The following article is a guest contribution by Benjamin Haynes, Esq. Haynes is a former Division 1 Basketball Player at Oral Roberts University and currently practices law in the State of Florida.
The 2013 NBA draft has been discussed at length for an extended period of time. However, these discussions have not been talks of optimism and excitement, but rather conversations of dread and lack of impressiveness. While the 2012 NBA draft was filled with talented players, such as Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and Harrison Barnes, the 2013 NBA draft is unarguably less talented. Yet many bottom feeder NBA organizations are looking to draft a player who will come in and help turn their franchise around. Sports Agent Blog thoroughly researched prospective players and team needs and came up with the following second annual Sports Agent Blog NBA Mock Draft below:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel (Agent: Frank Catapano – Pro Partner Sports/Andy Miller – ASM Sports). Nerlens Noel was having an Anthony Davis (stats wise) type season during his freshman year at the University of Kentucky. However, his season came to an abrupt end when he severely injured his ACL in a game at Florida. While Noel’s ACL is a concern, his upside is undeniable. An outstanding athlete who is a great rebounder and shot blocker. Further, before his injury, Noel was making noticeable strides on the offensive end. If Noel is chosen first, that will make for three number one draft picks from the University of Kentucky in the last four years. All in all, the Cavs future looks very bright moving forward with Kyrie, Dion, and Noel leading the movement.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore (Agent: Rival Sports Group/Rodney Blackstock). Ben McLemore declared for the NBA draft after an extremely impressive freshman routine at Kansas University. The 6-5 sharpshooting guard likes to compare his game to the likes of Ray Allen and he will be a helpful asset to an NBA team next season. The Orlando Magic’s style of play would suit Ben well due to the high amount of three pointers the team takes. Look for McLemore and Tobias Harris to be a young exciting duo for central Florida’s team.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter (Agent: David Falk). Porter is a long 6-9 small forward who had a stunning sophomore season last year at Georgetown. Porter is a strong defender and would fit perfectly with the young back court of John Wall and Bradley Beal. With a healthy John Wall, the Wizards could make noise during the regular season and crack the Eastern Conference Playoffs next season.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len (Agent: Michael Lelchitski). Alex had a very successful two seasons at Maryland. Not only is he skilled, but he is a big boy coming in at 7-1. A hard worker who is extremely tough, he will add a big presence down low with Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte running the backcourt.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo (Agent: Raymond Brothers). Victor helped Indiana University to a phenomenal season last year. Like Noel, Victor is a freak athlete who is a lock-down defender. It would not be surprising to see Victor go number two or three in this draft based upon his toughness and mature mentality. Phoenix will be happy to land such an all-around great player.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke (Agent: Benji Burke/Alonzo Shavers). Trey led Michigan to the National Championship game last season, while also winning player of the year. It is not a secret that the Pelicans (still weird to say) are in extreme need for a true point guard. Look for NOLA to draft Burke and have an exciting season with him and Anthony Davis running the show.
7. Sacramento Kings: CJ McCollum (Agent: Sam Goldfeder – Excel Sports). CJ was under the radar playing his college career at Lehigh. However, McCollum is a very talented point guard. He is a very good shooter and will help provide some shot making ability for the Kings next season.
8. Detroit Pistons: Anthony Bennett (Agent: Jeff Schwartz - Excel Sports). If there was a “beast” in the 2013 NBA draft, Anthony Bennett is just that. Anthony is a 6-7 239lb power forward who is extremely diverse. He will add a toughness to the Pistons that is extremely desirable.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Agent: Thad Foucher – Wasserman Media Group). Pope spent two years at Georgia. During his tenure for the Bulldogs, Pope showed off his long range shooting and athletic ability. Pope has the potential to be a better NBA player than he was college due to his style of play.
10. Portland Trailblazers: Shabazz Mohammed (Agent: Bill Duffy – BDA Sports). Shabazz was once the number one prospect in all of the 2013 NBA Mock Drafts. However, a sub-par season at UCLA made his stock plummet. Many mock drafts now have Shabazz around the 14-15 pick, however the range for the 11-14 picks are all big men and Portland is set in their front court. Therefore, Shabazz will most likely go to Portland and play alongside the rookie of the year, Damian Lillard. Shabazz still has the ability to be an explosive NBA player.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Steven Adams: (Agent: Arn Tellem - Wasserman Media Group). Adams is a 7-0 center out of Pittsburgh. During his freshman season, Adams showed some spurts of stardom. However, Adams is still a project and is a couple years away from being a major threat in the NBA.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Gorgui Dieng (Agent: Arn Tellem - Wasserman Media Group). Dieng helped lead Louisville to a national championship this past season. This 6-11 shot blocker has developed into a nice all-around player. Dieng is a talented shot blocker who developed a nice free-throw line jumper this past season. Most mock drafts have Dieng going mid to late first round, however many inside people have been hearing the Thunder personnel state their desire to draft Dieng early.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael-Carter Williams (Agent: Jeff Schwartz – Excel Sports). Williams is a 6’6 tall lengthy point guard out of Syracuse. Williams is a tough defender who can also pass the ball tremendously. A seemingly perfect fit for the Mavericks moving forward
14. Utah Jazz: Cody Zeller (Agent: Sam Goldfeder – Excel Sports). Like Shabazz, Zeller’s stock dropped as last season unfolded. Still, Cody Zeller is the most fundamentally sound center in this year’s draft. Cody has tremendous footwork and is mature enough to make an immediate impact for the Jazz.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Kelly Olynyk (Agent: Arn Tellem - Wasserman Media Group). This seven footer out of Gonzaga is a smart and extremely gifted center. Kelly can post up on the block and was known to step out and hit shots on the perimeter as well. The Bucks will enjoy his offensive ability.
16. Boston Celtics: Shane Larkin (Agent: Happy Walters – Relativity Sports). One thing was made very certain for the Boston Celtics this past season, and that is that they are in dire need of a backup point guard for Rajon Rondo. Shane Larkin is the answer to that vacancy. Larkin is a feisty 5-11 point guard out of the University of Miami. While Shane is small in stature, he is extremely quick and athletic. In fact, Larkin had the highest vertical (44 inches) of all prospective NBA Draft point guards at this summer’s NBA Draft Combine.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee (Agent: Mark Bartelstein – Priority Sports). Mason showcased his rebounding and defensive skills while at Duke. While Mason will most likely never be a go-to guy in the NBA, he will be a hard working role player who can provide a spark off of the bench.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Sergey Karasev (Agent: Justin Zanik – ASM Sports). Sergey is a 6-7 lights out shooter from Triumph Moscow. Just eighteen years old, Sergey would add a young sharpshooting quality the Atlanta Hawks need.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Reggie Bullock (Agent: Lance Young – Excel Sports). Bullock is a 6-7 shooter from the University of North Carolina. Reggie showed spurts of lighting up the ACC conference last season and will be an offensive and defensive threat off of the bench next season.
20. Chicago Bulls: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Agent: Mark Bartelstein – Priority Sports). Hardaway Jr may not have his father’s “killer crossover”, but Jr can shoot the ball from deep and the Bulls are in need of some offense off of the bench.
21. Utah Jazz: Allen Crabbe (Agent: Sam Goldfeder – Excel Sports). Crabbe dominated the Pac-12 during his tenure at California. This 6-6 swing guard can really score. While sometimes Crabbe looked unmotivated, he still has a tremendous upside and is one of those players whose game is made for the league.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jamaal Franklin (Agent: Brian Elfus – Impact Sports). Jamaal has potential to be drafted in the lottery. He is a dynamic athlete who spent three seasons at San Diego State. Jamaal will be an explosive player off of the bench.
23. Indiana Pacers: Jeff Withy (Agent: Arn Tellem - Wasserman Media Group). Jeff Withy was a project when he first arrived to school at Kansas. However, by Jeff’s junior season he was one of the top shot blockers in college basketball. Look for him to be a great backup to Roy Hibbert.
24. New York Knicks: Rudy Gobert (Agent: Bouna Ndiaye – Comsport). It will be sad to hear the New York Knicks fans boo David Stern for the last time during their pick. Still, Rudy is a 7-2 center out of France. A project of course, but he has tremendous upside and let’s face it, you cannot teach 7 foot 2.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Tony Mitchell (Agent: Thad Foucher - Wasserman Media Group). Tony spent his career at North Texas and was often compared to the “Manimal” in Denver, Kenneth Faried. He is 6-9 and a rebounding machine. Clippers will enjoy his spark off of the bench.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Glen Rice Jr (Agent: Jeffrey Wechsler). Rice Jr is a very talented 6-6 scorer and will be a spark off the bench for the Timberwolves next season.
27. Denver Nuggets: Archie Goodwin (Agent: Charles Briscoe). Archie Goodwin spent his lone college season at Kentucky last year. While Archie showed spurts of brilliance, he should have come back to Kentucky for his sophomore season. While he has jaw-dropping like athleticism, he struggles mightily to make a jump shot. Nuggets will draft him strictly based off of potential.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Canaan (Agent: Mark Bartelstein – Priority Sports). Isaiah is a perfect fit for the Spurs. This 6-0 point guard from Murray State reminds me of Isaiah Thomas for the Sacramento Kings. A knock down three point shooter who has a special resilience to his game. He will be a great back-up point guard for Tony Parker.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tony Snell (Agent: Mitchell Butler – Lagardere Unlimited). Out of New Mexico, Tony is a 6-7 small forward who can really shoot the ball. He will come in and knock some open threes for the Thunder next season.
30. Phoenix Suns: Pierre Jackson (Agent: Tony Dutt). Pierre is scary quick and explosive. Pierre led Baylor in scoring last season and will be a spark to the Suns offensively next season. He is comparable as a less athletic Nate Robinson.