It’s hard to say what was most shocking about Tuesday night’s lottery show: the Wizards getting themselves a top three pick or Cleveland not screwing themselves out of the top pick. The Wizards, coming in with the 8th best ch...
It’s hard to say what was most shocking about Tuesday night’s lottery show: the Wizards getting themselves a top three pick or Cleveland not screwing themselves out of the top pick. The Wizards, coming in with the 8th best chance of getting the #1 pick, jumped up to the 3rd spot (we’ll save the Obama conspiracy talk for another night).
Cleveland came in with the 3rd best odds at the top selection and, with the help of Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert’s son’s bow tie, secured the number one overall selection. And with a history of solid number one overall picks going to Cleveland (LeBron James and Kyrie Irving being their most recent), the Cavs appear set up for success.
But how will the rest of the lottery selections shake out? Let’s take a look.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers select Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Feb 5, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) shoots the ball against South Carolina Gamecocks forward Michael Carrera (24) in the first half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated South Carolina 77-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
I really hope the Cavs don’t over think things here. In a weak draft class, Noel is the closest to a sure thing. In the NBA, size wins titles, and Noel has it. As a 7-footer, he has great instincts defensively, averaging 4.4 blocks a game last season with the Wildcats. The Cavs could use some size and, despite likely not being productive right away, Noel still gives them the size they need. His limited offensive game is slightly concerning, but he’s no Hasheem Thabeet, nor will he bust as hard as Thabeet.
2. Orlando Magic select Trey Burke, G, Michigan
I’m one of the few aboard the Burke hype train. I watched him play many times this year and he’s an NBA ready PG. Call me crazy, but he could be this year’s Damion Lillard. He has NBA range (just ask Kansas), as well as explosiveness and a beautiful ability to finish at the rim. He’s a bit undersized as a point guard, but he’s an above average defender and quick enough to beat NBA guards. With the option to take Jameer Nelson off the books next season, I think the Magic find his replacement early on in this draft.
3. Washington Wizards select Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV
The Wizards have holes everywhere. Bradley Beal and John Wall are their back court of the future, but are far from set anywhere else. They’ll likely go for the best available player here, with Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo being options also. However, they need some help down low and Bennett has the strength and ability to do that. Bennett shot 37% from three last year, but also pulled down 8.1 rebounds a game. He’ll be an improvement over Emeka Okafor and Nene down low, which isn’t saying a lot.
4. Charlotte Bobcats select Ben McElmore, G, Georgetown
Much like the Wizards, the only set positions for the Bobcats are point guard with Kemba Walker and small forward with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Everywhere else they’ll be looking for upgrades. I’m not as high on McElmore as others might be, but I think the Bobcats take him here. He’s a proven scorer, which is something the Bobcats desperately need. A back court of Kemba and McElmore could set the Bobcats up for years to come.
5. Phoenix Suns select Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana
I’m a big believer in Victor Oladipo, admittedly with a biased opinion. He has a great engine and will bring non-stop energy to any team he goes to. He may not have NBA range yet, but just look at how much he improved from his sophomore to junior season at Indiana University. His defense is what separates him from the rest of the pack. He has elite athleticism and quick hands that leads to many steals. He’ll greatly improve a previously lethargic Suns squad next season.
6. New Orleans Pelicans select Otto Porter, G/F, Georgetown
I firmly believe the Pelicans are moving in the right directi