The NBA playoffs starting also means that the deadline for underclassmen declaring for the 2013 NBA draft has passed, giving us 43 players leaving college basketball early, with Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke and Ben McLemore being the best among a pretty impressive class.
The draft itself will take place on June 27, 2013 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, with the Lottery taking place on May 21. The Orlando Magic have a 25% of getting the top spot in the draft, and can’t finish lower than fourth.
Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, Freshman
Despite his injury (tearing his ACL), Noel seems to still be the favorite to be the number one pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Teams are just suckers for Kentucky one and dones, especially if they’re centers like Noel, who held the Wildcats’ defense intact on his own before ending his season. He averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds last season, and will definitely be a top 5 pick.
Ben McLemore, Kansas, Freshman
McLemore did himself a great service with his freshman year in Lawrence, despite not going too far in the NCAA tournament. He averaged 16.4 points per game, and is one of the best scorers, a Stephen Curry type, entering the draft. He still isn’t perfect when it comes to creating his own shot, but few won’t agree on his NBA readiness and his potential to become quite the explosive scorer.
Otto Porter, Georgetown, Sophomore
Probably the top wingman heading into the draft, Porter became much more than just a supreme defender during his second season with the Hoyas, although the NCAA tournament proved to be another early exit and disappointment. Porter averaged 16.2 points per game to go along with 7.5 rebounds, and looks like another top 5 pick, despite his tendency to get a little passive offensively.
Anthony Bennett, UNLV, Frshman
Bennett is probably considered to be an undersized power forward, and his power and athleticism won’t make life that much easier for him in the NBA unless he develops some post moves, but his scoring versatility and ability to hit shots from outside the paint make him a very lucrative pick, probably in the top 5, after averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Rebels.
Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Junior
Possibly the best defender in college basketball, with a lot of people comparing him to Dwyane Wade when he came out of Marquette, having the kind of motor and tenacity on both ends of the floor that has GMs and scouts projecting him in the top 5. He improved to 13.6 points per game in 2013.
Trey Burke, Michigan, Sophomore
Burke is the best point guard, probably, heading into the 2013 draft, with an impressive second season at Michigan, including the Big Ten and National Player of the year awards, following a season averaging 18.6 points per game and leading Michigan to the NCAA tournament final. He might be a bit too concerned about offense sometimes, but he isn’t going to slip outside the top 10.
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, Sophomore
Williams is an elite defender but has trouble shooting the ball and tends to back down from physical players guarding him. His size, versatility and vision make him an incredible prospect who’ll probably be in the top 8-10. He averaged 11.9 points, 5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.7 steals.
Steven Adams (Pitt, Freshman), C.J. Aiken (Saint Joseph’s, Junior), Anthony Bennett (UNLV, Freshman), Vander Blue (Marquette, Junior), Lorenzo Brown (North Carolina State, Junior), Reggie Bullock (North Carolina, Junior), Trey Burke (Michigan, Sophomore), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia, Sophomore), Adrien Coleman (Bethune-Cookman, Junior), Allen Crabbe (California, Junior), Dewayne Dedmon (USC, Junior), Gorgui Dieng (Louisville, Junior), Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State, Junior), Archie Goodwin (Kentucky, Freshman), Tim Hardaway Jnr (Michigan, Junior), Grant Jerrett (Arizona, Freshman), Myck Kabongo (Texas, Sophomore), Shane Larkin (Miami, Sophomore), Ricky Ledo (Providence, Freshman), Alex Len (Maryland, Sophomore), C.J. Leslie (North Carolina State, Junior), Nurideen Lindsey (Rider, Junior), Amath M’Baye (Oklahoma, Junior), Ray McCallum (Detroit, Junior), Ben McLemore (Kansas, Freshman), Tony Mitchell (North Texas, Sophomore), Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA, Freshman), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky, Freshman), Victor Oladipo (Indiana, Junior), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga, Junior), Norvel Pelle (LA City Prep, Freshman), Otto Porter (Georgetown, Sophomore), Marshawn Powell (Arkansas, Junior), Phil Pressey (Missouri, Junior), Andre Robinson (Colorado, Junior), Trevis Simposon (UNC-Greensboro, Junior), Tony Snell (New Mexico, Junior), Tahj Tate (Delaware State, Sophomore), Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Sophomore), Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State, Junior), B.J. Young (Arkansas, Sophomore), Cody Zeller (Indiana, Sophomore).