Ed Isaacson

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Eastern Conference Draft Needs

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Miami Heat
Picks: Round 1 – No. 26; Round 2 – No. 55
Needs: Infusion of young talent at any position

LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all have early termination options available to them, and James has already exercised his. No matter what, the Heat are a team in need of some young talent to bolster their bench, and at No. 26, they should find someone who can help them out quickly.  The Heat could find some very good complementary part for the big three if they are all still there, especially players who will do the dirty work. K.J. McDaniels, Jarnell Stokes, Cleanthony Early, Jerami Grant or Jordan Adams can all be help in various ways, especially on the defensive end. Point guard has always seemed to be the weakness on the Heat teams, so if Shabazz Napier happens to still be available, the Heat should make him the easy choice.  At No. 55, the Heat could look to add another complementary part, or possibly fill the need at point guard. They could find point guards such as Deonte Burton, Jahii Carson or DeAndre Kane available to come in at least as a back-up right away.

Milwaukee Bucks
Picks: Round 1 – No. 2; Round 2 – No. 31, No. 36, No. 48
Needs: Depth on the wings, three-point shooting, scorers

The Bucks are in a tremendous position with three picks in the top-36, including No. 2, where the selection should be easy – whichever one of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker isn’t picked by Cleveland should be Milwaukee’s pick. My best guess is that they will get Parker, who will instantly add the scoring punch the team needs, though Wiggins would be a great addition to the young core already there as well.  They can focus on shooters at No. 31 and/or No. 36, including players like CJ Wilcox or Joe Harris, or young wings such as Glenn Robinson III, Cleanthony Early or Thanasis Antetokounmpo (older brother of Milwaukee’s Giannis). With an abundance of second round picks, there is a good chance the Bucks look to grab a draft-and-stash international player such as Damien Inglis, Bogdan Bogdanovic or big man Walter Tavares. The last option is they may consider packaging their second round picks in hopes of moving up to the first round this year or maybe grab a future first round pick.

New York Knicks
Picks: None
Needs: Players who fit Phil Jackson’s vision

The Knicks have been mentioned constantly as a team looking to move into the first round through a trade. It’s not known who their target will be or who is willing to deal with them yet.

Orlando Magic
Picks: Round 1 – No. 4; Round 2 – No. 12
Needs: Point guard, frontcourt depth

The Victor Oladipo as point guard experiment didn’t seem to go as well as probably hoped, but the Magic will have a shot to find a player to take over the position.  At No. 4, Marcus Smart should be available and will instantly give them a solid point guard and high-level defender. They may also consider Dante Exum if he is available, though I am among the group who don’t see his future at the point guard position, though he will fit in well with the athletic core of the team. The wild card may be whether Joel Embiid is available. Would the Magic take a chance on him, even with Nikola Vucevic coming off a very strong season?  They may look to shore up the frontcourt with the athletic but raw Noah Vonleh. If they don’t get a point guard at No. 4, they can look to get one at No. 12 in Elfrid Payton, who would be a great value there.  With a pretty full roster, they may look to take a chance on Dario Saric and wait for him to finish his contract in Europe and come over in a few years. Saric would be able to help immediately on the offensive end with the core players a few years more experienced.

Philadelphia 76ers
Picks: Round 1 – No. 3, No. 10; Round 2 – No. 32, No. 39, No. 47, No. 52, No. 54
Needs: Add more talent
Philadelphia will be able to take a major step forward with the choices they make in this draft. No. 3 will likely come down to taking a chance on the injured Joel Embiid or taking Dante Exum and hoping he and Michael Carter-Williams can play well together.  At No. 10 they can add any number of things, such as shooting/scoring or defense/rebounding. Players such as Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle could help in the frontcourt, or Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris or Rodney Hood could help on the wings. With five second-round picks, the possibilities are enormous – from making multiple trades, drafting their choice of International players or just adding as much talent as they can. No matter how it shakes out, the Sixers will be better next year.

Toronto Raptors
Picks: Round 1 – No. 20; Round 2 – No. 37, No. 59
Needs: Point guard, shooting, defense

With Kyle Lowry likely gone this offseason, point guard will be a priority, though they might not have a great selection at No. 20. Shabazz Napier, Tyler Ennis or Jordan Clarkson could be available, but the Raptors may have to take the best player available. Options could be Adreian Payne, James Young or my choice, KJ McDaniels. They could look to add a point guard option in the second round at No. 37, with players such as Russ Smith, Semaj Christon or Deonte Burton all possibilities. Expect the Raptors to take a draft-and-stash player at No. 59.

Washington Wizards
Picks: Round 1 - None; Round 2 - #46
Needs: Frontcourt and backcourt depth 

The backcourt won’t be the priority with John Wall and Bradley Beal both improving monthly, so the focus may be on the frontcourt, where last year’s No. 3 pick Otto Porter has yet to make an impact. Players such as James Michael McAdoo, Cameron Bairstow, Dwight Powell or DeAndre Daniels could all help out immediately. They may also look to add a point guard to back up Wall. Guys such as Russ Smith, DeAndre Kane, Deonte Burton or Jahii Carson could all be available here for the Wizards.

Ed Isaacson is in his second year of covering the NBA Draft for Rotoworld.com, while his work can also be found at NBADraftblog.com. Follow him on Twitter at @nbadraftblog.
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