NBA mock draft No. 2: Sixers get local prospect

NBA mock draft No. 2: Sixers get local prospect
June 13, 2013, 1:00 pm
Share This Post continues our NBA draft coverage with an updated version of our mock draft.

With draft night just two weeks away -- June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- here's how things look to be shaping up for the big event.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, 7-0/205, Kentucky
This decision comes down to Noel and Ben McLemore. With the Cavs' drafting Dion Waiters in the top five last year, chances are they're not taking another shooting guard here. Noel is far from a sure thing - I wasn't impressed with his abbreviated body of work at Kentucky. His offensive game needs a significant amount of polish, but he is an NBA-caliber shot-blocker and defender. Noel will also need to bulk up substantially after losing a good deal of weight while sidelined with an ACL tear suffered in mid-February. But the potential outweighs all the question marks for Cleveland with this pick.

2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, 6-5/190, Kansas
The Magic could look to land their point guard of the future here in Michigan's Trey Burke. But in the end, McLemore's talent will be too much for Orlando to pass up. He's that rare fast-twitch athlete with a pure shooting stroke to match. He excelled last season in Bill Self's structured offense at Kansas, putting up numbers while also showing the capability to play team basketball. His dip in production in Kansas' three NCAA tournament games is a red flag, but I'm of the opinion that was a poorly timed shooting slump as opposed to a natural tendency to shrink under the bright lights.

3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, 6-9/200, Georgetown
The Wizards will pluck an NBA-ready forward out of their own backyard with this pick. Porter is cut from the same cloth as other Georgetown big men (Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe) in that he understands the game and has a well-rounded offensive repertoire. His athleticism and unselfishness will play well alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, PF, 6-8/240, UNLV
Charlotte could go with Burke or Victor Oladipo here, but the need to upgrade its frontline is more pressing. The pick comes down to Bennett or Alex Len. Michael Jordan and company can't afford to miss on another top-five pick, and Bennett is more of a sure thing than Len. Bennett displayed a versatile offensive game in his lone collegiate season. He is able to score on the block as well as step out and knock down the perimeter jumper.

5. Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, C, 7-1/225, Maryland
Len shouldn't drop much further than this, and the Suns won't pass up on his potential here. Len has that sought-after combination of size and skill and played against high level competition in the ACC. His offensive skills translate nicely to the next level, but the question is whether he will be physical enough for NBA post play. Len will be sidelined for the next four to six months with an ankle injury, but that shouldn't have too big of an impact on his draft status.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Victor Oladipo, SG, 6-4/215, Indiana
Oladipo was the breakout star of the college basketball season, and his athleticism will be a nice fit with New Orleans. He's a lot like McLemore in that he's proven he can produce despite not being the focal point of the offense every possession. Oladipo doesn't get enough credit for his outside shooting (44 percent from three last season). On the other hand, he gets too much credit for being a lockdown defender. Temple's Khalif Wyatt dispelled that notion nicely in the NCAA tournament.

7. Sacramento Kings: Trey Burke, PG, 6-1/190, Michigan
The Kings get great value here with Burke, who I believe will end up as one of the five best players in this draft. Burke is athletic, intelligent and, most importantly, fearless. He helped his draft stock tremendously during Michigan's run to the National Championship. He's got that trait NBA executives look for in point guards - he gets his teammates involved while having no trouble scoring himself.

8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, 6-5/185, Syracuse
Carter-Williams is the definition of a high-risk, high-reward selection. I'm not a big fan of his game. He drifts in and out of games and his shooting numbers are atrocious. Carter-Williams could have used another year of seasoning at Syracuse. But he showcased his big game ability by stepping up to lead Syracuse to the Final Four in the spring and his size, athleticism and court vision call to mind Rajon Rondo. If he approaches Rondo's level, this will be a great pick for Detroit.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cody Zeller, PF, 7-0, 230/Indiana
Everyone has strong opinions on Zeller, and they're mostly negative following a "disappointing" sophomore season. I put "disappointing" in quotes because he averaged better than 16.0 and 8.0 and shot 56 percent for a title contender. But Zeller was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year after he decided to return to school for his sophomore season, and he didn't live up to those expectations. But the bottom line with Zeller is this: He's a legit seven-footer who has good ball skills and can score. That combination tends to go over well in NBA circles. With Nikola Pekovic on the free-agent market and Kevin Love's long-term future in Minnesota filled with uncertainty, the Timberwolves would be wise to add to their frontcourt.

10. Portland Trail Blazers: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, 6-6/220, UCLA
For the record, I wouldn't spend a first-round pick on Muhammad. I think the "selfish" and "unmotivated" labels suit him well. But the Trail Blazers will look at all the players available and decide he's the best fit with their roster. Muhammad is talented - he was the top-rated prospect coming out of high school a year ago and he put up numbers at UCLA. I just don't think he's a guy you win with in the NBA.

11. Philadelphia 76ers: C.J. McCollum, SG, 6-3/200, Lehigh
If he's still on the board, this is a no-brainer for the 76ers. That's a big if - McCollum could go anywhere from seventh to 12th in the first round, and if 76ers GM Sam Hinkie really likes him (as I feel he should) then he may have to move up a few spots to grab him. The Sixers have two of the first 12 picks in the second round, picks that could be used to move up in the first round.

With apologies to McLemore, McCollum is the best shooter in this draft. The Sixers desperately need someone who can stretch the defense and consistently knock down three-point baskets. McCollum shot over 51 percent from long range before a foot injury in January cost him the rest of his senior year at Lehigh. He can play either guard position, he can get to the basket and is an above-average ballhandler and passer.

McCollum has great intangibles, as well. He's a high character guy who will continue to work at his game throughout his career. The biggest knock on McCollum is the level of competition he played against in the Patriot League. But he would have been a star in any league in the country, as he proved by scoring 30 points to single-handedly beat Duke in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams, C, 7-0/255, Pittsburgh
The Thunder can afford to take a gamble with this pick, and they'll do so with Adams - an unproven player with loads of potential. The Thunder got bullied around by the Grizzlies in the playoffs, and the time has come to replace Kendrick Perkins in the middle. Adams is a skilled big man who brings toughness and aggressiveness to the low block. Given the opportunity to come along at his own pace, Adams could develop into a star and make this pick a steal for Oklahoma City.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, C, 7-0/235, Gonzaga
Olynyk's offensive skills will give Dallas a boost immediately. It's his contributions on the other end of the floor that will ultimately determine his level of success in the NBA. Is he physical enough to guard NBA big men? And is he athletic enough to defend smaller forwards on the perimeter? Olynyk was incredibly efficient last year at Gonzaga, but the level of competition he faced in the West Coast Conference is a legitimate question mark.

14. Utah Jazz: Mason Plumlee, C, 7-0/238, Duke
With Jazz big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap set to test the free agent market, Utah can restock its frontcourt with this pick. Plumlee could team with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to form one of the top young frontlines in the league. Plumlee has all the tools to succeed at the next level - he's big, strong and athletic. Two years ago, I thought Plumlee was a lock to eventually be a top-10 pick, but he never developed a back-to-the-basket game during his four years at Duke. If he takes his offensive game to the next level, Plumlee will be a 10-year starter in the NBA.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dennis Schroeder, PG, 6-2/170, Germany

16. Boston Celtics: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, 6-6/205, Georgia

17. Atlanta Hawks: Gorgui Dieng, C, 6-11/240, Louisville

18. Atlanta Hawks: Allen Crabbe, SG, 6-6/200, California

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Rudy Gobert, C, 7-0/240, France

20. Chicago Bulls: Jamaal Franklin, SG, 6-5/190, San Diego State

21. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG, 6-1/180, Miami

22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Mitchell, PF, 6-9/240, North Texas

23. Indiana Pacers: Giannis Adetokoubo, SF, 6-9/205, Greece

24. New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, 6-6/200, Michigan

25. Los Angeles Clipper: Sergey Karasev, SF, 6-7/200, Russia

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Withey, C, 7-0/220, Kansas

27. Denver Nuggets: Archie Goodwin, SG, 6-5/190, Kentucky

28. San Antonio Spurs: DeShaun Thomas, SF, 6-6/200, Ohio State

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Lucas Nogueira, C, 7-0/235, Brazil

30. Phoenix Suns: Tony Snell, SG, 6-7/200, New Mexico

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