Bennett Surprise No. 1, Noel Falls To Sixth In Craziest Top Of Draft In Years

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — So much for all of those mock drafts that had Nerlens Noel as the consensus No. 1 pick.

Noel didn’t land anywhere near the top spot in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Anthony Bennett of UNLV was the stunner No. 1 pick — only Hall of Famer Sam Smith of had Bennett pegged for the top spot heading into the festivities. Noel’s upside simply could not match the NBA readiness of a rugged power forward like Bennett, who is viewed by many insiders as the one player in this Draft class who can make an immediate impact for a team trying to transition from the lottery to the playoffs.

Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Cody Zeller and Alex Len all came off the board before Noel.

It wasn’t until the sixth pick that Noel was picked, going to the New Orleans Pelicans where it was assumed he would form a wicked shot-blocking duo with another former Kentucky Wildcat, second-year forward Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 Draft. He even bragged about the block party he and Davis would throw in the Big Easy.

That was minutes before word spread that the Pelicans were moving Noel to Philadelphia for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and a first-round pick in the 2014 Draft (a trade that has not yet been confirmed).

The deal makes sense for Pelicans, who have no need for two slender power forwards who will not be able to hold down the middle as undersized centers. Noel’s drop came out of nowhere and no doubt had to do with concerns about the knee he’s rehabbing, the one that cost him most of his lone season at Kentucky.

But as we’ve seen many times before, once a player projected to go high in the Draft starts dropping, other teams start running away from that player for fear of something they’ve missed in their own vetting process.

This has been easily the craziest top 10 of a NBA Draft in recent memory, complete with the No. 7 pick being Ben McLemore, a player once thought to be a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick, and No. 8 pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope joining Bennett in crashing the top of the lottery on Draft night after being further down the list on most mock drafts heading into the night.

The craziness at the top makes things much more interesting for the rest of the first round, since someone who was projected to go higher will no doubt drop into someone’s lap in the bottom half of the lottery and beyond.


  1. bballman says:

    “The Draft mistreated Noel”???? WTF r u talking about patty numbnuts? Since when does the honor of being selected by a professional sports team owe anybody anything? Apparently you are easily influenced by media in your life and know zero about bball or drafting or team needs etc. By the time Noel establishes any kind of offensive game his rookie contract will be up and then probably go the free agent route and then where will the cavs or any other top 5 team pick be? They would have likely wasted 4 years developing this guy Noel only to see him go the free agent route. Anthony Bennett is ready to contribute NOW. He needs to work on his defense but that is a much quicker fix than trying to develop an offensive game that may or may not ever arrive with Noel. Until that time why waste a No 1 pick on a Dikembe Mutombo type player. What’s your address so I can send you an invoice for common sense so you can remove yourself from the idiot wrapped in a moron shell?

  2. dennis says:

    miami really needs a big man just to man the middle, they will meet indiana again and thats the fact, that time indiana will be ready for them. im a big heat fan, i dont want to see them struggle yet again against this team. But please not Howard, although very unlikely, we dont want a drama queen. i would rather choose michael collins over dwight, a real queen instead, how about that.

  3. kyrie says:

    I like the Bennett pickup for the Cavs… especially if he’s playing with this kid.

  4. Lakers4life says:

    Wow that draft was full of BS.The Pelicans shouldn’t trade him yet you never know how good he will be.

  5. NUGGETSFAN says:

    Crazy draft!!!!!!!!!!!!1 winners? Pelicans, get allstar pg Jrue Holidy

  6. justsayin says:

    Nerlens drafted by ‘Nawlins, comedy gold. How could they trade him with that home marketing potential?

    Oh an all-star pg and picks…

  7. Boomahly says:

    This is a turmoil!!!!

  8. Diyi Zhang says:

    I did not got chance to watch the Draft Pick of 2013, and I don’t have any clue how good the players are, but after I saw the sad face of Nerlens, I think he would had a chance to win it…

  9. TTKIN says:

    Anyone else think they might use Bennet in a sign and trade next year to get Lebron?

    Is that even possible haha?

  10. DMC12 says:

    Noel will be useless. Considering his injury.

  11. tv63 says:

    Second video is incorrect having Noel And Davis playing side by side. Noel is a 76er.

  12. tv63 says:

    You need to remove this video. It’s completely wrong talking about Noel and Davis side by side playing. Noel is a 76’er now.

  13. Hey says:

    Why did bobcats not take Noel?

  14. HeyHey says:

    Choosing Bennett over Ben McLemore, What the F!!

  15. Miami Heat BIG fan says:


  16. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    Hey Pat, the team needs a center and Noel could be the answer! Here’s why:
    *Young Player
    *Shot blocker(good interior defense, which means the answer for defending Roy Hibbert and Tim Duncan in which the Heat struggled)
    *Possibility of long term contract(if the team wins championships, he would like to stay and possibly be the future key to the team’s success)

    • Miami has won back to back titles, and you would have to be inept to think Miller wasn’t a big part of that.
      I would not trade, amnesty, cut Miller, the fans love him(and believe it or not, the fans pay the bills). Plus he has a crucial role on this team, when you have a shooter that spreads the floor the way he does, everyone else gets better looks. Noel is a gamble, he could go either way, but he will have to make sure to leave his ego at the door, and put his heart on the floor no matter where he plays, and make the other 5 teams regret they didn’t pick him. I think he will be a decent player in the league, but I don’t think he will be the caliber Anthony Davis will be when all is said and done.

  17. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    Ooops, I didn’t see my first comment there 😀

  18. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    NERLENS NOEL- If only he is acquired by the Miami Heat in exchange for Mike Miller(rather than using an amnesty clause in which rumours say) plus a future first round draft pick, he’ll be the BIG answer in the team’s lack of size and interior defense. Chris Bosh will then be moved back to Power Forward position, yey!

    Then the line-ups will be exciting: 😀
    Starting line-up: Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, Noel
    Bench line-up: Cole, Allen(if he stays), Battier, Haslem, Andersen(hope he’ll be resigned)

    As for the young team(either the Pelicans or the76ers who has Noel) that will receive Miller, he can be their young team’s mentor plus his deadly 3-point shooting. The team can also have more opportunities in terms of rebuilding if they do take advantage of the future draft pick they received and by using it WISELY for the team’s future.

  19. J says:

    i only watched till about no 9 cause all the players i was waiting to see were gone

  20. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    NERLENS NOEL – the BIG answer for Miami’s lack of size and interior defense. I hope Mike Miller would rather be used to acquire Noel plus a future first round pick than just amnestying Miller in which the rumours say 😉 …

    Then the Miami Heat’s line-ups would be exciting: 😀
    Starting Line-up: Chalmers, Wade, James , Bosh(he’ll be finally back into P.F. position), Noel(young center and a good shot blocker)
    Bench Line-up: Cole, Allen(plz resign him), Battier, Haslem, Andersen(plz let him stay)

    As for the 76ers, they’ll have someone who is veteran in the league(he can be their young team’s mentor) yet still can shoot 3-pointers. They also have a future first round pick to be theirs and hope not to be traded to another team coz it’s from the “Nerlens Noel Deal”.

    • 100% PELICAN says:

      You forgot that the traid is waiting for confirmation. I hope he stays in New Orleans coz I want Noel and and Anthony Davis to be the future ‘TWIN TOWERS’ and help the team dominate in the Western Conference. 🙂

    • Bulls Fan says:

      If he were to go to Miami I highly doubt he would be starting, considering his acl is still not fully healed.

    • David says:

      I don’t see what NO would get out of this? Washed up Mike Miller and a terrible draft pick (since miami will likely continue to have incredible seasons in the future) , for their #5 pick, a solid young big ? You don’t make any sense, this would only benefit Miami

    • Rudolph James Patten says:

      Ray Allen is already signed for this upcoming season, he just has the option of opting out early which i dont i think he will do, i believe he’ll be back…

  21. dahdah says:

    that why they didnt pick noel… they scared he might be useless.. like oden,.. coz of the knee injury

  22. natan says:

    anthony benet !

  23. Patty says:

    It was wrong to take Bennett over Noel. The NBA Draft mstreated Noel.

    NBA Draft, you will have to look your selves in the face over this one.

    • JRKIPAT says:


    • Chris from Germany says:

      I dont think so. Well it was a surprise for sure, but Noel raised too many doubts about his bad knee(s) and if you are Cleveland, on the edge of making a playoff push, you want to draft a guy that can contribute right away without the risk of missing out on Noel in case, his knees do not heal properly (check Greg Oden for example).

      I like the pick. But I didnt understand what was going on after that. Not taking Noel first mixed up the draft entirely. What was going on, not taking McLemore until 7th pick?!

      • NBAFans says:

        you got it dude! because the knee injury , that’s the reason why cavs select A.Bennett !
        just like greg oden!