Sunday, May 06, 2007

NBA Draft: Areas Of Need

Yesterday, you received a glimpse at the NBA free agent class of 2007. Tonight, we attack the areas of need for NBA teams as many organizations are well into their offseason programs.


Atlanta: PG. For the love of God, if Mike Conley Jr. is available at the Hawks pick and they do not select, I recommend that they get contracted.

Boston: C, PF. It’s a no-brainer that teams that perform poorly often lack an interior defensive presence. While Al Jefferson was a revelation this season, they are a key inside player away from dominating in the East (even with Doc Rivers and his 143248 different starting lineups).

Charlotte: F. The Bobcats continue to draft high and develop talent accordingly. With Okafor, Felton, and Morrison (although he stunk up the joint as a rookie), there could be a gaping hole at forward if Gerald Wallace does not sign his player option and signs elsewhere.

Chicago: C, PF. The Bulls very well could have a championship team in place, but even after the acquisition of Ben Wallace and the draft selection of Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls are still lacking a scoring big man. The good news is that they have the New York Knicks 1st-rounder via the Eddy Curry trade.

Cleveland: PG, C. Every year, it’s the same ol’ song with this team. No true point guard and an aging big man in Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who’s been to hell and back in his personal life after his wife Jennifer went into early labor and delivered still-born twins.

Detroit: PF/C, PG. In addition to their own pick, Detroit also has the 15th pick (via Orlando). With Webber and McDyess possibly on the outs, Detroit will need to replenish its always-steady frontline. If Billups bolts, the need for a point guard is amplified, as backup point guard Lindsey Hunter is nearing retirement.

Indiana: SG, PF. Indiana now realizes something. Stephen Jackson was pretty darn good at the 2. Meanwhile, both Jermaine O’Neal and Troy Murphy have missed games to injury; therefore, the Pacers must beef up down low. With all of that said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see this entire team blown up by management.

Miami: SF, PG. Eddie Jones and Gary Payton are unlikely to be signed, and James Posey has had brushes with the law. Not to mention, I’ve never thought too highly about Jason Williams.

Milwaukee: PF/C, SF, PG. Outside of Redd and Bogut, nothing is for certain. Villanueva played only 39 games and Bobby Simmons didn’t even see the court. If the lottery plays out as expected – which it never does – the Bucks brass will have a tough decision on their hands.

New Jersey: C, SG. The potential free agent losses of Vince Carter and Mikki Moore will undoubtedly shape decisions made by the Nets. While the Nets will have a healthy Nenad Krstic next season, they could use a true center. Nevertheless, if Carter leaves for greener pastures, the Nets will opt for a playmaking guard.

New York: F. If last year’s draft was a sign of things to come, it’s that the Knicks are building a defensive team. Expect the Knicks to draft a defensive-minded forward, but don’t be shocked they select a point guard. It’ll mark the beginning of the end for Starbury and Stevie Franchise who both have two years left in their astronomical contracts.

Orlando: PF/C. The pieces are already in place to compensate for the departure of Grant Hill. Unless Darko Milicic is re-signed, the Magic will spend their second-round pick on a player to complement Dwight Howard. They’ll also be asking, “Where are you, Fran Vasquez?”

Philadelphia: PF, PG, backup C. Philadelphia learned a lot about its youngsters following the trade of AI and the release of Chris Webber. The priority will be re-signing Andre Iguodala to a manageable long-term deal while selecting a power forward, a point guard for the future, and a backup center who will spell Samuel Dalembert.

Toronto: SG/SF. Although they have no draft picks, they could use a swingman to replace Morris Peterson, who may exit through free agency this summer.

Washington: PF/C. The Wizards need a NBA-ready power forward or center who is capable of scoring in the post. Of course, free agency may decimate the continuity of this squad and create need at the shooting guard position.


Dallas: C, SG/SF. Sorry, Dallas. DeSagana Diop just ain’t cutting it as a starting center. In their series with Golden State, they showed a lack of team speed, so they may need a two-guard to complement Jason Terry and Josh Howard. They’ll have three second-round selections to fill those needs in a relatively deep draft.

Denver: Defense. The Nuggets do not necessarily need a specific position. They just need players who are content playing a defensive role in order to alter the identity of this seemingly free-wheeling team.

Golden State: SF, PF. After trading away Ike Diogu and Troy Murphy, the Warriors gave up a good portion of their frontcourt. If Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus do not re-sign with the team, they will need to draft long forwards accustomed to free-flowing basketball; thus, fitting fit the Nellie system.

Houston: PF, Backup C OR SG. While their series with Utah suggested that they lack playmakers, their list of potential free agents suggests that they’ll need to draft frontcourt depth. If Houston, who will reportedly be without a coach very soon, can re-sign Chuck Hayes and Dikembe Mutombo, they can use their only selection (26th overall) on a shooting guard.

LA Clippers: SG/SF, PF. If the Clips can lock up Elton Brand long-term, they can turn their attention elsewhere. Making a decision on what to do with Corey Maggette would be nice too.

LA Lakers: F. The Lakers also have a need for point guard, but they will seek one by other means (i.e. trade or free agency). Whomever they draft will need to be a pure scorer who can lighten the load for one Kobe Bryant.

Memphis: C. What does a team who gave up a million points per game need? A stud center. Enter Greg Oden, unless David Stern decides that he wants to put the next big thing in a bigger NBA market like Boston.

Minnesota: C, SG/SF. Welcome to the worst collection of bad contracts outside of MSG. A big man (either Roy Hibbert or Spencer Hawes) selected in the lottery can develop his game just by watching KG’s work ethic.

New Orleans: SG. Last year, when they needed a shooting guard, they selected Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons. This year, they still need a shooting guard opposite Peja Stojakovic who can nail open shots created by the slashing Chris Paul.

Phoenix: F. Phoenix has a major case of the IFs. If Phoenix gets to keep Atlanta’s 1st-round pick (top 3 protected), they will look to spend it on a forward to possibly replace Shawn Marion, who will be a free agent next summer.

Portland: SF, PF/C. And it’s another case of the IFs. If Rashard Lewis opts out of the final two years of his deal, he may be the final piece to the Blazers’ young nucleus. If such is not the case, the Blazers will target one of the many talented forwards expected to be selected in the lottery.

Sacramento: PF, PG, SF. This ultimately depends on Mike Bibby who has a player option. Throughout the season, the Kings showed frailty at the power forward and center positions. However, with Ron Artest’s legal trouble, the Maloofs may have gotten tired of his act and know that they won’t be re-signing come next July.

San Antonio: C. The Spurs are always at least two steps ahead of everyone, so it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint whom they will select. Whomever it may be, he’s probably European and he’ll probably be a big.

Seattle: SF/PF, PG. If the Sonics draft a center not named Oden, they should also be contracted because Seattle has become a wasteland for project centers. Just ask Robert Swift, Johan Petro, or Saer Sene (who happens to make it into every single post). Perhaps, you can ask your somewhat established center, Chris Wilcox. The Sonics can reap great value for a point guard with either of their early second-round selections.

Utah: SG. Knowing they need a shooting guard that can actually shoot, the Utah Jazz selected the one shooting guard in the draft who could do everything but shoot. While Both Derek Fisher and Gordon Giricek have seen their best days, so Jerry Sloan would be wise to draft a true shooting guard who can maximize Deron Williams’ ability to penetrate and kick.

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