Re-Drafting the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery
And with the first pick of the 2013 NBA re-draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select: not Anthony Bennett.
How many teams wish they could go back and re-draft the 2013 class? So far, this is shaping up to be one of the more disappointing groups in recent memory, though there have been a few standout rookies.
Knowing what we know now, would you use a lottery pick on a guy like Bennett, given his disastrous start to the year? Would you reach on Giannis Antetokounmpo? What would the Jazz have done if Trey Burke wasn't available at No. 9—would they have still traded up?
All of those questions are answered in the 2013 re-draft at the quarter mark of the season.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'4", SG
Original Pick: Anthony Bennett
You just can't botch a No. 1 overall pick.
Between the crowded frontcourt and the uncertainty surrounding his position, Anthony Bennett never made sense to begin with.
Victor Oladipo was a lock entering the draft—he might not have had the upside of an Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving, the previous two No. 1's, but those guys didn't exist in this draft class. You knew Oladipo was going to be a valuable contributor, even if it was in a supporting-cast role.
Hopefully, the Cavs didn't pass on Oladipo because of the presence of Dion Waiters, who according to Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, has already requested a trade. Zwerling's source says Waiters "prefers to go to Philly because he thinks he'd be the best player on the team."
Regardless, Waiters was always a better fit as a sixth man anyway, while the Cavs could have used Oladipo's defense and intangibles in the starting lineup.
Oladipo was the pick five months ago, and he's the pick today in a re-draft.
2. Orlando Magic: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6", PG
Original Pick: Victor Oladipo
I actually think the Orlando Magic might benefit from a re-draft, even if it meant losing Victor Oladipo.
This team is searching for its point guard of the future. The Magic have even tried transforming Oladipo.
Michael Carter-Williams, who's averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.6 boards and 3.1 steals per game, would have been a pretty good option at No. 2 overall.
He's got All-Star upside at the point guard position—something that has to sound appetizing to fans who've gotten bored of Jameer Nelson.
Now that Arron Afflalo is playing the best ball of his career, there's a bit of a logjam with Oladipo in the lineup. Carter-Williams would have been a better fit while offering the same type of upside.
3. Washington Wizards: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece, 6'9", SF
Original Pick: Otto Porter
Otto Porter might turn out to be a nice player, but have you seen the "Greek Freak" in action yet?
Giannis Antetokounmpo's ceiling sits three stories above Porter's, who's had nothing go right for him since being drafted. First it was his hamstring two games into summer league. Then it was his hip that caused him to miss nearly the first quarter of the year.
I just got goosebumps thinking about what an open-court attack would look like featuring John Wall and Antetokounmpo.
He's made some wild plays out there so far thanks to his absurd length and effortless athleticism. He's even flashed some pretty moves and shots off the dribble.
With two-way upside and few standout players to choose from, I'd live dangerously and reach on Antetokounmpo at No. 3.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5", SG
Original Pick: Cody Zeller
Plain and simple: Ben McLemore is the best prospect on the board at No. 4. It could be Nerlens Noel, but with Al Jefferson and Noel's injury, he doesn't make much sense here.
McLemore has been averaging 9.3 points per game, good for No. 4 among rookies. He's got big-time upside and loads of talent, something the Bobcats could use a little more of.
With Ben Gordon in the final year of his deal and his health currently in question, the Bobcats could have actually used McLemore's offensive firepower off the bench.
Cody Zeller is having the same problems in the pros as he had in college—only he's not getting those easy buckets to salvage a rough day at the office.
McLemore would have been the better short-term option and remains the more promising long-term prospect.
5. Phoenix Suns: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, 7'0", C
Original Pick: Alex Len
Eight personal fouls, seven points. Alex Len, ladies and gentleman.
The Suns picked the wrong injury-prone guy. I agree, they needed to go big. But Nerlens Noel was the better prospect, regardless of his torn ACL.
Len entered the draft in a boot after undergoing surgery on his ankle just before the NBA combine. He then got surgery on his other ankle prior to summer league. It shouldn't be a surprise that Len has missed 20 of his first 25 games with ankle soreness. And given the history of big men and foot injuries, who knows how long this will linger.
“We decided to shut it down to get it completely better," Len told Paul Coro of Azcentral Sports. "It’s just frustrating to be able to play a couple games and then it gets worse."
The fact is, there aren't many other enticing options on the board here. Noel is now approaching 11 months since surgery, and he recently told SiriusXM Sports (via SoundCloud) he could be back sooner rather than later.
If Noel can stay on his feet and recover strong from his injury, there's no doubt he's worthy of a top-five pick. Now that we know Len offers the same health risk, he no longer has an edge.
At No. 5, Noel actually has the chance to emerge as a value pick in a draft without much value.
6. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans): Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'1", PG
Original Pick (Via New Orleans): Nerlens Noel
Let's assume the Philadelphia 76ers were going to deal Jrue Holiday last year regardless, in order to free up space, add a long-term asset and add an extra pick in 2014 (which they did in a deal with New Orleans to move up to No. 6).
With Holiday gone and Michael Carter-Williams off the board, the team can't afford to pass on the best point guard available: Trey Burke.
Burke's recent 30-point outburst raised his re-draft stock. Philadelphia has another pick coming up at No. 11, but there's a chance a team like Utah could trade up and snag him.
He seems to be getting more comfortable with each game and is quietly emerging as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate. Burke lacks Carter-Williams' upside, but in a weak field, he's a solid pick here for a team without a point guard.
7. Sacramento Kings: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6'6", SG
Original Pick: Ben McLemore
I liked McLemore here, but the Bobcats stole him in the re-draft.
Tim Hardaway Jr. isn't a bad backup plan, as he's actually been one of the more pleasant surprises in the field. Hardaway is shooting at a 42.7 percent clip from three, and he's making some highlight, open-floor plays.
He's similar to McLemore, and he'd likely play the exact same role platooning with Marcus Thornton.
If Hardaway can stay consistent, he's going to have a long career as a high-flying 2-guard and shooting specialist.
8. Detroit Pistons: Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8", SF
Original Pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Detroit's original pick has been underwhelming when given the opportunity.
Caldwell-Pope entered the league with the reputation of being a shooter, only he hasn't lived up to it. In fact, I am not sure he deserved it in the first place (33.9 percent from three in two years at Georgia).
Otto Porter hasn't done anything yet, but you can't just write him off because of an early hip injury. He's now healthy and waiting for his shot.
The Pistons need a wing and an intangibles guy, and that's what Porter can give them. He's no future All-Star, but he's got the chance to evolve into an excellent passer and situational scorer.
I could understand being hesitant on Porter, but there just aren't many other options.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 6'3", PG/SG
Original Pick: Trey Burke (Traded to Utah Jazz)
In the original draft, the Utah Jazz traded up to No. 9, but now that Trey Burke is off the board, they don't really have a reason to.
So in the re-draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves will keep their pick at No. 9 and select C.J. McCollum, who hasn't played a game yet.
That really speaks to just how depressing this class is.
He broke his foot in training camp, but in summer league, McCollum lit it up for 21 points per game, looking like the same scorer he was at Lehigh. McCollum would give Minnesota a sixth man and some firepower off the bench, as well as a guy who can relieve Ricky Rubio and log some minutes as a backup point guard.
With McCollum returning to practice, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW, he's good for the No. 9 pick in the re-draft seven weeks in.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, 7'0", C
Original Pick: C.J. McCollum
Portland ended up signing Mo Williams, and Wesley Matthews is blowing up, so combo guard C.J. McCollum is no longer a must-have anyway.
Steven Adams is still raw, but he's not afraid to bang inside, and he offers some tremendous frontcourt athleticism. He's actually getting minutes as a rookie for Oklahoma City, just sticking to his role as a rim-protector, interior defender and finisher.
I'm not in love with Portland's frontcourt depth at the moment. Adams could give this team a nice jolt of toughness in a reserve role off the bench.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6'6", SG
Original Pick: Michael Carter-Williams
Just 10 picks deep into the re-draft, and the Philadelphia 76ers are already calling around to trade out of No. 11, given there isn't much left that can help them.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could offer them support at the off-guard position. Given his size, athleticism and shot-making ability, he's got some upside here.
It's not much of a ringing endorsement, as I'm not too high on Caldwell-Pope. But look around—there's isn't much left to choose from.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mason Plumlee, Duke, 7'0", C
Original Pick: Steven Adams
Mason Plumlee has been pretty solid for Brooklyn in limited action. He's a sensational athlete at 7'0", and though he's not as strong as Steven Adams, he's a much more threatening scorer around the basket.
Assuming the Thunder are looking to add a new dimension to a frontcourt consisting of under-the-rim big men like Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison, Mason Plumlee seems like good value here at No. 12 in the re-draft.
13. Boston Celtics (via Dallas): Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1", C
Original Pick: Kelly Olynyk
In this field, Alex Len is worth the risk at No. 13 overall.
Thanks to ankle soreness, he's only played in a few games, and he hasn't looked very good in any of them. Len is extremely raw, and his feet remain an issue.
Still, his upside is there, something you can't really say about anyone left on the board. Kelly Olynyk is a nice player, but the dude can't jump over a puddle.
This late in the lottery of a subpar draft, the reward is worth the risk with Len. He is 7'1" with a promising two-way skill set. If he can get on the floor, he just might be able to show us a thing or two.
14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, Miami, 5'11", PG
Original Pick: Shabazz Muhammad (Traded to Minnesota Timberwolves)
The Jazz need a point guard now that Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams are off the board.
Shane Larkin broke his foot in training camp, but he's turned some heads with his limited chances over the past two weeks.
Larkin has a shot to be more than just a spark plug off the bench—he led Miami to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and was one of the top pick-and-roll point guards in college.
It's tough to tell yet whether he'll ever evolve into starting material, but he's worth a shot here at No. 14.