Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV - D- Grade
WOW. And there goes my mock already. Absolute shocker. WOW. How do he and Tristan Thompson fit on the same team? How? WOW. This is baffling. The anticipation was worth it. We knew it'd be a crazy draft, but not THIS crazy.
Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana - A Grade
Smart pick by Orlando. I'm a huge fan of Oladipo and think he is one of the safest picks in the 2013 NBA Draft. He may not be a superstar, but will be a very solid player and have a long NBA career. If Oladipo becomes a consistent 3-point threat at the next level, watch out. This is a wise decision for the re-building franchise.
Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown - A+ Grade
I would have taken Porter at No. 1 if I was Cleveland, so clearly I love this pick for the Wizards who have a huge hole at small forward. John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter form a tremendous 1/2/3 of the future and Porter can be the jack of all trades-type of guy and complement to the young guards. I think he could be the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Charlotte Hornets: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana - F Grade
I have been captaining the Cody Zeller is overrated bandwagon for the past few months, so clearly I don't get this one AT ALL especially when Noel, Len, and McLemore are all on the board. At best, Zeller is what ... a decent role player? He's soft as heck. This must be an attempt to tank next season and get Andrew Wiggins.
Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, C, Maryland - B- Grade
I actually got this one right in my mock. It makes sense because Marcin Gortat is entering the final year in his contract, so the Suns need a big man of the future. Len over Noel though? And McLemore since Phoenix needs scoring on the wing? I'm okay with this pick but don't love it.
Philadelphia 76ers: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky - B- Grade
I can't believe Philadelphia is giving up on a young, All-Star point guard like Jrue Holiday to get Nerlens Noel. The saving grace is that the Sixers do get a 2014 first-rounder and the 2014 NBA Draft class is stacked, so they add an asset. What Philadelphia is ultimately doing is transitioning to a re-building effort. Just not sure why you would trade Holiday for another injured big guy (Andrew Bynum, anyone?)
Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas - A Grade
It's hard to believe that McLemore fell this low when he could potentially be the best player in the 2013 NBA Draft class when we look back in five years. There are well-known concerns about his intensity and lack of a killer instinct, but he certainly could be a 20-point-per-game scorer down the road. For a new management group in Sacramento, the reward could easily outweigh the risk and is well worth the gamble at this point.
Detroit Pistons: Kenatvious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia - C- Grade
I thought Detroit wanted to play Brandon Knight at the two and get a new point guard? If that was the case why did the Pistons select a true two guard when Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, and C.J. McCollum were all on the board? I think Caldwell-Pope will be an okay pro, but I don't see him as a future starter.
Utah Jazz: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan - B+ Grade
Burke slipped and Utah pounced by dealing its 14th and 21st picks to Minnesota for No. 9. The Jazz has zero point guards on its roster for next season and the team is shifting to a youth movement, so a shot-making point guard with moxie like Burke seems to be the perfect fit since he will be Utah's floor leader of the future.
Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh - A- Grade
In all the insanity of this draft, this is a pick that actually makes a lot of sense. Portland's bench was terrible last year, so McCollum adds needed firepower off the bench and is another one of those "safe picks" in thie 2013 NBA Draft. He and Damian Lillard could be an interesting backcourt loaded with scoring ability.
Philadelphia 76ers: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse - C+ Grade
In trading Holiday, there is no question that this pick was going to be a point guard. I'm a Carter-Williams fan but here's a concern though; he and Evan Turner in the same lineup. Neither guy shoots the ball well. How do they fit together?
Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams - B+ Grade
This was a luxury pick for the Thunder, so the team could roll the dice on a young guy with a ton of upside just like I predicted in my mock. Kendrick Perkins is not the long-term answer in the middle for Oklahoma City, so the team is clearly hoping Adams can develop into that guy. That will likely take at least two years.
Boston Celtics: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga - C+ Grade
I'm not sure why Boston felt the need to trade up to get Olynyk. I don't think Minnesota at No. 14 or Milwaukee at No. 15 were going to take him. I had Olynyk going to the Celtics at No. 16 in my mock, so it's a good fit since they need an offensive minded frontcourt player with the Kevin Garnett trade. I just don't see the need in having to trade up three spots to get him.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Shabazz Muhammad, F, UCLA - B Grade
I really don't mind this pick at all. With three first-rounders now, Minnesota might as well roll the dice on Muhammad; he was once a top-pick prospect. The only thing I don't like about this is that the Timberwolves need a shooter which he is not.
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Greece - B+ Grade
The Bucks need a guard, but instead draft a project small forward who is by no means ready to contribute. His upside is impressive, but with guys like Shane Larkin, Dennis Schroeder, Sergey Karasev, Reggie Bullock, Allen Crabbe, etc .... Down the road this could be a great pick, or the dude might never amount to anything in the league. Milwaukee has to be thinking re-building with this pick since its entire backcourt made up of free agents.
I can not disagree anymore on Walts opinion on the Raiders moving to LV. The Raiders have one of the best fan bases in the league and the fans will travel and stay loyal. Being in CA you really see all this. Aside from the Raiders fans already in LV and the ones they will make swarms of fans will travel fro Socal. Chances are a @#$@ load of raider fans will already be partying there that weekend. The team is winning too so theres no way the fans in Oakland won't go to games theres last couple of years.
Interesting route here Walt. I'm curious as of late how teams will draft offense here. You're nailing it with defense. However, RBs have been going higher all of a sudden with success. And the QB class seems to be picking up as well. Kizer and Watson are flying of draft boards and Trubisky is leaving a sour taste for many now. Nevertheless, teams will reach. But who will be the first?