The NBA Draft is tonight, and nobody has any clue what is going on at the top or in the middle. Here’s my last stab at a mock draft. In February, I mock drafted the lottery; in May I mock drafted the 1st round. The goal here? Three direct hits. It’s that unpredictable of a draft. Yes, I’ll have a 2014 lottery mock draft tomorrow! You hate that. I know.
1. Cleveland – Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky. I had Ben McLemore 1st until about 11 am. Then this happened. And this. Who can argue with Woj & Vegas?
2. Orlando – Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana.
3. Washington – Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown.
4. Charlotte – Alex Len, C, Maryland. Tweeted a month ago that Jordan loved him. I like him a lot, but the Bobcats will be back in the Top 5 next year.
5. Phoenix – Cody Zeller, F, Indiana. Wouldn’t be stunned with – wait for it – Michael Carter-Williams here.
6. New Orleans – Ben McLemore, G, Kansas. What a victory for the Pelicans if he falls here. He could be a bigger Eric Gordon, just healthier.
7. Sacramento – Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV. Funny part? There’s a tiny bit of buzz about Bennett going 1st to Cleveland.
8. Detroit –Trey Burke, PG, Michigan. I’m finally projecting Burke over MCW. I still would go MCW.
9. Minnesota – CJ McCollum, SG, Lehigh. As I said on a podcast this week, he’s this draft’s Damian Lillard.
10. Portland – Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh. Bummer that no quality bigs are available here. LaMarcus Aldridge won’t be happy, since Adams is vastly overrated.
11. Philadelphia – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia. No bigs on the board worth a pick here, so they take the best shooter available.
12. Oklahoma City (via Toronto) – Sergey Karasev, SG/SF, Russia.
13. Dallas – Michael Carter Williams, PG, Syracuse. Why the fall? Point guard needs. If he gets past Detroit at 8, I think he falls here.
14. Utah – Shane Larkin, PG, Miami.
15. Milwaukee – Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany.
16 Boston Celtics – Jeff Withey, C, Kansas. Just drafted Fab Melo last year. Will KG retire?
17 Atlanta – Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga.
18 Atlanta (from Houston) – Tim Hardaway Jr, SG/SF, Michigan.
19 Cleveland (from LA Lakers) – Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA. Plenty of value here in taking a chance on a talented player with a few question marks.
20 Chicago – Reggie Bullock, SG/SF, UNC. The shooter the Bulls have been looking for?
21 Utah Jazz (from Golden State) – Allen Crabbe, SG, California.
22 Brooklyn – Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke. I think there’s value in him here becoming what Kris Humphries was. Remember, it took Humphries five years to do anything in the NBA.
23 Indiana – Glen Rice, SG/SF, Georgia Tech.
24 New York – Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas.
25 Minnesota (from Memphis) – Rudy Gobert, C, France. Stash him for a year or two as insurance policy for Kevin Love? Pekovic, who can score, can slide to the PF at times.
26 Los Angeles Clippers – Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence. Never played a college game, but can supposedly score in bunches. May go higher.
27 Denver – Archie Goodwin, G, Kentucky. This is a bit optimistic, given the rough year Goodwin had. The talent, though, is there.
28 San Antonio – Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece. If the Patriots almost always trade all their 1st round pick, the Spurs almost always take internationals, right?
29 Oklahoma City – Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil.
30 Phoenix (from Miami) – Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico.