Once a year during the National Basketball Association’s draft, basketball fans wait in anticipation to see which player will be chosen for their favorite team.
The 2013 NBA Draft will be airing tomorrow, Thursday, June 27, at 6:00 p.m.
Many spectators and basketball enthusiasts have already begun to make their predictions based on a player’s abilities and talents. Driftwood’s Sports Editor, Paul Geohegan, shares his thoughts on the first round of this year’s draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky – There’s a lot of mystery surrounding what the Cavaliers plan to do with the number one pick. Noel was considered the default number one since the beginning of the season and it is hard to imagine that suddenly changing now.
2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas – Orlando will likely be in the mix for a shooting guard. The question is whether it will be McLemore, or Victor Oladipo. I see them taking McLemore due to his highly developed offensive game.
3. Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown – The Wizards are reportedly torn between Porter and Anthony Bennett. Porter is the higher-rated prospect and considered a safer pick. It‘ll be interesting to see how the rest of the top 10 unfolds if the Wizards were to opt for Bennett.
4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len, C, Maryland – The Bobcats are a hard one to figure out because they need help just about everywhere. So, why not start inside? Len is supposedly a possibility to go number one to Cleveland, but I am not sure I buy that.
5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana – The Suns are a hot mess. They desperately need to hit to pick a valuable player in this draft. They would probably be thrilled to land Oladipo, arguably the best combination of skill and athleticism in the draft. The Dwyane Wade comparisons may be a little over the top, but he definitely has the talent to be a difference maker, especially on the defensive end.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse – The Pelicans two biggest needs are at small forward and center, but unless Otto Porter falls to them, or, they really love Cody Zeller or Steven Adams; there probably won’t be anyone worth selecting that high. Their next biggest need is a guard who can act as a lockdown defender. Carter-Williams has the size and athleticism to do that, and his ability to also play shooting guard would give the Pelicans some backcourt versatility. His shooting struggles are a concern, but that can always be corrected.
7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, PF/SF, UNLV – The Kings new ownership era gets off to a promising start as they land Bennett. There are some concerns about Bennett’s injury history and his defensive ability, but he is considered one of the few players in this draft with super star potential.
8. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan – The Pistons’ dream scenario becomes reality as they snag the local hero in Burke. Burke’s lack of elite athleticism is a cause for some worry, but no point guard in college basketball was more efficient than the National Player of the Year.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh – The Wolves elect to go for a scoring combo guard to pair with Ricky Rubio in what could be a very dynamic backcourt.
10. Portland Trailblazers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia – Portland added their point guard of the future last year in Damian Lillard. Now they find the perfect compliment to him with KCP
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana – The Andrew Bynum trade was a disaster for Philly. There is no way they risk bringing him back. They draft Zeller, who could be a steal at this point, to be their new big man of the future.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh – This pick is a luxury for the Thunder. They have very strong roster, so they can afford to take a chance on a developmental project.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia – The Mavericks will probably trade this pick to save money for a big free agency run. If they do decide to keep it, they’ll likely select an international player where they can stash overseas for a year or two.
14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami – Utah needs an upgrade over Mo Williams at the point. Larkin might be undersized, but he is a phenomenal athlete with big playmaking ability.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany – Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are free agents this summer, so the Bucks look for a replacement here.
16. Boston Celtics: Kelly Olynyk, PF, Gonzaga – Kevin Garnett isn’t getting any younger, so the Celtics draft Olynyk to eventually succeed him. Olynyk is a legit seven-footer with polished offensive skills. The only concern surrounding him is his less than ideal wingspan.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece – Like Dallas, Atlanta is trying to save money for free agency. They look to Greece for a broadcaster’s worst nightmare.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke – Josh Smith is about to walk. In comes Plumlee to take his place.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA – Muhammad’s slide will eventually stop. I think it happens here.
20. Chicago Bulls: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State – The Bulls need an athletic scorer on the wing. Franklin would give them exactly that.
21. Utah Jazz: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil – The Jazz need a center just incase they cannot retain Al Jefferson.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas – Mitchell is the best player available at this point. There are concerns about his effort and character, but the reward outweighs the risk at this stage.
23. Indiana Pacers: Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State – The Pacers need a true point guard to be their primary ball handler.
24. New York Knicks: Erik Green, PG, Virginia Tech – The Knicks are up against the salary cap, so I’m not sure if they keep this pick. If they do, they need to find a scorer to take the pressure off Carmelo Anthony.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Alan Crabbe, SG, California – The Clippers are in win now mode. They draft someone who can contribute immediately.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan – The Wolves draft another shooting guard to bolster their bench.
27. Denver Nuggets: Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico – Snell’s deadly three point shot is an ideal fit in Denver’s system
28. San Antonio Spurs: Rudy Gobert, C, France – San Antonio once again drafts an international player. Gorbert did poorly in the athletic testing at the combine, but his great size and length could make up for it.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville – Another project the Thunder can wait to develop.
30. Phoenix Suns: Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence – The Suns take a chance on Ledo, who missed his freshman season at Providence because of eligibility issues.