The current NBA season is already one third over, and we have been given a pretty good look at the rookies from the 2013 NBA Draft. Although it was considered one of the “weaker” drafts in recent history, it seems to be full of role and rotation players, something that is always necessary have for good NBA teams.
So, I will be going over the first 15 draft picks with some analysis on each pick, and then just give you my final 15 picks. I will also keep all trades the same. Enjoy!
1. Victor Oladipo, SG – Cleveland Cavaliers | Original Selection – Anthony Bennett, SF/PF
I was a big Oladipo guy from the beginning of the draft, and even though I thought Nerlens Noel was going to be the number one guy, I felt Oladipo was going to be one of, if not, the best player from this draft. He has definitely shown it this year with the Magic, averaging a solid line of 13/4/3/1.5 all while playing very good defense.
The Cavs missed out here on getting a starting shooting guard, and being able to move Waiters to the bench, where he is more suited to play.
The Cavs have seriously messed up at the top of the draft board, too many times.
2. Michael Carter-Williams, PG – Orlando Magic | Original Selection – Victor Oladipo, SG
I guarantee you the Magic are very happy with Oladipo right now, but they really need a point guard, now that Jameer Nelson is likely on his last legs as a starter in this league. Carter-Williams has been up to this point, the Rookie of the Year in almost everyone’s eyes, so he would be the pick, even if he would split most of his time with Nelson. If he was with the Magic, he might not be putting up the same scintillating line of 18/8/5.5/3 on 41% shooting, but he would still be a major upgrade at the position, and help solidify that young lineup for years to come.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF – Washington Wizards | Original Selection – Otto Porter Jr., SF
We will call him ‘Po for short considering that is a horrific name to spell repeatedly. While many thought ’Po was going to be a long term project, he’s managed to become a quality player for the awful Bucks, providing great minutes at the small forward position. He is a freak athletically, ridiculous wingspan and is the youngest player in the NBA. The Wizards biggest position of need was the small forward entering the draft, and while Otto Porter Jr. may turn into a solid player, ‘Po has been the better player, and has shown great POtential.
4. Ben McLemore, SG – Charlotte Bobcats | Original Selection – Cody Zeller, PF
Cody Zeller was a decent selection here, but as of right now, he is a deer caught in the headlights, playing timid, and even lost his starting job to Josh McRoberts. I am going McLemore here because the Bobcats could be losing both Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon this offseason.
I love McLemore and still think he could be the best guard in the draft, and he will be a great running mate for Kemba Walker.
5. Otto Porter Jr., SF – Phoenix Suns | Original Selection – Alex Len, C
The Suns selected Len knowing his injury past, and even thought they have the best staff in the NBA, it hasn’t helped Len much, as he has missed a lot of time already. Instead Miles Plumlee has stepped up as a legitimate NBA center, burying Len on the bench. The Suns biggest need now is small forward, and with Antetokounmpo taken by the Wizards, that leaves Porter Jr. here to be snatched up, something I’m sure the Suns would love to see.
6. Nerlens Noel, C – Philadelphia 76ers (Via New Orleans) | Original Selection – Nerlens Noel, C
I am keeping this the same because I believe the 76ers will let Hawes walk if they do not deal him, and hand over the keys at center to Noel. Noel is still injured, but with GM Sam Hinkie’s plans, the 76ers do not mind this, as they can continue to blissfully tank away.
7. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG – Sacramento Kings | Original Selection – Ben McLemore, SG
With McLemore already off the board, the Kings would grab Caldwell-Pope here to provide some shooting, considering that is one of the team’s biggest weaknesses. I would like CJ McCollum here for his defense, but of course, McCollum has not played this season yet, so Caldwell-Pope is the pick.
8. Trey Burke, PG – Detroit Pistons | Original Selection- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
I think the Pistons would love this one. Bring home the Michigan boy, and place him alongside that monster frontcourt as well. Brandon Knight would fit better in this equation at SG, but Jennings could also work there, as he is a shoot first player, and let Burke handle the ball.
9. Nate Wolters, PG- Utah Jazz (Via Minnesota) | Original Selection – Trey Burke, PG
Let us reach all the way into the second round for this one, for the third best rookie point guard right now, in Nate Wolters. He does not have the most upside, but is a great ball handler and passer, and has been great for the Bucks this year. However, the Jazz will really miss Trey Burke.
10. Tim Hardaway Jr., SG- Portland Trail Blazers | Original Selection – CJ McCollum, PG/SG
I am sure the Blazers would love to see what they have in McCollum, but these injuries are a real concern. Hardaway Jr. has managed to make Knicks fans abandon their love affair with Iman Shumpert and JR Smith, so the Blazers would love to add them to their already potent offense.
11. Cody Zeller, PF- Philadelphia 76ers | Original Selection – Michael Carter-Williams, PG
76ers fans would be devastated to see Carter-Williams leave, but there is now some value down here. Plenty of big men to pair of with Noel, and Zeller is the best of the rest. This would make Thaddeus Young more expendable, and probably easier to move.
12. Alex Len, C- Oklahoma City Thunder | Original Selection – Steven Adams, C
Adams is a very nice tough guy, but Len, if healthy, would give the Thunder their center of the future. Give him one year to get healthy, then Perkins contract is off the books, and Len is ready to be the big man Perkins was supposed to be.
13. Steven Adams, C – Boston Celtics (Via Mavericks) | Original Selection – Kelly Olynyk, C
I am a huge fan of Adams. Love him as an energy, hustle, tough guy, who loves to rebound and get physical down low. The Celtics need size and aggression, and while I still like Olynyk, Adams better fits the Celtics right now.
14. CJ McCollum, PG/SG – Minnesota Timberwolves | Original Selection – Shabazz Muhammad, SF
I flip-flopped on this pick here. Considering Anthony Bennett and even sticking with Muhammad, but I went with McCollum just because I think he was the best talent. Shooting, defending, scoring, the Timberwolves would like this from the swingman capable of playing both point and wing.
15. Anthony Bennett, SF/PF – Milwaukee Bucks | Original Selection – Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF
Falling a full 14 spots, the Bucks would grab Bennett here, because the guy still has talent. He has not worked out as the number one pick, and being buried behind the waves of forwards in Cleveland, but he would get a lot more leeway down here. That would be the best thing for him right now.
16. Kelly Olynyk, C – Atlanta Hawks (Via Boston)
17. Shane Larkin, PG – Dallas Mavericks (Via Atlanta)
18. Dennis Schroeder, PG – Atlanta Hawks
19. Shabazz Muhammad, SF – Cleveland Cavaliers (Via Lakers)
20. Tony Snell, SF – Chicago Bulls
21. Lucas Nogueira, C – Minnesota Timberwolves (Via Jazz)
22. Jeff Withey, C – Brooklyn Nets
23. Sergey Karasev, PG – Indiana Pacers
24. Rudy Gobert, C – New York Knicks
25. Tony Mitchell, PF – Los Angeles Clippers
26. Archie Goodwin, SG – Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Minnesota)
27. Gogui Dieng, C – Denver Nuggets (Via Jazz)
28. Allen Crabbe, SG – San Antonio Spurs
29. Ray McCallum, SG – Phoenix Suns (Via Oklahoma City)
30. Isaiah Canaan, PG – Golden State Warriors (Via Phoenix)