2013 NBA Draft: Analysts' Reactions to the Top 10 Picks and Grades
The 2013 NBA draft has definitely left both fans and analysts in a bewildered state.
While many anticipated the 2013 NBA draft to be one of the dullest drafts in NBA history, what went on Thursday evening was definitely far from that.
From Anthony Bennett winning big to Nerlens Noel’s free fall, the top 10 picks alone had all of our jaws dropped against the floor in amazement.
On that note, let’s assess the top 10 picks of the draft and check out what some of basketball's most prominent analysts had to say about the draft.
No. 1: Cleveland Cavaliers Select Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Everyone was caught off guard by Cleveland selecting Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall.
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
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
Sure, we knew there was a chance Bennett could go as high as No. 3 with the Wizards, but No. 1 overall? It’s crazy and somewhat of a risk.
However, when you really think about it, the selection does make sense.
Bennett gives the Cavaliers an inside-out threat who is capable of scoring whenever and wherever he wants. Plus, pairing Bennett alongside Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao makes the Cavaliers virtually unstoppable on the glass.
Maybe Bennett’s brute strength and prowess on the offensive end reminds the Cavaliers of former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Larry Johnson, who was selected No. 1 22 years ago.
Whatever the case, Cleveland deciding to pass on Noel in favor of Bennett may have been shocking, but it very well may turn out to be one of the best decisions Cleveland has ever made.
No. 2: Orlando Magic Select Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Oladipo is taking his talents to Orlando.
Many analysts believe Oladipo has the potential to become something special in the NBA.
Magic strike Gold with Hoosiers OLADIPO!— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 27, 2013
Love Oladipo for Orlando. Nice foundational piece.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 27, 2013
In his two years at Indiana, Oladipo was a highlight reel, constantly leaving all of us in amazement by way of his off-the-charts athleticism. Oladipo crashes the boards on the regular, grabbing 6.3 rebounds per contest during his sophomore year.
Although the Magic needed to address their point guard issues, selecting Oladipo to go along with their budding core of Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris will definitely prove to be yet another smart decision by general manager Rob Hennigan and Co.
No. 3: Washington Wizards Select Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown
The Wizards took the safe route and selected a player they desperately need in Otto Porter.
However, if both Porter and Bennett had happened to be available when it came time for the Wizards to select, would they have drafted Porter?
Days before the draft, it was believed that the Wizards were torn between Otto Porter Jr. and Anthony Bennett, according to Post Sports.
Based on the unpredictable nature of the NBA draft, the Wizards could have gone either way if Bennett were available.
Not all feel Porter has the goods to have a major impact in the league.
Otto Porter Jr. will have little to no impact on the future of the Wizards.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 27, 2013
How can he fail?
Porter was the primary facilitator in Georgetown's offense, and he still put up 16.2 points per contest. Plus, even if the shots aren't falling some nights, his 7'1" wingspan will definitely cause problems on the defensive end.
No. 4: Charlotte Bobcats Select Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Wait, what? Cody Zeller was selected before Noel?
Yes he was, and the Bobcats should receive a round of applause for doing so.
Nevertheless, not all are sold on the Cats’ decision to pick Zeller over Noel and Alex Len.
Drafting Cody Zeller over Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore is such a Charlotte Bobcats pick. Zeller is a nice guy, but they'll regret that one.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2013
do the bobcats want to win? asking for a friend.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) June 28, 2013
But honestly, can you recall a time when the Bobcats possessed a scoring interior threat?
I didn't think so.
For years, the Bobcats have been in dire need of a big man who is capable of putting the ball in the basket night in and night out (unless you consider Byron Mullens as a force to be reckoned with).
From day one, Zeller was the best player on the Hoosiers, averaging 16.1 points on 59.2 percent shooting during his two years at Indiana.
Of course, Zeller’s lack of strength will cause him to be manhandled at times on the defensive end.
However, his efficient arsenal of post moves and a reliable 15-footer will definitely take the scoring load off of Kemba Walker next season.
Although Michael Jordan has had his fair share of odd executive decisions, filling a need in drafting Zeller deserves a thumbs up.
No. 5: Phoenix Suns Select Alex Len, C, Maryland
Without question, Alex Len fell into Phoenix arms.
At 7’1”, Len gives the Suns size in the interior that they sorely lacked last season. Currently in rebuilding mode, the Suns' acquisition of Len could very well mean that Marcin Gortat’s days in Phoenix are numbered, according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy.
Suns may trade Marcin Gortat in next year. He met with Suns brass this offseason to discuss future. He's 29, expendable after Alex Len pick.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2013
While the skills are evident, there is still much we do not know about Len. During his sophomore year with the Terps, he only logged 26.4 minutes per game.
Although acquiring a big man to shore up the frontline is justifiable, the Suns would have been wise to address their need for a perimeter threat by drafting a guard instead.
No. 6: New Orleans Pelicans Select Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky (Rights Traded to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday)
Dell Demps has done it again.
Going into the draft, it was evident that the Pelicans would be looking to acquire a point guard.
However, who would have thought it would come in the form of 23-year-old All-Star Jrue Holiday?
Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans. Trade your 23-year-old All-Star point guard??— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) June 28, 2013
Still cannot believe the Sixers traded one of my favorite young players in the league, @Jrue_Holiday11 ... Sixers fans should be sick!— Sekou Smith (@SekouSmithNBA) June 28, 2013
It is simply unbelievable.
Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie traded away their franchise cornerstone in Holiday in favor of a center with limited offensive skills in Noel. Plus, the possibility of landing Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the 2014 first-rounder is simply a game of chance.
For the Pelicans, however, making the playoffs in a gruesome Western Conference has become highly probable. Now boasting a young core of Holiday, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Austin Rivers, the Pelicans have returned New Orleans basketball to relevancy overnight.
For this one, both the Sixers and Pelicans will be graded.
Grade: Pelicans: A+, Sixers: C+
No. 7: Sacramento Kings Select Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The Sacramento Kings pounced on the opportunity to draft Ben McLemore Thursday evening.
McLemore is a player with immense potential who is capable of becoming a star in the NBA.
In an interview with USA Today's Scott Gleeson, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas referred to McLemore as the "most gifted player" out of all the prospects in the draft.
Certainly, being able to grab a guy that shot 49.5 percent from the field last season at Kansas with the seventh pick is a major steal.
Furthermore, could McLemore’s arrival signal the end of Tyreke Evans in Sacramento?
It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out.
No. 8: Detroit Pistons Select Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
Pistons get big guard in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - fills a need— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 28, 2013
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a prototypical shooting guard who can fill it up at any given point in a game.
Last season, Caldwell-Pope ranked second in the SEC in scoring with 18.5 points per game. After a year in which the Pistons ranked 23rd in scoring, that type of production will be needed.
No. 9: Minnesota Timberwolves Select Trey Burke, PG, Michigan (Rights Traded to the Utah Jazz)
Fortunately for Utah, Trey Burke was available.
From his ability to switch gears in the blink of an eye to the toughness he displays when attacking the rim, Burke is ready for the rigors of the NBA.
Jeff Goodman on ESPN Radio - Trey Burke is safest pick in the draft 12 to 15 ppg for ten years - Star in pick & roll game Leader #Agree— Tim McCormick (@TMcCormickESPN) June 27, 2013
With Mo Williams likely to sign elsewhere in July, the stage is ready for Trey Burke in Utah.
No. 10: Portland Trail Blazers Select C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh
Love the idea of McCollum and Lillard playing together. That's great basketball.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) June 28, 2013
For a team that received zero contributions from their bench last season, bringing in McCollum instantly bolsters the Blazers' second unit.
Despite having played in only 12 games last season due to a broken foot, McCollum averaged 23.9 points while shooting an incredible 33-of-64 from downtown.
McCollum’s ability as a combo guard gives head coach Terry Stotts the delightful options of allowing McCollum to run the show while Lillard gets a breather, as well as playing the young studs alongside each other.
Certainly, after logging 38.6 minutes per game last season, Lillard has to be ecstatic at the prospect of getting some rest.
The 2013 NBA draft was compelling from the get-go. No man could have predicted what went on Thursday evening.
How would you grade the 2013 NBA draft? Leave your opinions in the comment section below and let your voice be heard.
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