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Who is going to be the No. 1 pick in 2013 NBA Draft?

Jun 29, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

VCU v Wichita St. Getty Images

Well, now that we got that draft behind us, time to think about next year…

Okay, maybe we shouldn’t skip ahead that fast. We’ve got Summer League to watch guys grow, a free agent season coming that will be a roller coaster, then a regular season and playoffs before we get back to this spot. But let’s peak around the corner and see who we will be talking about a year from now anyway.

Actually, first know it won’t be a deep draft like this years, says ESPN’s draft expert Chad Ford. He says the top three stand out, then there is a big drop off.

The 2013 draft is so devoid of top returning underclassmen and has such a marginal freshman class, one NBA scout said our 2013 Top 100 list may be the weakest since the dreaded 2000 NBA draft.

So who are the top guys? Here is who DraftExpress has as its Top 5 right now for the 2013 draft (know this is going to shift a lot in the next year).

1) Nerlens Noel (6’11” center, will play for Kentucky). He’s been targeted for a while as a top pick to watch — he’s long, very athletic, defensive minded shot blocker who can finish with authority on the other end. If you think that sounds a lot like just taken No. 1 Anthony Davis, you are spot on. That’s the comparison. His recruitment was the focus of a New York Times piece that doesn’t speak well of college basketball.

2) Shabazz Muhammad (6’6” shooting guard, will play for UCLA). He’s not the biggest two guard, there may be better athletes at the two guard, but Muhammad is NBA level at both brings great energy at both ends of the floor, plus he just has a scorer’s instincts. He can flat out light it up. He will knock down threes or drive the lane. A complete offensive player. Let’s hope Ben Howland doesn’t crush that.

3) Cody Zeller (6’11” center, Indiana). He could have come out but decided to return for one more year in Bloomington. He is the younger, and frankly better, brother of North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller. Cody averaged 15.6 points per game while shooting a very impressive 62 percent last season. You’ll see him on your television a lot next year, Indiana is going to be very good.

4) Rudy Gobert (6’11” power forward/center, France). He measured a 7’9” wingspan at adidas EuroCamp and as you might imagine he can block a few shots. He got called up to the French national team after his play in some under-20 games.

5) James McAdoo (6’9” power forward, North Carolina). A fundamentally sound big man who moves well. He can rebound and defend, and if he can develop a steady midrange jumper he becomes a much-more dangerous NBA big man.

  1. hannsta - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Cody zeller needs to beef up a bit but he is increadibly dominant inside, very fun watch.

  2. zblott - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Steve Adams, the big center from NZ going to Pitt who blew up Nerlens Noel a couple months ago (look it up – he killed Noel in one of his first games in a US high school), is the guy if he comes out after his freshman season. The only other player who offers as close of a complete package of value to a club is Muhammad IF IF IF he shows he can efficiently score a ton of points at the college level. If he averages 23 ppg but it’s with Austin Rivers-esque questionable efficiency/shot selection, it’s gotta be Adams.

    If Adams stays for more than one year, there are a lot of A-/B+ players at the top who are all lacking a big piece in their game.

    • camnellum12 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Yes, that guy may be a future NBA great, I love his fundamental play, everybody was saying Anthony Davis can have a “Tim Duncan” career, Steven Adams is more likely of that.

    • wjmoffatt - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Can’t be f’ing seriously comparing Shabazz’s game to Austin Rivers! Watch the two guys play their senior years of high school, Shabazzz is head and shoulders above Rivers, hell if they played a pick up game now to 21, I bet Shabazz would win 21-12

      • zblott - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

        You’re missing what I’m saying. I have no clue what sort of efficiency Shabazz is going to show at the college level. If he can score a bunch with great shooting percentages, then cool. If he ends up shooting a lot but missing a lot, then bad.

        I’ve seen Shabazz a few times and doubt he’ll be the broken gunslinger that is Rivers, but no one’s seen how he’s reacted to colleges defenses yet.

  3. pmd5319 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I think it will be Aaron Craft.

  4. loungefly74 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    holy cow…took a look at the 2000 draft…ugh. horrible…just horrible. i feel like the guy describing the Hindenburg disaster “Oh, the humanity!”

  5. rajbais - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Chad Ford = Expert????

    There’s a big drop off from the first words of that sentence until the word “expert” appears!!!

  6. 00maltliquor - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    And with the 1st pick in the NBA draft the ________ select….

    Jaun Pablo Gonzalez-De Leon from Mexico!

    (Na, just kidding, made that up, but that would be dope to have a star Hispanic/Mexican come up out of nowhere though!)

    Shabazz Muhammed #1.

    • wjmoffatt - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      Agree, people on here don’t know ish if they think anyone on this list is truly better than Shabazz Muhammed! Just go look how many points this guy drops on every one!

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    JMM will average 20 a game at UNC and go 2nd or 3rd next year.

  8. muskyhunter2542 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Not sure who it will be… But, The Milwaukee Bucks will be making that pick

    • bougin89 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Unless Dictator Stern fixes the lottery for us that won’t happen. We are annually in the hunt for the 8th seed/just barely missing the playoffs. We have some decent role players that play hard but thats it. We win just enough to stay irrelevant without a chance to get any better through the draft and nobody is going to go to Milwaukee as a free agent that matters.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        This is true!!!

    • wjmoffatt - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      Bucks are making the playoffs! They have nothing but defensive, lengthy players surrounding Jennings and Ellis! They were making a run last year at it, SMH

      • muskyhunter2542 - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        That would be great!!! I hope that is the case

  9. lakerluver - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Is McAdoo related to the HOF’er Bob McAdoo?

    • camnellum12 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

      Yes, Bob McAdoo is James’ uncle. said James McAdoo’s NBA comparison is the great James Worthy:

      I gotta watch him myself to see, that’s a bit much of a comparison

      • wjmoffatt - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:20 PM

        His no James Worthy at all! He looked like another Marvin Williams this last season.

  10. jengibre23 - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    I think it’s either nerlens Noel or Cody zeller really. I don’t think shabazz Mohammed will o #1 mostly because Noels post presence and ability to score down low

    • camnellum12 - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:53 PM Steve Adams outplayed Noel, and Adams has some good post moves, better than the UK commit

  11. wjmoffatt - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Shabazz Muhammed is by far going to be the best player next year! There’s nothing this guy can’t do with the rock in his hands. He is super star in the making

  12. imforbigblue - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Love how all you so called college experts dis Davis thinking he’s going to be a nobody in the nba when every gm in the nba would of given there left nut for him. Then you all think Noel’s wont be good is another joke In itself Noel’s will be a beast in college. Bazz will score a lot in college only because he will ball hog and take 20 shots a game that kid is not a team player. I’ll just sit back watch Noel’s and UK go for another title while all you haters eat crow

    • wjmoffatt - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:09 AM

      ok yeah you’re right, his not a team player! That’s why other high school players followed him to UCLA to play with him after he announced. How many people followed Noel, all the UK guys were there.

  13. cranespy - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Wow…..questions from the NCAA regarding a big name Kentucky recruit. Hmm…palms getting sweaty already Cat fans?

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