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2013 NBA Draft Re-grade: Eastern Conference

by Josh Mullenix | @TheJMULL_

The 2013 NBA Draft covers all ends of the spectrum. Anthony Bennett was taken No. 1 overall and is easily the worst first overall pick of the last 10 drafts. On the other hand, Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted 15th and is now one of the three best players in the NBA.

The Greek Freak, CJ McCollum and Victor Oladipo headline this draft with Rudy Gobert close behind, but the talent in this draft quickly falls off to the tune of Alex Len and Ben McLemore both going in the top seven of this draft.

As the 110 Sports NBA Draft re-grade series rolls on, it’s time to critique the Eastern Conference selections in the 2013 NBA Draft. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Picks (Pick No.): Anthony Bennett (No. 1), Sergey Karasev (No. 19), Allen Crabbe (No. 31), Carrick Felix (No. 33)

Anthony Bennett is easily the worst No. 1 pick of the last decade. This is a perfect example why you should almost always take the best player available rather than drafting by position. The Cavs went with Bennett instead of Victor Oladipo after drafting two guards — Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters — in the two drafts prior. The rest of the draft didn’t go all that much better for Cleveland. The only other player drafted who played more than three seasons was Allen Crabbe and the Cavs traded the pick to the Trail Blazers on draft night. Four picks inside of the top 33 and essentially nothing to show for it.

Grade: F | When you draft Anthony Bennett first overall, you get an F. 

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Orlando Magic

Picks: Victor Oladipo (No. 2), Romero Osby (No. 51)

The Magic picked Oladipo second and he would easily go in the top four again. Oladipo is third in scoring, third in assists and third in points per game and could be higher if he’d been drafted elsewhere instead of coming off the bench in Orlando his rookie year. Oladipo has turned himself into a two-time all-star and the most important player for the Indiana Pacers. There are very few highlights at the top of the 2012 draft, but Oladipo is one of them and probably the only player drafted in the top seven to be drafted that high again. 

Osby never played a game in the NBA and the Magic gave up their 2013 second round pick in what turned out to be a bad trade in 2011. However, you can’t get too mad about the No. 51 overall pick not turning into an NBA player because most 51st picks don’t.

Grade: A | Oladipo is one of just three all-stars in this draft and would be taken in the top three again. 

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Washington Wizards

Picks: Otto Porter (No. 3), Nate Wolters (No. 38), Arsalan Kazemi (No. 54)

There are two ways to look at Porter: how he would look going third in a good draft and how he looks going third in this one. He’s obviously not the No. 3 pick again but is around the number 10 spot in points, rebounds and points per game out of this draft class. He would go in the lottery if the 2013 class was re-drafted, but he was the wrong pick for Washington at No. 3.

Washington also traded up from No. 38 to No. 35 where they drafted Glen Rice out of Georgia Tech who had even less of a career than Wolters did. Kazemi never saw an NBA floor and put a bookend on a forgettable night for Washington. 

Grade: C | Porter has become a solid NBA player but certainly not a No. 3 pick and their actions in the middle of the draft don’t help their case, either. 

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Charlotte Bobcats

Picks: Cody Zeller (No. 4)

Zeller was the second Indiana Hoosier taken in the top four of the 2013 draft. His career hasn’t been as spectacular as Oladipo’s but he’s been a staple in Charlotte’s rotation since entering the league. A career 8.6 points and six rebounds player doesn’t scream No. 4 overall pick, but he would still be drafted in the top 15. Zeller is a player who hasn’t benefited from the direction the NBA has gone but has cemented himself in Charlotte. 

Grade: B- | Not a bad pick, but Zeller certainly wasn’t the guy to take at No. 4. 

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Detroit Pistons

Picks: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (No. 8), Tony Mitchel (No. 37), Peyton Siva (No. 56)

KCP will never be the best player on a good team, but he has become a solid role player over his seven seasons in the league. He is sixth in total points, seventh in points per game and ninth in win shares among this draft class, which makes Detroit’s decision to take him eighth overall appropriate. Of course, like everyone who drafted before the Bucks at 15th, Detroit left a player on the board who would become one of the NBA’s elite players, but KCP certainly wasn’t a bad pick all things considered. 

Grade: B | KCP himself is a B+, maybe an A-, but Mitchell and Siva played a combined total of 45 games in the NBA.

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Philadelphia 76ers

Picks: Michael Carter-Williams (No. 11), Glen Rice (No. 35), Pierre Jackson (No. 42)

A lot happened on draft night for the Sixers, but really they were just waiting around to draft The Process with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. Carter-Williams was actually really good as a rookie, winning the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds. However, he wasn’t a part of the team’s long-term plans and was traded on Feb. 19, 2015 in a three-team trade in which the Sixers got a 2018 first round pick. MCW has gotten progressively worse since then playing for five teams and battling injuries along the way. Currently a member of the Magic, he’s averaging 7.2 points coming off the bench, playing 18.4 minutes per game.

The rest of the Sixers draft was busy and ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Grade: B | Carter-Williams is a weird case. What if the Sixers don’t move off of him? What if he finds another team he’s comfortable with? His rookie season suggests his career has gone about as poorly as it could’ve since that 2013-14 campaign.

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Milwaukee Bucks

Picks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15), Ricky Ledo (No. 43)

Is there much to discuss here? Giannis is arguably the best player in the NBA on the best team in the NBA. He certainly wasn’t that out of the gates — just 6.8 points per game his rookie season — but today he’s far and away the best player taken in this draft. He is a four-time all-star, three-time All-NBA selection, an MVP and he’s about to win a Defensive Player of the Year award and maybe another MVP in 2019-20. Ledo could’ve set Milwaukee on fire and the Bucks would’ve gotten an A+.

Grade: A+ | I’m not sure defending this grade is necessary. 

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Boston Celtics

Picks: Lucas Nogueria (No. 16)

The Celtics had just gotten rid of Doc Rivers and were a week away from hiring Brad Stevens when draft night came around in 2013. Nogueria was part of a trade on draft night that sent Kelly Olynyk to Boston. Olynyk was not overwhelming in Boston but certainly better than Nogueria ended up being in the NBA. Mostly, there just isn’t much going on here as the Celtics were still coming down from there stretch of one of the better teams in the East at this point. Two weeks later, Boston traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets, ushering in a new era of Boston basketball. 

Grade: C | It’s just a boring draft. Just like a C. 

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Atlanta Hawks

Picks: Dennis Schroder (No. 17), Shane Larkin (No. 18), Raul Neto (No. 47)

Schroder was drafted by Atlanta and was in the shadow of Jeff Teague and those really solid Hawks teams in the middle of the decade. When Teague left, Schroder emerged as a guy capable of scoring at a high level in the NBA. He’s averaged at least 15.5 points in each of his last four seasons and finds himself on a Thunder team backing up Shae Gilgeous-Alexander. That’s a good spot for Schroder. In terms of this draft, he would be picked much higher than 17th sitting at fourth in points in this draft class and leading the class in assists. 

Larkin isn’t what you want out of the No. 18 pick but getting five solid years out of a No. 47 pick like Neto almost makes up for it. Ultimately, a decent draft for Atlanta but nothing groundbreaking.

Grade: A- | Schroder’s production far exceeds that of a No. 17 pick, which is why the Hawks earn an A-. 

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Chicago Bulls

Picks: Tony Snell (No. 20), Erik Murphy (No. 49)

Snell might be the most uninspiring consistent basketball player on the planet, which is fitting considering he’s now a Detroit Piston. That’s a franchise I would describe in a similar manner. With that being said, Snell has met or exceeded 20th in this class in most categories and has never played fewer than 64 games in a full season in his career. Murphy played in 24 games in his NBA career and a total of 62 minutes, but that’s expected by the No. 49 pick.

Grade: B | Snell isn’t a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, he’s just so boring. Kind of like a B.

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Brooklyn Nets

Picks: Mason Plumlee (No. 22)

Plumlee, like Zeller, is another big man who didn’t benefit from the direction the NBA went in the latter half of this decade. Plumlee is a traditional big who peaked at 10 points and 7.5 boards in 2016-17. As the pace and space era of the NBA took shape, Plumlee became less and less valuable to a title contender as a starting big man but he’s found a home as the backup to Nikola Jokic in Denver. Plumlee is 11th in points, fourth in rebounds and fourth in win shares in this draft class, making him a pick of much higher value than 22nd.

Grade: B+ | In a different decade, this is an A-range pick, but not in this one as Plumlee’s expertise is less and less important in today’s NBA.

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Indiana Pacers 

Picks: Solomon Hill (No. 23), Colton Iverson (No. 53)

The Pacers were in the middle of back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals on draft night in 2013, so they weren’t exactly banking on the draft for game-changing talent at that point. Hill continues to find his way onto NBA rosters but has never been much more than a rotation piece off the bench. Iverson was traded for cash on draft night and never played an NBA game.

Grade: C | A forgettable draft night, but the Pacers were enjoying on-court success so they don’t get knocked down too far. 

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New York Knicks 

PIcks: Tim Hardaway (No. 24)

Hardaway is the most forgotten player who has put up solid numbers his entire career. That’s mostly due to the fact that he’s spent most of it with the Knicks. At his peak, he was an 18.1 points per game guy who’s found a home in the starting lineup along with Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic in Dallas. 

Grade: A | The Knicks make a lot of mistakes, but drafting Hardaway at No. 24 was not one of them. 

Photo by: Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons

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