By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on June 5, 2014
Particularly prior to the NBA Draft Lottery, the majority of the discussion around the draft is focused on the best prospects. At this point, we know that Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are the top-three players in the 2014 NBA Draft in some order. Digging deeper, though, you start to talk about teams’ needs. What’s the biggest need for every NBA team heading into the draft on June 26?
The Hawks are in a great position right now, having made the playoffs and had a great showing without their best player. Picking right outside the lottery, though, the Hawks would be served well to add youth and depth to their wing rotation behind Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll.
With Rajon Rondo’s future perpetually uncertain in Boston and with a decision to make regarding Avery Bradley this offseason, the Celtics head into this draft needing to add depth and flexibility at the guard position and, in the middle of the lottery, should be able to address that need.
With an aging roster and unmet expectations this past season, the Nets don’t have a pick out of the 60 in the 2014 NBA Draft. By some means, the Nets need to go about trying to get some selection in this draft to add youth to their roster and a prospect to cultivate.
The newly re-branded Hornets are in a great position, having a young team, a star center, and a postseason appearance to build on. There are a couple of issues to address and they might look to add to their frontcourt with the number nine pick, but outside shooting should be the primary concern that they look to address in this draft.
While the Bulls still have high hopes for Jimmy Butler and have a work-in-progress in Tony Snell, they have a need for youth on the wings to come in behind aging guys like Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy. With where their drafting, there should be quality wings available for the taking with Chicago’s pick.
When the Cavs picked first last season, they may have tried to get too cute in selecting Anthony Bennett. This year at number one, their biggest need really is to get who they think is the overall best player, as Embiid, Wiggins and even Parker (to a lesser degree) could fill needs for this team going forward.
Even if the Mavericks decide to bring back veteran Shawn Marion, they have a need for youth on the wings going forward. Picking only in the second round, though, the Mavs need to target a young guy with high upside on the wings in hope that they can grab a gem despite not being greatly positioned in the draft.
Brian Shaw has really made it no secret that he wants a traditional big man in his system and the likes of Kenneth Faried and, to some extent, Timofey Mozgov don’t really fit that mold. They might look to address that in free agency, but it’s also a way they would be served well to look in the draft.
Just based on last season alone when they were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, the Pistons need outside shooting. Even more so with the arrival of Stan Van Gundy, Detroit has to look to try and aid their woes from the perimeter in the draft.
The Warriors are yet another team without a pick in this draft. To add youth to an already talented and young team that’s hoping to improve by bringing in Steve Kerr as head coach, they have to explore getting into the draft and adding yet another young talent.
Houston clearly has bigger aspirations than what they showed this past season and a big part of that is improving their defense. With guys like James Harden on the wing that aren’t the greatest of defenders, adding a young and defensive-minded wing could serve this team well moving forward.
The Pacers only pick in this draft lies late in the second round. Given their positioning, they really need to look to just add the best available player with the highest upside at that point in the draft. At that point, that might not be too much, but they have to try and get something.
One of the big issues that the Clips faced all season was a lack of depth behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. With Glen Davis likely not being the long-term solution to that, L.A. has to look to address that problem with their first-round pick, though they could also look to sure up their backcourt depth as well.
Since Pau Gasol is seemingly on the way out the door and the Lakers have basically an entire roster to fill, the team has to look to add a big man who can not only contribute almost immediately, but who can evolve into an All-Star type talent eventually.
The Grizzlies’ wing rotation is getting a bit gray at the top with guys like Mike Miller and Tayshaun Prince. To solidify their rotation going forward, they need to add some young players on the wings, preferably ones that can fill it up on the perimeter or have the potential to develop in that area.
Though he has an early termination option, it’s hard to imagine Dwyane Wade abandoning his post as the Heat’s shooting guard. However, with Ray Allen being near-40 years old and becoming a free agent, the Heat would be served well to add youth and another piece at the position.
The Bucks could really use just about any and every player in the lottery of the 2014 NBA Draft. What they have to be sure that they’re getting with the second-overall pick, though, is a guy that can develop into a potential star for them. This is a team that needs a leader and focal-point and this draft presents the opportunity to get that type of guy.
Though the Timberwolves improved on league-worst three-point shooting from the previous season, it still is hardly their strong point as a team and especially for their bench. In the lottery, they have to look to address that by adding a scorer that can knock down outside shots for their reserve unit.
As a result of the Jrue Holiday trade on draft night in 2013, the Pelicans don’t have the opportunity to add another young piece in this draft. If at all possible, they need to try and get a pick so they can do just that.
In the bleak landscape for the Knicks, they could desperately use an influx of young talent or even just another young player to help grow in New York. As of right now, that’s not going to happen as they don’t have a pick, but they need to go about trying to change that.
Obviously Serge Ibaka is the future of the frontcourt in Oklahoma City, but his absence to start the Western Conference Finals really showed the need to add another quality big on the Thunder’s roster. They could possibly also use another solid wing scorer, but the frontcourt should be their chief concern.
Picking fourth, the Magic are in a prime position for their need. There are likely going to be two elite point guard prospects available right there and that’s what the Magic need to compliment another talented young guard in Victor Oladipo going forward.
With the bevy of draft picks that the 76ers have and the need to fill much of their roster, they have the luxury of legitimately picking the best available whenever they’re on the clock. They could legitimately use help at almost every position, so they just need to get whoever they believe is the best whenever they’re picking.
With guys like Gerald Green and possibly P.J. Tucker heading out the door in Phoenix, they could really use to fill out their wing rotation. Picking at the end of the lottery, the Suns are in great position to address that need as well.
The Trail Blazers are a team on the rise, but they aren’t going to be able to build on that in this year’s draft as of right now. With no pick, Portland’s need to help them keep growing is to simply find a way to secure a pick and add another piece to give them more depth on their bench.
In the middle of the lottery, there are a slew of talented big men, which is great for the Kings. Sacramento has long been looking for a consistent frontcourt compliment to DeMarcus Cousins. With their position in the draft, that’s where they need to look with their pick.
The Spurs have proven to be deft in their ability to add and maximize the talents of veteran guards. In this draft, though, they should look to add to their frontcourt depth. With the uncertain future of Tim Duncan in the league, that would be a forward-thinking move by the organization.
Patrick Patterson proved to be valuable for the Raptors once he arrived via trade, but he might not be the long-term solution for their frontcourt alongside Jonas Valanciunas. The right move for Toronto would be to secure another big man that will help keep them playoff-relevant going forward.
With the fifth pick, there are a lot of different ways that the Jazz could look. The two biggest places are looking for a backcourt mate for Trey Burke or a frontcourt mate for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Either way, Utah needs to look to just get whoever they feel is best at this point of the draft.
The Wizards’ lone pick is in the middle of the second round, but they have to be wise with that pick. Rather than grabbing another work-in-progress, the upstart Wizards need to look to grab a developed player that can possibly contribute off the bench for Washington right away.
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