Ed Isaacson

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Western Conference Draft Needs

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


New Orleans Pelicans

Picks: Round 1 - None; Round 2 - None

Needs: Frontcourt depth

 

The Pelicans gave up their first-round pick this year in the deal for Jrue Holiday last year.  They could use some depth in the frontcourt, especially behind Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson, as well as true center besides Jeff Withey. I don’t expect to see the Pelicans involved on draft day.

 

Oklahoma City

Picks: Round 1 – No. 21, No. 29; Round 2 - None

Needs: Backcourt depth, Perimeter shooting

 

The Thunder return most of the main contributors from last year and just need to add some more role players for their expected long season.  They can look to add a point guard to play behind Russell Westbrook that also allows Reggie Jackson to shift to the 2 spot. Look for the Thunder to be interested in players such as Shabazz Napier or Jordan Clarkson. They may also look at Kyle Anderson at number 21, thinking that his ability to create plays from anywhere on the floor will benefit Kevin Durant.  At number 29, they could look for an International player such as Clint Capela or Walter Tavares to bring on in a few more years.

 

Phoenix Suns

Picks: Round 1 – No. 14, No. 18, No. 27; Round 2 – No. 50

Needs: Wing scorers and defenders

 

Phoenix shocked the NBA by being in the playoff hunt until the very end while in rebuild mode. The key question for them is if they are willing to pay up to keep Eric Bledsoe. If not, the need for scoring will become more important. They should have plenty of options at numbers 14 and 18, including wings such as Gary Harris, Zach LaVine, James Young, or Rodney Hood, as well as forwards TJ Warren or Adreian Payne. They may also consider looking to draft and International player such as Dario Saric, to bring over in a few years after the young core develops.  Number 27 will give them a chance to take a risk on a less developed player, such as Jerami Grant, or some instant help in KJ McDaniels or Jordan Adams.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Picks: Round 1 - None; Round 2 - None

Needs: Bench depth

 

Portland made big strides this year in becoming a regular contender in the West, but they need to add more quality role players on the bench. They may be interested in acquiring a second round pick if there is a player they are really big on available.

 

Sacramento Kings

Picks: Round 1 – No. 8; Round 2 - None

Needs: Point guard, Shooters to stretch the floor

 

The Kings have some key players in place with DeMarcus Cousins, Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay, but they need to decide whether to re-sign Isaiah Thomas, or there will be a big need at point guard. They may have a shot at Marcus Smart at number 8, or if he’s gone, Elfrid Payton may be an option. They may choose to add a shooter such as Doug McDermott or Rodney Hood, or look to add some rebounding next to Cousins in Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle if they are available. They can go in a lot of directions, but should come out better no matter what.

 

San Antonio Spurs

Picks: Round 1 – No. 30; Round 2 – No. 58, No.60

Needs: Bench depth

 

The NBA Champions will have their key players all back next season, but they can use some depth with an eye towards the future. One possibility would be to take Spencer Dinwiddie, and help him in his rehab from a knee injury, hopefully able to slot him in at either guard spot. They could look for an athletic forward to add to their bench with KJ McDaniels, Jerami Grant, Glenn Robinson III, or Cleanthony Early. Not many teams are better than the Spurs at the draft-and-stash game, so with two end of the second round selections, expect at least one to be a player they can keep overseas, while the other selections could be the best player on their board still available.

 

Utah Jazz

Picks: Round 1 – No. 5, No. 23; Round 2 – No. 35

Needs: Scorers, frontcourt depth

 

At number 5, the Jazz will have to wait to see the fallout in the spots above them, but they could have a shot at players such as Marcus Smart, Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle, or possibly Joel Embiid. The rumors are hot that they are looking to trade number 5 as part of a package to get the number 1 pick, likely targeting Jabari Parker. At number 23, the Jazz can add a proven scorer such as PJ Hairston, or Jordan Adams. They can address the frontcourt at number 35, by looking at player such as Khem Birch, Jarnell Stokes, Cameron Bairstow, or Dwight Powell.



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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.
Email :Ed Isaacson



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