NBA Lottery

Los-Angeles-Clippers-Posters
    
Building Blocks : Eric Gordon (SG), Al Thornton (SF)
Franchise Player(s) : Baron Davis (PG)
Key Free Agents : Ricky Davis (SG/SF)
Team Needs : Defensive Stopper/Toughness along the perimeter
 
Familiar territory for one of last year’s most underachieving teams, who seemed to have a solid direction at the beginning of the season.  The Clippers landed Baron Davis in the off-season, only to see their centerpiece, Elton Brand, bounce to Philly.  Shortly after that, Marcus Camby re-located to L.A. thru a trade, followed by Zach Randolph during the season.   The Clippers drafted combo guard Eric Gordon in last year’s lottery, who turned out to be a very good choice, considering how bad Ricky Davis played.  If the Clippers are to draft Blake Griffin, they are in major need of a trade, which is very likely over the next month or so.  Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph, and promising young-gun DeAndre Jordan, are all post players, and there aren’t minutes for each of them.  I look for Marcus Camby to be the most attractive of the group, due to his expiring contract entering the proclaimed 2010 Free Agency Class. 
 
 
Memphis-Grizzlies-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Mike Conley (PG), Marc Gasol (PF/C)
Franchise Player(s) : Rudy Gay (SG/SF), O.J. Mayo (SG)
Key Free Agents : Hakim Warrick (SF/PF), Juan Carlos Navarro (PG)
Team Needs : Defensive, Shot-Blocking Big Man
 
The Grizzlies are a team that have a lot of promise in the future.  Mike Conley began to come along towards the end of the season, showing flashes of what’s to come.  O.J. Mayo proved to be the most NBA ready player in this year’s rookie class, leading all rooks in scoring.  The combo of Mayo & Gay on the wings are going to be a deadly scoring tandem in the future, as they get more comfortable with each other.  Marc Gasol proved to have some of the ability to match the last name, and looks like a solid interior presence, offensively.  The Grizzlies are in need of an interior player that will keep defenders out of the paint, and provide some toughness inside.
 
 
Oklahoma-Thunder-Team-Logo-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Russell Westbrook (PG/SG), Jeff Green (SF/PF)
Franchise Player(s) : Kevin Durant (SG/SF)
Key Free Agents : Nenad Krstic (C/PF)
Team Needs : A True PG, or A Shot Blocking Big Man
 
I’ll go out on a limb and make a prediction, the Thunder will challenge for a playoff spot next season with the right pick this year.  Bold statement, but if they land a player like Ricky Rubio, or Brandon Jennings to run alongside of Russell Westbrook in the back-court, they will be an exciting team to watch next season.  The Thunder have a lot of key players to build around, and look very promising in year’s to come.  Kevin Durant came into his own last season, and showed why he was a past Rookie Of The Year recipient.  Durant and Westbrook, along with Jeff Green provide a young and very athletic core, that needs an equally athletic complement.  Westbrook can play both guard positions, but is best suited to play the 2, and is also a nice perimeter defender.  The Thunder can’t go wrong with this pick if they target a true PG, or a shot blocking defender to man the middle.  
 
 
Sacramento-Kings-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Spencer Hawes (C), Jason Thompson (PF/C)
Franchise Player(s) : Kevin Martin (SG)
Key Free Agents : Rashad McCants (SG)
Team Needs : Scoring & Perimeter Defense from the SF Position 
 
The Kings are a team that needs help everywhere!  Andres Nocioni came aboard in a trade that sent swing-man, John Salmons to the Bulls, as well as Center, Brad Miller.  Nocioni provided some defense and hustle from the 3 spot, but he’s definitely not the answer for the Kings.  Beno Udrich is a solid PG, when healthy, and rookie Bobby Brown had a few flashes of ability during the season, which got him dealt to Minnesota in a Rashad McCants Deal.  Small Forward is an immediate area of need for the Kings, which will need to be able to score from that position, as Salmons was a near 20 ppg scorer, prior to his trade to the Bulls.  I look for the Kings to address the wing position, that can help shoulder the scoring load from shooting guard, Kevin Martin.
 
 
Washington-Wizards-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Nick Young (PG/SG), Andre Blatche (PF/C)
Franchise Player(s) : Gilbert Arenas (PG/SG), Caron Butler (SF/SG), Antawn Jamison (PF/SF)
Key Free Agents : Etan Thomas (C)
Team Needs : A True PG or A Shot Blocker
 
The Wizards looked like a promising team after their incredible showing versus Cleveland a couple years ago in the playoffs.  Gilbert Arenas has hurt the Wiz in back to back seasons, with knee injuries, setting back the overall progress greatly!  Butler has been the rock of the team, and Jamison has been steady.  While these three have been playing together for some time now, it’s hard to imagine them as a core for much longer.  Jamison’s getting older, and has a history of being a soft player at the 4 spot.  Butler is the team’s best defender, along with DeShawn Stevenson, but Stevenson can be a reserve player if they Wiz are able to secure a true PG, to play alongside Arenas.  A stronger interior presence is a major need for the Wizards as well, but I can’t shake the feeling that I foresee a trade in the near future for Washington.
 
 
Minnesota-Timberwolves-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Kevin Love (PF/C), Randy Foye (PG/SG)
Franchise Player(s) : Al Jefferson (C/PF)
Key Free Agents : Rodney Carney (SF)
Team Needs : A True PG or Perimeter Defender at SF
 
The Timberwolves were expected to be much better after drafting rookie stud, Kevin Love.  With Corey Brewer’s development not up to speed, inconsistency at PG, and devastating injury to Al Jefferson, the T-Wolves find themselves in the NBA Draft Lottery yet again.  The T-Wolves have a solid core with Jefferson, Love, and Foye, to build around.  Sebastian Telfair showed some promise last season, but in accordance of all the hype around his entry into the league, he’s failed miserably at coming close to it.  Corey Brewer was thought by some to be one of the most exciting rookies of his class, and has yet to build on that hype, similar to Telfair.  The T-wolves are in need of major consistency from the PG position, but someone that control the tempo of game, and get the ball into scoring positions for it’s three young stars.  
 
 
Golden-State-Warriors-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Andres Biedrins (C), Brandan Wright (PF), Anthony Randolph (SF/PF), Anthony Morrow (PG/SG), Kelenna Azubuike (SG)
Franchise Player(s) : Monta Ellis (SG/PG), Stephan Jackson (SG/SF)
Key Free Agents : Jamal Crawford (SG/PG) – Early Player Option
Team Needs : A True PG or A New Coach
 
Don Nelson has been the model of inconsistency in Golden State, which his errant lineup changes, on a daily basis.  Nelson also gave Crawford an ultimatum, saying the team will trade him, if he doesn’t opt out of his current deal.  Crawford came to a team via trade, who was missing it’s star, Monta Ellis, at the time.  The Warriors have a very crowded guard/swing-man position, with Crawford, Ellis, Jackson, Magette, Morrow, and Azubuike all playing mostly between the 2 and 3 positions.  However with Nelly, any position is possible.  There were games where Magette and/or Jackson, found themselves playing  the 4 position, which is completely out of their element.  The Warriors may ultimately try to deal Crawford for some sort of compensation, which would be much smarter, considering his deal expires on it’s own after this season.
 
 
New-York-Knicks-Posters
 
Building Blocks : Wilson Chandler (SG/SF), Nate Robinson (PG/SG), David Lee (PF/C), Danillo Gallinari (SF)
Franchise Player(s) : N/A
Key Free Agents : Chris Wilcox (PF/C), David Lee (PF/C), Nate Robinson (PG/SG), Quentin Richardson* (SG/SF), Eddy Curry* (C), Al Harrington* (SF/PF) – *Player Options
Team Needs : A Defensive & Athletic Big Man
  
The Knicks spent most of the season rebuilding, and gearing up for a major free agency run in 2010.  In a dream situation, the Knicks would get all those players to opt out of their contracts, which would free up substantial cap room, in order to attempt to match a deal for fan favorites, David Lee & Nate Robinson.  With Coach D’Antoni’s up and down tempo style of play, athleticism, and the ability to score are crucial attributes when it comes to selecting a draft pick.  Most likely, the Knicks will look to make several trades, in hopes of dumping some of these contracts, and freeing up some money to re-sign Lee or Robinson.  However, if that doesn’t happen, look for the Knicks to draft an instant offense type of player, to replace Robinson.
 
 
Toronto-Raptors-Posters
 
Building Blocks :  Andrea Bargnani (C/SF), Jose Calderon (PG)
Franchise Player(s) : Chris Bosh (PF/C)
Key Free Agents : Shawn Marion (SF/PF) 
Team Needs : Scoring & Defending Shooting Guard or Defensive Big Man
  
The Raptors took major steps backwards, after reaching the playoffs a season before, and the disappointment in the Jermaine O’neal trade.  O’neal came to the Raptors and was plagued with injuries and inconsistent play, which earned him a trade to Miami for Shawn Marion.  The Raptors seem poised to rebuild around versatile big man, Andrea Bargnani, with rumors surrounding a potential Chris Bosh deal to Miami.  Marion will most likely leave a void at the SF position, which Bargnani could swing over to play, pending the Raptors acquisition of a True Center, which is a major need as well.  Scoring from the guard positions are also of immediate need, with Calderon being more of a traditional PG.  The key to the Raptors draft direction will depend completely on the looming Bosh trade, and with Bosh being a free agent after next season, it’s almost sure he’ll be relocated.
 
 
Milwaukee-Bucks-Posters
  
Building Blocks : Andrew Bogut (C), Ramon Sessions (PG), Joe Alexander (SF/PF), Charlie Villanueva (PF/SF)
Franchise Player(s) : Michael Redd (SG), Richard Jefferson (SF)
Key Free Agents : Ramon Sessions (PG), Charlie Villanueva (PF/SF)
Team Needs : A Perimeter Defender or Shot Blocker
  
The Bucks looked like a team on the rise after acquiring Richard Jefferson from the Nets for Yi Jianlian.  R.J. was seen as the scoring threat to play alongside Michael Redd, giving the Bucks legit threats at the 2 and 3 positions.  Redd’s season was ended early by injury, which then spread to big man, Andrew Bogut.  Put that together with inconsistency from R.J. and you have another disappointing season by the Bucks.  The Bucks have to decide if they’re going to be willing to pay PG Ramon Sessions, the money he’s sure to attract in free agency, as well as big man, Charlie Villanueva.  Michael Redd will be a hot topic of discussion this off season, as he becomes a free agent after next season, along with Richard Jefferson.  The Bucks are also going to have to make room for last season’s draft pick, Joe Alexander, so a move is very likely to come in the near future.
 
 
New-Jersey-Nets-Posters
  
Building Blocks : Ryan Anderson (SF), Brook Lopez (C), Sean Williams (PF/C), Yi Jianlian (SF/PF), Chris Douglas-Roberts (SG)
Franchise Player(s) : Vince Carter (SG/SF), Devin Harris (PG)
Key Free Agents : N/A
Team Needs : Consistency at the Power Forward Position
 
The Nets are a team that is poised to rebuild around young star Devin Harris, and promising big man Brook Lopez.  Vince Carter seems likely to be dealt very soon, as the team looks to re-tool, in a total youth movement.  Yi has also been rumored to be dealt in the very near future, but can they get consistency from Sean Williams?  Williams has showed a load of promise, and can be the defending big man that the Nets need.  If they don’t have faith in Williams, then look for the Nets to acquire a PF, via trade, or the draft.  Also, if Vince Carter is dealt, the Nets could also look to get a PG, and move Harris to the 2 spot, which he’s proven he can score from.
 
 
Bobcats Logo
 
Building Blocks : D.J. Augustin (PG), Raymond Felton (PG/SG), Boris Diaw (SF/PF), Sean May (PF/C)
Franchise Player(s) : Emeka Okafor (C/PF), Gerald Wallace (SF/PF)
Key Free Agents : Raymond Felton (PG), Sean May (PF/C)
Team Needs : Scoring Shooting Guard or Small Forward from the bench, or Back-up Center
  
The Bobcats came close to earning their very first playoff birth, but fell short towards the end.  Injuries as usual hindered the teams progress, but looks promising for the future.  The Bobcats have a decision to make, as their oft-injured franchise players, Okafor & Wallace, are very likely to receive inquiries from other teams looking for youth.  Raymond Felton looks likely to be playing for a new team, with rookie PG DJ Augustin, poised to take over starter’s duties next season.  It’s most likely that the team will look to add some sort of impactful veteran, as Larry Brown isn’t the most Youth-Friendly coach.
 
 
 
Indiana-Pacers-Posters
  
Building Blocks : Brandon Rush (SG), Mike Dunleavy (SG/SF), Roy Hibbert (C)
Franchise Player(s) : Danny Granger (SF)
Key Free Agents : Jarrett Jack (PG), Rasho Nesterovic (C)
Team Needs : An Athletic Center or Point Guard of the future
  
Point Guard doesn’t seem like a need for the Pacers, with both Jack and T.J. Ford sharing the duties.  Center is an immediate area of need, with inconsistent players in the middle like Jeff Foster, and Rasho Nesterovic.  Former Georgetown Center, Roy Hibbert has potential to be a contributor off the bench, but is very slow, and lacks in offensive ability.  T.J. Ford may be an attractive player, with his contract expiring after next season, as well as Mike Dunleavy, to give way for Brandon Rush to start.  Double-double machine, Troy Murphy, provides solid play from the 4 spot, but is desperately in need of help in the post.  All-Star Danny Granger is the crown jewel of the Pacers Franchise, and most likely will be the center-piece for years to come.  Putting the right pieces around Granger is the key part to Indiana’s success.  Also, a PG by the name of Jamaal Tinsley is still on their roster, but wasn’t welcomed back all season, look for him to be dealt as well.
 
 
Suns Logo
 
Building Blocks : Robin Lopez (C), Goran Dragic (PG)
Franchise Player(s) : Amar’e Stoudemire (PF/C), Steve Nash (PG)
Key Free Agents : Louis Amundsun (PF/C), Matt Barnes (SF), Grant Hill (SF/SG)
Team Needs : Overall Youth, and Consistency from the Small Forward Position
 
 
The lottery is an unusual spot for the Suns, who lost their direction during last year’s acquisition of an aging Shaquille O’neal.  While Shaq played at a fairly high level this past season, he is not the component of a team who was known to run & gun.  The Suns have huge decisions to make, with aging starters, Shaq and Nash hitting free agency after next season, and almost definite opt out of Amar’e Stoudemire in the same year.  I imagine the Suns either trading up from this draft position to address both a youth movement, as well as the looming losses they’ll be taking in free agency the following season.  Shaq has an enormous contract, and completely changes a teams scheme, if added, which all equal the difficulty in trading him.  I imagine a guy like Mark Cuban taking a fly at Shaq, which he’s rumored to have had interest in the past, as well as the Suns putting themselves in place to re-sign, or deal Stoudemire.
 
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Comments
2 Responses to “NBA Lottery”
  1. SportzguytoFly says:

    Yo,

    The Clippers stink that if fantasy wasteland. I hope they move Kaman and Baron leaves. Gordon can be a beast, if they get blake they can make some noise with there big men.

    I think the Thunder are going to really be the big winners in the draft. If Thebet slips to 3rd, they have a 7+ center to dominate the middle for defense, while they already have one of the rising superstars Durant, they also have Westbrook who has emerged in his rookie season as a true scorer.

  2. H.Reid says:

    I disagree with letting going Baron, he’s still a beast, I do agree with getting rid of Kaman, he’s dead weight plus they have Camby. The best move would be for them to grab Griffin, a no brainer. I can see the line-up being Camby, Randolph and Griffin down low and Baron and Gordon at the guard positions. Thorton may start initially until Griffin learns the offense but should be the first option of the bench.

    The Memphis invested a lot in young Gasol who I think is a much better defender than his brother but his offense is lacking. You can not have Thabeet and Gasol in the post and expect to win. I think they should go with Austin Daye or Earl Clark. They are set at the guard position and only need post players.

    The Thunder need Thabeet bad, I think if they are able to grab him they will make the playoffs next year and surprise a lot of teams this year. By far there weakest position is center everywhere else they are sound. Durant is a monster but he needs to up the rebounds to put the Thunder over the top and Thabeet is the man that will help boslter that stat line. Teams will be so worried about putting a body on him that they will for get to block out Durant who is not notorious for crashing the boards.

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