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Indy Cornrows Mock Draft 1.0: What Key Need Does Indiana Address?

In our first mock draft, our resident draft analyst, Evan Sidery goes through his first mock draft. This is one of the most unpredictable drafts in years, so sit back and enjoy the craziness in this one.

How far does Shabazz Muhammad fall down draft boards after his disappointing season?
How far does Shabazz Muhammad fall down draft boards after his disappointing season?
Evan Sidery's Mock Draft 1.0
Round 1

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky: Noel is set to visit Cleveland on June 20, just a week before the draft. There has been a lot of smoke from other media saying the Cavaliers have been leaning toward drafting Otto Porter Jr, Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, and Alex Len all over Noel. One, I do not buy that, also those reports all came out really within in a weeks time. What the national media is saying that they have really no clue what Cleveland will do. The obvious choice here is Noel, because he fits a need for a young, defensive force down low. Having Noel do battle with Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe, and Joakim Noah in the same division will be very entertaining.

Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana: I have been waffiling back-and-forth with this pick the whole weekend and decided on Oladipo. He fits what Rob Henigan is looking for, a culture-changer. Victor would come in and be a major asset on the defensive end, add that with his development on offense he could be a more offensive-oriented version of Tony Allen.

Otto Porter Jr, SF, Georgetown: This is an easy pick for Washington here. They get the hometown kid who would put more fans in the stands with Georgetown near by as well. Putting Porter alongside Bradley Beal and John Wall sets Washington up for a potential playoff run. If the Wizards pass on Porter, that will utterly shock me.

Alex Len, C, Maryland: This pick I also was undecided on until I published this. Charlotte needs more scoring alongside Kemba Walker, but that glaring hole in the middle can not be ignored another year. Len would be an immediate upgrade over Brendan Haywood, Bismack Biyombo, and Byron Mullens at the center position. Alex's stock has risen to the point he is in consideration by Cleveland at number one. Putting Len with Kemba would be an enertaining combo to watch develop in Charlotte.

Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas: McLemore has been questioned by many NBA executives about his drive and motivation to truly be the best. Oladipo has nudged him down to second on most teams boards at the shooting guard position. Phoenix would pick up Ben here, due to him being a top-flight scorer. This seems like a perfect fit to me when you look at the offensive setup in Phoenix. Jared Dudley pack your bags, you are now on the trading block.

Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, UNLV: Having Anthony Bennett slip right into the Pelicans' lap would make Dell Demps do a dance. He would fit perfectly alongside Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis in their frontcourt. Bennett could play small forward or power forward in the NBA, but a team like New Orleans could use him at both. This is a perfect fit, I believe.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse: Also in the chat, Chad Ford did yesterday, he mentioned Sacramento his higher on Michael Carter-Williams than Trey Burke. It makes sense too, due to the fact the Kings need a pass-first point guard to get Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins more involved. If MCW is selected by Sacramento, expect Isaiah Thomas to be on the trade block.

Trey Burke, PG, Michigan: Burke's slip has finally ended here with the Pistons. Joe Dumars has been going the best player available route for the last few years now, and it has gotten him Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Andre Drummond. Getting Burke would put more fans in the seats with his Michigan connection and also give Detroit another scorer. Pairing Burke with Knight (moving him to shooting guard), makes more sense for their future lineup plans.

C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh: Another pick fit here for both parties. Minnesota needs a young scorer, which is what McCollum exactly is. Having a lights-out scorer alongside Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love could make Minnesota a very dangerous team next season out West. If he can stay healthy, McCollum is actually my early Rookie of the Year favorite for next season.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia: According to's Scott Howard-Cooper, rival executives told him that Portland is expected to select Kentavious Caldwell-Pope come draft night. The fit makes sense when you look at it. Adding another scorer either in a sixth man role behind Wesley Matthews (could be trade bait if KCP is drafted here), or start alongside Damian Lillard would make that young backcourt even more dangerous for years to come.

Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh: Even though his game is relatively raw, I love Steven Adams' game. He is a bruiser down low, who could also make the 15-foot jumper if needed. With the terrible year revolving around Andrew Bynum, Philly needs to start over with a new big man. Adams would be a project, but he has a high ceiling to be a stud center in the NBA.

Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana: If you are an Indiana fan wishing Zeller well on the next level, this looks like the best fit for him. Playing both center and power forward, he could be a useful player off the bench for a year or two in Oklahoma City. Playing behind Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins would also be nice for Zeller to learn under. Cody would take Nick Collison's role on OKC's bench, before he eventually steps in as a starter. Zeller slips here, and it might be what is best for him.

Shane Larkin, PG, Miami: Dallas' pick is truly the wildcard and big domino that could send a massive ripple-effect throughout the whole first round. They are working the phones trying to trade this pick to clear more cap space (Pacer fans: Danny for Shawn Marion and #13?) for a run at Dwight Howard, and maybe even Chris Paul this Summer. The unknown revolving around Croatian forward, Dario Saric is key here as well. If he ends up withdrawing, which is likely to happen, that puts Dallas' plans in shambles. They need a point guard with the train wreck situation they have with Darren Collison running the show down there. Larkin would be an immediate upgrade and put Collison once again on a new team next season.

Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany (NY Phantoms): With Larkin being gone, that makes Utah upset as well. Larkin dominated in his workouts with the Jazz and Bucks. Meanwhile, Dennis Schroeder did pretty bad in his workout with Utah. Schroeder is not a bad plan B for the Jazz though. He is a true pass-first point guard and lightning quick (why he draws Rajon Rondo comparisons). Putting Dennis on Utah would make it much easier for Gordon Hayward to get open on the perimeter.

Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF, UCLA: Shabazz's slip-and-slide ends here in Milwaukee. Muhammad has slipped big-time down a lot of teams' boards due to him lying about his age, and also having a bad year at UCLA. Also, his sub-par performance at the combine did not help much. Putting 'Bazz in Milwaukee seems like a good fit on paper. If Monta Ellis returns, 'Bazz could move to small forward and fit in fine.

Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece (Filiathlitikos): You think the Shane Larkin to Dallas had a ripple effect, like I said? This is one of the major ones from it. Boston would love to take Shabazz here, but they have to settle for the "Greak Freek", who Danny Ainge is obssesed with per reports. He does not plan on coming over until the 2016 season (21 years old by then), so this would be a major project to work with. Adetokunbo has the highest ceiling of any prospect in this draft, I believe. This is the year to draft a star and stash him, and Boston just did in this mock draft.

Kelly Olynyk, PF, Gonzaga: Atlanta is in need of a big man who can actually stretch the floor, with Josh Smith likely not coming back to Atlanta. Kelly Olynyk fits that need and more for Atlanta. They would get a forward who can be good inside, but also can shoot threes as well. Having Olynyk and Horford together would cause major mismatches on the court for the Hawks.

Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State: Danny Ferry was hoping Giannis Adetokunbo would slip to Atlanta, but unfortunately not. They get Jamaal Franklin, who is not bad himself. Franklin has drawn comparisons to former Pacers draft pick, Kawhi Leonard. Jamaal has freakish athleticism and would immediately boost Atlanta's backcourt with more defensive prowess. Adding Olynyk and Franklin with their first round picks would round-out their big needs a little bit more before free agency begins.

Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia: After a workout in Los Angeles in front of NBA executives, Karasev decided to fly back to Russia and shut everything down before the draft. That immediately sparked word of a possible promise from a team in the middle part of the draft. After looking over all the options for Karasev in my first mock draft, Cleveland makes the most sense. He will be able to come over next season and contribute right away at small forward. Adding in Karasev to an already potent lineup of Irving, Waiters, Thompson, and Noel; that makes it very enticing for LeBron in 2014 (just saying).

Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke: Mason Plumlee's slide finally ends in the Windy City. His stock is dwindiling down a little bit, due to his low ceiling and being older then most draftees. Plumlee would give Chicago much needed size and athleticisim down low alongside Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah though. Mason is a ton better then Miles Plumlee, and it would be entertaining to see them go at it in the Central Division year-after-year.

Rudy Gobert, PF/C, France: I am torn on this selection as well. Would Utah really take another foreigner, or take the more complete Dieng? Utah loves to dip their toes internationally, so I had to go with Gobert here. Adding in an athletic freak like Gobert, alongside Enes Kanter would fill out their frontcourt. Taking Schroeder and Gobert might seem like a stretch, but it really rounds-out their team on offense and defense.

Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville: Another big man's slide ends, this time in Brooklyn. Gorgui Dieng would be the perfect complement to Brook Lopez's offensive prowess with a defensive backup. Having Dieng even play power forward while Lopez is still on the court would immediately boost Brooklyn's defense. Dieng would give Brooklyn a backup big they have always needed, and if Gorgui rounds out his offensive skills this could be a steal by Jason Kidd and the Nets.

Tony Mitchell, SF/PF, North Texas: We have finally reached Indiana's pick and this might be a surprise one for some people. From what I have been told, Tony Mitchell was 'special' and was told it was his best workout to date. As we all know, Indiana usually picks a kid who does great in workouts (example: Miles Plumlee). Mitchell has the tools to become another Paul George-like gem for the Pacers, but can he put it all together? He looks like he could play small forward, and occasionaly play power forward at times. He is the definition of a true stretch-4. With the feedback I got from Friday's workout, I feel pretty in confident in picking Mitchell at 23 for Indiana right now. After all, Pacers lead scout, Ryan Carr, visited Mitchell a few times this season. If he develops right, this looks like a massive steal for Indiana a few years down the road with his freakish athleticism.

Below are some videos of my first Pacers mock draft pick, Tony Mitchell, from SB Nation partner, Draft Express.


Jeff Withey, C, Kansas: Has Tyson Chandler ever had a legit backup to him while in New York? I do not think so, because Kurt Thomas is not cutting it. Adding in a defensive-minded player like Withey would help bolster their second unit with more size and better chance of stopping people on defense. Also, having Withey learn from Chandler could be huge for him as well. Mike Woodson would benefit by selecting Withey and having an immediate contributor to New York's second unit.

Allen Crabbe, SG, Cal: Allen Crabbe took a nosedive down my board, due to their being no real fit for him in the middle of the first round. Crabbe would give Los Angeles a younger and future replacement to Jamaal Crawford off the bench. He is a lights-out shooter, but is known for not being able to create his own shot. Getting Crabbe would go a long way to rounding-out their scoring off their bench for the present and future.

Lucas Nogueria, C, Brazil: After hearing a post-workout interview of Flip Saunders, it sounds like he wants to take on a project with the 26th pick. Well, if he wants one, Lucas Nogueria of Brazil is on the board waiting to be selected. Nogueria has been rising up teams' boards since EuroCamp. He has the size to be a contributor on a team next season, or keep him overseas if they want to. As Chad Ford said before, Nogueria reminds him of the Brazilian version of Nerlens Noel.

Reggie Bullock, SG/SF, North Carolina: Reggie Bullock falls right into the Nuggets' lap at 27. They will need a versatile SG/SF who can take Danilo Gallinari's spot until the All-Star break due to his injury. Bullock is a great long-range shooter and a tough defender. Adding him alongside Wilson Chandler and a healthy Gallinari would make Denver even more long and athletic at the wing position. He would be a great fit for any team in the 20's, but he goes to Denver here in Indy Cornrows Mock Draft 1.0.

Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor: You might be surprised by this, but from what I was told, Pierre Jackson is shooting up teams' draft boards at a Usain Bolt-like pace. His explosiveness and scoring ability make him a hot commodity for anyone looking for a backup point guard. Pierre's agent told me via email (Tony Dutt), that he has a workout with the Pacers on Tuesday. He will be working out with other likely first round point guard candidates at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but Dutt did not tell me who. Jackson's range sounds like anywhere from 23-28 now. Tony Parker is getting up there in age, he can not play forever. Adding in Jackson would put him with Cory Joseph and make a nice young duo to take Parker's role once he retires.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan: Like Allen Crabbe, I could not find a spot for Tim Hardaway Jr. in the early-mid 20's that screamed perfect fit to me. Hardway Jr. is expected to go anywhere from 20-30 come draft night. He would add in a much needed scoring punch off the bench for the Thunder. This would also take some pressure off of Russell Westbrook's shoulders when he is in there with him. Adding in Hardaway Jr. would be a good thing to do if you are Oklahoma City, after you took your big man in Cody Zeller at 12. Coming away with Zeller and Hardaway Jr. is a nice coup for Thunder fans.

Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico: Phoenix needs a ton more wing help then people actually think. After taking Ben McLemore at 5, they need to add another wing who can add some length and scoring. Tony Snell does the trick with this pick. Revitalizing their 2 and 3 spot needs to happen for Phoenix. McLemore and Snell are big upgrades over what is currently on the roster, not named Michael Beasley (Jared Dudley and Wesley Johnson). Suns fans should be happy if they come away with players like McLemore and Snell at the end of the first round.