With an epic NBA Finals in the books and new legacies defined
, the most exciting part of the season continues on with the 2013 NBA Draft.
Most prognosticators have called this weakest draft since Kenyon Martin, Darius Miles and the other dregs of the NBA sewer system bogged up our beloved L in 2000. However, what I’m seeing is a talent pool that might not have a definite superstar in it’s upper echelons, but rather a sizeable amount of solid role players and borderline All-Stars. Not too shabby.
To sate our endless appetite for anything smelling like the NBA, us hoophead junkies assembled like Voltron this week to do our annual mock draft. We all were assigned teams and told to get into the minds of each team’s GM, and pick not only along talent, but also need. The MAMBINO crew will be there in person this Thursday to see what we got right, what we got terribly wrong and yes, if we can boo David Stern as lustily with the 1st pick as we do the 30th. It’s the Commissioner’s last draft before his retirement, so we’ll make sure to emerge from Barclays Center with our vocal chords raw. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for some in-arena perspective @TheGreatMambino
. Today we’ll cover the lottery picks in part 1, and tomorrow we’ll do the rest of the first round in part 2.
Without further ado….let’s go!
With the number 1 pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett, forward from UNLV
AO: Obviously, lots of rumors surrounding this pick. Looking at it from a pure “need” standpoint, Bennett is the right mix of safe + potential. Sure, Cleveland doesn’t have a foundation in the middle, although Anderson Varajeo and Tyler Zeller are both competent, the former being a borderline All-Star when healthy. But I’m not sold on the bigs in this draft.
Noel and Len have both been rumored to be the target for CLE, but they are both projects, not ready to come in and contribute right away. CLE is set at the 1 and 2 with Mr. Irving and Mr. Waiters. The front court is mostly unproven and young. Why would you want more of that? Why assume that risk of drafting a bust, especially when everyone agrees the ceilings are pretty low w/ Noel and Len. Instead, I’d take a guy in Bennett who can play the 3 and leverage his size at that position. He’s a good enough shooter to be a legit 3, but will also be capable of playing the stretch 4 for at least some minutes. Lastly, I think Dan Gilbert and co like to play things close to the vest (except when the best player in the NBA leaves his team on national TV, then, yea, he gets a bit “public”). No one saw Waiters coming last year. Who knows what Tricky Dan has behind his bowtie
With the 2nd pick, the Orlando Magic select Nerlens Noel, center from the University of Kentucky.
KOBEsh: A debatable number 1 pick, Noel (if healthy) could be an absolute defensive destroyer for any NBA team. Orlando has found a hidden gem in Nikola Vucevic, whose rebounding is certainly underrated, but can’t be depended upon as shot blocking intimidation in the paint. Pairing him with Noel could make for a formidable Magic frontline, with Nerlens serving as the Tyson Chandler (the best case scenario, by far for Noel) to Vucevic’s offensive capabilities. By drafting the center, Orlando is essentially punting next season (as Noel is still recovering from a torn ACL), and setting themselves up for another lottery pick in the STACKED 2014 Draft. Not a bad … Read more...