The 2013 NBA draft will present 60 prospects with the privilege to become rookies on the grandest stage of them all. While there may be 60 prospects, not all 30 teams have the luxury of drafting in the first round and deciding from the players viewed as this year's elite.
The question is, how will the teams with multiple first round draft choices shape the draft?
As it presently stands, six teams have multiple first round draft choices. Those teams are, in alphabetical order, the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.
That's six teams accounting for 12 of the first 30 choices—40 percent of the first round rookies, for those keeping track.
With the draft less than a month away, all eyes will be on these teams, as they become targets of trade speculation and the driving force behind future selections. Since they can decide their own fates as well as those of other teams, expect the six respective franchises to relish in the limelight.
The question is, where will they go and how will it shape the first round?
|Pick No.||Team||Projected Selection|
|1.||Cleveland Cavaliers||Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown Hoyas|
|2.||Orlando Magic||Trey Burke, PG, Michigan Wolverines|
|3.||Washington Wizards||Nerlens Noel, C, Washington Wizards|
|4.||Charlotte Bobcats||Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas Jayhawks|
|5.||Phoenix Suns||Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Hoosiers|
|6.||New Orleans Pelicans||Alex Len, C, Maryland Terrapins|
|7.||Sacramento Kings||Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV Rebels|
|8.||Detroit Pistons||Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse Orange|
|9.||Minnesota Timberwolves||Shabazz Muhammad, G/F, UCLA Bruins|
|10.||Portland Trail Blazers||C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh Mountain Hawks|
|11.||Philadelphia 76ers||Cody Zeller, C, Indiana Hoosiers|
|12.||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors)||Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh Panthers|
|13.||Dallas Mavericks||Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville Cardinals|
|14.||Utah Jazz||Dario Saric, SF, Croatia|
|15.||Milwaukee Bucks||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia Bulldogs|
|16.||Boston Celtics||Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke Blue Devils|
|17.||Atlanta Hawks||Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga Bulldogs|
|18.||Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets)||Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State Aztecs|
|19.||Cleveland Cavaliers (via Suns, from Heat)||Jeff Withey, C, Kansas Jayhawks|
|20.||Chicago Bulls||Glen Rice Jr., SG, NBA D-League|
|21.||Utah Jazz (via Warriors)||Allen Crabbe, SG, California Golden Bears|
|22.||Brooklyn Nets||Rudy Gobert, PF, France|
|23.||Indiana Pacers||Shane Larkin, PG, Miami Hurricanes|
|24.||New York Knicks||Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany|
|25.||Los Angeles Clippers||Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina Tar Heels|
|26.||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Grizzlies)||Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia|
|27.||Denver Nuggets||Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State Racers|
|28.||San Antonio Spurs||Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil|
|29.||Oklahoma City Thunder||Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan Wolverines|
|30.||Phoenix Suns (via Cavs, from Lakers)||Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas Mean Green|
Atlanta Hawks (No. 17 & No. 18)
The Atlanta Hawks are in an interesting position, as they have back-to-back picks in the middle of the first round. Not only does this provide the Hawks with the opportunity to land a standout that may drop out of the lottery—and one inevitably will—but it also enables Atlanta to address two needs.
One way or another, what they do at No. 17 and No. 18 will shape the rest of the draft.
In this scenario, Atlanta continues to gut this draft of centers, as eight go within the first 19 picks. The Hawks get one of the most skilled big men in the draft in Kelly Olynyk, complementing him with athletic off guard Jamaal Franklin out of San Diego State.
With all of this being established, if any team is in position to trade, it's Atlanta—having back-to-back picks certainly creates intrigue for a team looking to trade up.
Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 1 & No. 19)
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the most important pick of all: the first overall draft choice. With that selection, they'll have to make a decision between shot blocker Nerlens Noel and small forward Otto Porter.
Noel could have the highest upside in the draft, but Porter is the most complete player available and plays the Cavaliers' greatest position of need.
If Cleveland selects Porter, the dominoes begin to fall, and the rest of the draft takes shape. Not only would this pick open the door for the Orlando Magic or Washington Wizards to gamble on Nerlens Noel, but it also instantly increases the value of centers.
In this scenario, Cleveland also capitalizes by taking the last first round lock at the position in Jeff Withey at No. 19—a true center who can cure their rim protecting woes.
Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 9 & No. 26)
The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the most difficult teams in the NBA to diagnose, as they simply shouldn't be as bad as they are. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love have All-NBA upside, Andrei Kirilenko is a dominant on-ball defender and Minnesota's abundance of shot creators should bode well for this team.
Coming off of yet another season in which they missed the postseason—something they've done every year since Kevin Garnett departed—the T-Wolves are in an influential position.
Minnesota could buy into their need for a rim-protecting center, but that would cause them to ignore their void at shooting guard. They could also go for value, revealing whom they deem to be the best player available.
Regardless of what they do, it'll lead to an international selection at No. 26 and thus open the floodgates for a second round filled with draft-and-stash selections.
Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 12 & No. 29)
The Oklahoma City Thunder received the No. 12 overall draft choice in the infamous James Harden trade. While finding a player of Harden's caliber would be difficult at any stage of this draft, OKC can make up for his loss by drafting well.
In this scenario, they land the center with the most intriguing upside in this draft—potential project player Steven Adams out of Pittsburgh.
Adams has an NBA body at 7'0" and 255 pounds with a 7'5" wingspan. More importantly, he becomes the fourth center drafted and thus puts the rest of the big men in high demand, as the options are limited and it won't look any better in round two.
Landing a shooter in Tim Hardaway Jr. at No. 29 is a nice way to improve their second unit, but it's their lottery pick that will help dictate the way the rest of this draft transpires.
Phoenix Suns (No. 5 & No. 30)
The Phoenix Suns pick fifth and 30th overall in the 2013 NBA draft. They have a new general manager in Boston Celtics alum Ryan McDonough, are fresh out of the Steve Nash era and don't seem to possess an untouchable player.
When a team has that many needs, everyone will be watching.
In this scenario, the Suns take Indiana Hoosiers shooting guard Victor Oladipo—the best player in the draft. Not only is Oladipo a perfect fit for a Phoenix team that needs a standout at the 2, but he's also the second of many shooting guards to come off of the board.
Just like we witnessed in 2012 with Bradley Beal and Dion Waiters going in the top five, Oladipo's early selection could open the door for other teams to take their off guards early in the draft. If that is the case, the No. 5 pick will be the reason why.
Phoenix going with Tony Mitchell at No. 30 simply addresses the fact that upside outweighs all else at that stage of the draft.
Utah Jazz (No. 14 & No. 21)
The Utah Jazz will shape the international scene in the 2013 NBA draft, as they hold the keys to where two of the top European players may end up. It all starts at No. 14, where Utah takes Croatian small forward Dario Saric.
Is it worth drafting a European player in the draft lottery?
This move will open the door for other teams to select international players with confidence.
There is a clear risk in selecting a European player this early, as the international style of play is significantly different from the NBA. Not only are the rules set in an alternate manner, but the approach to the game is also worlds apart.
By selecting Saric at No. 14, however, Utah will address the elephant in the room—specifically, that the college players in this year's draft are of equal risk.
At No. 21, the Jazz will capitalize on the drop of Allen Crabbe to select a two-way player who's simply too good to pass over. For a Utah team that loves to shoot the three but is thin on consistent threats, finding a player with deep range and high defensive upside is a steal here.
German point guard Dennis Schroeder is another option, which is yet another display of how Utah can play the key role in defining the market for international players early on.