Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…
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With a major shakeup going down in the NBA Draft Lottery, there are now changes in who will be taken at the top of the draft. The consensus is that Nerlens Noel should be the No. 1 overall pick, but that could change overnight…
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: The Cleveland Cavaliers Can Cause Some Intrigue At The Top?
At the top of the draft, there are a number of different directions that the Cavaliers can go. Just two years ago they won the lottery and drafted budding superstar Kyrie Irving and the improving Tristan Thompson. Last year, they went with Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. Other that they are thin across the roster and need to add talent. But one position in particular is in dire need of filling.
For two years, the team avoided filling the slot left void by The King to save that player from the pressure of replacing a legend. Otto Porter Jr. is the perfect prospect to take that mantle. He fits a need, can play with Irving, and has the potential to be a truly great player at his position.
They can also go big with Nerlens Noel, perimeter scoring with Ben McLemore, or trade out of the spot for a veteran. The team could use a veteran to help them make the jump from “will be good in a few years” to “good right now.” Who is available? What is this No. 1 pick worth? Should the Cavaliers entertain a move? So many things can happen here at the top that will cause a major ripple effect through the rest of the draft.
TWO: Orlando Slides Down To Two
The team has to tweak their preparation a little moving down one slot and basically have to react to what the Cavaliers do with the top pick.
If the pick is Porter Jr. at the top then it may come down to the potential of McLemore scoring on the wing, or forecasting the career of Trey Burke against the current crop of point guards. Burke has the ability to be Chris Paul lite (let’s coin that now), but how does that compare to the athletic scoring potential that McLemore has? Another tough call.
THREE: What Do The Wizards Do Moving Up To No. 3?
Well, the Wizards move up and their ideal fit (Porter Jr.) and a scoring wing (McLemore) could be off the board. They need size in the paint, as well as a three that can play in the NBA. They have whiffed on a few threes over the years, making this pick fairly simple: take Nerlens Noel if he’s there. He is the consensus No. 1 prospect at the moment, despite the injury concerns, and adds to the trend of the Wizards being a quality defensive team while giving them youth in the paint.
FOUR: Is There Anything Left For The Charlotte Bobcats?
Here come the Bobcats with Porter Jr., McLemore, and Noel potentially off the board. They can make a splash with another head scratcher, or play it safe with Victor Oladipo. He is not the shooting guard version of last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Let’s stop that talk.
Oladipo is a much more developed offensive player with a different range on the defensive end as a player that can defend the one and the two. Adding Oladipo gives the Bobcats an identity. They are the gritty defensive team that is an offensive player away from being very good. With the array of scorers on the perimeter in the NBA, having MKG, Oladipo and Jeff Taylor as a rotation is better than most defensively.
FIVE: The Phoenix Suns Could Make The Next Big Shake-Up?
At this point, the Suns are looking at their big board that has been ripped to shreds with all the top non-point guard perimeter prospects off the board and the best big man gone. Who is left?
The Suns are looking to add talent and will have a mass overhaul for a second-straight year. They simply need talent. Burke is not a need. Anthony Bennett is an option, but not a need, leaving the center position as the deepest for a team that will be void of all of theirs in just a year. Rudy Gobert? Alex Len? Or a wildcard in Shabazz Muhammad, C.J. McCollum, or even Dario Saric? The new staff will likely play it safe, with great detail in their scouting, and take the best available wing scorer or center on their board.
My Next 5 Picks Right Now…
6. New Orleans – Trey Burke: 6-1.25, 187 lbs â€“ Soph., Michigan
Could go No. 2 overall, but is the perfect point guard of the future with the young core in New Orleans right now…
7. Sacramento – Anthony Bennett: 6-8, 240 lbs â€“ Fresh., UNLV
There is not a better complement to DeMarcus Cousins with the raw athleticism, shooting, and physical strength that Bennett has. Unmatched at his position…
8. Detroit – Shabazz Muhammad: 6-6.25, 222 lbs â€“ Fresh., UCLA
Mainly a spot-up shooter in college and will struggle with ball skills at the next level, but the spacing will be invaluable to the young big men in Detroit…
9. Minnesota – Alex Len: 7-1, 225 lbs â€“ Junior, Maryland
Can the T-Wolves afford to expect that they can keep both Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic? The answer is no, so adding Len gives them great size and skill on a rookie contract…
10. Portland – C.J. McCollum: 6-3.25, 197 lbs â€“ Senior, Lehigh
Like a few teams in this draft, depth and talent are the biggest needs. With the combination of shooting and point guard skills, McCollum is a perfect reserve guard for the Blazers…
That is the top 10 immediately following the NBA Draft Lottery, meaning that it will change and it is still very fluid. With the Cavaliers at the top and Phoenix at five, there is a chance for some unpredictable picks, as well as trades, that could shake all of this to its foundation.
What will Cleveland do at the top spot?
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