2013 NBA Draft

These Draft Moves Made The Most Impact

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. – These five Draft decisions that will have the greatest impact:

1. Jrue Holiday and a 2013 second-round pick to the Pelicans, Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-rounder to the 76ers

It’s No. 1 by a wide margin, too, swaying the fortunes not only of two teams, but two conferences. Philadelphia is out of the playoff business for a while after finishing all of four games out in 2012-13 despite Andrew Bynum on the sidelines and coach Doug Collins heading for the exit. Instead of an All-Star at point guard and the chance to use the No. 11 pick Thursday night for a big to either replace the unrestricted free-agent Bynum or help at power forward — perhaps by drafting Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk or Lucas Nogueira — the Sixers have Noel as a rookie, who does not expect to play until around Christmas because of a knee injury. The Sixers also have point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who was selected with the 11th pick.

The first-rounder next year, in a draft that projects as much more stacked than the 2013 class without a star presence, is a nice get for the 76ers, though. It is protected, depending on the report, either through three or through five.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, take a significant step forward with the addition of the point guard they had been lacking. Austin Rivers, the 2012 lottery pick, is better suited as a combo guard anyway and now is part of the Holiday-Eric Gordon pairing that will headline one of the best backcourts in the league if Gordon stays healthy. Anthony Davis remains a potential star of the future at power forward.

2. Wizards select Otto Porter at No. 3

It was the predictable call since 15 seconds after the lottery, and it was the right call. It was the call, more specifically, that vaults Washington into playoff mode.

The Wizards were already one of the best teams in the East the second half of last season, once John Wall got healthy and even with an early end to the rookie season of Bradley Beal because of injury. Now, with the position of need addressed Thursday, they have Wall at point guard, Beal at shooting guard, Porter at small forward and Nene and Emeka Okafor at power forward and center. That works.

Porter isn’t the difference maker, but he is the ideal fit in the same way he would have been a reasonable choice for Cleveland at No. 1: he is capable of stepping into the NBA now, he helps the spot the Wizards needed and he’s an ideal complementary player who will make valuable contributions to Wall and Beal’s continued rise. Porter will defend, pass, rebound and shoot with range. The things that get a team to the playoffs.

3. Bucks select Giannis Antetokounmpo at No. 15

It’s not that Milwaukee went small forward four days before three guards — Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick (unrestricted) and Brandon Jennings (restricted) — hit free agency. Other teams steered away from Dennis Schroeder, Shane Larkin, Tony Snell and others. And it’s not that Milwaukee saw into the future with a unique opportunity for a 6-foot-9 potential point forward with a good feel for the game despite little experience in Greece and even less against anything close to the equivalent of Division I competition in U.S. colleges.

It’s that the Bucks don’t have what Antetokounmpo needs more than anything: time. He has to get stronger, adjust to the physical nature and speed of the game here and develop a jumper. One scout who saw him, asked how long before Antetokounmpo makes an impact in the NBA, said, “Three, four years. Maybe five.” Others think it’s a lot shorter than that, but that still means two years.

If he contributes in 2013-14, the vast majority of front offices will be surprised. Meanwhile, the Bucks need to stay in the playoff picture, not build something for the future. They are about now and he isn’t.

4. Trail Blazers select C.J. McCollum at 10, Allen Crabbe at 31 and Jeff Withey at 39

This is a consolation prize? Portland missed on the dream Draft-night outcome of trading for a veteran center, yet it still addressed a major needs. With three picks capable of contributing — yes, even the second-rounders — the Blazers made a significant step toward toward erasing their depth issues last season.

McCollum, who has spent the pre-Draft process comparing himself to Damian Lillard as a mid-major product trying to prove he can be a point guard and not just a scorer, now works behind Lillard. And maybe with him — both can play off the ball. Crabbe is a shooting specialist who was getting looks from teams in the teens. Withey is a value find at 39, an experienced shot-blocking center who should be able to play right away and very realistically could have a career as a backup despite being a second-rounder.

5. Mavericks trade down twice

It’s not about what they got. It’s about what they didn’t get. A larger payroll.

Shane Larkin, whom Dallas got in a swap with Atlanta, is as the possible point guard of the future. Possible because there is no such thing as roster certainty heading into this critical free-agent summer.

By starting with the 13th pick and trading with the Celtics to No. 16 and then trading with the Hawks to end up at 18 and taking Larkin, the Mavericks saved $1.09 million in rookie-scale salary. That creates more cap space. Dwight Howard likes cap space.

A Draft Night Unlike Any Other

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NEW YORK – We need to wait for the Earth to stop spinning three times the speed of light for the official analysis. But for now, there is the detailed breakdown of the draft in technical terms:

Wow.

Everyone knew going in the only predictable part about Thursday night at Barclays Center would be the unpredictability, and still it was a jolt. It was so swirling that the player the NBA previously referred to as Giannis Adetokunbo became Giannis Antetokounmpo by the time he, Giannis A., went to the Bucks at No. 15. It was so upside down that Hakeem Olajuwon, the first player announced by new commissioner David Stern in 1984, was back on stage — famous red bow tie and all — either as the full-circle sendoff to Stern’s final draft or because Olajuwon could still get backup minutes for about 60 percent of the teams.

There has never been a hectic draft like it. The line of possibilities for Cleveland, with the wide-open first pick, were long in a year with no obvious choice — which is a kind way of saying no one deserved it. Then, when his name was called, Anthony Bennett was taken aback anyway.

“I’m just as surprised as everyone else,” said the UNLV power forward with the versatile offensive game. “I didn’t really have any idea who’s going No. 1 or who was going No. 2. I heard everything was up for grabs. But I’m just real happy, glad that I have this opportunity, and I just got to thank God for everything.”

It was a surprise because most other front offices had it down to a race among Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Alex Len, but hardly a reach. Bennett was the third-best prospect on the board in the estimation of some teams, and the Cavaliers do have a history of making the bold move, as in Tristan Thompson at No. 4 in 2011. Now, Bennett and Thompson will be competing for at least a portion of the minutes.

There were the trades. Dallas, trying to shave as much money as possible to build the war chest for free agency, moved from 13 to 16 and then from 16 to 18 before keeping Shane Larkin. How very NFL draft of them. Golden State went from not having any picks to buying No. 26, trading back to 29 and then trading back to 30 and taking Nemanja Nedoovic.

Then there were the surprises. No one could have imagined the Bobcats spending No. 4 on Cody Zeller until word of the possibility leaked earlier in the day. Noel, arguably the best prospect of all, lasting until the Pelicans at No. 6. McLemore, ditto, lasting until the Kings at No. 7.

There was also the really big surprise. Noel to the 76ers for Jrue Holiday as the point-guard solution in New Orleans and a pick in the loaded 2014 draft that is only top-three protected. Nice work by the Pelicans.

Hectic? On what would have been one of the busiest nights for the league anyway, the seismic shift of the Celtics continued with reports of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry being traded to the Nets, who play in the arena where the draft was being held. Two future Hall of Famers and Brooklyn redoubling efforts to make a push in the Eastern Conference, that’s all.

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Meanwhile, out on the main stage, Trey Burke had been taken ninth by the Timberwolves. Unexpected, number one. And traded to the Jazz? Unexpected part two.

“Well,” he said, “it was kind of a shocker that the Timberwolves selected me. So I was kind of thrown off a little bit. I was happy at the same time. I was excited. I got to walk across the stage that I’ve been watching since I was a little kid. Once I found out I was getting traded, it was kind of like, ‘What do I do?’ I had the hat on and everything. So I really didn’t know what to do. They told me to sit in the back room until it was confirmed. Now that it’s confirmed, I’m happy to be in Utah.”

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Being settled is a good thing, too. Especially on this night.

A Day Of Change In The Atlantic

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NEW YORK – The new Atlantic Division is going to take some getting used to.

It’s just a couple of months removed from the Boston Celtics not winning the division for the first time in five years. And now, we have Boston playing a season without Paul Pierce for the first time this century.

In a blockbuster deal that can’t go through until July 10, Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry are coming to Brooklyn in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and three first-round picks. The deal has to wait until the 10th – the end of the free agency moratorium period – because Bogans has to be signed to a new contract first. (Nets GM Billy King met with the media Thursday night, but when asked about the moves he made, only spoke of draft pick Mason Plumlee.)

After a somewhat disappointing first season in their new home, the Nets are pushing forward and willing to pay a huge luxury tax bill. Their new starting lineup – Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez – is set to make more than $82 million next season. Mikhail Prokhorov’s bankroll knows no limits and King isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on major deals.

As long as they’re mostly healthy and kept fresh throughout the season, Pierce and Garnett will make the Nets better. Pierce gives them much better spacing and shooting at small forward than Wallace did, and Garnett is obviously a huge defensive upgrade for a team that ranked 19th on that end of the floor last season. Along with new coach Jason Kidd, the old Celtics will give the Nets some much-needed character and toughness.

The Celtics are obviously taking a huge step backward. Danny Ainge has finally hit the reset button on his roster, and rightfully so. Boston was a mediocre squad (and rather dreadful offensively) even before Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in late January. With no guarantee that Rondo will be 100 percent next season, no way to make significant improvements with Pierce’s and Garnett’s salaries still on the payroll, and a strong draft class coming up in 2014, now is the right time to be bad.

The Philadelphia 76ers are clearly ready to be bad, too, sending 24-year-old All-Star Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for the draft rights to Nerlens Noel (the No. 6 pick in Thursday’s draft) and the Hornets’ 2014 first round pick. So, Philly will rebuild with (likely) four Lottery picks in two years, including Michael Carter-Williams, who they selected at No. 11 on Thursday and who replaces Holiday at point guard.

With how bad they’ll be next season, the Sixers will have a decent chance to get the much-hyped Andrew Wiggins with next year’s No. 1 pick. New GM Sam Hinkie was quick to put his imprint on the franchise and is clearly willing to wait to see his plan come to fruition. Just 10 1/2 months after trading for Andrew Bynum, Philly is going in a whole new direction. And it may be the closest any team has come to replicating the method in which the Oklahoma City Thunder built a championship contender.

For now, the Celtics and Sixers will be buried near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, while the Nets and Knicks reside somewhere near the top and the Toronto Raptors hope that a full season of Rudy Gay can get them back to the playoffs.

It will be a very different Atlantic Division come October, but it’s hard to argue with the moves made by the three teams in question. Brooklyn’s success obviously hinges on the health of Pierce and Garnett, but they didn’t give up much in terms of warm bodies to get them, they upgraded at both forward positions, and the picks they gave up will likely be in the 20s. They’re always willing to buy additional picks if they need to.

The Celtics are taking a step backward at the right time. And the Sixers weren’t going far with Holiday and Thaddeus Young as their best players. No one knows how good either team will be three or four years from now, but hitting the floor now gives them higher ceilings down the line.

In one day, the Atlantic Division underwent major changes that will be felt for a long time.

Bulls’ Pick Of Snell Keeps Deng Guessing

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DEERFIELD, Ill.
– Chicago forward Luol Deng got neither a trade nor a contract extension by the end of NBA business late on Draft night Thursday, which should only make his summer more, um, compelling.

That’s a fill-in-the-blank euphemism for the crossroads at which Deng finds himself at age 28.

Deng, the Bulls’ two-time All-Star, has been coach Tom Thibodeau‘s most leaned-upon player for the past three years, at both ends of the floor and through the teams’ many injuries (Deng plays hurt more than any other Bull and most of his NBA peers). During the season, that makes him invaluable on the floor and in the locker room.

During the offseason, though, that makes him an asset. And that’s how Deng was being assessed, evaluated, sliced and diced as the draft approached.

Some reports had the Bulls talking about a deal with Washington that would have sent Deng to the Wizards for the No. 3 pick and Emeka Okafor – Washington took Otto Porter Jr. with the third pick instead. Okafor and Deng, meanwhile, went nowhere.

Other reports suggested that Deng was in negotiations with Chicago brass for a contract extension, presumably something that would bring his annual salary down from the $14.2 million he’ll earn in 2013-14 – down, that is, if Deng wanted to stick with the Bulls.

With Derrick Rose ($18.8 million), Carlos Boozer ($16.8 million), Joakim Noah ($12.2 million) and Taj Gibson ($8 million) on the books for $55.8 million in 2014-15 – Boozer as an amnesty candidate – Chicago is sensitive to payroll, cap and luxury-tax implications for the summer of 2014 and beyond.

But the extension talks were swatted down by Deng’s agent, Herb Rudoy, early in the week.

Then with the No. 20 pick Thursday, Chicago drafted 6-foot-7 New Mexico wingman Tony Snell, described in NBA shorthand as a “3&D” guy. That puts him in the Bulls team photo next to 6-foot-7 wingman Jimmy Butler, who showed some of the same skills in a breakout second season in 2012-13. Butler is heavier on the ‘D,’ still developing on the 3 but based on his performance after the All-Star break and against Brooklyn and Miami in the playoffs, he already has been inked into the starting backcourt spot next to Rose.

Snell – touted for his 6-foot-11 wingspan, 8-9 standing reach, 9-inch hand length and 4.9% body fat – was a high school teammate of San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard in Riverside, Calif., but is only four months younger than the Spurs forward, who already has logged two NBA seasons and one stellar Finals. So we’ll skip any comparisons there.

We won’t make any to Deng, either, a heady, selfless player finds ways to caulk around whatever his Chicago teammates are or aren’t providing on a given night. But Deng got ill in the playoffs, followed by a spinal tap to rule out meningitis and complications from that procedure, ending his postseason. That gave them another taste of life without the 6-foot-8 veteran – and life went on.

Washington, its roster so young, could use a veteran such as Deng, same as several other teams. Deng, a proud man, deserves to be appreciated for all he’s done and keeps doing for the Bulls. That’s a long shot, given management’s budget red lines and some fans’ vocal treatment of the South Sudan gentleman during some earlier periods of contract wrangling and under-performance.

Deng’s heavy minutes through a bum wrist and other ailments also have left him feeling a little taken for granted. And the front office’s apparent determination to keep its powder dry for 2014 and beyond – despite Rose’s eagerness and various opportunities and vulnerabilities in the Eastern Conference – might make younger, cheaper facsimiles look awfully attractive.

“We value Luol as you all know,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said late Thursday. “Luol’s a big piece of what we’re doing. He’s been a big piece of the success we’ve had the last couple years. And he’ll continue to be a big piece of what we do moving forward.”

Deng and his future in Chicago (or elsewhere) is as good a barometer for the Bulls in 2013-14 as anything this offseason.

Brooklyn Boos, Cheers, Visit From Dream Mark Stern’s Final Go-Round At Draft




BROOKLYN — Thursday’s NBA Draft marked the first time the Draft was held in Brooklyn, but it also signaled the final Draft for outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern. And Stern, perhaps even more than usual, seemed to enjoy himself all evening.

Every year at the Draft, fans seem to relish the opportunity to boo the Commissioner in person. The annual boos have no real context — at this point, it’s basically just a tradition unlike any other. And Stern, to his credit, seems to understand and embrace this.

When he was booed upon taking the stage, Stern said, “Good evening, and thanks for that fantastic Brooklyn welcome.” From then on, Stern punctuated the evening with pregnant pauses, giving fans a chance to expand their lungs, as the Commissioner acknowledged that “haters gonna hate. At times he even encouraged the interaction, waving a hand to tell fans to keep it up. As the first round drew to a close but the boos continued, Stern cracked perhaps his best line of the evening: “We had to explain to our international viewers that the boos represent respect.”

In a roundabout way, Stern was able to use that crack to reference one of his proudest accomplishments — the worldwide growth of the NBA under his watch. This year, there were a record 12 international players selected in the first round of this season’s Draft.

To end the evening, and put a capper on Stern’s final Draft, Stern was joined by incoming Commissioner Adam Silver and given a surprise visit from the first person he introduced at his first Draft 30 years ago, Hakeem Olajuwon. Fitting that we had to be in Brooklyn to remember it was all a Dream.


Stern’s First And Last Draft (Video)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – You can boo him all you want, but NBA Commissioner David Stern went out in style in his last NBA Draft.

Thirty years after announcing Hakeem Olajuwon as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 Draft, Stern got a surprise visit from The Dream as he announced the last pick in the first round of his last Draft.

It was a classy end to a 30-year run (including some 839 first round picks announced by Stern) the likes of which we might never see again:



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 Bulls.com 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.


The Previous Noel-Len Showdown

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NEW YORK – Nov. 9, 2012, in Brooklyn of all places in a great alignment of history. Kentucky vs. Maryland.

Nerlens Noel vs. Alex Len.

It was the first game of the season for both schools and the first step in Len blossoming into a top-10 pick… and the first head-to-head showdown with Noel. The second is in a few hours, with both big men vying to become the Cavaliers’ choice for the No. 1 pick in a very uncertain draft to be held in the same Barclays Center as the meeting in 7 1/2 months ago.

To say the November matchup will become a defining moment for what happens tonight is wrong. That would be overstating a situation that also includes reviewing important medical reports and the obligatory background checks. But it would be fair to say the tape has received a very, very thorough review by teams picking in the top five.

Len, a sophomore center, had 23 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs at the time, in 32 minutes. Noel, a freshman power forward, contributed four points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes in his college debut to Kentucky’s 72-69 victory.

“It seems like a long time ago,” Len said. “But it was a great game. It was the first game of the season. I was mad because we lost, but it was a great game for me. I could show that I had potential to be an NBA player.”

He didn’t stop showing it. Len averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 26.4 minutes while shooting 68.6 percent and leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in blocks. He played his way from promising big man to certain top-10 pick to a very good chance for the top five and maybe even the first choice, starting with Nov. 9 in Brooklyn.

Hit And Miss: The Cavaliers’ 40-Year Draft History Has A Bit Of Everything!





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Teams use all sorts of information to guide them during the Draft process.

Everything from analytics to eye-witness accounts to brain waves (in Boston) to studying a guy’s tattoos is used as a way to gain insight into what sort of projection a team can make on a particular player.

It wasn’t always this complicated. There was a time when the recommendation of the right scout or college coach, along with a standout career in the college ranks, was enough to convince a team that they’d found their man.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 40-year history of hit-and-miss first-round picks that span the entire spectrum of the Draft process, dating back to 1970 and then 1971 with their selection of Austin Carr as the No. 1 overall pick. Nearly every uptick in their franchise history is tied to the work they did well in the Draft,  from Brad Daughtery in 1986 to LeBron James in 2003 to Kyrie Irving in 2011 and whatever they do with the No. 1 overall pick tonight.

The Cavaliers have a chance to change the course of their franchise history once again, provided they do the right thing with the pick tonight and that player they get turns out to be like Daughtery or James and not one of their many lottery misses over the years (apologies to Trajan LangdonLuke Jackson, DaJuan Wagner, DeSagana Diop and several others who, for various reasons, never lived up to their Draft hype).

With that said, the Cavaliers have had more hits than misses if you grade out their Draft history since 1971, as The Plain Dealer‘s Mike Peticca did this morning.

In addition to those overall No. 1 picks they hit on, the Cavaliers can boast of drafting the likes of John Johnson (sixth overall) in 1970, Campy Russell (eighth) in 1974, Ron Harper (eighth) in 1986, Kevin Johnson (seventh) in 1987, Terrell Brandon (11th) in 1991,  Zydrunas Ilgauskas (20th) in 1996 and Andre Miller (eighth) in 1999.

For every miss the Cavaliers have at least one hit, which is a pretty solid track record for a franchise with decades of Draft history. We can only speculate how different things might have been if the focus and attention to detail on the Draft was as meticulous 40 years ago as it is now (not that combing through every bit of minutiae prevents a team from making a Draft night blunder or two) …

Porter The Right Choice For Cavaliers

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NEW YORK – Say it out loud. Write it in Comic Sans.

Georgetown small forward Otto Porter is the best fit for the Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

He isn’t the popular choice. He isn’t the best prospect in the wide-open field, a title that belongs to Kentucky power forward Nerlens Noel or Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, according to a consensus of front offices, with Maryland center Alex Len also in the conversation. By that assessment, he isn’t even the best prospect coming out of the D.C. area.

But Porter is the best call.

He knows because he has studied it. He has looked at the Cavaliers roster and come to the accurate conclusion. Rising star Kyrie Irving at the point, Dion Waiters at shooting guard, Tristan Thompson heading toward averaging double-digit rebounds at power forward leaves one spot in particular.

“They’re missing a piece,” Porter said Wednesday at a Midtown hotel during a media session with top prospects prior to the draft Thursday night in Brooklyn. “I feel like that’s where I come into play.”

The Cavaliers could also be missing a starting center, depending on the development of Tyler Zeller after a rookie season of 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 25.4 minutes, not to mention the boost to the big-man rotation with the expected return of Anderson Varejao. That’s where Len comes into play. But Len, for all the praise that has come his way in the vacuum of the underwhelming 2013 class, wouldn’t have been close to the debate for No. 1 a year ago or, likely, a year from now. He might not be a dramatic upgrade from Zeller/Varejao, and Cleveland could have the chance to go power forward-center among several possibilities that will realistically be on the board at 19.

Porter at No. 1 also makes sense because the Cavs don’t worry about public opinion, a reality never more obvious than ignoring conventional wisdom in 2011 by using the fourth pick on Thompson. Not caring about winning the news conference would be especially beneficial during the reaction to a lottery regular using the first pick on someone other than the best player.

The best perspective? If Cleveland had No. 3 instead and took Porter, it would be commended for making the right move, just as the Wizards, also needing a small forward, will be if they take Porter. Two spots is not a reach.

And it’s not like the Cavaliers would be turning their back on some super-prospect to take him, given the concerns surrounding the players at the top of most ratings. The solid pick isn’t such a bad concept in a year when the lottery picks have big holes, and that is solid in a good way. Teams are not projecting Porter as an All-Star, usually the minimum return on a No. 1, but he defends, passes, rebounds, has three-point range, a good basketball IQ, is 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds, and had two seasons as a prominent part of a major program that faced top competition, including 2012-13 as Big East Player of the Year.

“I feel like that my game and my versatility, what I do, I feel like it deserves No. 1,” Porter said. “I feel that I have the best fit to be No. 1.”

There. Someone said it out loud.