2013 NBA Draft First Round Analysis

Mike Stobe

This is an open thread to talk about the NBA Draft throughout the night. Please try to avoid spoiling picks on the comments in respect to those that want to be surprised from watching on TV. Thank you.

This thread will be open throughout the night and I will provide my brief analysis for each draft pick. Once the Boston Celtics make a selection (or trade), a separate article will be opened up. Click here for a link to my list of ten players that I think could be potentially selected by the Celts.

I love to talk about the draft with CelticsBlog readers, so if you'd like to discuss the draft with me, be sure to follow me on Twitter and send me a message @Kevin__OConnor.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV
Grade: B --- Surprise, surprise, surprise! Anthony Bennett gives the Cavaliers a potential star scorer. Standing at 6'8", he can score from the inside and perimeter at a high rate. He has a great three point shot but my biggest problem with his bad decision making. He throws up a lot of bad shots and isn't very aware on defense. However, he has all the tools to become the best player to come out of this draft. Medium risk but very high reward for Cleveland.

2. Orlando Magic - SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana
Grade: A+
--- I had Victor Oladipo ranked as the number one player on my draft board. He has the potential to be a stud defensive player from day one in the NBA due to his insane measurables and work ethic. I believe his intelligence and leadership abilities could make him a potential team captain in the future. Offensively he needs some work from the perimeter but the work he does on the defensive end creates a lot of transition offense anyway.

3. Washington Wizards - SF Otto Porter, Georgetown
Grade: B+
--- Otto Porter is a safe pick, but that doesn't mean it's a bad pick. Porter should become a terrific defensive player and he fits perfect as a complimentary player next to John Wall and Bradley Beal. Porter has drawn comparisons to Tayshaun Prince and rightfully so. I think he can become an equally effective defense player but better all-around on offense.

4. Charlotte Bobcats - PF Cody Zeller, Indiana
Grade: C
--- Two players from Indiana end up going in the top four...stunning. Cody Zeller has the potential to be a good scorer but I'm not sold on the things he does well translating to the NBA. He has amazing speed in transition but he can be bothered by contact when playing on the post. It's almost a sure thing that Zeller will be able to a solid scorer in an up-tempo offense, but I'm not sold on him in the half court. He's an average pick but it's a little surprising that the Bobcats didn't go elsewhere with this selection. He's a better fit right now -- over a guy like Noel or Len -- but in the future they might regret this.

5. Phoenix Suns - C Alex Len, Maryland
Grade: B-
--- Alex Len was projected to be a potential number one pick but it seems more fitting that he goes here. Phoenix gets a guy that has the potential to be a good all-around player on both ends of the floor. Len has the tools to be a good player on the post but didn't get enough opportunities to prove himself at Maryland. Defensively, he is close to having an NBA-ready body but needs a bit more refinement to reach his full potential. If I was Phoenix I would have gone with Nerlens Noel, otherwise this is a solid pick.

6. Philadelphia 76ers (via NO) - C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Grade: A
--- Nerlens Noel could become one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. That's truly all you need to hear. Noel might not have great upside as a post scorer but I think he creates offense as a byproduct of his shot blocking abilities. He creates transition opportunities that can lead to buckets on the other end. He's also athletic enough to score baskets via offensive putbacks and alley-oops. Even if he never develops a true post game or jump shot, his athleticism allows him to be a productive player.

7. Sacramento Kings - SG Ben McLemore, Kansas
Grade: B
--- McLemore was the number three player on my draft board so I think this is very good value here. McLemore has Ray Allen-like potential from beyond the arc. He's a knockdown shooter but people tend to forget that he is an extremely explosive player too. What's holding him back from being his star is his lack of ball handling ability. He is raw defensively but once he continues to develop all the tools are there to make him a very good all-around player.

8. Detroit Pistons - SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
Grade: C-
--- Unless there's a trade to come, I fail to understand how Detroit can pass on Trey Burke or C.J. McCollum. Burke would've provided the Pistons with their best point guard since Chauncey Billups, Instead, "KCP" is a player that is always out on the perimeter. He doesn't have the handles to penetrate the lane, nor the passing ability to create at a high level for his teammates. I think Caldwell-Pope will be a good NBA player but the pick for Detroit does not make sense to me.

9. Utah Jazz (f/MIN) - PG Trey Burke, Michigan
Grade: A
--- Trey Burke could become one of the most exciting players to come out of this draft. He can score, pass, and he's a hard working defense player. He doesn't have the best athleticism but his high energy makes up for it. Years from now I predict we will say, "how did Trey Burke fall to #9?" He could potentially be one of the great point guards in Utah Jazz history.

10. Portland Trail Blazers - SG C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
Grade: B+
--- Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have the potential to be an absolutely nasty duo. Both guards can play point guard but they have the flexibility to play the two-guard as well. McCollum is an amazing shooter that played in the Patriot League, but his skills should easily translate to the NBA. I had McCollum ranked as my number three shooting guard but he could easily exceed my expectations. I just have my concerns considering the level of competition he faced. Great pick.

11. Philadelphia 76ers - PG Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
Grade: D
--- Let me make this clear: I don't think Carter-Williams will be a good NBA player. He could become a very good defensive player but he lacks all the basic basketball fundamentals that I look for in a point guard. As a passer he turnovers the ball over far too much with risky passes. As a scorer, he is absolutely terrible. He lacks touch around the basket and his outside shot is even worse. He's got a funky shooting stroke and seems to lack the potential to improve on it. I would've loved the trade had they went with another point guard here, like Erick Green or Dennis Schroeder.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder - C Steven Adams, Pittsburgh
Grade: B
--- Oklahoma City gets their center of the future in Steven Adams. By the time Kendrick Perkins hits free agency, Adams should be ready to step up at center. I don't like Adams' upside on the offensive end of the floor, but he has all the tools to be a great rim protector. At only 19 years old he has an NBA ready body but he has a long way to go in terms of improving on his basketball I.Q. If he can manage to do that, the Thunder potentially have a steal here. I had Adams ranked very low on my draft board but the Thunder are one team that he fits perfectly on.

13. Boston Celtics (f/DAL) - C Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
Grade: B+
--- The Boston Celtics end up trading up and selecting one of the most NBA-ready big men in the draft, Kelly Olynyk. He has the ability to be a great scorer from inside and the perimeter. Olynyk has all the tools to be a great scorer on the post and has the potential to extend his jump shot to three-point range. Olynyk lack skills on the defensive end of the floor but they are excusable if he ends up being a sixth man on the team. Read more about Kelly Olynyk here.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (f/UTA) - SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Grade: B
--- Selecting Shabazz Muhammad has a large element of risk involved but he has the potential to be a cornerstone of the franchise. Alongside Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, Muhammad gives the team a guy that can be a leading scorer on the team. However, Shabazz must improve on his passing and defense. He averaged under one assist per game with UCLA and was not very good on defense. The potential is there but there are no guarantees with him.

15. Milwaukee Bucks - SF Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece
Grade: B-
--- I love Giannis but I think the Bucks should have gone with a guard here. With both Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis free agents, the team basically has no guards on the roster. There were a number of guards still on the board they could have taken so that lowers my grade here. However, Antetokounmpo has one of the highest potentials in the draft. He's a player that has raw tools on both ends of the floor. He has flashed the ability to penetrate the lane and finish well at the rim. He seems to have a very good basketball I.Q. despite being the youngest player in teh draft.

16. Atlanta Hawks (f/BOS via DAL) - C Lucas Nogueria, Brazil
Grade: B+
--- I don't think Lucas Nogueria is very far behind Nerlens Noel at the moment. Like Noel, Nogueria is a very raw player with great potential on the defensive end. He's long and has the upside to be a stud shot blocker. He lacks tools offensively to be anything special but he is a threat at putback dunks and layups on second chance opportunities.

17. Atlanta Hawks - PG Dennis Schroeder, Germany
Grade: A-
--- Dennis Schroeder is apparently going to head straight to the NBA but I don't think he's ready. Schroeder must continue to improve on his passing ability but he does seem to have an advanced understanding of the game. He has a high basketball I.Q. and all the tools are there for him to be a good point general. He brings an outside jumper and is solid at finishing at the rim. His long arms and great lateral quickness mean he could become a very good defensive player.

18. Dallas Mavericks (f/ATL) - PG Shane Larkin, Miami
Grade: C+
--- Shane Larkin could easily prove me wrong. At Miami he was an unbelievable scorer and point guard. But at only 5'11" with a 5'11" wingspan, I question how much upside he has. He's so short in every way so are the things that worked for him (three-point shooting, defensive ability) in college supposed to work in the NBA? Then again, some small players like Nate Robinson and Earl Boykins have had successful careers in the NBA because they can flat out ball. Larkin can certainly do that, so we'll see how things pan out.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - SF Sergey Karasev, Russia
Grade: C
--- Sergey Karasev has to fill out his frame in order to play in the NBA. At 19 years old, he weighs in at only 197 pounds, despite standing at 6'7". If Karasev ends up developing physically, he has potential to be a solid point forward in the NBA. He has great passing and ball handling abilities. He seems to have high basketball intelligence, as he knows when to pass or when to shoot. Karasev has very good fundamentals on his jumper and has NBA three-point range.

20. Chicago Bulls - SG Tony Snell, New Mexico
Grade: A
--- Snell has potential to be a great defensive player once he puts more weight on his thin frame. He has the flexibility to develop the point guard, shooting guard, and small forward positions once he does that. On the offensive end, Snell is a knockdown three-point shooter. He consistently hits shots from all parts of the floor and should immediately become a role player for the Bulls.

21. Minnesota Timberwolves (f/UTA) - C Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Grade: A
--- If you've been reading my articles you'll know that I love Gorgui Dieng. I think he will become one of the better role players to emerge from this draft. Dieng is a great shot blocker and is one of the best pick-and-roll defenders in this draft. On the offensive end he has a nice mid-range jump shot and is improving on the post. The most underrated aspect of his game is his passing touch. From the post and the top of the key he has done a great job of creating for his teammates. He will never become a star offensively but I do believe he does enough to become a potential third or fourth option on a contender.

22. Brooklyn Nets - C Mason Plumlee, Duke
Grade: C+
--- Mason Plumlee could be a nice fit in an up-tempo offense. He has great speed running the floor and finishes at a high rate in transition. Plumlee's athleticism makes him an option for alley-oop passes and put back dunks. My concern with Plumlee is his lack of skill on the defensive end. Even though he's 23 years old, he seems to be a little bit behind in his develop there. For that reason I wonder if he only has the upside to be the 8th or 9th man off the bench. I think Mason Plumlee fits perfectly on the Nets if they acquire Kevin Garnett but may not be a fit in the post-KG era...or in an era that doesn't include KG.

23. Indiana Pacers - SF Solomon Hill, Arizona
Grade: C
--- Solomon Hill is a hard working player, fights for boards and boxes out on every possession. To make up for his lack of athleticism, Hill plays with a high motor, using his wide body and strength to make plays for his team. Solomon doesn't have a great offensive game but is effective hitting spot-up three pointers. Hill lacks the necessary athleticism and skills to be a starting forward, but if he continues to work hard in the NBA, he could become a solid energy player off the bench for a contending team's roster. I think Indiana could have done better here but Hill is a quality player.

24. New York Knicks - SG Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
Grade: D+
--- Well, they get a J.R. Smith replacement...that is a guy that takes far too many shots but occasionally explodes for a high output. Hardaway should become a solid role player in the NBA but his lack of consistency is a huge concern to me. He takes far too many bad shots, though I respect him for the energy that he brings. I think the Knicks could have done a lot better here with a guy like Jamaal Franklin, Allen Crabbe, or Ricky Ledo.

25. Los Angeles Clippers - SF Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
Grade: A-
--- Reggie Bullock will be a great role player for the Clippers. He is the "poor man's" version of Otto Porter in this draft. He is an amazing three-point shooter but really shines on the defensive end of the floor. Bullock won't do a lot by himself with the ball but his ability as a role player and leader can't be overstated. Great pick for a team that needs scoring off the bench.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder (f/MIN via GSW) - F Andre Roberson
Grade: B-
--- Andre Roberson is an absolutely amazing rebounder. He'll be a perfect role player as a part of the Thunder's championship roster. He could become a very good defensive player since he is extremely athletic and has a long wingspan. He will never pan as a scorer but he makes an impact by getting his team second chance opportunities, an underrated aspect of many big's games.

27. Utah Jazz (f/DEN) - C Rudy Gobert, France
Grade: C-
--- Rudy Gobert has a ridiculous, alien-like 7'9" wingspan, meaning he has potential to be a great defensive player. However, he is so raw and I don't know if he has the basic basketball skills to make it to the NBA. At 21 years old I think he is too far behind his development to become a difference maker in the NBA. However, he gets a C- instead of a D based on the fact he is a freak of nature athletically. The body is there but are the basketball skills?

28. San Antonio Spurs - F Livio Jean-Charles, France
Grade: A
--- Livio Jean-Charles has all the tools to be a terrific role player in the NBA. I had him ranked as my number four power forward, though he is a tweener and can play the small forward position too. Jean-Charles has a very high basketball I.Q. and could become a very good defensive player. He is developing a three-point shot, making him a potential threat on the offensive end. The Spurs dont miss often and I don't think they do here.

29. Phoenix Suns (f/OKC via GSW) - G Archie Goodwin, Kentucky
Grade: B-
--- I like this a lot. Archie Goodwin got a bad reputation at Kentucky because he had a down year. However, after a closer look Goodwin showed the potential to be an explosive player in the NBA. He has bad mechanics on his jumper but seemed to show signs of improvement at some points during the year. I think Goodwin fits in nicely next to Goran Dragin as a part of the Suns' up-tempo offense.

30. Golden State Warriors (f/PHX) - SG Nemanja Nedovic, Serbia
Grade: SG
--- Nedovic is one of the more seasoned International talents in the draft considering he is already 22 years old. Nedovic is a very athletic combo-guard, though he lacks the passing skills to play the point guard position. Contrary to the other guards on the Warriors' roster, Nedovic is not a perimeter shooter. He is much better driving to the basket or finishing hard at the rim in transition. He's a solid pick but once again, I feel there is much better talent left on the board.


CelticsBlog.com 2013 NBA Draft Player Profiles:
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