It’s that moment we’ve all been waiting for: the time of the year when David Stern (though now his last time) reads off the names of players who might not get picked at the number most expect, and will, most definitely, not live up to the expectations put on their shoulders. But the thrill of seeing a new franchise piece join your team feels like something out of a teen date movie. Almost everyone has butterflies in their stomachs and you can’t wait till you’re away from prying eyes to cry a little. Or, to punch a hole in the wall.
Without further ado, here are the first round picks of the 2013 NBA Draft, along with where they ended up, and some easily digestible ruminations on each.
1. Anthony Bennett – Team: Cleveland Cavaliers. The first Canadian to be drafted first overall was the first of many surprises in a head scratching night. His dogged playing style might fit Mike Brown’s coaching well, but Cleveland already has a promising young power forward in Tristan Thompson. What gives?
2. Victor Oladipo – Team: Orlando Magic. With Oladipo, the Magic have a young core with huge upside on their hands. Oladipo makes Arron Afflalo a trade piece for a good, young point guard and rounds out the likes of Andrew Nicholson (PF), Maurice Harkless (SF), Nikola Vucevic (C), and Tobias Harris (SF). Team to watch in 2015-16, for sure.
3. Otto Porter – Team: Washington Wizards. Ranked 8th defensively, the Wizards just need an uptick in offense to become a playoff unit. Porter is a skilled perimeter player that can add some O to its frontcourt, where it lacks greatly.
4. Cody Zeller – Team: Charlotte Bobcats. The ‘cats need a new Jordan to get anywhere, but some size in Zeller should help their rebounding woes some.
5. Alex Len – Team: Phoenix Suns. Huge upside, I think. Is athletic, plays good D, seems like a smart, committed kid, and lacks in places it’s possible to improve upon with good NBA coaching. Suns might get out of the whirlpool sooner than expected.
6. Nerlens Noel – Team: New Orleans Pelicans (then traded to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday and more). Didn’t see the Pelicans sticking with another burgeoning, defensive-minded, lanky big man, but this trade feels rushed on the Pelicans side and maniacal on the 76ers side. Another Jello-for-knees big man?
7. Ben McLemore – Team: Sacramento Kings. The shipwreck of an organization picked a shooting guard. Guess that means they won’t be parting with DeMarcus Cousins. Shame.
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Team: Detroit Pistons. Not sure what the Pistons were thinking with this one as they principally need a good young point guard to feed their slumbering bigs.
9. Trey Burke – Team: Minnesota Timberwolves (then traded to Utah Jazz for No. 14 pick Shabazz Muhammad and No. 21 pick Gorgui Dieng ). Good move for the Jazz, they get the point guard they’ve needed since Williams.
10. C.J. McCollum – Team: Portland Trail Blazers. Could be some needed bench help. A one day replacement for Wesley Matthews as well.
11. Michael Carter-Williams – Team: Philadelphia 76ers. Holiday for Carter-Williams, eh? Or is it Noel they can put all their chips on?
12. Steven Adams – Team: Oklahoma City Thunder. A Perkins Plan-B? Highly likely.
13. Kelly Olynyk – Team: Dallas Mavericks (then snatched by Boston Celtics). The Celtics are in ultra rebuild mode, who knows what they think of doing with Olynyk.
14. Shabazz Muhammad – Team: Utah Jazz (then traded to Minnesota). Rubio needs all the help, on top of the Love, he can get.
15. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Team: Milwaukee Bucks. Man of mystery. Not much is known about the youngest player in the draft other than he’s got many skills and might be a good complimentary piece to Larry Sanders.
16. Lucas Nogueria – Team: Boston Celtics (traded to Dallas then Atlanta). Could be a good center option for the Hawks if Dwight doesn’t put on a jersey for them.
17. Dennis Schroeder – Team: Atlanta Hawks. Does ATL not believe in the upside of Teague?
18. Shane Larkin – Team: Atlanta Hawks (traded to Dallas). Another Jason Kidd? Probably not.
19. Sergey Karasev – Team: Cleveland Cavaliers. Solid SF pick. The Cavs need to bolster themselves at that position.
20. Tony Snell – Team: Chicago Bulls. Chitown has needed a verified ‘3 and D’ guy for a few years now. Deng has tried, Korver was more 3 than D, and Marco tried his darnedest but might be gone this summer.
21. Gorgui Dieng – Team: Utah Jazz (then traded to Timberwolves). The ‘Wolves need some good fill-ins down low. Dieng could be a solid one.
22. Mason Plumlee – Team: Brooklyn Nets. Defense wins championships, unless you’re the Nets. Then you need Garnett and Pierce.
23. Solomon Hill – Team: Indiana Pacers. I would have gone with a good backup point guard for the other Hill. Not sure how Solomon fits in a SF-heavy team.
24. Tim Hardaway Jr. – Team: New York Knicks. The Knickerbockers love shooters, must not love winning.
25. Reggie Bullock – Team: Los Angeles Clippers. Fills a hole in shooting guard position.
26. Andre Roberson – Team: Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Warriors then to the Thunder). The Thunder are loading up on young players. Is something in their near future?
27. Rudy Gobert – Team: Denver Nuggets (traded to Utah Jazz). Another low post player for the Jazz? Isn’t that like 10 now?
28. Livio Jean-Charles – Team: San Antonio Spurs. A classic Spurs-ian move. A substitute for Leonard when resting against playing James.
29. Archie Goodwin – Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (traded to Warriors). Adds depth to any team, Golden State needs that in its quest to improve.
30. Nemanja Nedovic – Team: Phoenix Suns. Goran Dragic could use some help at the point, and the athletic Lithuanian can be of assistance.
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