There has been widespread speculation that ever since the end of the collegiate season, this year’s crop of potential draftees will not produce any immediate All Star caliber talent but is plenty deep in terms of potential starters down the road and gifted role players.
As the debate continues over whether the Cleveland Cavaliers will select either Nerlens Noel or Alex Len with the top overall pick, several prospects like Shabazz Muhammed and Ben McLemore continue to slide as we are within 24 hours of the draft.
Despite the lack of star power, the players in this draft fall into 3 tiers, according to a poll done by NBA General Managers.
The Top 6, consisting of Noel, Len, Bennett, Porter, Oladipo, and McLemore, is seen has having the most upside.
The next tier consists of NCAA POY Trey Burke, Cody Zeller, CJ McCollum, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as players that have obvious talent but have some risk involved.
While the 3rd tier is heavily loaded all the way into the 2nd Round with players like Shabazz Muhammed, Steven Adams, and Michael Carter-Williams who are loaded with potential but have obvious flaws in their game.
We’ve already done our most recent Mock Draft 3.0, but here is THD’s 2013 NBA Draft Big Board, ranking the top 15 prospects in this year’s Draft…
6’7 195 lbs
Despite staying in Russia rather than working out for potential NBA teams, Karasev is a known commodity because of his outstanding showing in International competition. Many consider Sergey one of the best SG prospects available but he may decide to remain in Europe for another year like Ricky Rubio and Jonas Valanciunas in recent Drafts. He was given an invite to the “Green Room” meaning he probably has a Top 20 guarantee.
Comparison: Danny Green
6’6 225lbs Freshman
After initially being tabbed as the top pick coming out of high school, Muhammed’s stock has slipped after admitting he lied about his age, averaged only 1 assist per game, and appeared out of shape at the combine. On the bright side, he’s arguably this draft’s most NBA ready scorer, after averaging 18 ppg as a freshman this season.
Comparison: James Harden
Affectionately known as “Bebe”, the still only 21 year old Brazilian has been on the NBA’s radar for the past few years and after an outstanding showing at the Adidas Eurocamp, he has decided he has matured enough to venture into the big leagues. Although still considered raw, he has great mobility and natural athleticism for a player his size and is considered a defensive stopper in his present form. Considered a project, many feel Nogueira has the most upside of any International player in the draft
Comparison: Joakim Noah
7’0 255lbs Freshman
Many felt Adams could have used another year of seasoning at Pitt, but he provides defense, rebounding, and a massive presence in the post. His offensive game is a work in progress but he reminds many of Detroit’s Andre Drummond last season as an unproven, mammoth sized paint protector, that teams hope will develop into a solid starting caliber center.
Comparison: Meyers Leonard
6’6 185lbs Sophomore
After leading the nation in assists for most of last season, MCW will be one of the most sought after floor generals in the draft. His incredible length for the position makes him an elite defender and a match-up nightmare. He showed both flashes of superstar qualities and head-scratching decision making skills during his 2 seasons playing for Jim Boeheim, but the old ballcoach has gone on record saying Carter-Williams is one of the most talented players ever to play for the Orange.
Comparison: Grevis Vazquez
6’6 205lbs Sophomore
One of the nation’s best pure long range shooters,KCP is one of the sleepers of the draft as he has prototypical size for the SG position and plenty of athleticism to boot. He won’t blow you away with any one skill but he gets to the rim with authority and is has some extreme upside as a potentially elite scorer in time.
Comparison: Michael Redd
7’0 230lbs Sophomore
Standing a legitimate 7’0, Zeller scored through the roof at this year’s Combine, posting some insane numbers rarely seen before. He’s the most complete big man in this year’s draft, capable of running the floor like a forward. He won’t give you monster rebound or blocked shot numbers but has excellent potential from the offensive end.
Comparison: LaMarcus Aldridge
Point Guard/Shooting Guard
6’3 195lbs Senior
One of the nation’s elite scorers, the multi-talented combo guard from the tiny patriot League made a name for himself in the 2012 Big Dance when he scored 30 points and almost single-handedly upset Duke. After missing most of his senior season due to a foot injury, McCollum’s stock is on the rise after the recent success of fellow small schoolers like Norris Cole and Damian Lillard.
Comparison: Steph Curry
6’1 190lbs Sophomore
The 2013 NCAA Player of the Year has parlayed a magical sophomore campaign right into the Lottery. He’s a true point guard with a bulldog-like mentality that has shown the ability to lead a team, at least on the collegiate level. Many are concerned about a lack of overwhelming size, but Burke has the heart of a lion and is as fundamentally sound as any player in the Draft.
Comparison: Kyle Lowry
6’9 205lbs Sophomore
Perhaps the most NBA ready player in the Draft, Porter excels on the defensive end, along with possessing a capable all around offensive arsenal. He’s low risk but may not have as high of a ceiling as other players in the field. Porter is a prototype SF, that has been compared to Tayshaun Prince, but with a better offensive game all season. He’s been rumored to be going as high as #3 to Washington but was just too good in his short NCAA career to slide past the Top 10 picks.
Comparison: Andre Iguodala
7’1 255lbs Sophomore
Despite just mediocre numbers at Maryland, Len exudes athleticism and has elite size for the center position. Rumored to be in the mix for the top overall selection to Cleveland, the Ukraninian native dominated fellow top prospect Nerlens Noel in their lone head-to-head match-up during the season. Alex has potential to be a top of the line starting center for a decade in the right situation.
Comparison: Jonas Valanciunas
6’4 215lbs Junior
Undoubtedly the most improved player in college basketball over the past few seasons, Oladipo was a POY candidate all season as well as a lock down defender from the perimeter. He has elite athleticism, finishes with authority at the rim, and works harder than anyone to get better. He made a huge splash in workouts and interviews and is a longshot to be a Top 3 selection. If he ever develops his offensive game to match his defensive intensity, he’s a diamond in the rough.
Comparison: Tony Allen
Power Forward/Small Forward
6’7 240lbs Freshman
Despite not being able to work out for teams due to a shoulder injury, NBA GM’s are very high on the freshman phenom from Vegas as he can score from virtually anywhere on the floor despite having the size to play the 4. He’s perfect in a pick-and-pop/roll offense as he has an above average jumper and led the NCAA in poster dunks last season. Some worry that he is a tad undersized to guard bigger PF and that he has been oft injured throughout his entire basketball career, but most agree he has Top 3 talent.
Comparison: Larry Johnson
6’11 206lbs Freshman
Despite suffering a season ending ACL injury in February, Noel has been the #1 NBA prospect since the end of the season for his amazing athleticism and ability to change the game from the defensive side of the ball. He’s still raw offensively and may never be a legitimate scoring threat but he’s a once in a decade caliber defender. Recent concerns about lack of bulk and the the infamous history of drafting oft injured big men at #1(see Greg Oden) has teams rumored to be leaning on the side of caution with Noel, as he and Alex Len remain Cleveland’s top two options for the top overall selection.
Comparison: Dikembe Mutombo
6’5 190lbs Freshman
Despite red flags due to an AAU coach paying an agent and a supposed lack of having the killer instinct, McLemore has the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. The redshirt freshman has an elegant 3 point stroke that reminds many of future Hall of Famer Ray Allen plus some amazing athleticism that allows him to finish over slower defenders. In the right system and if given time to develop, McLemore may be the lone player in the draft with All Star potential. Considering the fact that a SG hasn’t gone at #1 in the last 40 years, look for Ben to go no later than Top 5.
Comparison: Ray Allen