Tag Archives: CJ McCollum

2013-2014 NBA Northwest Division Preview

By: Jon

The Northwest division looks to be very competitive this season, after Oklahoma City. Potentially, all five teams will be competing for playoff spots this year in a difficult Western Conference. Portland and Minnesota are looking to take the next step and make the playoffs. Utah is in a rebuilding stage, but has a lot of talent, especially in the front court. After a great season last year, the Nuggets will probably take a step back, but they also have a lot of young talent and a new bright head coach.

1) Oklahoma City Thunder*

Can Serge become a reliable number three for the OKC Thunder Courtesy of ESPN
Can Serge become a reliable number three for the OKC Thunder Courtesy of ESPN

The Oklahoma City Thunder are major contenders this year to reach the NBA Finals and dethrone the Heat. However, there are a lot of questions with the Thunder as they are very young and attempting to ingrate new players into their rotation. The Thunder will have a great chance to succeed this season because of their star power. Led by All-NBA players Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the Thunder can defeat anyone in the league. However, Russell Westbrook needs to be able to return and play at a high level, if the Thunder are going to meet expectations. As seen last year in the postseason, the Thunder are not the same team without Russell Westbrook on the floor. Another X-Factor for Oklahoma City will be Serge Ibaka. The man they call Dr. Nasty must step up and perform at an All-Star level, if the Thunder are going to dethrone the Heat. There is a lot of pressure on Ibaka because the Thunder decided to keep him, instead of James Harden. Although Sam Presi does not make many mistakes, the James Harden trade will go down as one of the biggest blunders in NBA history, unless Jeremy Lamb or Steven Adams become major contributors in the next few years. Although Russell will be missing a majority of the first two months of the season, the Thunder will definitely win the division. This year, none of the other teams pose any true threat to the team. However, the Thunder need to remain a quality record without Westbrook. As seen in the past few postseasons, home court advantage is incredibly important and necessary for teams with title aspirations. Although the Thunder are a small market franchise, I would make an attempt to acquire a top player during the trade deadline. In my opinion, the Thunder are still one player away from winning the Larry O Brian trophy, even with the addition of Westbrook. If I was Sam Presi, I would attempt to make a deal for either LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love. Although neither are able to lead their teams to a title, they are both All-Star players and have the ability to put the Thunder over the top. Both player could probably be had for a combination of Ibaka/Lamb/Jackson/First round pick.

2) Portland Trailblazers*

Can LaMarcus lead the talented Blazers to the playoffs Courtesy of ESPN
Can LaMarcus lead the talented Blazers to the playoffs Courtesy of ESPN

After a poor year last season, which ended with a 33-49 record, the TrailBlazers look like they have the talent to surprise a few experts this season. Although the Trailblazers had a horrible 49 wins last season, the number is a little skewed. Last year, Portland ended the year on a 13 game losing streak because they lost many of their starters to injury. The Trailblazers have one of the most talented starting fives in the league, which should lead them to at least a 500 record. If healthy, the starting five of Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Mathews, and Robin Lopez should strike fear into many of their opponents because they all can score the ball and play solid defense. After recording a great rookie season, Lillard looks like he can become a true star in the league. If Lillard can learn to effectively play with LaMarcus Aldridge, the dual should become devastating on offense because they each should put up 20 points per game. On defense, the team will become better and more efficient. The addition of Robin Lopez and the return of Nicolas Batum and Wes Mathews from injury will greatly improve the team’s overall defense. Lopez is a stalwart on the inside, while Batum and Mathews can shut guards down on the perimeter. However, the major improvement this season will be on Portland’s bench. The additions of Dorell Wright, Mo Williams, CJ McCollum, and Thomas Robinson should improve a bench that was horrible and frequently lost gams for Portland. Unfortunately for the Trailblazers, Aldridge, Batum, and Mathews are injury prone and frequently miss games due to nagging injuries. If the Trailblazers can stay, they will exceed expectations and have a great opportunity at making the playoffs. However, if Portland starts the season badly, they should look to trade Aldridge from their roster. Although he is an All-Star player, he could net a good return for the Trailblazers, who need picks and players to return their success of the early 2000s.

3) Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets need to possess a high powered offensive to win games Courtesy of ESPN
The Nuggets need to possess a high powered offensive to win games Courtesy of ESPN

After a great season where the Nuggets finished 3rd in the West and claimed the best home record in the league and one of the best all-time, the Nuggets inexplicably lost in the first round, fired their coach George Karl, and did not re-sign star shooting guard Andre Iguodala. Also, toward the end of the season, the Nuggets suffered the loss of Danilo Gallinari, one of their best players and best scorer on the team. Unfortunately, the Nuggets will be without Gallinari for much of the 2013-2014 season because of his torn ACL. The Nuggets will be forced to rely on a bunch of role players to buy into a new system and achieve immediate success, in order to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, they do not have a star that can generate offense or provide open looks for teammates. Although Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, and Kenneth Faried are nice players, they do not have the talent to lead a team to the playoffs in a difficult Western Conference. Although Iguodala did not have a great season last year, his absence will be felt by the Nuggets this season. Iggy’s ability and success is not shown by the number of points he scores in a game. Even during his days with the 76ers, in his prime, Iguodala was never a great scorer, career high of 19.9 points per game. However, Iguodala could do a little of everything on a basket court. Iggy could garner assists, rebounds, points, steals, and blocks, all things necessary for a team to achieve success in the NBA. Also, Iguodala was a stalwart on defense. His physicality and athleticism allowed him to matchup with the opposing team’s best scorer and limit his points. Although it did not show on the box score, it was vital for a Nuggets team that has trouble playing defense. Although ex-coach George Karl was not a great postseason coach, he was great at leading his club during the regular season, although they did not have the same talent as other teams. The loss of Karl and Iguodala will be felt this season, as the Nuggets are probably not going to make the playoffs in the star studded Western Conference.

4) Minnesota Timberwolves

Will Love stay for the whole season and lead them to the playoff Courtesy of ESPN
Will Love stay for the whole season and lead them to the playoff Courtesy of ESPN

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a lot more talent than their records have indicated the last few seasons. If the Timberwolves can stay healthy this season, they will be competing for the final playoff position in the Western Conference. Although trade rumors and injuries have diminished Kevin Love’s reputation, he is one of the best players in the game and posts some of the best numbers in the league for a big man. Love is the epitome of the new stretch forward because he can play inside and outside while grabbing rebounds and defending opposing power forwards. The Timberwolves must rely on Love to score and rebound the basketball, if they are going to compete. For the first time since the Kevin Garnett era, the Timberwolves have a complete basketball team. Along with Love, the Wolves have quality players such as Rubio, Pekovic, Martin, and Williams. Rubio has improved his game during each of his two seasons in the league. Although Rubio is not a threat to score 20 points a night, he has some of the best hands and vision in the NBA. Similar to Rondo, Rubio has the ability to improve his team without putting the ball in the basket. Pekovic and Martin will be important for the Wolves this season. Martin has shown in the past that he can score over 20 points per game. Along with Martin, Pekovic has displayed the ability to be a productive center in the NBA. Pekovic is strong and adept around the basket, which allowed him to score 15 and grab 8 rebounds last season. If Williams and Muhammed become competent bench scorers this season, the Wolves will surely be a top 15 scoring team in the NBA. However, their defense will be the x-factor this season. None of the Wolves players are known as shut down defensive players. Thus, they must learn to play as a team since they will not be able to individually defend their man. Although the Wolves will improve from last season, they will probably not make the playoffs.

5) Utah Jazz

The future looks bright for the Jazz, but this season could be a struggle Courtesy of ESPN
The future looks bright for the Jazz, but this season could be a struggle Courtesy of ESPN

After finishing 9th in the West and barely missing the playoffs by only two games, the Jazz underwent a major overhaul this offseason. The Jazz are undergoing a major youth movement and looking to build for the future. This offseason, the Jazz made a great trade, which netted them 2 first round picks and only lost cap space for the coming season. If Trey Burke did not injure himself, the Jazz would have the youngest starting five in the NBA, Burke, 20, Burks, 22, Hayward, 23, Favors, 22, and Kanter, 21. This offseason, the Jazz lost two of their best players to free agency, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. However, they were willing to not re-sign the duo because of their confidence in Favors and Kanter. Favors, the main part of the Deron Williams trade, and Kanter were both the third overall picks during the 2011 and 2012 drafts. Unlike the previous duo, Kanter and Favors have a greater upside and potential because of the defense they provide to the Jazz. While Millsap and Jefferson were quality offensive big men, Jefferson showed little effort on defense and could not protect the rim. Millsap was an undersized power forward and was routinely bullied by the other power forwards in the Western Conference. Although raw, the Jazz should rely and lean on the big men to carry them this season and in the future. Along with Favors and Kanter, they have 21 year old rookie Rudy Golpert out of France. Although he is extremely raw, he has the potential to be a great rim protector and defensive stopper because of his size and wingspan, largest in NBA combine history. Although the back court does not have the same promise as the front court, Burke and Burks have shown that they have the ability to score in succeed in the league. Although this season may be difficult for the Jazz, in terms of wins, the team will be fun to watch because they have a lot of talent and should improve throughout the season. The Jazz executives and fans should be excited for the future of the club because they have good young players, future first round picks, and they will have money to sign free agents after they lose Jefferson, Biedrins, and Williams after the season.

stats from espn.com

NBA Draft Analysis

By: Jon (odd picks) and Evan (even picks)

1.) Cleveland Cavaliers- Anthony Bennett UNLV

Anthony Bennett
Anthony Bennett

I said previously that Anthony Bennett was the most talented and best player in this draft. The Cavs clearly agreed with me and took Bennett off the board. The Cavs now have a strong player who can pick and pop with Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are definetely on the rise and have one of the best young lineups in the league.

2.) Orlando Magic- Victor Oladipo Indiana

Victor Olidipo
Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo is probably the safest pick in the draft this year and will immediately change the culture of the Orlando Magic. While Oladipo’s offensive game needs improvement there is no doubt he can become one of the elite defenders in the league. The Magic still other significant help but Oladipo is a great start.

3.) Washington Wizards- Otto Porter Georgetown

Otto Porter
Otto Porter

Well Otto Porter doesn’t have to move anything from his Georgetown dorm as he is staying the DC area. Otto is another complete player in this draft with no real glaring weakness but could improve in all areas. The Wizards now have a wing player who can help guard Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Paul George. The Wizards are on the rise but still will probably land in the lottery again next year.

4.) Charlotte Bobcats- Cody Zeller Indiana

Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller

Jordan has done it again…but it is not winning world championship. This comes as a big surprise from MJ’s Bobcats as they have many holes to fill. While Zeller tested off the charts at the combine, he needs to get bigger to defend the elite power forwards and centers. Zeller can run the floor well and with Kemba Walker they could be one of the fastest combos in the NBA. The Bobcats are still a strong a contender for the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes in 2014.

5.) Phoenix Suns- Alex Len Mayland

Alex Len
Alex Len

Alex Len is one of the most interesting rookies in the league because of his size and potential. In college, Len was not a dominant player averaging only 12 ppg, 8 rpg, and 2 blk. Len has the ability to block a lot of shots, but does not play good overall defense. He has bad footwork, which prohibit him from using his offensive skills and physical gifts. However, if the Suns can teach Len the correct footwork and gives him the right amount of play time, Len could turn into the star that the Suns desperately need. They are in one of the worst positions in the league because they do not have a young star or experienced veterans.

6.) New Orleans Pelicans (traded to Philadelphia 76ers) – Nerlens Noel Kentucky

Nerleons Noel
Nerleons Noel

Nerlens and a 2014 protected first round pick (1-5) were traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. By trading the Jrue Holliday, the Sixers have clearly gone into rebuild mode and also have put themselves squarely in the competition for Andrew Wiggins next year. Nerlens Noel will help the Sixer fans get over the huge disappointment of Andrew Bynum and will also provide energy and hustle to a very mediocre squad. Nerlens still needs to improve his offense and his post game but should develop into a solid starting center with a high motor.

7.) Sacramento Kings – Ben McLemore Kansas

Ben McLemore
Ben McLemore

The Kings got the steal of the draft when they drafted Ben McLemore with the 7th overall pick. Many people believed that Ben would be the number one pick overall or at least a top three pick. Unfortunately for Ben, he will end up with the Kings, one of the worst organizations in the league. McLemore is the most talented player in the draft because of his incredible athleticism and scoring potential. Last year, Ben scored 16 ppg, grabbed 5 rpg, and dished 2 apg. Ben has the best shooting stroke in the draft, which led people to believe that he could be like Ray Allen. Ben McLemore will never be a great scorer because he cannot create his own shot because of his poor ball handling.

8.) Detroit Pistons – Kentavious Caldwell Pope Georgia

Kentavious Caldwell Pope
Kentavious Caldwell Pope

KCP is a great pick for the Pistons because he has the range that makes for great shooters. At Georgia, he was forced to score and now in the NBA he won’t have that same pressure. This pick also confirms the Pistons’ plan to keep Brandon Knight as their future point guard. KCP also has the quickness to create off the dribble and use his 6’6 frame to elevate over defenders. I like this pick and I also believe KCP could be a surprise ROY.

9.) Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to the Utah Jazz) – Trey Burke Michigan

Trey Burke
Trey Burke

The 2013 player of the year in college was the best point guard in this year’s draft. The leader of the Michigan Wolverines averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Burke was lucky to be traded to the Jazz because the Wolves have too many point guards and the Jazz have a few nice big men that can help Burke grow. Burke will succeed  because of his ability to run the pick and roll with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Burke is a good defender and shooter as seen from his epic performances in the NCAA tournament. Burke may run into problems because he is only 6 foot and does not have a great shot selection. Over time, his selection will improve and he may become an All-Star in the future.

10.) Portland Trail Blazers – C.J. McCollum Lehigh

CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum

McCollum should be a great addition to the Portland backcourt with fellow mid-major draft pick Damian Lillard. CJ has the ability to create for himself and also distribute for others using his great court vision. Similarly to KCP, CJ had to carry his team by scoring points and now he has the opportunity to balance his play more as he plays with better teammates. This is another solid pick from the Blazers and the Damian/CJ backcourt is going to be deadly from 3 point range.

11.) Philadelphia 76ers – Michael Carter-Williams Syracuse

Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams

After trading away their All-Star point guard, Jrue Holiday, for Nerlens Noel and next year’s first round pick, the 76ers needed a point guard of the future. They hope that Williams will be an All-Star like Jrue Holiday. Williams is tall for a point guard, 6’5″, which allows him to see over the defense and set up his teammates. However, Michael is an inconsistent shooter, who needs to improve his offensive game if he wants to match Holiday. Many scouts are wondering if Williams can translate his skills to the next level. At Syracuse, Williams averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists. Many Syracuse point guards, Wesley Johnson and Johnny Flynn, have been unable to succeed at the next level, even though they have the physical attributes and succeeded in college.

12.) Oklahoma City Thunder – Steven Adams Pittsburgh

Steven Adams
Steven Adams

The Thunder made a solid pick here with Adams. He has the ability to defend and rebound on both the offensive and defensive glass. While he needs to improve his offensive game some as well as his free throw percentage, he is still a better option then Kendrick Perkins and could compete for the starting job. The Thunder filled a significant role and in a few years Adams could develop into a solid center.

13.) Dallas Mavericks (traded to Boston Celtics) – Kelly Olynyk Gonzaga

Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk

Olynyk plays like small forward with the size of a center. The 7 footer has the ability to handle the ball and a consistent jump shot. However, Olynyk is one of the least athletic players in the draft, who may have trouble in the NBA. Kelly was an efficient player for Gonzaga averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block. Kelly will likely play small forward because of his shooting ability. In Boston, he will have the chance to play major minutes and improve his game. Kelly is not a good rebounder and will have trouble inside against the strong and more physical players.

14.) Utah Jazz (traded to Minnesota) – Shabazz Muhammad UCLA

Shabazz Muhammad
Shabazz Muhammad

I believe the Minnesota Timberwolves found their future SF and possibly the steal of the draft. Shabazz can score which is what the TWolves need desperately. Coach Flip Saunders has already been quoted saying Shabazz will start on the bench but I firmly believe he will rise into the starting lineup. Shabazz needs to improve defensively and also learn how to differentiate good shots from bad shots. Playing with Ricky Rubio will help Shabazz score and quite possibly develop into an all-star in a few years time.

15.) Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece

 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo

The 6’10” small forward from Greece was the first foreign player off the board. Giannis looks and hopes to be the like Kevin Durant. The Bucks also hopes he will end up like Kevin Durant. Although the eighteen year old wants to come to the NBA immediately, he will probably have to return to Greece so he can improve his game and mature physically and mentally. Giannis will have to improve his jumper and ball handling ability because he is not an explosive athlete. Giannis has great length, which will make him a good defensive ball player.

16.) Boston Celtics (traded to Atlanta) – Lucas Nogueria Brazil

Lucas Nogueria
Lucas Nogueria

If the Hawks do not get their man this offseason, D12, they will need a replacement for Josh Smith. Although Lucas does not have the offensive ability of Smith. Lucas has the defensive and athleticism to replace Josh. I see Noguiera as a Javale McGee type minus the bonehead plays. With some time to develop Noguiera could turn into a defensive force.

17.) Atlanta Hawks – Dennis Schroeder Germany

Dennis Schroeder
Dennis Schroeder

Many people believe that Dennis will be a poor man’s Rajon Rondo because of his build and style. Like Rondo, he is a pass first point guard, who has a great handle of the ball. Dennis may be a better scorer than Rondo because his jumper is better than Rondo’s jumper. Since Schroeder is a young player, he makes poor decisions and throws away the ball too often. Dennis is going to be a solid defender in the league because of his lateral quickness and length. Dennis could replace Jeff Teague if they decide to let him leave during free agency.

18.) Atlanta Hawks (traded to Dallas) – Shane Larkin Miami

Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin

The Dallas are another team that is on the verge of rebuilding mode with Josh Smith as a UFA and Jeff Teague is a RFA who might not get his desired contract extension. Larkin is solid pick who can play the pick and roll and create his own shot using various step-back moves. He needs to get stronger to be able to defend the elite point guards but with time he could be a Kyle Lowry type of guard.

19.) Cleveland Cavaliers – Sergey Karasev Russia

Sergey Karasev
Sergey Karasev

Sergey, the fourth foreign player taken off the board, is a proven scorer that could provide a boost off the bench for the Cavs. Sergey wants to come to the Cavs immediately and be like his hero, Andrei Kirilenko. Sergey has a high offensive IQ that allows him to score anywhere on the court. Karasev can score by attacking the rim and shooting from the outside. However, Karasev is a subpar defender and athlete. The lack of quickness and athleticism could give Sergey problems in the NBA. If Sergey comes to the Cavs immediately, he will probably not get a lot of minutes. He will be an offensive spark off the bench.

20.) Chicago Bulls – Tony Snell New Mexico

Tony Snell
Tony Snell

While there were better 3 point shooters still available the Bulls made a nice choice in Snell. Tony was teammates with Kawhi Leonard in High School and both play similar styles. Snell can knock down the open 3 and plays lockdown defense which is key to the Tom Thibodeau system in Chicago. While I would have liked to see the Bulls draft a better shooter this is still a solid pick.

21.) Utah Jazz – Gorgui Dieng Louisville

Gorgui Dieng
Gorgui Dieng

Dieng was a major reason why the Louisville Cardinal won the 2013 NCAAB championship. Dieng was traded, along with Shabazz Muhammad, to the Minnesota for Trey Burke. He was a solid producer, 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Dieng is a great shot blocker, who can also hit a mid range jumper. Dieng may end being like Serge Ibaka because of his ability to alter shots and shoot. Dieng will be able to start for Minnesota if Pekovic leaves for free agency. Dieng will be a solid player for years to come and I wish he stayed for one for pick so the Nets could grab him.

22.) Brooklyn Nets – Mason Plumlee Duke

Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee

Instant reaction: Nooooooooo. I do not know why the Nets went after Plumlee. The Nets currently have Reggie Evans, who does the same things as Plumlee. I hope this does not prevent the Nets from signing Andray Blatche. Blatche can be a key contributor to the team. Although Mason may be a better defensive and offensive player, the Nets needed a backup point guard or small forward. The Nets should have selected Tim Hardaway Jr or Tony Mitchell. Tony Mitchell would be the ideal candidate because he is a solid defender and can shoot the three. The players who broke out this post-season, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George, all have a similar body type and attributes to Mitchell. The Nets will need a backup for Pierce since he is too old to play major minutes.

23.) Indiana Pacers – Solomon Hill Arizona

Solomon Hill
Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill is a 6’7″ small forward that will be like the Warriors Draymond Green. Hill was successful in Arizona averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Hill will play behind George or Granger. He will be a solid back up that can do anything when he is on the court.

24.) New York Knicks – Tim Hardaway Jr. Michigan

Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr.

No. Tim Hardaway Jr is not as good as his dad but could be a very valuable pick for the Knicks. Hardaway can knock down 3s with relative ease but still needs to improve on the dribble drive aspect of his game as well as his defensive mentality. Since JR Smith is a free agent this year it seems like Hardaway Jr could fill JR’s role on the team. This is a solid pick for the Knicks filling a critical scoring need off the bench.

25.) Los Angeles Clippers – Reggie Bullock UNC

Reggie Bullock
Reggie Bullock

Bullock will be a solid role player for the Clippers. He is a good three point shooter that can spread the floor. As seen in the finals, three point specialists are in high demand and can alter an entire series. Last year, he shot 44 percent from three. Bullock is 6’7″, which means that he will be able to get his shoot off easier than other smaller players. Bullock is an okay defender who tries hard. Reggie will fit with the Clippers because they need youth and energy on their bench, which he can provide. Bullock will probably end up being like a Shane Battier in the latter stages of his career.

26.) Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to OKC) – Andre Roberson

Andre Roberson
Andre Roberson

Roberson is small for a PF but has a niche that will suit him well in the NBA, rebounding. As Pat Riley once said “No rebounds, No Rings” and Roberson could be a key to a OKC  title run. While Roberson is limited offensively, he stays in his lane and does his job well. I see him having a Reggie Evans type career, which on the right team is very important.

27.) Denver Nuggets (traded to Jazz) – Rudy Gobert France

Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert

In one of the worst trades of the night, Rudy Gobert end up in Utah for practically nothing. The center from France has the longest reach of any player who went to he NBA draft combine. Rudy’s standing reach is 9’7″. To put in perspective, the rim is 10′ off of the ground… Due to his great size and hands, he is great at protecting the rim, alley-oops, and tapping the ball into the basket. He is a solid defender who can block shots as well as guard the pick and roll effectively. Rudy needs to put more go to the workout room and gain more strength. He is constantly pushed around because of his light frame. He needs a few years to develop, but Rudy could one day be the defensive player of the year.

28.) San Antonio Spurs – Livio Jean-Charles French Guinea

Livio Jean-Charles
Livio Jean-Charles

Livio Jean-Charles might be a typical European-stash pick who could come to the NBA in a couple of years. The Spurs have had great success with international players and maybe Jean-Charles could be the same. He needs to improve his long range shooting to stay in the league but seems to have the fundamentals that Coach Pop loves in his players. A solid late round pick for the Spurs.

29.) Oklahoma City Thunder (traded to Suns) – Archie Goodwin Kentucky

Archie Goodwin
Archie Goodwin

Archie Goodwin was the star of a poor Kentucky basketball team, averaging 14.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. Archie Goodwin was once believed to be a top ten pick at the beginning of the year. Goodwin is an outstanding athlete that can attack the basket at will. Goodwin needs to improve his decision making and jumper if he wants to be a solid contributor in the league. The Suns need more talent and Goodwin can fill their needs. Goodwin will be a good defender because of his athleticism and length. Also he is a solid rebounder. He will form a good tandem with Len.

30.) Phoenix Suns (traded to Warriors) – Nemanja Nedovic Serbia

Nemanja Nedovic
Nemanja Nedovic

Fran Fraschilla, an ESPN analyst on international players said Nedovic is a “European Derrick Rose”. While I find that comparison outrageous, Nemanja does have some athletic ability. With Jarret Jack approaching free agency, the Warriors need a sure backup PG and Nedovic fits. He will never be Derrick Rose but he could be a solid backup for his career. This is a good pick for a Warrior team that is on the rise.

Stats from ESPN.com

2013 NBA Mock Draft Lottery Selections (1-14)

By: Evan

1.) Cleveland Cavaliers- SF Otto Porter Georgetown

Otto Porter
Otto Porter

Why: After LeBron James left in the summer of 2010, the Cavs have tried to fill the position with role players who have not panned out. The list includes CJ Miles and newly acquired Marresse Speights, who are solid role players but not capable starters. Porter is super fundamental player who lacks a real significant weakness in his game, but could use improvement in all areas. With the addition of Porter the Cavs can develop one of the youngest and most promising starting lineups in the NBA.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Paul George Worst Case Scenario: Tayshaun Prince

2013-2014 Projected Starters:

PG Kyrie Irving (21)

SG Dion Waiters (21)

SF Otto Porter (20)

PF Tristan Thompson (22)

C    Anderson Varejao (30)

 

2.) Orlando Magic- SG Ben Mclemore Kansas

Ben Mclemore
Ben Mclemore

Why: The Orlando Magic is in desperate need of a young scorer. Ding Ding Ding. I found the answer in 6’6 Ben Mclemore, the sharpshooter from Kansas. While the Magic do need a young point guard to run the show, there have been trade rumors with the Clippers about the flagrantly underused and extremely gifted Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Arron Affalo. If this trade were to happen the Magic would upgrade at two critical positions in rebuilding phase.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Ray Allen Worst Case: More athletic Kyle Korver

2013-2014 Projected Starters:

PG: Eric Bledsoe (Pending Trade) (23)

SG: Ben Mclemore (20)

SF: Tobias Harris (20)

PF: Glen Davis (27)

C: Nikola Vucevic (22)

 

3.) Washington Wizards- PF/SF Anthony Bennett UNLV

Anthony Bennett
Anthony Bennett

Why: In my opinion, Anthony Bennett is the most talented player and the best player in this draft. He has an NBA body at 6’7 240 and 7’1 wingspan. In simple terms the man is huge. He can take smaller players in the post and step out and make jumpers against bigs. But herein lies the problem, many people worry about where Bennett will play, the 3 or the 4 also known as a tweener. But John Wall has been quoted as saying “We need a 4 who can pick and pop”. Bennett fits right in. The Wizards also need to appease Wall, who is a Restricted Free Agent who wants a max contract, so listening to your franchise player might be a good thing.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Mix of Larry Johnson/ Zach Randolph Worst Case Scenario: Poor Man’s Shawn Kemp

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: John Wall (22)

SG: Bradley Beal (19-about to be 20)

SF: Trevor Ariza (27)

PF: Anthony Bennett (20)

C: Nene (30)

 

4.) Charlotte Bobcats- SG Victor Oladipo Indiana

Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo

Why: The Bobcats need help about everywhere but Oladipo is a step in the right direction. Oladipo can defend with the best and his offense has improved significantly but it still needs work. Oladipo is a great athlete who uses his speed to drive and finish near the rim. Most importantly he is a team-oriented player who sees winning as the only option, a similar attitude to the owner of the lowly Bobcats, Michael Jordan.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Poor man’s Dwyane Wade Worst Case Scenario: Tony Allen

 

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Kemba Walker (23)

SG: Victor Oladipo (21)

SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (19)

PF: Byron Mullens (24)

C: Bismack Biyombo (20)

 

5.) Phoenix Suns- C Nerlens Noel Kentucky

Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel

Why: Frankly the Suns are looking forward to the loaded 2014 draft to find a franchise player. Noel is a project who needs to recover from a torn ACL and the Suns are known for their medical staff. Noel might not even play this season but could contribute in 2014-2015 and provide a defensive presence in the paint.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Tyson Chandler Worst Case Scenario: Larry Sanders

 

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Goran Dragic (27)

SG: PJ Tucker (28)

SF: Jared Dudley (27)

PF: Luis Scola (33)

C: Marcin Gortat (29)

 

6.) New Orleans Pelicans- PG Trey Burke Michigan

Trey Burke
Trey Burke

Why: The Pelicans are young, but they need a scoring PG and a team leader. Burke is exactly that. While he is small, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and is not afraid to lead. He can score off the pick and roll, the cornerstone of the NBA and with Anthony Davis the duo could be lethal.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario Poor man’s Chris Paul Worst Case Scenario: Mike Conley Jr.

2013-2014 Projected Lineup

PG: Trey Burke (20)

SG: Austin Rivers (20)

SF: Eric Gordon (24)

PF: Anthony Davis (20)

C: Robin Lopez (25)

7.) Sacramento Kings- SF Shabazz Muhammad UCLA

Shabazz Muhammed
Shabazz Muhammad

Why: Shabazz has already visited the Kings twice for workouts and the Kings need perimeter scoring. While Shabazz is a great scorer, his other abilities are limited making him a little one-dimensional. He has also had some character issues including a false birth certificate which said he was 19 not 20. But in this draft scoring is hard to come by and Shabazz fits.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Poor man’s James Harden Worst Case Scenario: Manu Ginobili (Not 2013 Final edition)

 

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Isaiah Thomas (24)

SG: Tyreke Evans  (23)

SF: Shabazz Muhammad (20)

PF: Jason Thompson (26)

C: DeMarcus Cousins (22)

 

8.) Detroit Pistons- PG/SG CJ McCollum Lehigh

CJ Mccollum
CJ McCollum

Why: The Pistons need to decide who there PG of the future is and CJ is the answer. McCollum can shoot from anywhere and can create off the dribble. You might remember CJ from the monumental upset of Duke in the 2012 NCAA Draft. The only worrisome aspect of CJ’s game is the level of competition played at Lehigh. I personally don’t believe that where you go to school has a factor on your promise as an NBA player, case and point Damian Lillard.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario Poor man’s Stephen Curry Worst Case Scenario: J.R Smith

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Jose Calderon (31)

SG: Brandon Knight  (21)

SF: Kyle Singler (25)

PF: Greg Monroe (23)

C: Andre Drummond (19)

 

9.) Minnesota Timberwolves- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Georgia

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Why: Minnesota needs perimeter shooting to stretch the opposing defenses. Kentavious has the range to do so. He is also very quick and can create for himself off the dribble. Playing with Kevin Love will take the pressure off Kentavious to be the lead scorer and allow him to flourish as a secondary option.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Klay Thompson Worst Case Scenario: Jamal Crawford

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Ricky Rubio (22)

SG: Luke Ridnour  (32)

SF: Derrick Williams (22)

PF: Kevin Love (24)

C: Nikola Pekovic (27)

 

10.) Portland Trail Blazers- C Steven Adams Pittsburgh

Steven Adams
Steven Adams

Why: Portland needs a fundamental, defensive center just like Adams who can protect the rim. While Adams needs to develop a respectable post game, he is a good solid value pick in an average draft.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Omer Asik Worst Case Scenario: Fab Melo

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Damian Lillard (22)

SG: Wesley Matthews (26)

SF: Nicolas Batum (24)

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge (27)

C: Steven Adams (19)

11.) Philadelphia 76ers- C Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller

Why: The Sixers were one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last season. This disappointment stemmed from the loss of Andrew Bynum to season-ending knee surgery. Zeller is athletic enough to run the floor well and he can also score from the outside. He could also play a little pick and pop with rising star Jrue Holliday, forming a dynamic 1-2 punch for Philly’s home squad. The one glaring weakness in Zeller’s game is his defense as he was pounded by bigger and stronger players in college. With some more muscle, Zeller could be the steal of this draft.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: LaMarcus Aldridge Worst Case Scenario: Andray Blatche

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Jrue Holliday (23)

SG: Evan Turner (24)

SF: Thaddeus Young (25)

PF: Cody Zeller (20)

C: Spencer Hawes (25)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder- C Alex Len Maryland

Alex Len

Why: Alex Len has the highest possibility of either being picked #1 or falling out of the lottery. He has a tremendous upside, some post moves and is a tremendous presence on the glass. The Thunder’s glaring weakness last season was post scoring as Kendrick Perkins is clearly inept and deserves the amnesty clause this summer. While Len would aid some of the Thunder’s problems, he needs to establish a go to move in the post as well as a right hand move. GM Scott Presti has been great on his draft selections and Len at 12 is about as good as it gets in this draft.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Roy Hibbert Worst Case Scenario: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Russell Westbrook (24)

SG: Jeremy Lamb (21)

SF: Kevin Durant (24)

PF: Serge Ibaka (23)

C: Alex Len (20)

13. Dallas Mavericks- SF Sergey Karasev

Sergey Karasev

Why: There is an extremely high chance this pick gets traded to a rebuilding team as owner Mark Cuban wants to empty cap space to land a big time free agent. If they keep the pick this could be a Euro-stash pick, where the player stays in his current league and then his contract rights can be purchased. Karasev is very young at 19 and has a nice ceiling, but he still needs time to develop in Russia.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Toni Kukoc Worst Case Scenario: Mirza Teletovic

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Darren Collison (25)

SG: OJ Mayo(Pending FA)/Jared Cunnigham

SF: Vince Carter (36)

PF: Dirk Nowitzki (35)

C: Bernard James (28)

14. Utah Jazz- PG Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams

Why: The Utah Jazz desperately need a young point guard of the future to lead the franchise. MCW is an extremely gifted athlete, standing 6 feet 6 inches tall with extremely long arms and tremendous court vision who could lead he Jazz for years to come. Michael desperately needs to work on developing a consistent jump shot to succeed in the NBA, but with time he could become an solid to all-star caliber PG.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Taller Rajon Rondo Worst Case Scenario: Shaun Livingston

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Michael Carter Williams (21)

SG: Gordon Hayward (23)

SF: Marvin Williams (27)

PF: Derrick Favors (21)

C: Enes Kanter (21)

Other potential players that could be selected in the lottery:

Shane Larkin PG Miami

Kelly Olynk C Gonzaga

Dennis Schroeder PG Germany