Hoops Rumors Mock Draft 2.0

Tomorrow night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NBA teams will look to supplement their rosters with the best that the college and international ranks have to offer. The Heat, Warriors and Raptors are without picks, but we've already heard that a handful of selections in the 20s are for sale. With a lack of high-end talent in this prospect pool, opinions on any given player appear to vary drastically team by team. That is a recipe for unpredictability.  

Last week we published our 2013 mock draft, which you can find here. Below is our second and final version. These selections are based on what we're hearing around the league, our player evaluations, and what we perceive to be a team's draft needs. Considering the amount of trade speculation, these guidelines are important to remember. Each pick is based on the assumption that the team will not move its selection and will draft accordingly, though there is a fair amount of trade talk mixed in.

As always, we welcome your opinion in the comments section.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel. All signs point towards the Cavs taking either Noel or Alex Len here. The Cavs have worked out nearly every player slated to go in the top 10 and have even spoken to teams about trading the pick. This helped the Len rumors reach full throttle, but I still think Cleveland ends up with Noel.
  2. Orlando Magic - Victor OladipoIf Len goes No. 1, or if the Magic land Eric Bledsoe before draft night, this pick could change.  But for now, I can't help but think Oladipo is a better choice than Ben McLemore for a team that needs a rudder. The former Hoosiers guard is an explosive athlete and already a plus defender. He's as close to a sure thing as anyone in this class.
  3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter. The Wiz are said to be intrigued by Anthony Bennett's upside, but Porter seems to be tailor-made to go with Washington's core of emerging youngsters. With John Wall healthy, the Wizards should be a playoff team next year. Porter is NBA-ready enough to help them get there.
  4. Charlotte Bobcats - Alex Len. At No. 4, the Bobcats are the first team on the board that has yet to give any indication of who they're looking at. That makes sense, not only because their pick is heavily dependent on who goes first, but also because they have so many needs that any player would fit. If Len is here, he's Charlotte-bound. If not, whichever player falls out of the top three should be.
  5. Phoenix Suns - C.J. McCollum. Like Dion Waiters a year ago, McCollum's stock has steadily gained steam. He's been listed as a sleeper for every team after No. 4. There seems to be too many negative reports about McLemore's workouts for there to be a smokescreen-type thing going on. He's still an option here, but I think the Suns call the Lehigh star's name in Thursday night's first big surprise.
  6. New Orleans Pelicans - Ben McLemore. Once considered to be on a short list for the top pick, this represents quite a tumble for McLemore. If he falls any further, which is possible, expect teams to try to move up and grab a guy with all the physical tools to be a very good NBA two guard. But for now, the Pelicans can't pass on the Kansas star, considering their need for help on the wing.
  7. Sacramento Kings – Anthony Bennett. Bennett is a steal at seven and the Kings have been linked to him throughout the predraft process, making this a no-brainer. The team could sure use an playmaking distributor, putting Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams in the discussion here, but Bennett's offensive potential should force Sacramento to pull the trigger on him.
  8. Detroit Pistons - Trey Burke. The Pistons need a point guard and if Burke falls to them, he is the ideal fit. Many evaluators consider the talent drop-off to be significant after the top seven guys. If McCollum, or someone else not in that top group, goes earlier than expected, the Pistons will likely nab the one guy left, getting great value for the fourth straight year. Given Burke's Michigan connection, Pistons fans are probably hoping it's him that slips.
  9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Wolves are aggressively trying to move up, presumably in search of an impact player like Oladipo. Assuming Derrick Williams and the No. 9 pick isn't enough to trade up, I expect Minnesota to address its utter lack of long-range shooting. Caldwell-Pope is a sniper that shot over 37% from three last season while attempting seven treys per game.
  10. Portland Trail Blazers – Steven Adams. The Blazers are another squad looking to move way up, especially if they think McCollum and Caldwell-Pope will be off the board as they are in this scenario. If they get stuck with this pick, expect the Blazers to go big. Cody Zeller is certainly an option, but Adams provides the Blazers with more length and could turn into the physical presence Portland needs.
  11. Philadelphia 76ers - Cody Zeller. I don't think I can ever remember a pick so universally agreed upon by draftniks than Zeller to the Sixers at 11. The Sixers need scoring help and are desperate for frontcourt pieces. Zeller could be the answer to both problems. The Sixers do have a new face in Sam Hinkie at the controls, so the consensus is a little curious. If not Zeller, there are a couple of international options who could be considered here.
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Sergey Karasev. OKC has three picks in the top 32, which always makes an international draft-and-stash selection an option. With Kevin Martin's departure possible, Karasev also fits from a positional standpoint. The 6'7" Russian is already a creative offensive player, and his athletic shortcomings should be easier to mask down the road in a backcourt led by Russell Westbrook.
  13. Dallas Mavericks – Michael Carter-Williams. This pick is almost sure to be made by someone other than the Mavericks.  The Cavs want Karasev at 13, but with the Thunder taking him one pick earlier, Dallas would need to find another trade partner. MCW is easily the best player left on the board, and his penetrating style would fit alongside the shooters in Big D. That makes him the logical choice to go 13th.
  14. Utah Jazz - Lucas Nogueira. With all the high-end point guards off the board, the Jazz will look to remedy the loss(es) of Al Jefferson and/or Paul Millsap with this selection, though it's possible they could trade up. Nogueira is long, athletic and especially agile for someone his size. The 20-year-old Brazilian has the upside to make Utah's frontcourt very formidable down the road.
  15. Milwaukee Bucks – Dennis Schroeder. Shane Larkin makes a ton of sense here, but I'm sticking to my guns that Milwaukee will take the German Schroeder, who is drawing Rajon Rondo comparisons. The Bucks have a history of taking a big swing with their draft picks, and Schroeder would certainly fit that philosophy. Isaiah Canaan is a dark horse here (and going forward), as the Bucks try to replace Brandon Jennings and/or Monta Ellis.
  16. Boston Celtics – Shane Larkin. I don't really see the fit here as long as Rondo is in Boston, but I also can't imagine Larkin getting past 16 at this point. It seems like everyone on the C's roster has been involved in trade rumors, and with Doc Rivers now in L.A., Boston's target position-wise is anyone's guess.  I think Shabazz Muhammad and Jamaal Franklin should be in the mix here as well.
  17. Atlanta Hawks - Giannis Antetokounmpo. There may not be a consensus on the spelling of the "Greek Freak"'s last name, but many draftniks believe he's ticketed for Atlanta. And I agree that the Hawks should take a chance on the "Greek Freak" with one of these two picks if they don't package them to move up. There's a ton of risk here, but some of the reports on Antetokounmpo put him on a very short list of prospects in this class with elite potential.
  18. Atlanta Hawks – Shabazz Muhammad. The Hawks should be pretty happy if they have their choice of Muhammad and Franklin with this pick, and taking both of them and passing on Adetokunbo shouldn't be outside the realm of possibility. Besides Al Horford, Atlanta's roster is in flux. Muhammad gives the club a physically mature player that could develop into a legitimate scoring threat. At the very least, he is a talented asset to include in a trade for the superstar that Atlanta covets.
  19. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jamaal Franklin. Yes, I know Cleveland wants to move up for Karasev. And yes, I know they need shooting, which is why many have them landing UNC's Reggie Bullock with this pick. But Franklin is just too good of a player to pass up at No. 19 and I'm not comfortable with him falling below this, especially since it may not be the Cavs doing the selecting here.
  20. Chicago Bulls - Mason Plumlee. If Franklin is somehow available here, it would probably make Tom Thibodeau very happy. If he's not, the Bulls will look to add size or shooting. Plumlee is a great value at No. 20 as a developed player that can contribute right away to a contending team. A role player of sorts on a talented Duke team, Plumlee should slide right into the Chicago rotation.  Bullock and Tim Hardaway Jr. are also possibilities here.
  21. Utah Jazz – Isaiah Canaan. Between Schroeder, Larkin and Canaan, the Jazz could afford to pass on their biggest need at 14. Canaan is the only one left in this scenario, which works out well for Utah. He's a better scorer than Larkin, fittingly, as the Jazz don't have a staple at either position in their backcourt.
  22. Brooklyn Nets – Tony Snell. With concerns over Gorgui Dieng's knees increasing, the Nets select Snell, legitimizing rumors of his meteoric rise up NBA boards. Snell possesses the unique combination of raw NBA tools and a polished jump shot. He should be able to defend and shoot right away, and wasn't really an alpha dog at New Mexico so he should be OK with deferring to others on offense early in his career.
  23. Indiana Pacers - Reggie Bullock. No point guards make sense here, so the Pacers will likely look for shooters or value. Bullock, who is big enough to play either wing spot, provides both. I think Hardaway Jr. would be a great fit here, and Kelly Olynyk makes sense too, but Bullock's sporadic ability to light it up makes the difference.
  24. New York Knicks – Tony Mitchell. The Knicks are prioritizing bringing back J.R. Smith, which makes athletic frontcourt help an even more glaring need. Mitchell might be the best athlete in this draft and comes at a discount after a mediocre sophomore season. Depending on what happens with Smith, Hardaway Jr. and Cal's Allen Crabbe could be in play here too.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers - Tim Hardaway Jr. With Rivers at the helm, the Clippers will be looking for NBA-ready contributors with this pick, preferably at the guard position. Hardaway Jr. fits the bill, as his game relies more on polish than tools. He can shoot, drive and pass and should be motivated to defend on a contending team led by Chris Paul.
  26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kelly Olynyk. Pretty much every pick from here on out is for sale. If the Nets land this pick for MarShon Brooks, expect them to take Dieng.  If the Wolves keep it, they will likely target frontcourt help in the form of Gonzaga's Olynyk, who will also help their jump-shooting woes. Olynyk's versatile offensive game makes him a good value pick at No. 26. Watch out for Rudy Gobert as well.
  27. Denver Nuggets - Ricky Ledo. Before Snell shot up draft boards, I thought he was perfect in Denver. Ledo's upside makes him a good consolation prize for the Nuggets. He has plenty of off-the-court problems, but Ledo is very intelligent, making him a challenging, but worthwhile project for first-time head coach Brian Shaw.
  28. San Antonio Spurs - Rudy Gobert. The Spurs are desperate for size and love international players. Enter Gobert, whose 7'9" wingspan and high-level athleticism make for an excellent shot-blocking prospect. Gobert is only 20 and lacks polish and strength, but the Spurs can afford to wait out his development. Dieng fits here too.
  29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Gorgui Dieng. I think Gobert could go here too if the Spurs pass, but I already have OKC taking one international prospect in Karasev at No. 12 (not that I'd put it past them to take another). While Dieng would help most with shot blocking and rebounding, his passing skills out of the post are an interesting fit in an offense with so many weapons.
  30. Phoenix Suns – Glen Rice Jr. Even with McCollum in tow, I still like Rice for the Suns at No. 30. Goran Dragic and McCollum make for an undersized and defensively deficient backcourt, so taking a tough, versatile wing who defends like Rice would seem to help alleviate those concerns. Phoenix is desperate for someone to step up and solve their small forward problem.
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