2013 NBA Draft and Offseason Blog

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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2013 NBA Draft Lottery Odds Breakdown – May 20

2013 NBA Draft Lottery Odds Breakdown

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday night, and we’ll find out what team will pick first in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic have the best odds to win the No. 1 overall pick, but the last time the team with best odds actually won the ping pong party was in 2004 (coincidentally when Orlando earned the right to pick first and took Dwight Howard.)

Unlike last year when Anthony Davis was the clear-cut top prospect, a number of players are in consideration this year including Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore of Kansas, and even Michigan’s Trey Burke or Georgetown’s Otto Porter. More than likely, team need will play a huge factor in terms of which player hears his name called first on June 27.

Let’s take a look at each team’s odds and who an organization would likely draft if it ended up with the top pick after NBA Draft Lottery results are revealed.

Orlando Magic: 25%

The Magic has some quality young pieces like Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris, but lack a future franchise player which is why the team sorely needs the ping pong balls to bounce its way. Noel would be the likely selection since Orlando doesn’t really have an athletic, shot-blocking big man inside to protect the rim. If the Magic is more inclined to look for an offensive weapon, it could lean toward McLemore or Burke.

Charlotte Bobcats: 19.9%

B.J. Mullens, Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood, Tyrus Thomas; Charlotte easily has one of the worst frontcourts in the NBA and sorely needs an upgrade in talent at that spot. With Ben Gordon entering the final year of his deal and Gerald Henderson a restricted free agent, McLemore would be a possibility as well. Best bet for Charlotte; draft Noel, milk his ACL recovery, hope to finish the worst record in the league, land the 2014 NBA Draft’s top pick by drafting Andrew Wiggins.

Cleveland Cavaliers: 15.6%

I’ve been saying for months that Otto Porter is the perfect fit for the Cavaliers. They have two ball-dominant young guards with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters and could sorely use a glue guy like Porter who does a little bit of everything. Cleveland already has somewhat offensively challenged big men like Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller, so I’m not sure how Noel would fit into that mix. Another option would be drafting Noel and trading Varejao for another young piece.

Phoenix Suns: 11.9%

Phoenix has a roster filled with decent to solid role players, but no true superstar. Getting the top-overall pick would be huge for the Suns, but I’m not sure they’ll find the next face of their franchise in the 2013 NBA Draft. If Phoenix is looking for the best all-around player, that’s Noel. If the Suns want to add an offensive minded wing, McLemore is the guy. I’d lean toward Noel.

New Orleans Hornets: 8.8%

This would be the most intriguing scenario for me if the Hornets, er, Pelicans won the NBA Draft Lottery (but no way David Stern lets that happen after rigging it for them last year, right? Right?) Since they just selected Anthony Davis last year, and Noel is a less offensively talented version of Davis, I can’t imagine him being the pick. It would provide New Orleans with two elite shot blockers though.

McLemore wouldn’t make sense either since the Hornets have Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers, though Gordon was banged up most of last year and Rivers really struggled as a rookie. Greivis Vasquez had a breakout season at the point, so I’m not sure how Burke would fit into the equation. That leaves Porter by process of elimination, and he would certainly fill a need at small forward since Al-Farouq Aminu is a free agent. This would be a serious decision for the Pelicans to ponder, but like I said, no way they land the top pick. Right?

Sacramento Kings: 6.3%

For a franchise that has seemingly no direction, this should be an obvious choice if the team wins the NBA Draft Lottery. Noel and DeMarcus Cousins would be a dynamic young front court and would complement each other perfectly.

Detroit Pistons: 4.3%

The Pistons already have a young nucleus inside with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, so adding Noel would crowd things inside a bit especially when the team’s biggest need is on the wing. That would give McLemore the edge, but Detroit could be inclined to keep Burke in the state, especially with Jose Calderon a free agent. Porter would provide a needed boost on the wing.

Washington Bullets: 2.8%

This is a no-brainer since the Wizards already have their backcourt of the future in John Wall and Bradley Beal. Washington’s power forward production was pretty abysmal last season, so Noel would immediately fill a role and with Emeka Okafor entering the final year of his deal, serves a shot-blocking presence as well.

Minnesota Timberwolves: 1.7%

The biggest positive if the Timberwolves win the NBA Draft Lottery would be the fact that David Kahn couldn’t butcher the pick since he was canned this offseason. Unless Minnesota doesn’t plan on re-signing restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic or is ready to trade Kevin Love in the next year, Noel wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. The Timberwolves have been searching for an answer at the shooting guard position which is why McLemore gets the nod.

Portland Trail Blazers: 1.1%

Depth was a major weakness for Portland last season, so the franchise could really use any of these guys (except Burke probably since the the team just took Damian Lillard last year.) In terms of immediate need, the Trail Blazers could be losing J.J. Hickson to free agency. While Noel doesn’t possess the physicality inside that Hickson does, the former Kentucky Wildcat adds a needed defensive dimension and would certainly be an upgrade over Portland’s other first-rounder last year, Meyers Leonard.

Philadelphia 76ers: .8%

Philly’s two biggest needs entering the offseason are size inside and perimeter scoring. Therefore, both Noel and McLemore would be in play if the Sixers won the NBA Draft Lottery with Noel getting the nod.

Toronto Raptors: .7%

This would be a biggie for the Raptors as its first-round pick will go to Oklahoma City if the team falls out of the top four. Toronto already has solid young talent on the wing with Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, and last year’s first-round pick, Terrence Ross, so McLemore wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Noel would be the athletic, shot-blocking force inside that the Raptors lost when they dealt Ed Davis to Memphis and could be a nice complement to Jonas Valanciunas’ inside. If the team is not sold on Kyle Lowry as its long-term solution at point, Toronto might take a more serious look at Burke.

Dallas Mavericks: .6%

The biggest need entering this offseason for Dallas is in the backcourt as O.J. Mayo will almost certainly opt out of his deal and Darren Collison is a restricted free agent. The Mavericks could also use an inside presence like Nerlens Noel, but with Mark Cuban’s desire to win now, there might not be the patience to draft Noel with his ACL-injury status uncertain. I could see Dallas pulling the trigger on Burke and handing him the keys to the offense.

Utah Jazz: .5%

With both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap free agents, Noel would seem like a no-brainer if the Jazz win the NBA Draft lottery. He would provide depth inside and add to a young frontcourt of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. With that being said, Utah also has a huge void at the point guard position so the team might take a seriously look at Burke as well.

Recent NBA Draft and Offseason Blog Entries:

Team USA Basketball Roster Invitees Announced - 6/26
2013 NBA Summer League Info - 5/30
2013 NBA Draft Lottery Odds Breakdown - 5/20
2013 NBA Combine Invite List - 5/12
2013 NBA Trade Deadline Analysis - 2/22
Rudy Gay Trade Analysis - 1/31
James Harden Trade Analysis - 10/29
NBA Offseason and Draft Blog - Home

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