2013 NBA Draft: Team-by-Team Analysis
2013 NBA Draft: Team by Team Analysis
The 2013 NBA Draft came with low expectations of the prospects involved, but that did not prevent the night from being wildly exciting. The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the basketball world by drafting Anthony Bennett (first Canadian to be drafted no. 1 overall) with the first pick and the stage was set. Going forward, the draft would play out like few before them. Not only was the state of the NBA altered by the picks, trades of picks and the like, but a huge deal between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets changed the landscape of the Eastern Conference.
That's not to say that the draft itself was not interesting on its own. Nerlens Noel dropping, Michael Jordan doing his usual horrible MJ front-office type things and other notables made each pick feel like one where even one of us could end up getting drafted. Despite the perceived lack of superstar talent in this year's draft, we would be hard-pressed to find another draft that was as fun to watch as this one.
Regardless, folks want to know who the winners and losers were. To be fair -- and more importantly honest -- it is impossible to know who has "won" and "lost" until a few years down the road. If someone tells you they "know" that certain teams won, then NBA franchises better give that guy a call and sign him to a scouting contract. People having Minority Report-like technology is rare — so rare that those people are (at best) pathological liars.
No one loves taking poorly educated guesses more than me. Let's travel through the draft with a team-by-team analysis to see how teams made out during the 2013 NBA Draft.
Me, Twitter @JosephNardone
Young faces, new places: Lucas Nogueira, Dennis Schroeder, Mike Muscala, Raul Neto and Jared Cunningham.
Atlanta is going to look pretty different from the Hawks team of the past. Not that Danny Ferry is going in a complete dumpster fire of the roster, but he clearly wanted to infuse some youth on the roster rather than keeping in the Josh Smith (FA) era of mediocrity in place of progression. Lucas Nogueria and Dennis Schroeder are apparently not going to be stashed overseas, but rather guys that the Hawks at least plan to look at this upcoming summer for roster spots for the season. Mike Muscala is a solid big who may end up being a pleasant surprise. If the Hawks' goal was to get younger (not that they were old) and add depth, well, mission accomplished.
Young faces, new places: Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson
Okay, the Big 3 era or whatever you want to call it is over. Kevin Garnett waived his no-trade clause (meaning, he owes Ray Allen an apology) and Boston is going with a complete rebuild. Grabbing three first-rounders from Brooklyn is a solid move, especially if you consider the fact that the Nets' window is about one year and they can certainly be a lottery team in two. For the draft itself, Boston went with two bigs. Kelly Olynyk is a little surprising if only for the fact that Danny Ainge usually loves length. Olynyk has really short arms, but may be less of a developmental project than folks think. Colton Iverson will likely battle Feb Melo for a roster spot next season.
Young faces, new places: Mason Plumlee
Good thing Boston and Brooklyn are alphabetically awesome. The trade between them and Boston puts a world's worth of pressure on Jason Kidd right now. Brooklyn's window for success is likely a year, two at best, and the addition of the aging superstars does nothing but hurt the long-term development of the team. Plumlee will be expected to contribute in some form or fashion off the bench, and he will -- even if the pick feels less than inspiring.
Young faces, new places: Cody Zeller
Michael Jeffery Jordan was either too busy smoking cigars to not notice Noel or Ben McLemore was on the board or is still really bad at evaluating talent. With other, possibly more dynamic players on the board, Jordan decided to grab Zeller with the fourth pick. Before the draft, there was also rumors of him wanting to shop Michael Kidd Gilchrist -- highlighting Jordan's inability to have foresight. I'm not anti-Zeller, but with Noel or McLemore still on the board, it is hard to believe that the Bobcats went with him here.
Young faces, new places: Tony Snell and Erik Murphy
I am higher on Snell than most. He has the ability to shoot and spread the floor, something the Bulls needed desperately. Murphy is a similar player: think a poor man's Matt Bonner (wait, there can be a poor man's Matt Bonner?!). Chicago certainly drafted their need for shooters. Time will tell if keeping it simple will pay off for Chicago.
Young faces, new places: Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix
Drafting Bennett with the first pick was certainly a surprise. That is not to say it won't work, although, this is the third straight year that experts feel the Cavs reached for a player. Since the draft was so weak and despite Cleveland's attempts to trade out of the pick, Cleveland felt Bennett was the best player on the board. His size is somewhat concerning (6-foot-8 power forward), but he can stretch the floor and possibly play the three in limited spots.
Young faces, new places: Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo
I really, really like Larkin's game. I also think going to Dallas is a great fit. The Mavericks also traded back a few times, grabbing a future second-round pick. Those were all moves to avoid salary issues down the road. Mark Cuban has been an avid player in free agency in the past (even if it doesn't always work out) and obviously likes building his team with veterans. Drafting Larkin, though, adds some much-needed youth to the team and could pay dividends immediately.
Ledo is a name worth remembering if you don't know him. He didn't fall in the draft because of a lack of talent, but rather because he's a bit of a head case. Ledo played on more high school teams than you change underwear in a week and never played a single second of college hoops. His talent, however, is nearly unmatched in this particular draft.
Young faces, new places: Erick Green and Joffrey Lauvergne
Denver also scooped up Darrell Arthur in a trade. Green is going to be the guy who decides whether or not the Nuggets' draft was a success. At worst, however, Green is a solid fit for the team even if it ends up being off the bench. Lauvergne is unlikely to make the team at any point.
Young faces, new places: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva
Detroit drafted three players I don't like. That is just my opinion. Siva is a point guard who can't shoot, turns the ball over at a high rate (over three times a game in his college career) and his ceiling is as high off the ground as a phonebook. Mitchell is a guy who saw his draft stock plummet because of his lack of heart and inability to be productive in his sophomore season in college. Caldwell-Pope, well, I never understood the allure to his game. I think he can end up being a fine, average, rather ho-humish guard in the league, but I also think he can flame out.
Golden State Warriors
Young faces, new places: Nemanja Nedovic
No draft picks entering the draft? No problem. After everything was said and done, Golden State trading for the pick and player this season only cost them a second-rounder for the 2014 NBA Draft. Both guys are good defenders. Malcom Lee (acquired via trade) in particular may have been drafted so the Warriors could be more flexible (cost-effective) with Brandon Rush. Mark Jackson needed defenders and he tried to grab some here. Pretty simple.
Young faces, new places: Isaiah Canaan
Canaan's game is pretty solid, although I am not sure if he is an ideal fit for Houston. Either way, he can be a backup to Jeremy Lin or whoever else they plan on starting at point guard next season. He should also add some scoring off the bench. Grabbing him with the 34th overall pick is a more than solid value pick of the Rockets. Obviously, as heavily reported as it is, Houston is going after Dwight Howard. So their draft isn't nearly as important as the free agency period. Canaan is a nice pick, though.
Young Faces, new places: Solomon Hill
Talk about uninspiring. Indiana clearly thinks they are close to being an NBA Finals-level team as they drafted the perceived most polished player available with the 23rd pick. Hill might end up being another towel-cheer-guy rather than any help to the actual team. A combo guard or any guard that can actually put the ball in the basket would have been a more logical pick here.
Los Angeles Clippers
Young faces, new places: Reggie Bullock
Hey, Doc Rivers and Bill Simmons got into a fight! Eh, I could honestly care less even if it made the later portions of the second round more tolerable. To be fair, neither was entirely wrong in their stance and both were put in an awkward spot by ESPN (recurring theme).
They did draft a player too. Bullock should be a solid player coming for them off the bench. I say that with good confidence, which is something pretty hard to do with a late first-round selection. Bullock is limited, though, as he needs to be set to shoot -- which shouldn't really matter as he won't be asked to create any offense of his own.
Los Angeles Lakers
Young faces, new places: Ryan Kelly
I've seen a lot of people praising this pick and I just don't get it. The Lakers might end up being a little thin in the post if Howard leaves, but Kelly's impact on the team would be minuscule at best. I'm not even sure he makes the roster. Slow, limited athleticism, and a lack of a ceiling make me wonder what exactly he brings to the table. He can stretch the floor, however, that is about his only redeeming quality as a player. He is also a huge defensive liability.
Young faces, new places: Jamaal Franklin and Janis Timma
Franklin fell to the Grizzlies and really seems to fit their assembled cast of tough guys. There are reasons he dropped (size), but at worst he can end up being a really solid defender in the league. Timma was the last pick of the draft and became the butt-end of an ESPN person's lame attempt at a joke.
Young faces, new places: James Ennis
The Heat are clearly taking a flyer on Ennis. Miami came into the night with no picks, paid some cash money for a singular opportunity to hear the deputy commissioner say the team's name and picked Ennis despite some quality big guys still on the board. Not that whoever they drafted would really matter, but Ennis doesn't look like a player who really fits their system. At pick 50, though, it does not really matter.
Young faces, new places: Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Lorenzo Brown and Bojan Dubljevic
Another slew of players I just didn't have rated highly. I could be wrong, but Muhammad reminds me of guys who fill up box-scores yet does very little in the way to actually help his teams win. Dieng has a ceiling that is nowhere near as other bigs in this draft. He can be a solid defensive guy, or even a decent rotational frontcourt player for years.
Young faces, new places: Giannis Antetokounmpo and (probable) Nate Wolters
What exactly is in a name? Antetokounmpo was the youngest player in this draft, but does supposedly have a high ceiling (full disclosure: I'm not great with foreign players). The Bucks are likely to do a stash and cash with him though. Wolters is expected to be traded to the Bucks (if he hasn't already been by print). For those unaware, Wolters will be expected to play the point in the NBA but scored in bunches in college, being the only player to score 50 points in a game twice last season.
New Orleans Pelicans
Young faces, new places: Pierre Jackson
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jackson is a pretty solid pick, but that is not what you want to read about. Jrue Holiday is now on the squad. This makes the Pelicans a lot better and a lot quicker. This is also a move that likely puts Eric Gordon on the trading block and eventually out of town -- something he has been yearning to do for ages.
New York Knicks
Young faces, new places: Tim Hardaway Jr.
I could only assume this means the Knicks are saying bye-bye to J.R. Smith. Hardaway is pretty polished, a solid standstill shooter, but doesn't use his solid athleticism to the attack more (he has worked on it, though). Hardaway was likely the best player on the board at this point, although he does feel like fool's gold -- even though I am in the minority on this thought. His father, a historically awesome Knicks hater, has likely disowned him as well.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Young faces, new places: Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Alex Abrines
Potential picks. Not a single guy ready to contribute right away. I am not on high on Adams as everyone else (another recurring theme). He didn't wow in college or wasn't that productive either. That doesn't mean he won't end up being a good player. No one will be able to properly evaluate this OKC draft for about five years. Roberson is a little more polished than Adams, but is still a developmental player as well.
Young faces, new places: Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby
Oladipo is going to be a tremendous defensive player. That happens to be the worst-case scenario for him, which is not too bad considering the perceived lack of talent in this draft. It will be interesting to see the continued assembling of the Magic's roster and if they feel guys like Oladipo and Maurice Harkless are players they can continue to build around.
Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, and PF Arsalan Kazemi
My favorite for team of the night (of the draft). Not only does Philadelphia get Noel and Carter-Williams, but grabbed a first-rounder for next season, meaning they will likely have two lottery selections in a much better 2014 Draft. Sam Hinkie is clearly going with rebuilding through the draft and if the ping-pong balls fall in his favor next season, it is conceivable that the Sixers will have four players to build around after just two drafts.
Young faces, new places: Alex Len, Archie Goodwin and Alex Oriakhi
I am really high on Len. I also like Goodwin. What I don't like is Phoenix because of the ownership. Regardless, the Suns now have two young players to help their atrocious roster. It will be up to them to really do their best to develop Len as he still needs a lot of work. This almost feels the same as when Al Davis drafted players in another popular sports league -- so I am a little disheartened about Len going here.
Portland Trail Blazers
Young faces, new places: C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Jeff Withey, Grant Jerrett and Marko Todorovic
I love Portland's draft more than my own kids. Okay, not really, but it is closer than my wife would like. McCollum is going to be a stud and Crabbe adds great depth off the bench. The Trail Blazers are going to have shooters galore and might end up playing a lot like Golden State of last year. Withey also adds size and defense off the bench to go alongside of Meyers Leonard as the frontcourt and bench big men.
Young faces, new places: Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum
I am not sure how the Kings' roster is supposed to fit together, but there is a lot of players on it. McLemore was too good of a prospect to pass up. Hopefully Sacramento makes moves to get rid of the dead weight on the roster. As far as I know, David Stern only allows teams to shoot at one basket with one ball, so the Kings are going to have an issue pleasing guys who like shot attempts.
San Antonio Spurs
Young faces, new places: Livio Jean-Charles and Deshaun Thomas
Jean-Charles played for a club owned by Tony Parker last season, so I think it is safe to assume the Spurs had some inside information on him. Thomas might end up being another sneaky late pick by them as well. His biggest problem is where exactly he fits on the team, but he can score and I am sure there will be a spot on the roster for him.
Fresh faces, new places: Nada
They had as many draft picks as you last night.
Fresh faces, new places: Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert
I don't think Burke translates well into the NBA. Again, I am the minority in that thinking. His inability to create separation at the college level scares the (insert dirty adjective) out of me. Utah seems like a solid fit for him though and many experts do feel he might end up being the star of this draft. Gobert was thought to be a higher pick coming into the draft. As of this writing, I am not entirely sure he is on the Jazz roster for next season anyway.
Fresh faces, new places: Otto Porter Jr. and Glen Rice Jr.
Porter Jr. has certainly grown on me as a player. He is an all-around, solid, worst-case-scenario average player. He fits a need for Washington and probably helps them fight for a playoff spot next season. Something that goes wildly overlooked is his ability to hit jumpers. He might turn out to be a much better pro than most think. His floor is as high as some guys' ceilings and he is pretty much non-bustable, which really should make Wizards fans feel happy. Rice Jr. was the NBDL Finals MVP. If he can keep his he correct and overcome being a smaller small forward, I do believe he can add depth and possibly play limited minutes off the bench.
Hey, David Stern. Later Alligator
I don't like Stern at all. He comes off as a know-it-all, condescending jerk. Even I, however, have to acknowledge his greatness at drafts. He plays like a pro wrestling villain and the crowd loves it. Every time he eggs the crowd on for more boos, I am just waiting for him to suplex the next guy who got drafted. Despite my feeling on his ability to have a soul, I am glad the crowd gave him a standing ovation before he left the podium for his final draft.
Adam Silver: you sir, have a lot of expectations to live up to — the least of which is the actual product of the game, but rather how good are you at keeping the crowd involved on draft nights.