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Team Needs: Northwest Division

Sat, 06/16/2012 - 6:39am

Denver Nuggets
Needs: Depth, Star Power
Picks: 20, 38, 50

It seems weird to say about a team that didn’t even make it out of the first round of the playoffs, but the Nuggets really have very few holes in their roster. That could change if JaVale McGee leaves via free agency, but that seems like a long shot seeing as how they would have essentially given Nene up for nothing. I anticipate Andre Miller leaving in free agency also, but the team has Julyan Stone to take his spot. At 6’6” he can play alongside Ty Lawson or back him up. He’s a good complement to what Lawson brings to the table. And there's always a chance that Kendall Marshall falls to them at 20.

The Nuggets are a well-balanced team with a lot of youth. The only thing they are really missing is a “star” player. They could be a team that pulls the trigger on a high-risk, high-reward player in the draft. If they miss, they aren’t leaving themselves with a gaping hole in their roster, but if they come away with a steal it could put them in position to be contenders in a tough Western Conference.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Needs: SG, SF, C
Picks: 18, 58

The T-Wolves have a couple of nice cornerstones for their franchise in Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. After that, the team is a little short of talent. They have former second overall pick Derrick Williams and rising big man Nikola Pekovic, but little else. Michael Beasley has shown flashes over the course of his career, but in order to make him a restricted free agent they’d have to extend him a qualifying offer of over 8 million, which is likely more than they’re willing to spend on the mercurial forward.

With David Kahn leading the team it’s hard to predict what the T-Wolves will do. They have a glaring need on the wings, as they have very few playmakers to complement Rubio’s passing and Love’s ability to collapse defenses. With that said, Kahn could elect to draft nothing but point guards despite already having Rubio, Luke Ridnour, and J.J. Barea on the roster. Why? Because it’s David Kahn and he doesn’t draft based on need, he tends to go for guys that he has the strongest conviction about, even if they don’t fit team needs.

Portland Trailblazers
Needs: PG, SG, C
Picks: 6, 11, 40, 41

Damian LillardDamian LillardPortland just tabbed a new GM in Clippers GM Neil Olshey, which could significantly alter their draft strategy. They own the second best set of picks in the draft with picks 6 and 11 both belonging to them. They could look to trade one or even both of them in a deal, but with only five players under contract for next season they have some holes to fill. Raymond Felton was not very popular as the team’s point guard, but with him entering free agency the cupboard is pretty bare in terms of starting level talent at the position. Luckily for them, he has been vocal in wanting a contract extension.

Jamal Crawford has a player option that he is probably going to decline, meaning the team will rely on Wesley Mathews to step up. They should have some SG options at their 11th pick such as local talent Terrence Ross, or Austin Rivers, or even Dion Waiters who's rumored to have a promise at 13 with Phoenix. Nicolas Batum is a restricted free agent and Portland is expected to match any offer that isn’t crazy. Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge make for a quality forward combination, but the Blazers will need to fill in the holes around them through the draft. At pick 11 they may have the opportunity to select Meyers Leonard or Tyler Zeller to fill their need at center. Olshey has his work cut out for him in rebuilding a Blazers team that is still reeling from losing Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.

Oklahoma City Thunder
Needs: Depth at all positions
Picks: 28

The Thunder are already a very good team. With so many young players on their roster, their top five players all 27 or younger, they should get better and better with more experience. They only have one selection in this year’s draft, number 28. They’ll be looking to add depth behind their young talent, or could even opt to sell their pick to another team who is more in need of a youth infusion. The Thunder, should they decide to use their pick, will likely look to add a wing player or a power forward.

There aren’t a whole lot of needs for the Thunder, as Sam Presti has done a masterful job crafting this roster. Another route the team could go would be selecting a foreign born player with their pick, (Evan Fournier)which would mean they may not even add a player to theis payroll this year. This team will likely not be significantly upgraded right away as a result of this draft. With Presti in charge though, the rich should only get richer.

Utah Jazz

Needs: PG, SF
Picks: 47

The Jazz have only one selection in the upcoming draft, a second round pick. Unless they can swing a deal to get into the first round or early second round, the probably won’t significantly upgrade their roster via the draft this season. They could really benefit from finding a point guard this offseason. There has been almost non-stop chatter about Devin Harris getting traded, but they’ve been reluctant to follow through with trading him due to the lack of a starting caliber point guard on the roster to replace him. If they could trade him and his contract, which will be an expiring deal next season, they could get a quality piece in return.

They could also benefit from finding a small forward. Gordon Hayward is a good player, but he lacks the strength and athleticism of many of the small forwards in the NBA. C.J. Miles and Josh Howard are both free agents, meaning they need somebody who can step in and give them some minutes on the wing. They may or may not find that player in the draft at pick 47. It also wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see them draft a foreign big man. Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson both have contracts that expire after next season, so taking a foreign big could allow them to trade one of them or let one of them leave via free agency and still have another power forward or center on the bench without having to have an additional frontcourt player on the roster this season.

scoreatwill
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TONY WROTEN TRUMPS LILLARD

PORTLAND WOULD BE CRAZY TO NOT PICK THE PRINCE OF THE NORTHWEST!!

Tony Wroten had the 2nd fastest time in nba combine history with a 3.0 only second to his cousin nate robinson . Just thought people may like to know that since this site failed to post the correct result and at 6'6 may be pound for pound the fastest , most savy gaurd in recent memory . Also Tony is a far more superior gaurd than kendall or lillard period . Kendall was in sports illustrated as a 6th grader and still chose to hold his self back to seem better than his new class . So for a guy who was supposed to be a college junior ya he had a nice iq and mature game . Tony just turned 19 in april and yes he is sometimes sparatic but has a pottential that is unmatched in this draft . Lillard would never workout against tony because he would be destroyed for a job .Tonys aggression is sometimes looked upon as brash but people please dont buy into the hype . Tony is one of the most solid 19 yr old kids you could meet . He has alot to work on Yes !! but that is all that is stated in attemp to downplay this kid . He is a top 5 prospect with what he has right now though ! I will also include some obvious video to prove Tony is a phenom that none of the draft sites have posted to show instead of write to add validity to this message http://youtu.be/HooPPwJTU3Y?hd=1

Leadership ??? At 18 Tony scored 30 on duke in madison square !! there is no way to down play that !while leaders T.ross and Gaddy admited the bright lights of the garden and duke had them a little nervous (understandable) but there was an 18 yr old kid who was fearless . Imagine going to a war and your sargent hesitates and gets people killed while the 18 yr old kid from rotc who was just along for the ride , leads your troops to near victory ...come on generals i mean gms who are you gonna take to lead your next war ??? Romar made a mistake by not giving Tony full rein (I commend Romars Loyalty to his returners so very understandable ) but Tony led the pack 12 in scoring with not a single play called for him . was never even told to post up much much smaller gaurds .shoot lol that was taboo . was specifically told not to shoot ..repeadedly !i saw tony score 50 points in pro am all jumpers two months before . he scored 42 in all star game and was mvp for the 2nd yr and you know the talent of seattle nba guys http://youtu.be/4-EEuWjC0j0?hd=1

Put lillard or kendall at uw under the same scrutiny they would not be record breakers or on espn top plays twice in same month and to be real those guys at 18 wouldnt even have seen the floor people . Put Tony at north carolina or kentucky and there would be no doubt he is a giant magician , he showed you his superboy vision at the jordan game . growing up Kendall was never even better than abdul gaddy but he developed . Check statistics and i gaurantee that Tony is the same age or even younger than some of your top rated highschool seniors especially prep and post grad !! His bad attituide lol Michael Jordan specifically used to tell players at north carolina that they should be honered to be in his presence let alone play basketball with him . MJ talked more sh*t than mayweather as a 18 19 20 yr old kid but now you get to see that weaties , hanes smile . people grow up or atleast refine themselves as will Tony ! As strong minded as you are, when mass media says you cant shoot or make free throws it will play with your mental!!The sickening part of these reviews is that he can actually shoot !! ive seen Tony hit 11 , 12 3s in one game several times growing up ...when that wise gm says heres a few million dollars and your dream come true because we believe in you watch how that brown thing starts dropping in that round thing ! he is a lefty and it is in his blood , his aunt joyce walker - lsu hall of fame , one of the first ladys to play for harlem globetrotters and one of the purest shooters in history knows when he finds it he will never loose it . heres a tip for trainers and coaches , when he leaves it up there and his fingers point towards rim he is automatic ...TRUST . At the fiba games many scouts said undoubtedly he was the number 1 pro prospect and though many people second guess there selves to be popular ...THAT HAS NOT CHANGED . Ask peyton siva of louiville how much of a great team mate tony was and the leadership he had even as a 14 yr old playing up with them , the puzzle that is tony wroten is not hard to put together , in this same yr Tony at 14 droped 38 on the prestigeous boo williams when kendall at 17 was a non factor ? http://youtu.be/YVhduTLzM30 I have seen tony interact with his friends and family for yrs and if tony had 10 dollars he would keep maybe a quarter and give away the 9.75 this is no exageration and something gms should know about his character . you got kids in stolen houses , taking money ,in gang brawls and complete head cases going lottery but you label tony wroten as a bad apple lol as tough as this kid is has he even been suspended for a fight . media is a very powerful tool but im not buying into that Tony is not the top point . As much as critics want Tony to stop half *ssing his game , Stop half *ss reporting . here are some more videos and ya higlights can make anyone look great but if he wasnt great there wouldnt be numerous consistant highlights to make . ps L.O.E is a group of childhood friends that all play college sports and aiming to get degrees in business and communications .

http://youtu.be/HJmUYbV2U1A?hd=1

http://youtu.be/T9usfvJC_iw?hd=1

http://youtu.be/a_7k4lt0M60?hd=1

http://youtu.be/4V8zYuOXSVs?hd=1

moneyball1010
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Hmmmm I dont know about that

Hmmmm I dont know about that one...Tony Wroten is a great player but I feel his game is not as NBA ready. Damian Lilliard's offensive game is one of beauty and has deceptive athleticsm. I don't think Wroten's game is completely there, as seen in the combine where he could not get past the first corner in a 3 point shooting drill. His passing game is above-average, but I think he could have gone higher if he would have stayed in school an extra year, to fix his deficiencies. Hopefully he has a great career and proves me wrong, but I feel Damian Lilliard is a more complete player at the moment.

Raef LaFrentz
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What a stupid evaluation of

What a stupid evaluation of the Wolves' needs. Sooooo original and it's chalk full of great content.

Scott42444
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@scoreatwill

So, what are your feelings on Tony Wroten? My problem with Tony is he very well could fall to a team later in the draft. That means they (in most cases, with the exception of trades, etc.) are closer to competing for a title. That means. He won't have time, during the season, to work on his game outside of practice and garbage time to fix his deficiencies.. Like Moneyball said, he could have benefited GREATLY from another year to fix his negatives a bit.

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