23. Indiana Pacers – Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas (6’8, 13.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg)
Watching the Eastern Conference finals, it became obvious that the Pacers need to upgrade their bench. The starters were able to hold their own, but the bench production was lackluster and unreliable.
On top of that, a lack of a ballhandler outside of George Hill also hurt the Pacers. Sources indicate that Indiana is focused on point guards. If Larkin is available here, it would be a major coup for the Pacers. If Indiana is not in a position to grab a guard, it could opt to find a potential replacement to David West.
Mitchell, can provide some of the same skills that make West so effective but is a more impactful defender. As a great shot blocker and rebounder, Mitchell would boost Indiana in two areas where it is already strong while injecting more athleticism in the frontcourt as the Pacers try to oust Miami for supremacy in the Eastern Conference.
24. New York Knicks – Allen Crabbe, SG, California (6’6, 18.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.6 apg)
Crabbe makes a lot of sense for New York as he is a terrific shooter who can play off the ball and benefit from open looks created by Carmelo Anthony. Crabbe is not an elite athlete but is a long wing that is polished and can contribute right away.
Should the Knicks decide on a point guard, Myck Kabongo of Texas could be a name to watch. He is working his way up draft boards with great workouts and will be in New York next week.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Jeff Withey, C, Kansas (7’0, 13.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.9 bpg)
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were among the best big duos in the league this season, but the Clippers were thin behind them. With Jordan very much available, as evidenced by the trade talks with Boston, GM Gary Sacks should look for a contributor like Withey. He would be an adequate starting center and a very good backup big with his size and shot blocking ability.
While still in search of a coach, it remains a mystery as to what the Clippers will do. From whispers around the league, LA will be very aggressive in improving the roster to entice Chris Paul to re-sign.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Memphis) – Lucas Noegueira, C, Estudiantes (6’11, 5.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg)
With many decisions looming for the Wolves, this will be a very useful pick for them to address some holes that will be left after free agency. Nikola Pekovic is set to be a free agent and will command an eight-figure annual salary.
Noegueira is a pesky defender and rebounder who will be able to play minutes in any rotation right away. He still needs to develop but is ready to come over after flirting with the draft a few years ago.
Drafting Noegueira as insurance would be smart. Another name to watch here could be Glen Rice Jr.
27. Denver Nuggets – Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville (6’11, 9.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg)
With the recent departure of GM Masai Ujiri, the Nuggets could go in a few directions. Tim Connelly, Ujiri’s replacement, has many pieces already in place but could use some depth in the frontcourt that features Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee.
Dieng showed all season he is a very strong rebounder and shot-blocker. But it wasn’t until the NCAA Tournament that he began to showcase his mid-range jumper.
Denver is trying to win now, and selecting Dieng makes a lot of sense.
28. San Antonio Spurs – Reggie Bullock, SG, North Carolina (6’7, 13.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.9 apg)
Bullock has been compared to Danny Green but is more athletic and has more upside, so it would make sense that San Antonio would be interested.
Drafting Bullock helps the Spurs on the court but also gives San Antonio flexibility and insurance with aging Manu Ginobli and Gary Neal set to become free agents.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence (6’6″, ruled ineligible for his freshman season)
Despite having Jeremy Lamb on the roster, GM Sam Presti would be wise to go with Ledo as he is the type of long, athletic wing that Presti loves to collect. Although his freshman season was wiped out due to eligibility issues, Ledo has a lot of upside.
Ledo is most comfortable with the ball in his hands and would be an excellent sixth man in OKC, which could use his creativity. Still young and raw, Ledo has time to mature and develop but would be able to eventually slide between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant or take over the James Harden role.
Don’t rule out a more traditional point guard such as Myck Kabongo or even Isaiah Canaan here if Presti feels Ledo is too much of a risk.
30. Phoenix Suns (From Miami) – Mike Muscala, C, Bucknell (6’11, 18.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg)
While the frontcourt is crowded right now, none of Phoenix’s bigs is overwhelming, and veteran Jermaine O’Neal is a free agent. Adding a big like Muscala, who could come right in and contribute, would be a great move.
Muscala may not be a sexy pick but was extremely productive throughout his college career and caught the eye of scouts this season with his improved skill set and size.
MORE FROM JOE KOTOCH:
Mock Draft 5.0
Mock Draft 4.0
Mock Draft 3.0.1
Top International Early Entry Candidates
Early Entry Candidates: Who Is Missing?
Mock Draft 2.0.1
Risers and Fallers from 2013 NCAA Tournament
Mock Draft 1.0.1
Top Scorers in the NCAA; A Closer Look
Top 20 Picks: Pre-March Madness
Top 2013 Draft Prospects: Centers
Top 2013 Draft Prospects: Power Forwards
Top 2013 Draft Prospects: Small Forwards
Top 2013 Draft Prospects: Point Guards
Top 2013 Draft Prospects: Shooting Guards
Joe Kotoch is the Editor-in-chief of Pro Basketball Draft, a leading scouting service in the world of professional basketball. Before Joe created PBD he served as an NBPA & FIBA certified agent and scouted players all across the world. Born and raised in Cleveland, Joe also contributes to Fox Sports Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. You can follow Joe on Twitter @Probballdraft.