With a memorable NBA Finals still fresh in memory, it’s time for another marquee NBA event: the 2013 NBA Draft. After Anthony Davis went No. 1 in the 2012 Draft, it’s time to see which young talent will emerge at the top of the 2013 class. We look at the possible top six picks for the New Orleans Pelicans, the Phoenix Suns, the Charlotte Bobcats, the Washington Wizards, the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers here.
At 6: Victor Oladipo to New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans landed Davis with the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, but need a lot more more talent to propel them to the top half of the Western Conference. Oladipo, who is known to play quality defense, can help the Pelicans get stops, but his offensive game remains vulnerable. Still, the possibility of pairing him up with Davis should entice the Pelicans to grab him.
At 5: Alex Len to Phoenix Suns: The Suns need help at almost every position and in that sense it always helps to start with a big man. Len is a towering 7-1 center, who has also gained a lot of ground in the last few weeks as the top pick in a quite a few mock drafts. In a league currently short on true centers, Len is the best true center available in the draft by a significant margin.
At 4: Anthony Bennett to Charlotte Bobcats: In the words of longtime NBA reporter and TNT analyst, David Aldridge, “Bennett has explosive offensive potential no matter where he plays.” With the Bobcats struggling on several fronts, the pairing of Bennett and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would have serious potential as a forward duo.
At 3: Otto Porter to the Washington Wizards: Porter fits the Wizards on multiple counts: from being a local product to meeting the Wizards’ requirement for a small forward. And with Washington having enjoyed a good run in the second half of the 2012-13 season, the solid Porter would help them turn into a more consistent force on both ends of the floor in 2013-14.
At 2: Ben McLemore to the Orlando Magic: For a team whose offensive rating ranked among the bottom five teams in the 2012-13 regular season, McLemore could provide a much needed boost. The 6-4 Kansas shooting-guard could make an exciting pairing with the more experienced Jameer Nelson in Orlando’s backcourt, which could benefit the Magic greatly.
At 1: Nerlens Noel to the Cleveland Cavaliers: His talent is not in doubt, but his health status is. Noel is a 6-11 power forward whose shot blocking and ability to run the floor will be a big asset for the Cleveland Cavaliers provided his knees hold up. Noel had knee surgery in March, and if all goes well, we could see him add tremendous size advantage to Cleveland’s frontcourt, which already includes the likes of Anderson Varejao.