Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NBA Draft Pick Analysis (Live)

Check back frequently as I update this throughout the draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - FR Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

Word is that the Cavaliers will keep the pick. There was plenty of trade talk surrounding the pick, but its a tough sell this year. There is a lot of pressure with the #1 pick in a draft with no clear cut choice. Not only is there pressure on the front office, but it also adds pressure on the draft choice.

Anthony Bennett is a player I have ranked 8th on my board. This pick is a big surprise, even among fans of Bennett. Bennett brings a nice skillset at the power forward spot and has the length/girth to make up for his height inside. The biggest question with him is his motor and defensive capabilities. Bennett often backed down from physical play this season, showed poor awareness defending, and underachieved in the halfcourt offense. He has the potential to be a great scorer, but last year he floated around a lot in the halfcourt and settled for jumpers. His impressive skills in transition and powerful dunks, however, turned a lot of heads.

2. Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

Oladipo ranked 5th on my board and is one of the surest bets in this draft. He's a tireless worker with a good head on his shoulders, who has improved more than anyone since his high school days. The biggest question surrounding him is how much upside he has left? On one hand, he has one of the best work ethic in the draft. On the other end of the spectrum, he's already improved his game so much. It remains to be seen if he can become a scorer in the NBA, but he can turn into a Tony Allen type defender.

3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

With Nerlens Noel still on the board, this pick got a little more interesting than it was before, but the Wizards went the safe route with Porter. Porter is an excellent fit for the Wizards and ranks as the second best player on my board. He is the safest pick in the draft and will contribute in all areas.

4. Charlotte Bobcats - Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana

It looks like Rich Cho got his guy, but I'm surprised that they passed on a superior talent in Nerlens Noel. Noel isn't slipping because of his injury it seems, teams simply just feel there are better players on the board. Zeller is a nice complimentary piece and will fit well in Charlotte, but its tough to pass on Noel at this stage.

5. Phoenix Suns - Alex Len, C, Maryland

Another team passes on Noel. This time for Alex Len. Len had a great game head to head against Noel to begin last year, but he failed to really build on that success. I have my concerns with Len and have him as the 14th best player in the draft. While he possesses intriguing potential, his lack of awareness, toughness, and mobility on defense concerns me. I went in-depth about my take here:

6. New Orleans Pelicans - Nerlens Noel, F/C, Kentucky

I bet the Pelicans had no idea they'd have the opportunity to pair Anthony Davis with Nerlens Noel. While they are often compared to each other, Davis is much further along on the development curve. Noel still has similar intrigue as Davis defensively and I am anxious to see how well they do playing next to each other. They could form a historic defensive duo from a shotblocking perspective if they pan out.

EDIT: Pick will be traded to the Sixers.

7. Sacramento Kings - Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

For the second straight year, the Kings take a player from Kansas. This time, its from a completely new front office. McLemore has tons of potential, but its a question whether he has the right mental approach to ever achieve it. Even if he doesn't, he's one of the best shooters in this draft and should develop into a solid starter. McLemore ranked 4th on my draft board.

8. Detroit Pistons -Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

Yet again, the Pistons have the perfect player for their team fall in their lap. They badly need a point guard and Burke is the best in this draft. Unfortunately, this time Dumars messed up by going against conventional wisdom. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a great shooter, but is lacking in basketball IQ. Playing for the Pistons, he won't have the benefit of playing in a fast paced offense or next to a great point guard. It will really test his ability to move without the ball and create for himself. In college, he didn't show he could do that.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

This pick will obviously be traded. Whoever moved up to get him deserves a big pat on the back for taking the initiative to make a move. He was easily the best player on my draft board.

EDIT: Utah will receive Trey Burke in a trade.

10. Portland Trailblazers - CJ McCollum, G, Lehigh

Portland will pair McCollum with Damian Lillard, who may deserve some of the credit for McCollum going so high. McCollum and Lillard actually are good friends that have developed a relationship because of their similar situations. McCollum isn't as dynamic as Lillard nor is he a true point, but he will provide an added scoring punch.

11. Phladelphia 76ers - Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse

With Jrue Holiday apparently on his way to New Orleans and Nerlens Noel on board, the 76ers decided to add Michael Carter-Williams to the mix. No big surprise as Hinkie is a big stat guy and MCW rates highly due to his ability to get steals. However, playing outside of the Syracuse zone will be a different animal on defense and his offense is extremely raw. The Sixers will have a very ugly offense next year.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

Adams has a ton of potential and at this spot, he's worth the gamble. The Thunder badly need a defensive center and thats one area where Adams is already proficient in. He'll likely spend a good amount of time in the D-League his first year. He has a quirky personality and will need to show more of a nastiness to become the defensive player he has the potential to be.

13. Dallas Mavericks (to Boston Celtics) - Kelly Olynyk, PF, Gonzaga

This pick will be traded to the Boston Celtics. There were a few teams throughout the top 20 that loved Kelly Olynyk and the Celtics were one of them. He's a guy you either love or you hate as a NBA pro. With the right offense around him, Olynyk can be effective as a pick and pop big. He is also versatile and should be able to score some in the post and off the pick and roll. He has great dexterity for a big man.

14. Utah Jazz (to Minnesota Timberwolves) - Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

I thought it'd be a mistake if Shabazz Muhammad slipped out of the lottery and he just barely made it in. Minnesota traded back and pick up an extra first round pick, while getting a player who I believe is better than their original target (Caldwell-Pope). Muhammad will be great working off the ball next to Ricky Rubio and getting up and down in transition.

15. Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, International

Adetokunbo will likely spend all of next year in the D-League, if not the next couple of seasons. I'm sure the Bucks expect that as well. However, he showed great potential recently playing for the Greek U19 team and teams were able to feel safer about picking this unknown forward.

16. Boston Celtics (to Atlanta Hawks via Dallas) - Lucas Noguiera, C, International

The Mavericks continue to avoid making a pick as the Hawks move up one spot. Nogueira may be just as far away as Giannis from contributing, but has shown ability at a much higher level up to this point. His problem is his weight and toughness. Unlike the Giannis pick, I don't feel Noguiera's upside is enough to justify a selection this high. He's seen his stock skyrocket the last month and I don't see a good reason for it.

17. Atlanta Hawks - Dennis Schroeder, PG, International

Schroeder was the second best player left on my draft board and could surpass Jeff Teague on the depth chart in a couple of years.He excels in the pick and roll and is extremely quick. He is also a nice catch and shoot player, although he isn't a dynamic shooter off the dribble. His length has drawn comparisons to Rajon Rondo and he wants to come over the the NBA right away. Best comparison for him is Darren Collison, although he has higher upside.

18. Dallas Mavericks (from Atlanta Hawks) - Shane Larkin, PG, Miami

Larkin is an interesting player. He tested as the best athlete in the draft and thrives in the pick and roll offense. His quickness and shiftiness with the ball in his hand forced defenses to stay off of him in college. In the NBA, it will be different. He will have to deal with more physical defenses and work on getting his shot over taller players. Not many players are out there with a wingspan as short as his. He's quickly gone from a mid-major recruit to a NBA first round draft pick.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Sergey Karasev, SF, International

I like this pick a lot better for the Cavs. They were trying to trade up for him earlier and were still able to get him at #19. I have him ranked as the 7th best player in this draft because of his elite shooting and feel for the game on the offensive end. He will be a great complementary floor spacer in Cleveland. The Cavs have assembled themselves a very nice offense for years to come. How well they will be able to defend remains to be seen.

20. Chicago Bulls - Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico

The Bulls had a number of options to choose from in terms of wing players and chose to go with one of the biggest question marks. Snell looks the part physically, though he will need to get stronger, and is a great shooter. He didn't always play with a high motor defensively at New Mexico which is a cause for concern. I liked Allen Crabbe better at this spot, but Snell is in good hands with Coach Thibs. Perhaps the Bulls were uncertain how Crabbe's personality would mesh with the Bulls coaching staff.

21. Utah Jazz (to Minnesota Timberwolves) - Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

Timberwolves were in prime position to add a shooter to pair with Shabazz Muhammad on the wing, but went in another direction with Dieng. Dieng is good value here as he should be able to provide minutes soon as a backup center. With the pricetag backup centers are signed to in free agency, its never a bad move to take a reliable big men in the draft who is confined to the rookie scale. Dieng doesn't have a lot of potential, but is a smart player who can hit the 15 foot jump shot. He doesn't have any sort of post game, however, and will need to hold his ground on defense better.

22. Brooklyn Nets - Mason Plumlee, C, Duke

I've never been a fan of Mason Plumlee and only have him ranked 42nd in my rankings. He should be able to earn minutes in the NBA, but I don't see the upside of him ever becoming anything better than a 4th big man on a NBA team.

23. Indiana Pacers - Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona

After making a big reach for Miles Plumlee last year, the Pacers take another player who wasn't seen as a first rounder by many. Hill, however, is a much better prospect than Plumlee was. He is a hard worker who has a very good and versatile floor game at SF. I have questions about how much more room he has to improve and his athleticism on the perimeter, but its not as bad of a pick as it may seem.

24. New York Knicks - Tim Hardaway Jr, SG, Michigan

Thought this would be a nice spot for Tony Mitchell, but Hardaway Jr is a guy who won't be phased by the pressure in New York. He could develop into a solid role player who can knock down shots and acclimate to the NBA lifestyle quickly.

25. Los Angeles Clippers - Reggie Bullock, G/F, North Carolina

We are having a run on players with solid role playing potential and low upside. Bullock doesn't possess any ability to get his own shot, but he defends and rebounds very well. He also is a dead eye shooter and could become a 3/D guy. Good fit for the Clippers.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder - Andre Roberson, F, Colorado

Roberson was one of the best rebounders in the NBA and a pick that statheads will enjoy. He can provide energy for the Thunder and should be able to defend both the 3/4 positions. He tried to convert to a small forward this season at Colorado, but failed miserably on the offensive end. This pick is one of the biggest reaches yet, but I can see the fit for the Thunder.

27. Denver Nuggets (to Utah) - Rudy Gobert, C, International

Gobert was the second best player available according to my draft board. With Trey Burke running the point, Gobert could get himself some easy buckets coming off pick and rolls. Gobert is definitely a project, but has the length, mobility, and BBIQ to be a factor defensively. You can't teach the biggest wingspan in the NBA Draft.

28. San Antonio Spurs - Livio Jean-Charles, F, International

Spurs once again elect to go overseas for their pick, this time with a versatile forward. I didn't see them going with Jean-Charles because they already have Kawhi Leonard, but Jean-Charles is solid value. I had him as the 4th best remaining player on my board. He made a name for himself at the Nike Hoop Summit with his opportunistic play and nose for the ball. He's not overly skilled or polished, but fills up the statsheet. I thought Erick Green would be a perfect fit for the Spurs, but can't argue with this pick either.

29. Phoenix Suns (from Thunder via Warriors) - Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky

Ryan McDonough is one of the best at finding good players in bad situations and projecting their potential to the NBA. Archie Goodwin could be another success story for him. Goodwin is a risk, but has one of the highest upsides in the draft. He's an explosive slasher with an ugly jumpshot that may prevent him from contributing for a couple of years.

30. Golden State Warriors (from Phoenix Suns) - Nemanja Nedovic, G, International

Nedovic is a taller point guard with good handles who competed in a strong league this past season. I saw him more of a second round talent, but he's certainly not a name to forget about.

Second Round

31. Cleveland Cavaliers (to Portland) - Allen Crabbe, SG, California

Crabbe has been the best player on my board for a long while. I see him as a lottery talent although there are legitimate concerns about his motor, maturity, and mental toughness. At this point though, he is a huge steal.

32. Oklahoma City Thunder - Alex Abrines, SG, International

Abrines is a talented shooting guard who is dynamic with the ball in his hands. Looks like a draft and stash for them.

33. Cleveland Cavaliers - Carrick Felix, G/F, Arizona State

Felix is another 3/D guy. He has a great motor and played a similar role at Arizona State that he will in the NBA. His offensive game is very vanilla, but he is a great athlete and understands his role. While he is a solid player who has worked hard to improve, I don't see him having the potential to stick in the NBA. This pick is a stretch.

34. Houston Rockets - Isaiah Canaan, G, Murray State

Not a big fan of this pick based on the way Glen Rice Jr fell right into their laps. I think there are better point guards on the board as well. Canaan is one of the best shooters in this draft off the dribble or spotting up and has no problem hitting contested shots. He's small though and lacks PG skills. I like his grittiness, but its tough to make a living as an undersized shooter.

35. Philadelphia 76ers - Glen Rice Jr, SF, D-League

Glen Rice Jr is the third selection of the night for the Sixers and also happens to be the most ready to contribute offensively. Rice Jr proved in the D-League he can perform against NBA athletes and adjust to the 3-pt line. He was my best player on the board at this point. Great pick here.

EDIT: Pick traded to Washington. Wizards have had two great picks.

36. Sacramento Kings - Ray McCallum, PG, Detroit

 The early second round is the best place to get a point guard in this draft. You can't go wrong with McCallum, Pierre Jackson, Nate Wolters, and Erick Green. McCallum is a coach's son with NBA athleticism and feel for the game. He is a better shooter off the dribble than given credit for, but had to take a lot of tough shots at Detroit.

37. Detroit Pistons - Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas

Tony Mitchell replaced Glen Rice Jr as my best player available and then quickly followed him off the board. Mitchell has lottery talent but big time questions about his motor. Detroit was a team that badgered him about him not playing hard in interviews and it seems they still see him as talented enough to take a risk on him. At this point, there really isn't much risk involved. Much better pick than their selection at #9.

38. Washington Wizards (to 76ers) - Nate Wolters, PG, South Dakota State

This will be interesting with Michael Carter-Williams on board. MCW has the advantage with physical tools, but when it comes to the mental game, Wolters is on another level. Wolters could realistically push MCW for a spot in the rotation next year. He's a great pick here.

EDIT: Traded to Milwaukee. 

39. Portland Trailblazers - Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

Withey was a great shotblocker at Kansas, but I have questions about how it will translate to the pros. Apparently a lot of NBA teams do as well. He lacks toughness and intensity of a great defensive big man. Offensively, he has reached his peak and won't contribute much. He doesn't seem like a player with a great passion for the game. At this point, its a solid pick and the Trailblazers continue to look to add depth through the draft.

40. Portland Trailblazers - Grant Jarrett, PF, Arizona

Jarrett declared for the draft as just a freshman, despite only averaging 20 minutes per game for Arizona. He's a prototype stretch 4 with a big body who could develop into a solid player after spending a couple of years in the D-League. He needs to improve his conditioning and physicality.

41. Memphis Grizzlies - Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State

Even though Franklin doesn't have the lottery potential some dubbed him with, he's still an excellent pick at this stage. He's a hard worker and a tenacious defender who will need to accept his role at the next level. Franklin's biggest downfall is his shooting and decision making. There are also some character concerns.

42. New Orleans Pelicans (from Philly) - Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor

With Jackson off the board, only Erick Green remains from that talented group of early second round PGs that I like. Jackson is one of those guys who will find his way into a rotation as a Bobby Jackson-esque spark plug. He slips in the draft because he doesn't have an allure to him, but he's just a solid basketball player. One of the surest things in the second round.

43. Milwaukee Bucks (to Atlanta) - Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence

Although I understand Ledo falling to the second round, he is still one of the most talented players in the draft. He's a natural with the ball in his hands, can shoot of the dribble, and has a good feel for the game. There are a lot of questions about how his style translates in an organized setting as well as character concerns.

44. Dallas Mavericks (to Atlanta) - Mike Muscala, PF, Bucknell

Muscala is more of a power forward than a center, preferring to play in the high post on offense. He can shoot, pass, and drive by you from 15 feet out on the court. He was also a great rebounder in college although I'm not sure that will translate as well as expected. He has a chance to stick in the league, but I'd lean towards him being forgotten about quickly.

45. Portland Trailblazers - Marko Todorovic, C, International

Draft and stash guy. Has some fans overseas. With a bunch of young players already, this is a good route to take.

46. Utah Jazz (to Denver) - Erick Green, PG, Virginia Tech

Green was the best player on the board at this point. He has some Devin Harris in him. He was a big time scorer in college, but is unselfish and smart enough to make the transition to point guard. He is a great transition player with a smooth mid-range game.

47. Atlanta Hawks - Raul Neto, PG, International

First player drafted who played in the Olympic games last year. He's a creative point guard who has spent time in the ACB each of the past two years. Maybe some Jose Calderon to his game. Draft and stash.

48. Los Angeles Lakers - Ryan Kelly, PF, Duke

I soured on Kelly a bit after the college season ended. I'm not sure he has the strength or the body to compete on the defensive end. However, he was a good defensive player at Duke because of his smart positioning. He's a stretch forward at the next level.

49. Chicago Bulls - Erik Murphy, PF, Florida

Back to back stretch forwards. I like Erick Murphy slightly better than Kelly. Murphy has a smoother offensive game and is the better athlete. He now also has the benefit of going into a better situation.

50. Atlanta Hawks - James Ennis, SF, Long Beach State

If I were to take a under the radar, athletic small forward from the west coast, I would have taken Ennis over Carrick Felix. Ennis is longer and more athletic. He has the potential to be a disruptive defensive player in the league and win a few dunk contests.

Edit: Traded to the Miami Heat.

51. Orlando Magic - Romero Osby, F, Oklahoma

I don't get this pick at all but there have been reports all week that the Magic really like Osby. He's an undersized forward who plays tough and can hit a jumper. Didn't see him as a draftable player.

52.  Minnesota Timberwolves - Lorenzo Brown, PG, North Carolina State

There is some intrigue around taller point guards and he's not a bad pick here. But next to the group of Wolters, Green, Jackson, and McCallum - he is clearly a lesser prospect. Slim pickings this late in the draft.

53. Indiana Pacers (to Boston) - Colton Iverson, C, Colorado State

There are some serious Greg Stiemsma vibes with this pick. Iverson is a tough, old school center who was helped out at the combine when he measured taller than expected. Could be a contributor.

54. Washington Wizards (to Philly) - Arsalan Kazemi, F, Oregon

Kazemi has an extremely high motor and plays tough inside. He also possesses a high basketball IQ. Offensively, he is nothing more than a hustle player. He's a nice pick to have in training camp at this point and could definitely make the 76ers roster. Again, Philly is really going with some poor offensive players.

55.  Memphis Grizzlies (to Denver) - Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, International

Draft and stash player.

56. Detroit Pistons - Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville

Dumars has used his second round picks lately to select high character, successful college players. Siva can pump up the intensity in practice with pesky defense.

57. Phoenix Suns - Alex Oriakhi, C, Missouri

The former UConn Huskie, Oriakhi has really flown under the draft radar the past couple of months. Once viewed as a potential late first rounder, Oriakhi brings size and defense to the next level. Reminds me of DeVon Hardin from Cal.

58. San Antonio Spurs - Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State

Not a fan of Thomas, but if there is one place he can succeed, its the Spurs. Everyone made a big deal of him not giving his phone number to the Spurs during the NBA Combine.

59. Minnesota Timberwolves - Bojan Dubljevic, F/C, International

Draft and stash.

60. Memphis Grizzlies - Janis Timma, SF, International

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