Needs: PF, SG
Picks: 5, 30, 57
The Suns are a tough team to figure in this draft. They have no position that truly screams "need" for them. However they are in need of just about everything. Is there a player on this team you would really feel comfortable building a team around? Marcin Gortat is good, but how far can you expect him to take you? The point guard position is pretty secure as far as this draft is concerned, as they have Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall on the roster. I would like to see them take somebody like Cody Zeller, who they could put in the high post and play through him. It’s not very often you can add a skilled seven footer that could play the four spot. He may be the best fit for their needs, allowing Gortat to stay in the low post and Beasley to play inside and out. Whether or not the negative hype around him has dropped him below the 5th pick when the draft rolls around is another question. Should they opt to go with a guard, they could take a good hard look at guys such as CJ McCollum and Victor Oladipo. Anthony Bennett is another player with the upside to justify taking with the 5th overall pick.
Needs: PF, SF, Defensive minded glue guy
Picks: 7, 36
It obviously hasn’t worked out, but I really like what the Kings have to work with moving forward. Yes, Tyreke Evans can’t seem to find a position that fits him, DeMarcus Cousins is something of a loose cannon, Isaiah Thomas is awfully small to be your top option at point, and they made an absolutely terrible trade a few years back that caused them to miss out on Brandon Knight and instead take Jimmer Fredette. With that being said, as far as bad teams go, they have a lot of talent to work with. The Kings will likely be looking to find somebody that can lock down opposing scorers on the perimeter. Victor Oladipo could be a good fit for them if he’s there at 7. They have enough guys that look for their own offense. What they need is an energy guy that will pull the team together and help turn them into a cohesive unit, their version of Bruce Bowen, if you will. I love the Cousins, Patrick Patterson combination, but they may want to look at potentially drafting Gorgui Dieng, who would be a defensive deterrent down low, helping the perimeter defense simply by providing them a shot blocker on the block. Sure, they’d likely have to find a trade partner to grab a pick in the range Dieng is expected to go in, but it would be a solid fit for them and acquiring a mid-to-late first round pick will be easier this year than in years past. If the new ownership decides that it doesn’t want to deal with the Cousins headaches, taking Zeller if available, and moving the talented but troubled bigman could be in the cards.
Los Angeles Clippers
Needs: SF, Frontcourt depth
With Chris Paul expected to re-sign with the team, and Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford, and DeAndre Jordan all under contract next year, the core of this team remains intact going forward. With only the 25th pick in a weak draft, most of their improvement will be the result of a new coach or a trade that would involve the up and coming Eric Bledsoe if one materializes. They can get a player that will help them moving forward at pick 25, but it’s not likely that it will be a pick that will pay immediate dividends. They could use a player that could play a wing position to help lessen the blow of Grant Hill retiring and Chauncey Billups (who is a free agent)showing the effects of age as well. There will be options for them late in the first round, as they could opt for a perimeter oriented player such as Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr, New Mexico’s Tony Snell or Cal’s Allen Crabbe. They could look at a potential back up big man such as Jeff Withey or even a combination of inside and outside ability in North Texas’ Tony Mitchell 2586. What ever they opt to do, it probably won’t make or break them next season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Needs: PF, PG
The Lakers have a lot of problems right now and the 48th pick in the 2013 draft fixes, well, none of them. Although they landed Marc Gasol at the same pick a few years back (a player we rated as a first rounder), so obviously it’s possible to land a franchise talent this late. They’re embroiled in the "Dwightmare Part II" and regardless of if he stays or goes, they’ll have to figure out a way to play without Kobe Bryant for, at bare minimum, some of next season. They have to figure out what in the world they should do with Pau Gasol and if they decide to keep him, how to make him fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense (assuming they make the logical choice to not give up on D’Antoni too quickly). Metta World Peace has a player option he is almost guaranteed to pick up and even if everything works out, they’ll have to figure out how to play together since they had so many injuries last season. So, yeah, the 48th pick does little to help this once vaunted team make the playoffs next year. If I were in general manager Mitch Kupchak’s shoes, I’d probably hope that one of the many bubble first round PGs slips to them or look at somebody like Peyton Siva who would bring a hardnosed attitude to the team, and would provide insurance in case Steve Nash can’t stay healthy at his advanced age.
Golden State Warriors
Needs: Back up C, Depth
The Warriors have their backcourt in place as Steph Curry is quickly approaching superstar status and Klay Thompson becomes more consistent. Harrison Barnes looks to be the answer at the three spot moving forward and David Lee and Andrew Bogut, when healthy, make for a formidable frontcourt. The thing this team really lacks is depth behind those players as Jarrett Jack ends up having to do way too much when out there with fellow second stringers. As Mark Jackson gets more experience as a coach he’ll be looking to get his best players more time on the bench to save them and their legs for the postseason (especially with guys like Bogut and Curry who have chronic issues with injuries). In order for him to be able to buy his stars more time on the bench, he’ll have to find players to bring in off the bench to buy time. Unfortunately for them, this draft will not provide an opportunity short of a trade to add players to the roster, but if they had to have a draft without a pick, this is certainly the ideal draft to have to sit out.