While we'll have to wait until next month for the lottery, we know roughly which five or six teams will be at the top of the draft. We also know that nobody has the exact same philosophy as far as the old argument, "Do you draft the best player available, or do you draft to fill a need?" It seems the most popular approach is blend the two and take "the best player available that meets a need." So what will the league's worst teams probably not need?
Charlotte: It would appear they're comfortable with Kemba Walker and MKG. Gerald Henderson is serviceable but probably not the long-term answer at the two and is a restricted FA. Jeff Taylor is a guy they view as a shooter for the second unit. Their depth in the post is limited to Biyombo, Mullens, McRoberts (FA), and Tyrus Thomas. My money would be on either a two or a four/five. Nerlens Noel doesn't seem all that different from Biyombo, so going that route might be redundant. I don't think Alex Len is worthy of a top 3 pick. I think they'll be between McLemore, Cody Zeller, and Anthony Bennett. I'm going to say they'll take Zeller in the hopes that he's more of a Kevin Love than a Chris Kaman. Walker-Henderson-MKG-Biyombo-Zeller/Mullens depending on when the rook is ready to start.
Orlando: Vucevic is probably the only player guaranteed a starting job. They love Harkless and Harris but I don't think either of them are guaranteed anything. Afflalo is nice but I don't think they're married to him. Jameer Nelson is 31. They drafted Nicholson and O'Quinn last year but neither seems like a star. They need PG-of-the-future, but there may not be one that is a natural pick in the top 3. They need star power. I think Nerlens Noel will bring the highlight reel footage, athleticism, toughness inside, especially paired with a finesse player who has surprising feistiness in Vucevic. Nelson-Afflalo-Harkless-Noel-Vucevic. Maybe a PG in free agency.
Cleveland: Kyrie and Waiters in the backcourt are a lock, as is Tristan Thompson. They like Zeller but they could use some depth. Alonzo Gee is about the best he'll ever be right now. McLemore, Smart, and Burke can all be ruled out because the Cavs will be looking for a three or five. I'm leaning toward three, and I want to say Shabazz, but my fear is that he's no better than CJ Miles, which isn't saying much. I'm going to pencil them in for Otto Porter, because he has two inches on Gee, is perhaps more athletic, and will provide more rebounding and intangibles down the road. Irving-Waiters-Gee-Thompson-Zeller with Porter initially coming off the bench but will eventually replace Gee.
Phoenix: Dragic and Gortat will not be replaced. Scola is 32, but Markieff Morris is his understudy so I think they're ok at the four and five. Kendall Marshall is the heir to the future PG slot. The Beasley experiment has failed. Jared Dudley is good to have around but doesn't inspire anyone. I think McLemore will be their top target. Dragic-McLemore-Dudley-Scola-Gortat. Looks like they'll be in the running for Wiggins and Parker at this time next year.
New Orleans: Greivis Vasquez has been excellent. They invested a lot in Austin Rivers, but he's still not better than Eric Gordon (who may clamor for a trade again). Eyebrow is untouchable. With Aminu being a free agent, I think they'll target Shabazz Muhammad. Vasquez-Gordon-Bazz-Davis-Lopez, with Anderson and Rivers off the bench.
Detroit: They have some solid young bigs in Monroe and Drummond. Brandon Knight is untouchable. Calderon will be gone in free agency and Stuckey certainly hasn't been an All-Star. I think they'll target a wing. It could be Marcus Smart, if he's willing to play off the ball. It could be Oladipo, depending on how his workouts go. Something tells me Oladipo won't go quite this high, though. Could Anthony Bennett play the three? Or will he get smoked by the threes in the NBA and be a major liability defensively? I think they'll go with Smart. Knight-Smart-Singler-Monroe-Drummond.
The suns should just take the best available player,they have no prospects to build around. Noel, mclemore, oladipo, would all be solid picks Nd wait for next years draft
I think the Pistons pick really depends on which spot they get in the draft. If they go 5 or above, then I totally agree with you. Not sure if they'll get Smart but they should go for a wing. If they drop to 8th or below, the wing options are not are great but they could get a solid point guard. I actually don't consider Brandon Knight to be untouchable. He is definitely a good player, but I'm not sure I trust him as the point guard and wouldn't mind him in a combo role off the bench. If they drop to 8th or below in the lottery Burke would be a solid pick.
You are right that they need wings, but not sure they'll get a quality one if they don't go high in the draft.
Brandon Knight has been struggling as of late. Calderon could be resigned too. Drummond and Monroe are the only untouchables.
Orlando- should be taking Marcus Smart for sure if available. Great leader and great will.
Detroit - I like Anthony Bennet on this team but i think they'll go with Otto Porter and get Tayshaun Prince 2.0
Charlotte - the decision between Ben Mclemore and Victor Oladipo is an interesting one. Personally as much as i like Mclemore and his potential, Oladipo should probably be the choice given the safety he brings. you know your getting an elite defender at the least.
Cleveland - I like Bennett a lot here. Shabazz would clash with kyrie i think and Anthony just gives them size and versatility.
Phoenix - definitely could see Shabazz going here. they wanted Eric Gordon bad so why not go for his double.
New Orleans - if the order goes as it should the "Pelicans" will be taking whoever drops if any of the above players do so. If not then im thinking they go with Glenn Robinson III, Cody Zeller, or Kelly Olynyk
They should go nowhere near Smart. Noel, Burke, or McLemore are the three guys that they should really be looking at and probably in that order.
I'm really hoping New Orleans can grab Oladipo. That way they can cover for Vasquez's defensive lapses with a combination of Oladipo and Davis (assuming they want to keep Vasquez)