2013 NBA Draft

Interesting draft note: If Bennett or Oladipo had fallen to No. 6, same Sixers/Pelican trade would have gone down


Just days before the 2013 NBA Draft Nerlens Noel was still the presumptive No. 1 pick and Anthony Bennett was thought to be the guy falling down draft boards.

It was then that the brain trusts of Philadelphia and New Orleans came up with a trade that surprised a lot of people on draft night. It wasn’t all about Noel, explains Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.

Three names supposedly would have supposedly gotten the deal done: Anthony Bennett, Victor Oladipo and Nerlens Noel. Bennett went first to the Cavaliers. Oladipo was selected second by Orlando, and fortunately for the Sixers, Noel was still on the board when the Pelicans picked at No. 6….

This gives insight into the workings of the draft and how deals get done on that night — it hardly happens in a five-minute window. Plans and contingency plans are mapped out in advance.

The trade was Noel and a future first-round pick to the Sixers for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.

That Philly was open to three players who play very different roles on the court shows what the Sixers wanted — talent. Guys that could be part of the future down the road, not so much next season. With Noel it may work out — if his knee is right he could be the best player out of this draft in three or four years. Which is when it matters because that is when they should have built up talent around him.

Philadelphia is not tanking but they have certainly put themselves in the “Woeful for Wiggins” discussion, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s better than bringing Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and the rest of the gang back to win 41 games.

But it’s a different direction than the Pelicans have gone — Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis are all young and talented. A lot of things still need to come together, but that is a nice collection of talent and a team on the rise.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.