Big Board: Smart's run for No. 1

Ranking the top 30 NBA draft prospects for 2013

Originally Published: March 13, 2013
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Marcus SmartBrendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsOklahoma State's Marcus Smart has hovered in the draft class' top 5 all season.

For the first time in a month, our Big Board is starting to stabilize a bit at the top.

After the top three, everything is pretty wide open. Although GMs still bemoan the lack of star power at the top of the draft, we've been saying for months that there's actually a lot of depth in this draft, and our Big Board emphasizes that.

Want a player who can turn around your team tomorrow? This isn't the draft for you. Want someone who could contribute for a decade? There are a lot of choices.

With the conference tournaments this week and March Madness right around the corner, there is still plenty of time to make major leaps up (or down) the board.

So here it is … our fifth Big Board of 2013.

Ben McLemore
SCHOOL: Kansas
HT/WT: 6-5, 195
16.7 PPG
5.3 RPG
2.1 APG

McLemore continues to be a bit hit or miss, but when he's on … wow. His 36-point game against West Virginia last week was a model of efficiency. He shot 12-for-15 from the field, 5-for-6 from 3. And despite a blowout loss to Baylor, McLemore at least took 16 shots in that game and ended the game with 23 points. The biggest issue for McLemore is his inability to really go out and get his own shot. But if he ever figures that out, those Ray Allen comps don't seem too bad.


Nerlens Noel
SCHOOL: Kentucky
HT/WT: 6-11, 215
10.5 PPG
9.5 RPG
4.4 BPG

Noel underwent surgery on his torn ACL on Tuesday. Famed NBA surgeon James Andrews performed the surgery. Although Andrews' credentials speak for themselves, the choice of Andrews also signaled to NBA teams that Noel was picking a surgeon all 30 GMs in the league have on speed dial. Assuming the rehab goes well, Noel continues to be a likely top-three pick and still has a shot at going No. 1 overall.


To see the rest of Chad Ford's Big Board of the top 30 NBA prospects, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider