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NBA Draft Notes: Pistons Makes Bold Move Bypassing Local Hero Trey Burke for KCP
Published June 28, 2013
ON THE RIGHT TRACK: In New Jersey, Jordan Raanan writes the 76ers in one night "went from being a laughingstock to becoming relevant and respected, even though the expectation is that they're going to lose a lot of games this upcoming season." They made "bold moves that better positioned them for the future." The team traded G Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans for the rights to Kentucky C Nerlens Noel and a '14 first-round pick. The 76ers "were going to be bad with Holiday," and now they are "just going to be a tad bit worse." But at this point, their record in '13-14 "is irrelevant." The team is rebuilding, and what "better to restock the cupboard than to trade our best asset when his value is at its highest?" (NJ.com, 6/28). ESPN's Bill Simmons said the 76ers were his "big winner" from the Draft, as they got Noel and a draft pick "that's pretty lightly protected from New Orleans next year" ("2013 NBA Draft, ESPN, 6/27).
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES: In Sacramento, Joe Davidson writes the Kings' Draft party inside Sleep Train Arena was "a stark contrast to the morbid feeling during the April 17 season finale" against the Clippers. This setting featured "fans decked in Kings garb, munching popcorn, cheering every time NBA Commissioner David Stern announced a pick." They "erupted" when the Kings selected Kansas G Ben McLemore with the No. 7 pick, despite the fact that "many of the estimated 2,300 on hand" were unfamiliar with McLemore. The "loudest ovation" Thursday night was for new Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/28).
FLIPPING OUT: In St. Paul, Tom Powers writes under the header, "At First Whiff, Flip Saunders' Draft Debut Stinks." As part of a trade, the T'Wolves had the Jazz select UCLA F Shabazz Muhammad with the No. 14 pick, and Powers writes this is a selection that will "be roundly panned." Even if he "had a first-class temperament and a perfect attitude, which he reportedly doesn't, Muhammad would remain a limited player -- one dimensional, not particularly athletic, poorly suited to a team game." Saunders later Thursday evening said, "It's not a popular pick." Powers writes this was "supposed to be a fresh start" and Saunders was "going to lift the Timberwolves out of their draft malaise." But "nothing good happened" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/28).