Anthony Bennett poses with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being selected with the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers
If you told me that you predicted Thursday night's NBA draft correctly, you're lying. You didn't.
In what might go down as one of the more shocking first rounds in NBA history, there was no shortage of surprises and shocking moments at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2013 NBA draft. While this year's draft class was widely regarded as not having one superstar player, there was no doubting that there was definitely quality out there to be had, and depth and role players filled the first round.
The draft started out with the Cleveland Cavaliers holding the No. 1 overall pick. Many experts and fans had them choosing Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore or possibly even Otto Porter with that selection. Not many of them had the Cavs taking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV with the No. 1 pick.
However, that is exactly what they did. And it's safe to say that most people saw this pick as a shocker, to say the least:
I've always been an Anthony Bennett guy. Wait, who is he?— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) June 27, 2013
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
The more I think about Anthony Bennett going number one, the more I like it.— James Jackson (@superior89indo) June 28, 2013
The night was just getting started, however.
Two out of the next four draft picks came from Indiana University, with Victor Oladipo going second overall to the Orlando Magic and Cody Zeller going fourth overall to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The real drama started with the sixth overall pick. With the sixth overall pick, the New Orleans Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel, who was projected by many to go first overall in the draft. However, moments after Noel was selected, rumors spread that the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pelicans had reached an agreement to send Noel and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the 'Sixers for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Looking at many reactions on Twitter, most fans called the trade a huge success for Philadelphia:
Despite giving up Jrue which is a heart breaker, I really like where my sixers are headed drafting Michael Carter Williams & Nerlens Noel— King Laurent (@Mugga_Mo) June 28, 2013
I thought the @NerlensNoel3 trade was good I think, it gives the Sixers some hope. Plus him in New Orleans didn't seem right.— Josh McGuire (@TheJoshMcGuire) June 28, 2013
Although Im going to miss jrue like crazy (getting a pelicans jersey) I'm glad to see we are rebuilding with some young studs @NerlensNoel3— Eric Moore (@ericgivememoore) June 28, 2013
In one of the more shocking slides of the first round, Kansas University shooting guard Ben McLemore fell to the seventh overall pick, where he was finally selected by the Sacramento Kings. Apparently, some famous athletes were surprised to see McLemore fall that hard but are excited about his prospects in the NBA:
They sleeping on Ben McLemore. Just watch— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 28, 2013
Ben McLemore still on the board?? Kid is gonna be a star in the league— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) June 28, 2013
Other, less-known fans are also projecting big things for the rookie McLemore:
Like Ben Mclemore if you think this kid have Bright future !— OneMillionBallers (@1MillionBallers) June 28, 2013
Rookie of the year: Ben McLemore. Callin it.— DJ (@Djayy_Green) June 28, 2013
Another surprising moment of the first round of the 2013 NBA draft came when the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Michigan point guard Trey Burke with the 11th overall selection. Burke was then immediately traded to the Utah Jazz. Burke, who was the first point guard to come off the board in this year's draft, received a warm ovation on Twitter after being moved to Utah:
Good morning. Did the #Jazz really get Trey Burke last night or was it all a dream? Somebody pinch me so I know its real.— Chalupa Batman (@wheatie_87) June 28, 2013
Having a lot of fun at the Pistons fans expense this morning. TREY BURKE IS GONNA BE GREAT IN UTAH!— Keiran Presland (@Keiran_Presland) June 28, 2013
Trey Burke is a good fit for Utah and is gonna have a great year!! #ROTY— Zack Dezelah (@realzackdezelah) June 28, 2013
After the Burke selection, things really seemed to quiet down. However, the whole complexion of the Eastern Conference changed later in the night.
Despite not having to do with drafting players, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics pulled off a blockbuster deal on draft night that will have fans and experts talking about for a long time.
According to sources, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry will be on their way to Brooklyn, while the Celtics receive the expiring contract of Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia and Reggie Evans, along with first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. As expected, the trade sent shockwaves throughout the league and its fanbase:
I can't get over this Celtics-Nets trade— Drew™ (@dsimp35) June 28, 2013
So who won in this Celtics/Nets trade? Nets got star power but no draft picks & Cs got role players & 2 1st round picks for the next 3 years— Dre (@lDlRlEl) June 28, 2013
Basically RT @SexyUnderHere: Joe Johnson is the happiest person with that Celtics Nets trade...all pressure is off him— Heisenberg (@Lifestyle_AList) June 28, 2013
While the 2013 NBA draft may not have had the pre-draft anticipation that past drafts may have garnered, there is no doubting that Thursday night might have brought more drama that has not been seen on draft night in recent seasons.
Whether it was Cleveland selecting Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick, Nerlens Noel being traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Philadelphia 76ers or the blockbuster trade between the Nets and the Celtics, fans around the league had their fair share of reactions to all the happenings on Thursday night in Brooklyn.
Now, have YOUR say! What were the night's best and most surprising moves? Was it Bennett to Cleveland? Noel to New Orleans and then to Philly? How about McLemore falling to the Kings at No. 7?
Share your opinions on the 2013 NBA draft in the comment thread below!