Two things I learned last night:
- David Stern is Vince McMahon
- Mock drafts are stupid
In what was regarded as one of the worst drafts ever, the 2013 NBA Draft took that criticism, ripped it in half, threw it in a blender and shot fireworks into the sky all while Skrillex played in the background. The 2013 NBA Draft was THAT crazy. Nobody knew who the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to take with the first pick until the very last second. Would it be Nerlens Noel? Alex Len? White person favorite, Victor Oladipo?
Nah bro. This is Cleveland.
Anthony Bennett from UNLV. Nobody but Anthony Bennett thought he had a chance of going #1. From there the draft got flipped-turned upside-down. And I’d like to take a minute. Just sit right there. I’ll give you each team’s grades that mean nothing in a year.
[does the Running Man]
PICKS: C Lucas Nogueira, PG Dennis Schroeder, C Mike Muscala, PG Raul Neto
ANALYSIS: The cupboard in Atlanta is bare, so the Hawks needed to find bodies in this draft. They wound up drafting the “German Rajon Rondo,” a solid offensive big in Muscala and THIS HAIR:
PICKS: C Kelly Olynyk, C Colton Iverson
ANALYSIS: Boston’s draft night went something like this: Traded three picks for Olynyk (?!?), traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn for draft picks and Gerald Wallace’s expensive corpse, and then made Celtics Superfan, Bill Simmons go through the five stages of grief on live TV. It was everything we could have hoped for and more.
PICKS: C Mason Plumlee
ANALYSIS: Plumlee is a nice fit for Brooklyn but the fifteenth Plumlee is a footnote compared to what else the Nets got on Draft night. They traded away three 1st round picks, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries (BRO!) and Kris Joseph (aww) for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. That’s like trading a sensible Honda Accord for a rusty Lamborghini with a missing bumper and two flat tires.
PICKS: C Cody Zeller
So you’re Charlotte and you just witnessed the 8th or 9th best player go #1. Then the 4th ranked player go #2. Washington goes chalk and now you have your choice of Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Alex Len or a myriad of other top prospects. With his feet up on the table and puffing a cigar, Michael Jordan pauses the Space Jam VHS playing in the War Room, throws a dart at the Bobcats draft board, misses it entirely and lands it in the trash where Cody Zeller’s name tag has been sitting since April. The quest for Andrew Wiggins begins.
GRADE: C+ (the + is for signing Brandon Triche as an undrafted free agent)
PICKS: SG Tony Snell, PF Erik Murphy
ANALYSIS: The Bulls got some nice talent this year. Snell is a wing who can knock down threes but also take his defender off the dribble. Murphy is just a Gator Boy for Joakim Noah to hang out with.
PICKS: PF Anthony Bennett, SF Sergey Karasev, SG Carrick Felix
ANALYSIS: The Cavs are such hipsters. They don’t do anything people expect or think they should do. Take last year, when Cleveland promised Dion Waiters and REACHED for him with the 4th pick. This year, they acted like that guy in your fantasy football league who asks for Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster and in return they give you Felix Jones. The first pick is nowhere near as enticing as it is in other years but the Cavs still wanted the world. No dice. So they draft Anthony Bennett, a guy who can play right away but with Tristan Thompson at the 4 makes for an odd lineup. It garnered this reaction:
Karasev might be the best foreigner in the draft but he’s going to Cleveland so he’ll probably just get lost and disappear forever.
PICKS: PG Shane Larkin, SG Ricky Ledo
ANALYSIS: Dallas needed a point guard in the worst way, and after trading down got good value with Larkin. After some ridiculous shuffling all night, they ended up grabbing Ricky Ledo, a risky talent with huge upside. Cuban is clearing as much money as he can so he can buy more inventions on Shark Tank.
PICKS: PG Erick Green, PF Joffrey Lauvergne
ANALYSIS: I wasn’t a big fan of the Nuggets draft. Erick Green is an underrated talent and will provide great depth behind Ty Lawson. However, they traded the 27th pick away for cash and 2nd with a TON of good players available that could help immediately. They got rid of Kosta Koufos and that’s a reason to celebrate.
PICKS: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F Tony Mitchell, PG Peyton Siva
ANALYSIS: The Pistons watched the Draft turn into utter chaos and let the chips fall. What was left was a hometown point guard, a prolific scorer and that dude from Georgia you didn’t know existed. They went with that dude. KCP (not to be confused with our own, LCP) is a solid scorer who will start immediately, but it’s interesting that the Pistons passed on CJ McCollum and Trey Burke who would have paired just as nicely with Brandon Knight. Tony Mitchell is a first round talent and a huge steal for Detroit. Peyton Siva sucks.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
PICKS: PG Nemanja Nedovic
ANALYSIS: Nedovic referred to himself as “Derrick Rose but three times slower.” Terrific.
PICKS: PG Isaiah Canaan
ANALYSIS: I love love love this pick. Houston is going to be a fun team to watch with James Harden becoming a superstar, add in the potential of acquiring Dwight Howard and there’s your sleeper in the West. Canaan can fill it up and honestly could start over Jeremy Lin if it wasn’t for Lin’s redonkulous contract. All that’s missing is Yao Ming coming out of retirement.
PICKS: SF Solomon Hill
ANALYSIS: Indiana, a team on the cusp of winning a title, needed some real talent to bring off the bench. They went and drafted Solomon Hill, who was most likely fast asleep, not expecting anyone to call him on Draft night. Then the Pacers traded away their 2nd round pick. This is the opposite strategy of acquiring depth you dummies.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
PICKS: SF Reggie Bullock
ANALYSIS: I thought Allan Crabbe might have been a better fit for the Clips. Bullock is a good shooter from long-range, but not much else. He was the 4th best player on his own team at North Carolina. If he can dunk from full-court he’ll fit right in.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
PICKS: PF Ryan Kelly
PICKS: SG Jamaal Franklin, SF Janis Timma
ANALYSIS: Jamaal Franklin is a Top 20 talent and he fell into the Grizzlies at 41. He is a great fit for Memphis. He is big for his position and will be a tough matchup on defense. Janis Timma is not real and you have to prove it to me otherwise.
PICKS: SF James Ennis
ANALYSIS: The Heat did not give a single f*** about this draft and why should they? Fresh off their second title in as many years, Miami didn’t have a pick, woke up from a champagne hangover, called the Hawks, threw some Ben Franklins their way and ended up with a Small Forwards on a team made up entirely of Small Forwards.
PICKS: SF Giannis Antetokounmpo, PG Nate Wolters
ANALYSIS: People are calling Antetokounmpo the “Greek Kevin Durant.” OK, if Giannis stars in a straight-to-DVD movie about a Greek child stealing his basketball talents then I’ll believe you. They traded for Jimmer 2.0 in Nate Wolters, which should be fine. I don’t know, does Milwaukee still have a basketball team? Send them to Seattle already.
PICKS: SF Shabazz Muhammad, C Gorgui Dieng, PG Lorenzo Brown, PF Bojan Dubljevic
ANALYSIS: Minnesota did not want the #9 pick and they let everyone know about it. The Wolves picked Trey Burke and shipped him off to Utah for 14 and 21 because Rubio. In turn, they selected Steve Urkel impressionist, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. It’s a decent group to surround Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio but will it keep Love in the long run? I’m not a fan of Shabazz, as he’s a less talented James Harden. So he’s like me, basically.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
PICKS: PG Pierre Jackson
ANALYSIS: An opportunity for endless Nerlens in Nawlins and Thin Towers jokes was dashed when the Pelicans, who had Nerlens Noel fall to them at 6, traded Noel to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday. An All-Star for an injured and risky center? Do it. Pierre Jackson doesn’t make a lot of sense when a scoring forward or a big man were a much bigger need.
NEW YORK KNICKS
PICKS: SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
ANALYSIS: J.R. Smith better start researching other cities’ night clubs on Yelp because it seems like his time in New York is over. Hardaway is a cheaper and better defensive alternative to J.R. The Knicks went value over need, when, compared to most years, they do neither. A center like Jeff Withey or a forward like Tony Mitchell would have also made sense here, but you can’t deny Hardaway’s talent. He can score, run the floor and has a great motor. Mike Woodson will be able to go small with him, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton. New York still has some work to do in free agency but Knicks fans should be pleased that a Draft went by and the Knicks aren’t a league laughing stock.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
PICKS: C Steven Adams, SF Andre Roberson, SG Alex Abrines
ANALYSIS: Oklahoma City made a real push for the #1 pick but Cleveland wanted Scrooge McDuck’s money vault. There was a real drop-off in talent by the time the Thunder picked at 12, and they settled for a project in Pitt’s Stephen Adams. He might get some run off the bench or spend a year in the D-League. Either way that’s not a great finishing touch on the James Harden trade. Roberson and Abrines are decent players, but the Thunder needed offense and settled for off-ul. I’ll be here all night.
PICKS: SG Victor Oladipo, PF Romero Osby
ANALYSIS: If there was a writer or talking head who didn’t think Victor Oladipo was the best player in the draft, I couldn’t find him. The waxing over Oladipo, a high-energy guy with a still-growing offensive game seemed a bit extreme. With Noel, Len and McLemore still available it’s odd to see the Magic take OlaDERPo unless they plan on trading Aaron Afflalo (likely). Victor will be a solid pro, but I don’t think he’ll ever be an All-Star. Romero Osby’s name was pulled out of a hat.
PICKS: C Nerlens Noel, PG Michael Carter-Williams, PF Arsalan Kazemi
ANALYSIS: The Sixers are blowing it all up. They traded Jrue Holiday, their only All-Star for Noel, who won’t be ready until at least Christmas. Then Philly, now with a void at guard, grabbed Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, who coincidentally is best friends with Noel. They also received a protected first-round pick in 2014 from New Orleans. Hard to knock a team who got two of the top ten prospects in the draft, but the team is starting from scratch. We have an Andrew Wiggins candidate and it’s only June.
PICKS: C Alex Len, SG Archie Goodwin, C Alex Oriakhi
ANALYSIS: Alex “Steal My Sunshine” Len was the #1 pick up until 7:30 pm on Draft night. The Cavs psyched us all and went in the opposite direction. Len is skilled offensively, has injury concerns, but going to the Suns takes the pressure off of Len to make an immediate impact on a bad team. Phoenix had to take him, although it’s tough to pass on McLemore, who might be the best talent of the draft. I like the Archie Goodwin selection more than most people. He can develop into a nice scorer off the bench. Alex Oriakhi will be playing in Europe in three months.
PICKS: SG C.J. McCollum, SG Allen Crabbe, C Jeff Withey, PF Grant Jerrett, PF Marko Todorovic
ANALYSIS: I mean LOOK at that haul! Portland is onto something here. C.J. McCollum is being heralded as one of the best players in the draft and comparisons to Damian Lillard make his landing spot in Portland scary for the West. Allen Crabbe is a good spot-up shooter and Jeff Withey in the 2nd round was an absolute steal as far as tall, goofy white guys go. There’s a chance Lamarcus Aldridge is on his way out but the future looks bright for a city with like four sunny days a year.
PICKS: SG Ben McLemore, PG Ray McCallum
ANALYSIS: The Kings have new management and it seems like they don’t have learning disabilities like the last front office. Sac Town lucked themselves into getting the best talent in the draft in Ben McLemore. Thrift Shop, as I like to call him, will make an impact immediately on a team that needs something good going for it. McLemore and Demarcus Cousins are how you build a team, despite Boogie Cousins being clinically insane.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
PICKS: SF Livio Jean-Charles, SF Deshaun Thomas
ANALYSIS: San Antonio Spurs Guide to the NBA Draft: 1) draft a foreigner, preferably from France 2) draft a great college upperclassman 3) ??? 4) profit.
ANALYSIS: Raptors fans need something so here’s my favorite GIF ever:
PICKS: PG Trey Burke, C Rudy Gobert
ANALYSIS: Poor Trey Burke. The Jazz needed a point guard, Burke is a point guard. Nobody wants to go to Utah. I’m sure Burke will be great, maybe win Rookie of the Year and get the Jazz back to the playoffs. Then his contract will be up and he’ll go to a fun city where the bars close after 8 p.m. Stay strong, little buddy.
PICKS: SF Otto Porter Jr., SF Glen Rice Jr.
ANALYSIS: Otto Porter was the best wing player in the draft, and probably the safest pick. Washington made a great decision keeping Porter, the Georgetown alum, close to home. He will start immediately for the Wiz, a young but promising team. Glen Rice, Jr. will play solid minutes right away and could develop into a starting forward at some point in his career. Here’s a John Wall GIF if you read this whole report card:
Nothing gives me more joy than seeing both college basketball and NBA writers miss so badly on projecting the draft. That’s good hustle, everyone.