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…
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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.
FIVE: Questionable Pick
For the past three years at Colorado, Andre Roberson rebounded, defended and played bigger that his listing of 6-7 as an undersized four. His sophomore year was one of the better ones in recent memory, but this past season, he did not show any progression as a scorer, shooter or basketball player. Progression and potential led to first-round picks, but in Roberson’s case, he was a first-round pick without the promise of either. It is hard to question the moves of the Thunder’s Sam Presti, but this one was a head-scratcher.
The 5 Teams That Are In Play For No. 1 Next Year
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Estimated Wins: 18-24
The new front office hit the reset button, turned, and ran as fast as they could the other way as the team was blown to bits. They have a few young prospects to build off of, but in the now, they are the least talented roster in the league.
2. Phoenix Suns
Estimated Wins: 20-25
Adding Alex Len, Archie Goodwin and Eric Bledsoe (all projects) are good signs for the future, but the present is still going to be rough for the Suns as they are working to get back to the promise of the past.
3. Charlotte Bobcats
Estimated Wins: 20-25
Over the years, they have been a perennial bottom-five team and that does not change with Cody Zeller. I like the pieces the Bobcats have put together as they are positioning themselves to get a star quality player next year to glue it all together.
4. Dallas Mavericks
Estimated Wins: 25-30
If they are the team left without a dance partner this summer, expect the Mavs to go into full tank mode to rebuild around a star with Dirk Nowitzki on the backend of his career. Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo are quality, young players to start that rebuild.
5. Orlando Magic
Estimated Wins: 25-30
Over the past two seasons, the Magic has collected more young talent than any other team in this group and for a stretch looked pretty good last year. Then they nose-dived, resulting in Victor Oladipo. Next year that could result in a star.
Didn’t get enough NBA Draft Coverage or are you already looking forward to next year? Check out NBA Draft Insider for all the latest scouting, rumors and news as it happens leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft. See you all next year.
Which team will end up being the worst in the league next season?
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