Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NBA Draft Commentary

In a decision to re-open the doors to the Gamepoint Blog, I decided to do a live commentary on each of the selections of the first round. Hope you enjoy, and welcome back.


#1 - Cleveland selects Anthony Bennett (UNLV) 
 Social media explodes. Canada makes history here as Bennett becomes the first Canadian to go number one in the NBA Draft, making way for Wiggins to make it two in a row next year. To say this was unexpected would be an understatement. I'm not sure where he fits on this team as Bennett plays best as a stretch 4. Unfortunately, his Canadian teammate Tristan Thompson also plays best at the PF position. This team needs a shot blocking big, but maybe they will try to emulate the small ball that was all the rage during the finals. Either way, the Cavs could have also traded down...

GRADE: C+

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#2 - Orlando selects Victor Oladipo (Indiana) 
Oladipo becomes NBA's version of Mr. Irrelevant - at least outside of Orlando - as the Internet is still buzzing about the Bennett pick.

GRADE: A-

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#3 - Washington selects Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown) 
Thought Noel would go here, but instead, they get Wall a running mate in one of the more versatile players in the draft. Good size and length will give him the tools to become a solid 2 way player. Coachable and forms a nice trio with Wall and Beal. Meanwhile, Shane Battier wowing me with his montone reporting skills.

GRADE: B+

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#4 - Charlotte selects Cody Zeller (Indiana) 
The best of the Zeller brothers finally makes his way into the NBA. Charlotte gets a legit big man who runs with the best of them, and has an array of post moves that will get him by in the NBA. He won't block a lot of shots, but he'll rotate nicely and can quarterback a defense. Will need to gain some weight and arguably some better long term prospects on the board, but solid pick for the Bobcats.

GRADE: B-

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#5 - Phoenix selects Alex Len (Maryland)
 If I didn't have glasses or contacts on, and the volume was down, I would have thought the Suns had selected Jonas Valanciunas. "Victory baby" for the Suns.

GRADE: B+

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#6 - New Orleans selects Nerlens Noel (Kentucky)
And that sound you hear is a massive army of Kentucky Wildcats fans jumping onto the Pelicans bandwagon. You've got the eyebrow and the flat top patrolling the paint in New Orleans for years to come. Still worrying about the overall combined weight of their 4 and 5.

UPDATE: The Pelicans traded Noel and a 2014 first round pick for Jrue Holliday. New Orleans gets an all-star point guard for question mark in Noel and what they hope is a high lottery pick in 2014. Solid trade.

GRADE: A

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#7 - Sacramento selects Ben McLemore (Kansas)

This guy has a Ray Allen stroke, but he's walking into the circus that is the Sacramento Kings. But if Cousins can be convinced they have something worth building, then I love the 1-2 punch B-Mac and Demarcus can form. Also, Ben is the perfect player to play next to Tyreke.

GRADE: A

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#8 - Detroit selects Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia)

KCP in Detroit, MKG in Detroit, and Machine Gun Kelly with Bad Boy Records. Three letter initials are all the rage right now, and Detroit gets the second best one in the draft, but the best one for their team. Michael Carter-Williams (MCW) should be taken off the board soon.

GRADE: B-

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#9 - Minnesota selects Trey Burke (Michigan)

Twitter rumours have Trey Burke being moved, but if he stays here, this is a decent pick for the Wolves. Burke is probably the most dynamic point guard in the draft, but it doesn't get anymore dynamic than Ricky Rubio. Either way, he can play the 2 guard and is also an asset moving forward.

GRADE: B+

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#10 - Portland selects C.J. McCollum (Lehigh)

Honestly, Portland must be thrilled that McCollum falls to them, this guy can light it up in a hurry. And I know the Blazers are going to be a headache to deal with on the perimeter with CJ and Lillard out there. Now if they can convince Aldridge to stay.

GRADE: A

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#11 - Philadelphia selects Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse)

I'm biased because I had Syracuse winning my March Madness pool, and MCW played very well during the tournament. A lot will be made of his size, which is probably his biggest strength, but if he can add strength, I can see him posing a lot of mismatch opportunities for Philly. And with Jrue being traded, this is a solid pick.

GRADE: B

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#12 - Oklahoma selects Steven Adams (Pittsburgh)

With players who've had more of a media spotlight like Shabazz and Olynyk still on the board, the Thunder use our Raptors pick to take Adams, a true 5 who can rebound and block shots. And honestly, that's what the Thunder need, considering Perkins has been a shell of his former self and the other pure scorers they were hoping would fall have already been taken.

GRADE: B+

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#13 - Dallas selects Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga)

Second Canadian off the board, looks like he'll be traded to the Boston Celtics. Very efficient, and best case scenario, he becomes the Canadian version of Luis Scola with some extended range. Dallas does this trade in their pursuit of Dwight Howard.

GRADE: B

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#14 - Utah selects Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA)

Word is he's being taken for a swap with Minnesotta for Trey Burke. I haven't seen a prospect fall from grace like Shabazz has since his first Ball Is Life video came out. Either way, he fits better with the Wolves than Trey Burke does, and Burke is perfect for Utah.

GRADE: B

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#15 - Milwaukee selects Giannis Antetokounmpo

Honestly, this was the guy I was hoping the Raps would take. There's a lot of bust potential there, but he also has an extremely high ceiling. And at this point of the draft and with who's left on the board, you have to go big or go home.

GRADE: A-

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#16 - Boston selects Lucas Nogueira

This is apparently for Dallas, but whatever team keeps him gets a shot blocking 7 footer. Not sure how I feel about him as a prospect, but you can never have too many trees. This guy's hair though.

GRADE: C+

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#17 - Atlanta selects Dennis Schroeder (Germany)

This is a sexy pick. Huge potential and has drawn Rondo comparisons ever since people took note of his dynamic play style. He's got that Wiz Khalifa blonde patch going on too, the hair game in this year's draft is on point.

GRADE: A-

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#18 Atlanta selects Shane Larkin (Miami)

The Hawks pretend this is their own 2K Association mode with back-to-back picks. Apparently the selection was made for Dallas, which means Larkin's fate will be unknown for most of the night. At this point, Shane Battier continues to make me feel uncomfortable.

GRADE: B-

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#19 - Cleveland selects Sergey Karasev (Russia)

A lot of people expected this guy to go much earlier, so a solid pick here at the 19th slot. Can't have enough shooters to go around Kyrie. Now go catch your flight.

GRADE: B

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#20 - Chicago selects Tony Snell (New Mexico)

For the 20th pick, I got a friend and college peer of mine to contribute. "Joshua Santos", an NBA writer for Fansided and Pippen Ain't Easy.

"This came as a shock as most pundits thought the Bulls would select either Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr., Louisville's Gorgui Dieng, or California's Allen Crabee. With the Bulls needing somebody to provide that extra shooting to compliment Derrick Rose, since Richard Hamilton was unable to do that, the word on the street is Snell is a great individual defender and shooter who could create his own shots. His weakness however is rebounding. Nonetheless the Bulls filled a need here.

GRADE: B

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#21 - Utah selects Gorgui Dieng (Louisville)

This pick is being made for the Wolves in the Trey Burke deal, and I think Minnesota is making out quite nicely in this year's draft. Even if Love doesn't stay long term, they now have a trio of Rubio, Shabazz, and Dieng. I envisioned Miami hoping this guy would fall to them.

GRADE: A-

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#22 - Brooklyn selects Mason Plumlee (Duke)

If the Garnett-Pierce acquisitions follow through, then Mason Plumlee is walking into an ideal situation where he'll be surrounded by vets who know how to win. Solid finisher and decent athlete. Lopez and Plumlee should provide the Nets with shotblocking for 48 minutes.

GRADE: B+

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#23 - Indiana selects Solomon Hill (Arizona)

What does a team on the cusp of making the finals do in a weak draft with the 23rd pick? They pick up a utility player who relies on his versatility. Really isn't much they could this late in the 1st round, but I would have taken my chance on Tim Hardaway Jr. or Archie Goodwin.

GRADE: B-

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#24 - New York selects Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan)

Knicks go for name brand and gets one of the bigger props of the night, something we're not accustomed to from the New York faithful on draft night. If J.R. Smith demands too much money, they have a young dynamic scorer who combined with Shumpert, will try to fill that scoring void.

GRADE: A-

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#25 - Los Angeles Clippers selects Reggie Bullock (North Carolina)

Clippers and Doc Rivers get a shooter to get things going in LA as they prepare to keep Chris Paul. Expect him to be utilized like Ray Allen back in his Boston days, but not necessarily provide Ray Allen production.

GRADE: B

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#26 - Minnesota selects Andre Roberson (Colorado)

With scoring not lacking down in the Bay, Minny selects a wing defender who can rebound for Golden State. If he can even be a homeless man's Shawn Marion for the Warriors, then he'll be excellent value here at #26.

GRADE: B

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#27 - Denver selects Rudy Gobert (France)

Rumours are that this pick will be sent to Utah, but damn, 7'9 wingspan - the longest ever recorded at the NBA combine. If anything, he'll be a sleeper pick in 2k14 drafts all over the world next year.

GRADE: C+

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#28 - San Antonio selects Livio Jean-Charles (France)

The Spurs make this two in a row for France, and the rest of the NBA is scrambling to figure out why their own scouting department didn't jump on this.

GRADE: B

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#29 - Phoenix selects Archie Goodwin (Kentucky)

Great pick for the Suns. They get one of the more athletic guards in the draft, fluid body control, and solid cutter and slasher. Will need to work on his shot, but does have potential to be a scoring point guard. With Len as their big, and Goodwin as their small, Phoenix did a stellar job tonight.

GRADE: A-

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#30 - Golden State selects Nemanja Nedovic (Serbia)

Some people will pretend to know who this guy is or have seen this guy play before. But I won't play that game. And with that, this first round ends with a fizzle.

GRADE: ?