We're mere hours away from the 2013 NBA Draft process getting kicked off in Brooklyn's Barclays Center, and there's only one thing certain about the festivities—expect the unexpected.
From top to bottom, this entire draft process has been fervent with trade rumors and innuendo. Based on every person you talk to, this draft brings forth some of the biggest question marks in recent memory. There are no guaranteed All-Stars, but plenty of guys who may develop into one—only in the right situation.
There is no Anthony Davises in this draft. There is no Andrew Wigginses, next year's presumed No. 1 pick. Heck, there might not even be any Seventh Woodses.
What there is plenty of, however, is uncertainty. The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the top selection, and while it seems they'll be choosing between Kentucky's Nerlens Noel and Maryland's Alex Len, nothing can be guaranteed. ESPN's Chad Ford reported earlier on Thursday that Cleveland's top priority is still finding a trade partner, with the expectation of getting a 2014 lottery pick and a young, established veteran in return.
So far, it seems they've been told "good luck with that." There is no word on whether any team has been willing to meet those demands, and history says the Cavaliers will wind up keeping the top selection whether they want it or not.
The last time the No. 1 overall selection was traded was 1993, when the Orlando Magic sent Chris Webber to the Golden State Warriors for Penny Hardaway and three other first-round selections.
Considering the rampant skepticism about the top players in this draft, it's hard to see Cleveland matching that haul. Over time, it's become clear that while teams are willing to send off the top overall selection, the cost-to-value expectations are amiss. Cleveland will be selecting at No. 1. So it's time to start the Len-Noel anticipation right now.
That being said, the Cavaliers should be one of the draft's most active teams. They have four selections within the first 33 picks of the festivities (Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33) and a roster already teeming with young talent. Cleveland would love to make a push for the playoffs next season with Kyrie Irving entering year three and those latter assets could be cobbled together to land that coveted veteran.
Other teams with major assets include the Atlanta Hawks (four selections), Portland Trail Blazers (four) and Minnesota Timberwolves (four). It will be interesting to see how each of those teams chooses to take advantage of their surplus.
Elsewhere, there are a myriad of teams looking to move up, move back or simply acquire a pick they don't already have. Here is a quick run of rumors from numerous sources about teams that could be looking to move around on draft night, just to give you an idea about the craziness that could go on at the Barclays Center:
There's always been a prevailing wisdom among the NBA snobbery (e.g. people who hate fun), that the spectacle we make of the draft is overrated. That only a select few players are franchise-altering talents; that the parading of these young men up to the stage over the course of multiple hours is "boring."
I don't know much, but nothing about those rumors seem "boring." There will be a ton of roster movement Thursday night, involving players, picks and future cash considerations. With the NBA's collective bargaining agreement placing a higher value on these picks than ever, you'll see at least a few teams take risks that seem shocking.
For now, though, the draft stays stagnant. The league required teams to inform them by 2 p.m. of any trades involving draft picks, placing a mini-moratorium on deals until a player is selected. Each team is currently locked into making their pick when on the clock.
Whether those players will ultimately stay there? That will be the biggest question of the night.
With that in mind, here is a complete breakdown of where each team will be making their selections in a few hours.
Complete 2013 NBA Draft Order
|Round 1||Round 2|
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||31||Cleveland Cavaliers (via Orlando)|
|2||Orlando Magic||32||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Charlotte)|
|3||Washington Wizards||33||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|4||Charlotte Bobcats||34||Houston Rockets (via Phoenix)|
|5||Phoenix Suns||35||Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans)|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||36||Sacramento Kings|
|7||Sacramento Kings||37||Detroit Pistons|
|8||Detroit Pistons||38||Washington Wizards|
|9||Minnesota Timberwolves||39||Portland Trail Blazers (via Minnesota)|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||40||Portland Trail Blazers|
|11||Philadelphia 76ers||41||Philadelphia 76ers|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto)||42||Memphis Grizzlies (via Toronto)|
|13||Dallas Mavericks||43||Milwaukee Bucks|
|14||Utah Jazz ||44||Dallas Mavericks|
|15||Milwaukee Bucks||45||Portland Trail Blazers (via Boston)|
|16||Boston Celtics||46||Utah Jazz|
|17||Atlanta Hawks||47||Atlanta Hawks|
|18||Atlanta Hawks (via Houston)||48||Atlanta Hawks (via Houston)|
|19||Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers)||49||Los Angeles Lakers|
|20||Chicago Bulls||50||Chicago Bulls|
|21||Utah Jazz (via Golden State)||51||Orlando Magic (via Golden State)|
|22||Brooklyn Nets||52||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn)|
|23||Indiana Pacers||53||Indiana Pacers|
|24||New York Knicks||54||Washington Wizards (via New York)|
|25||Los Angeles Clippers||55||Memphis Grizzlies|
|26||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Memphis)||56||Detroit Pistons (via LA Clippers)|
|27||Denver Nuggets||57||Phoenix Suns (via Denver)|
|28||San Antonio Spurs||58||San Antonio Spurs|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder||59||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City)|
|30||Phoenix Suns (via Miami)||60||Memphis Grizzlies (via Miami)|
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