Each year there is usually 1 or 2 players that nearly guaranteed to be the #1 and #2 overall picks of the NBA draft. Last year the prize jewel was Anthony Davis with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the consolation prize. In the 2013 NBA draft, things could go any of 3 ways in my eyes. As it stands, the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats have the most ping pong balls. But both teams have very different needs.
Your team has the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Who do you want them to draft?
The Orlando Magic have a roster full of players that won't be around much longer. Hedo Turkoglu has a $12 mil player option that he obviously will not decline because he will never see that kind of money again. Jameer Nelson is entering his final guaranteed year before the team most likely declines his $8 mil option for 14/15. Beno Udrih contract expired, and E'Twuan Moore is most likely in his final season as a member of the Magic. I belive the Magic will pick up Kyle O'Quinn's rookie team option, keeping him on the roster for 3 more years. That means after this season is over and barring any free agent signings, the Magic roster will look like this heading into the 2014-2015 NBA season:
PG - EMPTY
SG - Arron Afflalo,
SF - Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless (both on team options which will most likely be picked up)
PF - Glen Davis, Al Harrington, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn
C - Nikola Vucevic
I think Rob Hennigan understands this is a long process and the fact that they are rumored to have coveted Marcus Smart, had he left Oklahoma St, there is no doubt in my mind that Trey Burke is the #1 overall selection, if the Orlando Magic win the NBA lottery.
I also believe he will do everything in his power to unload Glen Davis and Al Harrington but he shouldn't expect much in return do to big contracts. Turkoglu's expiring could net the Magic something however. But as it stands, the Magic need a plan at the PG spot.
If the Charlotte Bobcats were to win the NBA lottery, they would obviously head in a different direction. Their last 3 first round picks have landed them Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They actually drafted Tobias Harris with 19th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but traded him to Milwaukee for Bismack Biyombo. Point being, they have no need for another guard. Their front court is a disaster at the moment with Tyrus Thomas, Biyombo, Byron Mullens (who they will have to match during free agency) and Brendan Haywood. They will have to draft Nerlens Noel, even though I think it is the wrong fit for this club.
Bobcats GM Rich Cho also knows the team is far from competing, but has some nice chips in place. With Walker, Henderson and MKG they could lock up 3 of their starting 5 for a long time. I think it would be in the Bobcats best interest to trade Henderson who is their move valuable player, but it would have to net them 2 or 3 rotational players before they can pull the trigger.
Anyway, back to the draft, they have no need to Burke, but you could make an argument for Victor Oladipo. Oladipo has that killer instinct the Bobcats are lacking offensively. The Bobcats could add Oladipo to the mix and have him be their go to guy in the 4th quarter. Noel will be a solid - good NBA player, but his lack of offensive skills makes him Tyson Chandler at his best. Plus his ACL tear has to scare the Bobacats away. They can't afford to have him turn into Greg Oden. Victor Oladipo is the much safer pick.
So what if one of the other 12 teams gets a lucky bounce and wins the Lottery?
Cleveland Cavaliers - With no need for Burke, the Cavs could lean on Noels, but they also need more scoring and Oladipo is the PERFECT fit on the Cavs who do not have a SF.
Phoenix Suns - Burke is not needed, but Noel is. The Suns are trying to create a new identity and adding him to the Morris brothers makes them a tough interior team. Marcin Gortat is on his way out of Phoenix so Noel could be a good fit. They are also lacking scorers so it wouldn't surprise me if Oladipo was the pick.
New Orleans Pelicans - No need for Burke, and while Noel and Anthony Davis would create the next "Twin Towers" I think the Pelicans would be wise to go draft Olapido and slide him in the rotation with Greivis Vasquez, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu Anthony Davis and Robin Lopez(who deserves to have his team option picked up). With Ryan Anderson and Oladipo coming off the bench, I really think the Pelicans are just about ready to compete in an ageing Western Conference that will soon see the Lakers, Spurs and maybe even the Clippers headed in different directions!
Sacramento Kings - You could argue that Isiah Thomas is not the answer at PG for the Kings, but his stats prove otherwise. So with no Burke here, and DeMarcus Cousin blocking Nerlens Noel from joining the Kings, it looks like Oladipo is the man in SacTown. Is it possible the Kings don't match Tyreke Evans this summer? I don't see why they would! The Kings are a bad team that can't afford to give Evans market value.
Detroit Pistons - If Jose Calderon does not re-sign in Detroit, the Pistons will have to put Brandon Knight back there. They clearly didn't want that when they traded Tayshaun Prince to Memphis in the 3-way deal that brought Calderon to Detroit from Toronto. Trey Burke is a serious option here, Noel is not realistic with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond there so Victor Oladipo would be a nice option as well.
Washington Wizards - In my mock draft, I have the Wizards drafting C.J. McCollum, but only because they have no depth at the guard position and at pick 8, it's either McCollum, Archie Goodwin, Michael Carter-Williams or a center. The Wizards don't need help in the front court and should not draft Trey Burke first overall. The should draft Victor Oladipo.
Minnesota Timberwolves - No Burke needed here, but Noel would be interesting. New GM means new way of thinking. Kahn would draft Burke because that's what he does best, draft players that are not needed. But Flip Saunders should and most likely would take Noel
Portland Trail Blazers - If Portland somehow manages to fall outside the top 12, they lose their pick. But with Damian Lillard winning rookie of the year, they clearly don't need Burke. Drafting Noel would allow LaMarcus Aldridge to slide down to PF and they wouldn't have to re-sign J.J. Hickson, even though he was great for them. He will get way more money than he is worth.
Philadephia 76ers - Philly need Nerlens Noel ever so badly. They also need Oladipo but Noel allows them to let Andrew Bynum go.
Toronto Raptors - The Raptors better hope they land a top 3 pick otherwise they don't get one this year. Victor Oladipo is not needed here with Rudy Gay a member of the Raptors now, but Trey Burke or Nerlens Noel would fit nicely on this team.
Dallas Mavericks - My guess would be that Cuban would take Noel over Burke, but either guy works here.
Utah Jazz - The Jazz need a PG and Trey Burke would be the pick.
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