There was a ton of uncertainty heading into the 2013 NBA Draft and things were definitely wild as the picks unfolded beginning at the top with the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting Anthony Bennett. Here are my Eastern Conference 2013 NBA Draft grades. Click here to see my pick-by-pick grades.
Atlanta Hawks C
16. Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil
17. Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
44. Mike Muscala, PF/C, Bucknell
47. Raul Neto, PG, Brazil
Atlanta entered the night with four picks and they jockeyed position a little bit but still ended up adding four players, three of which were international guys. This team is going through a lot of roster transition this off-season and were clearly looking to the future by taking Schroeder and Nogueira who both want to come to the NBA right away but probably aren’t ready to be major contributors. Neto should stay overseas for a couple more years before he comes to the NBA. I was “meh” about Muscala but he does add some offensive versatility to the frontcourt that Nogueira does not. The Hawks also picked up a future second round pick from Miami by trading their 50th pick.
Boston Celtics D+
13. Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga
53. Colton Iverson, C, Colorado State
I don’t get why the Celtics traded up three spots from 16 to draft Kelly Olynyk since I can’t imagine the Timberwolves at 14 or Bucks at 15 coveting the Zags big man. They did need to add some offensive versatility to their frontcourt but I think they could have held tight at 16 and still selected him. To me, Colton Iverson is nothing more than a big body and perhaps a third center on the roster if he even makes the team.
While the Nets front office was busy nailing down the details on the monster Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade, they kept it simple with the draft getting good value in Mason Plumlee who should at worst, be a rebounding/shot blocking threat off the bench.
I don’t get it. With Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, and Ben McLemore all still on the board, the Bobcats took Zeller. Anyone who was willing to listen this year would hear how big of a bust I think Zeller is going to be in the NBA. He’s soft as heck and no showed way too often for vital stretches of Hoosier games. Michael Jordan strikes again.
Chicago Bulls B+
20. Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico
49. Erik Murphy, PF, Florida
Chicago needs to address two areas this off-season; shooting and frontcourt depth. They added both with their two picks on draft night. Snell was among a handful of wings available at 20 and might be the best fit for Tom Thibadeau because of his potential as a wing defender. Murphy is a stretch four who can shoot it from the outside which is something Chicago lacks on the current roster.
Cleveland Cavaliers C-
1. Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
19. Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
33. Carrick Felix, SG, Arizona State
Cleveland certainly started the draft with a jaw-dropping bang. I’m not sure how Bennett fits with Tristan Thompson already at power forward but he does add some offensive versatility to the frontcourt which the Cavs lack. Karasev was a solid value at 19 especially since Cleveland needs shooters on the wing. Carrick Felix is a good athlete but I think there were better wings available at 33. The Cavs also dealt the 31st pick to the Blazers for a pair of future second rounders. All in all, I think Cleveland missed the ball in having four of the top 33 picks in the draft and didn’t really maximize their opportunity.
The Pistons had a solid draft and could end up with three guys who make the roster next season. I’m a bit surprised they went with KC-P at eight when guys like Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, and C.J. McCollum were all on the board. Mitchell was a terrific get at 37 since he has lottery level potential due to his size and athleticism. Siva could be an 11th or 12th guy on the roster especially since Detroit has a pair of free agent point guards this summer.
Indiana Pacers D-
23. Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona
For the second straight year, the Pacers made a major reach with their first round pick. Last year it was Miles Plumlee who barely played this past year and this time, they grab Hill who was projected by just about everybody as a second round pick. Why didn’t Indy trade back when they could have still grabbed Hill in the early second round? I like Hill, I just don’t like him with the 23rd pick. The Pacers also sold their second round pick to Boston.
Miami Heat C
50. James Ennis, SF, Long Beach State
The Heat entered the draft without a pick but ended up dealing a future second rounder to Atlanta for James Ennis who could add some athleticism on the wing.
Milwaukee Bucks B
15. Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Greece
38. Nate Wolters, G, South Dakota State
The “Greek kid” is one of the mysteries of the draft. He is loaded with all the words we like to throw around; potential, upside, length, athleticism, but is a very raw talent still. I’m a bit surprised the Bucks went with a project player rather than drafting a guard who can help right away. They may have addressed that need with scoring combo guard, Nate Wolters who Milwaukee moved up five spots to get.
The Knicks took advantage of the board adding a solid all-around player who can be a bench contributor right away. It’s not a sexy selection but certain a good value for a team that stood pat with their pick.
Orlando Magic B+
2. Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
51. Romero Osby, PF, Oklahoma
Long-term, I think Orlando is going to be very happy with their selection of Oladipo at number two since they know what they will be getting out of their pick. There is certainty that he will bring defense, energy, and athleticism to the floor. If his offensive game continues to develop, he will be a cornerstone of their franchise for years to come. Osby wasn’t targeted as a draft pick by most but does at least add some toughness to the floor if he makes the team.
Philadelphia 76ers D+
6. Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky
11. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
54. Arsalan Kazemi, PF, Oregon
Among the biggest shockers of the draft was Nerlens Noel falling to number six in New Orleans and then the Sixers trading All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the Hornets for Noel and a 2014 first round pick (in a loaded draft.) Philadelphia is definitely transitioning to a re-building effort but I can’t believe they gave up a young player like Holiday for a big man coming off a torn ACL. The selection of Michael Carter-Williams will help fill the void of Holiday and he was a solid grab at 11. There is going to be some growing pains and struggles this season in Philly but the team is clearly building for the future.
Toronto Raptors: INC
The Raptors didn’t have a selection in the 2013 NBA Draft
Washington Wizards A+
3. Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
35. Glen Rice Jr., SG, NBADL
The Wizards hit a home run with this draft by getting a versatile, do it all forward in Porter who can step in right away and be a great fit alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal. He is going to be a solid pro and have a long career. The Wiz then traded up to get Glen Rice Jr. at 35 and he is a NBA ready scorer who adds some needed depth at guard and will be a scoring option off the bench.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.