The deadline to enter the draft for college players has passed, and while there were some surprise returnees – namely Marcus Smart and Isaiah Austin – there were plenty of early entrants as well. To be exact: 77.
Which thereby allows us to present Mock Draft 2.0, which includes the pre-lottery positions of all 30 teams based upon their records, and tiebreakers that were drawn at the Board of Governors meeting in late April.
The big news here is this: Sources around the NBA have told SheridanHoops that if the Orlando Magic or New Orleans Hornets win the lottery, they both would be strongly inclined to trade the pick to whichever fellow lottery team wants to pay the most for the right to draft Nerlens Noel.
The caveat for Orlando is that it does not want to lose out on Ben McLemore of Kansas, whom it covets the most, or Trey Burke/Victor Oladipo as a fallback. And it’s not that the Magic don’t like Noel. Rather, they don’t need him, already in possession of a top-tier NBA center on a rookie contract in two-year veteran Nikola Vucevic. Same with the Hornets and Anthony Davis.
The 2013 NBA draft lacks elite prospects of years past such as Davis, Kyrie Irving or Blake Griffin, clear top picks regardless of who won the lottery. This year, Noel is the player atop the majority of draft boards but not quite on the same level as those other sure things.
In looking at the 2013 NBA draft, one position looks deep, especially in the first round, as we might see as many as nine centers drafted.
On the flip side, the wings in this draft are extremely thin; the second highest-rated prospect behind Otto Porter might just be 6-10 Giannis Adetokunbo the Greek-born Nigerian who played last season in the Greek Second Division. NBA executives flocked to Athens last month to see him, and he did not disappoint.
In the backcourt, Michigan’s Trey Burke not only won Player of the Year honors for his spectacular season but also played himself into the top five.