2013 Mock Draft

2013 Mock Draft

Hey the draft is tonight! I put together a mock draft of what might happen tonight, though each pick is probably incorrect.

1. Cleveland – Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky. Though the Cavs have a void at small forward, I think they dip into their $22 million in cap space to fill that spot. I think Noel is going to be an absolute superstar on defense, though he’ll be a project in the short term. Coming off an ACL injury, Noel probably won’t be ready to play until late December, which works out for a Cavs team that would benefit from being in the lottery again next year. They’ll ultimately try and trade out of this pick, but I think they’ll ultimately be unable to move it and they’ll take Noel.

2. Orlando – Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana. The Magic will take Noel if he falls, but their pick is up in the air if he doesn’t. I think ultimately they’ll be deciding between Ben McLemore and Oladipo. Oladipo is a better prospect and I think his defense and motor win out over McLemore’s shooting stroke.

3. Washington – Otto Porter, F, Georgetown. I think the most often used comparison of Tayshaun Prince is right on. Like Prince, Porter is a long wing who understands floor spacing well. The biggest question mark with him is whether he does any single thing at an elite level. Nonetheless, I think the presence of guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, guys who can break down a defense, will help Porter get open looks as a floor spacing wing.

4. Charlotte – Ben McLemore, G, Kansas. The choice is between McLemore, Cody Zeller and Alex Len, and all three of those picks make sense here, but I think they go McLemore. They can either start him alongside Kemba Walker or bring him off the bench in a scoring role, and his outside shooting stroke is something they could definitely use – they were the 4th worst team in 3PT% last season.

5. Phoenix – Alex Len, C, Maryland. If Len’s here, he seems like the obvious choice for Phoenix. He has medical question marks, but there’s no better training staff in the league than Phoenix’s. With Gortat in the last year of his deal, it makes sense to have Len as the heir apparent. He’s high risk, but has Hibbert like potential defensively. In this draft, I think that’s a gamble worth taking at 5.

6. New Orleans – Trey Burke, PG, Michigan. With Burke, CJ McCollum, and Michael Carter-Williams all still on the board, there are three legit point guards deserving of being taken here. I think the Pelicans go with Burke. The national player of the year brings New Orleans a scorer with legit three point range that can push the ball in transition. If Eric Gordon forces his way elsewhere, they’ll need somebody to pick up the scoring. Also, Burke in the pick and roll with Anthony Davis could be lethal.

7. Sacramento  - CJ McCollum, PG, Lehigh. McCollum is one of my favorite prospects in this class. Not only is he a true student of the game and articulate, but he really can play. Sacramento needs a guard who can shoot the ball, and McCollum certainly fits that role. With the roster as is, he’d probably play off the ball quite a bit. However, I think the new regime will/should blow up that roster. He’ll be a good player for a rebuilding franchise. He’ll work hard, be coachable and contribute on the court.

8. Detroit – Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse. With Brandon Knight looking like more of an undersized 2 than a point guard, I think the Pistons grab Carter-Williams. At 6’6, he’ll provide good size at the position, and he’s more of a pure point than a scorer.

9. Minnesota – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia. I think Pope is the obvious choice here for Minnesota. He can’t create his own shot, nor shoot mid-range, but he does pretty much everything else well. I like him as an off-ball shooter next to Rubio, who will be handling the ball the majority of the time anyways.

10. Portland – Cody Zeller, C, Indiana. With all three point guards and Caldwell-Pope off the board, I think the Blazers bolster their front court with Zeller. With Meyers Leonard already there, Portland would have a young and exciting duo at center.

11. Philadelphia – Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV. Bennett has great potential as a dynamic 4 who can step out and shoot the three. He’s super athletic and can score inside as well. Philadelphia needs more impact players alongside Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner. Bennett can be that.

12. Oklahoma City – Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh. Oklahoma City gets a very good value pick here. Adams is raw on offense, but has ridiculous defensive upside as a 7 footer with 7’3 wingspan. He’s not there yet, but Oklahoma City is in as good a position as any to be patient with young players.

13. Dallas – Sergey Karasev, F, Russia. The Mavs have been trying to move this pick for cash. If they can’t, I think they get a draft-and-stash guy. I’m giving them Karasev. He’s a guard who can play multiple positions and has a high basketball IQ. He just feels like a player Rick Carslile would be able to get good production out of, whenever he comes over to the NBA.

14. Utah – Shane Larkin, PG, Miami. Utah has needs at point guard and PF/C with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson being free agents. I think they address point guard here and go big with their pick at 21.

15. Milwaukee – Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany. With Larkin off the board, I think Milwaukee has to jump on the next best point guard. Schroeder has been lauded as the next Rajon Rondo, except that he can actually spot up and make shots. He’ll be a good fit with new coach Larry Drew.

16. Boston – Shabazz Muhammad, F, UCLA. Paul Pierce appears to be headed to Brooklyn, leaving a void at small forward. I think Muhammad has been scrutinized to the point of where he’s now underrated. Boston gets a good value pick here.

17. Atlanta – Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Greece. Multiple reports say the Hawks love this guy, and it makes sense. His reputation suggests he’s a point forward type who can handle the ball and pass well. With coach Mike Budenholzer coming over from the Spurs, it makes sense he’d like a guy like this.

18. Atlanta – Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil. Al Horford is a one of the best centers in basketball, but the Hawks get a bigger, shot blocking center they can bring off the bench. Nogueira is raw offensively, but has great potential as a shot blocker.

19. Cleveland – Reggie Bullock, F, North Carolina. Knicks fans weep as Bullock comes off the board here. He just makes too much sense for the Cavs, given what they need.

20. Chicago – Gorgui Dieng, C, Lousiville. Given his defensive prowess and ability to pass, I think Dieng fits in nicely as a backup center in both Tom Thibodeau’s offense and defensive systems.

21. Utah – Jeff Withey, C, Kansas. Al Jefferson is probably gone in free agency. Utah replaces him with the gigantic Withey, a big who has high upside defensively.

22. Brooklyn – Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga. Olynyk has good size and a versatile game. If he develops, he and Brook Lopez could be a very formidable front court.

23. Indiana – Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State. Indiana gets a fantastic pick here. They need a point guard that can score, which is exactly what Canaan is. He’s not a great distributor, but Indiana runs much of it’s offense through the post anyways. He’s a good fit here.

24. New York – Tony Snell, F, New Mexico. A 3 and D SG/SF, Snell fits in nicely with the Knicks. Part of New York’s problem is that they have too many one dimensional players – Novak, STAT, Melo, Felton. They need more guys like Shumpert who can contribute on both ends of the court and I think Snell can be that. He can’t dribble much or create his own shot, but he’s a guy who is an excellent spot up shooter, as well as a good defender with NBA athleticism and length.

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Tim Hardaway Jr, SG, Michigan. Hardaway gives Doc Rivers and Alvin Gentry yet another offensive weapon to an already dominant offense.

26. Minnesota – Rudy Gobert, C, France. I think this pick comes down to Gobert or Allen Crabbe from Cal. Minnesota could easily add Crabbe to bolster their non-existent shooting even more, but they got Caldwell-Pope at 9 and I think they grab the 7-2 center from France.

27. Denver – Allen Crabbe, G, Cal. Another team that needs outside shooting, the Nuggets snag Crabbe. He’s got good size and length and will allow them to continue to play versatile lineups with all the wings they have.

28. San Antonio – Mason Plumlee, C, Duke. San Antonio needs size and might lose Tiago Splitter in free agency. I think Plumlee is a good fit here.

29. Oklahoma City – Jamaal Franklin, G, SDSU. They need to find a replacement for James Harden. Franklin can’t shoot, but he’s incredibly athletic and gets himself to the foul line. Without Russell Westbrook, OKC was unable to breakdown defenses with anyone other than Durant. Franklin gives them a guy who can do that.

30. Phoenix – Lorenzo Brown, G, NC State. Phoenix takes the best player left on the board. They’d probably think about Ricky Ledo here, but his off-court question marks might scare the Suns away – they don’t exactly have a sound veteran locker room in place.

10 Draft Commandments

10 Draft Commandments

Written by Matt Weiss

  1. Never believe what you hear/read-in essence this is the only time a team can add a player without another team knowing about it (trades involve a partner). Why would a team tip their hand to the media? If it really was known that you coveted a player what stopping a team ahead of you from taking them? Most of the time these rumors feel like they are fueled by agents looking to keep their clients names in the press. Don’t believe them, the other part of this is that most reporters claim teams are interested in 15 different players, meaning odds are they get it “right” but I could guess and predict who most teams will take and that doesn’t mean I have inside info.
  2. Workouts should be meaningless-with virtually every player in the draft having played at least one year of college NBA teams have 30+ games of film to watch on them, for some seniors teams have 120+ games of film. I don’t care how good your three hour workout was, it shouldn’t change how a team views you.
  3. Rebounds, rebounds, rebounds-the advanced numbers people will tell you that no stat translates like rebounds. If you are an elite rebounder in college, you can board on the next level. Conversely, if a player has a really low rebound rate and they aren’t a 5’11’guard, you should run from them. This year’s scary candidate is Tony Snell of New Mexico who rebounded very poorly in college, and now projects as SF on the next level (side note, most of the 5’11” point guards rebounded better then he did). Even if you aren’t trying, you should get more rebounds then he gets.  Conversely, Arsalem Kazemi from Oregon isn’t even projected in most mocks, but rebounds at an insane rate. I would much rather have the less skilled player that works his ass off. More
NBA Draft Roundtable

NBA Draft Roundtable

With the 2013 NBA Draft just around the corner, the Meloship crew put together a roundtable tackling some of the Knicks big draft questions.

1. What is the Knicks biggest draft need? (You can’t say “all of them”)

  • Taylor Armosino (@tarmosino): This is a difficult question because we haven’t gotten a definitive answer on whether the Knicks are going to stick with small ball with Carmelo Anthony at the 4, or whether they’ll go back to playing big with Anthony at the 3. If they go big, then power forward is easily their biggest need. Presumably, Stoudemire would be the guy starting there to start the season, but obviously he’s not good at staying on the court. Behind that, the Knicks have approximately 0 good options other than Anthony to fill that 4 spot. If they play small, like they should, then I think the three spot becomes their biggest void. They still have Novak, but he seems like a waste of space at this point. Ultimately I think the Knicks stick with small-ball, thus making a 3 and D wing their biggest need.
  • Dan Goldstein (@thedanstein): As it stands now, the Knicks have big holes at backup point guard and backup center. Assuming the Knicks stay with the small-ball style that made them so successful last year, I’d call backup point guard the biggest hole considering they currently only have one point guard under contract, and lineups with two point guards were their best. On the other hand, here were the Knicks backup centers last year: Sheed and Kurt (<3), Marcus Camby (dead), Solomon Jones (currently making his pilgrimage back to the promised land), and Kenyon Martin (free agent). It’s pretty amazing the Knicks got by with this group, and while resigning Kenyon is going to be important this offseason, banking on a 36 year old to last the entire year as your backup center isn’t a sound strategy, as we learned last year. Still, I’d go with backup point guard.
  • John Gunther (@embraceanalytix): Last season the Knicks were the oldest team in NBA history, so it should be obvious that the roster desperately needs youth, as well as versatility and athleticism, qualities that depreciate as players get older.  For all the talk about PGs and bigs, I think the Knicks really need a wing.  In a perfect world, this “combo forward” would be able to guard 3 positions (2 through 4), bolstering the mediocre/poor perimeter D from this season while fitting into Woodson’s “switch at all costs” defensive philosophy.  Also, this imaginary prospect would need to make 3 pointers at a reasonable clip in order to properly space the floor and fit within the offensive system.  Basically I want a “3 & D” guy in the Kawhi Leonard or Wilson Chandler (miss you) mold.  Whether or not this guy exists, particularly at pick #24, is highly questionable, but I can dream can’t I?
  • Brandon Rushie (@ayo_rush): Point guard, without question. Carmelo Anthony is the best player on this roster, but without adequate point guard play, this offense dissolves into unimaginative  isolations and endless dribbling. Jason Kidd has retired, and Pablo Prigioni’s future as a Knick is still cloudy. A young point would be a welcome addition.
  • James Griffo (@j_griff): Point guard and center. The retirement of Jason Kidd opened up a roster vacancy that the Knicks should fill in immediately. Even though it looks like Pablo Prigioni aka Prigs aka Pablocura! aka The Notorious P.R.I.G. will be retained (somewhat), Ray Felton still needs some depth at his position to back him up in case Prigs doesn’t return or gets injured. More
Measuring the Value of a Draft Pick

Measuring the Value of a Draft Pick

Written by Matt Weiss

With the draft coming up in a few days you will hear lots of talk about swapping picks. Teams will trade for a variety of reasons – some will target a player and go all in for them, others will have “too many” picks and see value in swapping some of them for an established player. Regardless of the reason, when a team moves a pick there is always debate over the value of that pick. Obviously who is picked ultimately trumps all. Manu Ginobili was the second to last pick of the 1999 draft. Jonathan Bender was taken 5th overall that year. Clearly Manu at 58 was a much better pick, but no one is ever going to trade the 58th pick for the 5th pick. There is a clear value in drafting higher, the question is, how much value is there per pick?

I used BBall Refernce to track win shares by pick for every player picked from 1990-2000 (hence why there are only 58 picks). I also didn’t count picks that never played in the league. You see lots of this in the late second round, but in recent years, unless a team was desperate to not pay a player, most players drafted have come over. More

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Rudy Gobert

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Rudy Gobert

There is some international talent to look out for in this year’s draft. Brandon has already covered Croatian superstar, Dario Saric, who is considered to be the international crop of NBA Draft prospects, according to the great Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, and German point guard, Dennis Schroeder. In last year’s draft, Frenchman, Evan Fournier, was drafted by the Nuggets with their 20th pick, the first international prospect to be picked off the board. Fellow high-rising 7-2 Frenchman, Rudy Gobert, is considered to be the second best international prospect below Dario Saric. It’s actually a back and forth battle between draft analysts and writers with Saric and Gobert. They really get into a war over the two, which is pretty hilarious to say the least. But I’m only touching on Gobert in this post.

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2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Dennis Schroeder

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Dennis Schroeder

Today’s featured draft profile will be on German point guard, Dennis Schroeder. A literal unknown several months ago, Schroeder began soaring up draft boards after a strong performance in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit in April, leading the World Team to a decisive 112-98 victory over the U.S. Junior Select Team. Schroeder took on a leadership role for a young World Team roster, contributing 18 points, 6 assists, and 2 rebounds to grab the attention of the numerous NBA scouts in attendance. Fast and intelligent, Schroeder’s talent is already remarkable, and at the young age of 19, his potential for growth has many labeling him as not just one of the best international point guards of this year’s draft, but one of the best available period.

Birthday: 9/15/93 – Projected NBA Position: Point Guard – Class: International – Ht: 6-2 – Wt: 168 – Team: New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig – Hometown: Braunschweig, Germany

2012-13 Per Game Averages: 12.0 Points – 3.2 Assists – 2.5 Rebounds – 42.2 FG% – 40.0 3P% – 83.2 FT%

Dennis Workout Info

Schroeder’s Pre-Draft Combine Results

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2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Isaiah Canaan

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Isaiah Canaan

Four year hundred-proof Murray St. phenom, Isaiah Canaan, is yet another unique point guard that is contained in this year’s draft. He intrigues me the most. Canaan is perhaps the most underrated player in this year’s draft. He has draft steal written all over him, literally.

Canaan decided to return to Murray State for his senior year, after his ridiculously awesome junior season, in which he lead Murray State to a 31-2 record, including 23 straight wins, and to a 15-1 record in the Ohio Valley Conference under 1st year head coach, Steve Prohm. That 23 game win streak start is also the third best winning streak for a coach starting out in his inaugural season. If I was in Canaan’s position, I would have felt the same, too. I would have been like “hey, we ended up at March Madness…for two games, until we got eliminated. But still, what a mirthful ride that was! Let’s do it again, team!” That’s exactly what Canaan did, except, obviously, he didn’t say those same exact words in the quote. Maybe the “team” part, but, yeah. He has everything in a point guard you want: leadership while running the offense, and most importantly, confidence. More

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Allen Crabbe

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Allen Crabbe

Today’s featured draft profile will be on the University of Cal’s 3-point specialist, Allen Crabbe. Arguably the best pure shooter in this year’s class, the 2013 PAC-12 Player of The Year is best known for his seemingly unlimited range and easy-going attitude on the court. At 6’6 with good length, he has the frame of a prototypical shooting guard, and possesses a solid skill-set that could fill a need on just about any team in the NBA. Labeled as a late first round pick when he initially declared, it appears that an impressive performance at the pre-draft combine has upped Crabbe’s value, as some mocks have him going in the teens. The Knicks will be bringing in another group of possible picks for workouts on Monday, and Crabbe will be one of the prospects in attendance.

Birthday: 4/4/92 – Projected NBA Position: Shooting Guard – Class: Junior – Ht: 6-6 – Wt: 197 – Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

2012-13 Per Game Averages: 18.4 Points – 2.6 Assists – 6.1 Rebounds – 45.9 FG% – 34.8 3P% – 81.3 FT%

Crabbe's Pre-Draft Info

Crabbe’s Pre-Draft Combine Results

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2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Gorgui Dieng

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Gorgui Dieng

There are lots of great centers in this year’s draft; Nerlens Noel being the main man out of guys like Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Kelly Olynyk, Dario Saric, Jeff Withey, and lots more. In this post, I’ll be discussing the Senegalese, Gorgui Dieng, the full-grown center from Louisville.

Dieng’s journey to America is a pretty interesting one, to say the least. He attended the prestigious Huntington Prep school in West Virginia, the same prep school that nurtured the most hyped prospect since Lebron James/presumed first overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft from the University of Kansas, Andrew Wiggins et al. In 2010, the NCAA ruled Dieng ineligible, not letting him attend individual workouts and practices. Of course, Louisville had to repeal the decision. They did, and the NCAA reversed it, and Dieng’s college career begun. Louisville coach, Rick Pitino, complemented his attitude and his defensive strengths, and made him the officer of the Cardinals zone defense, quarterbacking it throughout the whole season. Think of it this way: Dieng is to Louisville as Tyson Chandler is to the Knicks; both of them were/are anchors of their defenses, and had/have total control over them. More

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Nate Wolters

2013 NBA Draft Profiles: Nate Wolters

Today’s featured draft profile will be on the South Dakota State University’s floor general, Nate Wolters. A skilled scorer and passer with a solid understanding of the game, at 6’4, Wolters appears to have all tools necessary to run the point guard position off the bench for an NBA team. But questions regarding his athleticism and the quality of competition he faced in his four years in The Summit League have hindered his stock. He is currently pegged as an early second rounder in most mock drafts, but I believe there is a possibility of him sneaking into the tail-end of the first.

Birthday: 5/15/91 – Projected NBA Position: Point Guard – Class: Senior – Ht: 6-5 – Wt: 196 – Hometown: St. Cloud, MN

2012-13 Per Game Averages: 22.2 Points – 5.8 Assists – 5.6 Rebounds – 48.5 FG% – 37.9 3P% – 81.3 FT%

Wolter's Pre-Draft Combine Results

Wolter’s Pre-Draft Combine Results: A minor injury to his hip flexor kept him from participating in any agility drills.

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