Needs: Backup PG, SF, Backup PF/C
Picks: 23, 43
They have Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford locked in for next season, so getting a quality player at pick 23 in the draft is important because free agency won’t be an option in regards to significantly upgrading their team. They may elect to finally trade Josh Smith in order to hopefully get the team over the hump. Johnson could probably be had if a team was willing to take on his enormous contract, but that’s unlikely. The team will have some holes to fill this offseason. They had Kirk Hinrich, who was a solid combo guard who could play some hard-nosed defense on the perimeter. They will miss his defensive ability, but Jeff Teague is a capable point guard. There is a chance the Hawks could elect to draft him a backup, and Jeff’s little brother, Marquis could be an option in that area of the draft.
If they decide to go in a different direction, they could look to draft a small forward who could step in and take the place of Marvin Williams who has just not been able to live up to expectations. Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor has the athleticism to be a standout defender some day. There should be talented wingmen up for grabs in that area of the draft as well. If the Hawks elect to retain Josh Smith and Al Horford they would likely look to add another big to the roster to come off the bench.
Needs: SG, SF, PF, C
Picks: 2, 31
Jeff Van Gundy made the comment a little while ago that Charlotte doesn’t have a player that is top 15 at his position in the league on their entire roster. And you know, I think that may have, believe it or not, been generous of the coach turned analyst. There isn’t a single position the Bobcats couldn’t use a significant upgrade at. They drafted Kemba Walker in the top 10 last season and many aren;t sure he’s the long term answer for them. With there being no point guards in this draft that look to be worth the second overall selection, it’s pretty obvious the Bobcats won’t go that route in the draft.
Other than that, though, the Bobcats could pick just about any other position. They could go with Bradley Beal at off guard, or bolster their wing play with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes. If they want an upgrade inside they could select a guy like Thomas Robinson or Andre Drummond. There are a lot of options, but there best option may actually be to trade down a few spots and add a second pick (Cleveland 4 and 24 for instance) as there really aren’t any savior type of prospects available for them at #2.
Needs: PF, C
Everybody knows that the Heat have one glaring weakness: they have no size. Stan Van Gundy, in defense of Erik Spoelstra said he’d never seen an elite defensive team that didn’t have size until this Heat team. LeBron and Dwyane Wade are both elite on both ends of the court and Chris Bosh is deadly in the mid range, but the team relies on Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem and Ronny Turiaf inside.
If the team could find some size they could take that step to being nearly unbeatable. With the 27th pick in the draft, there may not be a center prospect available that wouldn’t be considered a reach unless Festus Ezeli finds himself still on the board. However, there should be some talented power forward prospects that could provide the interior presence that the Heat lack. Miami’s roster is flawed, but with back-to-back deep postseason runs, one decent player could have a huge impact on this team.
Needs: PG, SF, C
Picks: 19, 49
What do the Magic look to do this offseason? Should they look to add talent and a big name coach in order to convince Dwight Howard to stick around even though that seems unlikely? New 30 year old Orlando GM Rob Hennigan may also elect to contemplate life without Dwight and begin building for the future. Could a trade sending Howard to Hennigan’s former OKC team for a combination such as Ibaka and Harden come to fruition?
With the 19th selection in this year’s draft, they’ll have some options. Jameer Nelson is likely to opt out of his contract, meaning point guard will be a pressing need for the team. They also need to find a center somewhere, as Dwight obviously wants to play elsewhere and the last center they drafted, Daniel Orton, may be one of the worst first round picks ever, having seen action in only 16 games in his career. This team has some players on the downhill slope of their careers, as Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu have lost a step. Ryan Anderson and Big Baby Davis played well at the power forward spot for the team and the team may look to put some pieces around them for the future.
Needs: SG, SF, PF
Picks: 3, 32, 46
This Wizards team is going to be built around John Wall and Nene. If the team can get Andray Blatche to grow up and harness his talent it could be a big step towards becoming a contender for a playoff spot. What the team does with the third pick will set the table for how this team will be built going forward. With Nene being able to play either center or power forward, the team could opt to take a chance on a prospect like Drummond, or take a talent such as Robinson from Kansas. Or, they could elect to provide Wall with a player he could pass to on the wing.
The team needs somebody that can contribute on both ends of the court. Wall’s growth has been stunted by not having a player that can take the defense’s focus off of him a little bit. Wall has never been a guy who does it all himself, he’s the type of player who makes the defense choose to either stop him (in which case he hurts them with the pass) or to defend the pass (in which case he scores the ball himself). In Washington, the defense doesn’t have to choose, because wall doesn’t have a go to scorer to pass to. If the Wizards can find that scorer then it would open up Wall to regain the confidence he had in college and for Washington to challenge for a playoff spot in a couple years.