NBA first-round draft analysis

By Jonathan Jones

The Charlotte Observer

1. Cleveland

Anthony Bennett, PF, Nevada-Las Vegas: A surprise pick at No. 1 overall, Bennett is a big forward who reminds many of Larry Johnson.

2. Orlando

Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana: National Association of Basketball Coaches Defensive Co-Player of the Year, Oladipo made a huge stride between his sophomore and junior seasons.

3. Washington

Otto Porter, F, Georgetown: There was little chance of this Hoya dropping past his hometown team after basically carrying Georgetown last season.

4. Charlotte

Cody Zeller, C, Indiana: He was one vote shy of being a unanimous preseason All-American, but by the end of the season he was the second-brightest star on his team.

5. Phoenix

Alex Len, C, Maryland: Despite his stress fracture, Len is still the best pure center in draft class.

6. New Orleans

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky (Traded to Philadelphia): The biggest draft-night slide, Noel is the best around-the-rim defender but his torn ACL must have scared teams away.

7. Sacramento

Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas: Disappeared in the NCAA tournament but McLemore was the best shooting guard in college throughout the season.

8. Detroit

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia: The obvious SEC Player of the Year selection after Noel missed most of conference slate.

9. Minnesota

Trey Burke, PG, Michigan (traded to Utah): The most exciting player of the NCAA tournament, Burke may be the best floor captain in this year’s draft class.

10. Portland

C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh: He is still remembered in these parts as a Blue Devil slayer, but he was also one of the nation’s best scorers before his season-ending injury.

11. Philadelphia

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse: A deft passer who led Syracuse to the Final Four.

12. Oklahoma City

(from Toronto via Houston)

Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh: The New Zealand native grabbed just 6.3 rebounds per game despite his 7-foot frame.

13. Boston

(traded from Dallas)

Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga: Averaged 17.8 points and shot 62.9 percent from the field last season.

14. Utah

(traded to Minnesota)

Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA: A year ago he was considered to be a lock for a top-three pick this week.

15. Milwaukee

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Greece: The first foreign player without NCAA experience, he takes his 7-3 wingspan to Bucks.

16. Boston

(traded to Atlanta)

Lucas Nogueira, C, Spain: Desperately needs to add weight to his 6-11, 215-pound body before hitting the NBA paint.

17. Atlanta

Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany: The 19-year-old played well for the German national team in 2012.

18. Atlanta

(traded to Dallas) (from Houston via Brooklyn)

Shane Larkin, PG, Miami: The Hurricanes guard burst onto the scene this ACC season.

19. Cleveland

(from L.A. Lakers)

Sergey Karasev, F, Russia: Averaged 16 points in 32 minutes in Russia at age 19.

20. Chicago

Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico: Reminds many of Luol Deng, and could replace him in Chicago.

21. Utah

(from Golden State via Brooklyn)

Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville: A dominant paint presence for the national champs, but did little on offense.

22. Brooklyn

Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke: The first Triangle player off the board, Plumlee should learn plenty with loaded Nets frontcourt.

23. Indiana

Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona: Got better each year as a Wildcat.

24. New York

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan:

Posted 14.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg for the national runner-up Wolverines.

25. L.A. Clippers

Reggie Bullock, SG, North Carolina: A fringe first-rounder when he left school early, Bullock made the most of his pre-draft workouts.

26. Minnesota

(from Memphis via Houston)

Andre Roberson, PF, Colorado: Averaged a double-double in back-to-back seasons for the Buffs.

27. Denver

(traded to Utah):

Rudy Gobert, C, France: His 7-foot-8 wingspan may bring a block party to Utah.

28. San Antonio

Livio Jean-Charles, PF, France: Frenchman’s performance at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit made his draft stock soar.

29. Phoenix

(via Oklahoma City via Golden State)

Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky: A natural scorer on a promising, then dysfunctional, Wildcats team for a season.

30. Golden State

(via Phoenix)

Nemanja Nedovic, PG, Serbia: The Warriors can take on this project with such a good, deep backcourt.

By Jonathan Jones,

The Charlotte Observer