By Tuesday night we will know the NBA Draft lottery results including whether the Wizards land a top-3 pick or wind up in the 8-11 range. Later on Tuesday night, the first round of mock drafts will start coming out, but before the order is potentially shuffled all around, here is a 1-14 projection based on the current odds for landing the No. 1 overall pick. Orlando has a 25 percent chance of picking first while Washington is at 3.5 percent.
1) Magic - Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky. We've reached the point of the draft process where the rumor mill begins poking holes in the top prospects including the 6-foot-10 Noel, a task made easier because this year there are no franchise-changing options. The knocks on Noel include his lack of offensive moves, recovering from knee surgery that will keep him sidelined until December and that he weighed a mere 206 pounds at the combine. Then again he led the nation in block shots as a freshman and some of the weight issues apparently stem from being inactive following surgery. Still, until other names emerge as the top pick - and so far that isn't happening - why not Noel. Seeing as the Magic already have an intriguing young frontcourt and Jameer Nelson isn't a dynamic option, Orlando could talk themselves into Michigan point guard Trey Burke.
2) Bobcats - Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas. In a perfect world Charlotte lands a frontcourt scorer, but ultimately this abysmal roster simply needs talent. The Bobcats already have a decent off-guard combo with Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon, though both could be free agents. Regardless, the team ranked 27th in 3-point shooting last season and McLemore is a pure shooter.
3) Cavaliers - Otto Porter Jr. SF, Georgetown. The Cavs are putting together a rather interesting roster, but still have a gaping hole at small forward. Perhaps the best thing about the Big East Player of the Year is that he can shine without the offense revolving around him. Considering Cleveland has a potentially high-scoring backcourt in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, that's a good thing.
4) Suns - Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana. In terms of athleticism and attitude, the former DeMatha product rocked the combine. Wing guard Wesley Johnson is a free agent, but Phoenix needs an upgrade at that spot regardless.
5) Pelicans - Trey Burke, PG, Michigan. With the best small forward option gone, this is a best-player-available pick. Greivis Vasquez turned in a rather productive season for New Orleans so taking a point guard might seem odd. However, Vasquez has enough size and Burke enough of a scorers mentality for the two to co-exist and there are always injury concerns surrounding Eric Gordon.
6) Kings - Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV. If forced to pick the best for future stardom among the 2013 class, the power-packed Bennett is a strong option. The Mountain West Rookie of the Year will miss the entire draft workout process following rotator cuff surgery, but there is plenty of game film showing the 6-foot-7 forward attacking the glass and scoring from all angles.
7) Pistons - C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh. Another team needing a small forward and forced to look elsewhere (unless Detroit starts loving UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad). McCollum shot over 51 percent from beyond the 3-point arc as a senior and the Pistons would need another backcourt scorer since free agent Will Bynum is unlikely to return.
8) Wizards - Alex Len, C, Maryland. Where the 7-foot-1 Ukrainian falls in the draft comes down to medical reports about his surgically repaired ankle and how much teams believe his inconsistencies as a sophomore were largely due to constant double teams and the Terps' point guard issues. Scouts I've spoken do indeed lay blame with Maryland's inability to feed Len enough inside, noting he dominated Noel and Duke's Mason Plumlee in primarily one-on-one matchups. The Wizards could view Len either as eventual replacement for Emeka Okafor or future stretch-four --assuming the docs says it's all good.
9) Timberwolves - Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana. The 7-footer stopped his draft board slide with a rather impressive athletic display at the combine.
10) Blazers - Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh. J.J. Hickson is a free agent, so Portland could be looking for another big man in the middle. Already blessed with an NBA-body and a rebounding knack, Adams' turned heads with his combine workout.
11) 76ers - Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA. Three of Philadelphia's top wing performers are free agents and the team ranked last in the NBA in scoring. That's enough to strongly consider looking past Muhammad's on and off court concerns and simply focus on his 20-points per game potential.
12) Thunder - Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse. With a pick acquired from the Raptors, the Thunder could target interior help so they can avoid being reliant on the brutal Kendrick Perkins. Instead, they take another freaky athlete that can run the court with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and run the offense when needed. Don't be stunned if Carter-Williams jumps up several spots by draft day.
13) Mavericks - Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany. Reportedly the 6-foot-2 Schroeder already as a first round promise from some NBA team which is why he passed on any of the combine workouts. Guessing that team is the one that has Dirk Nowitski and could use a point guard seems reasonable. The 19-year-old dominated the recent Nike Hoops Summit which included matchups against prominent U.S. High School seniors.
14) Jazz - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia. With almost everyone on the roster not named Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors headed to free agency, including Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, the Jazz could for a big man like Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk. Instead, we'll say the 6-foot-5 KCP who figures to land somewhere in the lottery after leading the Bulldogs in most categories last season.