If the Cleveland Cavaliers stay in the number one spot in the 2013 NBA Draft, pretty much everyone on the planet figures they are going to take Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel. He is a legitimate seven footer who can anchor a professional team for many seasons, but he is probably not the best all-around player available in this year’s National Basketball Association draft. He impressed scouts by playing incredibly hard throughout a miserable Kentucky season this year, and his shot blocking ability is second to none.
Honestly, his ability to block shots is at such a high level that there is no one comparable in the entire draft. And for a big man, he is not scared to get out and run, something he does impressively well for a big guy. And amazingly, though he is an aggressive defender and excellent shot blocker, he doesn’t rack up too many fouls, something the NBA scouts will certainly be drooling over. As far as multiple-skilled players, Victor Oladipo from Indiana and Georgetown’s Otto Porter certainly present an attractive picture for NBA managers.
The 2013 NBA draft can also see the Cleveland Cavaliers go for a pure shooter. If you consider Noel a one-dimensional shot blocker, and one of the best of the last 15 or 20 years coming out of college, there is another one-dimensional player who could also fit into Cleveland’s future. The Cavs have needs at many positions, and Kansas’ Ben McLemore is as singularly good at scoring the basketball as Noel is at swatting basketballs away. Cleveland has so many pressing needs you could also see them trade their number one overall pick away for a package deal.
And with 6 of the 30 NBA teams choosing 12 of the 30 college basketball players to go in the first round, some teams can instantly improve their squads. The Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz all have two picks in the first round, meaning that some better NBA teams do not even receive one selection in round one. And the Atlanta Hawks are in a unique position to dictate much of round one, and possibly the rest of the draft.
The Hawks select number 17 and 18 in the NBA draft in round one, and have mentioned they are very high on the Gonzaga Bulldogs center Kelly Olynyk, as well as Jamaal Franklin, a shooting guard from San Diego State. Cleveland, Chicago and Utah pick directly behind Atlanta in the first round, and with two consecutive picks, Atlanta may be looking to trade down to pick up draft picks. The only certainty in the NBA draft each year is that there is nothing assured. The 2013 NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.