Maefteda's Mock Draft with explanations (trades included!)

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Maefteda's Mock Draft with explanations (trades included!) 

Post#1 » by Maefteda » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:21 pm

1. Cleveland - Nerlens Noel (6'10'', PF, Kentucky, Fresh.)
Noel is the consensus #1 pick because he offers the safest shot at an All-Star in this draft. High motor, fantastic defensive skillset and offensive potential makes Noel a pretty easy choice. Trading down for Porter who was slated to be their pick at #3 before the lottery doesn't seem like an option. McLemore has been given some thought, but I think they just stick with Waiters as their main 2-guy.

2. Orlando - Ben McLemore (6'5'', SG, Kansas, Fresh.)
Ben McLemore fits an immediate need as a scorer and quality shooter with the Magic. Oladipo has been given some looks, but with Harkless already on board with a lot of the same qualities, Orlando go for the bigger need and also what seems to be the consensus better player in Ben McLemore. Magic might trade down as they are currently considering as many as 9 players for their pick, but McLemore makes a lot of sense for them.

3. Washington - Otto Porter (6'8'', SF, Georgetown, Soph.)
The Wizards have also explored the possibilities of trading down, and John Wall has expressed a desire to land a pick and pop forward. If they stay at #3 however, Porter and Bennett are the two players they are considering. With the options of a package around Williams/9 with Minnesota or Ilyasova/15 with the Bucks if they want a stretch 4, I think they will go with Porter if they decide to stay with #3.

4. Charlotte - Alex Len (7'1'', C, Maryland, Soph.)

While the Bobcats hope McLemore falls down to them, their constant lack of luck in the draft lottery means that they have to explore other options. Charlotte is another candidate to trade down with their pick, as well as considering Oladipo, Bennett or Len if they decide to stay put. Len makes the most sense for the team however, as he both covers a huge need in the lackluster Bobcats frontcourt, as well as potential to be the number 1 player out of this draft.

5. Phoenix - Victor Oladipo (6'5'', SG, Indiana, Jr.)
The Phoenix Suns are looking to completely reboot their team and are praying that Oladipo falls down to them. Reports say that they are really high on Oladipo as he can step in immediately with his fantastic defense, but also because he has one of the highest upsides in this draft when you look at his work ethic and improvement in college. If Oladipo for some reason doesn't fall to #5, I think the Suns might explore trading Gortat for a pick in the teens and go with Len if he is available. Bennett is also an option.

6. New Orleans - Anthony Bennett (6'8'', PF, UNLV, Fresh.)
Bennett has the skill and upside to warrant a top 5 pick, but with doubts around tweeners and the possibility of moving down for a better package with the same type of player, I think Bennett will fall out of the top 5. The newly named Pelicans will pick the best player available, which means that Bennett will get picked here. Bennett has expressed desire to develop his game to be a 3 or even a 2(!), and he might fill the need Aminu failed to fill, or he can slot in nicely at his more natural 4 spot next to Anthony Davis.

7. Sacramento - Trey Burke (5'11'', PG, Michigan, Soph.)
Sacramento are a difficult team to read as they are currently looking to fill more roles than just on the basketball court. Trey Burke should fit right in as a starting PG, and his desire to win and take control is likely to appease DeMarcus Cousins who the Kings have decided to put their future hopes in. Trey Burke is one of the better players in this draft and fits an immediate need, which makes him a no-brainer even for a team that could go in multiple directions.

8. Detroit - Michael Carter-Williams (6'5'', PG, Syracuse, Soph.)
Detroit managed to get a steal in the last draft with Andre Drummond and secured a solid frontcourt for years to come. With enough combo guards already, the Pistons are more likely to go for a true PG in Carter-Williams than another combo guard in CJ McCollum. Carter-Williams has supposedly impressed in recent workouts and did well on athletics testing, which means that the Pistons might get a steal in the draft the second year in a row.

9. Minnesota - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6'6'', SG, Georgia, Soph.)

While Minnesota likely want to trade up to get Flip Saunders' favorite prospect Victor Oladipo, the Timberwolves might just stay with the #9 pick as they don't feel that moving up a couple of spots in a weak draft warrants trading away the talented Derrick Williams. If Minnesota are still at 9 at this point in the draft, they will most likely choose between McCollum and KCP, while Zeller might get some looks. KCP fills the biggest need in Minnesota's eyes, as he is a true SG with size and shooting ability that they have been lacking. By constantly mentioning that they need size and that they have too many PG's, I think Minnesota will opt for KCP rather than McCollum.

10. Portland - CJ McCollum (6'3'', SG, Lehigh, Sr.)
The Portland Trailblazers had a good draft last year and has managed to fill their roster out with a lot of talent. The problem the whole season however was the roster depth and winning mentality, which saw them end the season on a 13 game losing streak. CJ McCollum makes a lot of sense for this reason, as he not only has the ability to play in 2 positions behind starters Lillard and Matthews, but he also comes as one of the more NBA ready players to help Portland go for a play-off spot next season. With the success of picking a similar type of player in Lillard the year before, CJ McCollum is just too good to pass up.

11. Philadelphia - Cody Zeller (7'0'', C, Indiana, Soph.)
The 76ers had a really bad season as their new franchise Center Andrew Bynum didn't make a single appearance in a 76ers uniform. While the feeling is that Bynum will be offered a contract to stay, his injury further emphasized Philadelphia's lack of front court talent. Cody Zeller fits in really well next to Bynum with his rare big man skills and the ability to play as a stretch 4.

12. Oklahoma City - Steven Adams (7'0'', C, Pittsburgh, Fresh.)
After a disappointing post-season, that saw Westbrook fall to his first major injury as a pro and Kendrick Perkins showing his age and lack of contribution in the play-offs, two things became clear. Reggie Jackson has the ability to step up as a PG and OKC are in a dire need of a good big man. Steven Adams presents the Thunder with the defense and rebounding they need in the front court, as well as having a ton of potential. Shabazz might get some looks to replace what they lost in Harden, but Adams makes a lot of sense for a team in a unique situation being a contender as well as having the talent for the future.

13. Dallas - Dario Saric (6'10", SF, Croatia)

Saric will most likely withdraw from the draft, which is a shame for Dallas who would've had a player with great upside as well as the ability to stash him away in Europe while they go for Howard and CP3 the next off-season. If Saric isn't a possibility at draft night, I expect Dallas to trade out of the draft.

14. Utah - Shane Larkin (5'11", PG, Miami, Sr.)

Utah has been lacking a PG for a while and with Larkin impressing a lot during his workout there, he seems like a great fit for the rebuilding Jazz. They might look at some center prospects as well as Schroeder, but with another pick at 21 to get a big man and after Larkin left an even better impression during his workout than Schroder did, Larkin will likely get the nod here.

15. Milwaukee - Dennis Schroeder (6'1'', PG, Germany)
Milwaukee just offered Monta Ellis a contract extension and therefore it seems like RFA Brandon Jennings is on his way out. This leaves a hole at the PG spot for the Bucks and with Burke, MCW and Larkin all gone, Schroder seems like a prime candidate. The German, comparing himself to Rajon Rondo, could be a nice backcourt partner to Ellis with his speed and length as well as having great upside.

16. Boston - Shabazz Muhammad (6'6'', SF, UCLA, Fresh.)
The former high school superstar and top 3 prospect has seen his draft stock fall ever since going straight out of the NCAA tournament. Not only was it revealed that he was a year older than we thought, but questions about his game and his mentality were also brought up. While Shabazz was the alpha male and was disappointed not to get the final shot in the game in college, he would have to adjust when the guy taking that final shot is named Paul Pierce. Boston brings a great fit, as they need a talent to revitalize their franchise a bit, while Shabazz would improve a lot under the tutelage of Doc Rivers and his experienced roster.

17. Atlanta - Jamaal Franklin (6'5'', SG, San Diego State, Jr.)
With Josh Smith likely leaving, the Hawks are at a crossroads and have two picks in the middle of a deep draft that lacks all-star talent. As the Hawks ultimately want to go for Dwight Howard, drafting a big man doesn't make that much sense. Jamaal Franklin is an interesting prospect who didn't manage to put everything together in college. What he did show in terms of slashing and leaping ability however is rare for his position even in this SG heavy draft.

18. Atlanta - Giannis Antetokoumpo (6'9'', SF, Greece)

A guy playing PG with a wingspan of 7'4 is unheard of and makes Giannis Antetokoumpo one of the more special talents in this draft. He is likely to be stashed for a couple of years, playing tougher opposition in Europe before they decide to bring him to the NBA or not. With two picks, the Hawks are able to take a risk on this one and go for maybe the most intriguing prospect in the draft.

19. Cleveland - Sergey Karasev (6'7'', SF, Russia)
The Cavaliers need a small forward considering that they used the #1 pick on a big man, and Karasev has the ability to knock down shots from pretty far out and will be able to space the floor for guards Irving and Waiters who do a lot of damage inside. Karasev supposedly got a promise in this range, and it wouldn't surprise me if he goes at #19

20. Chicago - Gorgui Dieng (6'10'', C, Louisville, Jr.)
Dieng is a natural fit and a great successor at backup center for the Bulls after they lost Omer Asik before last season. Dieng can contribute as a backup right away, but also he also has interesting skills he can develop and make him a good player in this league. He is a natural fit in Thibodeau's system.

21. Utah - Kelly Olynyk (7'0'', C, Gonzaga, Jr.)

Utah are most likely letting Millsap and Big Al leave in free agency, and even with their talented frontcourt in Favors and Kanter, they will become a little short on big men. Having already addressed the PG with #14, they can go with Olynyk and stop his fall at #21. His offensive skillset is needed as both Favors and Kanter bring enough defense as it is.

22. Brooklyn - Mason Plumlee (6'11'', C, Duke, Sr.)
Brooklyn Nets need a backup center behind Brook Lopez who needs a break now and then. Considering Olynyk and Dieng are already gone, I feel like the Nets will go for Plumlee who can step in more right away than Rudy Gobert who is more of a work in progress. Plumlee can also transition to a 4, which is a pretty weak spot for Brooklyn as well.

23. Indiana - Reggie Bullock (6'6'', SF, North Carolina, Jr.)
Bullock is a natural fit for Indiana, as he fills out many needs while sticking to the Pacers mindset of defense first. Bullock is able to defend several positions, but he is also a knockdown shooter from deep which the Pacers were lacking when their offense stopped working against the Heat.

24. New York - Tony Mitchell (PF, 6'9", North Texas, Soph.)

Mitchell is a fantastic physical specimen, but has struggled in his second year of college. He certainly has the tools to become a good player with rebounds on the offensive side and blocks when helping out defensively. Mitchell can step in and make plays when needed to, and for the Knicks who needed more players to step up in the play-offs, Mitchell can prove to be their future at PF. PGs are long gone and PF is therefore Knicks' biggest need at this point.

25. LA Clippers - Alan Crabbe (6'6", SG, Berkley, Jr.)
Chauncey Billups is getting older and is struggling to get fit to play for the Clippers. They have expressed a need for a true SG. Crabbe is a great shooter and has good physical tools even though he is suspect defensively at this point. He fits a need and will spread out the floor for the star players who make the most damage inside the paint.

26. Minnesota - Rudy Gobert (7'2", C, France)
Rudy Gobert is a really interesting prospect because of his insane wingspan that broke records at the combine. His inexperience and high bust potential makes him fall though, but that stops with the Timberwolves at #26. Gobert could serve as a primary target for Ricky Rubio's lobs and also bringing much needed length in the frontcourt. Gobert doesn't want to be stashed, so he can start out as a backup center project, and might live up to his potential and take over the starting role when Pekovic is too beaten up to dominate.

27. Denver - Ricky Ledo (6'6", SG, Providence, Jr.)
Denver have a good eye for talent, and there might not be a better talent late in the first round than Ricky Ledo. He most likely has the best handles out of this deep SG draft, and he also has the ability to drain threes. Nuggets need good shooters and with Ledo they might get another late first round steal.

28. San Antonio - Lucas Nogueira (6'10", C, Brazil)
Spurs are also really talented at getting the most out of their draft picks, and Nogueira has started to turn some heads lately. With fellow Brazilian Tiago Splitter already on the team, the transition for Nogueira will be easier and after a couple of years in Europe he can step in at Center where both Duncan and Diaw are getting older.

29. Oklahoma City - Mike Muscala (6'11", PF, Bucknell, Sr.)
Muscala has a lot of skills OKC can make use of. He can score in a variety of ways and can play either as a stretch 4 or as a center if he works on his strength. He is also solid on D and can provide some blocks from the start, as well as a developing 3 point shot to space out the floor for Westbrook and Durant.

30. Phoenix - Tony Snell (6'7'', SF, New Mexico Jr.)
The Suns got their wish with Oladipo at #5, who is a lockdown defender with a high motor. To complement him on the wing, Phoenix Suns can bring in Tony Snell who can keep up with the quickness provided by the new Suns backcourt of Dragic/Oladipo, but also by being someone who can shoot in a variety of ways.

Notes:

After the draft is finished, I will be updating with the players I think are the steals of this draft. Stay tuned!
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Re: Maefteda's First Round Mock with explanations 

Post#2 » by DD_reynolds » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:33 am

Quick note: Dario Saric withdrew from the draft.'

Minnesota's pick at 9 is very interesting and I do like the KCP pick there, he is the type of scorer that they need at this very moment, but I don't think the Timberwolves front office is smart enough as their looking for more of an all around player such as Oladipo.
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Re: Maefteda's First Round Mock with explanations 

Post#3 » by beantownski » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:34 am

like it. hope my c's take ledo or franklin over muhammad though.
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Re: Maefteda's First Round Mock with explanations 

Post#4 » by Maefteda » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:47 pm

I'm gonna post an updated mock draft later on today, but first I'm going to go make a list of my own personal boom or bust players, and talk about some talent in the 20's and second round I think will have an impact. Let's start with the most fun part:

NBA Busts

Ben McLemore

McLemore has been a top pick for most of the year, but has seen a slight fall in the last couple of weeks. While he has a fantastic shooting stroke, looked like a decent defensive prospect in college and has freakish athleticism, there have been a couple of question marks around him that have been creeping up. From what I can see in interviews, he seems like just a kid who won't be able to realize is potential. He wasn't assertive enough in college, which is one of the more important things to be if you want to succeed and become an all-star in this league. McLemore will most likely go to a bad NBA team that will not only reveal that he isn't as good defensively as we thought he was, but also a team that will put too much pressure on a guy who hasn't really adapted to that pressure in college.

Shabazz Muhammad

Shabazz is actually likely to fall out of even the top 15, as he has been on a constant slide ever since he was clearly upset about not getting to shoot a game winning shot against Washington earlier this year. It says a lot about Muhammad, especially when you look at how he explained the situation in interviews later. It is evident that Muhammad is more in it for himself than the team, and while he has a drive to become a star, his skills don't match up. He is getting a few comparisons to Harden, but with way worse ball handling, not being the same 3 point shooter either spotting up or off the dribble and with a bad attitude, Shabazz will likely be a bust, even after sliding on the draft boards.

Alex Len

Len has great size, interesting and polished skills for a big man and has the potential to be a two-way player. He didn't have the best college career however and while getting better guards to put him in a better position for easy baskets in the NBA, he will also face bigger and tougher players in the league that may leave him even more frustrated than he looked at times in Maryland. Another huge concern is his stress fracture injury in his leg. Injuries like that are a lot more scary than say Noel's ACL tear, as Len's injury can come back to haunt him even when he gets healthy again. His horrid steal rate, along with his injury concerns and small attitude problems makes me believe Len will be a bust in the league, even though he might have a Andre Drummond like turnaround if he sorts out those things.

Anthony Bennett

Bennett was able to score in a variety of ways in college, as he dominated for UNLV with with his strong build, and inside-out skills which have made him a top pick in the draft. Looking at similar guys in recent years however, they never seem to fully reach their potential. His position is unclear at the NBA level at the moment, and while Bennett himself has expressed a desire to be a 3 or even a 2(!) in the league, there are a lot of reasons as to why he might not be able to fulfill that desire. Recently weighing as much as 261 pounds, Bennett doesn't seem to be nimble enough to defend the best SFs at the next level. On the offensive end Bennett lacks post moves and will probably have a hard time getting used to the longer NBA 3PT line. With not the best defense to go along with that and no true position, Bennett will likely be a bust.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Caldwell-Pope has for the most part been a lock at #9 in this draft going to Minnesota Timberwolves as they seem to be great fits to each other. KCP has indeed a nice shooting stroke, he has defensive potential with good lateral quickness and size/athleticism. KCP actually tries hard on defense when he is in an ISO situation, but as shown lapses of concentration and actually trying a bit too hard on D some times. He will likely be caught off guard in the NBA by more skilled and smarter players with their tricks and pump fakes, and in a league where team defense rules, KCP doesn't have enough skills defensively to stand out. His poor decision making will probably be his downfall, as KCP needs to make the most of his skills to succeed in the NBA, but I think his BBIQ will prevent him from doing this and relegate him to being a 8th man off the bench instead of a quality NBA starter.

Boom:

Nerlens Noel

Noel has been the only player consistently in the top 3 through his whole college season, and for good reason. His defense is unquestionable, with great length, good athleticism and a fantastic motor for a big man that has seen him excel at both blocks and steals. The questions around Noel has been his offense, the ACL injury and his weight. Players tend to come back just as strong from ACL tears nowadays, his weight isn't that bad compared to other top NBA centers coming into this league and the team picking Noel will know that he is a long term player that won't even be able to contribute right away. Noel will not be one of the main scoring options for a team, but as he will get minutes mainly because of his defensive prowess, I don't think it's unlikely that Noel develops a couple of go to moves on offense, which will keep him as a starter for his whole NBA career in my mind and a couple of All-Star appearances. Considering that Noel is one of the youngest players in this draft as well, he will have plenty of time to develop.

Victor Oladipo


Oladipo on the other hand saw a marked rise on the draft boards this year, as his hard work paid off in getting him noticed by NBA GMs and scouts. Oladipo's floor is higher than most other draftees' ceilings as he is a defensive stopper day one, but his work ethic and motor is what makes NBA execs gush over the possibilities of landing a future all-star in this guy. Oladipo reminds me of Kawhi Leonard in many ways, who proved in this years playoffs that he can be a important guy on a contending team. I expect Oladipo to adjust to the NBA 3 the same way, and maybe being even better when it comes to defense.

Otto Porter

Porter had a great sophmore season, and manage to develop even more skills to his already solid arsenal. Porter can do it all, pass, handle, shoot and play defense and while he might not have the same elite ability in some areas like Noel and Oladipo, Porter will know his limitations and likely be a great glue guy on a NBA team. That doesn't mean he won't be assertive however, as he has shown an ability to close out games for the Georgetown Hoyas. I expect him to make a good NBA player, like many former Georgetown alumni.

CJ McCollum

Another guy who will likely make the most of his transition to the NBA is CJ McCollum. He has continuously impressed in pre-draft workouts and interviews, showing a great level of understanding for the NBA game. Being a Patriot league player, McCollum also has a chip on his shoulder, while he is smart enough to know how to adapt to whichever team picks him on draft night. His ability to create and make his own shots is pivotal in the NBA, and with his very high BBIQ will find a way to contribute even more for his NBA team. CJ will at least be a scoring combo guard off the bench, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him as one of the favorites to win Rookie of the year at the end of the season.

Trey Burke

Trey Burke has a lot of skills that is useful for a PG in the NBA. He can facilitate and score at the same time, and also proved his ability as a leader when leading Michigan to the NCAA tournament finals. He has been getting comparisons to Chris Paul and for good reason. His size is one of the only things holding him back from being a #1 pick, but with a good wingspan, that shouldn't be as big of a problem as it is made out to be. Burke has the ability to either shot from 3, drive in and score or kick it out which is something every PG in the NBA should strive to have. The assertiveness he brings as well, will likely make Burke flourish in a PG heavy league, even with his lack of size.
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Re: Maefteda's First Round Mock with explanations 

Post#5 » by Maefteda » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:07 am

Final Mock Draft

1. Cleveland - Nerlens Noel (6'10'', PF, Kentucky, Fresh.) (-)
Noel is the consensus #1 pick because he offers the safest shot at an All-Star in this draft. High motor, fantastic defensive skillset and offensive potential makes Noel a pretty easy choice. Trading down for Porter who was slated to be their pick at #3 before the lottery doesn't seem like an option. Alex Len doesn't have as much upside as Noel.

2. Orlando - Victor Oladipo (6'5'', SG, Indiana, Jr.) (+3) Trade for Trey Burke and Derrick Williams
Victor Oladipo’s rise makes him end up at number 2. Not only is he a prime candidate for such a high selection, but Oladipo brings extra value because of the number of GMs and teams that are interested in him. They can stay put, but ultimately I think they will end up trading down for a really enticing package offered from Minnesota who are really high on the best SG of this draft. Trey Burke gives them a player in a position of need and a leader, while Derrick Williams still has a good amount of upside and can be used as a trading chip for a pick in next years draft.

3. Washington - Anthony Bennett (6'8'', PF, UNLV, Fresh.) (+3)
Otto Porter has almost been a lock for this pick since the Wizards moved up in the draft lottery. With recent statements from John Wall about wanting a stretch 4, combined with more more reports about the Wizards front office being torn between Bennett and Porter, I think Wizards will opt for Bennett, who has more upside and can fill a need at both SF and PF.

4. Charlotte - Alex Len (7'1'', C, Maryland, Soph.) (-)
Charlotte Bobcats need big men and with Anthony Bennett off the board, they have to choose between Len and Zeller. Zeller is apparently a favorite of Rich Cho but the stretch 4 is a bit of a stretch to take on 4(pun intended). Alex Len makes the most sense here, even though rumors have it that Kidd-Gilchrist is on the trading block as Charlotte supposedly want Otto Porter.

5. Phoenix - Ben McLemore (6'5'', SG, Kansas, Fresh.) (-3)
Ben McLemore has seen a bit of a fall ever since the combine, but he ends up nicely with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns need a SG and with Oladipo already gone, McLemore is the prime candidate here. He has clearly the most upside left on the board and would fit nicely in with Goran Dragic in the backcourt.

6. New Orleans - Otto Porter (6'8'', SF, Georgetown, Soph.) (-3)
New Orleans are in a pretty good position in the draft, as they can just wait and see who falls to them among the top prospects. With Otto Porter still on the board, he makes for a tremendous fit with the newly named Pelicans, as their biggest need is at SF after another disappointing season from Aminu. Trey Burke gets a couple of looks, but the MIP candidate year from Greivis Vasquez puts a damper on their PG need.

7. Sacramento - CJ McCollum (6'3'', G, Lehigh, Sr.) (+3)
Sacramento can go many ways with their pick, but choose to go with CJ McCollum for a couple of reasons. With Fredette on the trading block, there is an open spot for a shooter and a combo guard, McCollum certainly has the skills to go in this range in the draft, but most of all, the Kings get the mature and calm presence, they certainly need in their madhouse locker room.

8. Detroit - Michael Carter-Williams (6'5'', PG, Syracuse, Soph.) (-)
Detroit managed to get a steal in the last draft with Andre Drummond and secured a solid frontcourt for years to come. With Brandon Knight moving over to SG, the 5’11 Trey Burke is a bit too small to play with the 6’3” Knight in the backcourt. Carter-Williams has supposedly impressed in recent workouts and did well on athletics testing, which means that the Pistons might get a steal in the draft the second year in a row.

9. Minnesota - Trey Burke (5'11'', PG, Michigan, Soph.) (-2) Trade with Derrick Williams for Oladipo
Minnesota have relentlessly tried to move up in the draft to capture Oladipo, and with the drop for Trey Burke, the Timberwolves an pick him as an enticing package with Derrick Williams to trade up for Oladipo. Flip Saunders has made no qualms about it, he wants Oladipo, and a talented package of Bruke and Williams gives him that.

10. Portland - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6'6'', SG, Georgia, Soph.) (-1)
With CJ McCollum gone, Portland has to look for a different shooter who can fill out the backcourt with Damien Lillard. With Wes Matthews in the team already, the Trailblazers become a force from outside the 3PT line with KCP, who also plays defense and provides depth at the SG position for Portland.

11. Philadelphia - Cody Zeller (7'0'', PF, Indiana, Soph.) (-)
The 76ers had a really bad season as their new franchise Center Andrew Bynum didn't make a single appearance in a 76ers uniform. While the feeling is that Bynum will be offered a contract to stay, his injury further emphasized Philadelphia's lack of front court talent. Cody Zeller fits in really well next to Bynum with his rare big man skills and the ability to play as a stretch 4.

12. Oklahoma City - Steven Adams (7'0'', C, Pittsburgh, Fresh.) (-)
After a disappointing post-season, that saw Westbrook fall to his first major injury as a pro and Kendrick Perkins showing his age and lack of contribution in the play-offs, two things became clear. Reggie Jackson has the ability to step up as a PG and OKC are in a dire need of a good big man. Steven Adams presents the Thunder with the defense and rebounding they need in the front court, as well as having a ton of potential. Shabazz might get some looks to replace what they lost in Harden, but Adams makes a lot of sense for a team in a unique situation being a contender as well as having the talent for the future.

13. Dallas - Sergey Karasev (6'7'', SF, Russia) (+6)
With Saric gone, the Dallas Mavericks have to look for a different Euro to stash and save cash from. Sergey Karasev has been rising up the ranks lately with great shooting and high BBIQ. Mavs might entertain trading away this pick, but ending up with Karasev who can develop in Europe is probably a better idea.

14. Utah - Shane Larkin (5'11", PG, Miami, Sr.) (-)
Utah has been lacking a PG for a while and with Larkin impressing a lot during his workout there, he seems like a great fit for the rebuilding Jazz. They might look at some center prospects as well as Schroeder, but with another pick at 21 to get a big man and after Larkin left an even better impression during his workout than Schroder did, Larkin will likely get the nod here.

15. Milwaukee - Dennis Schroeder (6'1'', PG, Germany) (-)
Milwaukee just offered Monta Ellis a contract extension and therefore it seems like RFA Brandon Jennings is on his way out. This leaves a hole at the PG spot for the Bucks and with Burke, MCW and Larkin all gone, Schroder seems like a prime candidate. The German, comparing himself to Rajon Rondo, could be a nice backcourt partner to Ellis with his speed and length as well as having great upside.

16. Boston - Lucas Nogueira (6'10", C, Brazil) (+12)
With Doc Rivers out the door and possibly Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on their way as well, the Boston Celtics are likely in full rebuild mode. Lucas Nogueira provides them with an active and good defensive big man who can fill the hole left if Garnett leaves, and he can still develop with increasing playing time in Spain.

17. Atlanta - Shabazz Muhammad (6'6'', SF, UCLA, Fresh.) (-1)
Atlanta are in an interesting situation. They want to go for Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, but are also most likely losing Josh Smith. Shabazz’ stock has taken a major dip, and the top 3 pick from earlier in the year fills an immediate need at SF or SG for the Hawks. The Hawks did a similar pick in his likely predecessor Josh Smith in 2004, drafting a talented player with some issues holding him back from going in the lottery.

18. Atlanta - Giannis Antetokoumpo (6'9'', SF, Greece) (-)
A guy playing PG with a wingspan of 7'4 is unheard of and makes Giannis Antetokoumpo one of the more special talents in this draft. He is likely to be stashed for a couple of years, playing tougher opposition in Europe before they decide to bring him to the NBA or not. With two picks, the Hawks are able to take a risk on this one and go for maybe the most intriguing prospect in the draft.

19. Cleveland - Reggie Bullock (6'6'', SF, North Carolina, Jr.) (+4)
The Cavaliers need a small forward considering that they used the #1 pick on a big man, and with Karasev off the board, Reggie Bullock makes the most sense. He has the ability to knock down shots from pretty far out and will be able to space the floor for guards Irving and Waiters who do a lot of damage inside. There are talks about trading the pick for Robinson or trading up for Karasev, but I think they stay put with Bullock.

20. Chicago - Jamaal Franklin (6'5'', SG, San Diego State, Jr.) (-3)
The Bulls need either a SG or a Center, and end up taking a really talented player in Franklin. His competitiveness and special skills seems like a good fit in Chicago, as he provides athleticism and rebounding in abundance. With a skilled coach in Tom Thibodeau they might turn the inefficient and turnover prone Franklin into a really good NBA player.

21. Utah - Kelly Olynyk (7'0'', C, Gonzaga, Jr.) (-)
Utah are most likely letting Millsap and Big Al leave in free agency, and even with their talented frontcourt in Favors and Kanter, they will become a little short on big men. Having already addressed the PG with #14, they can go with Olynyk and stop his fall at #21. His offensive skillset is needed as both Favors and Kanter bring enough defense as it is.

22. Brooklyn - Mason Plumlee (6'11'', C, Duke, Sr.) (-)
Brooklyn Nets need a backup center behind Brook Lopez who needs a break now and then. Considering Olynyk and Dieng are already gone, I feel like the Nets will go for Plumlee who can step in more right away than Rudy Gobert who is more of a work in progress. Plumlee can also transition to a 4, which is a pretty weak spot for Brooklyn as well.

23. Indiana – Tony Mitchell (6’9”, PF, North Texas, Soph.) (+1) Trade with Gerald Green for Fredette
Indiana have been shopping this pick and seem to have finally landed a trading partner in the Sacramento Kings. Tony Mitchell gives the Kings a good PF with a lot of upside. A great talent to get at 23 for the Kings who also manages to get a crowd pleaser in Gerald Green after extending their stay in California.

24. New York - Ricky Ledo (6'6", SG, Providence, Jr.) (+2)
With Jason Kidd retired, Prigioni probably going back or retiring and with several reports about J.R Smith on his way out of his hometown of New York, the Knicks are in a dire need for guards. Ricky Ledo brings a rare opportunity for them, as he has lottery level talent, and potential to be a deadly combo guard in this league. New York Knicks have to take a flier on someone, and Ledo reminds me an awful lot of J.R Smith who was handled well in the Big Apple. Ledo might just be THE steal of this draft.

25. LA Clippers – Tim Hardaway Jr. (6’6”, SG, Michigan) (New)
Chauncey Billups is off the books and the Clippers have expressed a need for a shooting guard. There have been talks of trading for Afflalo, but with so many good SG talents in this draft, the Clippers can just pick one from there instead. With Doc Rivers in as the head coach, Tim Hardaway Jr makes the most sense. Doc knows about his father, but and while he might just have to wait to coach his own son, Tim Hardaway Jr brings needed shooting, professionalism and competitiveness to the LA Clippers.

26. Minnesota - Gorgui Dieng (6'10'', C, Louisville, Jr.) (-6)
Gorgui Dieng’s injury problems have concerned the other teams in the draft enough for him to drop a couple of spots lately. A team certainly familiar with injury trouble is Minnesota Timberwolves, but they hope to have more luck with Dieng who provides an outstanding fit as a backup big behind Love and Pekovic. He is long, a good defender who offers blocks, has good passing for a big men which suits Adelman’s style of play, and he can also pick and pop.

27. Denver - Allen Crabbe (6'6", SG, Berkley, Jr.) (-2)
With Iguodala opting out into free agency, the SG spot may become open for the Denver Nuggets who have a lot of depth in most other positions. The Nuggets struggled a bit with shooting the basketball last year, and there are perhaps no better shooters than Crabbe, at least this late in the draft. His length and beautiful stroke would suit nicely next to Ty Lawson.

28. San Antonio - Mike Muscala (6'11", PF, Bucknell, Sr.) (+1)
San Antonio have once again been awfully quiet as to what they are going to pick, but with a keen eye for talent, and often going for unfashionable but great picks, the San Antonio Spurs will most likely go for Mike Muscala in my estimation. His advanced stats speak for themselves, and Muscala can slot nicely in as a replacement for the RFA Tiago Splitter.

29. Oklahoma City - Rudy Gobert (7'2", C, France) (-3)
OKC still has their biggest need at center and even after picking Steven Adams another project C with their first pick, the Thunder double down and get Gobert with his freakish length and wingspan. They likely don’t want to take on another contract and Gobert can be sent back to get some polish in Europe, as he might end up as a big time player in the NBA at a later date.

30. Phoenix – Tony Snell (6'7'', SF, New Mexico Jr.) (-)
The Phoenix Suns pick up another wing that can run the floor and shoot after picking up McLemore with their 5th pick. Not only does Snell have a lot of talent for this spot, he also can go straight into the starting SF role for the Suns as neither Wes Johnson or Michael Beasley really panned out last season.

Notes:

Positive and negative criticism wanted.

After the draft is finished, I will be updating with the players I think are the steals of this draft. Stay tuned!

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