We still don’t know the lottery draft order, so I went with the odds for the first 14 picks. Keep in mind that this is just the first of many updated mock drafts to come, so you should expect to see some changes as we get closer to draft day (and once the draft order becomes finalized). Let’s do it.
1. Orlando – Trey Burke Michigan PG
Jameer Nelson is no longer a young player and it’s time for the Magic to start looking for his replacement. Burke may or may not be the best point guard in the draft, and while it may be a stretch to take him at No. 1, I could see the Magic doing so if they’re lucky enough to get the pick. Burke’s performance in the NCAA tournament was a great boost to his draft stock.
2. Charlotte – Nerlens Noel Kentucky C
Noel could easily end up being the No. 1 pick, depending on who wins the lottery. But the Magic already have their big man of the future in Nikola Vucevic, while the Bobcats probably wouldn’t mind an upgrade on offensively challenged Bismack Biyombo. This pick makes perfect sense, even though he’s coming off an ACL tear.
3. Cleveland – Anthony Bennett UNLV F
The Cavs have been looking for a small forward ever since youknowwho left, and Bennett looks like the best one in this draft. The downside is he's a bit of a 'tweener, not fitting the mold of a true small or power forward, and he could end up being injury prone. But he does enough on both ends of the floor to be lock for the lottery, despite the concerns. If he ends up in Cleveland, he could end up playing small forward, while his game and body might be better suited for small forward in the NBA.
4. Phoenix – Victor Oladipo Indiana SG
The Suns have all kinds of needs but shooting guard is an obvious problem, as they didn’t seem to fall in love with Jared Dudley or P.J. Tucker this season. Oladipo could end up being the steal of the draft, and possibly help point the Suns franchise in the right direction. Regardless of where he ends up, Oladipo should be an early front-runner for Rookie of the Year.
5. New Orleans – Cody Zeller Indiana F/C
The Hornets appear to be set at PG (Greivis Vasquez), SG (Eric Gordon) and PF (Anthony Davis/Ryan Anderson), but they could use a center or small forward other than Robin Lopez and Al-Farouq Aminu. Maybe they will grab a SF like Shabazz Muhammad or Otto Porter here, but if teams aren’t scared off by Zeller’s ugly NCAA performance, he could easily go at No. 5 in this draft.
6. Sacramento – Otto Porter Georgetown SF
The Kings have been looking for a small forward for a long time and John Salmons isn’t the answer. They’ll have their choice of Porter or Shabazz Muhammad here, but I think Porter is going to be the better pro, given his skill sets on both ends of the floor.
7. Detroit – Shabazz Muhammad UCLA SF
Kyle Singler may or may not be the future starting small forward of the future for the Pistons and they’re set with big men and have young Brandon Knight at point guard. They could look shooting guard here, but could also use a small forward. Scouts are leery of Muhammad’s bball IQ and lack of assists, but if he can perform well in workouts and say the right things, he could end up going at No. 7.
8. Washington – Alex Len Maryland C
The Wizards are set at the guard spots until further notice with John Wall and Bradley Beal locked up, while Emeka Okafor could be on his last legs. The Wiz also have needs at both forward spots, but do have Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker to hold down the fort, if Nene is about to shut it down. Len is a solid two-way center and looks like a fairly logical choice for the Wizards, but they could decide to turn Kevin Seraphin loose and go for a small forward instead.
9. Minnesota – Ben McLemore Kansas SG
Given the Wolves’ apparent need at SG (Luke Ridnour, Alexey Shved, Malcolm Lee), McLemore is a shot maker and the Wolves could certainly use one of those. He could end up starting as a rookie and his athleticism should make him a fun player to watch in the NBA, but my guess is the Wolves would prefer to see Victor Oladipo available here instead, as he has enough talent to possibly save David Kahn’s job, if he still has it on draft day.
10. Portland – Rudy Gobert France PF
It sounds like PF/C J.J. Hickson won’t be back with the Blazers next season and they can play LaMarcus Aldridge at either big-man position. Gobert has a massive 7’9” wingspan and moves very well for a guy standing 7’2”. He should be able to clean the glass and play well enough offensively to make an immediate impact in the league. If the Blazers do take him, he’ll have to hope that the curse on their centers is over.