This years Draft lotto caught a fair amount of shade based on the fact it has been decided long ago that this class was a joke. While it is nowhere near the deepest class ever (long before about half of the top 10 prospects pulled out), there are still some intriguing players in it that could make a difference on some of these clubs at the top of this Draft. There’s no day one franchise savior, but there’s a few talented difference makers….for those picking high at least.
The Cavs hit the jackpot after their nightmare fall from grace this year, and after being able to land nothing in the wake of LeBron leaving town, now have two top 5 picks where they can max out on the limited available talent in this class. The Jazz also worked their way up the boards with a top 3 pick after dealing their franchise PG mid season, and still having a later pick..
Basically what this draft is putting some former major players in good position to get better quickly. And below is who won by landing where they did based on what they need and what’s out there, and who flat out lost by where they ended up at and what’s available.
This isn’t the best draft, and it would be much better to be higher next year, but with some smart picks, there’s some solid bonus picks here after the clear top two guys. I’ll be back later this week to familiarize you with some of these prospects and my take on them and how they fit in the NBA, but for now run with the team info/projections and fall backs options.
Not sure if any of these guys (even the #1) is enough to save these squads….well that’s a different question. Bit they can’t get much worse. I think.
1. CAVS: #1 is always a great spot, even in this year’s uncertain class. And in any situation, for unloading Mo Williams and babysitting Baron Davis, they land the top pick as a throw in and now have a chance to get a potential new face of the organization to rebuild around.
The CHOICE: Kyrie Irving. If no? Derrick Williams.
2. T-WOLVES: Once again they miss out on the top prize in their never-ending rebuilding project, and as a result, they are subject to whatever the Cavs do. Any point guard is a loud admission of perhaps early defeat in their Flynn/Rubio ’09 Draft, but with Derrick Williams they at least get some versatility, albeit at the positions they are best at, forward. Tough spot.
The Choice: Derrick Williams. If No? Brandon Knight
3. JAZZ: They have a cluttered roster that is in transition after the Deron Williams move, and there will definitely be some new openings, but they could have really used a spot in the top 2 to properly address their needs. But with this first of two Lotto picks, they should take another backcourt athlete, or potentially a high potential foreigner. But really, nothing fits perfectly here.
The Choice: Brandon Knight. If No? Jan Vesley.
4. CAVS: A luxury pick for many other clubs, this is a blessing from above for a team in need everywhere. This quick turnaround in the top 10 represented by their own pick gives them a shot to add two quick fixes along the road of redemption. They really have to take the best available player here once again.
The CHOICE: Enes Kanter. If No? Kemba Walker.
5. RAPTORS: They need helping the middle, as they have a large group of talented, but slender frontcourt guys. However, an athletic backcourt scorer to run with DeMar DeRozan would be a big coup as well, and here they have the option to do both. Although they have a taste for international talent, they could benefit more by looking south intobthe States this year.
The CHOICE: Kemba Walker. If No? Jonas Valanciunus.
6. WIZARDS: The need athletic wings that can bring out the best in John Wall, so the more they can run and finish, the better. However getting an shooter that can stretch the D is needed too…AND a big man that turn his back to the basket…AND, well just about everything else too. They may be best suited taking the best available player that can contribute quickly.
The CHOICE: Kawhi Leonard. If No? Jan Vesley
7. KINGS: Getting higher in the mix to land the point guard they need to move Tyreke Evans off the ball would have been ideal, but they’ll miss out on that this late, while being too high to take a reach at the next level of PGs. They have to settle for one of the wings here late, and hope to find a better way to even out their lineup elsewhere.
THE CHOICE: Jan Vesley. If No? Josh Shelby
8. PISTONS: There will be a TON of personel turnover here after the last season mutiny by the veterans on board. Whatever gets done however will be based around Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey (and the log jams of Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and their contracts). These issues say take a physical front court presence or find an athletic swingman to fill in the Richard Hamilton gap in the works.
THE CHOICE: Jonas Valanciunas. If No? Alec Burks
9. BOBCATS: This team needs scorers of any type, but their lack of toughness inside will most likely take priority. Whoever can start to give this team some identity again would be a great call, but with Jordan calling the shots you never know what could happen here. Logic says take the best available player from my view.
THE CHOICE: Tristan Thompson. If No? Jimmer Fredette
10. BUCKS: The were tremendously underwhelming this year, but still have a lot of talent on deck to be adding a top 10 player to. This works out well because it can be a bonus to a core that can improve. An athletic front line body would be a big bonus, but a slasher that can shoot a bit too would be the best fit.
THE CHOICE: Alec Burks. If No? Marcus Morris
11. WARRIORS: Usually, this doesn’t matter. They’ll just take the best player at a position they are already deep at. However, with Jerry West on board now in Oakland, the picks will get smarter. They need to fill in the space between David Lee and Monta Ellis/Stephen Curry with some versatile forward talent. Or they could potentially look to land a legit fixture at center as well.
THE CHOICE: Chris Singleton. If No? Bismack Biyombo
12. JAZZ: This depends on what they do with #3, but getting more explosive overall has to be their goal. They are in a position to gamble here on potential/payout, but could go for the name brand move here too via a certain BYU star. Makes a weird sort of symmetry sense, but could also be a decent fit.
THE CHOICE: Kenneth Faried. If No? Jimmer Fredette
13. SUNS: They’ll be changing a lot very soon, and it could even include Steve Nash. However, they could delay some of their mass overhaul by adding getting some athletic size to go with their guard based attack, as they have nobody on their roster currently that presents an obstacle to opposing rim attackers.
THE CHOICE: Markieff Morris. If No? Jimmer Fredette
14. ROCKETS: They are picking from the same position as last year, but they are not the same team as they were a year ago. They don’t have the same optimism on Yao Ming returning, and have no true presence at the point. They would be best suited adding some height, but this late in a shallow pool, they are the rare position of having to actually settle for the “best” available player to better themselves.
THE CHOICE: Jimmer Fredette. If No? Donatas Motiejunas