While most of the major sites cop out by listing draft winners such as Anthony Bennett and Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira’s hair, it’s about time that some of us put our necks out there and present the sports world with some prognostication, as in, “Which teams should be considered the winners of the 2013 NBA Draft?”

Here are some predictions that five years down the road could be dead on, or instead something that should be discarded into a trash compactor, like Lindsay Lohan’s career.

Much like a grade school teacher would reward a student for finishing his/her homework, TWHS presents a GOLD STAR for each winner in the 2013 NBA Draft:kp-gold-stars

KP’s Winners of the 2013 NBA Draft

Philadelphia 76ers

Many will question moving young star Jrue Holiday, who averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game during the 2012-13 regular season.  But here’s the thing: Philadelphia finished the regular season with no playoff berth and a 34-48 record, so it didn’t work with him, especially considering that Andrew Bynum was a complete bust, due to injury.

New GM Sam Hinkie clearly wants to leave his own impression on the franchise, and once Nerlens Noel was still available outside of the top five, it made sense to pounce, especially with there being depth at the guard position.

Plain and simple, you have to give up something to get something, and that’s why this was a great move by the Sixers, who get younger and wind up with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.

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Nerlens Noel slipped to the sixth pick, then was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans – the team that dealt Nerlens Noel away to Philadelphia – also came through in a big way in acquiring Jrue Holiday.  Much like the Sixers, New Orleans now has itself a very young nucleus that is headlined by Holiday and Anthony Davis.new-orleans-pelicans-logo

It’s a rarity in sports these days, but the deal between Philadelphia and New Orleans should be considered a victory for both teams.

Orlando Magic

The Magic left this draft with arguably the most balanced and well-rounded player in Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.  For me, Oladipo was underutilized during March Madness.  He scored 43 points in three games, but was not handling the basketball nearly as much as he should have been during the waning minutes.

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Expect Victor Oladipo jerseys to be a big seller in O-Town

Either way, Oladipo is great defensively, he’s very athletic, he can score and he carries a personality that can lead a franchise.  He’s the future of the Magic, a team that desperately needed someone to help move the team in the right direction after Dwight Howard cried his way out of town.

Orlando’s second round pick, Romero Osby, managed to score in double figures in all but five of Oklahoma’s games during the 2012-13 season, with 22 in the Sooners’ second round March Madness loss to San Diego State.

Boston Celtics

The C’s also made my Throwing Tomatoes edition, featuring the losers of the draft.  But as I also mentioned there, the fact that Boston managed to acquire four first round draft picks in the deals for its stars and head coach, that’s a huge win – and the Celtics should rebound rather quickly, as long as the team has some luck, and drafts intelligently.

We interrupt this post for some “Wife Speak” on the NBA Draft, but don’t worry, the analysis and viewing didn’t last for long…

Utah Jazz

I love Trey Burke’s energy, coupled with his ability to take over a game.  No better example is Burke’s second half performance against Kansas during the March Madness tournament (below).

This was a need for the Jazz and the passionate fans in Utah are going to love him.

Other notables:

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have had questionable drafts in recent years, but in getting both Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. during this draft, Washington deserves high praise for a change.

Portland Trail Blazers

C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe and Jeff Withey all made significant impacts to recent March Madness tournaments, and each player was selected by the Blazers.

New York Knicks

The Knicks only had one pick, and some critics have only mentioned Tim Hardaway Jr. as being a guy with an NBA pedigree.  Sure, Trey Burke and Mitch McGary may have overshadowed him in the big tournament, but Hardaway Jr. has plenty of talent, and I think he’s a potential steal, especially when being taken with the 24th pick in the first round.goldstar

Milwaukee Bucks

With the 38th pick (in the second round), the Bucks nabbed Nate Wolters, formerly of South Dakota State.  Wolters is a scoring machine, averaging 22.3 points per game during his senior season with the Jackrabbits.  It’s these kind of scrappy, small school guys that find a way to make an impact in the NBA.  Take Steve Nash, for example, who played for Santa Clara.

And finally…

David Stern

The commissioner really played to the crowd, soaking in all of the boos, and on many occasions, encouraging them.  The fans also had a classy response during his last pick, and it was also a great moment when “The Dream” – the first pick he announced as commish – came out to surprise him.

This has been Gold Stars, where I ask, “Who are your winners of the 2013 NBA Draft?”

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