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My thoughts on the first round of the NBA Draft

by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 27, 2013

Here’s what I thought about each of the 30 picks in the first round of Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

  • Anthony Bennett goes No. 1? Reeked of a trade.
  • Seemed like Cleveland could have traded back to get him.
  • I’ve loved Oladipo since the first time I saw him early in the season and had no idea who he was. I wouldn’t have minded seeing him go first overall. Orlando is getting a terrific prospect.
  • Nerlens Noel, the projected top pick, slipped past the first two selections. And the Wizards didn’t take him at 3. Instead, the Wizards took Otto Porter, the local product out of Georgetown who they’ve been rumored to take since the NBA Draft Lottery. Big mistake in my book. I shouldn’t be surprised. Ernie Grunfeld strikes again.
  • Cody Zeller going fourth overall to Charlotte. Hope old friend Rich Cho knows what he’s doing.
  • Alex Len fifth to the Suns. This could be the most irrelevant pick of the first round. Such is life for the suns.
  • Noel finally comes off the board. He goes sixth to New Orleans. I’ll be rooting for him from Day One. Always stinks to see guys slip.
  • Thought Kings would have been fine with Burke or McLemore. The way the night was going with everybody slipping it seemed like they’d pick Burke.
  • Sixers getting Noel??
  • GM’s are such over-reactors. Noel had a freak injury while making a hustle play and everybody in the top five shied away.
  • I think Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the most overrated player in the draft. He went eighth to the Pistons. I wouldn’t have taken him in the top 15.
  • The Sixers are sending Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for Noel?  That according to Andy Katz’s report prior to Minnesota’s pick. My reaction: you’ve got to be kidding me!!! The Pelicans just fleeced Philly.
  • Trey Burke to Minnesota at No. 9. Two things came to mind. 1) I was press row in Minnesota when Burke and the Michigan Wolverines were playing that classic tournament game against Kansas. I could barely watch the Thunder-Wolves. 2) Glad I get to see Burke four times a year in the Northwest Division.
  • Bill Simmons is terrible. He’s single-handedly dragging down ESPN’s draft coverage.
  • Wait, Burke is going to Utah? This is becoming confusing.
  • Portland takes Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum. Seems like a solid selection. He probably won’t be a star but he’ll contribute under the right conditions.
  • So the Sixers are in full blown rebuilding mode with Michael-Carter Williams and Noel, huh? Not bad. Liked them both throughout the draft process. Still wouldn’t have given up Holiday. Wouldn’t have traded him for both of them. Forget about letting Holiday go for one of them.
  • Apparently, the Sixers are getting a protected 2014 first-rounder as well in addition to Holiday. Still wouldn’t have done it.
  • Jrue Holiday just turned 23, people. The Hornets just got a stud! And he’s on a great contract.
  • Why does it always seem like it’s a commercial break before the draft or draft lottery reveals whatever might impact OKC?
  • Thunder takes Steven Adams, which is exactly who I thought OKC would take if it didn’t or couldn’t trade up for Len or Oladipo. And it’s exactly why I thought the Thunder should trade back.
  • Adams might be a future hall of famer. But tonight nobody can say for sure whether he’ll ultimately be better than Kelly Olynyk, Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert, Gorgui Dieng or Jeff Withey. I would have traded back with Atlanta and taken one of the five and a wing player, probably Jamaal Franklin.
  • Simmons’ analysis is absolutely horrible. Horrible might be a little strong. But between his unnecessary jokes, gratuitous overreactions and his blatantly bad information, he’s pointless. He’s still harping on the James Harden trade. And he’s still wrong about it on every level.
  • Olynyk goes 13 to Dallas, which will trade him to Boston. Glad the Thunder dodged that bullet.
  • Shabazz Muhammad goes 14 to Utah, which apparently is trading him to Minnesota in the Burke deal. Good get for the Wolves. Helps that he’ll step onto a team with great coaching in Rick Adelman. Consider him another one I’ll be
  • Giannis Adetokunbo is selected by the Bucks at 15. Good for him.
  • Lucas Noguelra goes 16 to Boston, which is shipping him somewhere. I think. Maybe. Me and Fran Fraschila can’t be the only two people completely lost at this point.
  • Bold prediction: Lucas Noguelra will see more replays of his wobbly Celtics hat over his busy ‘fro than games played throughout his career.
  • Still on the board for Atlanta at 17 and 18: Shane Larkin, Dennis Schroeder, Jamaal Franklin, Mason Plumlee, Gorgui Dieng, Rudy Gobert and Sergey Karasev. All could have been available for the Thunder had it traded back.
  • With the 17th pick, the Hawks select Schroeder. Can’t wait to see this kid. Lot of comparisons to Rajon Rondo. Color me skeptical. Not saying he’s not a good player. I have no idea. But Rondo?
  • With the 18th pick, the Hawks select Larkin…and apparently have a deal in place to send him to Dallas. I really like Larkin’s potential. A lot. And if he does go to Dallas, it’ll help that he has a coach in Rick Carlisle who’s creative and unafraid to play small guards or even two point guards in the same lineup.
  • Sergey Karasev was said to go between 12 and 20 and he went 19th. I always am curious to see which of these internationals pan out and which ones flame out. I have no clue which way Karasev will go.
  • Wait, Sergey Karasev has a flight back to his native Russia at 11:30. Is this a commercial flight? Because his name was called at 9:38 and he’s in New York City.
  • If you’re watching the draft while monitoring Twitter you’re missing out. It totally ruins the suspense. National writers are spoiling the fun by tweeting the picks a minute or two before NBA commissioner David Stern announces the selections. Took me only the first two selections to learn my lesson this year. Wasn’t
  • One more thing about Twitter. It looks like Ken Berger, David Aldridge and Chad Ford have found Adrian Wojnarowski’s league source who is leaking all the selections. All that means is your timeline is even more likely to kill the suspense of the draft.
  • Tony Snell out of New Mexico went 20th to Chicago. I don’t know much about Snell, but for some reason I always feel like the Bulls know what they’re doing when they’re on the clock.
  • Bill Simmons before the Jazz selected with the 21st pick: “We’re in the range of role players.” I wanted to scream ‘We’ve been in the range of role players since the third pick, Bill!!!” Otto Porter is the ultimate role player! Freaking Grunfeld.
  • Loved how Stern handled the boos all night.
  • Dieng went 21st to Utah. Could be a nice draft for the Jazz.
  • I really like Mason Plumlee. Not enough to say the Nets got a steal at 22. But I think he could be a good player. I thought he would have been a great fit with the Thunder. Expect a ton of thoughts from me on Plumlee throughout the Orlando Summer League.
  • Oladipo too. I’m just telling you now. Get used to it. My nuggets from Orlando will be heavy on Oladipo and Plumlee
  • Solomon Hill from Arizona went 23rd to Indiana.
  • I feel bad for my man Tim Hardaway Jr. Knicks fans cheered wildly for him when he was selected 24th. That can’t bode well for his pro career. He’d have been better off if they booed.
  • Reggie Bullock went 25 to the Clippers.
  • Andre Roberson from Colorado went 26 to the Wolves but reportedly will be traded to the Warriors.
  • Wait, Twitter saves the day this time. Sounds like the Warriors traded the pick to Oklahoma City and that means Roberson is headed to your Thunder. Lots of confusion on this deal and what the Thunder is giving up. Also lots of confusion on who Roberson is.
  • Turns out Dieng is headed to Minnesota along with Muhammad in the Burke deal. Draft night gets a little better for the Wolves and a little worse for the Jazz.
  • Rudy Gobert goes 27th to the Nuggets, but they apparently will trade it to Utah. Draft night could be looking up again for Utah.
  • Person familiar with Andre Roberson’s game tells me “The advanced stats say he’s really good.”
  • Livio Jean-Charles goes 28th to San Antonio.
  • If I’ve got this report by Andy Katz right, the 26th, 27th, 29th and 30th picks were traded between six teams.
  • Archie Goodwin went 29th to the Thunder…in my dreams. In reality, it sounds like that the Thunder selected Goodwin for someone else as part of that convoluted trade for the final few first-round selections.
  • And that was it. Presti traded up again, just as I suspected he would. Can’t say
  • And with the 30th pick, the Suns selected Nemanja Nedovic from Serbia. Who knows which team he’ll end up on.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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