NBA Draft 2013: Predicting Which Teams Will Make Biggest Leap with New Talent

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2013

Jun 13, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd poses for photos with guard Deron Williams during a press conference at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NBA draft brought twists and turns in every direction, leaving teams who fared quite well and will see better days with their new talent. 

While the draft wasn't short on draft-and-stash players from overseas and young potential that needs to be nourished, there are a handful of teams that are receiving players who are ready to step in right now and contribute to their ball clubs. 

Just as well, some teams landed help from star NBA players and veterans in deadline-day deals that will reap immediate changes across the league.

Let's take a look at which teams will advance the most in 2013-14 with their new additions.


Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets must have been jealous of Thursday's draft and the attention some teams were getting from it, because they decided to go off and pick up two NBA superstars who can still make a big impact in the playoff hunt.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was on the story, breaking it in the middle of Thursday's first round in the NBA draft.

Popular sports handle Jose3030 gave us a visual of the trade via ESPN SportsCenter. 

The players who are departing Brooklyn will certainly hurt, but it pales in comparison to what they were able to receive. They essentially replaced Kris Humphries with Kevin Garnett, which is probably one of the biggest moves you can make, and that was far from it.

They also managed to add Paul Pierce, who averaged 18.6 points and 6.3 rebounds last year despite much of the talk being about how the Celtics were too old. Garnett added nearly 15 points per contest in what was his 17th year in the league.

Adding Jason Terry was just the icing on the cake, given the fact that the Nets are desperately looking for a backup guard to come in and contribute big minutes off the bench. Terry is the definition of a sixth man, and he'll prove that on a team full of veterans.

If Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and company can adjust to these new veterans coming in and giving them the support necessary to build that chemistry, this could turn into a championship contender in no time. It's tough to say that the Nets aren't one of the favorites now to dethrone the Miami Heat in the East.


New Orleans Pelicans

I do like what the Philadelphia 76ers were able to do in their trade with New Orleans just as much, but it will take longer for the Sixers to flourish from their acquisitions. The Pelicans are the team that will receive the "now" boost from this move.

Jrue Holiday, a budding star in the league who many people believe is a top-five point guard, is leaving Philadelphia for New Orleans in exchange for Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected pick in 2014, according to Sam Amick of USA Today

ESPN writer Chris Palmer was appalled by the move, wondering what Philadelphia was thinking by trading off a player with such superstar potential.

Holiday will prove why his potential is that high, turning into the new-age Chris Paul for a New Orleans franchise that has been struggling inevitably since his departure. He's only 23 and is already an All-Star and has proved to have the ability to be a team's best player throughout the course of a season in 2012-13. 

The Pelicans gave up the chance of starting their own "block party" theme with Noel and Anthony Davis, but I don't think anyone in the Big Easy will mind when Jrue Holiday is throwing lobs to Davis and dishing it out for Eric Gordon three-balls.


Minnesota Timberwolves

The T-Wolves had a surprisingly poor year in 2012-13 despite having one of the best young cores of stars in the league with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

But if the 2013 draft was any indication, they're primed for a comeback.

Minnesota decided to trade down at the ninth pick in the draft, giving the Jazz Trey Burke and moving down to the 14th where they were fortunate enough to have Shabazz Muhammad still available. The game-changing talent from UCLA never truly came into his own in college after a NCAA scandal detracted from the start of the season, but nobody questions his ability to score and he'll emerge as a great pickup.

Muhammad will join Kevin Love as one-and-done Bruins on the T-Wolves frontcourt, so expect that chemistry to be there once they get acclimated. 

They also got Gorgui Dieng in the draft, a seasoned Louisville big man who is ready to contribute minutes from the get-go and will be a tireless worker defensively.

These two big additions, along with Lorenzo Brown way back at No. 52, will turn into solid players for the Timberwolves over the next few seasons and should help them gain some ground from a bad 2012-13 season.