2013 NBA Mock Draft 7.3
With Cleveland looking to move, a final look at each pick before the draft
Editor's note: The mock draft has been updated as of 7:15 p.m. ET.
Happy draft day. This year I think the NBA has something really crazy in store for all of us.
In the 11 years I've been doing this, this is the most unpredictable draft I've ever seen.
Like every year, as of midnight a number of teams reported they still were debating between three or four prospects on their board. Agents and players are wringing their hands right now. No one knows who's going where.
So the draft should be fun. And the mock draft? It's hard to pinpoint who teams will take when they haven't decided yet, but we're going to try. And then try again a little later in the day. And they try again right before the draft.
After talking to numerous NBA team sources, here's our best stab at how the draft will play out Thursday night.
Analysis: Noel has been my top pick in every mock from 1.0 to 7.0. The Cavs, however, have yet to tip their hand. Various theories about Cleveland's attachment to Noel, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo abound.
Here's what I know as of midnight Wednesday evening.
The Cavs' top option is to trade the No. 1 overall pick for a combination of a veteran plus a 2014 first-round pick. If they can pull that off, they'll move the pick. If they can't, they'll keep attempting to move whoever they draft until all their options have been exercised.
And if they keep the pick? General manager Chris Grant has been a Nerlens Noel guy all year. Other people in the front office are pushing for Len. I even heard, somewhat convincingly, that owner Dan Gilbert loves Oladipo!
With a split front office, the final decision comes to Grant. I think he's a Noel guy … but we'll all find out whether I'm reading the tea leaves correctly around 7:35 p.m.
Analysis: I continue to hear that if the Cavs pass on Noel, the Magic are leaning strongly toward selecting Noel with the No. 2 pick in the draft.
If Noel is off the board? Things get a little tougher. Some favor Oladipo. Others McLemore. While McLemore is a stronger offensive player, Oladipo's defense and his crazy motor hold a strong appeal for the Magic. Culture matters in Orlando and I think Oladipo trumps McLemore by an edge.
Analysis: The constant that was Otto Porter has become less constant as several reports claim the Wizards now favor Anthony Bennett. I've heard both from inside the Wizards. Clearly, like most front offices in the league right now, there are two different factions. I continue to hear that Porter is the safer pick and better fits the team's culture and they will lean that way.
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