NBA Draft Lottery 2013: Teams Who Will Help Themselves the Most with a Top Pick

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 02: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards talks with teammate Trevor Ariza #1 during a timeout in the second half of the the Wizards 90-86 win over the Chicago Bulls at Verizon Center on April 2, 2013 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

If there was a year to get the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, this is not it.

Many have pointed out how weak this year's draft class is. Lottery teams are struggling trying to figure out who's the cream of this year's crop of prospects.

There isn't that one player that you could confidently say is worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. Is it Nerlens Noel? Is it Ben McLemore? Maybe even Otto Porter or Anthony Bennett?

Regardless of the class' lack of a top-end talent, there are some lottery teams that are set to reap the benefits of smart rebuilding plans. With the new collective bargaining agreement, stockpiling draft picks is increasingly becoming the best way to build a franchise from the ground up.

It's a plan fans might not like in the short term, but it pays huge dividends in the long term. Here are three lottery teams who will help themselves rebuild the most after the 2013 draft.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Give credit to Dan Gilbert. While he handled the whole LeBron James saga pretty poorly in the immediate aftermath, he's allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to grow through the draft. He didn't throw money at overpriced free agents and demand the team to win in the short term.

Chris Grant has managed to stockpile draft picks and expiring contracts, which allows the team to have some flexibility during the free-agent period while simultaneously giving it ample opportunity to unearth young gems in the draft.

Look at what the team has done so far.

Kyrie Irving is the best young point guard in the league. Tristan Thompson isn't going to be a star, but his consistency will be great down the road. Dion Waiters looked to be a bit of a reach last season. While he needs to become more efficient, he looks to be a dependable scorer.

While this draft isn't loaded, the Cavaliers look set to get the kind of solid contributor at the 3 who offers the missing piece to the puzzle.


Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic wrote this season off when they traded Dwight Howard. Nobody's surprised to see Orlando tied with the Charlotte Bobcats with the worst record in the league.

After management was ripped initially for the trade, the Magic managed to received quite a haul. Who would have thought Orlando would be better off than the Philadelphia 76ers after the trade?

Teams that trade a star player almost never manage to get fair value, but Orlando came about as close as you can get. The Magic got draft picks, which helps the rebuild. More importantly, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless had pretty good seasons and look like promising players.

As if the Howard trade wasn't good enough, then came the J.J. Redick trade in which Orlando received a package that included Tobias Harris. Harris became the team's leading scorer and was second in rebounding to Vucevic.

Getting a top 2-guard would be great for the Magic, as they need to add a scorer this offseason. Although the team is still a few years away from contention, there are plenty of reasons for Orlando fans to hope.


Washington Wizards

When John Wall came back, the Washington Wizards were a different basketball team.

There were some question marks around Wall as he failed to make the kind of leap last season that you would have expected of him. He didn't look like the kind of franchise point guard that Irving was. This year, Wall has demonstrated that he's worth a max contract and can be the floor general for the Wizards for years to come.

Bradley Beal has also been very good this season. He hasn't been very efficient, but you have to remember that he's only 19 years old. Beal and Wall will continue to improve together and make up one of the best young backcourts in the Eastern Conference next season.

A big guy like Nerlens Noel or Alex Len would be the young post player Washington needs. The Wizards could very well be a playoff team next season if Beal and Wall stay healthy.