Each Wednesday for the past few months, we assessed how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft were faring in college and overseas. You stuck with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we knew and didn’t know about the next NBA Draft class. Here’s the fallout…
*** *** ***
The 2013 NBA Draft is over and before jumping head first into next year’s draft, there are a few doors that still need to be closed. This will be the final Fast Five and after the whirlwind of a draft, hopefully this can serve as some semblance of a recap to the wildest draft in years.
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: What Do We Know?
On draft night, a handful of teams made one obvious, emphatic point with their moves: they are keeping their eye on the 2014 NBA Draft. Most apparent were the 76ers, who traded their young, All-Star point guard for a rookie that will not be able to play until January… with a roster devoid of talent. They may have to start Michael Carter-Williams at the point and with that will have to deal with the ups and the downs of a rookie point guard.
The Celtics, Mavericks and Hawks all made picks that are not meant to be impactful this coming season. More teams will join the battle for the top spot in the 2014 Draft, leading to many teams selling assets, trading talent and losing games.
TWO: What Do We Not Know?
Over the past few seasons, it has become ever more apparent that certain teams draft who they want no matter the consensus opinion of the league. The Pacers selected Miles Plumlee last year and Solomon Hill this year in the first round. By all accounts, both would have been available in the second round. The Thunder moved up to select Andre Roberson, who could have been an undrafted free agent. Then there is the Cavaliers.
First it was Tristan Thompson, then it was Dion Waiters, and now it is Anthony Bennett. All three picks were puzzling at the time, but the pick of Bennett is especially puzzling considering the makeup of the roster. He duplicates Thompson’s position and if you are going to duplicate a position, why Bennett? Time will tell if these teams made the right calls and are smarter than us all, or if they outsmarted themselves again.
THREE: Handicapping the 2013 Rookie of the Year Race
The Sports Book has released their odds for the 2013-2014 Rookie of the Year and their choice is the consensus of many: Victor Oladipo (plus-350). Next season, Oladipo has the opportunity to either start or be the team’s sixth man. After Oladipo, the next best odds are Trey Burke (plus-400), the field (plus-600), Otto Porter Jr. (plus-800), C.J. McCollum (plus-800) and Anthony Bennett (plus-1000). One name to keep an eye on is Shane Larkin (plus-2500), who might be Dallas’ starting point guard.
FOUR: Sneaky Good Pick
Last season, the Lakers were lacking a lot of things on the basketball court, like athleticism and youth, as well as shooting. Ryan Kelly resolves the last issue if he makes the roster as a legit seven-footer that can shoot the ball lights out from NBA three. He is limited overall as a basketball player, but can develop into a Ryan Anderson or a Matt Bonner.