Take five: Who’ll be on the board?

June 26, 2013

Pelicans Draft Central Which player will the New Orleans Pelicans select with the sixth overall pick of Thursday’s NBA draft? You can’t begin to answer that question until you first determine who’ll be available. Based on 10 of the Internet’s most popular mock drafts, through Sunday there were a total of seven different players projected by at least one Web site to be off the board when it’s the Pelicans’ turn. Those players are Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett and Trey Burke.

Here’s a look at the likelihood (based entirely on the 10 mock drafts) of those seven players lasting through the first handful of picks, before New Orleans is on the clock:

NERLENS NOEL
Projected range: 1-5.
Seven mock drafts we surveyed predict that the Kentucky big man will be Cleveland’s No. 1 pick. The furthest drop for Noel is NBADraft.net’s projection that he’ll go to Phoenix at No. 5.

Times he lasts past the top five: 0 out of 10.
According to mock drafts, there is no chance Noel will be available at New Orleans’ turn.
Player Profile: Noel

BEN McLEMORE
Projected range: 2-5.
Half of the 10 mock drafts think the Kansas guard will be Orlando’s No. 2 pick. Interestingly, no one has McLemore going third to Washington, which already has Bradley Beal on its roster. Four sites think McLemore will be the fifth pick to Phoenix.

Times he lasts past the top five: 0 out of 10.
Like with Noel, no mock draft thinks McLemore will make it through the top five.
Player Profile: McLemore

OTTO PORTER
Projected range: 1-3.
As close as it gets to a consensus, Porter is predicted to be Washington’s choice at No. 3 by nine of the top 10 mocks we surveyed. The only dissenter was CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore, who has Porter going No. 1 to Cleveland.

Times he lasts past the top five: 0 out of 10.
Based on the mocks, it would be a shocker if the Georgetown wing player gets past the Wizards.
Player Profile: Porter

VICTOR OLADIPO
Projected range: 2-7.
Much like with Len, there are conflicting opinions on Oladipo’s draft-night destination. Four of the 10 mocks have the Indiana wing going No. 2 to Orlando. If he’s not taken second, however, no mock lists him as the third or fourth pick for either Washington or Charlotte.

Times he lasts past the top five: 3 out of 10.
NBA.com and SI.com think Oladipo is New Orleans’ pick. NBADraft.net is the only mock that projects him to last beyond sixth.
Player Profile: Oladipo

ALEX LEN
Projected range: 1-10.
Exhibit A for the unpredictability of the 2013 draft. Two sites list Len as the No. 1 pick to Cleveland. Meanwhile, two others have the Maryland center dropping to ninth and 10th.

Times he lasts past the top five: 4 out of 10.
ESPN.com and The Sporting News believe Len will go No. 6 to New Orleans.
Player Profile: Len | VIDEO: Len 1-on-1 | VIDEO: Len Workout Media Session

ANTHONY BENNETT
Projected range: 4-7.
As a combo forward, there seems to be some disagreement among draft analysts about which NBA team is the best fit for the UNLV standout. By a narrow margin, the most common projection for Bennett is No. 4 to Charlotte.

Times he lasts past the top five: 4 out of 10.
Only Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com projects Bennett to be the Pelicans’ pick at 6.
Player Profile: Bennett

TREY BURKE
Projected range: 2-8.
Nine of the 10 mocks project Burke to be taken either sixth (New Orleans), seventh (Sacramento) or eighth (Detroit). The one outlier was CBS’ Parrish, who predicts that Orlando will grab the Michigan point guard with the second overall pick.

Times he lasts past the top five: 9 out of 10.
Half of the mock drafts surveyed are forecasting that Burke will be chosen by the Pelicans.
Player Profile: Burke | VIDEO: Burke 1-on-1 | VIDEO: Burke Workout Media Session