This will have a very short shelf life, before the May 21 lottery sets the order for the top 14 and team needs are weighed as part of the first true mock draft released that night, but it is an important update after the Chicago pre-draft combine as the largest annual gathering of NBA teams and prospects primarily from U.S. colleges. Shabazz Muhammad goes from No. 5 to 9 after the verbal beating from executives and scouts, though more about his stock in general and not specifically his play there. Beyond the UCLA swingman, though, there are no dramatic shifts coming out of Chicago among the big names, mostly because they were injured (Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len) or would have ducked the competition anyway. Maybe Cody Zeller gets a slight bump with some impressive numbers in the physical testing, but not enough to erase the image of the 2012-13 backslide, while Dennis Schroeder climbs from 23 to the lottery in what is more a sign that he was undersold in the last ranking than what he did in Chicago. Also, Noel moves from No. 2 into the top spot, switching with Ben McLemore, but that's a placeholder as much as anything. The two could switch back after the lottery results, based on team need of the winner that night. The new top 30, as always based on conversations with numerous NBA front offices: 1. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky PF 6-11 220 Noel is generally regarded as the best prospect in the draft, partly because of the increased value of a big man over a shooting guard. But his offense is severely lacking and he does not expect to return from knee surgery until around Christmas. 2. Ben McLemore, Kansas SG 6-4 195 McLemore believes he is the best player in the draft, and he certainly is the best wing. But the struggle to score late in the season -- or hit a single shot in the round of 32 -- increased the doubt about what will happen at the next level. 3. Anthony Bennett, UNLV PF 6-7 240 Two inches taller and Bennett probably leads for No. 1. Even as an undersized power forward, he has a decent case amid the debate from the pros whether he has the game to play some small forward. 4. Otto Porter, Georgetown SF 6-8 200 Impressive play early moved him securely into the lottery, then another surge late in the regular season put the Big East Player of the Year into position to crack the top five. 5. Trey Burke Michigan PG 6-1 175 He left school after a standout sophomore season partly because the decision by Marcus Smart to return to Oklahoma State gave Burke a clear path to being the top prospect at his position, a great held to a draft standing. Talk about a point guard who sees the court. 6. Victor Oladipo, Indiana SG 6-5 210 With his defensive abilities previously established, Oladipo shot up draft boards by expanding his offense and becoming a dependable shooter. One of the best two-way players available. 7. Cody Zeller, Indiana PF-C 7-0 240 There is nothing terribly wrong with his game. It's just that there is nothing terribly right. Once prominent in the conversation for No. 1, he is now viewed as a safe pick headed for a long career, but with a low ceiling.
Not much movement after pre-Draft combine
NBA.com | May 21