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NBA Draft: Where will the ACC's best get drafted?

We're just one week away from NBA commissioner David Stern ambling onto the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. to a chorus of boos for the final time. When the NBA Draft gets underway at 7 pm on June 27, a number of the ACC's top players—Duke's Mason Plumlee, Maryland's Alex Len, Miami's Shane Larkin and North Carolina's Reggie Bullock—will anxiously be waiting for their name to be called.

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Plumlee has most often been tabbed as a mid-first round pick by the industry experts. Though lottery teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trailblazers—both of whom Plumlee recently visited—have interest in Duke's 7-foot forward, most of the industry mock drafts—NBA.com, ESPN and Sheridan Hoops—agree that Plumlee will be taken by the Atlanta Hawks with either its 17th or 18th pick in the draft.

The highest Plumlee is mocked is to the Utah Jazz at No. 14 by Draft Express, a team in need of size with starting big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap both ready to test free agency. Other popular landing spots for Plumlee include the Boston Celtics at No. 16—who will be in need of talent up front if the proposed Kevin Garnett/Doc Rivers trade comes to fruition—and the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 19. His floor seems to be either the Brooklyn Nets at No. 22 or New York Knicks at No. 24, both of whom would likely be elated if the former Blue Devil fell to them. Ultimately, Plumlee's draft positioning will be determined by what team's think of Pittsburgh's Steven Adams, Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk and French big man Rudy Gobert.

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The hottest name in the NBA Draft today is Alex Len. Alhough the 7-foot-1 center is still recovering from a stress fracture in his ankle, the Cavaliers, who own the No. 1 pick in addition to No. 19, are reportedly leaning toward the Ukrainian over Kentucky's Nerlens Noel. The Sheradan Hoops mock draft says, "According to sources, the Cleveland Cavaliers – if the draft were held today – would select Alex Len with the top pick. The Cavs believe he is the best fit longterm alongside Kyrie Irving." Though Sheridan Hoops and NBADraft.net believe Len will be the first name called next Thursday, others have Len falling as low as No. 6 to the New Orleans Pelicans. His most likely landing spot appears to bo the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 4.

Larkin, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, is in a position similar to that of Plumlee. The short point guard is drawing interest from lottery teams like the Utah Jazz, he appears destined to fall just outside the lottery. There is a lot of uncertainty in the industry as to where Larkin will ultimately be selected, with the Milwaukee Bucks—who could lose guards Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick to free agency—at No. 15 and the Celtics on the early end of the spectrum and the Nets and Knicks on the back end. Larkin's fate is tied to that of German point guard Dennis Schroeder.

The final ACC alumnus who has a good chance to be selected in the first round is Reggie Bullock.

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Bullock was originally tabbed as a second round pick, but after showing his impressive shooting touch in workouts, Bullock can now hear his name as early as No. 19, according to Draft Express and ESPN. With Croatian small forward Dario Saric pulling out of the draft, wing players like Bullock all get a slight boost in value. Though some, like NBA.com and NBADraft.net, still don't project Bullock for the first round, prevailing thought is that someone in the first round will value Bullock's NBA range enough to call his name.

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