This year's NBA draft class has a lot of depth and a lot of players who can step right in and be starters or impact players. But this year is a little different than year's past. There is no unanimous #1 pick. There is no Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving...
Actually, this draft has both. Michigan PG Trey Burke is the #1 ranked PG in the draft and Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is the top big guy, despite currently being out with a torn ACL.
So given the major differences in position, and needs of the top 8 teams in the lottery, we evaluate which team would take which player, with one wild card.
Magic - Trey Burke
Magic acquired Nikola Vucevic and drafted Andrew Nicholson last season. While neither man is considered the second coming of Dwight Howard, both are serviceable big men for the time being. PG Jameer Nelson is 31 years old and Burke would infuse a youthful spark to the Magic backcourt. Nelson missed 26 games due to injury this past season and can help mentor Burke. The depth behind Nelson at PG is nearly non-existent.
Bobcats - Nerlens Noel
The Bobcats can afford to wait for Noel to get fully healthy since they won't be too competitive next season. Kemba Walker is similar to Burke and really improved this past year. Charlotte has been seeking a big man for years and Noel, Walker, and last year's #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist give the Bobcats a solid nucleus to build on.
Cavs - Nerlens Noel
This one is easy with Cleveland set at PG with Kyrie Irving and used the #4 pick last year on Dion Waiters. Noel can join those two and allow Tyler Zeller to play more PF, injecting some youth and athleticism into the Cleveland front court. Plus..."you know who" is a potential free agent in the summer of 2014 and a core of Irving and Noel could intrigue him to come home?
Suns - Nerlens Noel
Phoenix signed Goran Dragic to a huge deal as a free agent last summer and drafted Kendall Marshall, so Burke might not make too much sense. Noel can rehab while Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola man the front court. The Suns have long held the reputation of having some of the best doctors, and the recent success with Steve Nash and Grant Hill should serve as proof of that. Those two plus Amar'e Stoudemire have struggled with injuries since leaving the desert. Phoenix doctors should get Noel to 110%.
Pelicans - Trey Burke
We also considered a curve ball with Ben McLemore here, since Austin Rivers was drafted last year, and the development of Greivis Vasquez. New Orleans definitely will not be drafting Noel though as they used the first pick in 2012 on Anthony Davis. Burke, McLemore or one of the wings players should have the biggest impact on the Pelicans, formerly the Hornets.
Kings - Nerlens Noel
Detroit has Brandon Knight at PG and drafted PF Andre Drummond in 2012 to play alongside Greg Monroe. Detroit is in need of guys who can create their own shot and score. While Burke could work with Knight, McLemore is a pure SG who can step right in and fill a major need for the Pistons.
Wizards - Nerlens Noel
Who do you think should be the #1 pick? Post your thoughts below.