2013 NBA Draft Grades: Overall Assessment of All 30 Teams
After a number of trades and surprising picks, including the No. 1 overall pick, there’s really only one way to describe the 2013 NBA draft.
It was wild.
Some teams were clearly focused on winning now, while other teams were looking for long-term options to continue a high level of success for years to come.
The best way to tell how each team did is to assign grades. These grades are based off of how well the teams addressed their needs and if they drafted or traded for the best players to fit with their team.
There’s plenty to talk about with all 30 teams, so let’s go ahead and get right into it.
The Dallas Mavericks only picked up one player on Thursday night, but they probably got one of the most athletic players in the draft class.
Shane Larkin impressed plenty of scouts at the combine, and that was able to help him jump up into the first round. While he still needs to develop into a better overall player, the upside is enormous.
Grabbing a couple of second-round picks in the future from the Boston Celtics is nice, but Larkin is the big story. He'll be a flashy player in the backcourt, and he could become a starter with time.
It was a bit surprising to see the Nuggets not take a wing player here, with the future of Andre Iguodala in Denver uncertain, but they were able to get a few decent picks.
Erick Green in particular is a nice player to come in and learn behind Ty Lawson. He probably won’t develop into anything more than a role player, but at least it’s something coming out of the second round.
Overall, this was a very average draft for a team that has a lot of questions to face in the next few months with a new head coach and several players possibly leaving.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors walked away from the draft with two players after having no picks coming into the night. They gave up a second-round pick in 2014 and came away with the shooting guard Malcolm Lee and a point guard in Nemanja Nedovic.
Both of these guys help add some depth to a team that clearly needed players to come off the bench and make a positive impact during the playoffs. If Jarrett Jack is gone next season, the Warriors will need someone to step up.
There was nothing flashy about this team, but at least it came away with something.
There were a couple of ways the Houston Rockets could have gone with this pick, but they made a solid decision by taking Isaiah Canaan out of Murray State.
Bringing in a backup to Jeremy Lin makes a lot of sense. Canaan appears to be the better shooter over Lin, and he can be a bit quicker off of the bench and give Lin a rest when it’s needed.
For a second-round pick, this was a good one.
Los Angeles Clippers
Reggie Bullock is a pick that’s hard to have a strong opinion about one way or the other. He’s a strong wing when it comes to scoring without creating his own shots, but what the Los Angeles Clippers saw in college is probably what they’re going to get.
If Chris Paul stays in LA, then Bullock could become a decent scorer. If not, he will probably struggle trying to create his own shot.
Los Angeles Lakers
Plenty of people might not like this, but I like the pick. Ryan Kelly has nice range for a forward and can put up plenty of points if needed.
With Metta World Peace on the decline and the possible departure of Dwight Howard, this is a guy who will come in and do what’s asked of him at a high level.
Jamaal Franklin might have been one of the bigger steals in the draft. For a guy who was projected by some to be a top-20 pick, the Memphis Grizzlies picked him up with the No. 41 overall selection. He’s an athletic wing who can do a lot of things well and possibly replace Tony Allen.
Shipping off Darrell Arthur and bringing in Kostas Koufos gives the Grizzlies a nice backup to play as a center or power forward if needed.
The Minnesota Timberwolves brought in a possible starter in Shabazz Muhammad. He’s a true scorer on the wing who can take some of the pressure off of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, and he makes this a nice starting lineup.
The Gorgui Dieng pick is another nice one as well. A center with some decent range who is an excellent defender off of the bench gives this team a solid presence down low for the majority of the game.
The other picks could potentially become role players at some point, but for now they addressed some short-term needs quite nicely.
New Orleans Pelicans
Who knows what would have happened with Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis on the same team, but the New Orleans Pelicans made a good decision by trading him away.
Instead of keeping Noel, the Pelicans got Jrue Holiday, an NBA All-Star player at the point guard position. It might not have been necessary to bring in another point guard in Pierre Jackson, but overall, the Pelicans had a nice Thursday by bringing in a big name in Holiday.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Critics aren’t sure why the Oklahoma City Thunder went for developmental players rather than players who could play now and go for another shot at the title, but this team looks focused on building for the future regardless of the current state of the franchise.
Steven Adams is an extremely raw center out of Pittsburgh, and Andre Roberson is a good player on the glass but needs to work on other parts of his game.
Who knows, maybe this will turn out to be an incredible draft in three or four years. For now, however, the Thunder didn’t get anyone who will really make a big impact next season.
One of the most highly debated picks before the draft was Alex Len out of Maryland. The Phoenix Suns clearly felt that he could be an impact player in the NBA and took him with the No. 5 pick. It could either turn out great for both sides or crash and burn, but the Suns took that chance.
Archie Goodwin will probably start for the Suns this year solely due to the need at the shooting guard position, but he’s still probably not going to take the league by storm.
This is a decent draft where they were able to bring in two potential starters, but there’s plenty of risk with both of these picks.
For a team that wants to win now, I can see why it did so.
Portland Trail Blazers
There were plenty of picks taken by the Portland Trail Blazers in the draft, and the majority of them are very solid picks.
C.J. McCollum was a scoring machine while at Lehigh, while Allen Crabbe was probably one of the best shooters in the draft. They will both provide very nice scoring options off of the bench. Meanwhile, both Jeff Withey and Grant Jerrett could add some solid depth and be nice defensive players on the roster.
This was a job well done by Portland, who addressed some clear needs.
It feels like the Sacramento Kings continue to stockpile guards year after year, and this draft was no different.
Still, the Kings might have gotten one of the most talented players in the draft in Ben McLemore, along with a nice point guard in Ray McCallum.
While they may not have addressed their team’s needs, they got some nice players but will need to answer some questions about the current situation of the frontcourt in the near future.
San Antonio Spurs
I won’t question the pick of an international player by the San Antonio Spurs, taking Livio Jean-Charles, as they’ve proved time and time again that they know what they’re doing with overseas prospects.
The other pick was a pretty nice option as well, taking Deshaun Thomas near the end of the draft. He’s a scorer on the wing, and if he makes the roster, he will be a possible go-to option from time to time.
The biggest need for the Utah Jazz was the presence of a big-time point guard, and they were able to grab just that. They may have traded two first-round picks, but it was a nice trade for both sides, and the Jazz now have their point guard for the future.
Rudy Gobert will probably stay overseas for a few more years, but for now, the Jazz will be looking to make a playoff push with a true floor general in Trey Burke.
The Atlanta Hawks had a crazy draft and brought in five new faces overall, making them one of the busiest teams from Thursday night.
They were able to bring in two of the top foreign prospects in Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroeder, while adding other potential role players in Mike Muscala and Raul Neto, along with grabbing a 2012 draft pick in Jared Cunningham.
It’s unlikely that any of these guys start next season, but all of them certainly have a chance to make plays coming off of the bench.
It’s apparent that the Boston Celtics are now in the mindset of rebuilding this team. With Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett now off to Brooklyn, the Celtics will now have three extra first-round picks in the future.
This is a hard team to grade. Kelly Olynyk was a nice pick, but he has limited upside and isn’t a player to build an entire team around. Colton Iverson was a nice pick, but he will only be able to provide limited depth if he makes the squad.
It will be a while before the Celtics become a championship contender once again, but they seem focused on preparing for the future.
The Brooklyn Nets got three players who have been great in their careers and are slowly on the decline due to age. Still, this team wants to win now, and bringing in Terry, Pierce and Garnett could do just that.
The Mason Plumlee pick was another good one. He is a nice player to come in and play behind Brook Lopez and will definitely learn a thing or two over the next few seasons.
A young team needed to take a player who is already developed rather than drafting yet another project, and the Charlotte Bobcats did just that with Cody Zeller.
Zeller was a more developed prospect than Len or Noel, especially on offense. He has a nice jump shot that he rarely used college but will need to continue to get stronger while down low.
Some will call it a reach, but I will call it a smart pick to take a guy who’s ready to play in the league now rather than in two or three years.
With Derrick Rose coming back, this team is expecting to make a run at a championship. The Chicago Bulls came into the draft with a couple of needs, and they addressed them nicely.
Tony Snell is a strong defender against shooting guards and small forwards, and he has a nice jump shot to make him a balanced player. Erik Murphy is a terrific shooter from the corner and can show some toughness on both sides of the ball.
These two guys bring some nice depth to a team that didn’t really need an instant starter, and the Bulls addressed their needs as well as they could.
They may have started the draft off with quite a surprise, but the pick of Anthony Bennett was a good one. He has plenty of upside and showed he was a nice scorer from the inside and out while at UNLV.
They added two additional bench players in Sergey Karasev, who is an excellent shooter, and Carrick Felix, who is a strong defender on the wing.
Three solid draft picks later and the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to look better and better on paper.
The Detroit Pistons had the opportunity to bring in Trey Burke to finally give this team a strong point guard, but instead they went with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who will likely start at shooting guard in the upcoming season.
Peyton Siva can become a nice backup point guard for this team, and Tony Mitchell is an underrated pick at No. 37.
This team may have had an opportunity to bring in a guy to run the offense, but it still got a starter and two possible role players.
This team’s biggest needs were either a backup point guard or a scorer off of the bench. Instead, the Indiana Pacers got a bruiser at the small forward position in Solomon Hill.
It’s not necessarily a bad pick if Danny Granger leaves, but until that happens, this could be a bit of a head-scratcher.
I’m not exactly sure why the Miami Heat traded into the draft to take a small forward, but that’s what they did with James Ennis. A center would have made more sense.
Still, the Heat are coming off of back-to-back NBA championships, so critics can’t really criticize this team too much.
Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ricky Ledo could very well be stashed away for a couple of seasons before coming here, but they both have excellent upside and could take the NBA by storm once they’re fully developed.
The Milwaukee Bucks probably needed some help right now, but they seem more focused on the future and winning later rather than now.
New York Knicks
The selection of Tim Hardaway Jr. could mean that the New York Knicks won’t try to re-sign J.R. Smith, but the pick itself wasn’t a bad one.
Hardaway was probably the best player left on the board with the No. 24 pick, and the Knicks pulled the trigger.
Other than that, there’s not really anything else to talk about with this team, but it was a solid pick.
Romero Osby may not make the team, but the story of the night for the Orlando Magic was taking Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo was probably the most exciting player to watch in college basketball last season. He’s an incredible all-around player on both sides of the ball and could help turn the Magic around sooner rather than later.
It will probably come as a shock to Philadelphia 76ers fans to see their best player from last season heading to New Orleans, but they will now have to see if Nerlens Noel can be the player Andrew Bynum was supposed to be last season.
With Holiday gone, however, the 76ers quickly were able to take Michael Carter-Williams out of Syracuse. He’s an incredible passer and is listed at 6’6’’, giving him some nice length at the position.
There's plenty of uncertainty heading into next season, but their top two picks certainly weren’t bad ones.
The Toronto Raptors made no moves on Thursday night, and therefore don’t receive a grade.
The backcourt of the Washington Wizards seems set, and Otto Porter coming in means that this team now has three very solid young players who could finally turn this franchise around.
Meanwhile, Glen Rice Jr. was another great pick. He spent last year in the NBA D-League and took it by storm, and his potential to be a sixth man who can score on this team makes the roster look very nice for next season.
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