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Three winners, three losers from NBA Draft. You bet Anthony Bennett is a winner.

Jun 28, 2013, 3:04 AM EDT

Anthony Bennett from UNLV reacts after being selected by the Clevland Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn Reuters

I will admit this up front: declaring a winner in the NBA draft the night of the draft is premature. We can accurately say tonight that Indiana was a winner in the 2010 draft (Paul George at No. 10, Lance Stephenson at No. 40), but we don’t know how this draft will ultimately play out.

But on draft night there were guys that for tonight came off as winners and losers. Here is our list.


1) Anthony Bennett. All day long the buzz was that Bennett was falling like a rock down draft boards, maybe out of the top 10 entirely. The UNLV forward had questions about his conditioning, his defense. Then the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the world and took him No. 1 overall.

Bennett is athletic and a beast in the paint, he is one of a group of guys in this draft who could turn out to be special some day. The fit is interesting — Cleveland has Anderson Varejao on the books and Tristan Thompson as four of the future. Where does Bennett fit in? Or do they think he can be a three?

Either way, he will forever be a No. 1 pick (and he will get to cash those No. 1 overall paychecks).

2) Philadelphia 76ers/New Orleans Pelicans. I love their trade for both sides.

Philadelphia might be the biggest winner of the night: They got probably the best player in the draft in Nerlens Noel. They got a young point guard (who may or may not be the point guard of the future) in Michael Carter-Williams. And most importantly they chose a direction — the status quo would have meant being stuck in a rut in the middle of the league. If they bring back Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner and just add pieces what are they, the seven seed? They are going to take a step backwards next year but they are doing it right before a deep draft loaded with talent. Also, Noel means they are moving on from the Andrew Bynum mistake. Good.

New Orleans? They have Jrue Holiday at the one, Eric Gordon at the two, Anthony Davis inside, plus some nice pieces like Ryan Anderson. Holiday and Davis could be the core of a very good team in a few years (Gordon could be, too, if he decides to really buy in).

3) Utah Jazz. They needed a point guard and there was only one in this draft who could step in and give you quality minutes from the start, so the Jazz made a move to get Trey Burke. He’s a good fit for them. The Jazz have some serious issues to deal with this summer (Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are free agents), but in a down draft they made smart moves.


1) Charlotte Bobcats. Cody Zeller at No. 4? With Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore still on the board? Zeller’s will have a nice career but there were guys with a lot more potential available. I thought this smelled of a Michael Jordan decision, but have been told by sources (and as is mentioned in the comments on this post) it was a Rich Cho pick. I like Cho, so good luck with this. I don’t get it.

2) Golden State. They bought their way No. 26 with Minnesota’s pick, traded with Oklahoma City to go down to 29, traded down again with Phoenix to 30. Then they picked Nemanja Nedovic, who they will stash in Europe for a couple of years.

3) Indiana Pacers. Strange because this is a really well run organization, but they pick Solomon Hill, and he would have been available later in the second round. Why not trade down to get him and get another asset? Not sold on him helping at all.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Are we sure GSW will stash?

  2. alfiemonstaa - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    DALLAS MAVERICKS also won.

    1. Shane Larkin
    43. Ricky Ledo -a steal in my opinion
    And shed sum salary including cunninghams


  3. terrellowens81 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    So taking a step back and getting worse makes the Sixers the biggest winners? Warriors biggest losers? this is a stupid article.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      Yea smart guy, because now they have a plan instead of being a 8 seed and getting bounced every year in the playoffs. It’s how the NBA works. You just sound like a fussy baby in this post.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        Well look at his username….

      • dokorocha - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        @ryanrockzzz…the bigger problem is not that they decided to take a step back, it is actually their “step back” plan. The sixers trade a young (23), all star point guard…then turnaround and draft a point guard project. Not to mention that the sixers’ main problem for some years now is their lack of outside shooting and MCW’s biggest weakness is that he can’t shoot. But beyond that, the sixers trade Jru all because they believe in Noel who is another big project. Noel has several hurdles of development to overcome before he becomes anything close to justify giving up a young all star pg for. Besides the obvious point that he has to get healthy, he has to get bigger, he has to prove that he can defend in the post and stay durable in doing so. Then after that he has to develop an entire offensive repertoire, which includes basic low post moves, an outside shot to at least 10 ft, and become at least an average free throw shooter (so that he can stay on the court in close games to provide defense). And remember that Noel can’t even begin his reformation until he gets healthy which won’t be until December at least (that means no summer league and no training camp). So @ryanrockzzz, I now ask you..with all of this development that’s needed from this draft alone added to the fact that sixers still don’t have a coach, they still have an andrew bynum decision to make, they still are a team void of shooters, how long do you think it will be before the sixers can even compete for an 8 seed now? If stepping back means you are conceding the next four years I think you should re-evaluate your plan.

  4. 49warriors - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    GSW losers??
    They paid 600k for 1rst round pick. After not having one.
    Summer league will dictate if he makes the roster not NBC sports talk… This may be insurance on Curry ankles and insurance if J.Jack leaves…

    • spursareold - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      They still have a long way to go to pay off that $11M they paid SA for last year’s pick. Enjoy the last gasps of Richard Jefferson’s career. LOL.

  5. wwttww - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    Hawks killed it w/ Nogueira and Schroeder.

  6. maynardstool - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    I heard chatter that MJ had to be talked into picking Zeller at 4.

  7. zaktmt - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Uh…Jrue Holliday got traded. This article implies that he is still a Sixer.

    • patfic15 - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:31 AM

      Cmon man.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      Reading. It’s difficult sometimes.

      • spicymudbugs - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        yep, just ask that idiot on the stand at Zimmerman trail

    • florida727 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Try “Hooked On Phonics”. I hear it helps a lot of folks get their GEDs.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        It werked fer mee!

  8. dgbk - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    zeller was thought to be a top pick before the season and a lottery pick for sure after it.

    its easy to blame mj when the bobcats make a questionable pick but I doubt this is all on him. besides they could of wanted to add a decent player that can help down the line but still allow them a chance to stink next yr… if wiggins is the real deal why miss out on him by fighti f for an 8th seed.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      They coulda got Nerlens Noel or Ben Mac and wouldn’t have made a lick of a difference. They might have been lucky to fight for 12th seed even with either two. This was a wack pick. We’ll revisit this in 3 years….

  9. rickyspanish - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Can’t we wait until we hear who the supposed winners and losers are until they’ve actually contributed to their team? Not even twelve hours after the draft you’re criticizing these teams for their picks that have yet to play.

    It has always bothered me that old men in the media seem to derive so much pleasure in scrutinizing nineteen year olds. Let them play before you judge. I know the media might get some right but there’s always a Marc Gasol out there that no one saw coming at pick 48.

  10. 5280nuggs - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Pacers definitely didn’t lose on Colton Iverson. Kid can play and has more potential then a lot of people realize. Great value at the 53rd pick.

    • iritian - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      They traded him to Boston.

  11. balooga999 - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Not saying I love or hate the pick but the word is that Zellar was a Rick Cho pick. Apparently Cho had been lobbying hard for Zellar and trying to convince the Charlotte brass to go with him over some of the other guys….seemingly can’t completely peg this one on Jordan.

  12. sportsnut101 - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Losers are bobcats
    Cavs they had a chance to make impact n didn’t especially with their picks
    Bulls bad pick that’s my team. They need right away sg help Thought tim hardaway jr n glen rice jr were better choices

    Winners of draft. Phila, Utah portland got a steal with cj
    Knicks, kings how often do we say that

  13. djp141 - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Zeller wasn’t a Jordan pick. It was a Rich Cho pick.

  14. metalhead65 - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    so your not sold on Zeller or the pacers? that’s good to know since you are the gm of what team again?

    • gostlcards5 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      I agree, mh65.

      Zeller – Always has been known to be a good athlete, especially for a 7-footer. He is great running the floor, and offensively he is very good. Clearly, he will have to get better and stronger to compete in the NBA, but I think his physical gifts and his game are being undersold. I think he will be good-to-great in the NBA, and it won’t take long.

      Pacers – They were looking for more offense off the bench. I think that Solomon Hill can give them that. I think they drafted for need, rather than BPA. They already have a very solid core, especially depending on what happens when Danny Granger is back (personally, I hope he stays and they figure out a way to reduce his role, cheapen his salary a little, and still keep him long-term, depending on how his health is when he returns). Either way, don’t underestimate anything that Larry Bird or Donnie Walsh have their hands on. They have both proven that they know what they are doing, and how to get players that fit into their mold for the team (system and chemistry).

      • gostlcards5 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        Additionally, I was actually hoping that Indy might go for Hardaway, Jr., but their plan could be to reinsert Granger as a starter, sliding Stephenson into the second unit, which would probably not be good for THJ’s available minutes to play.

        Who knows? Perhaps the Pacers are even planning a trade of Granger to assist in the pieces that they need…(backup PG, backup swingman, or backup PF).

  15. aldavis4president - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    The warriors had no picks predraft, no salary cap, and managed to get a 1st round talent in the 2nd. How are they losers?? And I don’t think you’ve seen this guy play, he Dsnt need to be “stashed” . #GSW #THEEUROPEANDROSE!!

  16. azarkhan - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    The only question I have for Jordan is when did he make the decision to draft Zoeller–was it on the 15th hole or the 16th?

  17. thenoffer - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    How are the Warriors a loser? They started the night with no 1st round pick. They saw a player they likes and were able to get the 26th pick for a future 2nd, cash, and they took back a player from Minnesota they did not want. Then instead of taking their guy with that pick they took someone Oklahoma wanted and recouped some of the cash they originally have up in the first trade and moved back. Then instead of thanking their guy with that pick they took a player Phoenix wanted and got Phoenix to take the player(Lee) that they got in the 1st trade from Minnesota off their hands to move down again where then then drafted their guy with the 30th pick. Sounds to me like the Warriors at least got great value with their moves and possible a good player for the future whether it be this year or 1 or 2 years. The kid looks like a ballet from the videos I watched.

    • adoombray - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      That was a win for the Suns too. Lee is the kind of the off the bench defender they need. Hopefully it means Shannon “jack up 3’s all game long and screw my teammates” is toast.

  18. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    The biggest loser was Spike Lee. “Oh please someone, ANYONE; please beat the Heat, We can’t have a three-peat”.

    How sad. How old is Spike now? Too old to dress like that ill bet.

    Someone may beat the Heat 4 out of 7 next year, but Iwe all know which team it WON’T be.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Spike Lee is a racist piece of $#1t. Some society we’ve crafted where a guy can tweet out the home address of a guy not even yet charged with a crime (George Zimmerman), put a bounty on his head, then face no judgment whatsoever when the details of an incident turn out to be greatly exaggerated and even fabricated. F*** Spike Lee. He’s the problem, not the solution.

      • skinsfanwill - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        I wonder how you would feel if Zimmerman shot your kid just because he felt like killing someone of another race that day. And you are worried about a tweet. You #@$%#@ loser.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Did I say anything in favor or against Zimmerman? No. Because it would be foolish to presume to know more than the judge, jury, and lawyers know. So kindly adjust your attitude and trust the legal system to sort that mess out. And Spike Lee is still a racist turd.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        @ PBP^

        “So kindly adjust your attitude…”

        That was an awesome line you just feed me for any argument or dispute I have with people for some ridiculous, arbitrary reason (my wife comes to mind, hehehe). Thumbs up well deserved, lol

  19. tominma - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I think it’ pretty clear that MJ isn’t the world’s best person to run the basketball operations for the Bobcats! GREAT player. So so as a team builder. I think he should get a solid basketball man o run the operations and MJ can do the things owners do! I’m not sold on Noel as a franchise player but he has a LOT more upside than Zeller.

    • djp141 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Jordan isn’t running basketball operations. He wanted Oladipo or McLemore. Rich Cho is the guy who drafted Zeller (and MKG).

    • florida727 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Noel is a stick waiting to be broken into two pieces. 7 feet talk and weighing barely 200 pounds?

      Can he block shots? Absolutely.
      Can he score in the NBA? Doubtful.
      Can he last an entire NBA season physically? Hmm.

      • azarkhan - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        I was thinking the same thing. Noel is playing center with the weight of a guard.

      • mouthbreethingslayer - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        No doubt he has to hit the cafeteria and weight room to be a force down low in the NBA, but the kid just turned 19. He will fill out.

    • ak18346 - Jun 29, 2013 at 6:24 AM

      see my post below

    • iowahbr - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Zeller would have benefited from one more year or even 2 in college but the money is so big you can’t pass it up. Mr. Leonard from Illinois was in the same position a year ago and made his silent splash into NBA this year with the Trail Blazers. Slow white 7 footers need all the help they can get.

  20. thenoffer - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Excuse some of my typos in above post. I’m sure you understand what I meant to say.

  21. mydoglouie - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    By ‘world’ I assume its the nba world because I am pretty sure outside of NA. The rest of the ‘world’ could give a damn!

  22. kingjoe1 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I have a feeling that Dwight Howard will end up in New Orleans.

    The Sixers had a crazy good draft

  23. kvanhorn87 - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Rocha, they were NEVER going to be better than 7 or 8 seed. They are tearing down and embarking on a long term rebuild. What is wrong with that? Jrue is a good player on a bad team. He had to go to reset. Now Noel is a project for sure but he had 1st round pick talent. Getting better involves some luck. Hopefully he works out. Not to mention now the Sixers have 2 first round picks next year in one of the deepest drafts in 12 years. They are going to flat out stink this year. Maybe not as bad as Boston but enough to have a chance at Wiggins. I love this move and believe it is long overdue to attempt at rebuilding properly instead of piece meaning year in and year out. Mediocrity is the worst problem to have in the NBA. This pick was clearly a statement that Bynum is gone. Let it go.

  24. ChandlerMc - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Some important details missing about the Sixers “winning the draft”. They shipped Jrue Holiday and his 4yr/$44M contract and the later of their two 2nd rd picks (#42) to the Pelicans for #6 pick Noel AND New Orleans’ 1st rd pick in 2014 (lottery protected from 1-5). They kept their 1st rounder this year and took PG Carter-Williams, who’s been best friends w/ Noel since childhood. So with Noel out for the first part of the upcoming season and having lost their best player, they should be in the bottom tier of teams next year. So the Sixers should have 2 lottery picks in the deep and talented 2014 draft to pair with Noel and Carter-Williams. It sure looks like new GM Sam Hinkie will find a way out of the mediocre middle-of-the-pack purgatory

  25. ak18346 - Jun 29, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    I disagree that the Bobcats / Hornets made a bad pick. Zeller will play a solid role in the system that the coach and his staff is putting in place. With 1st round picks next year and the top performer in the NBA combine on the board you got to take him. Kevin Mc Hall was seen then as a stupid pick where did the stupid pick end up?

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