There were several picks throughout the 2013 NBA draft that made you scratch your head and go, “Well, they’re going to regret that one.”
Each year, there’s at least one franchise that shakes its head after seeing their top prospect play horribly throughout their rookie season and in some cases the years after. It’s just the nature of the draft. Not every prospect is going to pan out, but there are some you can pick out right away.
There are also always going to be players who teams passed on and later become stars. Take a look at Kevin Durant, for example. Imagine if the Blazers drafted him No. 1 overall in 2007 instead of Greg Oden? Portland would be considerably better than it is now.
But teams make regrettable decisions. It's unavoidable. Here are three organizations that are going to regret taking the prospects they did in the first round of the 2013 draft.
Pick They’ll Regret: Anthony Bennett, No. 1
The Cavs surprised everyone watching the draft when the name Anthony Bennett left the mouth of commissioner David Stern on Thursday. No one expected Bennett to go No. 1 to Cleveland, as Alex Len and Nerlens Noel appeared to be more likely candidates. The pick was a bit of a headscratcher, though.
While there’s no question Bennett is a talented player, he’s a power forward and the Cavs already have a good one in Tristan Thompson. Neither is big enough to play center or can shoot well enough from the wing to play small forward. So, now Cleveland has a bit of a problem.
The Cavs will either have to pick one of the two power forwards to start each night or deal one of them—Thompson, most likely. Cleveland still needs to find a center too. If the Cavs would’ve taken Len or Noel at No. 1, the roster would be much more complete. Now, it’s just confusing to look at.
Cleveland will surely be kicking itself when it doesn’t get great return for Thompson and Bennett doesn’t turn into a star. The Cavs could’ve taken a prospect at any position outside of point guard and power forward, but they didn’t. They made the wrong decision in drafting Bennett and they’ll soon realize why.
Pick They’ll Regret: Giannis Adetokunbo, No. 15
Milwaukee made one of the boldest moves of the first round on Thursday when the organization drafted Giannis Adetokunbo with the 15th pick. While Adetokunbo may have potential to be a good player in the future, for now, he’s a player with a skinny frame who hasn’t played against many talented opponents.
Chad Ford of ESPN wrote in his draft grades that the Bucks will likely be paying Adetokunbo millions of dollars to play in the D-League (Insider subscription required). That doesn’t sound like the best deal in the world if you ask me. Milwaukee really needed a player who could contribute right away.
Milwaukee ended this past season with a -1.5 point differential, which was tied for the 18th best in the NBA, according to ESPN. While it wasn’t the worst in the league, it’s still negative, which isn’t good at all. Only five players averaged in double figures and no one scored 15 points per night. That’s a problem that needs fixing.
But the Bucks didn’t do anything to solve the problem. Adetokunbo isn’t going to be ready for a few years and while Nate Wolters could be a solid bench player, he isn’t going to be scoring tons of points each night. Nearly any other prospect would’ve been better than Adetokunbo at No. 15.
Pick They’ll Regret: Cody Zeller, No. 4
The second-biggest surprise early in the first round came when the Bobcats selected Cody Zeller with the fourth-overall pick. It wasn’t that Zeller wasn’t going to go in the top 10, but he wasn’t expected to go before Len, Noel or even in the top five. Bobcats fans didn’t care for the pick, per B/R Lead Writer Gabe Zaldivar.
Zeller was a great player at Indiana, but No. 4 was much too high for him. It would be tough to argue that he wasn’t a major reach for the Bobcats. He still has a look of good potential, but there were better options on the board at the time that would’ve been better for Charlotte.
Charlotte should’ve taken a player like Ben McLemore or even Noel. The Bobcats desperately need a shooting guard who can score 20-plus points per night. McLemore could’ve been that guy—and he will be that guy for the Kings. Zeller might be a double-double candidate, but McLemore will surely be better overall.
Bobcats fans may have been a bit premature with their dislike of Zeller, but it’s the point that Charlotte hasn’t been the best drafting team in recent memory. Aside from Kemba Walker in 2011, no other draft pick has really made much of an impact. Zeller will make an impact, but not what a player like McLemore would’ve made.
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