NBA Draft Provides Shocking Picks and Big Trades

The NBA held their annual draft last night, and it was a night of shocking picks, big trades, and drama all around.  The Cleveland Cavaliers had the 1st overall pick and started the night in a way that no one could have predicted, taking forward Anthony Bennett out of UNLV.

All the way up to the night of the draft, most analysts believed that the Cavaliers would take Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky.  Those who differed usually had the Cavs taking Alex Len.  In our review of 161 Mock Drafts posted at our friends at DCprosportsreport, we found only 3 prognosticators who saw Bennett as the 1st overall pick.

Bennett, a Brampton, Ontario native became the first ever Canadian selected first overall in the NBA draft.  He joins Tristan Thomas in Cleveland who was the 4th overall pick in 2011, and held the record for highest ever Canadian selected before last night.  Andrew Wiggins of the Univesity of Kansas is an early favorite to be the 2nd Canadian drafted first overall.  The recent picks show a resurgence of the sport in Canada.

However the surprises didn’t end with Bennett.  After the Orlando Magic made Victor Oladipo out of Indiana the second overall pick, and the Washington Wizards took Otto Porter out of Georgetown, in somewhat expected moves. We then had our next shocker as the Charlotte Bobcats took Oladpio’s teammate, Cody Zeller.   At fifth overall Len went to the Phoenix Suns.

The expected number 1, Noel, was finally taken by the New Orleans Pelicans at 6th overall.  However after giving an interview about how much he’d like to play in New Orleans, and how he would team with Anthony Davis to create the “Block Party”, we soon learned that Noel was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, along with New Orleans 2014 first round pick, for all-star Philadelphia Guard Jrue Holliday .  It was the first of many trades.

Watching the interview and the subsequent trade, the question must be asked, why don’t NBA teams just trade draft picks, instead of drafting the player and trading him after.  At least then when the player is interviewed he knows what team he is going to, and we don’t have the situation of seeing him celebrate joining the Pelicans, only to see him traded shortly thereafter.

Other drafted and then traded prospects included #9 Trey Burke who was drafted by Minnesota and traded to Utah, for #14 Shabazz Muhammad and #21 Gorgui Dieng.

However the biggest trade of the night saw the dismantling of the Boston Celtics.  While not yet officially confirmed.  Reports at the draft suggest that the Celtics have traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, the expiring deal of Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks.

The move signals a full rebuild in Boston, who also allowed Ray Allen to leave for Miami last summer, and have now let Doc Rivers go to the L.A. Clippers.  The only remaining member of the 2008 NBA Championship team is point guard Rajon Rondo.

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