Expect the unexpected when the 2013 NBA draft begins tonight.
There are just a few hours until the draft gets going, and there's still plenty of uncertainty about what’s about to happen.
While some experts believe they have some idea as to who will go where, things don’t always go as planned. One pick can shake up the entire draft and every expert will be throwing their mock in the trash. No one is going to be 100 percent correct about this draft.
So, how can you prepare for such an unpredictable draft? Well, here are three unlikely predictions that will definitely shock you if they turn out to be true. And don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Noel Falls to No. 5
Throughout the last few months, Nerlens Noel has been considered one of the top prospects in the draft class and the most likely player to get selected with the No. 1 overall pick. If the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t select him with the first pick, it would be somewhat surprising.
But what if Noel continues to fall?
The Orlando Magic aren’t in a position where they must take Noel if Cleveland goes with Alex Len at No. 1. Orlando needs a scorer more than a center who doesn’t have much game on offense. The Washington Wizards will take Otto Porter instead of Noel at No. 3. With the fourth pick, the Charlotte Bobcats will take Victor Oladipo.
So, the best prospect in the country isn’t going to get drafted until the fifth overall pick in the draft?
Yes, and while it’s a bold prediction, it’s not completely impossible. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that if the Cavs do select Len, there is a chance that Noel falls all the down to the Phoenix Suns at No. 5:
The Cavaliers are choosing between Nerlens Noel and Alex Len at No. 1. If they pick Len, Noel could drop to Suns at No. 5.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2013
If the Suns were to select Noel at No. 5, one would presume that Markieff Morris would lose his starting job at power forward. Luis Scola would move from center to power forward, and once Noel returns at some point in December, he would take over as the big man on the low block. Don’t count this scenario out just yet.
Muhammad Drops Out of Top 20
Shabazz Muhammad was supposed to be this elite talent that was going to take the college basketball world by storm this past year. While Muhammad still had an impressive freshman season at UCLA, he definitely didn’t live up to the hype. He scored 17.9 points and grabbed 5.2 rebounds per game in 2012-13.
There seems to be a lot not to like about Muhammad, which makes him an interesting prospect. While everyone knows he’s talented, no one seems quite sure how well he’ll play at the NBA level. He’s not the biggest small forward, he isn’t very athletic and he's very left-hand dominant, among other flaws.
Muhammad is good enough to get selected in the first 10 picks of the draft, but there’s a good chance that he goes somewhere in the No. 11 through No. 16 range, in my opinion. It would be surprising if Muhammad didn’t get selected until the 20th pick of the first round at the earliest.
If commissioner David Stern doesn’t call Muhammad’s name through the first 19 picks, expect the former Bruin to go to the Brooklyn Nets at No. 22.
The Nets need someone who can shoot well and put points on the board each night. While they already have Gerald Wallace, he only scored 7.7 points per game this past season.
Mavericks Don’t Trade No. 13
If there’s one team that’s going to make a trade tonight, it’s definitely the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas wants to avoid taking on any additional cap room. It has been actively shopping the No. 13 pick in the draft and several teams could want it, according to Alex Kennedy of USA Today:
Dallas continues to shop #13. Minnesota and OKC want to move up. Memphis, Houston, Golden State, Philadelphia want to add a first-rounder.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 27, 2013
One would presume that at this point, the Mavericks would be willing to basically give the No. 13 pick away—meaning for nothing special, not absolutely nothing.
The Mavericks could, however, take a player from overseas that they know wouldn’t come to the NBA right away, so their payroll would stay the same.
As there are only a few hours until the draft commences, Dallas is likely still seeking ways to trade the pick. It appears that the Mavericks just don’t like what other teams are offering, according to Andy Katz of ESPN:
Dallas still taking offers for 13. Having trouble moving it.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 27, 2013
When the draft really gets going, expect Dallas to still have the No. 13 pick. While still struggling to move the pick, the Mavericks will be forced to hang on to the selection for the time being. If there isn’t an international player available that makes sense at No. 13, Dallas will take whomever is there and figure it out at a later time.