On Thursday, June 27 2013, the NBA draft had one of the wildest beginnings ever. The Cleveland Cavaliers could not find a suitable trade partner for the first pick, so they did the next best thing. Cleveland bucked tradition of taking the obvious big man with minimal offensive skills. Instead, they drafted the high scoring forward from UNLV.
Anthony Bennett became the first UNLV number 1 draft pick since Larry Johnson. Interestingly enough, Bennett may be the closest player to Larry Johnson you might ever see.
Nerlens Noel’s face had some shock, but all would be good if he was drafted by the Orlando Magic. It could have been the perfect scenario for both parties, yet the Magic took the highly regarded Victor Oladipo.
With the third pick, it was a no-brainer for the Wizards to take the local college star, Otto Porter. He fits in nicely at the small forward position and brings shooting and defensive ability to a young athletic team.
The one thing that is certain about any draft is the uncertainty. The next two picks were Cody Zeller and Alex Len. While the Bobcats drafted Zeller 4th, the Phoenix Suns took Len and confirmed his rising stock.
No one could foresee 5 picks going in the 2013 draft without Noel or Ben McLemore getting snatched up. Yet, that is exactly what happened.
The fireworks had only just started for Noel however. He was picked 6th by the New Orleans Pelicans, but quickly shipped off to Philadelphia in a trade for Jrue Holiday. The 76ers also picked up Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th pick. He was the 3rd point guard selected.
The smooth shooting McLemore went number 7 to the Sacramento Kings. The Detroit Pistons drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of Georgia at number 8. Both shooting guards are needed to produce right away.
The point guards started to get drafted at the end of the top 10. First Trey Burke was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Burke was quickly moved to the Utah Jazz in a trade with Shabazz Muhammad.
To round out the top 10, C.J. McCollum joined the Portland Trailblazers. It’s the second year in a row that Portland drafted a dynamic high scoring guard.
Other notable draft day news:
Oklahoma City drafted Steven Adams and was quickly ridiculed by one of the biggest floppers in the league. James Harden constructed a short but sweet Twitter rant, “Steven Adams loooooool” to show his true feelings toward OKC. Good job of being over your old girlfriend.
The Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr with the 24th pick. He will bring much needed shooting at the guard position. They also signed un-drafted free agent C.J. Leslie. The North Carolina State forward was projected to go in the second round.
Shane Larkin was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
Boston made some life altering changes during yesterday’s draft. The Celtics traded, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets. The Nets also received Jason Terry in the deal. Brooklyn also drafted Mason Plumlee with the 22nd pick.
The last pick of the first round was Nemanja Nedovic from Serbia. The point guard’s draft rights belong to Golden State.
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