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Panini cuts deals with 12 picks in NBA Draft, including No. 1 Bennett

Posted Jun 27, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jun 27, 2013 at 11:32 PM

As the clock ticked down to Thursday’s NBA Draft, Panini America announced that it had reached exclusive trading card agreements with 12 projected first-round picks, including UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett, the surprising No. 1 overall pick taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo, taken second by the Orlando Magic. 

The first rookie cards and autographs of all 12 players will debut in late October when Panini releases NBA Hoops.

Also among the Panini signees are Otto Porter of Georgetown, taken No. 3 by the Washington Wizards; Cody Zeller of Indiana, the No. 4 overall pick taken by the Charlotte Bobcats; and No. 5 pick Alex Len of Maryland, taken by Phoenix. Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, picked by many to be the No. 1 pick, also is a signee and was drafted by New Orleans. The Pelicans then dealt his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package headlined by All-Star guard Jrue Holiday.

Here are the other signees, with their draft position and team: Ben McLemore of Kansas, No. 7, Sacramento; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia, chosen eighth by Detroit; national player of the year Trey Burke of Michigan, taken at No. 9 by the Timberwolves and then traded to Utah for the 14th and 21st picks; Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum. drafted 10th by Portland; Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse, No. 11 by the 76ers; and Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), No. 14 by Utah. Dennis Schroeder of Germany was chosen at No. 17 by Atlanta, and University of Miami standout Shane Larkin was drafted at No. 18 by Dallas. Tim Hardaway Jr. of Michigan was picked No. 24 by the Knicks.

The only player Panini signed that was not taken in the first round was San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin, who was taken by Memphis with the ninth pick of the second round.

“We’re coming off of a truly historic NBA season that culminated with one of the greatest NBA Finals we’ve ever seen,” Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said in a statement. “Adding so many talented new faces to the Panini America NBA family for 2013-14 ensures that our momentum will continue and we’re excited about delivering the first rookie cards and autographs from this next class of NBA stars.”

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