The 2013 NBA Draft was shocking to say the least, with two of it’s projected top picks (Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore) dropping out of the top five. It takes a lot for rookies to have fantasy value right away, but like always, anything is possible in due time.
The biggest winner of the draft was Jrue Holiday, who’s on his way to New Orleans to throw lobs to Anthony Davis and kick out to Eric Gordon. Holiday showed incredible efficiency in the paint last season and should only improve upon his numbers with a better supporting cast around him. Here’s what you need to know about the guys who were actually drafted last night.
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ANTHONY BENNETT, Cleveland Cavaliers
With a backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, and a frontcourt of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao already locked up, Cleveland rounded out their roster by taking Bennett with the first overall pick. He’s the highest drafted Canadian ever, but is the polar opposite of Steve Nash. At 6-7, he uses his explosiveness to blow by bigger defenders and his strength to overpower smaller ones. In Cleveland, Bennett should see time at both forward positions, getting plenty of run from day one.
VICTOR OLADIPO, Orlando Magic
Oladipo’s hustle should have an impact on the defensive end of the floor right away, and since he represents the first step of the post-Dwight, he’ll have plenty of time on the floor to do it in. His offense may struggle as he becomes accustomed to a higher level of basketball, but his heart will keep him on the floor, collecting hustle stats. Oladipo is the kind of guy that might be worth taking in the late rounds of your fantasy draft, and may put up stats lines akin to the ones of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
OTTO PORTER, Washington Wizards
Porter will do a little bit of everything at the three for Washington and could start from day one if he beats out Martell Webster over the summer. He may not be the most explosive athlete, but he’s certainly one of the most efficient, shooting 48 percent from the field last year while upping his scoring average by over six points. Porter still has a lot to learn, but his high motor should make him a great fit in Washington. He’s definitely worth a late-round flyer.
CODY ZELLER, Charlotte Bobcats
Zeller dominated the measurables at the draft combine, but might struggle initially against the amount of athleticism in the NBA. His fundamentals indicate that he should translate well to the NBA, but there are the same worries about his ceiling in the fantasy game as there are in the real one. Zeller should get plenty of opportunities in a Charlotte frontcourt headed by Byron Mullens and Bismack Biyombo last year, but I still wouldn’t waste a fantasy draft pick on him.
ALEX LEN, Phoenix Suns
Len won’t have an immediate impact on the fantasy game (especially because he’ll miss the beginning of the year due to injury), but down the road he could morph into a stud. He has the size to play the five and should be effective on the glass from day one. Len is only 20 years old, so there’s plenty of time to build on his already massive 7-1, 255-pound frame. If he shows the same progression in Phoenix that he did at Maryland, then the Suns have a legitimate center for years to come. For now though, his injury makes him undraftable in fantasy.