The first round of the 2013 NBA draft was absolutely crazy, largely due to the sheer number of questionable picks—including the Cleveland Cavaliers nabbing Anthony Bennett at No. 1 overall.
While that selection was quite controversial, that doesn’t even crack my top three of dubious decisions made by general managers on draft night.
Let’s take a look at which prospects those honors go to, and then highlight why these players will have to step up in a big way in order to justify being selected in the first round.
A full list of draft results and trades can be found at DraftExpress.com.
No. 16: Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira, C, Atlanta Hawks
Although he has a seven-foot frame and some of the best hair in the draft, Nogueira just doesn’t have the talent to play in the league right now and is far from being able to contribute as anything more than a reserve buried deep on the bench.
The Hawks made the right call to seek out a center in order to allow star player Al Horford to move back to his natural power forward spot, but Nogueira was the wrong call.
While some may compare Bebe to Nerlens Noel—who slid to No. 6—or other high upside big men around the league, he reminds me a bit of Mouhamed Saer Sene.
Both are long, international prospects with major upside that came into the league too early and too raw. Sene was never able to put it together and failed to find success after being picked No. 10 overall in 2006.
Don’t be surprised when Bebe suffers the same fate.
No. 23: Solomon Hill, SF, Indiana Pacers
The last thing the Pacers needed in this draft was another wing player, especially one most experts didn’t project to come off the board until the mid-to-late second round.
Paul George just earned bona fide superstar status for his heroics in the 2013 NBA playoffs, while Danny Granger should be returning from injury, hopefully ready to contribute.
Factor in Lance Stephenson’s emergence and you are looking at a Indiana squad that is not going to have much room for this Arizona product to get minutes.
After the Eastern Conference runner-up's second unit was exposed in the postseason, it was inexcusable for Indy not to grab a backup point guard or big man with this selection.
Unless Solomon Hill is a diamond in the rough with a potential to be an All-Star, this pick was a waste.
No. 26: Andre Roberson, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder had a chance to shore up the backup point guard position and bring in insurance for Russell Westbrook—or at least bring in one of the numerous high-upside prospects still available—but OKC brought in a specialty player that likely won’t make much of a difference in the playoffs.
With the Thunder expected to compete for a title over the next few seasons, it’s hard to imagine this Colorado Buffaloes forward making much of an impact.
While he grabbed rebounds at a great clip, he’s not going to be able to bang with the big boys in the paint at the NBA level. He’s only 6’7”, 206 pounds and will get destroyed in the low post by bigger forwards and centers.
GM Sam Presti has hit home runs by taking gambles before, but I imagine he’s going to strike out on this questionable proposition.