NBA Draft 2013 Grades: Breaking Down Best and Worst Performances

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2013

Even though a number of days have passed since the 2013 NBA draft, it still remains fresh in the mind as one of the most unique and bizarre events in the history of the league.

It was obvious that something was awry once the Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett—the UNLV forward that practically no one projected or mocked to Cleveland—at No. 1 overall. 

However, after the dust settled, it was far from the most questionable decision of the evening. Let’s take a look at which club earned that honor, and then highlight the teams that made some of the more brilliant moves during the draft.


Best: Philadelphia 76ers

Less than two months ago, the Sixers hired Sam Hinkie to fill their vacant general manager position. He assumed the reins of a team with no direction and a number of questions on the roster, and—over the first few weeks of his tenure—didn’t seem to have a viable solution to these issues.

That all changed last Thursday night when Hinkie organized a blockbuster trade that sent All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 overall pick (Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson) to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the No. 6 overall selection (Kentucky center Nerlens Noel) and a top-five protected pick in next year’s draft.

This shrewd dealing puts the Sixers in prime position to rebuild around Noel and the No. 11 overall selection, Syracuse point guard Michael-Carter Williams. While Philly is likely to bottom out in 2013-14, it could have two more chances to upgrade the roster in the loaded 2014 draft.

Hinkie's assessment was obvious: The organization was going to remain somewhat competitive but never truly contend for a championship with Holiday as the franchise’s centerpiece.

His decision to deal him for Noel almost ensures that Andrew Bynum—who spent the entire 2012-13 campaign on the bench nursing a knee injury—is on his way out of the City of Brotherly Love as an unrestricted free agent.

The future is now extremely bright for the 76ers and, although the next year or two will be rough, there is much for the fans to look forward to thanks to Hinkie.


Runner-Up: New York Knicks

The Knickerbockers made the wise decision to draft Tim Hardaway Jr., the sweet shooting swingman out of Michigan, with the No. 24 overall selection.

Not only did they gain an insurance option to prevent the potential free agency loss of their Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, but also added some leverage to their contract negotiations with the mercurial star.

Whether Hardaway Jr. plays behind Smith or ends up taking over his role as a lengthy sniper coming off the pine, he has a bright future in the Big Apple.


Worst: Charlotte Bobcats

Michael Jordan’s club can’t figure out how to properly build a team from the ground up and proved that beyond a reasonable doubt last week.

With a number of potential franchise players still on the board—including star perimeter scorer Ben McLemore, stud shot-blocker Noel and Alex Len, the center with a high ceiling and major height—the Bobcats elected to nab Indiana’s Cody Zeller.

Had these high-upside prospects already been selected and Charlotte was picking in the latter half of the lottery, this would have made total sense.

Zeller is an NBA-ready power forward that can run the floor and score at the rim. The seven-footer will find a way to carve out a decent career in this league, but he’s not going to become the bona fide superstar that this organization direly needs to emerge from the league’s basement.

If Jordan wanted to add a big to his promising nucleus of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker, he should have selected Noel or Len, possibly even Steven Adams out of Pittsburgh.

Those players may not be ready to contribute right now, but down the line they will help the Bobcats become a respectable force.

Jordan’s decision to take Zeller sealed this team’s fate for at least another season, and there is still no hope for the future in Carolina.


Runner-Up: Indiana Pacers

Arizona swingman Solomon Hill was the wrong call at No. 23 for a multitude of reasons.

The Pacers' second unit was exposed during the 2013 playoffs, but GM Kevin Pritchard decided to add another wing player to a roster laden with talent on the perimeter.

He was also not projected to come off the board until the mid-to-latter stages of the second round, which is where the Pacers could have likely selected him had they traded down.

Now they have to give a guaranteed contract to a prospect that will be hard-pressed to find minutes on a team with Paul George, Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson.


Complete 2013 NBA Draft Grades




Atlanta Hawks

1 (16): Lucas Nogueira (C, Brazil)
1 (17): Dennis Schroeder (PG, Germany)

2 (44): Mike Muscala (PF-C, Bucknell)
2 (47): Raul Neto (PG, Brazil) 

Boston Celtics

1 (13): Kelly Olynyk (PF-C, Gonzaga)

2 (53): Colton Iverson (PF, Colorado State)


Brooklyn Nets

1 (22): Mason Plumlee (PF, Duke)

Charlotte Bobcats

1 (4): Cody Zeller (PF-C, Indiana) 


Chicago Bulls

1 (20): Tony Snell (SF, New Mexico)

2 (49): Erik Murphy (PF, Florida)


Cleveland Cavaliers

1 (1): Anthony Bennett (SF-PF, UNLV)
1 (19): Sergey Karasev (SG-SF, Russia)

2 (33): Carrick Felix (SG, Arizona State) 


Dallas Mavericks

1 (18): Shane Larkin (PG, Miami)

2 (43): Ricky Ledo (SG, Providence)


Denver Nuggets

2 (46): Erick Green (PG, Virginia Tech)
2 (55): Joffrey Lauvergne (SF-PF, France) 


Detroit Pistons

1 (8): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG, Georgia)

2 (37): Tony Mitchell (PF, North Texas)
2 (56): Peyton Siva (PG, Louisville) 


Golden State Warriors

1 (30): Nemanja Nedovic (SG, Serbia)


Houston Rockets

2 (34): Isaiah Canaan (PG, Murray State)


Indiana Pacers

1 (23): Solomon Hill (SF, Arizona)


Los Angeles Clippers

1 (25): Reggie Bullock (SG-SF, North Carolina)


Los Angeles Lakers

2 (48): Ryan Kelly (PF, Duke)


Memphis Grizzlies

2 (41): Jamaal Franklin (SG-SF, San Diego State)
2 (60): Janis Timma (SF, Latvia)


Miami Heat

2 (50): James Ennis (SF, Long Beach State)


Milwaukee Bucks

1 (15): Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF, Greece)

2 (38): Nate Wolters (PG, South Dakota State)


Minnesota Timberwolves

1 (14): Shabazz Muhammad (SG-SF, UCLA)
1 (21): Gorgui Dieng (C, Louisville)

2 (52): Lorenzo Brown (PG, North Carolina State)
2 (59): Bojan Dubljevic (PF, Montenegro) 


New Orleans Pelicans

2 (42): Pierre Jackson (PG, Baylor)

New York Knicks

1 (24): Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG, Michigan)

Oklahoma City Thunder

1 (12): Steven Adams (C, Pittsburgh)
1 (26): Andre Roberson (SF-PF, Colorado)

2 (32): Alex Abrines (SG, Spain)
2 (40): Grant Jerrett (PF, Arizona) 


Orlando Magic

1 (2): Victor Oladipo (SG, Indiana)

2 (54): Romero Osby (SF, Oklahoma)


Philadelphia 76ers

1 (6): Nerlens Noel (C, Kentucky)
1 (11): Michael Carter-Williams (PG, Syracuse)

2 (54): Arsalan Kazemi (SF, Oregon) 


Phoenix Suns

1 (5): Alex Len (C, Maryland)
1 (29): Archie Goodwin (SG, Kentucky)

2 (57): Alex Oriakhi (SF-PF, Missouri)

Portland Trail Blazers

1 (10): C.J. McCollum (PG-SG, Lehigh)

2 (31): Allen Crabbe (SG, California)
2 (39): Jeff Withey (C, Kansas)
2 (45): Marko Todorovic (PF, Montenegro) 

Sacramento Kings

1 (7): Ben McLemore (SG, Kansas)

2 (36): Ray McCallum (PG, Detroit)


San Antonio Spurs

1 (28): Livio Jean-Charles (SF-PF, France)

2 (56): Deshaun Thomas (SG-SF, Ohio State)


Toronto Raptors



Utah Jazz

1 (9): Trey Burke (PG, Michigan)
1 (27): Rudy Gobert (PF-C, France) 


Washington Wizards

1 (3): Otto Porter (SF, Georgetown)

2 (35): Glen Rice Jr. (SG, NBA D-League)



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