NBA Draft Results 2013: Breaking Down Teams with Most Questionable Picks

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

The surprises started early in the 2013 NBA Draft.
The surprises started early in the 2013 NBA Draft.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

There were bound to be some head-scratchers in one of the most uncertain drafts in NBA history.

In a class devoid of any game-changing superstars, it was anyone's guess who would go where. Everyone tried to get it right, but few succeeded, with a few early picks that threw everything off course.

Then again, every pick is questionable the day after the draft. There's not a single player guaranteed to succeed, so we're all merely trying to hypothesize as intelligently as possible.

These choices will become the most scrutinized of Thursday night's draft, but it remains to be seen whether they will flop or pan out.

Cleveland Cavaliers - SF/PF Anthony Bennett (Drafted No. 1)

They got Kyrie Irving two years ago. They landed LeBron James a decade ago. So it's tough to feel bad for the Cleveland Cavaliers for landing the No. 1 in a year with no true No. 1 player.

Honestly, there's not a pick they could have made that would have saved them from intense scrutiny. Had they followed conventional thought and grabbed Nerlens Noel, doubters would have questioned his health status. Victor Oladipo would have been labeled too boring of a choice, and Ben McLemore an unnecessary reach with Dion Waiters already on board.

So Cleveland went way off script by drafting UNLV forward Bennett, which drew an emphatic "Woah!" from Bill Simmons and likely many watchers at home.

The 6'8", 240-pounder is a bit in no-man's land, as he's too big to play small forward but not big enough for the 4. With Tristan Thompson down low, Bennett will probably have to play the 3, which should not present a problem for the big man offensively.

Defensively, however, his motor still leaves much to be desired. It won't help his cause that he will now forever be associated as a former No. 1 pick who looks more like a fringe All-Star candidate than a franchise savior.

Charlotte Bobcats - C Cody Zeller (Drafted No. 4)

Of course the Charlotte Bobcats did something odd.

Still seeming unable to grasp the depths of their ineptitude, the Bobcats remain afraid to swing for the fences, instead searching for passable pieces that together still form a losing squad.

Zeller is not bad. The 7-foot center, who shot 56.2 percent from the floor during his sophomore year at Indiana, could morph into a solid option down low. Had he landed around pick No. 10, as most prognosticators expected, there would be no complaints here.

But at pick No. 4 for a team desperate for game-changing talent, it made sense for the Bobcats to gamble on Noel, a monster shot-blocker who could become a dominant rim-protector.

Zeller may possess a higher floor, but Noel's ceiling stands stories above the Hoosier's peak. 

Oklahoma City Thunder - C Steven Adams (Drafted No. 12), SF Andre Roberson (No. 27), SG Alex Abrines (No. 32)

For a team a piece or two away from making a championship push, it's sure odd to see the Oklahoma City Thunder chase upside on all of their selections.

With the pick received in the James Harden trade, the Thunder received an underwhelming return in Adams, a 19-year-old center who will likely offer little contribution in 2013. While Kelly Olynyk is not as exciting of a choice, he's a more pro-ready prospect who could have immediately taken away minutes from Kendrick Perkins.

With its two remaining picks, Oklahoma City went for undeveloped players who may not offer much short-term help. Andre Roberson is an athletic combo-forward who can rebound, but he will struggle to find his place offensively in the NBA. Alex Abrines is a promising shooter from Spain whom the Thunder will likely stash.

It's fine to occasionally shoot for the stars. But a team so close to winning a title in a wide-open Western Conference should have spent at least one or two of its picks on a safer bet who could help immediately.