Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 6/27/13
The 2013 NBA Draft lacks one thing: star power. Incoming freshmen Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins would both be no-brainer picks if they were eligible for the draft. Instead, they are headed to class for a year (at least) and we are left with a draft that lacks Hall of Fame talent -- on the surface. That said, finding talent within this year's field will be difficult. It is very possible the first ten picks of this mock draft are wrong. Mystery seems to be the buzz-word of this draft. Who knows how tomorrow will play out, but it will, at the very least, be plenty exciting. 1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel, Kentucky He’s still here. Since he declared for the draft, he has been atop every Big Board around, and there is reason to think everybody was right. At this point, the Cavs are between Noel and Alex Len, and maybe Anthony Bennett. Noel is the best athlete, Len’s injury may be more worrisome than people think, and Bennett is a risk here. It is still possible the Cavs finally trade this pick, but if they don’t, Noel is a safe choice that can play defense. 2. Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo, Indiana This may be the most certain pick in the top-10, assuming Noel goes first. Oladipo is the safest early pick because he is healthy, ultra-competitive, and college tested. 3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown Like Oladipo, Porter is seen as a safe pick. He went to Georgetown, the Wizards would rather have him than Anthony Bennett, and he would be a nice complement to John Wall. Don’t be surprised if the Wizards take Bennett, or trade the pick, maybe to the Bulls. 4. Charlotte Bobcats - Ben McLemore, Kansas This one is up in the air between the three best remaining players: Len, Bennett, and Ben McLemore. McLemore is viewed as a risky pick because scouts doubt his ability to take over games and exert his star capabilities. Still, he is full of talent and would fit in with a Bobcats team that has more needs than you can count. Plus, he will be ready to go on day one. 5. Phoenix Suns - Cody Zeller, Indiana If Oladipo or McLemore are still around, they will probably be headed to Phoenix. If not, Zeller could hear his named called. After being named preseason Player of the Year, Zeller was overshadowed by Oladipo. He then became the most underrated lottery pick of this draft. Zeller could go as high as pick No. 2, and as low as No. 10, but he fits here. 6. New Orleans Pelicans - Alex Len, Maryland Remember that guy I mentioned that may be going No. 1? If he is still around here, he is definitely going to New Orleans. The Pelicans like the idea of a twin tower approach with Anthony Davis, and Len has been rising on draft boards everywhere. 7. Sacramento Kings - Anthony Bennett, UNLV Bennett is the best athlete and talent available here, but drafting him has some risk associated with it. Though Trey Burke or C.J. McCollum could both be safe options here, Bennett can be a star quickly, which is what the Kings are looking for. This franchise needs the boost he can provide. 8. Detroit Pistons - Trey Burke, Michigan Like Zeller, Burke is undervalued in this draft. If he is available here, expect GM Joe Dumars to ensure he stays in the state of Michigan. Burke is the point guard the Pistons need, and the fans would appreciate his presence. Athletic guards led the Pistons of the 2000s, and Burke, along with Brandon Knight, could reenergize that strategy. 9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia GM Flip Saunders has made this one pretty clear for a while now. The Timberwolves like Caldwell-Pope, and prefer him to C.J. McCollum. Unless one of the previous 8 choices is available, Caldwell-Pope is headed up north. 10. Portland Trail Blazers - C.J. McCollum, Lehigh The Blazers are open about wanting to take a point guard, so it would be between McCollum and Carter-Williams here. McCollum is a better shooter, and a safer pick, with a lower ceiling that Carter-Williams. 11. Philadelphia 76ers - Sergey Karasev, Russia The 76ers are in need of someone large and quick in their frontcourt. Cody Zeller fits that bill, but he should be taken by No. 11. The 76ers may have to settle for the best guy left on the board, and one that can start on day one. 12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Steven Adams, Pittsburgh Adams is a project, and the Thunder have time to take him on. They are the best team with a lottery pick, and Adams is the top talent left, but he is also a guy who needs plenty of work. The Thunder are weakest at the center position, and Adams has the height and size OKC needs down low. 13. Dallas Mavericks - Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Carter-Williams will finally hear his name called at 13 -- that is, if the Mavs haven’t traded the pick already to get into the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Carter-Williams is a solid value here, and the Mavs could use a strong passer. 14. Utah Jazz - Shane Larkin, Miami The Jazz are praying that any of the above point guards are still available. They probably won’t be. So, the best two left are Larkin and Dennis Schroeder. The Jazz have been open with the fact that they want a point guard, and Larkin is a more likely bet. 15. Milwaukee Bucks - Dennis Schroeder, Germany The Bucks are high on Larkin and Schroeder, and they will take whichever one is around at this pick. My bet is on Schroeder. 16. Boston Celtics - Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga The Celtics are rebuilding, so they could go anywhere here. Olynyk is high on a lot of team’s lists, and I think he may be a bust. The Celtics may take a shot on him here, regardless. 17. Atlanta Hawks - Shabazz Muhammed, UCLA Muhammed thinks he is underrated, and maybe he is. The Hawks may be the team to take the risk. How much lower can he slide? 18. Atlanta Hawks - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece Antetokounmpo is from Greece, and the Hawks could play with the possibility of shipping him overseas for a year. With two straight picks, the Hawks have a great spot in the draft here, and could use this pick wisely. 19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Reggie Bullock, North Carolina Bullock is one of the best shooters in the draft, and that is what the Cavs want. If they pick a center like Noel or Len, they will go shooter here. 20. Chicago Bulls - Mason Plumlee, Duke Plumlee could end up being the steal of the draft here. He has a good chance to slide this far because teams don’t like him. He fits in well with the Bulls' goals. They also need a wing, but how do you pass up a safe pick like Plumlee? 21. Utah Jazz - Lucas Nogueira, Brazil The Jazz will go point guard at 14 or at 21. Since I have them doing so at 14, Nogueira could be the pick here. He can spend a year overseas and off their payroll. He has size and length, which the Jazz desperately need. 22. Brooklyn Nets - Gorgui Dieng, Louisville The Nets want a center here, and Dieng is a risky pick with a lot of upside. He has risen on the boards lately following his NCAA tournament performance. Given the current state of the team, Brooklyn should certainly take the risk. 23. Indiana Pacers - Isaiah Canaan, Murray State The Pacers are aiming for a point guard, and Canaan may be their man. They have a championship-caliber team already, and they want another shooter. Their inability to hit the three was one of the main reasons they lost to the Heat. Canaan can find the basket and shoot. 24. New York Knicks - Tony Mitchell, North Texas The Knicks need another big, since Amar'e Stoudemire clearly isn’t doing the trick. Mitchell has athleticism and strength, and the Knicks would find use for him. 25. Los Angeles Clippers - Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan Hardaway is the veteran guy who will play minutes right away. The Clippers could use a shooter, but they also need someone who can play consistently, and give them help late in games. 26. Minnesota Timberwolves - Rudy Gobert, France The T-Wolves could trade this pick, especially since they already got their shooter and that is mostly what is left at this point in the first round. If they don’t, Gobert provides size. 27. Denver Nuggets - Allen Crabbe, California The Nuggets want a shooter and Crabbe is the best available. Unless they choose another route, he is their man. 28. San Antonio Spurs - Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State The Spurs are facing a transition, whether that comes this year or the next. Franklin will be needed and is a steal at this pick. Ginobili is on the outs, and Parker could be next. 29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Tony Snell, New Mexico OKC already had a pick in this draft, so they could spend this one on an elite shooter, which they are in need of. 30. Phoenix Suns - Glen Rice Jr., D-League The Suns needs everything, and Rice Jr. may have found his floor at this pick. If he slips into the second round, he will be scooped up immediately. After hopefully grabbing a safe pick at No. 5, the Suns should take Rice here.  By: Sam Barder

This article first appeared on The Sports Post and was syndicated with permission.

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