The 2013 NBA combine and draft lottery are rapidly approaching, so it’s a perfect time to once again arrange the top 30 prospects in the nation and overseas onto the latest big board.
There haven’t been many major changes at the top, largely due to the fact that there have been zero collegiate games played in over a month now. However, there is some significant movement due to injury and international showcases near the bottom portion of the rankings.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these prospects, how they measure up and where they’ve moved on the big board since last week.
Last week’s big board can be found here. Please note this is not a mock draft, but an overall ranking based on grade. Grade for each prospect is based on athletic ability, production in college (or overseas), measurements and NBA projections on a curve.
No. 1: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky (Remains No. 1)
Noel is firmly entrenched as the top pick on the big board.
Barring a setback in his recovery from an ACL injury or another major, unforeseen revelation, this shot-blocking, hyper-athletic big man will come off the board within the first two picks.
No. 2: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas (Remains No. 2)
McLemore is an elite scoring prospect who could eventually carry a team offensively.
Unfortunately, the Jayhawks star is prone to long bouts of inconsistency and doesn’t seem to have his motor going full speed. If he can find a way to turn things on with regularity, he’ll be well worth a top-five selection.
No. 3: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown (Remains No. 3)
Porter’s only glaring flaw is his inability to generate a ton of points in a hurry and shoulder the scoring load.
Aside from that, he can guard multiple positions with fervor, bang for boards on both ends of the floor, facilitate, knock down wide-open shots from anywhere on the court and bring some much-needed energy and hustle on every possession.
No. 4: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV (Up from No. 6)
Bennett will not be able to contribute to any pre-draft activities due to injury, but that shouldn’t hurt the UNLV product’s stock when all is said and done.
He’s a tweener who can contribute at the 3 by guarding the position, hitting the long ball and slashing to the rim, while also manning the 4 due to his immense strength and athleticism.
No. 5: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan (Down from No. 4)
Burke’s a top-notch point guard prospect who will immediately impact the team that drafts him.
Not only is he a great facilitator and scoring guard, but the Michigan star is also a proven winner who brings rare intangibles to the position.
No. 6: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana (Down from No. 5)
Oladipo can influence a game with his defense and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to help a club win.
His infectious energy and relentless hustle will make him a major contributor for a number of teams that are selecting in the lottery in 2013.
No. 7: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh (Up from No. 9)
McCollum’s sweet shooting will make him a top-10 pick in this draft.
While the Lehigh star may not have prototypical height at the 2, he will provide a ton of offensive options coming off the bench or starting for stretches. His defense will impact how much time he can truly be on the floor for.
No. 8: Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse (Up from No. 9)
Carter-Williams is the best facilitator in the class and has insane height at 6’6”.
However, his poor handles and inconsistent jump shot are currently limiting his upside, so hopefully he can improve in these areas with some NBA coaching and a professional regiment this summer.
No. 9: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA (Down from No. 7)
Muhammad may not project as much more than a pure scorer—especially after his true age was discovered—but he does that one thing very well.
There are plenty of organizations selecting in the draft that need someone to generate buckets on the roster, making Muhammad a steal at the back end of the lottery.
No. 10: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga (Remains No. 10)
The ‘Zags big man has concerns about his athleticism and defensive capabilities at the next level, but he’s a proven scorer who will make a positive impact in the Association.
Any team seeking a center would be downright foolish to pass this guy up, as he has the skills to be in contention to get selected inside the top 10.
No. 11: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville (Up from No. 12)
Dieng continues to steadily climb up the big board, as he’s remained healthy this offseason and his performance in the national championship game continues to look better and better.
While this young man is raw offensively, he’s a machine on the boards and is great at protecting the rim. Dieng’s upside makes him worthy of lottery consideration.
No. 12: Alex Len, C, Maryland (Down from No. 11)
Len may drop a bit now that he’s sidelined due to ankle surgery, but the Maryland big man shouldn’t fall outside the top 14.
The Terps’ star had a chance to push his stock through the roof and put his name in the discussion for the potential top pick, but instead could slip because of the lack of participation in pre-draft events.
No. 13: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia (Remains No. 13)
Saric is the top international player in this draft, although he may be a few years away from actually contributing in the NBA.
He’s a lengthy swingman with elite passing skills, a high basketball I.Q. and plenty of upside as a scorer. However, the 19-year-old has to bulk up and show more consistency against top-flight competition before making the leap.
No. 14: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia (Remains No.14)
Caldwell-Pope is a prototypical off-guard who can shoot threes, defend his position, slash to the rim and create his own shot.
He’s going to be a steal at the end of the lottery into the middle of the first round, as there just aren’t many great young shooting guards in the league. KCP could wind up being one of the best ones out there when all is said and done.
No. 15: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana (Remains No. 15)
Zeller’s ceiling is significantly lower than some of these other bigs, but he’s NBA-ready in the sense that he can run the floor well and finish around the hoop with his soft touch.
For a team that is a piece or two away from contending, this Hoosiers star is a perfect pick.
No. 16: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas (Up from No. 17)
Withey isn’t going to blow anyone away with his offensive skills, but he will be able to carve out a long NBA career due to his defensive capabilities, rim-protection and shot-blocking.
There is a lack of skilled seven-footers in the NBA, making Withey a real commodity in this class.
No. 17: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke (Down from No. 16)
Plumlee is a blue-collar big who will help out a contending team by doing the little things.
Whether he’s cleaning the offensive glass, diving into the stands for loose balls or relentlessly hounding his man on defense, this Blue Devils star will find a way to get minutes and win in the pros.
No. 18: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia (Up from No. 19)
The Russian sniper is quickly moving up the big board, as he’s capable of hitting any shot on the floor and stretching the defense.
His shooting skills will translate seamlessly from the international game over to the NBA, which is why there should be no concern about selecting Karasev in the mid-to-late first round.
No. 19: Glen Rice Jr., SG, D-League (Up from No. 20)
Rice is an intriguing prospect who could become the first D-Leaguer selected in the first round of the NBA draft, potentially opening up the floodgates for other players to start their career in the NBA’s version of the minors.
He’s a silky smooth swingman who can play either the 2 or 3 and has shown the ability to score, rebound and pass at an above-average level for both positions.
No. 20: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany (Up from No. 21)
Schroeder put himself on the map at the Nike Hoops Summit and now should be one of the top point guards off the board this June.
He possesses a perfect combination of height, speed, penetrating ability and facilitating skills that will make him an asset when he makes it over to American shores.
No. 21: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan (Up from No. 22)
Hardaway Jr. is a relentless shooter who can be a bit streaky at times, but when he’s hot, he’s going to torch the opposition.
If he can nail down his shot selection and improve his handle, the Michigan man will be making waves coming off somebody’s bench.
No. 22: Allen Crabbe, SG, California (Down from No. 23)
Crabbe is another streaky gunner who can win games by himself from beyond the arc—but only when he’s feeling it.
There’s plenty of room in the league for someone who can come off screens and pop open looks, or sit out on the corner and burn teams that have defenders leave him to provide help.
No. 23: Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece (Up from No. 24)
The “Greek Freak” may be one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects we’ve seen in years.
He could wind up becoming some insane superstar with point guard skills in a small forward’s body, or a bust that never even makes it to the NBA after being drafted. It seems everything is currently in play concerning this young man’s future.
No. 24: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas (Up from No. 25)
Kabongo is the type of point guard that makes everyone around him better and teammates love to play with.
He’s a drive-and-dish type that is reluctant—sometimes to a fault—to put up his own shot. However, if he catches on with the right team, this kid could become an instant contributor.
No. 25: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil (Unranked last week)
Nogueira has been anything but consistent during his international career, but the big man is an elite defender with a high ceiling.
Deeper teams looking to take a gamble and develop his skills outside the NBA can hope that he pans out. Otherwise, the loss won’t be too great at the end of the first round.
No. 26: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State (Down from No. 18)
Franklin is one of the better athletes in this class, but outside of that, he’s extremely raw.
He has to craft his jumper into something reliable and work on doing more than just playing above the rim, as he won’t be able to do that with as much ease at the next level.
No. 27: Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas (Remains No. 27)
Mitchell has been a disappointment as a scorer, but he’s a panned out as a rebounding forward capable of defending both the 4 and 5.
If he ever reaches his peak as a scorer, this Mean Green star will be the steal of the draft.
No. 28: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky (Up from No. 29)
Goodwin is a shooting guard who cannot shoot and dribbles with his head down at a reckless speed.
If he can fix those glaring issues, he has a chance to become a serviceable NBA player—especially with his athleticism and upside.
No. 29: Steve Adams, C, Pittsburgh (Down from No. 28)
Adams is years away from contributing, but he can conceivably play some one-on-one defense with the best big men in the game.
If he ever develops an offensive game, there could be a future in the league for this young man.
No. 30: Rudy Gobert, PF, France (Remains No. 30)
Gobert is a huge body with extremely long arms and nothing much else going for him.
He has to work on everything before he is able to come stateside and make an impact.
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