Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:10AM; Updated: Wed May 22, 2013 10:14AM
Chris Mannix

2013 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

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Nerlens Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in his one season at Kentucky.
Nerlens Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in one season at Kentucky.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Saddle up, everyone. This is going to be a wildly unpredictable draft.

Though reports about this crop's weakness are premature -- it is impossible to know just how good or bad a draft is until years after it's completed -- two things are clear: There is no can't-miss superstar at the top (Kansas' Ben McLemore has the most potential while Kentucky's Nerlens Noel could become a Ben Wallace-like defensive force) and there are few certainties anywhere. Teams' draft boards will be all over the place, and lottery talent, at least in the minds of some general managers, will likely slip into the 20s.

MANNIX: Draft combine winners/losers | No. 1 picks in lottery era

As teams gear up for group workouts, individual workouts and countless hours of film study ahead of the June 27 draft, here's's Mock Draft 1.0.

Nerlens Noel
PF/C Kentucky
What a night for the Cavs, who nabbed the top spot for the second time in three years. The backcourt is locked in with 2011 top overall pick Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, the fourth pick in 2012. Expect the Cavs to snap up Noel, a 7-foot defensive menace who will solidify the middle, either at power forward or center, and fortify a defense that ranked last in field-goal defense (47.6) this season.
Ben McLemore
SG Kansas
This is an interesting spot for Orlando, which has a roster loaded with young talent. If Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart had stayed in the draft, he would have been a natural fit. National Player of the Year Trey Burke is out there, but would GM Rob Hennigan take him at No. 2? Incumbent shooting guard Arron Afflalo has three years and $23 million left on his contract, but it will be difficult for the Magic to pass on McLemore, a Ray Allen-type shooter with superior athleticism.
Otto Porter
SF Georgetown
Here's where things get fun. The Wizards need a small forward, and GM Ernie Grunfeld got a good look at the Hoyas' Porter all season long. Porter is a versatile forward with an excellent mid-range game. But UNLV's Anthony Bennett -- who is unable to work out for teams because of a shoulder surgery -- has monstrous potential at either forward spot. Pencil in Porter, a more traditional small forward, for now, but don't expect it to be an easy call.
Victor Oladipo
SG Indiana
The Hornets -- yeah, we're calling them that again -- badly need a big man to shore up a frontcourt of a team that ranked last in points in the paint (25.3 per game), 23rd in opponent points in the paint (39.5) and 27th in rebounding (40.3 per game). But the best fit here is Oladipo, a mature, defensive-minded guard who developed into a consistent shooter last season. In Oladipo, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte would have a solid perimeter nucleus to build around.
Anthony Bennett
The Suns' roster is a mess, so Phoenix can afford to go with the best player on the board. That's Bennett, a 6-foot-7, 239-pound man-child whom some scouts believe will be the best player in the draft. Bennett is an explosive athlete, has a credible back-to-the-basket and face-up game and legitimate three-point range (38.3 percent last season). He's something of a tweener, but if he settles into a position Bennett has superstar potential.
Trey Burke
PG Michigan
There could be a temptation here to take Maryland's Alex Len, a physical center whose style of play has made several scouts believe he will be a better pro than college player. But Austin Rivers did little last season to suggest he is the long-term solution at point guard, and Burke is the kind of dynamic playmaker/scorer the Pelicans need to boost an offense without a lot of weapons.
Cody Zeller
PF/C Indiana
Zeller tested well at the combine, for whatever that's worth, showcasing tremendous athleticism. Teams will want to see how he shoots from the perimeter at individual workouts, but there is no denying that Zeller is a skilled offensive player. The Kings are a mess, but adding Zeller to a frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins has potential, and after being branded a disappointment by critics following last season, Zeller will come in with a chip on his shoulder.
Shabazz Muhammad
With Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, the Pistons are solid up front. Detroit needs help scoring, though, (21st in points scored per possession) and Muhammad is a scorer. He prefers to play 2-guard, but Muhammad has the size and strength to play small forward, too. Questions about Muhammad's attitude and one-dimensional play linger, but his talent is undeniable.
C.J. McCollum
PG Lehigh
Timberwolves star Kevin Love didn't hesitate when asked what the team needs in the draft. "A lights-out shooter," Love said. McCollum has been compared favorably to Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, though he isn't as comfortable at the point-guard position as Lillard was coming out of Weber State. In Minnesota, McCollum, who has NBA range and plays well in the pick-and-roll, doesn't have to be a playmaker, not with an emerging star in Ricky Rubio entrenched at the position.
Alex Len
C Maryland
The Blazers need a starting center, and Len oozes potential. He's a physical 5-man who rebounds well, protects the paint (2.1 blocks per game) and can play with his back to the basket. A stress fracture in his left ankle will keep him out of individual workouts. That could hurt his stock, as teams would like to see signs of a diverse offensive game. But that could work well for Portland, which needs some muscle alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.
Kelly Olynyk
C Gonzaga
With the future of Andrew Bynum in doubt and with a hole at power forward, the Sixers badly need frontcourt help. There are questions about Olynyk's strength and concerns about how, after three years at Gonzaga, he will match up with bigger, more physical defenders. But there is no denying Olynyk's offensive skills. He has a variety of moves in the post and showcased guard-like perimeter shooting at the combine.
Dario Saric
SF Croatia
19 years old6-10223
Pick acquired from Raptors via Rockets: There is increasing chatter among NBA executives that the Thunder -- who have two first-round picks and young talent in Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones -- will look to make a major move on draft night. If they keep this pick, Saric, a smooth, mobile big man one executive describes as "the best passing big man in the draft," is a nice find. Saric isn't the bruising post-up scorer Oklahoma City craves, but he is exactly the kind of high-potential talent GM Sam Presti loves to develop.
Michael Carter-Williams
PG Syracuse
The Mavericks need a point guard and Carter-Williams is considered the best pure playmaker in the draft. The Shaun Livingston comparisons are easy to make -- how many 6-6 point guards are there to compare him to? -- but two executives said they liked Livingston's potential more coming into the draft. Still, Carter-Williams has superior point-guard instincts, and if he can harness his size and improve his jump shot, he could develop quickly.
Jamaal Franklin
SG San Diego State
Analytics people around the league like players who can do a little of everything, and Franklin, who led San Diego State in points, rebounds, assists and steals last season, is that kind of player. He doesn't shoot three-pointers particularly well, but he plays with energy and is a solid defender. German point guard Dennis Schroeder will be tempting here, too, but Utah could chance that it can grab a point guard with its second first-round pick.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SG Georgia
Who knows what happens to the backcourt -- Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent, J.J. Redick is an unrestricted free agent and Monta Ellis can opt out of the final year of his contract this summer -- but the Bucks will likely need some help. Caldwell-Pope made huge strides as a sophomore, surging up a few teams' draft boards late in the season. He's more of a prototypical 2-guard, which will give the next Milwaukee coach a traditional option even if the undersized Ellis returns.
Gorgui Dieng
C Louisville
With or without the core of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce -- two players who may not be in Boston when training camp opens -- the Celtics need size. Dieng, 23, has a defensive reputation (he was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year last season after swatting 2.5 shots and pulling down 9.4 rebounds per game), but his offensive game is better than most think. Dieng is a strong passer with a decent mid-range jump shot. Scouts also say he is one of the best screen men in the draft.
Mason Plumlee
C Duke
If Josh Smith departs as a free agent, the Hawks could move Al Horford to power forward -- his more natural position -- and search for a more traditional center. They will go hard after Dwight Howard this summer, but Plumlee, an athletic 7-footer who has developed a solid low-post game, is someone Atlanta can develop.
Dennis Schroeder
PG Germany
19 years old6-2165
Pick acquired from Rockets: Schroeder, says an Eastern Conference scout, "is a miniature [Rajon] Rondo." At 19, he has natural point-guard instincts, excellent speed and an improving jump shot. Several teams in the 20s would love for Schroeder to fall. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague is a restricted free agent, and though he is likely to return, Schroeder has the potential to be a big-time starter in the future.
Tony Mitchell
PF North Texas
Pick acquired from Lakers: Mitchell is a 6-9, 236-pound beast with undeniable inside-out skills. His production tailed off last season and reports of poor effort -- reports Mitchell confirmed to the media and team officials at the combine -- will stick with him for a while. Still, Mitchell is a tantalizing talent (he compares himself to Denver's Kenneth Faried) whose abilities could make him worth the risk to a rebuilding Cleveland team that suddenly could be flush with promising power players in the frontcourt. The Cavs could dangle one of those players in a deal to bring back the scoring forward that they need.
Steven Adams
C Pittsburgh
Adams is an enigma. He struggled in one season at Pittsburgh, appearing overwhelmed by the strength and speed of the competition. According to one Eastern Conference executive, it looked "like the game was too fast for him" at the combine. But his skills are undeniable. At 7 feet, 255 pounds, with a wingspan of 7-5 and enormous hands (9.5 inches long, 11 inches wide), Adams is a physical specimen with extraordinary athletic ability. With time and coaching, Adams could develop into a significant low-post threat.
Shane Larkin
PG Miami
Point guard has been a major issue for the Jazz since the team traded Deron Williams to the Nets in February 2011. Larkin needs seasoning and his size (a shade under 6 feet) is a concern in a league where supersized playmakers are becoming the norm. But he is a phenomenal athlete -- he topped the combine in the three-quarter-court sprint (3.08 seconds) and vertical leap (44 inches) -- and an excellent ball handler who projects to play well in the pick-and-roll. Larkin is one of several point guards who should be on the board here.
Allen Crabbe
SG California
The Nets would love a big man like Gorgui Dieng to slip this far. Crabbe's three-point percentage last season was his lowest in three years at Cal, but he shot well at the combine, has good size for his position and has shown an ability to use screens well. With MarShon Brooks on the trading block, Brooklyn will be on the look-out for a replacement.
Sergey Karasev
SF Russia
19 years old6-7200
Front offices love the versatility of Karasev, an NBA-ready swingman. He faced quality competition in the PBL, Russia's top league, and reportedly looked sharp at the Nike Hoops Summit in April. Karasev is an excellent catch-and-shoot player, and Indiana loves to play inside-out.
Rudy Gobert
C France
20 years old7-2238
Gobert is impossibly long at 7-2 with a 7-8½ wingspan and a 9-7 standing reach, both combine records. He didn't show much offensively at the combine, though, and several execs expressed concern about his slender frame. But the Knicks' AARP frontcourt needs an infusion of youth, and Gobert's defensive potential will be too good to pass up.
Jeff Withey
C Kansas
The Clippers could sorely use a more offensive-oriented option at center. Withey isn't it, but he is a big, skilled defender who can fill in at either big frontcourt spot and provide protection for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in case of foul trouble. Withey isn't the type of player who creates offense for himself, but he's athletic and a good finisher, and playing alongside Chris Paul would undoubtedly jack up his production.
Reggie Bullock
SF North Carolina
Pick acquired from Memphis: Bullock didn't exactly receive a ringing endorsement from Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who said recently that he was more worried about Bullock going to the NBA than any of the 11 other players who left early under Williams. But Bullock can shoot from deep -- something Minnesota sorely needs after hitting an NBA-worst 30.5 percent from three-point range this season -- and rebounds well for his position. If new president Flip Saunders fears losing restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic, massive French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh could be considered.
Tony Snell
SG New Mexico
With Andre Iguodala considering opting out of the final year of his contract, Snell is a safety net. Snell is a rangy 2-guard with decent offensive skills and the physical tools to be a solid defender. His three-point shooting steadily improved over three years at New Mexico, topping out at 39 percent last season. Providence's Ricky Ledo, who dazzled scouts with his shooting potential at the combine, is another option here.
Glen Rice Jr.
SF Georgia Tech
22 years old6-6211
It's tough to get a read on what direction the Spurs will go here. They could opt for a raw international talent such as Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo or France's Mouhammadou Jaiteh, someone they could stash overseas for a year or two like Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter or Luis Scola. Or they could opt for someone who can play right away. After a checkered career at Georgia Tech that ended in a dismissal from the team last year, Rice thrived in one season in the D-League, averaging 25 points and 9.5 rebounds for Rio Grande in the playoffs. More important, he stayed out of trouble, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by NBA executives.
Archie Goodwin
SG Kentucky
Let's be blunt: Goodwin had a bad combine. He struggled with the NBA three-pointer and didn't distinguish himself in any of the drills, looking every bit like a player forced to come out of college because of the vaunted recruiting class coming in behind him. Still, the lanky Goodwin showed flashes of Jamal Crawford-like potential at Kentucky, and Oklahoma City can afford to be patient with a prospect who could give it badly needed scoring off the bench.
C.J. Leslie
SF/PF North Carolina State
Pick acquired from Miami: New GM Ryan McDonough has a sharp eye for talent -- as an assistant GM in Boston he was a strong advocate for the Celtics drafting Avery Bradley in 2010 and acquiring Rajon Rono in a draft-night trade in 2006 -- and he will need that eye here. The Suns have holes everywhere, so position isn't really relevant. Leslie battled inconsistency at NC State, and there are questions about his attitude and work ethic. But he is a tremendous athlete -- he ran a 3.1 in the three-quarter-court sprint at the combine, second only to point guard Shane Larkin -- and showcased a versatile game in college.
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