Steve Alexander

Offseason Beat

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NBA Draft: Team Needs

Friday, May 25, 2012


 

Oklahoma City – 28th pick

 

Nazr Mohammed UFA

Needs – Backup PG, backup SF, backup C

 

The Thunder are set once again with a starting lineup of Russell Westbrook, James Harden (it’s time), Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.  They consistently make great draft picks and will simply be looking for the best player available at 28, which could be Kentucky PG Marquis Teague.

 

Orlando – 19th pick

 

Jameer Nelson PO

Needs – PG, C and SF

 

Dwight Howard appears to be on his way out, which could mean the Magic will completely rebuild from the ground up.  Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith are already gone, and Howard will likely be dealt this summer.  And their draft will depend on who is still on the roster, but as of now, with Nelson likely gone, look for them to target a point guard, like Dion Waiters out of Syracuse.

 

Philadelphia – 15th pick

 

Lou Williams ETO, Elton Brand ETO, Spencer Hawes UFA

Needs – PF and C

 

A lot (obviously) depends on what Williams and Brand do, but they’ll also have a hole at center if Hawes leaves.  They are set at PG (Jrue Holiday), SG (Evan Turner) and SF (Andre Iguodala), meaning that they will likely be looking for a big man.  Nikola Vucevic looks like a solid option at C going forward, so power forward Arnett Moultrie, out of Mississippi State, makes a lot of sense for the Sixers – even if Brand stays.

 

Phoenix – Late lottery pick

 

Steve Nash UFA, Shannon Brown UFA, Grant Hill UFA, Aaron Brooks RFA

Needs – SF and PG

 

Nash and Hill appear to be on their way out, meaning Aaron Brooks could become relevant in fantasy again next year if he’s the starting point guard.  The Suns still have Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown and Michael Redd at SG, Channing Frye and Markieff Morris at PF and Marcin Gortat at C.  The big hole is at SF if Hill leaves, as Josh Childress and Dudley would be the only real options. They’d love to see Baylor’s Perry Jones fall, but he’ll likely be gone by the time the Suns pick.

 

Portland – Two lottery picks (one from Nets)

 

Raymond Felton UFA, Jamal Crawford PO, Hasheem Thabeet UFA

Needs – PG and C (for starters)

 

What don’t the Blazers need?  The No. 1 thing they are looking for is a little luck after years of the bad variety, while Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge are the best things they have going.  Center is an obvious hole, as is point guard if Felton bails out.  With two lottery picks, the Blazers have a chance to do something right this summer, and UConn SG Jeremy Lamb, Duke SG Austin Rivers, UNC C Tyler Zeller and UNC PG Kendall Marshall are all serious possibilities for their two early picks.   

 

Sacramento – High lottery pick

 

Needs – Best player available

 

The Kings surprisingly have a solid foundation with PG Isaiah Thomas, SG Marcus Thornton, SF Tyreke Evans, PF Jason Thompson (RFA)/Chuck Hayes and C DeMarcus Cousins.  Therefore, they should simply be looking for the best player available, which could be Carolina SF Harrison Barnes.

 

San Antonio – No first-round pick (Golden State in Richard Jefferson deal)

 

Tim Duncan UFA, Boris Diaw UFA

Needs – Best player available

 

It’s hard to see Duncan playing in any other uniform, especially after how well he played this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gregg Popovich and company retain Diaw, as well.  The Spurs are possibly the best team in the league right now and don’t have any holes.  Therefore, they’ll be looking for the best player available with the second-to-last pick in the draft.  No first-round pick?  No problem.

 

Toronto – Mid-lottery pick

 

Aaron Gray UFA

Needs – PF, SF and C

 

The Raptors aren’t likely to lose any key pieces, but really don’t have many studs in the lineup.  Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson/Linas Kleiza, Amir Johnson/Ed Davis and F/C Andrea Bargnani make for a nice foundation, but the Raptors will likely be looking for a forward or center in the draft.  Baylor SF/PF Perry Jones and UNC C Tyler Zeller will both get a close look from them on draft night.

 

Utah – No first-round pick (going to Minnesota)

 

C.J. Miles UFA, Josh Howard UFA

Needs – SF

 

The Jazz have PG Devin Harris, SG/SF Gordon Hayward, and PF/C Paul Millsap/Derrick Favors, and Al Jefferson, so the big hole is at SF, especially if Miles and Howard are gone.  It looks like Alec Burks could be the starting SF next season, especially since the Jazz won’t pick until late in the second round.  Look for them to take a small forward (Will Barton from Memphis?) when they’re finally on the clock.

 

Washington – High lottery pick

 

Needs - SF

 

The Wizards aren’t expected to lose any key pieces, meaning that John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Chris and James Singleton, Rashard Lewis, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely, Andray Blatche and Nene will handle the core of minutes next season.  But with the Wizards likely having a Top 3 pick, Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could end up being their starting SF on opening night.



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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