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Early 2013 Mock Draft

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 12:46pm

Our first extended mock draft of the season. While this doesn't appear to be a particularly strong draft, the same thing was said around this time last year and a number of rookies are showing signs of becoming stars. Team needs are not factored into this mock and won't be until the draft order is set at the end of the NBA season.

1.
zeller
Cody Zeller 6-11 240 PF/C Indiana So. While this year's draft may not have the sexiest #1 overall pick, it does have the "Big Handsome", who is our projected number one pick for a variety of reasons. He's likely to lead the pack in production and could easily make good on his preseason player of the year awards. He also has as good a shot as anyone at leading his team to a National title: Indiana ranks #1 on most preseason polls. Even without a title, a strong run in the tourney should only help him gain momentum. The sophomore bigman is the top returning player on the college level and all of the top incoming freshmen have significant holes to their games. Zeller is an underrated athlete with a superior feel for the game and advanced skill set for a sophomore. NBA Comparison: LaMarcus Aldridge
2.
phi
shabazz
Shabazz Muhammad 6-6 225 SF UCLA Fr. With the NCAA ruling Shabazz ineligible, it will be interesting to see what Bazz' does next. Play in Europe? Could sitting out a year and not exposing his game to scout's scrutiny actually play into his favor (a la Enes Kanter)? Shabazz is a dynamic athlete with a winner's mentality. He has turned living with Tourette's Syndrome into a positive as he always seems to have something to prove and has an edge to his game. He has the same kind of winner's mentality and motor that made MKG the 2nd overall pick in last year's draft. While scouts may pick apart certain aspects of his game, namely his lack of perimeter skills, his desire and work ethic are likely to land him in the top 3-5 in this year's draft. NBA Comparison: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3.
u
noel
Nerlens Noel 6-11 208 PF Kentucky Fr. Nerlens Noel will do his best Anthony Davis impersonation this year for the Wildcats. And while he lacks Davis' offensive touch and scoring ability, he does have a chance to be the same type of dominant defensive player. His length, leaping ability and cat-like reflexes make him an extraordinary shot blocker. He needs to learn to stay more under control on pump fakes and stay out of foul trouble. His offensive game is extremely raw and may never be anything more than put back dunks and short jumpers. He still needs to get a lot stronger as his legs and upper body are rail thin. But with his size and elite athleticism, he's one of the main challengers to Zeller for the top pick. NBA Comparison: Marcus Camby
4.
t
mcadoo
James McAdoo 6-9 230 SF/PF UNC So. McAdoo was considered a possible lottery pick had he entered the 2012 draft after his freshman year. He had a solid tournament, showcasing the talent that made him such a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school. Concerns about his position and toughness could ultimately knock him down some. He lacks the speed to beat opponents on the perimeter and the strength to overpower NBA bigs. He gets a lot of baskets on talent, but there are legitimate concerns about how his skills translate to the next level. NBA Comparison: Antawn Jamison
5.
phi
mitchell
Tony Mitchell 6-8 235 SF/PF North Texas So. Mitchell is a unique player as he combines freakish length (7-foot-3 wingspan) and explosiveness with intriguing perimeter skills. He surprised many by returning to North Texas despite first round projections and should benefit in the long run. He was the Sun Belt Conference's leading scorer (15.9), rebounder (11.9), shot blocker (3.1), and 3 point (%) shooter (47.1). He seems to be convinced that he's a 3, and despite his chiseled physique he apparently does not enjoy battling in the paint. Scouts still aren't certain what position he projects to but figure that his strengths are best utilized playing at the 4. NBA Comparison: Thomas Robinson
6.
min
young
Otto Porter 6-8 205 SF Georgetown So. Porter is a bigtime defender and tremendous athlete. He's very thin, but showed the ability to knock down key shots as his freshman season progressed. He's likely to assume a much bigger role in the offense as a sophomore and scouts really took notice of him at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. A strong sophomore season could cement a spot in the top 10 for Porter. NBA Comparison: Stacey Augmon
7.
beal
Alex Len 7-1 240 C Maryland So. Len showed flashes as a freshman after coming over from the Ukraine. He could be this year's Meyers Leonard as he shows a lot of size and potential. The development between the freshman and sophomore seasons is often a big one and Len could step into a key role for Maryland. He shows the agility to get up and down the floor and the touch to hit shots. NBA Comparison: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
8.
sac
lamb
Kentavious Caldwell Pope 6-5 205 SG Georgia So. A smooth 2-guard with a chance to be a high draft pick if he can improve his efficiency. Caldwell Pope's shooting numbers were disappointing in his freshman season, but many attribute that to the fact that he didn't have a quality lead guard setting him up and was often forced to create difficult shots. An underrated athlete with the ability to get to the rack as well as create and knock down shots on the perimeter. NBA Comparison: Michael Redd
9.
henson
Steven Adams 7-0 250 C Pittsburgh Fr. Adams is one of the most intriguing players in the country. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has initially. The Kiwi has made a name for himself at the adidas Nations camps over the past two years and adjusted to American life playing his senior year of ball in the States. Adams has an eye opening combination of size, strength and mobility. He shows a lot of enthusiasm for the game and is willing to bang in the post. His offense is still very raw, but he has improved his shooting form over the past couple years. While he's still very raw and relatively new to the game, on the positive side, he was sheltered from the AAU system in the US and shows a high level of motivation and willingness to improve. NBA Comparison: Enes Kanter
10.
ross
Lorenzo Brown 6-4 190 PG NC State Jr. In a weak point guard class, Brown currently ranks at the top. He's got great size at 6'4 and shows good composure. He's also a sneaky athlete. Brown is one of main reasons that many are projecting NC State as the top team in the ACC Conference and a potential Final Four team. NBA Comparison: Eric Maynor
11.
jones
Marcus Smart 6-4 225 PG/SG Oklahoma St. Fr. Marcus Smart has a good chance to be the most impactful freshman in the country. His leadership is rare for such a young player, and his energy is infectious on his teammates. He always seems to be one step ahead of the competition showing tremendous anticipation. He's also a highly intelligent decision maker with a great feel for the game. While he lacks stand out athleticism, his ability to impact games will make him an instant hit in Stillwater. NBA Comparison: DaJuan Wagner
12.
zeller
CJ McCollum 6-3 185 PG/SG Lehigh Sr. McCollum decided to return to campus despite virtually knocking the defending champion Duke Blue Devils out of the NCAA tournament single handedly. His performance in that first round match up gave him the momentum to be a probable first round pick. Now he will open himself up to scout's nit picking his game and lack of apparent progression from his junior season. He's got a nasty crossover and ISO game. How well he can display his PG skills will determine just how highly he can be drafted, but the comparisons to Steph Curry certainly don't hurt his cause. NBA Comparison: Juan Dixon
13.
marshall
Willie Cauley Stein 7-0 245 C Kentucky Fr. Cauley-Stein is the one freshman that John Calipari may push to return. Cal may try sell him on the idea that he would be able to improve his draft position by 10-15 spots by returning for his sophomore year. But it may not matter. Cauley-Stein possesses a better offensive skill set than his more highly acclaimed teammate Nerlens Noel. He also has a bigger frame and the ability to add considerably more weight. He displays excellent hands and a willingness to hustle for loose balls and get out on the break. A future pro, who could break Cal's heart by leaving after just one season. NBA Comparison: Marcin Gortat
14.
t
rivers
Myck Kabongo 6-1 180 PG Texas So. Kabongo is still awaiting word on his eligibility, which will obviously affect his draft stock. Kabongo is a jet quick point guard with a playground handle. In today's NBA, that elite level speed makes him a very intriguing prospect. He struggled to live up to expectations as a freshman and as quite a few detractors. If he could ever develop a consistent jumpshot, he would be deadly. Early feedback from practices have been positive and a strong season could send him skyrocketing up team boards. He'll need to get eligible first. NBA Comparison: Mike Conley Jr.
15. sac
moultrie
Archie Goodwin 6-4 190 SG Kentucky Fr. Archie is a tremendous athlete with the speed to get by almost any defender and also has a great outside shot. His length (6'10 wingspan) makes up for his lack of ideal SG size at 6'4. He's not Russell Westbrook, but he's got some of his freakish speed and athleticism. Two years at Kentucky would do him well, but with the Harrison Twins on the way, he appears to be in the fast lane to the NBA and could be selected in the mid-first round on upside. As with most freshmen: maturity, decision making and consistency remain question marks. NBA Comparison: Rodrigue Beaubois
16.
uu
leonard
Alex Poythress 6-8 225 SF Kentucky Fr. Poythress impressed scouts with his play in the 2012 McDonald's All American game. He already displays a consistent motor, an NBA body and some intriguing skills. He attacks the glass and has shown the ability to knock down the 3 ball. He still has a lot of work to do to cement a spot as a top 10 pick but shows a lot of potential and should benefit from the Kentucky name brand. NBA Comparison: Jeff Green
17.
uu
sullinger
CJ Wilcox 6-5 195 SG Washington Jr. Washington no longer has Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross who both ended up being first round picks in the 2012 draft, so Wilcox's offensive role is sure to increase. He's one of the nation's purist shooters and also an underrated athlete. It's his time to shine and he could be one of the leading scorers in the Pac 12 and possibly even the Nation. NBA Comparison: Hubert Davis
18.
uu
ross
Rudy Gobert 7-1 230 C France 1992 Gobert has struggled to put up consistent numbers in the French League. So the question is whether teams will be willing to look past the lack of productivity and draft him on potential. He has ridiculous length with a reported 7 foot 9 wingspan. He has decent touch and also appears to have a body that will allow him to add strength and eventually battle in the paint in the NBA. His mobility and athleticism are average by NBA standards and he still needs to get much tougher. NBA Comparison: Shawn Bradley
19.
harkless
Isaiah Austin 7-0 205 PF/C Baylor Fr. Austin is seen by some as a potential top 10 pick, and it's apparent that he has a lot of upside with his length and shooting touch. But we aren't sold on him at this point as he has struggled mightily with consistency. Many that have followed his progression through his prep career are skeptical about his will to dominate and ability to realize his potential. His body is a crucial factor. He has wide shoulders and appears to be a guy that can add weight, but his narrow hips might negate that and he could stunt his agility with an additional 15-20 lbs. Regardless in a weak draft, if he proves it consistently he could climb up the draft board.NBA Comparison: Jonathan Bender
20.
u
jones
Deonte Burton 6-1 185 PG Nevada Jr. Burton is high on many scout's preseason lists. He came into college as a 2 guard out of Southern California without much acclaim, and has steadily developed into one of the better PG prospects in the country. His point guard skills are still a question mark but when the game is on the line, he has proven to be a clutch performer. A big junior season could launch him into the mid first round area. NBA Comparison: Nick Van Exel
21.
phi
jones
Adonis Thomas 6-6 235 SF Memphis So. Adonis is a fitting name for a player with such a strong physique. Reports surfaced that he had bulked up to over 250 lbs during the off season, but word is he's now back down closer to his playing weight from last year. By all accounts he's a terrific kid off the court and an honor roll student. He's an elite level athlete who could break out in his sophomore year. NBA Comparison: Clarence Witherspoon
22.
phi
nicholson
Michael Carter Williams 6-6 185 PG/SG Syracuse So. Carter-Williams has a chance to be Syracuse's top player this season. While he had a limited role as a freshman, he appears in line to have a much bigger role as a sophomore. What makes him intriguing is his versatility to play the lead guard position at 6'6. He was a top 30 recruit in a sensational class. He has filled out some this off season and with the departure of Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Kris Joseph, he'll have a great opportunity to showcase his abilities this year. NBA Comparison: Shaun Livingston
23.
min
ross
Alec Brown 7-1 225 C Wisconsin Green Bay Jr. Alec Brown is one of the lesser known players on this list. Many scouts and draft fans are still unfamiliar with his game. He's a small school bigman that shows a lot of upside but still needs to become stronger and more aggressive. His size and mobility combined with his touch gives him promise. With 2 seasons under his belt, look for him to take over the Horizon League conference. NBA Comparison: Jason Smith
24.
u
lamb
Andre Roberson 6-7 210 SF/PF Colorado Jr. Roberson is an elite level athlete whose perimeter skills are a work in progress. He rebounds the ball tremendously well but in order to make it in the NBA he will have to play the 3. Scouts came away from the adidas Nations event saying that he had shown the ability to guard on the perimeter which means that he has a great chance to develop into a SF. It sounds cliche but with Roberson, he has those things you just can't teach. Coming to a highlight reel near you. NBA Comparison: Matt Barnes
25.
u
jenkins
Doug McDermott 6-7 225 SF Creighton Jr. Look for McDermott to once again be one of the most prolific scorers in the country, which should get him in a lot of first round discussions. He's not very athletic, but as an elite shooter some scouts envision him in a role similar to a Kyle Korver. McDermott still plays more as a 4 than a 3 and he'll need to transition completely to the SF position to make it in the NBA. NBA Comparison: Luke Babbitt
26.
u
jenkins
Trevor Mbakwe 6-8 237 PF Minnesota Sr. Mbakwe tore up his knee last season but reports are that he's back and moving well. He is short for a PF but has a huge (7'3) wingspan allowing him to play a couple inches taller. Credit this kid for announcing that he will repay his scholarship if the Gophers do not make the NCAA tournament. You have to admire the gesture. NBA Comparison: Ben Wallace
27.
jones
Mason Plumlee 6-11 240 PF/C Duke Sr. Mason Plumlee is a better version of his brother Miles who miraculously landed in the late first round in 2012. So there's reason to believe that Mason should be able to duplicate that and find a spot somewhere in the mid-to-late first round. While he's not overly skilled in the post, he is very explosive, runs the floor well and shows a willingness to fight for rebounds and play tough in the paint. NBA Comparison: Jeff Foster
28.
u
ross
Gorgui Dieng 6-10 245 PF/C Louisville Jr. Dieng has added strength to his frame and brings great length and shot blocking ability. His offense continues to be a work in progress. While not a speed burner, he shows good defensive abilities. With Louisville figuring to be one of the elite teams in the nation, Dieng will anchor their interior defense and will have a shot to grab a first round spot if he can show more consistency in his post moves. NBA Comparison: Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje
29.
u
jenkins
Nate Wolters 6-4 193 PG South Dakota St. Sr. Wolters is a flashy lead guard who some scouts are extremely high on. He's got great creativity and shows a flare for the dramatic. He is a solid athlete but lacks elite quickness off the dribble and needs to improve upon his outside shooting. Wolters opened some eyes with his performance against Washington last season when the Jackrabbits absolutely crushed the Huskies. NBA Comparison: Luke Ridnour
30. u
ross
Robert Covington 6-9 230 SF Tennessee St. Sr. Covington is a small school guy who played himself onto the collective NBA radar at the 2012 adidas Nations. He can score in a variety of ways with the ability to fill it up from the perimeter as well as get to the basket and use his athleticism. He added some much needed strength between his junior and senior year. While he's not high on many scouts lists going into the season, look for him to potentially play his way into the first round with a big senior season and quality workouts leading up to the draft. NBA Comparison: Cedric Ceballos
Taylor Gang Mike
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Im thiking Archie will be top

Im thiking Archie will be top 5 by the end of the year. He is too skilled and has Westbrook/Harden/Tyreke ability

lakeshow22
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Why is Archie Goodwin ranked

Why is Archie Goodwin ranked higher than Rodney Purvis? Similar size while Purvis is bit stronger and a bit more explosive. Purvis isnt a first round pick?

lakeshow22
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James Mccado is NOT a top 10

James Mccado is NOT a top 10 pick. Just like everybody had Derrick Williams in 2011 as a top 3 pick and some had him number 1. you just cant take a tweener forward in the top 5. James McCado will not play small forward in the NBA and he wont start for any team as a power forward. Guys Like Derrick Williams ,Terrence Jones, Marcus Morris are bust because they dont have a postition.

Lebron's Hairline
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You calling Terrence jones a

You calling Terrence jones a bust after he lit up the summer league and preseason and is only 8 games in his career doesn't allow me to take you serious

tbp82
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I like how Aaran acknowledge

I like how Aaran acknowledge that Isiah Austin could move up. Aaran seems to always hate these tall, wingspan hype, skinny types but they always seem to get drafted higher than Aaran has them. What's interesting is that in Austin's first game he looked better than any of the top 5. If he shows some cosistency scouts will go from in love to drooling over the guy.

tbp82
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I understand what you are

I understand what you are saying but some tweeners find thier place in the nba. Shawn Marion is a good example and I think you could put Boris Diaw in that category as well and you could argue that Mcadoo is more *talented* than Williams, Jones, and Morris.

esperanzafleet69
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look at miami's positionless

look at miami's positionless basketball...

derrick williams is in no way a bust. terrence jones was because everybody hated him and he had zero work ethic. marcus morris just isnt that good.

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If I'm not mistaken Noel and

If I'm not mistaken Noel and his no offense is putting up better numbers In every catagory than Cody Zeller did when he was a freshman

clutch in space
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Calling Terrence jones a bust

Calling Terrence jones a bust is a big reach since he's only a rookie. As for Morris, he has significantly improve. He earned his playing time with the rockets by hitting clutch 3s and providing them with some shooting.

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Terrence Jones was a surprise

Terrence Jones was a surprise to me in summer league. He's in no way a bust. In fact thats just an idiotic comment. Austin Rivers is a bust, .....so far. Last year I said Rivers and Moultre were soft. I got a ton of grief from the comments here. Well, its turned out to be more right than not. I was wrong about jeremy lamb though. This is a far weaker draft. Its also too early to know much. But I will predict Tony Mitchell top three. He is the Faried of this draft, just a physical freak, and from a small program. Cody is good....but there is the big white guy stigma....im not suggesting he's larry bird but he is at least LaMarcus Aldridge. I d say better. What position do McAdoo and Poythress project to? Thats the problem. The derrik williams problem. Not enough handle to play the three, and too small to play the four regularly.

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