Steve Alexander

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NBA Draft Day Needs

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



Minnesota – 2nd & 20th Picks - David Kahn loves two things as far as we can tell; Drafting point guards, and Darko Milicic. Surely even Kahn can see that a better center would help his team, while their most glaring need is probably shooting guard. But with the No. 2 pick, Derrick Williams appears to be the man. In other words, the Wolves will likely try to move this pick wtih Kevin Love and Michael Beasley around.

New Orleans – No 1st Round Pick - The Hornets gave Marcus Thornton away and still can't depend on Marco Belinelli. Therefore, SG is their greatest need. They're set at the other positions, although Trevor Ariza is still a pretty big problem as a starting small forward. He'd be much more effective as a role player off the bench, meaning the Hornets should be targeting a wing. Chris Paul, David West and Emeka Okafor have the rest locked down. But it doesn't help that the Bobcats have the Hornets' first-round pick.

New Jersey – 27th Pick - The Nets could never get it figured out at shooting guard or small forward this year. Maybe a couple of the Nets wings (Anthony Morrow, Sasha Vujacic, Damion James, Travis Outlaw) could step up next year, but we seriously doubt it. And while Kris Humphries had a great season, it still feels a little flukey. This team needs a wing player who can make an impact next season, although that player may not be available in this draft. Especially since the Jazz hold the Nets' pick this year, while New Jersey will pick late by owning the Lakers' pick.

New York - 17th Pick - While we certainly know the Knicks don't need a forward or point guard, there's no doubt they've got holes to fill. The biggest being at shooting guard and center, while an alternative backup for Chauncey Billups is also on the wish list. Toney Douglas did an admirable job filling in this season, while Landry Fields and the bench crew did a nice job of making things work, but the Knicks need the best player available at PG, SG or C.

Oklahoma City – 24th Pick - James Harden is quickly proving to be an important player for the Thunder and should be starting at shooting guard next year. That means the Thunder are stacked across the board and should simply draft the best player available to them on draft day.

Orlando – No 1st Round Pick - This team, like the Lakers, is still in a state of shock and you have to get the sense it will be blown up. They could use younger or better players at every position but center, and you've heard the rumors about Dwight Howard being traded. At this point, Orlando simply has to take the best player available and pray they don't lose Dwight. Of course, it doesn't help that they don't have a first-round pick.

Philadelphia – 16th Pick - Jrue Holiday has cemented himself as the team's point guard of the future, Elton Brand is still alive, Andre Iguodala is on the trading block, while Thaddeus Young is waiting for an opportunity. They've also got young guards like Lou Williams and Evan Turner around, and Spencer Hawes is at least a serviceable center. A back up for Brand or Hawes looks like the smartest route to take on draft night.

Phoenix – 13th Pick - The Suns could use a true power forward that rebounds instead of Channing Frye, who looks more like Reggie Miller than a F/C on most nights. Jared Dudley is the starting small forward, while old men like Grant Hill, Vince Carter and Steve Nash are also still holding roster spots. They don't need a center with Marcin Gortat around, and Aaron Brooks is a nice insurance policy for Nash, but the other three positions could all be targeted on draft night.

Portland – 21st Pick - Glancing at Portland's depth chart, you quickly notice they're as solid as anyone at the two forward spots (Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge), but after that, it's a crapshoot. The centers are injured, old, or both, and the guards are injured, old or inexperienced, outside of Wesley Matthews, who should be solid over the next six years. Unless Patty Mills, Armon Johnson or Elliot Williams are better than they've shown thus far, adding another point guard seems to make sense, as Andre Miller is entering his 13th season.

Sacramento – 7th Pick - Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert make for a nice foundation, but as usual, the Kings don't have a reliable small forward. In fact, the last one we remember them having was Gerald Wallace, but that was before he was doing much.

San Antonio – 29th Pick - Much like the Lakers and Magic, the Spurs are at a crossroads and should probably just take the best player they can get in the draft. They've got a couple of nice, young guard options behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in George Hill and Gary Neal, while DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter are young bigs. Richard Jefferson isn't really the ideal starting small forward for the Spurs and it makes sense they'd target one in the draft. However, picking so late, the Spurs are going to have to make some trades to fix their problems.

Toronto – 5th Pick - The Raptors' biggest hole is at small forward, as Linas Kleiza missed most of the season and had microfracture surgery, making his status going forward a bit iffy. James Johnson, Sonny Weems and Julian Wright can all play small forward, but it would make sense for the Raptors to look for another one in the draft. And there is also talk that Andrea Bargnani will be traded, making a center a real strong possibility for the Raps.

Utah – 3rd & 12th Picks - The Jazz have Devin Harris at point guard, but could really use a suitable back up for when he goes down, as Earl Watson was simply disappointing. Andrei Kirilenko's future in Utah is pretty cloudy, so finding a small forward should also be a priority.

Washington – 6th& 18th Picks - Despite how awful their record was this season, the Wiz are in decent shape with John Wall, Nick Young and Jordan Crawford in the back court, and young bigs like Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee. The problem comes from veterans Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard. Both had pretty severe knee problems this year, although you have to think Lewis will bounce back, given all the money he's making. But for the Wiz, taking a young small forward makes a lot of sense.


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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