Due to a few trades and sound decision making, the Portland Trail Blazers ended the 2013 NBA draft stronger than it began.
First, the Blazers selected CJ Mccollum with the 10th overall pick. This pick was a no-brainer considering the lack of other desirable options and because Mccollum will fill the Blazers obvious need of scoring off the bench.
McCollum was a deadly scorer in college, averaging 23.9 points per game and five assists. He also won the Patriot League player of the year twice at Lehigh.
The Blazers next move came via a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs drafted Allen Crabbe 31st and traded him to the Blazers for two future second round picks. Crabbe averaged over 18 points and six rebounds for the Golden Bears and won Pac-12 player of the year as a freshman.
Later in the second round, Portland drafted Jeff Withey. The seven footer out of Kansas will almost certainly help the Blazers defensively and on the glass from day one. The guy is virtually the same player with a little less upside as Steven Adams, but was drafted 39th instead of 12th.
Portland also drafted Arizona forward Grant Jarrett with the 40th pick, but traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash.
Finally, with the 45th pick, the Blazers selected Montenegro’s very own Marko Todorovic. Todorovic will likely not step foot in an NBA game for a while and will be stashed overseas for the foreseeable future.
The rest of the draft was very intriguing as well. The most surprising selection came at number one. While most NBA experts predicted the Cavs would take Noel, Victor Oladipo or Alex Len, Cleveland shocked everyone for the second year in the row by picking former UNLV forward Anthony Bennett instead.
The Pelicans and Sixers were involved in the most notable draft related trade. The Sixers traded all-star point guard Jrue Holliday and a second round pick for Nerlens Noel and a top five protected first round pick. The trade points to the Sixers desire to tank for the much more highly touted 2014 NBA draft and the Pelicans desire to speed up their rebuilding process.
But the biggest trade of the day was between the Nets and Celtics. The C’s traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry for three future first round picks, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans and Reggie Evans. Like the Sixers, the C’s seem like they are planning on tanking next season to acquire a high draft pick. The Nets however must be in win immediately mode considering they traded for three aging veterans who probably don’t have more than a year or two left in the tank.