Jun 09

In professional sports, very little can be predicted accurately. Sometimes you can get a good idea of which team may win a particular game or even advance so far in a playoff series, but predicting sports is something which should probably be taken with a grain or two of salt.

Certainly predicting something such as the NBA draft can be nearly impossible. It was pretty clear that New Orleans was going to take Anthony Davis with the top pick last season. That's exactly what happened. Then, Charlotte selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second pick and a lot of the predictions -- or mock drafts -- basically flew out the window.

It's not always that easy. Go back to the Blazers now-infamous 2007 first selection. Right up to the time Greg Oden's name was announced, several of us weren't sure if it would be his name or Kevin Durant's we would hear. Never mind about the debate of "would've, could've, should've" for now. The point is who, if anyone will we draft with this year's selection at number 10?

Your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, far be it for me to not enter my own predictions into the pool. So, with that said ... Kassandra is on the clock.

Here are the selections for the first round of the 2013 NBA draft:

Nerlens Noel

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel (7'0" center, Kentucky) -- The Cavs could go a couple different ways with their second top pick in three years, but they're in it for the marathon; not the sprint. They take Noel even though he won't likely see game time until early 2014.

2. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore (6'5" guard, Kansas) -- They need to start somewhere, don't they? It's a pretty safe bet they will go with McLemore here. That is, if Cleveland doesn't surprise some by taking him at number one.

3. Washington Wizards: Cody Zeller (7'0" center, Indiana) -- What will help the Wizards the most is some big guys in the middle. Zeller has been rising in draft stock and he'll peak here.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Alex Len (7'1" center, Maryland) -- The Bobcats need a big guy inside and, while this may seem a bit high for Len to be selected, they jump at the chance to nab him.

5. Phoenix Suns: Otto Porter (6'9" small forward, Georgetown) -- The Suns are basically starting from scratch. Porter is a solid selection for them.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Victor Olapido (6'4" shooting guard, Indiana) -- Indiana's push through the NCAA tournament will seal the deal for Olapido here; he'll make immediate history by becoming the first-ever "Pelican" selected.

7. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett (6'7" small forward, UNLV) -- The Kings have guards and some promising big men. They'll take Bennett to fill the gap in between.

8. Detroit Pistons: Shabazz Mohammed (6'6" small forward, UCLA) -- The Pistons are set at the point and are happy with Andre Drummond, so they take Mohammed without blinking an eye.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kelly Olynyk (7'0" center, Gonzaga) -- David Khan is out of the land of lakes, so no point guards taken here. Olynyk gives them some depth behind both Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.

10. Portland Trail Blazers: Trey Burke (6'1" point guard, Michigan) -- Two years, two lottery picks, two point guards. Analysts will have been screaming after pick eight when he's still available. The Blazers will take him as Damian Lillard's backup and part-time backcourt partner.

Trey Burke

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Lucas Nogueira (7'0" center, Brazil) -- It's no secret that Andrew Bynum's health is one of the biggest questions in the entire league. Therefore, they select the Brazilian as a project with plans to develop him quickly.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams (7'0" center, Pittsburgh) -- The Thunder select Adams, who won't be asked to contribute immediately. They'll bring him along slowly.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Schroeder (6'2" point guard, Germany) -- The Mavs have Darren Collison, but can't pass up Schroeder's quickness and burst. In the least, this pick provides them some depth at the point.

14. Utah Jazz: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6'6" shooting guard, Georgia) -- The Jazz are looking for an exciting player who can put points on the board. That is Caldwell-Pope's pedigree and they take him rather quickly.

15. Milwaukee Bucks: Tony Snell (6'7" small forward, New Mexico) -- Milwaukee is loaded with bigs, and have Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick at the guard spots. Snell is a safe pick here.

16. Boston Celtics: Mason Plumlee (6'11" power forward, Duke) -- The Celtics are always looking for big guys; Plumlee is their guy.

17. Atlanta Hawks: Michael Carter-Williams (6'6" point guard, Syracuse) -- The Hawks are building and start with Carter-Williams in the backcourt.

18. Atlanta Hawks: Tim Hardaway, Jr. (6'6" shooting guard, Michigan) -- The build continues with this pick of Hardaway.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Dario Saric (6'10" power forward, Croatia) -- The Cavs have been building their team for a couple of years. Saric will be expected to back up Tristan Thompson.

20. Chicago Bulls: Shane Larkin (5'11" point guard, Miami) -- Going through a season without Derrick Rose showed the Bulls where they are most vulnerable. Larkin is selected to provide depth behind him.

21. Utah Jazz: Gorgui Dieng (6'11" center, Louisville) -- You can never have enough bigs and the Jazz are pleased at the chance to pick a national champion.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Rudy Gobert (7'2" center, France) -- The Nets could use some depth at several positions, but when the athletic Gobert is available, it doesn't take them long to pull the trigger.

23. Indiana Pacers: Giannis Adetokoubo (6'9" small forward, Greece) -- The Pacers are looking for a couple pieces to come off the bench to take the next step. Adetokoubo's comparisons to the Blazers' Nicolas Batum intrigues them.

24. New York Knicks: Tony Mitchell (6'9" power forward, North Texas) -- The Knicks fill some depth by taking Mitchell, an athletic player with solid skills.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Jeff Withey (7'0 center, Kansas) -- The Clips hope Withey can be brought along to spell DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lorenzo Brown (6'5" shooting guard, North Carolina St.) -- Minnesota likes Brown, who can provide some assistance off the bench as a true shooting guard.

27. Denver Nuggets: Sergey Karasev (6'7" small forward, Russia) -- The Nuggets love the opportunity to draft the Russian sharpshooter, who can play either wing position.

28. San Antonio Spurs : Allen Crabbe (6'6" shooting guard, California) -- The Spurs diversify the shooting guard position with Crabbe, who possesses a deadly outside shot.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Erick Green (6'3" point guard, Virginia Tech) -- Much like the Bulls, the Thunder saw what happens when your court general becomes injured. They fill some depth here with the selection of Green.

30. Phoenix Suns: Glen Rice, Jr. (6'6" shooting guard, NBA Developmental League) -- The Suns take a chance on Rice, who has D-League experience. He becomes the second "Jr." of a former NBA player taken in the first round (Hardaway).

That's it; the 30 picks of the first round -- exactly how they will be picked!

The Blazers are actually a bit new to the having the 10th selection in the first round. The only other time they were slotted to pick there was in 1980 when they selected Ronnie Lester, who was traded to Chicago. Other than that year, Portland has never selected in the 10th spot.

What will Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts do with the 10th pick?

Some other notable number 10 picks include: Gus Johnson, Paul Westphal, Johnny Dawkins, Kurt Thomas, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Paul George.
The Blazers have three second-round picks, though my feeling is that Neil Olshey will either trade some or all of them, or they will be used as draft-and-stash selections (players sent outside the NBA to hone their skills, a la Jon Diebler from a couple of years ago). Those Blazers second-round picks are numbers 39, 40 and 45.

Certainly, there's the possibility that the Blazers could trade the 10th pick (or any one or more of the second rounders). As much as we cannot predict the draft, we may just be able to predict that the Blazers will be very active on draft day.

The 2013 NBA draft will begin at 4 p.m., June 27, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be televised on ESPN.


In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever.
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  1. Hey Miss Kassandra; if my hints via Barrett's Blog speeded this up then Hip Hip Hurrah.

    Many players I had thought would be great for us, you have gone before we get a chance. That is why I said I have not clues, I can't pick someone if I have no idea if someone else will nab him first.

    Sense we need quality players on our bench, anybody we pick will be good for play or trade.

    by Hg on 6/9/2013 12:08 PM
  2. You think we are going to take a point guard? I was thinking we would take a shooting guard or center. It is like you said being anyone's guess. I think we will trade the pick though. Great job with the blog Kassandra!

    by Angi on 6/9/2013 2:48 PM
  3. Angi; IMO we will just take TBA, if that happens to be a Center, PG or inbetreen, as we need a bench of all players. I have heard that we may trade off our picks

    by Hg on 6/9/2013 11:00 PM
  4. Interesting breakdown but I don't think we'll draft Burke at 10. If we keep the 10th pick I don't see us chasing a rookie guard with it. Seems to me we have more need at the 2 guard and I want us to resign Maynor as the backup pt. If we draft a pt guard I think it'll be in the 2nd round. I think we'll look for a backup for Wesley that is a defensive minded 2 with 3pt range. The reason I don't think we'll draft a big early is I think we'll sign Jermaine O'neal as the 3rd big and go after a starting center leaving us pretty set in the frontcourt. Meyers will be our bench center. What we don't need is another Nolan Smith who was supposed to move the needle when he was drafted. Nolan also looked really good in college.

    by riverman on 6/10/2013 9:35 AM
  5. @Hg: i started this about a week ago and finished it over the weekend. i'm right in the middle of finals to i have to utilize my time wisely. i meant to get this done a couple weeks ago. i honestly think there's an 80 percent chance we trade the pick. i just don't see us getting what we need in the draft. if it were me, i'd try to get rid of all four of our picks and bring in some veterans (yes, Jermaine included). if we do select someone with the 10th pick, i think anyone could be a decent choice. the bottom line is, we have youth, we don't need more.

    @Angi: whenever i ask someone in Blazer land who we're going to pick, i get the same answer: the best player available. they never throw out a name or a couple names of possibilities. therefore, when i went down the list of players and got to our pick, i entered the name of the best player available. that's exactly why i put Burke's name in there. nothing would surprise me though; including, as i mentioned to Hg, trading the pick.

    @riverman: i just told my sister my reasoning behind putting in Burke's name there. as i was also telling Hg, i don't think we're going to be selecting anyone at this point. i really see this pick being traded. i'd almost be surprised if we have any rookie on the roster. the second rounders are more likely to be draft-and-stash guys or traded picks (really wouldn't surprise me if Olshey simply sold a couple of them like he did with that second rounder last year). honestly, i'm not all that excited about this draft. i would have preferred for us to lose this pick this year to charlotte so we wouldn't end up losing it in the future. i'm good with signing Jermaine. i'd also like to see us pick up another vet up front. as for drafting the shooting guard position, that pretty much eliminates the need for both Elliot and Will. well, either that, or trading Wesley and let someone else live with his inconsistency.

    by Kassandra on 6/10/2013 6:44 PM
  6. OMG! Miss Kassandra, I forgot all about EW, and how dare you trash talk my Wesley, LMAO. Wesley was acquired for his defense and relief for BRoy, and Batum was supposed to train for about 5 years, as we had Travis and Webster, so both of them has been inconsistent as they were pushed forward way to fast; in reality, I am OK with trading Matthews if it moves the needle, not because of his lack of shooting ability, What I am concerned about is trading him before we have a sure fire replacement; EW is still vastly unproven and as riverman said many players look good in college. In short, I agree with you in trading our picks for a solid veteran center and to Of course acquire Jermaine.

    IMO, everybody is falling in love with a dynamic back court duo as GS, Houston and others has proven to be effective. That is why I can’t disagree with MB in choosing CJ McCollum; as he is a high powered shooter, NBA ready and is endorsed by Lillard. In that respect we could go after a veteran Center and Jermaine, but as we agree who knows, plus of course BPA is in fundamental nature of the eyes of the beholder.

    Weird Harold knows U B busy with finals so I thank you for your time, and your choice.

    by Hg on 6/11/2013 5:06 AM
  7. Nice job Kass! Personally i think CJ McCollum is our guy if he is still available at pick 10, same goes with Trey Burke. However i still worry about our depth in the back court, with Hickson potentially leaving Portland I think we may well pick Cody Zeller if he is still on the board. On the other hand do we look at some experienced players to fill roster spots?

    by CamCripps3 on 6/11/2013 6:44 PM
  8. @CamCripps3blog
    We do need a rim protector, but IMO, we shouldn't go after one in the draft unless he is NBA ready; we already have a center in the makings and we have Joel Freeland that can play center; I am hoping for Jermaine O'Neal to give us post up and rim protection while Meyers is getting experience. Of course anybody in free agency or trade that can give us depth will be great also.

    I still feel as Kassandra, we pick for BPA or trade our picks for some Vets.

    by Hg on 6/12/2013 8:09 AM
  9. @Hg: I really like the sound of Jermaine O'Neal as we need more experienced players. Generally Centers take more time be find their place and feel confident in the NBA. I hope we are very active in free agency to add pieces, but i guess we will have to wait and see

    by CamCripps3 on 6/12/2013 7:10 PM
  10. I havent seen anyone who is NBA ready with maybe the exception of Steven Adams. We need another sg. Im still rooting for Elliot Williams to show me something.

    by commontongue on 6/13/2013 9:08 AM
  11. @Hg: i'm not trash talking Wesley. the fact is, he's never been a consistent player. he's supposed to be our lock-down defender, but this season, he was even delinquent in that role. he was never intended to be our starting shooting guard; he's more there by mere default. think of it this way: we will not contend for a championship with Wesley as our starter. as you know, i don't want to trade for the sake of just trading. i want us to get something valuable in return. i think we have the opportunity to do that with Wesley.

    @CamCripps: hey there! thanks! my feeling about this draft is that if we actually select a player, we could take just about anyone available. to be honest, if we select someone, i really don't know who would be on my wish list in such a weak draft. as Hg said, my feeling is to obtain our depth via free agency and the draft.

    @commontongue: i just don't have much faith in this draft. i don't think we're going to find a player which will make the difference we need. we need to shy away from adding more youth to the roster; we need some vets to come off the bench. i hope we give Elliot another shot, but i don't see that happening if we draft another shooting guard.

    by Kassandra on 6/15/2013 4:04 PM
  12. I feel that we must be very active in free agency so we can build our roster as im not sure what value we can get with our 2nd round picks in a weak draft.

    by CamCripps3 on 6/16/2013 3:46 AM
  13. We have future help in Meyers, Will Burton, hopefully EWilliams, Joel Freeland, Claver and such, so I agree totally with Kassandra, OK, Maybe part is the fear, I have of ruffling her feathers, but we do need some veteran power off the bench.

    We have Meyers as a project center, but I don't feel he is ready yet, and there are some bigs that can be a better rim protector at the present has many holes in their games that would make them a project also. I think we all agree that Jermaine O'Neil would be a welcome sight coming off the bench, but he is getting of long tooth and has many injuries, therefore we may need to go after a stop gap center still in his prime.

    I also reluctantly agree with you as Wesley being our starting 2GD, but we should keep him because of his work ethics and giving us a boost off the bench, both at SF and 2gd.

    But then again, what do I know, except I know we will be better next year with a little more experience and depth.

    by Hg on 6/16/2013 7:44 AM
  14. @CamCripps: that's exactly what i am thinking. there are some guys out there who could be viable options for us. sure there are a lot of teams looking, but that doesn't mean we aren't the team who can be successful in finding some bench talent. i have quite a bit of faith in Neil Olshey in this area.

    @Hg: $7 million a year (give or take) is a lot to be spending on a backup who thinks he's good enough to start. the thing is, if we draft a shooting guard, then we will have four of them (assuming we're counting Elliot, who is not under contract for next season). one would have to go.

    by Kassandra on 6/16/2013 10:49 AM
  15. @Kassandra: Touché

    by Hg on 6/16/2013 1:53 PM
  16. Miss Kassandra: There is one question I want to ask to get your opinion on.

    I have read that a power forward and a center needs to compliment each other; saying that one needs to be a force driving to the basket and what have you, and the other playing further out to spread the D of the opponents out. In that respect, LMA and Meyers would not be a good pair as they both are both more comfortable out at the elbow. Now JJ and LMA was a good pair and with a little more experience for both, Leonard and Freeland would be a good pair. So my question is wouldn't Jermaine and LMA in the starting five, since JJ probably won't return and he couldn't block shots, and have Leonard and as of what we have now, coming off the bench?
    what do you think, besides my thinking stinks LOL.

    by Hg on 6/17/2013 8:12 AM
  17. @Hg: this is all a gray area to me. there are a couple ways i could go here. i'm less concerned about the offensive end of the court than the defensive end. over the next couple of years, Meyers has the opportunity to learn to play closer to the basket more often. i think that needs to be a priority in his development. both LaMarcus and Meyers can go to the basket when needed. as long as we have a couple of guards who can drive inside, i think that will be all right. if we were to sign Jermaine, i could see him starting at the beginning of the season. Meyers will get his time out there, which he should. i suppose it all comes down to Meyers' development. for one, i think he's up to it.

    by Kassandra on 6/17/2013 7:41 PM
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