With the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected a talented freshman big man coming off of an injury. But it wasn't Kentucky's Nerlens Noel.
Entering the NBA Draft on Thursday night, it was obvious that there wasn't a consensus No. 1 pick. Still, Noel was thought to be the most likely pick, despite his ACL injury.
The Cavaliers began the night in dramatic fashion, however, by selecting Anthony Bennett from UNLV.
The clearly frazzled Noel sat solemnly as his name wasn't called No. 1. Then he watched as Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter Jr., Cody Zeller and Alex Len were also drafted before him.
Noel went No. 6 to the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by Ben McLemore, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings at No. 7.
While a myriad of trades were made throughout the draft that shook up many teams' prospects, the biggest one was between the Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia traded All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans for Noel and a first-round pick, which puzzled many fans.
Jrue Holiday is so good! Why would you trade him and a first round pick for a guy that has no offense and a bad knee? That's terrible.— Adam Parker (@A_Parker20) June 28, 2013
Twitter erupted when Noel was drafted by the Pelicans, quickly coining #blockparty due to the possibility of Noel joining forces with last year's No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis.
However, many analysts, including Skip Bayless, couldn't believe Noel was overlooked for Bennett to open the draft.
I didn't see enough of Anthony Bennett, but what I did see didn't scream No. 1 overall. Bizarre pick.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 27, 2013
All of the hoopla and dramatics surrounding Noel were warranted; he's one of the top potential prospects in the draft and has the ability to bolster a defense from the get-go. After he dropped to No. 4, many thought the Charlotte Bobcats would finally make a popular selection they could build upon.
But Michael Jordan once again proved to be inept at drafting new talent, making the questionable selection of Indiana's Zeller. Zeller is a very athletic presence in the post who can make many second-chance plays with his motor, but NBA pundits were unpleasantly surprised with this selection.
MJ the talent evaluator strikes again: Zeller got exposed late in the season and will continue to struggle against bigger, stronger pros.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 28, 2013
In my opinion the biggest, surprise of the first round was the poor interviewing skills of Shane Battier, but the questionable calls in the top ten were borderline asinine despite a depleted draft field. And while fans and NBA minds look at the top pick being a huge shocker, I see it as a pleasant highlight.
From surprising picks to dramatic trades, the first round of the NBA draft gave fans much to talk about. Mark my words, though: Anthony Bennett was the highlight, and will be the highlight of this draft.