Alrighty then. We’re down to the week before the draft, and the rumors are beginning to fly in a fast and furious nature. This guy’s hot, that guys dropping, this team is looking to trade for a veteran, that team is looking to trade a veteran for a pick. What to do, what to do? Lawdy, Lawdy, what to do?!?
At times like these, I like to simplify! So I distilled it down to seven prospects, which is a big mistake since we know that all seven of these guys will not go in the top seven. It just never works out that way. So if you want to not waste your time, stop reading now. But if you’re at work and you have nothing better to do, follow me as I lay out a dozen scenarios of what might happen when all seven of these guys get drafted within the first seven picks (ha!) and there are no trades to throw a wrench in the top seven picks (ha!! and ha!!!). The magnificent seven are Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Otto Porter, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, and Trey Burke. As a reminder, the draft order is Cleveland, Orlando, Washington, Charlotte, Phoenix, New Orleans and Sacramento. The following scenarios are in no particular order of likelihood, other than they all have an equal chance of never happening.
Scenario #1: Noel, McLemore, Bennett, Len, Oladipo, Porter, Burke. Of note here is that Otto Porter drops to sixth, as the Wizards determine to draft the stretch four that John Wall is lusting for. Charlotte likes Len and doesn’t mind another season of suckitude while Len rehabs, and Phoenix zeroes in on Oladipo, meaning that both Porter and Burke are on the board with the Kings on deck. The Pelicans opt for Otto, and Trey Burke is a Sacramento King.
Scenario #2: Noel, McLemore, Bennett, Len, Oladipo, Burke, Porter. Same scenario as above, except that the Pelicans are more enamored with Burke than Porter (the Pelicans SBNation site likes Burke bery, bery much. That puts Otto Porter in Kings purple, much to the surprise and delight of many Kings fans.
Scenario #3: Len, Noel, Bennett, Oladipo, McLemore, Porter, Burke. In this scenario, Cleveland chooses Len with the #1 pick, and Orlando happily snaps up Noel. Bennett again fulfills Wall’s wishes. The lack of "hunger" that has been noted in McLemore doesn’t scare off most teams, but most teams aren’t owned by Michael Jordan, who won’t touch Big Ben with a ten foot pole. Oladipo to Charlotte. Phoenix takes McLemore, the Pelicans Porter, and the Kings get Burke.
Scenario #4: Len, Noel, Bennett, Oladipo, McLemore, Burke, Porter. Same as scenario #3, with Burke and Porter switching spots. Welcome to Sacramento, Otto!
Scenario #5: Noel, Burke, Bennett, Len, McLemore, Porter, Oladipo. In this mock of a mock up, Orlando chooses Burke at #2, and Victor Oladipo falls to the Kings. What’s your vector, Victor? An arc headed towards Sacramento!
Scenario #6: Noel, Burke, Bennett, Len, Oladipo, Porter, McLemore. Pretty much the same as scenario #5, except that Phoenix is sweet on Oladipo. With the 7th pick of the 2013 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings select Ben McLemore.
Scenario #7: Noel, McLemore, Porter, Len, Oladipo, Burke, Bennett. This is one of my two "I hope that we’re trading this pick" scenarios. Washington chooses Porter to fill their small forward vacancy, and the rest charts out pretty much to scale, leaving Anthony Bennett for the Kings at #7.
Scenario #8: Len, Noel, Porter, Bennett, McLemore, Burke, Oladipo. With Len gone, Charlotte determines that Bennett would be a great yin to Biyombo’s yang. This again drops Oladipo and McLemore out of the top four, and Phoenix banks on Ben. Sacramento is now Victorville!
Scenario #9: Len, Noel, Porter, Bennett, Oladipo, Burke, McLemore. Same as scenario #8, except that Phoenix has chosen Oladipo, leaving Ben McLemore to overcome the Kansas Jayhawk hate as the newest Sacramento King.
Scenario #10: Noel, Burke, Porter, Len, McLemore, Oladipo, Bennett. If the first five picks drop like this, both New Orleans and Sacramento could be looking to move their picks. In this setup, the Pelicans have to decide whether they want Oladipo, who would be behind Gordon at the 2 and kind of small to put next to Gordon at the 3, or Bennett, who is perhaps a little redundant with Ryan Anderson as a stretch 4. They take Oladipo with a mind to move Gordon if/when possible, and the Kings again wind up with Bennett.
Scenario #11: Noel, Burke, Porter, Len, McLemore, Bennett, Oladipo. Same scenario as #10, except the Pelicans determine that it would ultimately be easier to move Anderson than Gordon. Bennett heads to New Orleans, and Oladipo is a King.
Scenario #12: Noel, Burke, Porter, Len, Oladipo, Bennett, McLemore. Same as scenario #10, but when faced with Bennett or McLemore, they opt for Bennett. McLemore’s a King.
The draft is less than four days away. I figure that all of these scenarios will be obsolete within the next 24-48 hours (if not sooner), so read ‘em fast!