2013 NBA Draft Results: Most Surprising Storylines to Emerge

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27:  Nerlens Noel of Kentucky  looks on as he sits in the draft green room during the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 27, 2013 in in the Brooklyn Bourough of New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

When looking back on the 2013 NBA draft, one thing is for sure—it didn't fail to surprise. 

Thursday night's draft marked David Stern's last as NBA commissioner and he went out with one of the more interesting and crazy drafts in recent memory. 

In all, the draft saw 60 total selections, 16 total proposed trades, footage of Stern's mustache circa 1984, a Hakeem Olajuwon appearance and plenty of surprising developments.

Here were the biggest surprises of the night. 


The Cleveland Cavaliers Took Who?!

If there's one thing we should know about Cleveland Cavaliers GM Chris Grant it's that he doesn't necessarily do things by the book. His latest bold selection truly shocked NBA fans, taking UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett with the first selection in the draft. 

Usually analysts and fans have a good feeling about who is going No. 1 overall. This year there was a sense that it could have been one of a few prospects, but almost no one saw Anthony Bennett coming. 

Even Anthony Bennett, per Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld:


Grant has made some surprising moves at the draft in year's past. Last year he shocked everyone by taking Syracuse sixth man Dion Waiters with the fourth pick and went with Texas forward Tristan Thompson with the No. 4 pick in the 2011 draft. 

Time has yet to tell whether or not Grant's moves will result in long-term success in Cleveland, but he left his own personal mark on yet another draft. 


Sixers and Pelicans Make Franchise-Altering Trade

For better or worse, the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans altered their long-term futures in a big way on Thursday night. 

It all started when Kentucky center Nerlens Noel fell to the No. 6 pick for the Pelicans. The Kentucky shot swatter was believed to be a prime candidate for the No. 1 overall selection by several NBA draft experts going into the draft, but slid all the way out of the top five, setting up the Pelicans to make their move. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Pelicans sent Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected 2014 draft pick to the 76ers for point guard Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 overall pick in the draft. The Pelicans used the pick to then select Pierre Jackson, a point guard from Baylor. 

The trade is a blockbuster deal for both teams. The Sixers get their big man in the post, but will have to hope that the questions surrounding his healing ACL are answered soon, as well as his overall slender build. Meanwhile, New Orleans has surrendered their right to pick in a loaded 2014 draft. 

The deal could have ramifications for others that weren't involved too. According to Marc Stein, Noel's arrival in Philadelphia makes it likely that Andrew Bynum is done in Philadelphia. 


Celtics Take Wrecking Ball to Roster; Brooklyn Nets Profit

The 2013 NBA draft will either be remembered by Boston Celtics fans as the night that allowed them to rebuild a champion or the night they made a huge mistake. 

In a deal that didn't involve any draft picks, the Celtics agreed to deal fan-favorites Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. According to ESPN, the deal breaks down like this:

Brooklyn Nets receive: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry

Boston Celtics receive: Kris Humphries' expiring contract, Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia, Reggie Evans, a sign-and-traded Keith Bogans and first round picks in 2014, '16 and '18. 

How's that for a blockbuster?

This is an obvious cap dump for the Celtics, who will need cap space and draft picks if they want to rebuild a contender. They got plenty of both in this trade. Humphries expiring contract alone is worth $12 million. 

For the Nets, this was a clear indication that they are ready to compete for a championship as soon as possible. As Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweeted out, they'll have a formidable starting five:


In one fell swoop, one of the NBA's most storied franchises blew everything up and the Nets became one of the most interesting teams in the league. According to the ESPN report, the deal can't be official until July 10, but this was still the biggest story of draft night.