Analysis: The Cavs have been talking to teams for weeks about a trade, but they are finding a limited market and at this point are likely to keep the pick.
Sources in Cleveland strongly suggest that the Cavs have yet to make their decision. Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Alex Len and Noel all have visits and/or workouts scheduled in Cleveland this week. Noel is scheduled to visit the team Thursday and has a chance to seal the deal as the No. 1 pick if he performs well.
Noel remains on top because he fits the profile of a player the Cavs prefer to draft -- the player with the most long-term upside. That's why they picked Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters at No. 4 the past couple of years and why Noel remains the favorite. Sources say Noel's strongest competition right now is Len, whom some in the organization favor because he, too, has size and defensive ability, but he's less raw and should be cleared to play much sooner than Noel.
Analysis: The Magic are in the hunt for Eric Bledsoe. If they can address their point guard issue via trade, they're free to take the best player available at this spot. Indiana's Victor Oladipo and KU's Ben McLemore are widely seen as the two best fits in Orlando. While McLemore might have more pure upside, I continue to hear that Oladipo has the upper hand. McLemore was in Orlando last week, but according to multiple accounts, his workout wasn't terrific. Noel is a strong possibility, too, if he doesn't go No. 1 to the Cavs.
3. Otto Porter Washington Wizards
COLLEGE: Georgetown AGE: 20 HT: 6-9 WT: 198 POS: SF
Analysis: The Wizards continue to be in a strong position at No. 3. The two players they really like -- Porter and UNLV's Anthony Bennett -- are both on the board here. Both are getting looks from the Cavs, but neither is the favorite at this point. There continues to be a pretty strong debate on this one inside the front office, and it might come down to risk aversion for the Wizards. Do they go with more of a sure thing (Porter) or gamble on the guy with more upside (Bennett)?
4. Anthony Bennett Charlotte Bobcats
COLLEGE: UNLV AGE: 20 HT: 6-8 WT: 240 POS: PF
Analysis: This one sounds like it's coming down to a showdown between Bennett and Len. Either player would give Charlotte's front line a much-needed scoring boost. The Bobcats have Bismack Biyombo as a defensive presence but not a lot else. Also, don't totally write off Cody Zeller here. I hear he's a dark horse.
Analysis: McLemore remains in the top 5, but I'm starting to have my doubts. I love the talent. But his lack of preparation for the draft is hurting him. Multiple sources told me that his workout in Phoenix was not impressive. McLemore, according to sources, wasn't in shape and struggled to keep up in the workout. I heard similar things in Orlando. McLemore is in a tug-of-war right now between advisor Rodney Blackstock and his agency Rivals. It's kept McLemore out of the gym and, for the most part, out of workouts. How much will all of this affect the draft stock? I'm told teams are worried. But how worried? Enough for one of the most talented players in the draft to slide further? Stay tuned. If the Suns move on past McLemore, both C.J. McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams are possibilities here.
6. Alex Len New Orleans Pelicans
COLLEGE: Maryland AGE: 19 HT: 7-1 WT: 225 POS: C
Analysis: Len could go as high as No. 1 to the Cavs or No. 4 to the Bobcats, but I doubt he gets past the Pelicans at No. 6. Pairing him on the floor with Anthony Davis makes for a terrific front line. Small forward and point guard are the other two directions in which the Pelicans could go.
They love Porter, but its doubtful he'll still be there at No. 6 and after Dario Saric withdrew from the draft on Monday, there weren't any other small forwards to be really excited about. They like Trey Burke and Carter-Williams, but sources continue to say that they think Austin Rivers can still make the transition to point guard.
Analysis: The good news: the Kings finally have a general manager in Pete D'Alessandro. The bad news: he started on Monday, which is after the Kings had completed workouts with most of the prospects in their range. So, either the Kings drag players back to Sacramento or new head coach Mike Malone and owner Vivek Ranadive will be heavily influencing the call.
From what I can gather, UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad had the best workout, though the Kings weren't particularly high on him prior to that. The team loved Carter-Williams before he came in, but weren't impressed with his workout. Sounds like Trey Burke isn't particularly high on their list, either. Ditto for C.J. McCollum.
I'm not sure what to make of all that, but here's the best I can do: One of the biggest reasons the Kings hired D'Alessandro was because of his analytics work. Muhammad looks horrible in virtually every analytics model I've seen. Carter-Williams looks good in almost of all of them.
Analysis: The Pistons are hoping, for a third year in a row, that one of the top seven players on the board slides to them on draft night. However, it the draft holds true to form, look for them to try to address their backcourt at No. 8. The team thinks Brandon Knight is more suited to play the two and would like to bring in a "pure" point guard to run the team. While Burke is a little undersized, he's highly skilled as both a shooter and a penetrator and has great leadership capabilities. McCollum and Zeller also are possibilities here, especially if both Burke and Carter-Williams are off the board.
Analysis: It sounds like the Timberwolves have narrowed things down to Caldwell-Pope and Muhammad here. While Muhammad is more of a natural scorer, it's hard to believe the Wolves will pass on Caldwell-Pope's shooting abilities. The team really needs shooters and Caldwell-Pope has a chance to be one of the two or three best shooters in the draft.
Analysis: The Blazers also are in need of a shooter and would have strong interest in Caldwell-Pope if he doesn't go at No. 9. McCollum is another good option. While he's a bit undersized to play the two (Damian Lillard has the point guard spot on lockdown) his shooting and driving ability should complement Lillard nicely. The Blazers also are looking at bigs, and Pittsburgh's Steven Adams looks like a potential fit here as well.
11. Cody Zeller Philadelphia 76ers
COLLEGE: Indiana AGE: 20 HT: 7-0 WT: 230 POS: C
Analysis: The 76ers are looking for size. With Andrew Bynum a free agent, Spencer Hawes and Arnett Moultrie are the closest things they have to bigs. Zeller is more of a four than a five, but his athletic ability, combined with his shooting stroke, should allow them to stretch the floor. Adams, Duke's Mason Plumlee and Brazil's Lucas Nogueira are also possibilities in Philly.
12. Steven Adams Oklahoma City Thunder via Toronto Raptors
COLLEGE: Pittsburgh AGE: 19 HT: 7-0 WT: 255 POS: C
Analysis: The Thunder are in win-now mode, but it's unlikely whoever they draft here will be of much help next season. The Thunder have swung and missed a few times with big guys in the draft (Cole Aldrich and Byron Mullens) but could do it again for Adams. While he's miles away from contributing offensively, defensively he already has the body and instincts to be a good rebounder and shot blocker. With time much more might come. Russia's Sergey Karasev also is a strong possibility here.
13. Sergey Karasev Dallas Mavericks
COUNTRY: Russia AGE: 19 HT: 6-7 WT: 197 POS: SF
Analysis: The Mavericks continue to lean heavily toward trading the pick (if they haven't already). Multiple sources say it's unlikely the Mavs will be selecting for themselves when they make this pick on draft night. However, if they do keep the pick, selecting an international player that the Mavs can stash over in Europe offers the cap flexibility Dallas is seeking. With their favorite, Dario Saric, out, a player like Karasev seems like a great fit. His ability to shoot the basketball and his experience playing at a high level in Russia put him ahead of the curve. He'd be a great fit in Dallas whenever he comes over (either this season or next) and at this point his draft stock looks high enough to justify the pick.
14. Lucas Noguiera Utah Jazz
COUNTRY: Brazil AGE: 20 HT: 6-11 WT: 218 POS: C
Analysis: Yes, the Jazz are in the hunt for a point guard. But from what I can gather (and the Jazz are notoriously tight lipped) the team isn't in love with any of the point guards who would be left on the board (Shane Larkin and Dennis Schroeder are the two most likely here). They also need bigs (both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are free agents this summer) and it looks like they're open to using the draft to help address that need as well. The Jazz have been high on Nogueira for a while, but his performance at the Eurocamp might have sealed the deal for this lithe, long, athletic shot blocker. I don't think he'll be around when they draft again at 21.
Analysis: With their starting backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis both heading into free agency, the Bucks likely are to focus on point guard. Both Larkin and Schroeder are the two most interesting candidates. Schroeder has more upside, but after dealing with Jennings for the past few years, they might opt for a more traditional guard like Larkin. Murray State's Isaiah Canaan also has a shot here. His impressive workout turned heads in Milwaukee.
16. Shabazz Muhammad Boston Celtics
COLLEGE: UCLA AGE: 20 HT: 6-6 WT: 222 POS: SF
Analysis: Muhammad's stock is all over the place. But then again, so are the Celtics. He could go as high as No. 7 to the Kings or No. 9 to the Wolves or even No. 12 to the Thunder or No. 14 to the Jazz. But if he does slide this far, it's hard to see Danny Ainge passing on him. There's just too much talent there, and what the Celtics are going to need -- if they really are going into full rebuild mode -- is more talent.
17. Mason Plumlee Atlanta Hawks
COLLEGE: Duke AGE: 23 HT: 6-10 WT: 238 POS: PF
Analysis: The Hawks could use just about everything. Plumlee isn't a particularly sexy prospect, but he runs the floor very well and is one of the most athletic bigs in the draft. If he rebounds and uses his strength and mobility, he could be a valuable rotation player for the Hawks. Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin and Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. also are possibilities.
18. Giannis Antetokounmpo Atlanta Hawks via Houston Rockets
COUNTRY: Greece AGE: 18 HT: 6-9 WT: 215 POS: SF
Analysis: Antetoukounpo turned a lot of heads last week in Italy playing for the Greek Under-20 team. While he still projects as the rawest prospect in the draft, teams were impressed with how he handled himself against stronger competition. The word out of Italy was that there was no way he was getting past the Hawks. He might go higher (the Thunder, Mavericks and Jazz all have interest) but it now looks like he's secured a top-20 selection.
19. Reggie Bullock Cleveland Cavaliers via Los Angeles Lakers
COLLEGE: North Carolina AGE: 22 HT: 6-7 WT: 200 POS: SF
Analysis: If the Cavs grab Noel at No. 1, look for them to add a small forward or shooter with the second first-round pick. They would love to get their hands on Karasev, but I'm told they believe Bullock wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. Bullock shot 44 percent from 3-point range this year and has the size to play both wing positions.
20. Jamaal Franklin Chicago Bulls
COLLEGE: San Diego St. AGE: 21 HT: 6-5 WT: 191 POS: SG
Analysis: He's had just one workout with the Knicks, though that's about to change. The Bulls really need a shooter, and that isn't exactly Franklin's forté. However, his jumper has improved considerably. What head coach Tom Thibodeau will love immediately is Franklin's defensive presence on the floor. This is one of the toughest players in the draft and a kid who should contribute immediately -- a smaller version of Kawhi Leonard. Hardaway Jr. also is a strong possibility here.
21. Dennis Schroeder Utah Jazz
COUNTRY: Germany AGE: 19 HT: 6-2 WT: 165 POS: PG
Analysis: The Jazz do need a point guard and after a series of shaky workouts, I think there's a good chance Schroeder will be here when they draft at 21. The bigger question? Is Schroeder the point guard the Jazz would draft? The team also like's Murray State's Isaiah Canaan -- a lot. Do the Jazz go for upside or a proven guard with a little lower ceiling? Obviously, if the Jazz pass on Nogueira earlier, he'd be in play here.
22. Tony Snell Brooklyn Nets
COLLEGE: New Mexico AGE: 21 HT: 6-7 WT: 198 POS: SG
Analysis: Snell quietly is flying up the draft boards after a series of terrific workouts. He's in play now with Chicago, Utah, Brooklyn and Indiana. The appeal? He's a super athletic wing with NBA length and defensive abilities. He was very inconsistent at New Mexico, but I'm told numerous NBA teams love the talent. Louisville's Gorgui Dieng and Hardaway Jr. also are in play here.
Analysis: The Pacers are hoping someone in the top 15 or 20 on our Big Board slides to them. In this scenario, their wish is granted. Olynyk is getting looks as high as the 76ers at No. 11, the Jazz at No. 14, the Celtics at No. 16. But if he slides past those teams, he'd be welcomed with open arms in Indy. The team needs depth everywhere, and Olynyk's ability to play a stretch four would offer another weapon off the bench. Snell, Canaan and Virginia Tech's Erick Green also are in the mix here.
24. Tony Mitchell New York Knicks
SCHOOL: North Texas AGE: 21 HT: 6-8 WT: 220 POS: SF
Analysis: I continue to hear the Knicks have a strong affinity for Mitchell. He has all the physical tools to succeed in the NBA -- strength, length, elite athletic ability. And the Knicks really need help on the front line. I also hear South Dakota State's Nate Wolters is a sleeper here.
25. Ricky Ledo Los Angeles Clippers
COLLEGE: Providence AGE: 23 HT: 6-6 WT: 197 POS: SG
Analysis: Ledo continues to draw praise from every team for whom he works out. I know the Celtics are a team that likes him a lot. If the Clippers and Celtics end up doing the Doc Rivers-Kevin Garnett trade, it's likely Boston will end up with this pick. Look for Ainge to swing for the fences with it.
26. Rudy Gobert Minnesota Timberwolves via Memphis Grizzlies
COUNTRY: France AGE: 20 HT: 7-2 WT: 238 POS: PF
Analysis: The Timberwolves will need depth in the middle, and while Gobert has been sliding steadily on draft boards the past few weeks, at this point in the draft he is a steal. Hardaway Jr. and Cal's Allen Crabbe also are possibilities here.
27. Tim Hardaway Jr. Denver Nuggets
COLLEGE: Michigan AGE: 21 HT: 6-6 WT: 199 POS: SG
Analysis: The Nuggets are in danger of losing Andre Iguodala this summer after he opted to become a free agent. While Hardaway is a far cry from Iguodala, he's one of the more NBA-ready players in the draft and could step in immediately and along with Evan Fournier, help with some of the minutes used by "Iggy."
28. Gorgui Dieng San Antonio Spurs
COLLEGE: Louisville AGE: 23 HT: 6-11 WT: 230POS: C
Analysis: Injury concerns for Dieng (ankle and a knee) have hurt his stock a bit, and he's slowly sliding into the 20s. Teams like him, but given his age, injuries matter. That shouldn't stop the Spurs from taking him here. They have big needs on the front line and Dieng is one of the more NBA-ready big men in the draft.
29. Alex Abrines Oklahoma City Thunder
COUNTRY: Spain AGE: 20 HT: 6-5 WT: 195 POS: SG
Analysis: Again, the Thunder have a ton of flexibility right now, and with two first-round picks they don't need a player to come over immediately. Abrines is an interesting player. He's playing limited minutes for one of the top teams in Europe and has significant upside. The team can afford to be patient and stash him in Europe for a year or two until he's ready to come in and contribute.
Analysis: If the Suns get their 2-guard with their first pick, don't be surprised if Phoenix tries to add another wing who can shoot the ball with its second first-rounder. Rice dominated the D-League last season and probably is big enough to spend time at the 3. He's also one of the two or three most NBA-ready prospects in the draft.
Guys not in Mock that could sneak into 1st: Allen Crabbe, Jeff Withey, Isaiah Canaan, Pierre Jackson, C.J. Leslie, Mike Muscala, Erick Green