College, Mock Draft, NBA, NBA Draft / Jun 17, 2013 / 1:00 pm

Dime Mock Draft 4.0: A Surprising Newcomer Crashes Into The Top 5

Alex Len

Alex Len (photo. Greg Fiume/Maryland Athletics)

Does this draft class suck? Well, more than a few “experts” maintain it’s not one of the best you’ll ever see. That being said, we don’t really know what’ll happen until these young fellas get drafted and hit the floor. There are plenty of teams that could use Ben McLemore or Anthony Bennett or Alex Len. Now, after the lottery, we have a better grip on which teams will get them.

The NBA Draft Lottery is concluded and with that, here is Dime‘s third 2013 NBA Lottery mock draft.

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1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel – Kentucky
7-0, C
19 years old, Freshman

The Cavs don’t need a star, just someone who can fit in. As long as the Kentucky big man (one of our writers called him a better version of Larry Sanders) passes his physical concerns, this should be a no-brainer. Suddenly, Cleveland could have a very interesting foundation. This pick fits because a) he’s the best player available if we’re talking metrics, something Cleveland acknowledges, and b) they’ve kept close tabs on his injury status. The only other players drawing interest here — Victor Oladipo and Ben McLemore — just don’t make as much sense considering Cleveland already has Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

2. Orlando: Victor Oladipo – Indiana
6-4, SG
21 years old, Junior

No one (repeat: no one) has any idea what Orlando is doing. They’re floating smokescreen after smokescreen, at one time thinking Trey Burke would be their guy then saying they’re looking to grab Ben McLemore. In the end, we’re thinking they pass on Burke and instead opt to try to acquire Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers, and then cement their backcourt of the future with a guy who’s still getting better: Oladipo.

3. Washington: Otto Porter – Georgetown
6-8, PF
19 years old, Sophomore

The Wizards vaulted up into the top three and now have a perfect situation lining up for them as they’re ready to draft the next Tayshaun Prince. They absolutely need a small forward. It’s probably the biggest hole on their roster. And Porter shoots it well and can play without the ball. This is a perfect fit. The team just has to hope Cleveland doesn’t buck the trend and take the wingman first overall.

4. Charlotte: Alex Len – Maryland
7-1, C
19 years old, Sophomore

If Oladipo falls to here, we get the feeling Michael Jordan would love him. The Bobcats/Hornets need to take the best talent available, and this is where it gets interesting. Charlotte is apparently trying to pry DeMarcus Cousins away from Sacramento. Most in the know in Sacramento don’t believe the Kings will trade him. If not, Charlotte could go with the guy who’s sliding because people don’t think he wants it bad enough (McLemore). But then again, big men always rise on draft boards as we get closer to the draft, and it seems everyone is starting to believe they’ll take one (Alex Len).

5. Phoenix: Anthony Bennett – UNLV
6-7, PF
20 years old, Freshman

The last time UNLV had a lottery selection, it was Marcus Banks back in the day. We’re pretty sure Bennett is going to be a little bit better than that. One of our writers called him another Paul Millsap, and that’s probably a worst-case scenario. Injury concerns aren’t stopping teams from looking at Bennett in the top five. Alex Len is also a possible pick here, but how can you pass up the next Larry Johnson?

6. New Orleans: Ben McLemore – Kansas
6-5, SG
20 years old, Freshman

Would the Pelicans take a guy who plays the same position as one of their best players (Eric Gordon)? They would if he’s available, first of all. And second, what has Gordon really proven since coming to New Orleans… other than that he has a shaky loyalty with the place and can’t seem to stay healthy? Trey Burke would be a possibility here, but we’re hearing the team is pretty happy with Greivis Vasquez and yes, they still haven’t given up on Austin Rivers. We’re guessing this is as far as the next O.J. Mayo falls on draft night.

7. Sacramento: Trey Burke – Michigan
6-1, PG
20 years old, Sophomore

This is probably the biggest fall you can expect Burke to take. With the influx of tremendous guards into the league in the last few years, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him sneak into the top three or four, ESPECIALLY if Charlotte makes a deal to move out of the No. 4 spot. The Kings could go a number of different ways with this pick. DMC could be on another team very, very soon. If that happens, expect Len to get drafted if he’s still around. The Kings once took Jason Williams at the No. 7 spot, and he immediately helped turn around their franchise. They won’t find anyone that exciting in this year’s class, but Burke is a winning playmaker who would help turn around their culture.

8. Detroit: Michael Carter-Williams – Syracuse
6-6, PG
21 years old, Sophomore

We’ve already seen how effective Brandon Knight can be at the two. Putting him next to MCW could be deadly. We’re hearing rumblings that Detroit still doesn’t believe Knight is a full-time lead guard. With this pick, suddenly you have a 6-6 player who is undoubtedly a lead guard, which gives you the defensive flexibility in the backcourt that you need. They either take a wing scorer, someone like Shabazz Muhammad, who we had here in the past, or they go for a point guard who can let Knight slide to the shooting guard spot at times.

9. Minnesota: Shabazz Muhammad – UCLA
6-6, SF
20 years old, Freshman

When asked what he wanted out of this draft, Kevin Love said he needs a shooter more than anything else. Muhammad has the type of credentials that could scream overrated or, perhaps, future All-Star.

10. Portland: Cody Zeller – Indiana
7-0, PF/C
20 years old, Sophomore

We’re putting Lil’ Zeller here because, honestly, we don’t have any idea what the Blazers will do with this pick. A big man makes sense considering the team wants to put another big man next to LaMarcus Aldridge (although it looks more and more like Zeller will be more of a stretch four). And Zeller has SHOCKED everyone with his combine numbers. Still, they might trade the pick altogether.

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