The staff of Writing Illini gives their opinions about who they think is truly the best player in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Austin: Otto Porter has got to be up there on best players in this years draft. His pure talent, while still a little raw, makes him one of the most coveted draftees this year. The fact that he improved so much from his freshman year to his sophomore year shows what kind of talent this kid is. He has never been a big injury risk, though he did wear a knee brace after banging knees last year for the last several games. That said, he rarely missed time in his college career, which is something teams look for in a guy. Let’s face it: Nerlens Noel would have been a sure lock for #1, and I hate to say that because I am not much of a fan of Kentucky or John Calipari, but with the ACL injury, I feel like he is way too big of a risk to go top two this year. If Otto falls to three of four, some team is going to get an absolute steal this year.
Ricky: There might not be a clear-cut favorite in the 2013 NBA Draft, but there is one player that is the most NBA ready. That player is Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. In my mind, Oladipo is the most NBA ready player in the draft and is one of two players I’d feel comfortable drafting (the other is Cody Zeller). I know I sound like an Indiana fan boy right now, but I truly feel that Oladipo is the best player in this draft. I feel he should be a top five pick in the draft and I have him going to the Phoenix Suns at 5th overall in the draft.
Ryan: This is a very tricky question, because in this draft there is no sure fire, top end, can’t miss yearly All Star level player. Virtually every outlet lists Nerlens Noel #1 overall because of his size and potential, but he has injury concerns, and for me, that would be enough to keep him from being the best player in the draft. Of all the players available, I’d be most inclined to take Victor Oladipo as the best available player at this time, in a slight edge over Otto Porter. Aside from the litany of awards he garnered this season, Oladipo brings a slightly higher level motor than Porter to the table as a player. Statistically, they are somewhat similar, but it’s Oladipo’s ability to post similar stats, including a better offensive rebounding average while being 5 inches shorter, that has ultimately won me over.
As a junior, Oladipo shot 59.9% from the floor on the season, including 64.4% from 2 point range, and 44.1% from 3 point range. Defensively, he averaged 2.2 steals per game and generally was very disruptive in the games that I had the opportunity to watch. He also showed the ability to hit the glass on both ends of the floor en route to averaging 6.3 rebounds per game. When the question is best player available, I am looking for a player who will fill up the stat sheet in as many categories as possible and a player who knows what it takes to win. Victor Oladipo more than meets that criteria.
What do you think, Illini Nation? Who is the best player in the 2013 NBA Draft?
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.
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