NBA Teams Guaranteed to Be Players During 2013 Draft
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The NBA Finals may be the focus of most fans, but the 2013 Draft is right around the corner.
For every team in the Association, the draft is a chance to improve. For some, however, that chance is larger than others.
Teams with multiple picks, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, have a chance to be a big-time presence on June 27. Others, such as the Dallas Mavericks, have an opportunity to make some noise via trade.
Until the day comes and goes, there’s no way to truly predict the outcome. However, when it’s all said and done, one of the most exciting days of the year should have plenty of storylines for fans across the league.
Let’s not beat around the bush here: The Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance to be major players during the 2013 NBA draft.
Having obtained the first overall pick twice in the last three years, Cleveland has a chance to push themselves further away from LeBron James’ decision to leave. They’re not likely to find a Kyrie Irving-caliber talent this time around, but they can make sure that progress continues in the right direction.
Nerlens Noel has been considered a No. 1 pick for a while, but the truth is that there is no consensus superstar in this draft. Alex Len has been considered at the spot, according to Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune, and the possibility of trading the pick has also been discussed.
What the Cavs do with their pick has yet to be determined, but one other fact remains: They have three other picks. With four total picks in the draft, whatever they do will end up shaping their roster for years to come.
The Phoenix Suns have an identity crisis on their hands, and while more draft picks won’t necessarily help them right away, it will at least give them a sense of direction moving toward the future.
This is a team that lost its way following the deal that sent Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers. It tried to acquire a plethora of talent during the 2012 offseason, but those options never jelled, leaving them near the league's basement.
Marcin Gortat is a candidate to be traded. He disappointed during his 2012-13 campaign, but more specifically, he’s in the final year of his contract.
The Suns are already in the lottery, but adding another young piece could help them officially move past the loss of their franchise player.
The Boston Celtics' appearance on this list doesn’t make them a shoo-in to strike a deal. That said, they’re sure to keep us talking, and nobody should be surprised if we’re discussing their future when June 27 finally arrives.
While rumors between the Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers were once assumed to be dead, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne have reported that talks are back on. Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett appear to be the focal points of discussion, but Paul Pierce’s future also seems to be up in the air.
The Clippers, of course, also belong on this list as a result of this deal.
If this goes down, it officially re-opens queries regarding how both units rebuild toward the future. However, if it doesn’t happen, the Celtics will remain a focal point of the media, while Los Angeles will put all of its efforts toward finding a coach and retaining Chris Paul.
According to NBA analyst/insider Brett Poirier, the Washington Wizards have been linked to the Milwaukee Bucks entering the draft. The deal would send Washington Ersan Ilyasova for the No. 3 pick.
However, that notion seems like a long shot with talent waiting to be chosen atop the 2013 class.
The Cleveland Cavaliers may have been the team with the No. 1 pick, but Washington is the one who jumped ahead of the pack to exceed expectations. They landed a pick in the top three, and they have a chance to truly bolster their lineup as a result.
Washington wasn’t nearly as bad as its record indicated. With John Wall out of the lineup during the first half of the year, the team was awful. With Wall in it, the team looked like a whole different unit.
Don’t be shocked if the team keeps its pick come draft day, but don’t be surprised, either, if it gets a player who can push them to the next level in 2013-14.
The Dallas Mavericks—or any other team, for that matter—can’t officially announce a trade until after they’ve made their selections on draft day. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t already come to an agreement with another organization.
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, the Mavs may already have a deal in place. Talks have quieted down regarding their current situation, which to Ford is an indication that a trade may be in the works.
Who will the Mavs deal with? Only time will tell.
But for a team that has gone from championship to lottery in just two years, a big-time move is much-needed.