Needs: Wing depth, PF
Picks: 15, 37, 47
Core: C-Andrew Bogut, PG-Brandon Jennings, G/F-John Salmons, SF-Carlos Delfino, SG-Michael Redd, F-Luc Mbah a Moute, PG-Luke Ridnour, F-Ersan Ilyasova
Key Free Agents: Salmons (PO), Ridnour, G/F-Jerry Stackhouse
Options: At 15-Xavier Henry, Gordon Hayward, Luke Babbit, Ekpe Udoh
At 37 and 47-Lazar Hayward, Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford, Luke Harangody, Latavious Williams
Synopsis: The Bucks are set for now and the future at two of the most important positions in the game. They have a top center in Bogut and a good young point in Jennings. They surprised a lot of people in cluding myself, by making the playoffs. The biggest need is a shooter on the wing. Salmons could become a free agent and Redd is always injured. They should have plenty of options at #15.
Needs: A lights out shooter on the wing, frontcourt depth
Core: PG-Derrick Rose, C/F-Joakim Noah, SF-Loul Deng, G-Kirk Hinrich, PF-Taj Gibson, F-James Johnson, C-Brad Miller
Key Free Agents: Miller, G-Flip Murray
Options: James Anderson, Dominique Jones, Xavier Henry, Daniel Orton
Synopsis: The Bulls have positioned themselves very nicely for the upcoming summer. They have a young star at point guard in Rose and a good young team around him. They have plenty of cap room to get a top free agent and have the #17 pick. Conventional wisdom says they'll go with a sharpshooting 2 guard who could compliment a free agent like LeBron, Bosh or even Carlos Boozer. Last year they drafted two forwards in the first round so the likelihood of them going big at #17 is not high.
Needs: PG, Shooters to compliment Wade, C, depth everywhere
Picks: 18, 41, 42, 48
Core: SG-Dwayne Wade, F-Michael Beasley, PF-Udonis Haslem, SF-Quentin Richardson, C-Jermaine O'Neal, PG-Mario Chalmers
Key Free Agents: Wade (PO), Haslem, Richardson, O'Neal
Options: At 17-Luke Babbit, Larry Sanders, Dominique Jones, Daniel Orton
With the 3 2nd rounders Riley will probably do some wheeling and dealing on draft night. Maybe one of those picks will compete for a roster spot next year.
Synopsis: If the Heat exercise James Jones' option that will give them 4 players under contract for next year not counting DWade. Obviously keeping Wade in Miami is priority numero uno. The Heat have enough cap room to bring in another max player (Bosh, Boozer, Amar'e) and then another quality starter. The Heat are in a win now mode so I would be surprised if they took someone who isn't NBA ready (Orton) but Pat Riley is going to take the best player for the Heat now and for the future.
Needs: Wing depth
Picks: 19, 52
Core: Rajon Rondo, SF-Paul Pierce, PF-Kevin Garnett, SG-Ray Allen, C-Kendrick Perkins, F-Glenn Davis, C/F-Rasheed Wallace
Key Free Agents: R.Allen, G/F-Tony Allen, PG-Nate Robinson, G/F-Marquis Daniels
Options: At19-Damion James, James Anderson, Stanley Robinson, Devin Ebanks
Synopsis: Boston came up just short of their second title in three years. As long as the Celtics can re-sign Ray Ray and the other free agents they should be just fine next year. However the window for competing at a championship level is closing very fast so the Celtics need some other young pieces for the future. Rondo, Davis and Perkins are all 25 years or younger so they've got a nice young core but they need some youth and length on the wings.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS:
Needs: C, SG, frontcourt depth
Picks: 20, 49
Core: PF-Tim Duncan, G/F-Maun Ginobili, PG-Tony Parker, SF-Richard Jefferson, G-George Hill, C-Antonio McDyess
Key Free Agents: C/F-Matt Bonner, G/F-Roger Mason, SG-Keith Bogans
Options: At 20-Trade up for a center, Larry Sanders, Damion James, Daniel Orton, Terrico White
At 49-best player available, the last time they picked #49 they were able to get a slasher from Argentina named Manu Ginobili in 1999.
Synopsis: The Spurs era is coming to an end. Duncan is good but no longer a superstar. Unless the Spurs can pull a blockbuster deal to get some young talent they will be in the same spot they've been for the past 3 years. They have two very good point guards so they could use one of them as trde bait to get another impact player. With the #20 pick they will try to get a player that can come in and contribute immediately.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER:
Picks: 21, 26, 32, 51
Core: SF-Kevin Durant, PG-Russell Westbrook, PF-Jeff Green, SG-Thabo Sefolosha, SG-James Harden, C/F-Nick Collison, C-Nenad Kristic
No Key Free Agents
Options: At 21-Trade up for a center, trade out, keep pick-Daniel Orton, Larry Sanders,
At 26, 32, 51-Soloman Alabi, Craig Brackens, Trevor Booker, Terrico White, Quincy Poindexter
Synopsis: The Thunder have the best collection of young players in the NBA. They took the World Champion Lakers to 6 games in the first round and you better believe they will be among the top teams in the NBA for the next 8-10 years assuming they keep their core. Right now they are a center away from getting to the next level. If Cole Aldrich falls to number 10-12, I've got to believe they move up to get him. Is Green a true power forward? I don't think so, but he's a very important player. The Thunder have a ton of options with 3 picks in the top 32.
Needs: Youth on the frontcourt, young PG
Picks: 22, 34
Core: SG-Brandon Roy, PF-LaMarcus Aldridge, C-Greg Oden, PG-Andre Miller, C-Marcus Camby, SF-Nicolas Batum, SF-Martell Webster, G-Jerryd Bayless
Key Free Agents: F/C-Juwan Howard
Options: Avery Bradley, Larry Sanders, Armon Johnson, Damion James,
Synopsis: Portland might have the best 1-2 combination in the league not named Kobe and Pau. Roy and Aldridge are both all-star caliber players who have lifted the Trailblazers in only four short years. Camby is 36 and Howard is 37, so obviously they need some youth up front. If they could get an instant contributor at #22 then Portland will have a shot to go deep in the playoffs next year.
Needs: SG (in case Johnson leaves), PG upgrade, true center
Picks: 24, 53
Core: SG-Joe Johnson, F-Josh Smith, C/F-Al Horford, G-Jamal Crawford, SF-Marvin Williams, PG-Mike Bibby, F/G-Mo Evans
Key Free Agents: Johnson, F/G-Josh Childress (Restricted, playing in Europe now, Atlanta has his restricted free agent rights)
Options: At 24-Dominique Jones, Avery Bradley, Willie Warren, Soloman Alabi, Gani Lawal
At 53-Best player available, maybe a center with some length
Synopsis: Losing Johnson wouldn't quite be as drastic as Cleveland losing LeBron or Miami losing DWade but don't underestimate Johnson's value to the Hawks. Atlanta has made the playoffs for the last three years and has a good young core. However, how far Atlanta would drop if they lost Johnson would remains unclear. I think they would still be the at least the 6th best team in the East, but losing your best player is never a good thing. The Hawks could move Crawford to the starting 2 guard and hope that Childress would come back to the states. It should be an interesting off-season in the ATL.
Needs: Backup PG with size, wing depth
Picks: 29, 50
Core: C-Dwight Howard, SG-Vince Carter, PG-Jameer Nelson, PF-Rashard Lewis, SF-Matt Barnes, SG-J.J. Redick, F/G-Mickeal Pietrus
Key Free Agents: Redick (Restricted), Barnes (PO), PG-Jason Williams
Options: At 29-Armon Johnson, Terrico White, Grevis Vasquez, Jordan Crawford, Quincy Poindexter, best player available at 50
Synopsis: The Magic have the best big man on earth and a very good supporting cast around him. It will be tough for the Magic to keep both Redick and Barnes happy this summer. Redick is likely to find a place to play next year where he will have a chance to start. The Magic will have plenty of options to get a big back up point but could also go with a wing at #29. They could go with a traditional power forward and move Lewis to the wing where he is much more comfortable. GM Otis Smith has plenty of work to do this off-season to keep Orlando as contenders in the East.
NEW YORK KNICKS:
Needs: Pretty much everything, players that will succeed in Mike D'Antoni's uptempo system
Picks: 38, 39
Core: C/F-David Lee, F-Danilo Galinari, SF-Wilson Chandler, PF-Al Harrington PG-Chris Duhon, G-Tony Douglas, G/F-Tracy McGrady
Key Free Agents: Lee, Harrington, Duhon, McGrady
Options: At 38 and 39-Jarvis Varnado,Trevor Booker, Darrington Hobson, Lance Stephenson
Synopsis: It would have been very nice if the Knicks 1) Had a top 10 pick this year, 2) Drafted Stephen Curry or Brandon Jennings last year, 3) Were able to get Ricky Rubio by now. Maybe having just one of those things happen would land King James in the big apple via free agancey this summer. Right now the Knicks are hoping to sign a top free agent with all of the cap room they have. New York has two second round picks that they might use to move up into the first round.
Needs: Guard depth
Picks: 43, 58
Core: SG-Kobe Bryant, PF-Pau Gasol, C-Andrew Bynum,
Key Free Agents:
Options: Best player available for both picks
Synopsis: Life is good in L.A. The Lakers will bring back the same core and try to go for the 3-peat. Kobe, Pau, Artest, and Odom show no signs of gettting worse any time soon. the Lakers do a few worries though this off-season. Bynum's knee, Fisher's age, both Farmar and Brown are free agents, this give them some concern. However at the end of the day as long as Kobe and Pau are there and healthy, the Lakers are easily the team to beat in the NBA once again.
Needs: Frontcourt Depth (especially is Amar'e leaves)
Picks: 46, 60
Core: F/C-Amar'e Stoudemire, PG-Steve Nash, SG-Jason Richardson, SF-Grant Hill, C/F-Channing Frye, SF-Jered Dudley, C-Robin Lopez, G-Leandro Barbosa, PG-Goran Dragic
Key Free Agents: Stoudemire (ETO), Frye (PO), F/C-Louis Amundson
Options: Best player available for both picks
Synopsis: Will Amar'e stay or will he go? I think it would be a wise decision for him to stay in Phoenix http://mrmattsbballinsight.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-would-amare-leave.html
As long as Amar'e is in Phoenix, they have a shot to contend. Hill already says he's coming back and Nash despite being 36, still has 3 years left in the tank. Channing Frye will demand more than the 1.99 million he earned last year but is still affordable. The main problem in Phoenix is that right now they don't have a GM after Steve Kerr abruptly quit. With the draft a few days away and free agency a few weeks away Phoenix better find someone or else they could risk losing Amar'e.
Needs: SG, C
Core: PF-Dirk Nowitzki, F/G-Caron Butler, PG-Jason Kidd, G-Jason Terry, SF-Shawn Marion, C-Brendan Haywood, C-Erick Dampier, G-Rodrigues Beaubois
Key Free Agents: Nowitzki (ETO), Haywood, G-J.J. Berea
Options: Sylven Landesberg, Aubrey Coleman, Dexter Pittman, Ryan Richards
Synopsis: It's now or never in Big D. After a great regular season, Dallas lost in the first round to their hated rivals the San Antonio Spurs. Dirk will opt out, but it's mainly to show the Mavs that other teams will have interest in him so the Mavs will pay him (the whole get with another hot girl to make your girl jealous thing). Everyone in their rotation, other than Beaubois and Berea (who combined for 32 minutes per game last year), is 30 years or over. They will try to draft a player that can earn a roster spot at #50. The time to win is now.
Needs: C, PG depth
Core: SF-Gerald Wallace, SG-Stephen Jackson, PG-Ray Felton, PF-Boris Diaw, C-Tyson Chandler, PF-Tyrus Thomas, PG-D.J.Augustin
Key Free Agents: Felton, Chandler (ETO)
Synopsis: The good news: The Bobacts reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history thanks to a breakout year by Wallace and the mid season trade for Jackson. Now they will look to build upon last year's success.
The bad news: Felton is an unrestricted free agent. Even though he's not even a top 15 point guard in the league, he's the top point guard in the free agent class this year. Is Augustin ready to become the starter yet? I don't think so. Chandler may opt out the guaranteed 12.6 million he's due next year. On the surface that would be a terrible decision for Chandler. However he's still only 27 years old and still over 7 feet tall so someone needing a true center (NY maybe even MIA, OKC, or MIN) will overpay for his services. The Bobcats need to keep both players to avoid going back to lottery land in the 2011 Draft.
Needs: Depth everywhere
Core: SF-Carmelo Anthony, PG-Chauncey Billups, C-Nene, G/F-J.R. Smith, PF-Kenyon Martin, SG-Aaron Affalo C/F-Chris Anderson, PG-Ty Lawson
No Key Free Agents
Synopsis: The Nuggets will have pretty much the exact same core as last year unless they make a major trade. Both Lawson and Smith have are young and have great value on their contracts. This will be a crucial year in Denver as next summer will be a very key off-season. Smith and Martin will both become free agents and Melo can opt out as well. If a team with plenty of cap room like the Knicks or the Nets were unable to sign a major free agent this summer Melo could be the big prize of next summer.
Needs: Re-sign Lebron, Shooters, Add some players under 30, Frontcourt depth
Core: SF-LeBron James, PF-Antawn Jamison, PG-Mo Williams, C-Shaquille O'neal, C/F-Anderson Varejao, SG-Anthony Parker, G-Delonte West
Key Free Agents: James (PO), O'Neal
Synopsis: Losing LeBron James would set back the Cavs into rebuilding mode. Luckily for the Cavs, LeBron seems very loyal and wants to stay in Cleveland. They have a veteran team around him. But they just don't have the right pieces to compliment him. Unless they could swing a major trade for another star (Chris Bosh) I don't see the Cavs getting any better then their current state. They overpaid for Varejao last summer and have too much money tied up to Jamison. Williams fades in the playoffs and West is average at best. Shaq and Parker are a combined 73 years old. So really why should LeBron stay in Cleveland?