The second round of the 2013 NBA playoffs is in full swing, but 22 teams are on the outside looking in and scheming of ways to make a run next season.
Whether improvement happens via coaching change, free agency acquisitions or draft prospects, there are plenty of ways to get better in the offseason.
This piece is going to focus on the latter, as the upcoming draft is the main way most organizations will look to fill holes on the roster and build hope for the future.
Let’s take a look at the complete first round of the draft, as it looks prior to the lottery, which includes plenty of quick-hitting analysis for each pick.
1. Orlando Magic: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
While the Magic could most use a point guard, they have a chance to solidify their frontcourt for the foreseeable future by adding Noel.
Nikola Vucevic has developed into a legit 5, meaning Noel and his shot-blocking capabilities and athleticism would be a perfect compliment at the 4.
The UK star has plenty to work on when it comes to offense, but his non-stop motor makes him a safe bet to pan out on that end of the floor.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The Bobcats need to bring in a franchise scorer that can help take some of the load off Kemba Walker.
McLemore may not be ready to become the top option, but once he improves his consistency, this young man’s reliable three-point shot and ability to slash to the basket should make him a star.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Porter is the perfect pick for the Cavs, as the team direly needs a 3 that can make open shots, defend the top perimeter threats, clean the glass and do the little things to help them become contenders next season.
The Hoyas product can do all that well and doesn’t need to worry about scoring on a regular basis, with Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving handling those responsibilities and leaving the open looks for Porter.
4. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Bennett is a tweener that should be able to play the 3 and 4 reliably at the next level. He is strong enough to muscle his way into the paint and get boards as a PF, while quick enough to defend the SF and has range out to the three-point line.
Aside from PG, the Suns have needs all over the floor and Bennett’s versatility would make for a great choice at No. 4.
5. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
It’s going to be extremely hard for the Pelicans to pass on Burke if he’s still sitting here, even with Greivis Vasquez developing into one of the best passers in the league.
Burke brings winning intangibles and a special flare for the dramatic that Vasquez just doesn’t possess. The Michigan star could platoon with the incumbent PG and there’s even room for both to be on the floor at the same time.
6. Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Oladipo’s attitude and ability to impact a game without the ball in his hands makes him the ideal pick for Sacramento in this draft.
While the team has plenty of guards and ball-dominant forwards, this Hoosiers product plays with infectious energy and dominates on the defensive end. That is exactly the sort of mentality this slumping squad needs.
7. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
Muhammad’s stock took a dip after his true age was discovered, but the Pistons are so desperate for production on the wing that they should disregard the UCLA product's limited upside and remove him from the board here at No. 7.
After giving up Tayshaun Prince in the Rudy Gay trade back in January, there is a clear need for a scoring small forward on this roster. Muhammad may even wind up becoming a 20-plus PPG scorer in the near future.
8. Washington Wizards: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len is going to miss pre-draft workouts (and possibly more) after undergoing ankle surgery that will sideline him for the next four to six months.
He’s still a worthwhile selection in such a weak draft class, as the big man possesses some of the best low-post moves I’ve seen in years. Len has to become more dominant and confident, but his upside is worth taking a gamble on—even with this latest injury.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
The T-Wolves have long been searching for a productive, young 2 that can play off Ricky Rubio in the backcourt.
They could finally find their man in McCollum, who is versatile enough to play the 1, but should excel either as a starter or coming off the bench to man the off-guard spot and putting up a high volume of shots.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Zeller is an NBA-ready big man that can run the floor well and finish around the hoop with ease.
He may never become a star due to his limited athleticism and low ceiling, but the Blazers are looking to make a leap next season and need to bolster their bench. Adding an immediately productive big like Zeller will help accomplish that goal.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
After Andrew Bynum’s latest escapades, it seems that the Sixers can no longer afford to even consider keeping the big man on their roster.
It opens the door for Olynyk, who is an extremely skilled scorer that can play with his back to the basket or facing up. He may be limited in terms of athleticism and defensive capabilities, but his size and offensive prowess make him a slam-dunk selection for Philly.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto): Rudy Gobert, C, France
The Thunder hasn’t received the best production from the 5 lately, as Kendrick Perkins has been solid but unspectacular since being traded from the Boston back in 2011.
Gobert could change that, as the 7’1” behemoth with a 7’9” wingspan is capable of becoming a game-changer. It’s going to take some more time to develop him overseas, but the Thunder can continue succeeding without bringing the Frenchman to American soil before he’s ready.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
The Mavericks are stuck at a point where they aren’t terrible enough to bottom out but aren’t seriously contending for a championship.
That means that owner Mark Cuban should be willing to make a splash and draft a high-upside, high-risk international prospect like Saric. The young Croatian is one of the best passers and intriguing players in the class, but he may not be ready to jump to the NBA for a few seasons.
If he does make that leap, he could quickly become one of the better players and immediately help turn the fortunes of this franchise around.
14. Utah Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
The Jazz have to acquire a guard that can help feed the young, productive bigs on this roster and set them up in position to score.
Carter-Williams is the top facilitator in the draft and has elite, 6’6” size to help Utah on defense. He’s not going to impact the game with his scoring ability or impressive handle, but that could come in time.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece
Much like the Mavs, the Bucks have been lingering in the late lottery or earning a low seed in the postseason, meaning they need to take a chance on a potential superstar.
Adetokunbo is an international man of mystery that can apparently handle the rock like a point guard, pass with great efficiency and do many of the things that normal 6’9” players just can’t pull off.
However, the “Greek Freak” is extremely raw and facing weak competition right now, so it remains to be seen what position he’ll play or if he’s even capable of stepping up against the sort of defensive matchups he’ll face in the NBA.
16. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Boston was forced to rely on Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett as the only two true, reliable bigs on the roster come the postseason.
That has to change, so adding a young, athletic talent that can step up in big games—as Dieng did in the national championship—is imperative for the C’s. This Louisville star has a lot to learn on the offensive end, but being mentored by KG would do wonders for his development.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke
The Hawks are likely going to undergo some significant change in free agency, but they could always use a high-energy, hustle player like Plumlee.
This blue-collar star brought his lunch pail to every game the Blue Devils played in during his college career, helping them to become one of the more successful squads due to his rebounding skills and ability to generate extra possessions.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
If the Hawks can develop Adams into a defensive-minded center with a rough but effective back-to-the-basket game, they could move Al Horford to his natural 4 spot and force the opposing defenders to spread out.
It’s going to take a few years for Adams to reach that point, but at this point in the draft, the risk is well worth it.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Lakers): Glen Rice Jr., SF, D-League
Rice could become the first player to get selected out of the D-League, as things didn’t work out at Georgia Tech for this swingman with an NBA pedigree.
As a prospect, this young man is an elite scorer that can also rebound and pass well for his position. There’s nothing for the Cavs to lose and they could get an immediate bench contributor in return for this pick.
20. Chicago Bulls: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
All Chicago will need from the 2 spot next season is an elite shooter that has the athleticism required to defend the top guards in the league.
Caldwell-Pope possesses both of those attributes and would make for a top-notch shooter and defender in the Bulls’ system.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
While Utah has traditionally been reluctant to embrace the three-point shooting aspect of the game, the franchise is eventually going to have to start popping some long-range shots due to the direction this league is going.
Karasev is a Russian sniper that can hit from anywhere on the court and can fill up the points column on the stat sheet in a hurry. He has an NBA-ready stroke and should be able to come off the Jazz bench to contribute significant minutes as early as next season.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
The Nets would love to bolster the frontcourt by adding a stout center that can rebound and defend the position well.
Withey would compliment Brook Lopez well and allow the scoring big man to get a breather now and then without missing a beat on defense—while also improving Brooklyn’s rebounding and shot-blocking rate when he’s out there.
23. Indiana Pacers: Alex Abrines, SG, Spain
Abrines is a high-upside guard that could wind up paying dividends for the Pacers late in the draft.
Since Indiana’s roster is so deep, the team can afford to let this Spaniard develop overseas and bring him over when he is ready. He’s already showing flashes as a solid shooter, nifty passer and overall offensive force.
24. New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
Should the Knicks lose Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith in free agency, they will have a gaping hole to fill off the bench as a secondary scorer behind Carmelo Anthony.
Hardaway Jr. could immediately help ease the loss of Smith, as he’s a three-point marksman that isn’t afraid to pull up from anywhere on the court. Much like J.R., this Michigan standout is extremely streaky, but can light it up when he’s feeling it and getting his shot to fall consistently.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis): Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
Franklin will provide insurance behind McCollum, who the T-Wolves’ took earlier in this mock.
He’s an athletic freak that has to hone his jumper before becoming an NBA rotation player.
26. Los Angeles Clippers: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
With Chris Paul set to hit the open market and Eric Bledsoe involved in numerous trade rumors, the Clippers have to shore up the PG position in the draft.
Schroeder lit it up at the Nike Hoops Summit and is an extremely capable drive-and-dish type player that can finish well at the rim and pass it out to open teammates.
27. Denver Nuggets: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky
The Nuggets would love to inject their lineup with even more youth and athleticism, while also being deep enough to send Goodwin down to the D-League to work on his jumper and iron out his reckless ball-handling issues.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
The Spurs could always use another accurate jump shooter to space the floor and open things up for the aging Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
Crabbe will be able to come off screens and fire away on open looks or sit out on the corner and force his man to make a difficult decision on whether or not to leave him in order to provide help.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas
With Russell Westbrook going down for the playoffs, Reggie Jackson has assumed the starting PG duties and the aging Derek Fisher is assisting in limited minutes.
The Thunder could take out another insurance policy by bringing in Kabongo, a pass-first specialist that plays a lot like Rajon Rondo.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami): Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas
Mitchell never panned out as the scorer many projected him to be, but this hyper-athletic prospect can defend either forward position and rebound well for his size.
If he ever brings along his scoring ability, he could be the steal of the draft for the points-starved Suns.
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