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2013 NBA Mock Draft – March 3rd, 2013

I don’t think there is a clear no. 1 in this draft.  It becomes a matter of team fit and preference.

No. 1: Charlotte Bobcats

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

Best of luck to the Charlotte Bobcats if they end up at no.1.  They really need to take the best big man in this coming draft and that should have been Nerlens Noel.  Now, they face the pressure of drafting a big man coming of an ACL injury.  The Bobcats just can’t afford an injury prone no. 1 pick.  Players now come back from ACL surgeries.  It’s just too bad they are put in this spot.  McLemore, Smart and Muhammad are very good players.  They just don’t fill that huge of a need.  This has to be Noel for now but the injury makes this difficult to make.

No. 2: Orlando Magic

Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State (See Scouting Report)

This is my most significant change from the last mock draft version.  Orlando is a rebuilding team and need to take the best player available regardless of position. At this point, I think it is very close between McLemore, Muhammad, Smart, and Bennett.  All of them have potential with production already.  For the Magics, I go with Smart.  The NBA game is the most point guard driven than it has ever been. Smart can be compared to a young Deron Williams.  Smart is a power point guard.  He has a lot of tools at his disposal.  It’s a matter of putting it all together and realizing his potential.

No. 3: Washington Wizards         

Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA (See Scouting Report)

The Wizards are actually a pretty decent defensive team.  They need to improve their offense.  When John Wall is out, they have no facilitator on offense.  I like Shabazz over McLemore in general.  I like Shabazz even more from the Wizards because he will likely be able to create shots more than McLemore can.

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NBA Draft 2013: Marcus Smart Scouting Report and NBA Potential

Oklahoma State University
6’4 point guard
225 pounds

FromCollegetoPros.com Prediction as of March 2nd, 2013

FromCollegetoPros.com predicts that Marcus Smart will become a top 10 NBA point guard with a potential to move into the top 5 depending on how well his shooting improves.  Smart can be compared to a more physical but less gifted passing version of Deron Williams.

Here is a short summary on why the prediction.  See Scouting Criteria page for my definitions and examples of each category.

Aggressiveness – High
Ability to Create Shots – High
Performance Against Top Players and Teams – Moderately High
Mental Make-up – High

The Good

  • An arsenal of ways to score. See below.
  • Attack the basket through dribble drive
  • Gets to the foul line. 6 times per game.
  • Runs pick and rolls
  • Comes off screens for jumpers
  • Posts up. This is surprising. You don’t really see freshman point guard post up but he does.
  • Very good rebounder for a point guard
  • Leadership.  Despite just being a freshman, he has inserted himself by taking a leadership role.
  • Decent defender.  Averages 2.9 steals per a game.

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NBA Draft 2013: Marcus Smart’s Shooting Ability

Marcus Smart’s draft stock is on the rise.  ESPN’s Chad Ford has him as the no. 3 prospect overall. As I examine his numbers, I am concerned about his shooting ability for the following reason:

  • Only shooting 40% from the field and 30% from behind the arc.
  • Usually shooting percentages go down when college players go to the NBA.  His numbers are already pretty low.
  • Only takes 11 shots per game.  Usually as top players mature, they take a larger role in the offense.  They end up shooting more and a drop in shooting percentage occurs because of it.  His shooting percentages are already low so if it dips any further it is going to be awful.

On the flip side, he does seem to have a decent shooting stroke, which is supported by his 78% from the foul line.  Deron Williams wasn’t statistically a good shooter at Illinios but his decent stroke eventually developed in the NBA.  Deron was slightly better than Marcus by shooting 42% from the field and 37% from behind the arc. Even if he doesn’t significantly improve his shooting, he can still be effective.  See John Wall. I think Smart’s shooting percentage will eventually rise and become decent.  However, the numbers don’t indicate the makings of a great shooter here.

NBA Draft 2013: Ben McLemore versus Shabazz Muhammad

Shabazz Muhammad

It’s close but I would take Shabazz Muhammad over Ben McLemore. McLemore is more athletic and is the better shooter.   Yet, if I were to start a team from scratch and have to pick either Muhammad or McLemore, I would go with Shabazz.  I pick Shabazz for the following reasons:

1. Style of Play

Shabazz is a skillful scorer with an arsenal of ways to score.  See his scouting report. McLemore, is pretty much a three-point shooter. Don’t get me wrong. McLemore probably has the ability if he works on it. However, his preference is to shoot the 3 as supported by the fact that 41% of his total shot attempts are 3-pointers. In the end, shooting 3s is a habit. It’s hard to break especially if the habit is a very good one making at a clip of 42%.

What’s wrong with shooting the 3? Nothing is wrong with that.  However, it’s a personal preference. I like players that can score in a variety of ways as well as be able to get to the foul line.  Teams can run an offense through a player easier with more offensive weapons.  To me, it’s advantage Shabazz.

2. Shabazz’s ceiling over McLemore’s ceiling

Shabazz’s ceiling is James Harden while McLemore’s ceiling is Ray Allen. Though I think both don’t quite get there, I think they still turn out to be very good NBA players. Like I said above, I like players that can generate offense for the team.  It makes it easier on the team and that guy is Shabazz.

3. McLemore is a riskier choice

It comes back to their ceiling once again.  If Shabazz turns mediocre and inefficient, he can at least score.  If McLemore turns mediocre by not turning out to be as good of a shooter, then it is trouble as the best part of is game is no longer exceptional. I still think McLemore turns out to be a very good shooter.  However, asking him to shoot as good as Ray Allen is asking for a lot.

NBA Draft 2013: Ben McLemore Comparison to Ray Allen

The more and more tape I watch on Kansas guard Ben McLemore, the more and more he reminds me of a young Ray Allen.  They move around the court similar.  There is even some similarity with the way they shot.  They’re both 6’5.  Allen is listed at 205 while McLemore is at 195.   McLemore is still young and will probably fill out at around the same weight as Allen.

However, I just can’t help and think how difficult it is to become the next Ray Allen. If you look at the list of all-time 3-point scoring leaders and combine that with their overall game, only one other shooting guard comes close to Allen and that is Reggie Miller.  Allen did not become one of the greatest shooters all-time through talent alone.  Allen admits he has “borderline OCD” which makes sense why he is known to have a legendary work ethic.

After examining the numbers, Ben McLemore isn’t quite like Ray Allen.  Click here if you want to read a more detailed analysis of the comparison.  His overall game will likely be not as good.  He also does not appear to be as aggressive. He will be a really good shooter but it’s unlikely to reach Ray Allen level as you need to have borderline OCD to get there.

However, he does have a chance to become one of the best shooters in his era.  Players that can shoot that high of a free throw percentage are usually pure shooters.  Combine that with his athleticism and you have an above average NBA starting shooting guard.

NBA Draft 2013: Ben McLemore and Ray Allen Statistical Comparison

No two college experiences are alike but I went back to Ray Allen’s University of Connecticut numbers to check if I can find similarities.

McLemore’s Freshman Year versus Allen’s Freshman Year

This comparison is not apples to apples. McLemore is a redshirt freshman while Allen was a true freshman.  McLemore had more practice time beginning the second semester of his redshirt year. Hence, we should assume that McLemore’s numbers should be better.

However, the table below actually shows the Allen was a more productive player during his limited playing time. It should be noted that Ray Allen only played 21.6 minutes a game in comparison to McLemore’s 32.2 minutes through 26 games.  Below are the figures after averaging out Allen’s numbers as if he played the same number of minutes per game as McLemore.  We learn that Allen likes to shoot more and therefore scores more.  From an efficiency standpoint, McLemore is a little bit more efficiency shooting a slightly better 3-point percentage and a significantly better free throw shooter as a freshman.

Category

McLemore

Allen

Difference

Points

 16.3

 18.8

 (2.5)

Rebounds

 5.5

 6.9

 (1.4)

Assists

 1.9

 2.4

 (0.5)

Minutes

 32.2

 32.2

 –

Turnovers

 2.1

 2.1

 0.0

FG%

50%

51%

-1%

FT%

87%

79%

8%

3PT%

43%

40%

3%

FGA

 11.0

 13.6

 (2.6)

FTA

 3.9

 4.5

 (0.6)

3PTA

 4.5

 3.6

 0.9

 

McLemore’s Freshman Year versus Allen’s Sophomore Year

This comparison is not apples to apples either.  Allen had 1 full year of game experience.  Hence, we should assume that Ray Allen’s numbers should be better.

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2013 NBA Mock Draft

Mock NBA Draft 2013 Lottery

Update through All-star break and considers the Nerlens Noel injury.

No. 1: Charlotte Bobcats

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

Best of luck to the Charlotte Bobcats.  They really need to take the best big man in this coming draft and that should have been Nerlens Noel.  Now, they face the pressure of drafting a big man coming of an ACL injury.  The Bobcats just can’t afford an injury prone no. 1 pick.  Players now come back from ACL surgeries.  It’s just too bad they are put in this spot.  McLemore and Muhammad are very good players.  They just don’t fill that huge of a need.  This has to be Noel for now but the injury makes this difficult to make.

No. 2: Orlando Magics

Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF, UCLA (See Scouting Report and Prediction)

Orlando is a rebuilding team and need to take the best player available regardless of position.  It’s going to be between Muhammad and McLemore.  I like Shabazz over McLemore in general because of his ability to create shots a little better.

No. 3: Washington Wizards

Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

Muhammad is really the better fit for the Wizards since he fills a position need a little better.  McLemore and Beal also have similar games.  McLemore is the best player at this point but this is not the best of fits.  Porter and Bennett are definitely in play here.

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