Nerlens Noel or Alex Len? Who will the Cleveland Cavaliers draft with the #1 overall selection in tonight's NBA Draft? Will they get their wish and trade it for an established player or will teams realize just how "weak" this draft class is and hold off on making those types of deals? This is what makes today one of the most entertaining days of the year. This is the day Kobe became a Laker, Memphis traded Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo and Rondo went from the Suns to the Celtics.
Together with bloggers from Rotoinfo, HecmanHoops and Daily Backcourt we put together our very own mock draft.
#1 - Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel - Kentucky
The Cavaliers need to add high upside players to play along side Kyrie Irving, and Nerlens Noel would be the clear-cut No. 1 option for them despite coming off of an ACL injury. Although he will likely be moved along slowly as he continues his recovery, the Cavaliers aren't going to be title contenders next season, so they can afford to be patient with this future superstar. Once Noel is healthy enough to take the court, he will fit in nicely into the mix of big men currently on the roster, adding more height to a rather short front court. With Anderson Varajao in a walk-year, Noel would be the likely candidate to take over the starting center following the 2013-14 season, so drafting him this year would be more for heading into the future.
Other players the Cavaliers might target are Georgetown's Otto Porter and Maryland's Alex Len, with Porter being the likely No. 2 candidate if they move past Noel. Porter would have an immediate impact on the team if they diced to go that route, taking over the starting small forward job from Alonzo Gee by season's end. As for Len, he is also a center, so it wouldn't make much sense for the Cavaliers to pass up Noel and his upside, but if he suffers a setback in the upcoming weeks, we could see him move up the the No.1 spot.
#2 - Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo - Indiana
The Orlando Magic are going nowhere fast following the disaster that was “Dwightmare” and have been desperately stacking talent ever since. Victor Oladipo is a high upside player with endless potential and a high energy guy who will help put butts in the seats. Orlando is loaded with young players at the forward position, have their center of the future in Nikola Vucevic, and also have a couple veteran point guards to keep the ship afloat in the meantime. With JJ Reddick gone and Aaron Afflalo being thrown around in trade rumors, the Oladipo pick, as a their new and upcoming wing/shooting guards makes a ton of sense.
Oladipo has been compared to the likes of Dwyane Wade, which is very high praise, and is what I think his ceiling could be. Personally he reminds me of a young Jason Richardson. I'm sure the Magic would take either. If Afflalo is in fact traded, Oladipo likely comes in as the new starting shooting guard, and immediately becomes relevant in the NBA and Fantasy world. Others, may prefer Ben McLemore, but here are some reasons why the Magic will take Oladipo instead. Size, strength, and speed go very slightly to Oladipo. Defensively, Oladipo has been a much better, which could very well come down to effort. That brings me to my next trait. Scouts have been raving about Victors character, which is very much overlooked in our professional sports today. If Dwyane Wade had Chad Johnson’s character, where would Dwyane be right now? Now, offensively, they two are very good finishers, but McLemore is a much better shooter with more attempts while Oladipo is more efficient with less attempts. Both will clearly need to work on creating their own shot in the NBA.
Lastly, Oladipo’s combination of physical ability, character, energy, defense, and potential is one of, if not the best you're going to get in this years draft. In the end, the Orlando Magic need to take the great athletic defensive player who needs to work on his offensive game, rather than the scorer who needs to work on defense. The fact that the Heat vs Spurs Finals contain two of the top 10 defenses is not by coincidence. Choose wisely Orlando.
#3 - Washington Wizards - Otto Porter Jr. - Georgetown
This will mark the fourth straight year the Wizards will pick in the top six and the second straight year they will select third. Considering the Wizards are set a PG (John Wall) and selected their SG of the future last year (Bradley Beal) a player like Ben McLemore does not so well and his slide continues in this mock. Washington finished towards the bottom of the league in scoring averaging 93.2 points per game. A lot of that can be contributed to injuries but also the lack of consistent go-to scorers. Porter could be that impact player the Wizards are lacking at the wing. He averaged 16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 threes per game.
Porter player both small and power forward for the Hoyas last season. His game and size is better suited for the three and he would form a formidable trio with Wall and Beal. His length also makes him a two-way player on the defensive side as well. Reports have surfaced that he compared his game to Tayshaun Prince, which does not ooze with upside but also a very productive pro player. Porter has a 7-1 wingspan and became Georgetown’s first consensus first-team all-American since Allen Iverson. Most people are quick to judge him based on his NCAA tournament but had an excellent overall season playing in the Big East conference. While he did not have the best combine either it is hard to knock the recent success of Geogetown players selected in the first round (Jeff Green, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert). Trevor Ariza will become a free agent after next season and Jan Vesely has yet to flash his pro upside creating a void at this position.
The Wizards will also take a long look at Anthony Bennett and Alex Len. Porter does not have that sexy upside but he does project to have NBA longevity. and just turned 20-years old.
#4 - Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) - Anthony Bennett - UNLV
The Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) select Anthony Bennett 6'7 248 lbs out of UNLV. Charlotte needs help right away I feel as if they cannot miss on this pick at all. The Hornets have missed badly on becoming relevant and it doesn't project well for them moving forward.
All that can change with the development of Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Bennett together. The future looks a little brighter with the hire of Steve Clifford former LA Lakers assistant coach and potential All-Star Kemba Walker. It is hard in this 2013 draft to find the guy who could possibly change your franchise or at least help alter it for the next 5-6 years but with Bennett being available at this pick, for me, it's a no brainer. The Bobcats will be getting the best player on the board and the safest.
Anthony Bennett is built like a truck and plays hard ever night, he dominated the Mountain West conference averaging 15ppg and 8rpg. He has a 7'1 wingspan to make up for his lack of height at his position and big strong hands that will help him get offensive rebounds and easy put backs in the NBA. The Canadian born Bennett has always been an elite player since his High School playing days at Findlay Prep (Nevada). Bennett is a top 5 scorer in this draft and has solid starter written all over him, with his frame and abilities he will be a mismatch for most teams every night. Anthony Bennett is a bit of a tweener and is also coming off of a torn labrum injury but I believe he will be healthy come summer league time. Bennett's comparison for me is Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. I believe he will put up 15ppg and 7.5rpg every night. Bennett is an immediate impact player that fits the current squad because of his NBA body as well as the future roster moving forward with Walker and Gilchrist.
Other prospects who are to consider for the no. 4 overall pick to Charlotte are: Alex Len, Ben McLemore and Shabazz Muhammad.
#5 - Phoenix Suns - Ben McLemore - Kansas
The Phoenix Suns lack a face of the franchise player, and with the team under new management, the #5 pick is a great way to draft a player who they can build around. With Ben McLemore still on the board, he was just too good to pass up. The Suns do not have a true shooting guard, and lack a player who can lead the team in scoring on a nightly basis, McLemore can provide that. He is a great shooter, especially from behind the arch, as he shot 42% from downtown last year. Pair him up with Goran Dragic and that’s a respectable backcourt and is a great building block for a franchise. Being 6’5, 185 lbs, McLemore has good size for a shooting guard. With his length and quickness, he will provide a spark on the defensive end, which the Suns could use as they ranked 26th in points allowed at 101.6.
Alex Len would be another option, as it’s hard to pass up on a 19 year old who stands at 7’1. Unfortunately, the Suns front court is crowded as is, with Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Marcus Morris & Markieff Morris, Hamed Haddadi, and Channing Frye; if his career isn’t over. However, if the Suns had plans of moving a few of those guys in trades, then Len would fit.
Going with McLemore who can make an immediate impact and is the best available player at this point in the draft, the Suns can’t go wrong with this pick.
#6 - New Orleans Pelicans - Alex Len - Maryland
Len will compliment Anthony Davis in the Pelicans front court for years to come. Possessing a 7'3.5" wing span, Len's rebounding and shot blocking ability will reinforce the Pelicans interior defense. He's agile for a big man but does come with some risk since he's had ankle problems throughout his two year college career and is currently sidelined with a stress fracture in his ankle. Think of a young Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
#7 - Sacramento Kings - Shabazz Muhammad - UCLA
The Kings have nothing going for them at the SF position. John Salmons is way past his prime and Travis Outlaw is not that good. Muhammad could come in, ride the bench for the 1st half of the season, and when the Kings season is already over, take over as the starter for the foreseeable future. Muhammad is a guy that thrives off the ball and in transition so he fits in perfectly with Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans. The only thing he doesn't do all that well, which the Kings need desperately is shoot at a high percentage from downtown. Muhammad is an above average rebounder, especially on the offensive end and does a great job filling the lane in transition. He isn't a great shot creator, but he won't need to do so with Cousins down low and Thomas/Evans creating off the dribble. The Kings have no trouble scoring, just need to learn to play some D.
Muhammad has shown the ability to play above average defense, but it has also been shown that he gets frustrated easily, and slacks off on the defensive end, when he isn't haven't a good game on the offensive end. When all is said and done, Muhammad is the best player available, at the Kings biggest position of need. Some will argue that a PG like Trey Burke is the better selection, but IT2 deserves more respect and the opportunity to prove he is capable of starting in the NBA
#8 - Detroit Pistons - Trey Burke - Michigan
Generally picking seventh in anything, whether it be the NBA Draft, Fantasy Drafts, or a pick-up hoops game at the local park, is usually as appealing as watching a Pistons’ basketball game this past season. But it turns out that it is actually an ideal spot to be for this draft. A few players will be on the Pistons draft board and whoever falls to them will become a no-brainer pick, and in this case it is Trey Burke. Basketball is a business, and for a team that still suffers the stigma of drafting Darko, taking Trey Burke would be a good fit both from a need based standpoint and from a business perspective. Burke’s talents aside, the former Michigan Wolverine is a player that will help sell tickets for an organization who has seen a decline in attendance the last few years, if not longer. Burke brings all the intangibles that are sought after when drafting a point guard, leadership, character, game management, etc. Burke also protects the ball well and was one of the main reasons the Wolverines had the lowest turnover average of any D-1 school last season. Burke has shown the ability to create for both his teammates and himself, and drafting a point-guard will allow Brandon Knight to play more two-guard, the position he seemed to have more success at last season. If Trey Burke is off the board the Pistons will likely take UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, or C.J. McCollum, in that order.
#10 - Portland Trail Blazers - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Georgia
The Portland Trail Blazers have a very young, talented nucleus with Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge. This off-season they’ll have to find somebody to fill J.J. Hickson’s shoes, as they’ll most likely be losing him to free agency. With that being said, the centers that the Trail Blazers were targeting are now off the board (Noel, Len, Zeller). Signing a free agent center will be the most effective way to fill their center position.
This takes us to Portland’s next big hole that they need to fix and that’s their bench. Portland ranked dead last in bench points this past season at 18.5 points per game. Getting no production out of the bench puts too much pressure on the starters to have big games each and every night. Drafting SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of Georgia will give Portland a huge boost off the bench. At 6’6 204, he’s big and he’s extremely athletic, plays great defense and has a great jump shot. Scoring 18.5 points per game and shooting 43% from the field last year proves he has what it takes to score. Not one player in Portland scored more than 5.5 points off the bench, so adding Caldwell-Pope will change that as he’ll immediately add a spark off the bench.
#11 - Philadelphia 76ers - C.J. McCollum - Lehigh
Like the Pistons, the 76ers will likely be faced with considering a player, or two, who played their college ball within their state lines, in center Steven Adams of Pittsburg and guard C.J, Mccollum of Lehigh. I find it hard pressed that C.J. McCollum falls to the Sixers, if he does they will be faced with a tough decision as they could use the scoring punch that McCoullum would provide, (Sixers were the 26th lowest scoring team per 100 possessions last season), but the team is also in need of a big man. I have not heard any trade rumors surrounding this pick, but it would not surprise me if the Sixers did get an offer they would consider moving down in the draft. If McCollum is still on the board I could see the Sixers taking him and either trying to trade him, or maybe even Evan Turner.
If McCollum is gone I see it coming down to Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynk, or Steven Adams. Some rumors have the Sixers selecting center Lucoas Nogueira of Brazil, but I highly doubt that the Sixers are willing to take that risk at this stage of the draft. Thus, I lean toward the Sixers selecting Steven Adams who in my opinion, had he stayed in school and actually got legit minutes, would have been in the discussion as a top five pick going into next year’s draft.
#12 - Oklahoma City Thunder - Gorgui Dieng - Louisville
The Oklahoma City Thunder realized this year that Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Martin are not the long term answer in their respective positions. Martin was almost invisible during the playoffs. Perkins is good defensively, and that is where it ends. When he wasn't complaining about a call, he was riding the pine in result of foul trouble. The Thunder could use a more athletic big man who can run the floor and play good defense. I think that man is Gorgui Dieng. The 6’-11” 245 pounder was Big East Player of the year last season and was also First Team All Big East. Dieng showed considerable improvement in his free throw shooting and offensive ability throughout the year and NCAA tournament. He has shown some potential in his post-up game and has gotten much better with that 16-18 foot jumper. He also is a good passer out of the post which could very well benefit, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and company. If Dieng can improve more offensively he may be able to get a lot of run off the bench and may even start at some point in the next couple years.
Other players considered were Steven Adams who is probably just too raw for this team who is one player away from being a Championship team. Also, Shooting guards who were considered for Kevin Martin's replacement were Jamaal Franklin who is very good defensively and Allen Crabbe who was probably the next best fit. Crabbe is a very good shooter who could step in right away and take open jumper, but there are questions about his defensive ability and good centers are just so much harder to find these days than shooters.
#13 - Dallas Mavericks - Michael Carter-Williams - Syracuse
The Mavericks need depth in the back court with O.J Mayo opting out and no real point guard on the roster. Michael-Carter Williams has the size and length to be a very effective pro but scouts are also skeptical about his upside. He is one of the players in the draft that is a draft enigma that has the ability to be one of the studs in this year's class. Another thing going against him is the recent track record of Syracuse players but how many of these were a 6'6" PG w/ a 6-7 wingspan? If he is able to handle the pro game then be another leader at the point guard the position the Mavericks have had in Nash and Kidd. As a sophomore he averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Overall he finished third in the nation in assists and sixth in steals. Darren Collison led the Mavs in assists and steals per game but started 47 of 81 games and does not posses the physical attributes as MCW.
The potential of the Mavs trading down is a possibility considering the increased cap space and needs of the team. However, if they do keep the pick look for Dennis Schroder, Shane Larkin and Shabazz Muhammad to be in play also.
#14 - Utah Jazz - Shane Larkin - Miami
Shane Larkin led the Miami Hurricanes to their best basketball season ever, which included a ACC championship and sweet 16 appearance. Larkin came up huge in the biggest moments during the 2013 season. He is the ultimate leader, floor general and is still emerging as a prospect.
The 5'11 171 lbs Larkin showed off the chart athleticism during the NBA combine in Chicago recently. He's a very hot prospect with his play this year during the season. Son of Hall of Fame baseball player Barry Larkin, Shane has a very great background and pedigree.
With Mo Williams turning 31 this season it's time for the Jazz to move in a different direction for the future. I personally believe Larkin is a solid starting point guard for years to come but he will struggle right away. He lacks defensive prowess and looks to shoot first too frequently. Larkin does offer star quality and offensive fire power and that's what Utah needs. The young nucleus they are building could put them in the playoffs next season. The Jazz aren't a horrible team or bad but they are average but with two first rounders and ammo they could find themselves in the 6-8 spots of the west.
NBA Comparison - DJ Augustin
Players to Avoid - Giannis Adetokundo, Ricky Ledo, Archie Goodwin
Other Possibilities - Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk, Sergey Karasev, Shabazz Muhammad
#15 - Milwaukee Bucks - Dennis Schroeder - Germany
With Monta Ellis opting out of his contract and J.J. Redick being an unrestricted free agent, the Milwaukee Bucks are now shorthanded in the back court. The Bucks can look to free agency to fill their SG hole, as guys like Andre Iguodala, O.J. Mayo, J.R. Smith, and Kevin Martin are all available. So taking Dennis Schroeder will just add depth in the backcourt.
Coming out of Germany, not many people know too much about Schroeder. The 19 year old stands at 6’2, 165 lbs and he turned many heads at the Nike Hoop Summit, where he scored 18 points and dished out 6 assists, to lead the World Team to victory. With his combination of speed and size, none of the American guards were able to keep up with him. He is extremely athletic, and with his 6’7 wingspan, he might have the most physical upside of any PG in the draft.
Not only can Schroeder get to the hole but he has unbelievable range as he shot 40% from downtown this season over in Germany. At just 19, he might not be ready to step in and help lead a team to the promise land, but he’s a great fit with the Bucks who are young and still have a few years before they are truly able to compete.
#16 - Boston Celtics - Sergey Karasev - Russia
The Boston Celtics and Sergey Karasev of St Petersberg, Russia are a great match and solid fit for the sharpshooter. The 19 year old lefty is a excellent shooter, if you give him the green light he will kill you from the outside. His three point stroke is possibly the best overall in this 2013 NBA draft.
Karasev is young and still has upside, he needs to polish his game a bit. He'll always be a shooter first but will having a promising and long career if he can re tool his other skills ie; ball handling, passing, and perimeter defense. Boston doesn't need another sharp shooter right now but they could use him especially for the long run. I would give Karasev a year to learn the American culture and game then ease him on in the 2014-15 season. He is a project but he'll be a quick learner and I believe it's worth the risk especially for Boston.
Karasev in my opinion will be a starting shooting guard or a key bench player with his high basketball IQ and ability to stretch the floor. I think Karasev's personality and ability to step up in big games will also be an important factor with the C's. I feel like Karasev will never be a elite athlete or defender but he will know his role for this veteran club and will be one of Rondo's favorite targets.
NBA Comparison - Danny Green
Players to Avoid - Erick Green, Phil Pressey, Giannis Adetokundo
Others Possibilities - Tony Mitchell, Mason Plumlee, C.J. Leslie
#17 - Atlanta Hawks - Kelly Olynyk - Gonzaga
Kelly Olynyk seems to be getting lost in the shuffle as most of the pre-draft news is spent debating where everyone else is going, without much hoopla for the 7'0' 234 pound Olynyk who showed a wide array of sold post moves, a nice touch from the outside and the free throw line, and brought it on both ends of the court during his time with Gonzaga.
#18 - Atlanta Hawks - Steven Adams - Pittsburgh
Other than Al Horford, the Hawks do not have a significant big man under contract going into next season, thus it is paramount that if they do not make a draft day trade that they target one (or two) with these back-to-back picks. As I mentioned in my analysis of the Philadelphia 76ers pick, I believe Steven Adams is a big-time talent who could have had the potential to be a top five pick had he stayed in school. Unlike many of the tall bodies in this draft Adams is both tall, athletic, and big-bodied. Adams stands seven feet tall, weighs 255 pounds, has a 7'5" wingspan, and can run the floor well. Adams has a lot of upside, with an already strong foundation making this a great get if he is still available.
#19 - Cleveland Cavaliers - DeShaun Thomas - Ohio St.
The Cleveland Cavs take DeShaun Thomas of Ohio St. The Junior All-American is a bit of a tweener he played power forward at Ohio St but will be forced to play the small forward position at the next level. He's a natural NBA SF to me in this days NBA of small ball. The Cavs could use Thomas's toughness and gritty play for the future. Thomas is of the question mark players in this draft I've seen him ranked as high as 16 and as low as 49. I love the game of Thomas especially during this post season.
Thomas is a excellent leader who averaged 19.8ppg and 5.9 rpg in his junior season. However Thomas lacks all-around speed and doesn't have much upside. I think Thomas could have a long career as a solid back up. He can be a Al Harrington type of player. Thomas shot 83% from the line which is great for someone his size and he's very durable never missing a start in 2 years.
The future looks good for Thomas and the Cavs. Noel and Thomas would be a good pair to take in the first round. I think someone like Nate Wolters would be a solid early 2nd rd pick or Allen Crabbe. I third guard in that rotation would be golden.
#20 - Chicago Bulls - Miles Plumlee - Duke
With aging veteran Carlos Boozer and fragile centers Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson the Bulls' major big men, Duke's Mason Plumlee will provide much needed front court depth for Chicago. Mason, who is the younger brother of Indiana's 2012 first round pick Miles Plumlee, averaged 17 points, 10 boards and 1.5 blocks in his senior season. The 7 footer will not make an instant impact but should give the Bulls a nice role player for years to come.
#21 - Utah Jazz - Allen Crabbe - UCLA
The Jazz need another shooting guard to go along with Alec Burks in this backcourt. He is a very safe mid to late rd pick. Crabbe is a excellent shooter and had great high basketball IQ. Crabbe has a great career that was very undervalued at Cal. In high school he was Mr. Basketball in California and a PAC -12 all teamer twice (2x). Crabbe was named PAC -12 player of the year in 2013. His career averages were 15.7ppg 5.7rpg 2.2apg in 3 years. The Utah Jazz have drafted pretty well in recent memory but haven't always been able to keep their free agents. I think the new direction they need to go in needs to rival the Denver Nuggets. Build a deep team without a superstar that can still contend. Crabbe is a blue collar player who can still light it up from the floor and his finesse game will help Utah rise in the scoreboard and the win column.
Crabbe comparison : Courtney Lee
#22 - Brooklyn Nets - Rudy Gobert - France
Everyone knows that Reggie Evans is not an NBA starter. He had a great season last year, but if he is your starting PF, then your roster lacks depth in the front court. Pairing Gobert and Lopez for the foreseeable future creates a dominate front court. Lopez really improved his defense last season and Gobert is known for being a game changer defensively. The only downside to the pick is that it may take a while for Gobert to adjust, but it is a risk the Nets have to take.
They could go after a wing like Tony Snell, Reggie Bullock or Tim Hardaway Jr. to provide some bench depth, but with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace dominating minutes, it would be wise for the Nets to add a player in a position of need.
#23 - Indiana Pacers - Tony Snell - New Mexico
The Pacers are in need of depth at just about every position, including at the shooting guard position. Tony Snell has great length for his size (6-7 198 lb), which will give the Pacers a very athletic shooting guard out on the wing. The scouting report on Snell has his tagged as a great shooter in catch and shoot situations, which is exactly what is needed when playing at the NBA level. However, the downside to Snell is his inadequate ball handling, which will limit his playing time early on in the season. The best case scenario for Snell would be for him to come off the bench and spell Lance Stephenson or even Paul George, considering the length he brings to the team.
The other position that the Pacers would be most likely targeting at this point in the draft would be added depth at the center position. With all of the top big men already off the board, the only other big man the Pacers would consider here would probably be Jeff Withey, but it is going to he hard for them to pass up the upside on Snell at this position.
#24 - New York Knicks - Tony Mitchell - North Texas
The Knicks have a lot of holes as the Pacers exposed in the playoffs. A need for a point guard, shooting guards and pf/c are essential if New York wants to advance past the second round anytime soon. Tony Mitchell is a 6'8" F who averaged 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a sophomore. He has the ability to play both forward shots because of his length, shooting ability and defense. It could also
help Melo play more at the three instead of guarding power forwards. Even though Mitchell regressed in his second season, New York needs another talented big on the roster who is versatile on both sides on the floor. Amare Stoudemerie has evolved into one of the higher paid bench players in the league now.
Jeff Withey, Isaiah Canaan, Ricky Ledo also make sense for the Knicks with this make with other players off the board. Considering the Knicks do not have a first-round pick next year (Melo trade) they need to hit on this pick. J.R Smith may not be back next season and Jason Kidd retired creating open spots in the rotation. Look for Iman Shumpert to play more PG in the Summer League which would elevate his game.
#25 - Los Angeles Clippers - Tim Hardaway Jr. - Michigan
Tim Hardaway Jr. is a versatile guard who can affect the game on both ends of the court. The Clippers are not in need of a scorer, but are in need of a player with Hardaway's pedigree that can knock down shoots while helping defend the perimeter, something the Clippers had a difficult time doing last season finishing 26th in stopping the three-pointer. Hardaway Jr.'s ability to handle the ball, defend, and score if need be, make him a perfect fit for the Clippers.
#26 - Minnesota Timberwolves - Reggie Bullock - North Carolina
In the off chance that Andrei Kirilenko declines his $10mil player option, the T'Wolves will be left with just Derrick Williams at the SF position. Bullock can provide Minnesota with a shooter off the bench this season, which they need desperately, and a potential starter for them if they do trade Derrick Williams ever. While they need some depth at the front court, I do not imagine Nikola Pekovic signing elsewhere, but there will be a useful big available to sign as a free agent. Bullock could easily become Ricky Rubio's favorite teammate on those drive and dishes, as Reggie is a great spot up shooter.
Jeff Withey would be a solid pick here as well, but Bullock gives the Timberwolves a better two way player that can one day be a starter. Withey would also be a rotational piece should Pekovic re-sign and Kevin Love stay the franchise player.
#27 - Denver Nuggets - Ricky Ledo - Providence
With Andre Iguodala planning to opt out of his contract, Denver finds itself looking to fill the shooting guard position and Ricky Ledo, 20, a 6'6 shooting guard out of Providence, will fill that need. Ledo is relatively inexperienced but is a fine ball handler and brings much "upside" to the table. It's that upside at number 27 that will make Denver grab Ledo if he's there. San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin is also another solid option if Ledo is not available.
#28 - San Antonio Spurs - Jeff Withey - Kansas
The Spurs are in desperate need of size in the lane, and what better way to go than to draft a four-year player out of one of the best college programs in the country. Withey fits the Spurs philosophy to almost an exact match, as a great defensive presence in the post while shooting at a high percentage near the basket. Some say that he is a steal at this point in the draft, but there are a few things that have left him on the board nearing the second round. His biggest flaws are that he needs to add some bulk to his lanky body, if he wants to withstand the hits that centers take throughout the season, and his lack of good post moves. If he lands with the Spurs he will have one of the most fundamentally sounds post players (Time Duncan) to mentor him, as he does with all his teammates, which will only add to Withey's potential upside.
There are few other holes that the Spurs need to fill with his daft selection, so going with a center appears to be a no-brainer this late in the draft. The Spurs will give looks at a handful of international players, who they have had success with in the past, but none of which have the experience and upside Withey has, as most are looking more like second round talent at best.
#29 - Oklahoma City Thunder - Alex Abrines - Spain
#30 - Phoenix Suns - Giannis Antetokounmpo - Greece