Tonight’s NBA Draft has basically the same stagnant dynamic as the NFL Draft earlier this year: no true superstars, a lack of first round talent and a complete toss up as far as projecting where players will go.
While there is talent to be had, the top players this year – such as Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo – are guys who would probably be selected fourth or fifth in a normal draft. This is good for the teams drafting three through five, since they will be getting better value for their picks than the teams drafting one or two.
The Wolves, on the other hand, will draft in the number nine slot. This uncomfortably puts them just out of reach of the upper crop of prospects. There is speculation, though, that the Wolves will try to package Derrick Williams to trade up and select a top shooting guard, such as Oladipo, to pair with Ricky Rubio in the backcourt.
In a normal year’s draft, this would be a likely scenario. I don’t foresee that happening this year, however, as there just isn’t enough value at the top of this draft to justify parting with Williams, who was the number two pick in 2011, to move up for another wild card player.
Zach Stich, Sports Editor: I do agree with my friend on his perception of the NBA draft. This is not a draft that touts superstar caliber players, such as a LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant or Blake Griffin. Nerlens Noel looked like a standout, until he suffered an ACL injury, but otherwise the draft looks to be a place to add a cog to the overall machine.
I kept my draft intact, but several reports from other media affiliates see Minnesota and Dallas looking to make a trade. Minnesota to move up, Dallas to move out.
I would suggest that the Timberwolves move up and draft shooting guard Oladipo, but I am willing to see what Flip Saunders is willing to do in his first draft back with Minnesota. The move would more than likely mean the end of forward Williams’ time in the Gopher state.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban may want to get rid of his draft pick in order to free up cash to pursue top line free agents Chris Paul or Dwight Howard.
It will be interesting to see how one team’s pick could cause the teams drafting below them to drastically change their draft boards.
2013 NBA Lottery Picks
Aaron Stanley: 1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel, C Kentucky
Zach Stich: 1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel, C Kentucky
AS: 2. Orlando: Ben McLemore, SG Kansas
ZS: 2. Orlando: Victor Oladipo, SG Indiana
AS: 3. Washington: Otto Porter Jr., SF Georgetown
ZS: 3. Washington: Otto Porter Jr., SF Georgetown
AS: 4. Charlotte: Anthony Bennett, PF UNLV
ZS: 4. Charlotte: Ben McLemore, SG Kansas
AS: 5. Phoenix: Victor Oladipo, SG Indiana
ZS: 5. Phoenix: Alex Len, C Maryland
AS: 6. New Orleans: Alex Len, C Maryland
ZS: 6. New Orleans: Cody Zeller, C Indiana
AS: 7. Sacramento: Cody Zeller, C Indiana
ZS: Anthony Bennett, PF UNLV
AS: 8. Detroit: Trey Burke, PG Michigan
ZS: 8. Detroit: Trey Burke, PG Michigan
AS: 9. Minnesota: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Georgia
ZS: 9. Minnesota: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Georgia
AS: 10. Portland: C.J. McCollum, SG Lehigh
ZS: 10. Portland: C.J. McCollum, SG Lehigh
AS: 11. Philadelphia: Kelly Olynyk, C Gonzaga
ZS: 11. Philadelphia: Kelly Olynyk, C Gonzaga
AS: 12. Oklahoma City: Michael Carter-Williams, PG Syracuse
ZS: 12. Oklahoma City: Michael Carter-Williams, PG Syracuse
AS: 13. Dallas: Shabazz Muhammad, SG UCLA
ZS: 13. Dallas: Sergey Karasev, SF Russia
AS: 14. Utah: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG Michigan
ZS: 14. Utah: Steven Adams, C Pittsburgh
Aaron Stanley is a former Fergus Falls resident living in Washington, D.C. and an avid sports enthusiast.