The concept of an NBA draft pick becoming a "bust" has always been an ambiguous term defined by whatever guidelines we see fit.
Anyone with a half-working brain can say that Kwame Brown is a "bust." But is it fair to lump Brown in with, say, Sam Bowie, who averaged nearly a career double-double in 10 NBA seasons—which would have been more had injuries not crippled his development? Probably not, but we do it anyway.
And the same concept applies to sleepers. We all know that Chandler Parsons (No. 38 in 2011) was a sleeper, but what about Kobe Bryant? Though he was well-known for all of the prom antics and coming straight out of high school, isn't nabbing one of the greatest players in league history at No. 13 where the very term "sleeper" came from?
It's all a bit silly when you think about it, but it remains a curiosity. Who are the likeliest "busts" this year? And the sleepers? It's impossible to tell at this point, but what we can do is evaluate talent relative to where it's projected to go.
We're projecting in ambiguous likelihoods here, not rock-solid guarantees.
So much of how a player turns out is situational, we all know that by now. We'll remember Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's rookie season for his shooting struggles in Charlotte. But what if he were in San Antonio playing the Kawhi Leonard role? We'd probably have a completely different evaluation.
As such, we'll know little about "busts" and "steals" until June. It's only then we can take a look at how the first round played out and evaluate how things went—and even then, we're still only doing so in likelihoods.
With that caveat out of the way, here is our complete look at the 2013 NBA first round, highlighting potential busts and sleepers along the way. "Busts" are denoted with an asterisk. "Sleepers" are denoted with an italicized letters.
All lottery odds are courtesy of the NBA (h/t ESPN's Chad Ford).
1. Orlando Magic (25 percent): Nerlens Noel (C, Kentucky)
Though they haven’t even won the lottery yet, the subject of who the Magic would take at No. 1 has become an underlying debate. For most teams, the argument against taking Noel with the top pick would be wholly injury-related. The young center tore his ACL in February, and it’s not known when he’ll be back during the 2013-14 season—if at all.
But for Orlando, it’s much more complicated. Nikola Vucevic, a centerpiece of the team’s haul for Dwight Howard, has become a burgeoning young star. A nightly double-double with a keen sense of rebounding and slick post maneuvers, Vucevic is already one of the league’s better players at a dying position.
Even with Vucevic in tow, the argument in Noel’s favor remains the same. He’s the best player in this draft, and it’s not even close when you compare potentials. The only other two players who will get remote consideration for this pick—Trey Burke and Ben McLemore—are both guys I like very much, and they’re arguably safer.
Noel is the potential star in one of the worst drafts in modern history. Before being injured, he was an athletic marvel, the one freshman this season who was just as good as suspected. His offensive game is raw, and the knee injury certainly means some patience will be in order.
Patience, though, is the one thing the Magic can afford plenty of. They’re not going anywhere next season or possibly even the season after—which makes Noel’s selection all the more appealing.
2. Charlotte Bobcats (19.9 Percent): Ben McLemore (G, Kansas)
The Bobcats need someone—anyone—who can shoot the basketball. Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo all have problems shooting the basketball from distance. The latter two are embarrassingly bad shooters, though their efforts on the defensive end would be more lauded on a better team.
Charlotte needs a score-first guard who can knock down shots from distance about as badly as it needs a competent owner—if not more. That’s what makes landing McLemore the most ideal scenario possible—no matter the Bobcats’ ultimate lottery spacing.
The former Kansas star is one of the more reliable spot-up shooters in this class, with form so striking you’d think he was robotically built to play basketball. Though he needs a little work shooting off the dribble, he can create off the bounce as well, giving Charlotte two solid creators in its backcourt.
McLemore isn’t a home-run star, but he’s a guaranteed instant contributor whose skill set is ideal for what the Bobcats need.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (15.6 Percent): Otto Porter (F, Georgetown)
If Porter is on the board when Cleveland is on the clock, the Cavs won’t have to do much thinking. Outside of Noel, who would be their top pick on talent alone, there is no player who fits better with the needs of this specific roster more than Porter.
On a team ripe with high-usage ball-handlers—looking at you Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters—Porter is the player who can do a little bit of everything.
He can act as a point forward in the open court, with his dribbling and court vision both being elite for his size. He moves without the ball brilliantly, understanding the concept of spacing at an impressive level. And Porter is unselfish, meaning if he gets four shots in a game, it’s all good.
In this scenario, they’re getting a guy who I have No. 2 on my board with the third pick. Value is all relative this early in the first round, but if you’re getting a player who could turn into a Lamar Odom-type in this class of players, you jump.
4. Phoenix Suns (11.9 Percent): Victor Oladipo (SG, Indiana)
The Suns face the very real possibility of walking into next season as the worst team in basketball.
They have exactly one player (Marcin Gortat) who would start for most other NBA teams, and his name has been in trade rumors for the better part of a year. And while point guard Goran Dragic is on a very good contract and would start on 10 or so teams around the league, he stands the very real possibility of being Phoenix’s best player next season.
This team needs help, more specifically, someone who could bring star power to the organization. It’s hard to call Victor Oladipo a surefire star—he’ll have to learn to shoot before we do that—but his potential is off the charts.
Most evaluators and NBA teams know what they will be getting with Oladipo as a rookie. He’ll continue having his insatiable motor, future-dunk-contest-winner athleticism and lockdown on-ball defense. And if he shows any improvement as a shooter, that’s just great.
But by year two or three, he could be something special. And even if his shooting never improves past below-average, the Suns are still getting a player who might be Tony Allen someday.
5. New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans) (8.8 Percent): Trey Burke (PG, Michigan)
Depending on how the Eric Gordon situation plays out, this could either be an exceedingly obvious pick for New Orleans, or it could wade into unknown territory. If the Horicans are able to unload Gordon, who just inked a long-term deal last summer, then they may have to consider Shabazz Muhammad or Oladipo if he falls.
But if the roster constitution remains the same, the National Player of the Year is headed to the Big Easy. Burke not only gives New Orleans an “our bad” on the wretched Austin Rivers selection—yes, I’m willing to say that much after one season—it also provides Greivis Vasquez insurance.
The NBA’s leader in total assists is due for a long-term extension either this offseason or next, with the prospect of free agency looming if an extension doesn’t get done.
There are (overblown) questions about Burke’s size and his ability to defend at the next level. Yet his quick first step, ability to shoot off the dribble and smarts in the open court all make him a worthwhile pick at No. 5.
6. Sacramento Kings (6.3 Percent): Anthony Bennett (F, UNLV)
Now that we know the Kings are staying in Sacramento for the time being, we can finally start focusing on how this franchise is going to fix itself. Anyone with a modicum of basketball knowledge knows this is the most mismatched group of players in recent memory, with shoot-first guards and petulant youngsters running amok.
There are some real landscape-altering moves that need to be done here—but those won’t come in this draft. The Kings will instead need to focus on atoning for one of their most head-scratching maneuvers of recent franchise history—the trading of Thomas Robinson.
Though Bennett is not a perfect mirror for what Robinson brought to the table maturity-wise, he is similar comp on the floor. The former UNLV standout was one of the strongest players in all of college basketball last season, able to bully his way in the post against anyone in the country.
He also has a strong-running motor and ability to stretch out to about 18 feet comfortably, which could help spacing for Sacramento’s slashers.
We won’t go as far as to say Bennett is a lock at this level, but he’s got true star potential if placed in the right organization.
7. Detroit Pistons (3.6 Percent): Shabazz Muhammad (G, UCLA)
Among the players who will likely be drafted inside the top 10, Muhammad is one of likeliest instant contributors in this draft—making it all the stranger some consider him a “bust” candidate.
Shabazz Muhammad almost certainly won’t fail at the next level—unless your opinion dictates he must be The Shabazz Muhammad most thought was coming to UCLA.
This version, the realistic one, can score in the NBA right now. He’s a good enough creator off the dribble and has enough variety in his game that scoring 15 points per game isn’t out of the question for him as a rookie.
The problem will come after that initial 82-game honeymoon. It will come in finding out whether Muhammad will work hard enough or is talented enough to ever be anything other than who he already is.
Even if his ultimate destiny is becoming a sixth man, that will be just fine for a Pistons team who has plenty of questions with its backcourt.
8. Washington Wizards (3.5 Percent): Alex Len (C, Maryland)*
The Alex Len conundrum is something just about everyone in the greater District of Columbia is quite familiar with. Len spent two full seasons at Maryland, both of which were as captivating as they were frustrating.
At times taking advantage of his seven-foot frame, Len is the type of player who looks like perfect NBA fodder on his best nights. He can stretch out in the mid-range, has an array of post moves underneath and can be a good enough rebounder when committed. When running in the open court, Len’s movements are fluid—unlike the continuing laundry list of centers who find themselves on a trainer’s table.
However, as any Terrapins fan would attest, the problem is those moments are fleeting. What comes after two games of Good Len are four games of Bad Len, where he completely disappears while getting bullied underneath by smaller players. Toughness is a word you hear so often with prospects that it becomes ridiculously cliche.
But after two years of watching tape on Len, it’s fair to call into question his ability to handle NBA big men: the trash talking, the physicality, everything that comes with being a seven-footer at this level.
The tantalizing talent makes Len a guaranteed top-10 pick and an interesting fit behind the wonderful John Wall-Bradley Beal combo. I’m just not sold that Len will ever put those talents together on a nightly basis.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves (1.7 Percent): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G, Georgia)
As luck would have it, we’re hopping right from a player whose top-10 prospects are questionable at best to a guy whose skills will ascend him there by June. At this point in the process, there are very few pundits singing the praises of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
By the time he leaves Chicago in a few weeks, that’s going to change—and in a big way. The 6’5” shooting guard spent his two collegiate seasons languishing at Georgia surrounded by talent that could be nicely be described as “insufficient.” On too many occasions, Caldwell-Pope was left on an island and told to take over—an especially frustrating task considering slashing isn’t a big part of his game yet.
So Caldwell-Pope’s shooting numbers were “meh” for his two seasons in school, especially for someone of his skill set. It’s that array of skills—which include a silky-smooth three-pointer with a quick release, solid athleticism and underrated on-ball defense—that should come out in full force when he’s surrounded by similarly talented players.
And if Minnesota winds up being the team to grab him, Caldwell-Pope’s chance at ascending is even higher. Ricky Rubio takes care of a ton of the Timberwolves‘ dribble-drive chances, leaving Caldwell-Pope in a more stationary, catch-and-shoot role he could instantly fit into.
10. Portland Trail Blazers (1.1 Percent): Mason Plumlee (F, Duke)
We won’t belabor the point on Plumlee, mainly because anyone who casually watches college basketball can give a solid enough scouting report on him. He’s an athletic freak of a seven-footer, an open court alley-oop waiting to happen at the pro level, a guy who tries hard on nearly every possession down the floor.
Though it’s unlikely at this juncture he ever develops much of a jumper, Portland is a solid fit because he won’t be expected to do those things. He’ll be a high-energy role player who creates a few highlights with Damian Lillard—the replacement for J.J. Hickson, assuming he walks this offseason.
Plumlee won’t be the pick to make everyone talk on draft night, but he won’t be a bust either.
11. Philadelphia 76ers (0.8 Percent): C.J. McCollum (G, Lehigh)
We’re labeling McCollum a sleeper here for now, but don’t expect that to be the case in a few weeks. The NBA’s journey has always been ripe with finding the “next Player X,” and this year, McCollum will face the semi-distinguished honor of being the next Damian Lillard.
And while the comparison loses a head of steam due to McCollum’s mediocre passing ability, it’s easy to see where the it’s coming from.
Like Lillard, McCollum will walk into the draft process with most pundits wondering whether or not he has a position. A score-first, score-second and pass-to-create-a-score third player in college, his 6’3” height makes many wonder whether he has a position.
Never mind that NBA lineups are in a state of evolutionary flux, where “tweener” Eric Bledsoe is finishing games with Chris Paul, and there are plenty of other similar examples we can point to. If McCollum can play basketball, he’ll find 25-30 minutes a night—we just have too much history pointing in that direction for his size to play that much of a factor.
And despite a foot injury wrecking his senior season, McCollum can certainly play basketball. Equipped with a scintillating first step and electric open court ability, the former Lehigh star is a dream for any team looking to run uptempo or have a top scorer off the bench.
Though he’ll be a non-entity defensively and possibly even a minus, if expectations stay reasonable, the Sixers would do well for themselves with McCollum here.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors) (0.7 Percent): Michael Carter-Williams (PG, Syracuse)
The theory that OKC needs to draft a center needs to be thrown out. While past doesn’t necessarily dictate future, the last time Sam Presti went with a need over talent, Cole Aldrich happened. Presti isn’t the type to make the same mistake twice.
And as Russell Westbrook’s injury is proving, the Thunder’s lack of a backup plan on offense makes things dicey. They’ve too often resembled the Clippers’ “here, best player, you do everything while we watch” offense since Westbrook’s injury—though we do have to acknowledge the sample size is paltry.
As OKC continues its journey through the playoffs, we’ll get a better idea what this team needs for a contingency plan—whether that be new personnel or a new head coach.
For now, the idea of Carter-Williams landing here seems right. His skill set—that of an uber-athletic freak of nature whose defense is suffocating—is almost universally what you heard when Westbrook came out of school.
Carter-Williams can’t shoot, and he’s turnover-prone, but his potential is immense. And the Thunder have the infrastructure in place for him to develop.
13. Dallas Mavericks (0.6 Percent): Cody Zeller (C, Indiana)
Zeller’s lack of improvement (other than on the boards) makes many think he’ll flame out at the next level. The problem with that theory is that there’s a difference between disappointing relative to expectation and being an outright failure.
If you hear the term “lottery pick” and judge them all the same way, you’re doing a massive disservice to the draft process. As Dave Berri of Wages of Wins points out, the likelihood of grabbing a star player declines exponentially as the lottery moves on. Picks No. 11-14 are the equivalent of second- and third-rounders in the NFL draft.
When looking at it through that prism, grabbing a player like Zeller here is a strong value. He’ll never make an All-Star team, but he’s more likely than Len to have a 10-year career among centers in this draft. Zeller is the type of player who goes through a season, puts up a quiet 12-7 on a nightly basis, and everyone wonders how it happened.
That’s not captivating television, but it’s good enough at No. 13.
14. Utah Jazz (0.5 Percent): Jamaal Franklin (G-F, San Diego State)
All you need is a copy of NBA 2K13 to know Utah needs a point guard this offseason—where the Jazz get him doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, this crop was irreparably damaged by Marcus Smart’s decision to return to Oklahoma State, which leaves the Jazz in a position where trading up or taking a lesser need are their only two options.
Among the players left on the board, Franklin is arguably the most intriguing. He played completely out of position for most of his career at San Diego State, leaving his jumper to rot away in the process. That means some developmental work will be needed for him to even contribute on the offensive end, but Franklin’s defensive ability has to be intriguing.
Utah looked like a sieve on that end for most of the season—especially when Al Jefferson was on the floor—and Franklin can guard three positions when asked.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dario Saric (SF, Croatia)
Milwaukee has a ton of questions to answer about its roster constitution and coaching situation this offseason, so until those are answered, it’s tough to judge where this pick will go.
As such, the Bucks might be wise to invest in Saric—this year’s winner of the annual draft-and-stash award. He’s a toothpick with a broken jumper at this point, but Saric’s potential with another two years overseas is captivating. Gifted with 6’10” height and point guard-level court vision and ball-handling, Saric is a point forward who is marvelous to watch in the open court.
Add that to the fact he’s one of the youngest players in this class, and it’s very possible he’s not ever on the board when Milwaukee is on the clock.
16. Boston Celtics: Kelly Olynyk (C, Gonzaga)
The Celtics are another team with more questions than answers heading into this offseason. Their core hit its end wall this season, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett unable to bring it on a nightly basis and Rajon Rondo on the mend.
And unlike what could have been a similar situation in San Antonio, the Celtics didn’t bring in the right role players to surround their cast, and they haven’t developed young talent well.
Olynyk isn’t a perfect prospect, but he’s one who will fit no matter which direction Boston goes. A seven-footer with range and an improving back-to-the-basket game, the former Gonzaga star has the type of versatility the Celtics need in their offense. He can take some minutes down low with Garnett and run with Pierce when Doc Rivers plays him as the small-ball 4.
If Olynyk were in the lottery area, we’d be talking about a reach. But as a nightly 20-minute player who checks a ton of boxes, Olynyk is a solid fit in this spot.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Gorgui Dieng (C, Louisville)
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): Glen Rice Jr. (G, NBA D-League)
Let’s keep this one simple in hopes of moving everything along. No one has any clue what Atlanta’s ultimate strategy will be this summer. It could be time to blow the whole thing up, or Dwight Howard could shock the world and move back home.
The Hawks’ strategy will depend wholly where general manager Danny Ferry thinks they are on that spectrum. Dieng and Rice are two middle-ground picks who fit with either strategy.
The former Louisville center would be a lottery pick if he weren’t already 23—his shot-blocking, athleticism, commitment to rebounding and deft passing is an intriguing combination. And Rice is the combustible wild card, a young man with a bunch of questions from his time at Georgia Tech but a bunch of promise as a lethal scorer—as evidenced by his short D-League run.
Both could be a part of the long-term or short-term solution.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Steven Adams (C, Pittsburgh)*
Every year there is one player whose decision to enter the NBA draft baffles me to no end. It’s the human embodiment of when a Hot Pocket is scalding hot when you first bite in and then completely frozen again by the time you get to the second bite.
This year, that player is former Pitt forward Steven Adams. A New Zealand import, Adams came into the Steel City with all of the physical tools that make scouts marvel—his basketball playing just needed some fine-tuning.
Adams showed some promise under Jamie Dixon in his first collegiate season, especially as a shot-blocker. But it was clear his offensive game was still at a high school level by the end of last season, with only flashes of improvement coming.
And that’s what made it all the more confusing when he decided to enter the draft. Adams seems more of a case of “I’m entering no matter what happens” and then a kid who took the time with his decision. He’ll be drafted somewhere in the top 20 because his potential is just so immense, and his class is dreadful.
Seeing him having any major impact, though, is questionable at best.
20. Chicago Bulls: Tony Mitchell (F, North Texas)
The Bulls walked away with arguably the steal of the 2011 draft in Jimmy Butler, and they could try to hit another home run with a wing in Mitchell.
One of the more intriguing prospects coming into last college basketball season, Mitchell’s progress stagnated as a sophomore—and that’s only if we’re being kind.
Despite getting more minutes per game and being expected to take an increased offensive role, Mitchell’s numbers declined across the board. He was the Perry Jones of this class—a kid many NBA scouts thought was one year away who just might never put it together.
Yet all of the tools of a potential NBA starter remain. He’s a committed defender, possessing the size and athleticism to guard any small forward in the league and bang down low in small-ball spots. There’s not much range on his jumper outside of 15 feet, and we’re probably past the point of anyone believing stardom is in his future.
Tom Thibodeau is the type of coach, though, that if there’s any usable talent to be harnessed, he’ll find it.
21. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Shane Larkin (G, Miami)
We've already mentioned Utah's need for a point guard, so there's no need for overlong analysis here. Larkin has some size questions because he's not a great athlete, but his hard-nosed style of play and winning attitude would be welcomed with the Jazz.
There's little chance he develops into a star, but an eighth or ninth man in the rotation isn't a bad pick this late—especially at a need spot.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Rudy Gobert (F, France)
Brooklyn’s untenable cap situation puts it in a position where draft picks will either have to be guaranteed instant contributors or stashed away to avoid an even higher luxury tax bill. The option of drafting an American-born talent who winds up costing as many millions as minutes he plays just isn’t an option—even for the deep-pocketed Mikhail Prokhorov.
When scanning the board, Gobert’s talent and down-the-line potential should be enough to get him a nod over an Allen Crabbe, who would help provide spacing as a spot-up shooter.
A 7’1” forward with almost JaVale McGee-like athleticism and a 7’9” wingspan, Gobert has all the makings of a per-minute blocks leader, if he ever makes the trip stateside. He’s also a a classic “flashes” player, a guy who can make you think he’s an oncoming All-Star one minute and a mess the next.
That being said, he’ll need time to develop some strength. He’s listed at just 220 pounds—making one think he’s half-human, half-Ramen noodles.
23. Indiana Pacers: Myck Kabongo (G, Texas)
No matter where he goes, Kabongo will just be happy to be out of the watchful eye of the NCAA. The former Texas guard spent much of his sophomore season suspended and the rest of it transparently trying out for the NBA.
While the reasoning for Kabongo’s suspension was suspect at best, that won’t be the reason he lasts until No. 23. His raw skills have always been seemingly NBA-ready—a solid jump shot, a quick first step, unselfish passing and strong open court vision—but the production never quite came. He shot just 41.8 percent last season, failed to improve as a three-point shooter and wasn’t efficient with the ball.
Still, he’s better than D.J. Augustin and Ben Hansbrough. So Kabongo’s already got that going for him in the eyes of Frank Vogel—at least in this fictional scenario.
24. New York Knicks: Jeff Withey (C, Kansas)
The Knicks need to get younger, specifically on the inside. Adding Kenyon Martin midseason was a Hail Mary that somehow landed in the offense's hands—with the 35-year-old showing real maturation while providing his trademark toughness down low. With Tyson Chandler obviously not playing like himself this postseason, Martin's presence has been of even greater importance.
But the No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft can't be a long-term answer 13 calendar years later. Withey is a shot-blocking bench player who will provide tough defense and little more. However, that's good enough in this spot for the Knicks, who will presumably be in reload mode this summer.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Allen Crabbe (G, California)
Even if they already have so many players in their rotation that poor Grant Hill is getting the nightly bagel, the Clippers are still in need of consistent spot-up shooting. They don't need a player to create off the dribble, or to be able to dunk or even lock down an opposing team's best offensive player.
Los Angeles needs a stationary player who can consistently create spacing for Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe on dribble-drives—assuming they all return. Though that player may be found in free agency, we'll stick Crabbe here because he's far and away the best fit.
Going Euro is a secondary option here, as the Clippers don't like anyone when they're on the clock.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Giannis Adetokunbo (G-F, Greece)
In this draft, we're going to see a ton of European players coming off the board toward the end of Round 1. That's not because any of these guys are guarantees to future NBA stardom or even to come over within the next half decade. It's due to the American crop of players being so weak that it's just not worth the multi-million dollar guarantees to keep them around.
Adetokunbo is one of the rare exceptions to that rule. He'll get drafted within the first 30 picks mainly because he's such a curiosity. A 6'9" point forward who has been impressing scouts all over the world with his open court vision and seemingly limitless potential, Adetokunbo may wind up playing a traditional guard spot if he ever comes over.
For now, though, he remains a curiosity piece better left overseas for at least the next two years. And if he ever does come over, he'll join a burgeoning young class of Internationals with Rubio, Alexey Shved and Nikola Pekovic.
27. Denver Nuggets: Dennis Schroeder (PG, Germany)
The Nuggets would probably get down on bended knee to Clippers management to allow Crabbe to fall to them. Denver's need for help beyond the arc is at near endemic levels with Danilo Gallinari out of the lineup, and Crabbe could be an instant help to that plight.
Without someone like Crabbe on the board, the Nuggets are better off stashing their talent away for a season or two. Schroeder is the type of player who could run in Denver's uptempo system already—a youngster who loves playing at a breakneck pace.
But he's also rawer than a newborn, and he lacks basic basketball knowledge at points—which leads to puzzling decisions. All parties are better off with a "only time will tell" agreement.
28. San Antonio Spurs: B.J. Young (G, Arkansas)
For all of their brilliance developing role players who can work around Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili's driving to the rim, the Spurs will eventually have to start building for the future. Ginobili has been on a steep decline for the past few seasons, and even his somewhat effective play against the Lakers in the first round came in no more than 20 minutes per game.
San Antonio is going to need a potential scoring fiend coming off the bench, and Young may be that guy. He's not much of a defender (read: He doesn't defend) and will need to vastly improve his jumper, but Young is also the type of explosive scoring threat needed in San Antonio. The former Arkansas star can beat almost anyone off the dribble and finish at the rim with ease.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Lucas Nogueira (C, Brazil)
Oklahoma City will grab a big man with one of its two picks, but assuming the draft board works out this way, grabbing Nogueira at No. 29 is a perfect scenario. The goofy-haired Brazilian has been on NBA radars for the past few years—tantalizing folks with his potential and frustrating them all at once with his inability to put it all together.
Watching Nogueira play basketball is like watching your computer download software, and it's stuck at 20 percent. You think that, eventually, that bar will go to 21 percent and things will be on the fast track to completion, but you never exactly know whether it's frozen or not.
That's Nogueira in a nutshell. And luckily for the Thunder, they will get to see whether Nogueira's hard drive is frozen from thousands of miles away while not paying him a dime.
30. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat): Sergey Karasev (G, Russia)
Karasev's just another draft-and-stash prospect. Have we mentioned how poor this class of American players is yet?
Oh, we have? Well, OK then. Bye.