Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell takes an early shot at projecting the first 10 picks of Thursday’s NBA draft:
1 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky center.
Comment: This could go several ways. Maryland center Alex Len and Georgetown small forward Otto Porter both make sense.
2 ORLANDO MAGIC: Ben McLemore, Kansas shooting guard.
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Comment: The Magic wouldn’t mind trading down a few picks and taking a point guard.
3 WASHINGTON WIZARDS: Otto Porter, Georgetown small forward.
Comment: There’s been chatter about a possible trade with Chicago for Luol Deng.
4 CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: Alex Len, Maryland center.
Comment: UNLV’s Anthony Bennett also makes sense as a frontcourt scorer.
5 PHOENIX SUNS: Anthony Bennett, UNLV power forward.
Comment: This could also be the spot for Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.
6 NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: Victor Oladipo, Indiana shooting guard.
Comment: Pelicans coach Monty Williams loves defense, and Oladipo is all about that.
7 SACRAMENTO KINGS: Cody Zeller, Indiana center-forward.
Comment: He demonstrated 3-point shooting range in a workout in Charlotte.
8 DETROIT PISTONS: Trey Burke, Michigan point guard.
Comment: His local ties would make him a popular choice at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
9 MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia shooting guard.
Comment: A proven scorer at 18.5 ppg., for the Bulldogs.
10 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse point guard.
Comment: His 6-6 height causes big matchup problems for opponents.