Al Jefferson was a good signing despite the fact his career winning percentage is astronomically below .500. He scores and rebounds, but he's already hurt and we haven't played a regular-season game yet.
The Bobcats surprised some when they took Cody Zeller (an NBA Rookie of the Year candidate) fourth in the draft. He impressed with his athleticism and range in draft camps.
Charlotte has done well in recent drafts with Kemba Walker, who had an anonymously great season in 2012-13, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They're building toward a solid team with good secondary pieces. They haven't landed the big chip yet and until they do, they won't be very good.
27. ORLANDO MAGIC
Victor Oladipo will be an adequate to fine NBA player. Worthy of being the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft? That's another story, but it best illustrates how the 2013 Draft stunk out loud.
The Magic came out of the summer of 2012 blockbuster not only the winners, but the only team with any of the pieces still in uniform. Arron Afflalo is still in the Magic Kingdom, while Andrew Bynum hobbled his bowling ball to Cleveland, Andre Iguodala turned traitor and went to Golden State and Dwight Howard is a Rocket. Orlando got a ton of picks for their effort and some of their young guys like Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless and Tobias Harris, who they flat stole from the Milwaukee Bucks for J.J. Redick, look like real players.
Jacque Vaughan is a great young coach and Orlando looks like it is slowly coming together, much like well-cooked ribs. Take your time and the ribs will fall off the bone. Take your time in Orlando and it will work.
26. UTAH JAZZ
The Utah Jazz finally did what was expected - they let their prize big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk and went with youth. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter will be the new skyscrapers in Salt Lake. You could see this decision coming years ago and it should reap benefits. Not in the 2013-14 season, but in time.
Utah went all youth and got Trey Burke in a draft-day trade. He was going to start at the point until a broken finger sidelined him for a while. Burke, Favors and Kanter should form a solid nucleus with Gordon Hayward, but there will be bumps in the road this season. Although, Favors' athleticism and size scare me to my very soul, he might end up being a dominant force.
25. SACRAMENTO KINGS
Speaking of people who scare me, not just to my soul, but in every way imaginable, DeMarcus Cousins got his contract extension. He's a bit of head case, yes, but young big men with 18/10 potential don't come around too often.
The Kings are staying in Sacramento. That's good for a team that had the worst home attendance in the NBA last season. Have to keep them in a town that won't go watch them! (Would it shock you to learn that the Kings were 12th in road attendance, because it did me?)
The Maloofs are gone. Good riddance. Pete D'Alessandro is in as GM. He brought Mike Malone as head coach and, finally, there's some stability.
Sacramento got a potential steal in Ben McClemore with its first-round pick. The sneaky Kings can go 10-deep and should be fairly entertaining to watch, especially with the underrated Greivis Vasquez at the point. The Kings' unconditional devotion to John Salmons puzzles me, however.
24. BOSTON CELTICS
Tanking has been a cute word since June. Tanking is not playing your best players in order to lose. No one is doing that. The Sixers' best players just stink. The Jazz best players can't rent a car.