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NBA Draft 2013: Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett with No. 1 pick

June 27, 2013|By Andrew Gastelum and Stephen Bailey
  • Forward Anthony Bennett, selected out of UNLV with the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern at the 2013 NBA Draft.
Forward Anthony Bennett, selected out of UNLV with the No. 1 overall pick… (Mike Stobe / Getty Images )

Here’s a quick look at the players selected in the first round of Thursday’s NBA Draft in New York.

This will also be NBA Commissioner David Stern’s last time at the podium on draft day. Stern will retire in February after 30 years on the job.

PHOTOS: Top 10 draft picks of 2013

First Round

No. 1 -- Cleveland Cavaliers -- Anthony Bennett, 6-7, 239, Nevada Las Vegas, power forward

Bennett may be the best pure athlete of the draft, based on his explosiveness, speed and physique. He may be undersized for an NBA power forward but he counters that with his versatility. He can post up, shoot the three and take defenders off the dribble, providing a matchup problem for almost any team. The Canadian international made an immediate impact at Nevada Las Vegas in his freshman year, averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Ben Bolch comment: Surprise, surprise! Even for someone who played collegiately in the land of prop bets, Bennett going first was the longshot of longshots.

No. 2 -- Orlando Magic -- Victor Oladipo, 6-4, 213, Indiana, shooting guard

Oladipo is considered one of the more NBA ready guards based on his impressive defensive prowess. But the biggest area where Oladipo has improved is his shooting. With the Hoosiers, the 21-year-old junior shot 60% from the field (44% from three-point range) and averaged 13.6 points and 2.2 steals. Maybe Oladipo isn’t a great shot creator or playmaker, but he could make an instant impact of the defensive side of the floor for any team.

Bolch comment: Picking Oladipo could be a sign that the Magic are aggressively shopping Arron Afflalo, who could end up with Clippers.

No. 3 -- Washington Wizards -- Otto Porter Jr., 6-9, 198, Georgetown, small forward

Porter has immense raw talent, but he still is considered one of the most draft-ready players with his versatility. He turned heads with his improvement in his sophomore year at Georgetown, as he won the Big East player-of-the-year honors. The 20-year-old averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds and was held to single-digit scoring only three times. His slender physique needs some added muscle, and scouts have raised concerns over his athleticism. But Porter makes up for these shortcomings with court awareness and a high basketball IQ.

Bolch comment: The former Georgetown star has the added bonus of knowing the few spots to get cell phone reception inside the Verizon Center.

No. 4 -- Charlotte Bobcats -- Cody Zeller, 7-0, 230, Indiana, power forward/center

Zeller’s draft stock might have taken a hit by returning for his sophomore season, but he made steady improvements while in Bloomington. Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds, including 10 double-doubles. Scouts say that Zeller does many things well, but does not excel in any one area. He needs to get stronger in the post and on defense. But the second-team All-American has great court awareness and versatility that can spread the floor.

Bolch comment: Athletic big man becomes the third Zeller brother in the NBA and the second Hoosier to go in the top four of this year’s draft.

No. 5 -- Phoenix Suns -- Alex Len, 7-1, 250, Maryland, center

Experts consider the Ukrainian big man as one of the more raw players in the draft pool, having just turned 20 years old and still filling into his huge frame. In his second season with the Terrapins, Len averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a game, including a 20-point, eight-rebound season-ending performance against North Carolina. A stress fracture in his ankle has kept the pick-and-roll specialist out for the last month, limiting his workouts and activity.

Bolch comment: The 7-foot-1 center from Maryland was the highest-drafted Terrapin since Steve Francis went No. 2 in 1999.

No. 6 -- New Orleans Pelicans -- Nerlens Noel, 6-11, 206, Kentucky, power forward
(Traded to Philadelphia)
Noel arguably has the highest upside of any player in this draft. A pure shot-blocker and impressive leaper, he has the size, timing and talent to be a top-tier NBA big man — if he stays healthy. His offensive game is relatively raw: he averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in 24 games before tearing his left ACL in February. Noel said he expects to be able to play in a game by Christmas.

Bolch comment: Consolation prize: Noel may not have been the first player taken but he’ll go down as the first Pelican ever drafted and traded!

No. 7 -- Sacramento Kings -- Ben McLemore, 6-5, 189, Kansas, shooting guard

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