The NBA draft took place Thursday night. There were question marks heading into the draft because for the first time in many years, there was not a unanimous first overall pick. The Cavaliers even tried to trade the first pick because there was not a single guy who stood above the rest of the draft class.
This year's top 10 picks were a mystery up until they were announced. Expert mock drafts were completely off base in this chaotic first round. There were some good choices, some questionable ones and, as always, some big surprises. There were also a couple of significant trades within the top 10. Here are reactions to the top 10 picks.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV
Nobody saw this coming. I've looked through over a dozen mock drafts, and not a single one of them had Anthony Bennett going first overall to Cleveland. If you are surprised by the pick, don't worry, you are not alone.
Did that really just happen?! Even Anthony Bennett and his camp didn't think he was going No. 1.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 27, 2013
Even Anthony Bennett is shocked that Anthony Bennett went No. 1— John Gonzalez (@gonzoCSN) June 27, 2013
After getting over the shock, this pick is actually an intriguing one. Bennett has an array of skills and is an NBA-ready player. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in brawn and strength. He can score down low and is a solid defender.
Bennett can make an impact for the Cavs this season, but not necessarily how a first overall pick should. Perhaps Bennett is a small part of a bigger plan for Cleveland's future.
2. Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana
The Magic may have passed up on some potential stars, but Oladipo is a fantastic pick. Nobody seems upset by Orlando selecting Oladipo with the second pick.
Sounds like Magic, who picked quickly, were sitting on Oladipo and I can't blame them. Love his NBA skills. Will eventually be an All-Star.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 27, 2013
Victor Oladipo to Magic...great pick for a young team. #ShaneCenter— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 27, 2013
Oladipo will be a great player for the Magic for years to come. He gives 100 percent every time he's on the floor. Oladipo can attack the rim and he plays solid perimeter defense.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, F, Georgetown
Otto Porter won't have to move far from his alma mater. The Wizards snagged him third overall, and Twitter and I agree that the Wiz had an absolute steal with this pick.
Love Otto Porter for the Wizards. Wall-Beal-Porter?! That's a fantastic triumvirate to build around.— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) June 27, 2013
Otto Porter could end up being the best player from this draft.— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) June 27, 2013
The Wizards now have a great young core to look forward to in the near future. Porter is the best all-around player in this year's draft class and can dominate on both ends of the floor.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
This was another big surprise. With other big names still on the board, this pick left me and many others scratching our heads.
With the No. 4 pick the Bobcats take Cody Zeller. This will not be well received.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 27, 2013
Charlotte can't seem to do anything right. It also has had terrible luck in the lottery. Zeller will provide hustle and a little more talent up front, but he is not a pick that will change anything for this franchise anytime soon.
5. Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, C, Maryland
This was an interesting pick for the Suns. It seems as if many people like the pick because Alex Len's potential. He was even projected as the first pick in a handful of mock drafts.
Alex Len is a highly skilled finesse player: typical Sun. Will be pretty good right away, and will always be no more than pretty good.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 28, 2013
It will be interesting to see how the Suns will play with Len and Gortat in the frontcourt. They also have Luis Scola in the mix, so perhaps Scola or Gortat will be on the move.
Len is not a franchise player, but he will make Phoenix better this season. He has the potential and the skill set to be a solid role player for the next decade.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Many people were surprised Noel slipped this far in the draft. He was believed to be the No. 1 pick all season long but suffered a devastating ACL injury that scared other teams away. Just after imagining the defensive nightmare Noel and Davis would be in New Orleans, he was shipped off to Philadelphia.
The Pelicans are getting an All-Star point guard in return. Jrue Holiday has proven to be a star this season, and he will definitely help the Pelicans get better immediately.
As for the Sixers, they have been known to gamble on injured big men before (yes, that means you Andrew Bynum). New GM Sam Hinkie better hope things work out with Noel. He will definitely help defend the interior, but there is no guarantee he will ever develop an efficient post game.
7. Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, G, Kansas
McLemore is another guy who is arguably the top player of this draft class. However, six other teams don't seem to think so. People seem to be disappointed that McLemore is going to Sacramento, where draft picks have been known to fall short of their potential.
Take a good look an Ben McLemore...you may never see him play on television again.— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) June 28, 2013
I think McLemore will have a decent season this year. He will have to battle for playing time with Tyreke Evans. He also will have to perform well despite playing for an organization with weak management.
8. Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, Georgia
Caldwell-Pope is a solid pick in the eighth slot for Detroit. Many people are surprised, and even angry, that he went ahead of Naismith Player of the Year Trey Burke.
8. DET: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- Don't see him as a lock, but taking him over McCollum frees up Brandon Knight to continue improving at PG.— Tony Mejia (@TonyMejiaNBA) June 28, 2013
Caldwell-Pope will fit in nicely to the Pistons lineup. He can be the third guard coming off the bench behind Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey. The kid can shoot the ball lights-out and is a terrific athlete.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Trey Burke, G, Michigan
Burke will not be staying in Minnesota. Minnesota already has plenty of point guards such as Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved, and it does not need Burke.
@Trey_Burke3 will be a Star in 3 years in NBA - has handle Touch & they will dig him in Gopher country— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 28, 2013
Trey Burke is going to the Utah Jazz in a trade, sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 28, 2013
This is a good trade for the Utah Jazz. The Jazz desperately needed a point guard, and they are trusting Burke to be that guy for the future. We all know Burke can drain from three-point land, but the biggest question is whether he will be able to facilitate.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
Many were confused by this pick for Portland. McCollum has the same skill set as reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Might be best pick of draft... CJ McCollum— Andre Iguodala (@andre) June 28, 2013
The Blazers will need to find a way to get the best out of both Lillard and McCollum, and I wish them the best of luck. McCollum is a great player with big dreams coming out of small school Lehigh from the Patriot Conference, and hopefully his game will translate into the NBA.