winner.  A gifted shot-blocker, team defender, and inside scorer, he is well suited to a future sixth man role on a contender. In many ways, he reminds me of Lamar Odom with less upside and less versatility – but also less going on in his head.

Shane Larkin, PG

He could be the next Ty Lawson – or at least a poor man's facsimile.

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