When speculating the "who" and "where" of the 2013 NBA Draft, sometimes looking through various types of mock draft coverage will only get you so far. Sometimes the better way to connect the dots before draft night is to read up on the rumors circulating at the top of the draft order. Recently, ESPN's Chad Ford discussed some draft rumors surrounding the no. 1 picking Cleveland Cavaliers and the no. 2 picking Orlando Magic. As the rumors pertain to draft order, if true, they might have an impact on who the Detroit Pistons would be able to pick with the no. 8 selection.
Reportedly, the Cavaliers have Nerlens Noel at the top of their draft board and would likely take the Kentucky center if they can't, or decide not to trade the no.1 overall pick. That said, they also have a strong interest in Otto Porter Jr. and Alex Len for the no. 1 pick. The Cavaliers have been linked to Porter Jr. since before the NBA Draft Lottery, liking the Georgetown wing for his "ready now" style. If the Cavaliers were able to trade out of the first pick to justify taking either Len or Porter, that would benefit the Pistons at no. 8 who are hoping for a steal to fall into their laps like last year's selection of Andre Drummond.
Could UNLV's Anthony Bennett be another Drummond'esque steal for the Pistons on draft night?
It's not that the Pistons don't like Porter Jr. and Len and would be happy to see them off the board before no. 8. It's that with Porter Jr. and Len off the board before no. 8, especially in a top three situation, the pool of players with a skill set tuned to fill the Pistons needs (point guard, scoring wing) is greater in number. Yes, Porter Jr. is a wing, but the Pistons would likely take Oladipo or Bennett if they were available, and seeing Porter Jr. go early keeps the hope for Oladipo or Bennett alive a little longer.
In regards to the Orlando Magic, the rumor is that they are seeking a point guard hard. While the Magic like Michigan's Trey Burke a lot, the front office isn't sold on Burke being worth the no. 2 pick overall. Like all speculation around the no. 2, the Magic are interested in Ben McLemore of Kansas and believe his skill set is worth no. 2 pick money. Indiana's Victor Oladipo, the player that made a good impression on just about every team at the NBA Draft Combine, is also being rumored to be in the running for the no. 2 pick overall.
With the assumed draft order of the top two picks being Noel going no. 1, and McLemore going no. 2, any draft night reality that veers from that scenario will only benefit the teams picking below the Cavaliers and Magic. A lot was made of last week's mock draft in which the UNLV's Anthony Bennett fell to the Pistons at no. 8 in Drummond'esque fashion. The best way for the Bennett possibility to happen would be for players like McLemore and Noel to suddenly be "available" to teams picking outside the top two selections. When unexpected things happen at the top of the draft order, there's a ripple effect and the Pistons may need a big one if they want to come away with a steal on draft night.
Tags: 2013 NBA Draft, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Basketball, Ben McLemore, Chad Ford, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA, Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter Jr., Trey, Victor Oladipo
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