Little Big NBA Draft Boards: Who Should the Wizards Like in 2013? | Truth About It.net

Little Big NBA Draft Boards: Who Should the Wizards Like in 2013?

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Updated: June 26, 2013

Low resolution. High degree of love for Otto Porter.

‘Twas the day before the 2013 NBA Draft, and all through the blogosphere, all the buzz-generators created buzz (and Luol Deng trade rumors) for Wizards fans to fear. What would be the equivalent of inviting Czech diplomats to this year’s draft? John Thompson the Third? Perhaps the Wizards should extend the olive branch to the emissary of all things Runnin’ Rebels, Mr. Reggie Theus. Or just don’t do that thing again.

On days like this one, I wish that I could travel to the future and see who was picked where so that I could then travel back to this day and paint a perfectly accurate Bob Ross landscape of the NBA Draft, and then claim that I was the smartest blogger while all the other people who wrote things on their websites shook their head and wondered where it all went wrong. Since condition precedent on that fantasy is time travel… I’m more likely to get everything wrong and blame Kwame.

Without further disclaimer, here are some “Little Big Boards” for Washington’s 2013 NBA Draft from the TAI crew: featuring myself, Kyle Weidie, Sean Fagan, Adam McGinnis, John Converse Townsend, and straight from The Land of Perverse Whimsy, a projected Wizards front office big board. All accompanied by super positive imagery.

We will both sip from the chalice of victory! /photo via AP, Alex Brandon/

CONOR DIRKS’ (@ConorDDirks) BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

I mean, he’s no Luol Deng, and he’s no Jarvis Hayes, but I don’t know, maybe this guy could be somebody. Actually, I guess he could be a whole lot like either of those players. When it was revealed that the Wizards would be picking third instead of eighth, the name dancing on my lips was that of Otto Porter. I don’t need to hear about ceilings. It’s hard to reach them (even for guys who play professional basketball) and not being projected to have sky-high potential has never stopped a young player from being a key contributor on the most cost-effective deal in the NBA for key contributors, the rookie contract. Largo al factotum.

2. Victor Oladipo – G, Indiana

It’s not a coincidence that this guy has moved up draft boards in the final weeks while his main competition at the two-guard (Ben McLemore) has disappointed at several workouts while refusing to spar against Oladipo in group activities. If there’s a guy in this draft who could handle coming in as a long-term third guard and sixth man, it’s Victor Oladipo. He has a winning demeanor and a personality that screams “LEADERSHIP.” If the Wizards don’t draft a quality, long-term third guard, they’ll be making annual trips to the Island of Lost Toys and will continue to lack a playoff-caliber second unit. No offense to Garrett Temple (people say this too much about Temple) and A.J. Price.

3. Nerlens Noel – C, Kentucky

JaVale McGee without the nonsense? JaVale McGee with a better understanding of how to play team defense? A combination of both of these alternate JaVales? Injuries ain’t what they used to be. Ask everyone after Gilbert Arenas.

4. Anthony Bennett – F, UNLV

This is more of an indictment of others than it is an endorsement of Anthony Bennett. Ideally, he’s an eye-on-the-prize volume scorer who doesn’t defend particularly well out of the gate, a k a Lil’ Antawn Jamison. Adam McGinnis almost convinced me that I wouldn’t mope around for weeks on end if the Wizards end up taking him at No. 3, but I’m feeling real old-man-like about him showing up to workouts with so much extra weight that wasn’t bound up in his musculature. Son, you blew it.

5. Ben McLemore – G, Kansas

The most “tradeable” guy in this year’s draft. Some people believe he has the best chance of anyone in the 2013 draft to become a superstar. It doesn’t help Washington that his game is so similar to Bradley Beal’s. An “Unhappy Eric Gordon” type player who is a legitimate scoring threat wouldn’t be a bad haul for the Wizards, but something tells me he, like Bennett, might not gel well with the Positive Pixel Era Wizards. Then again, gelling is hardly scientific, and so look for me to be the most wrong about Bennett and McLemore.

Started from the bottom, then traded away the bad guys! /photo via Bruce Ely, The Oregonian/

KYLE WEIDIE’S (@Truth_About_It) BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

Let’s not get too fancy (or trendy). This kid has size, talent, and an offensive demeanor that fits the Wall/Beal/Nene program.

2. Anthony Bennett – F, UNLV

If Porter’s gone, then the scoring of Bennett could be a risk worth taking, even if he is a selection that provides for a more uncertain future than conveys the concept of “cornerstone” like Porter, Noel and Oladipo.

3. Nerlens Noel – C, Kentucky

The Wizards need a big man succession plan. Are you telling me Alex Len would be that plan if Porter and Bennett were gone?

4. Victor Oladipo – G, Indiana

The talent is undeniable. John Townsend (and Michael Jordan) have me convinced.

5. Lucas Nogueira – C, Brazil

Not skirting the issue of future big too much, I’m intrigued by the Brazilian kid called “Bebe.” ESPN’s Kevin Pelton writes (Insider):”‘Bebe’ put up solid stats playing against grown-ups in the ACB. He blocked shots more frequently than Serge Ibaka did in the same league and projects to make nearly 55 percent of his 2-point shots.”

And before you think about Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk, whom Pelton ranks 16th in his 2013 Draft WARP article (Nogueira ranks 6th, Noel ranks 1st, Len ranks 23rd), Pelton writes: “Olynyk’s shooting touch sets up everything he does offensively, inside and out. His translated true shooting percentage ranks third among the top 30, behind Zeller and Nogueira. Olynyk’s poor shot-blocking suggests he’ll be better as a power forward than a center.”

There’s always room in Coach Randy’s heart for one more kid. /photo via Adam Hunger, Reuters/

SEAN FAGAN’S (@McCarrick) BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Victor Oladipo – G, Indiana

You take the talent and worry about the fit later. Oladipo can push Beal and vice versa. At worst you are getting a guy capable of being a leader on the second unit for long minutes and a sub for the oft injured Beal.

2. Anthony Bennett – F, UNLV

He fits the need and can fill the scoresheet. The question is how to remove the logjam in the frontcourt going forward?

3. Alex Len – C, Maryland

Not a popular pick but one that could push Seraphin (see a trend here) to refine his game past his black hole tendencies.

4.  Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

I mean, sure, I guess. I just think he is too much of a tweener to do much for the Wizards.

10,000. Trade the pick for a veteran – G/F/C, ANYWHERE

Trade the pick for a veteran. It is the Grunfeld way. Of course, it hasn’t paid much in the way of dividends.

Teamwork is never saying goodbye. /photo via Geoff Burke, USATODAY Sports/

ADAM McGINNIS’ (@AdamMcGinnis) BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Nerlens Noel – C, Kentucky

John Wall hates Noel’s hair but he will love his up-and-down, athletic game. The NBA is still played above the rim and Noel already displays superstar potential there. Noel’s injury clouds teams’ judgement on him, but the Wizards can’t pass on his talent if he slides to their pick.

2. Anthony Bennett – F, UNLV

Red flags on his defense and weight have people worried. Much of this is overplayed. Bennett possesses polished scoring ability that the worst offensive team in NBA desperately needs. I wrote a gazillion words on the Canadian, so of course I have to rank him high.

3. Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

There is plenty to love with the 20-year-old, small town kid from Southeast Missouri. He plays D, can finish, rebound, and get out in transition. His humble personality and unassuming playing style make him a desirable commodity. Otto already has the John Wall Coolin’ look down pat.

4.  Victor Oladipo – G, Indiana

The local DeMatha product disappointed many Wiz fans with his refusal to work out for the team. His rise from a kid who couldn’t shoot at Indiana to now a likely lottery selection has been remarkable. It also shows what type of work ethic he possesses along with his sick 42-inch vertical and smooth transition ability. I have slight concerns about the range on his jump shot and handle. Oladipo will be able to lock up opposing team’s best player from Day 1, which is a salivating prize to acquire.

5. Ben McLemore – G, Kansas

Former AAU teammate of Bradley Beal can bomb from long range and his athleticism is off the charts. He really does not fit with Wizards because he appears to be a Beal clone. Plus, his tattoos might scare Jason Reid.

EFFORT standards for Easy Fending Felton Off Right There. /photo via Geoff Burke, USATODAY Sports/

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND’S (@JohnCTownsend) BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Victor Oladipo – G, Indiana

At least half of the GMs in the Association have said they love Oladipo. He’s the top talent in the draft, and he’ll soon become your mom’s favorite player.

2. Alex Len – C, Maryland

The center is a dying breed in the NBA, but Alex Len looks alive and well—albeit a little worse for wear. This Euro has potential. He can play on both ends of the floor: scoring, rebounding, passing, and blocking shots.

3. Nerlens Noel – C, Kentucky

Noel should be good enough to start in the NBA. His knee should be OK. And he has a cool haircut.

4.  Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

Imagine you’re at a speed-dating event. You make your rounds, but no one really excites you. There was one girl, however, who did catch your attention. We’ll call her Portia (oddly pronounced “Otto Porter”).

What was it about her? The Georgetown education? Possibly. Maybe it was because you were certain you’d seen her around the city … somewhere, sometime. Most likely it was the fact that her mother, Joan (pronounced “John Thompson III”), was hovering behind her, interjecting into your conversation with things like “Marry her!” and “She’s perfect for you, man” and “Can’t you see that she’s the most eligible bachelerotte here?”

Joan freaked you out a bit, but perhaps she was right. You were lonely and it was summer and it seemed like all of your friends were getting married.

It could work out, you tell yourself. Portia did have long legs and while boring, awkward and homely, she wasn’t a total buzz kill.

So, you swap digits and find out she lives a few block from your place. You date for a bit and, after a few months, you decide to get hitched. Joan finds out—she’s thrilled, of course. Portia is excited. You’re nervous, but in the week leading up to the big day, you successfully convince yourself that marrying Portia is something you need to do.

The wedding goes smoothly. The marriage … well, it has its ups and downs. You don’t have any major complaints, but you just can’t shake the feeling that you made the wrong decision.

Fin.

5. I don’t know, man – G/F/C, Wherever

… Ricky Ledo? No? Fine. Gorgui Dieng then. Pick-and-pop buckets, bruh.

I love us. /photo via Jason Reed, Reuters/

UNOFFICIAL WIZARDS BIG BOARD (of five)

1. Nerlens Noel – C, Kentucky

Oh, you thought Otto Porter was a lock? If both Porter and Noel are available at No. 3, get nervous. If Porter, Noel, and Bennett are all available? Watch the fuck out. Nerlens Noel is just prodigious enough to make his mystery and injury situation acceptable risks in the eyes of owner, Ted Leonsis, who may be pulling enough strings to push for a long-term, homegrown, and cheap option at the NBA’s most expensive position.

2. Otto Porter – F, Georgetown

Porter and the Wizards in 2013 are the new Beal and the Wizards in 2012. A sublime mix of fit and “best available” potential. Do you feel the crush of anxiety and near-religious terror yet? Any team in the lottery could talk themselves into moving up to take Porter at No. 2. The Magic might take him. Cleveland might take him. The Wizards will probably get him. Too many lottery teams have been burned by the under-oxygenated embers of flamed-out potential. Let this guy make your team better.

3. Anthony Bennett – F, UNLV

Part of me thinks this whole “Wizards are split between Porter and Bennett” thing is just a ruse designed to get someone to move up and take Bennett at No. 2. If that’s the case, bravo and we’ll never know. If the Wizards can’t get Porter or Noel, they seem to be alright with keeping calm and drafting Anthony Bennett. Get trolled: SheridanHoops is claiming that the Wizards are “determined” to draft Bennett. So, raise an eyebrow to that, then wonder if it’s actually true for a while before finally convincing yourself that SheridanHoops is full of it.

4.  Oleksiy “Alex” Len – C, Maryland

Neither Kyle nor I particularly like Mr. Len, but he’s classic Wizards fare. Maryland grad, Eastern European, #SoOleksiy, long-term project. Nevermind that he only makes around 38% of his back-to-the-basket attempts (which constitute 41% of his total attempts), or that injuries prevented anyone from seeing him in workouts, or that he’s not projected to be ready to contribute significantly for his first few seasons. Really, nevermind all that. This guy’s going to be a star. He’s the current internet darling (including the Truehoop mock) to go to the Cavs at No. 1 overall, so here’s to a future in which Kyrie Irving takes his talents to Los Angeles and leaves a note in Dan Gilbert’s office consisting of two words: “Alex Len.”

5. Ben McLemore – G, Kansas

Are Mike Miller and Randy Foye still playing? This is the guy that gets traded with Vesely and Singleton for a 27-year-old player three years into a bad contract who made one All-Star game four years ago. David Aldridge has McLemore slotted at No. 1 in his most recent mock draft, which is a testament of just how widely opinions differ among NBA auteurs this year. There hasn’t been much, if any, buzz about interest from the Wizards in either McLemore or Oladipo, but I think between the two, Grunfeld would value McLemore’s offense-oriented game and outside shooting over Oladipo’s willfulness and defense.

The 2013 NBA Draft will occur tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. Keep an eye out for TAI’s live commentary during the draft.


  • Nich

    Porter? A Tweener? I don’t think of him as being remotely PF.