NBA Draft Grades 2013: Highlighting Teams That Made Great Value Selections

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 30, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27:  Ben McLemore (R) of Kansas poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner David Stern after McLemore was drafted #7 overall in the first round by the Sacramento Kings during the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 27, 2013 in in the Brooklyn Bourough of New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Value in the NBA draft can be found in the first and second rounds. This year's draft had clear examples of players who could very well become steals based on their draft position.

One pick you won't see included in this short list is the Phoenix Suns' choice at No. 5. The Suns are a team that needs everything and whose leading scorer was Goran Dragic last season.

Dragic's scoring average was a modest 14.7 points per game. With those facts in place and Ben McLemore and C.J. McCollum on the board, the team took Alex Len, the big man with the most bust potential of all projected lottery picks.

Len is a decent prospect, but he was far from dominant in college. He had only five games last season with double figures in scoring and rebounding and with two or more blocked shots. Only one of those games came against an ACC opponent.

The Suns could have done much better with their pick. Now that we've identified that misstep, let's get to the good stuff.


Utah Moves Up to Take Trey Burke at No. 9

The Jazz's biggest need coming into the draft was at point guard. Utah addressed that need by trading the 14th and 21st pick to get the best point guard prospect in the draft.

Sam Smith of concurs:

Trey Burke won National Player of the Year and led his team to the national championship game. He can score and create for both of the Jazz's athletic bigs, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.

No team did a better job of filling a significant hole. 

Ben McLemore Can Be a Superstar in Sacramento

Of all the prospects in this draft, McLemore has the most potential as a perennial All-Star. He could have gone in the top five easily and probably should have.

For the Kings to grab the best talent in the draft at No. 7 could prove to be the biggest steal of the night. McLemore has a shooting stroke like Ray Allen and athleticism that could land him in the Slam Dunk contest.

The only concerns in this pairing are McLemore's less-than-aggressive nature and the Kings' potentially poisonous locker room. If both entities mature, this could be a match made in heaven.


Portland Gets Solid Rim Protector in the Second Round

With J.J. Hickson likely leaving via free agency, the already-weak Trail Blazers interior defense was bound to get even weaker.

While the Blazers could have used the 10th pick in the draft to grab a big, they would have been reaching as no big on the board was worth a late lottery pick.

Instead, the Blazers took C.J. McCollum—a pick that may or may not work out—and grabbed McLemore's college teammate, Jeff Withey, with the 39th overall pick.

Withey isn't going to score much, but what he does almost as well as any big in the draft is protect the rim. He blocked four shots per game for the Jayhawks last season.

Considering the Blazers were 26th in the NBA in blocked shots last season and 24th in defensive rebounding, this pick clearly addressed a deficiency.


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