Chad Ford Mock 6.0 1-6 for you guys
1. Nerlens Noel - Cleveland Cavaliers
COLLEGE: Kentucky AGE: 18 HT: 7-0 WT: 206 POS: C
Analysis: Yes, for the sixth straight mock draft, I have Noel at No. 1 despite a consensus among NBA bloggers that Maryland's Alex Len is going to be the top pick. I wrote a long post on TrueHoop Monday night on why I think the Cavs are leaning toward Noel.
Here's the short version: While I think Len and Anthony Bennett also are in play for the top pick, Noel appears to be a better fit with the criteria the Cavs are using this year and have used in the past for the lottery. The team itself has remained tight-lipped -- in part because a number of different trade scenarios it is exploring could alter the composition of the Cavs -- but I think it's going to be Noel.
2 Victor Oladipo - Orlando Magic
COLLEGE: Indiana AGE: 20 HT: 6-4 WT: 213 POS: SG
Analysis: If the Cavs pass on Noel, the Magic are leaning strongly toward selecting him with the No. 2 pick. If Noel is off the board? Things get a little tougher. The Magic have explored a number of trade options, and if nothing can be worked out, it appears they are eyeing Oladipo over Ben McLemore. While McLemore is a stronger offensive player, Oladipo's defense and crazy motor hold a strong appeal for the Magic. Cody Zeller is a dark horse at No. 2.
3. Otto Porter - Washington Wizards
COLLEGE: Georgetown AGE: 20 HT: 6-9 WT: 198 POS: SF
Analysis: With so much up in the air in this draft, Porter to the Wizards at No. 3 remains a constant. He's appeared here in every mock and I think it's unlikely we move him. While the Wizards have a lot of interest in Anthony Bennett, sources say they are now leaning toward taking Porter at No. 3. He fits a need, fits their culture and, like Oladipo, is viewed as a sure thing by many NBA GMs and scouts.
4. Alex Len Charlotte Bobcats
COLLEGE: Maryland AGE: 19 HT: 7-1 WT: 225 POS: C
Analysis: There is essentially zero information coming out of Charlotte right now. That's how the Bobcats like it. Even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist didn't know he was going to the Bobcats until they called his name on draft night. We appear to be in a similar situation here. Len, Anthony Bennett and Ben McLemore are the three most obvious fits. While there seems to be some movement toward Len, this one is more of a guess. Indiana's Cody Zeller also has fans in Charlotte, too.
5. Ben McLemore - Phoenix Suns
COLLEGE: Kansas AGE: 20 HT: 6-5 WT: 189 POS: SG
Analysis: I'm struggling with where to place McLemore. He has had inconsistent workouts in Cleveland, Orlando and Phoenix. Everyone loves the talent, but teams are clearly wary, and the workouts have given them pause. I know the Suns would prefer Oladipo, and sources say there's strong support in the front office for Cody Zeller and Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams, as well. We're keeping McLemore here at No. 5, but I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up going a few spots lower in Mock 7.0 on Thursday.
6 Trey Burke New Orleans Pelicans
COLLEGE: Michigan AGE: 20 HT: 6-1 WT: 187 POS: PG
Analysis: Here's where things really get tricky. If Otto Porter or Alex Len still are here at No. 6, I believe the Pelicans will draft either one. If both players are off the board, the team has to move on to Plan B. Although Anthony Bennett might be tempting, the Pelicans do need depth at the point guard position, and would be hard-pressed to let Burke slide. Michael Carter-Williams also could be in the mix here.