It’s that time of year — the time when everyone becomes a draft prognosticator. Last year, I used my incredible predicting skills to nail four picks in the first round. Four out of 30. Impressive, right?
Nonetheless, it’s a fun exercise and gives at least a glimpse of what prospects could be around come the Kings selection at No. 7. In a draft with such uncertainty up top, it’s tough to even get a read on that.
In my estimation, Sacramento will be faced with a tough dilemma. Do you take the National Player of the Year, a super talent capable of becoming a leader on day one? Or do you go off the grid, selecting a player with less fan appeal but one who could be groomed to fit the new Kings model?
Without further ado, here is my best shot at Thursday’s first round. Be sure to check out Bryant West’s mock as well, as he gives a slightly different interpretation of what could go down.
2013 NBA Draft – Scott’s Mock Draft
#1 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: ALEX LEN – C, MARYLAND
In a draft with no clear cut top prospect, Len seems to be gaining steam. Cleveland pairs up a new version of Zydrunas Ilgauskas with Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.
#2 ORLANDO MAGIC: VICTOR OLADIPO – SG, INDIANA
The Magic pass on gambling and take Oladipo, a high-motor, defensive standout ready to contribute now.
#3 WASHINGTON WIZARDS: NERLENS NOEL – C, KENTUCKY
Noel’s defensive presence and athleticism seems a perfect fit with the young Washington backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
#4 CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: ANTHONY BENNETT – F, UNLV
Charlotte hopes hit a home run by grabbing the offensive-minded Bennett to slot next to the defense-only Bismack Biyombo.
#5 PHOENIX SUNS: BEN MCLEMORE – SG, KANSAS
McLemore slides to No. 5, where Phoenix happily scoops up a player with scoring punch and star potential.
#6 NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: OTTO PORTER – SF, GEORGETOWN
The Pelicans addressed the backcourt and interior last year. Now it’s time to add a do-it-all wing player to bring it all together.
#7 SACRAMENTO KINGS: SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD – SF, UCLA
Picking Trey Burke, while exciting, just seems too predictable. Instead, the Kings take Muhammad, an ultra talented player with some character concerns. If Mike Malone and, to a lesser extent, Pete D’Alessandro can smooth out the rough edges, Muhammad has a chance to be one of the best players in this class. With no clear cut option on the board, Muhammad, who visited Sacramento twice, seems like the type of project that new Kings management will take on. The reward could be immense.
#8 DETROIT PISTONS: MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS – PG, SYRACUSE
A no doubt unpopular pick among Detroit fans with local hero Burke on the board, but Carter-Williams forms a more natural fit with Brandon Knight in the Pistons backcourt.
#9 MINNESOTA T-WOLVES: C.J. MCCOLLUM – G, LEHIGH
Minnesota often started Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour in the same backcourt, so they won’t be turned off by McCollum’s size deficiency at two-guard.
#10 PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: CODY ZELLER – F/C, INDIANA
Zeller has been compared to LaMarcus Aldridge. With J.J. Hickson a free agent and last year’s lotto pick Meyers Leonard a question mark, Portland takes the best big man on the board.
#11 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE – SG, GEORGIA
I have a feeling that Caldwell-Pope could end up falling into the 20s, but for now, the Sixers take the plunge in search of offensive firepower.
#12 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: SERGEY KARASEV – SF, RUSSIA
The Thunder don’t have many needs, so they take Karasev. He might take time to develop, but he can immediately be a knockdown shooter for the Thunder as he builds the rest of his game.
#13 DALLAS MAVERICKS: TREY BURKE – PG, MICHIGAN
The slide ends for Burke, whose fall is more a product of few teams in this range needing a point guard. The Mavericks need an injection of youth and leadership — Burke fits the bill.
#14 UTAH JAZZ: DENNIS SCHROEDER – PG, GERMANY
The Jazz need a lot of things — one is someone to push the ball and take the reins of a middling offense.
#15 MILWAUKEE BUCKS: JAMAAL FRANKLIN – SG, SAN DIEGO STATE
Maybe the first surprise of the draft, but Franklin is ready to contribute now and provides a replacement for the likely departure of Monta Ellis.
#16 BOSTON CELTICS: GIANNIS ADETOKUNBO – SF, GREECE
The Celtics are about to go from a playoff team to a bottom feeder. Why not get a long-term project like Adetokunbo, a long small forward with some point guard skills.
#17 ATLANTA HAWKS: GORGUI DIENG – C, LOUISVILLE
Josh Smith’s status is uncertain. If he leaves, Dieng can start next to Al Horford and create one of the better defensive frontcourts in the league.
#18 ATLANTA HAWKS: SHANE LARKIN – PG, MIAMI
With their second pick, the Hawks go best available. Jeff Teague took a big step last year, but adding a second ball-handler of Larkin’s caliber would be a wise choice.
#19 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: REGGIE BULLOCK – SF, UNC
With Len in the fold, the Cavs only remaining need is a small forward. Bullock seems like the perfect fit — a strong perimeter shooter with defensive skills.
#20 CHICAGO BULLS: STEVEN ADAMS – C, PITTSBURGH
The Bulls are drafting for depth, and with the injury history of Joakim Noah, a seven-footer with athleticism like Adams can see plenty of floor time.
#21 UTAH JAZZ: MASON PLUMLEE – C, DUKE
The Jazz frontcourt depth is about to take a hit, as Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are free agents. In steps Plumlee, who can backup Enes Kanter and Derrick Favor if need be.
#22 BROOKLYN NETS: ISAIAH CANAAN – PG, MURRAY STATE
An explosive point guard like Canaan would be a nice fit on the Brooklyn bench, especially if C.J. Watson opts out.
#23 INDIANA PACERS: KELLY OLYNYK – C, GONZAGA
The Pacers, who could lose David West, bring in some depth with Olynyk, who I think is a candidate to fall.
#24 NEW YORK KNICKS: ERICK GREEN – G, VIRGINIA TECH
Green averaged 25 PPG as a senior and brings punch to the Knicks bench.
#25 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: TONY MITCHELL – F, NORTH TEXAS
Nothing like another athletic player for Chris Paul to throw lobs to.
#26 MINNESOTA T-WOLVES: LUCAS NOGUEIRA – C, BRAZIL
If Nikola Pekovic prices himself outside the T-Wolves market, the team needs to get some depth up front.
#27 DENVER NUGGETS: TIM HARDAWAY JR. – SG, MICHIGAN
The Nuggets want to win now, and Hardaway Jr. is a smart player ready to fill a role immediately.
#28 SAN ANTONIO SPURS: ALLEN CRABBE – SG, CAL
The Spurs go best available, and Crabbe is a terrific shooter who will learn how to play in a great system.
#29 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: RUDY GOBERT – C, FRANCE
Gobert might be most useful for the Thunder if stashed overseas, where he could refine his game rather than ride the pine.
#30 PHOENIX SUNS: MIKE MUSCALA – C, BUCKNELL
Marcin Gortat has one year left on his deal. His candidacy for a trade makes the addition of a skilled big man like Muscala a welcome pick.
Also Read: Bryant West’s Mock Draft