Charlotte Hornets

Rick Bonnell’s Mock Draft

NBA writer Rick Bonnell’s mock first round for Thursday’s NBA draft:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky PF-C. Comment: This assumes the Cavaliers sign off on Noel’s surgically-repaired knee and don’t trade down.

2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, Kansas SG. Comment: Might be this draft’s most talented player, though he underperformed in the NCAA tournament.

3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, Georgetown SF. Comment: The Wizards need a small forward. It doesn’t hurt that he has local ties.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Bennett, Nevada-Las Vegas forward. Comment: They need a frontcourt scorer. Maryland’s Alex Len would also fit.

5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, Indiana SG. Comment: Suns need help everywhere. Len could also be the pick here.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Alex Len, Maryland C. Comment: If this happens it would be an absolute gift. A good complement to PF Anthony Davis.

7. Sacramento Kings: Cody Zeller, Indiana PF-C. Comment: Demonstrates good shooting range, but he needs more muscle.

8. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, Michigan PG. Comment: A little point guard with a knack for scoring.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia SG. Comment: He averaged more than 18 points against decent SEC competition.

10. Portland Trail Blazers: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse PG. Comment: He has good size at 6-6, but he needs to improve his jump shot.

11. Philadelphia 76ers: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh PG. Comment: A shoot-first point guard who can break down defenses off the dribble.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh C. Comment: A solidly built 7-footer who should be an impactful rebounder.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga C. Comment: There aren’t a lot of proven low-post scorers. Olynyk will draw some double-teams.

14. Utah Jazz: Sergey Karasev, Russian SF. Comment: He also has the shooting range to play some shooting guard.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA SF-SG. Comment: He arrived at UCLA full of hype, but his freshman season was underwhelming.

16. Boston Celtics: Shane Larkin, Miami PG. Comment: He excelled last season in the ACC. His father was a baseball great.

17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, Duke PF. Comment: Was much improved as a scorer his final college season.

18. Atlanta Hawks: Dennis Schroeder, German PG. Comment: A point guard with the shooting range to create the spacing NBA teams love.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego St. SG. Comment: He’s lanky at 6-5 and has been compared to former college teammate Kawhi Leonard.

20. Chicago Bulls: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville C. Comment: A shot-blocker who expanded his offensive repertoire last season.

21. Utah Jazz: Rudy Gobert, French C. Comment: He’s huge – 7-2 tall with a reported 7-foot-8 wingspan.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Snell, New Mexico SF. Comment: He has good size for his position at 6-7 and a reliable jump shot. Needs to improve ballhandling.

23. Indiana Pacers: Jeff Withey, Kansas C. Comment: A shot-blocker who says he’s got more to offer offensively than he showed in college.

24. New York Knicks: Glen Rice Jr., D-League SG-SF. Comment: He had to play in the development league after being dismissed from Georgia Tech.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Giannis Adetokunbo, Greek SF. Comment: He’s under a four-year contract in Europe, so he might not be over here soon.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tony Mitchell, North Texas PF. Comment: Good length and speed, but he needs to go into the post more. Settles for jump shots.

27. Denver Nuggets: Reggie Bullock, North Carolina SF. Comment: A solid outside shot should get him into the late stages of the first round.

28. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, Brazilian C. Comment: He has a 7-6 wingspan, but at 220 pounds this 7-footer needs bulk.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricardo Ledo, Providence SG. Comment: He chose to turn pro after being a partial qualifier at Providence.

30. Phoenix Suns: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan SG-SF. Comment: Could end up with a role similar to what Danny Green provides for Spurs.

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