2013 NBA mock draft: The greatest class of all time


We imagine how an overly exuberant scout might describe the NBA's top prospects of 2013.

There are three types of NBA scouts. Most NBA scouts are sane, reasonable, somewhat cynical but still in love with basketball enough to be amazed. Some scouts are curmudgeons: no prospect is ever great, only a few are good and most are awful. Then there are scouts who fall in love with one or more aspects of every single prospect, and who think there is a Jordan in every class.

This mock draft is written from the perspective of an imaginary scout of that nature, in honor of the anonymous scout who last week called Ben McLemore a "better version of Ray Allen." I repeat: this is a series of jokes disguised as a mock draft written by an overly exuberant scout. If you yell at me for erroneously comparing Marcus Smart to an ox with World B. Free's handles, I will judge your reading comprehension skills accordingly.

Let's mock.

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel

Marcus Camby with a pleasant demeanor and the fashion sense of a young Gary Payton. He could be the first player elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame while still on a rookie contract.

2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore

A better version of Jesus Shuttlesworth? Pfft. Leave off the last name and you're getting a lot closer. He can shoot, he can drive the lane, he can dunk! And he's a helluva carpenter, too.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter

Man, this Porter kid has some kind of motor. He's like a V-8. He's like a V-8 engine in a Prius. (He's efficient, you see?) The world is his Autobahn. Vroom vroom. Cars.

4. Phoenix Suns: Anthony Bennett

Imagine Larry Johnson if he knew about the Paleo diet. Or a better version of Bob McAdoo. That's Bennett.

5. New Orleans Hornets: Marcus Smart

He's like the body of an ox with the legs of a gazelle and the handles of World B. Free. His jumper is iffy -- even I can admit that -- but he could be Peja Stojakovic from long-range with a little work.

6. Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo

This kid is a Lex Luger. The total package. His will to improve is incredible. I'm pretty sure he was Leonardo da Vinci in a previous life. He's going to make Paul George look like Adam Morrison by the time he's done. And that's no slight to Paul George (a globe changer) or Adam Morrison, who just needs a chance.

7. Washington Wizards: Shabazz Muhammad

This kid could score in a 13th century nunnery. I can't tell yet whether he's more Alex English or Adrian Dantley, though.

8. Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Austin

Oh my lord, can you imagine Zeke Austin and Andre Drummond together? I mean, Brandon Knight had better watch out in practice if that happens. Just saying.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alex Len

If Tim Duncan were a younger European, he'd be Alex Len.

10. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cody Zeller

I know some Thunder fans might freak out here since Cole Aldrich didn't turn out so well. But hear me out. Zeller's different. He's got more touch than a blind Scrabble champion, a real feel for the game. He understands spacing and how to see the floor really well -- he could be a great interior designer.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Kelly Olynyk

I know what you're thinking: tissue-soft, right? WRONG. Olynyk is tough like Vegas buffet sirloin. His game is just so smooth you don't notice. No chance that Yi Jianlian's barcalounger could defend Olynyk. No chance!

12. Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee

Spencer Hawes: you, sir, are about to get Plumleed! This kid is a starter from Day 1. Heck, you could hold the draft right now and he'd start for half the playoff teams. He's ready.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Trey Burke

Not sure how the next Chris Paul falls this far.

14. Utah Jazz*: Michael Carter-Williams

There are so many great point guards in this draft. This is better than 2009. You probably have the next 15 All-NBA first team point guards right here in this draft. MCW is going to make Rajon Rondo look like Orien Greene.

*If the Jazz make the playoffs, this pick goes to the Suns.

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