2014 NBA draft: Team needs
The middle class is dead in the 2014 NBA draft, where everyone is either a have or a have-not. Nine of the league's 30 teams do not have a first-round pick in Thursday's draft. Seven have two selections and the Suns, those glorious asset-accumulating Suns, are sitting pretty with three. With a number of superstars facing uncertain futures and so many teams sitting on extra picks, it seems reasonable to expect some action on draft night. Here's a rundown of needs for all 30 teams -- even those who aren't currently holding picks -- in advance of the draft.
Draft picks: No. 15, 43
Needs: Frontcourt depth, backcourt depth
It's easy to sleep on the Hawks, who succeeded in being mediocre on both sides of the ball despite losing Al Horford to a season-ending pectoral injury in December. Atlanta's building blocks -- Horford, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Lou Williams -- fit very well together and are all on reasonable contracts. Any non-lottery player, even in this year's strong crop, is going to fit into the Hawks' long-term plans rather than as an immediate impact guy. Last year, GM Danny Ferry went the international route with both of his first-round picks, in true ex-Spurs-executive fashion, and he could try something similar this time. Atlanta is well under the cap and can find short-term fixes for its bench via free agency if necessary. If the Hawks do use their pick, the place to start might be inside, given that Elton Brand is headed to free agency, Gustavo Ayon underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in February and Atlanta has been lacking a big-bodied center since Zaza Pachulia's departure last summer.
MAHONEY: Teams facing critical offseason decisions
Draft picks: No. 6, 17
Needs: Roster clarity, frontcourt building blocks
We're closing in on the one-year anniversary of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett blockbuster trade agreement, and the Celtics, to no one's great surprise, possess arguably the most mismatched collection of players in the league. Rajon Rondo, a trusty pass-first point guard, has no one to pass to. Jeff Green, a nice third option, has no alpha or beta dogs to lean on. There are multiple veterans who have no clear role going forward (Gerald Wallace, Joel Anthony) and some younger players (Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk) that are lacking in star power. The over/under for number of Boston trades before opening night should probably be set at 2.5, even if Danny Ainge can't pull off the Kevin Love dream deal. It's hard to point to anyone on the roster and deem him untradeable, which does allow for a lot of flexibility on draft night. If Boston delays its major moves and uses both of its picks, they'll surely want to add some size and depth inside. Would Joel Embiid, if he somehow slips out of the top five, make the most sense here? Otherwise, the Celtics should have a shot at Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon, and any of the three would be worthwhile additions. Boston ranked in the bottom-five for three-point percentage last season, and they should be able to find a perimeter threat that could help perk up the league's fourth-worst offense at No. 17.
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Draft picks: None
Heartburn and acid reflux are inevitable byproducts of eyeing the Nets' salary cap situation. Where things stand: The league's most expensive roster delivered exactly five postseason victories for Nets owner Mikhail
Prokhorov. Where things are going: Well above the luxury tax line for next season and needing to re-sign Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce, it's difficult to envision how Brooklyn takes a major step forward this summer. Although the Barclays Center will play host to the draft next week, the hometown team doesn't have a pick in either the first or second round.
MAHONEY: Nets could be in trouble this offseason
Draft picks: No. 9, 24, 45
Needs: Shooting, perimeter depth
The Hornets surprised a lot of folks with a postseason appearance this season, largely because first-year coach Steve Clifford was able to get his troops to play consistently good defense despite a long list of injuries. Charlotte ranked No. 6 defensively, even though there wasn't a single veteran player in the rotation with an established reputation as a lockdown defender. The offense lagged, though, despite the best efforts of
Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. With Jefferson, an All-NBA behemoth inside, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an athletic but streaky wing, the Hornets would be well served by adding a marksman at No. 9. Charlotte should have a shot at either Doug McDermott, Nik Stauskas or Gary Harris, and all would fit in fairly neatly.
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Draft picks: No. 16, 19, 49
Needs: Small forward, perimeter scoring, point guard
The story for the Derrick Rose-less Bulls has been as clearcut as it gets: awesome defense, punchless offense. Given Chicago's steady presence in rumors and their ability to amnesty Carlos Boozer, it's quite likely that their draft -- even with two first-round picks at their disposal -- will wind up being an afterthought for their offseason. Targeting two-way players who can score, and shoot from deep, would make sense for a team that parted with Luol Deng and had to make due with Mike Dunleavy for long stretches this season. If Bulls management likes a point guard in this year's class -- only Tyler Ennis and Shabazz Napier are projected to go around Chicago's range -- then that would be another route. It's never too soon to make auxiliary plans in the event Rose encounters additional knee-related drama.
Draft picks: No. 1, 33
Needs: A home run
The oft-used term "franchise-changing talent" exists because one elite player is capable of transforming an entire organization in the NBA. The Cavaliers know this better than anyone else -- having experienced the highs of the
LeBron James era and endured the depths of the post-Decision fallout -- and they need that game-changer as badly as any team in the league. Franchise players can erase mistakes on the court and rewrite history off it: the Bulls had top-10 picks in six consecutive drafts before plucking Michael Jordan in 1984, and none of those six players was still in Chicago when MJ won his first title. Cleveland's 2013 selection of Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall was an outright disaster: Bennett ranked No. 40 out of 42 in Win Shares among players in the 2013 class with at least one appearance, and he ranked No. 26 out of 27 qualified rookies in PER. A season that began with a shoulder injury and included conditioning and breathing concerns ended prematurely with a knee injury. That's about as bad as it gets, but then the draft lottery gods gifted the Cavaliers with a do-over. Perhaps, then, Joel Embiid's foot injury is a blessing in disguise, as it surely takes him (and his injury risks) off the table. New Cavaliers GM Chris Grant can now hone in on Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, two one-and-done talents with the chance to be special who would fill positions of immediate need on Cleveland's roster.
Draft picks: No. 34, 51
Needs: Center, small forward, depth
Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter are all headed for free agency, forcing the Mavericks to assess the lay of the land for seemingly the fourth straight offseason following their 2011 title. Dallas's approach in 2011, 2012 and 2013 was more or less noncommittal, although the Mavericks did well to add Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis last year. Much of the rest of the rotation is up in the air, although Nowitzki's return is a stone-cold lock. Is it possible to build a contender around the Nowitzki/Ellis/Calderon trio? That sounds like a tall order, but then again, Rick Carlisle's Mavericks were the only team to take the Spurs to seven games in the postseason. With only a pair of second-round picks to work with, the Mavericks' real work will almost certainly be done in July rather than June.
Draft picks: No. 11, 41, 56
Needs: An identity under coach Brian Shaw, two guard
In his first season on the job, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw very much seemed like a man trying to get his bearings. Long-term injuries to JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson, Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson certainly didn't help matters, but Shaw was juggling his lineups and making strange decisions all year long. Some of that can be attributed to inheriting a roster that was designed by a GM and coach who are no longer there, but we've reached the stage where the onus is on Shaw and GM Tim Connelly to chart a new course, whatever that might be. The two guard spot represents the Nuggets' biggest hole, and targeting a big, long guard with upside like James Young might be an intriguing option to provide a different look than Randy Foye.
Draft picks: No. 38
Needs: A fast-forward button
Even though I'm high on Stan Van Gundy's ability to transform the sad-sack Pistons, there's no doubt that he's inheriting a mess. Van Gundy must make a crucial decision on Greg Monroe, shop Brandon Jennings as hard as possible, find a way to get Josh Smith to abandon his jump-shooting dreams and convince multiple worthwhile players to hop aboard as free agents without major money to throw at them (assuming Monroe stays). That's a long -- maybe, impossibly long -- to-do list, and Van Gundy won't have a first-round pick to work with thanks to one of Joe Dumars' many blunders. One thing Van Gundy doesn't have to worry about after so many years of sub-mediocrity: great expectations.
Golden State Warriors
Draft picks: None
Needs: Back-up point guard, Interior depth
The Warriors are loaded with talent but the roster is top-heavy, with four different players earning eight figure salaries and Klay Thompson headed for that range on his next deal. Golden State moved its first-round pick in this year's draft to grease the skids on a trade with Utah that eventually helped the Warriors land Andre Iguodala last summer, and they don't have a second-round pick to speak of, either. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped Golden State from moving to the top of the list of Kevin Love trade suitors. At this point, despite a first-round exit, the Warriors should be included in that group of veteran-dominated, win-now teams that looks to fix its problems with veterans, not untested college players.
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Draft picks: No. 25, 42
Needs: Power forward, depth at small forward A first-round exit means the constant tinkering will continue in Houston, where the Rockets would reportedly love to add another big-name piece to their core of James Harden, Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons (who is headed to free agency this summer) and Patrick Beverley. The trade whispers are constant around both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, and Houston's power forward situation isn't resolved yet, even though Terrence Jones took a nice step forward this season. It's not reasonable to expect the Rockets to upgrade at the four so late in the first round, so they may resort to their default offseason setting: searching for a shooter capable of launching threes in volume.
As shaky as the Pacers seemed throughout the playoffs, they still came within two wins of the Finals and they face fewer decisions this summer than the Heat. Even though keeping this band together requires maturation from Lance Stephenson (and plenty of money to re-sign him) and a return to form from Roy Hibbert, staying the course is probably the way to go. Finding a way to upgrade from George Hill at the point guard is probably the offseason dream, but it's hard to see how that gets accomplished. A more achievable goal would be to find a third guard capable of scoring: the type of player that Evan Turner was supposed to be. Indiana's only pick in the draft is No. 57, where it's pretty, pretty hard to find a contributor, making Larry Bird one to watch come free agency.
Los Angeles Clippers
Draft picks: No. 28
Needs: An approved sale to Steve Ballmer, frontcourt depth
There's no question what the Clippers' top offseason priority is: the complete, official excising of disgraced owner Donald Sterling via an approved sale of the franchise to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer. Business will continue until such a sale takes place, but the organization will be stuck in an endless cycle of distractions until there is closure. Luckily for Clippers management, all of the roster's key pieces are in place for next season. Darren Collison plans to opt out in pursuit of a better deal and the likes of Ryan Hollins and Hedo Turkoglu are free agents, but there will be no unexpected holes on a roster that won 57 games last season. Through one year in charge, Doc Rivers has made it clear that his preference for addressing needs is through scrap-heap digging: he picked up Turkoglu, Danny Granger and Glen Davis in low-budget, midseason moves. Frontcourt depth remains L.A.'s biggest roster issue, and we should probably expect Rivers to address it in July and beyond. If L.A. goes forward and selects at No. 28, it could look for a young big to develop over the next few years or snag a back-up point guard to hedge against Collison's departure. Of the two options, the former is probably preferable, as Collison's best move would seem to be to re-up in L.A., where he's a great fit.
Los Angeles Lakers
Draft picks: No. 7
Needs: A time machine to take back Kobe Bryant's contract extension, help at every single position
I'm dangerously close to reaching pity territory when it comes to the Lakers, which is one of those things you never expect to write. For the record, Kobe Bryant will be paid $23.5 million in 2013-14, after coming off back-to-back season-ending injuries. That amount is just barely less than the Spurs will pay Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard combined. Stretch your arms as wide as you possibly can, and that's how far the Lakers are from competing for a title. L.A. doesn't have a coach, it has given Pau Gasol no good reason to stay, it has holes up and down the roster and it's severely lacking in the type of quality trade chips needed to swing a deal for a superstar. There are just too many issues to address to expect a drastically different result next season. The Lakers therefore enter the draft with tunnel vision: find the best player available, ideally one with All-Star level upside.
Draft picks: No. 22
Needs: Small forward
The summer has gotten off to a strange start for the Grizzlies, who had some of their dirty laundry aired as they went through a management shakeup and nearly lost Dave Joerger, their head coach. Ultimately, Joerger made the decision to return to a Grizzlies roster that made a deep postseason run in 2013 and pushed the Thunder to the brink, as opposed to leaving for the mediocre Timberwolves. Assuming owner Robert Pera can restore some normalcy and find a way to keep Zach Randolph in the fold, the Grizzlies have all of their major parts in place. Their draft pick, then, would be best used to look to the future a bit, after punchless small forward Tayshaun Prince comes off the books in July 2015. Finding a wing who could learn on the job this season and grow into a larger role down the road would give Memphis another wing look alongside stopper Tony Allen and midseason trade acquisition Courtney Lee.
Draft picks No. 26, 55
Needs: Point guard, frontcourt depth
Put me in the group that thinks LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all be back in Miami next year. That would solve a lot of problems for the Heat, of course, but not all of them. Namely, Mario Chalmers' frustrating showing in the Finals could signal that it's time for a change of direction at the point, and the retirement of Shane Battier creates another rotation hole to plug. Michael Beasley and Greg Oden offered the Heat nothing in the postseason, and Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis weren't quite as dependable as the Heat needed them to be. All of those factors should make for a wide net on draft day for the Heat, who might be well-served by simply injecting their roster with as much athleticism as they can find at No. 26.
Draft picks: No. 2, 31, 36
History will definitely remember the Sixers' epic 2013-14 tank job, which included an NBA-record tying 26-game losing streak, but hopefully our collective memory doesn't forget that Philadelphia, no matter how hard it tried, still couldn't match Milwaukee in the futility department. Despite shelling out millions for O.J. Mayo, Gary Neal, Zaza Pachulia and Carlos Delfino, the Bucks finished with a demoralizing 15 wins, a league-worst total that equated to roughly one victory per every Larry Sanders off-the-court incident. New ownership won't reinvigorate this team by itself: a serious talent upgrade is needed, as Brandon Knight and John Henson are the only two Bucks players under contract that posted above-average Player Efficiency Ratings while logging at least 500 minutes in 2013-14. The good news for a team in Milwaukee's position is that it needs not worry about roster fit. If you gave me the choice of Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins versus the the entire Bucks roster, that's a no-brainer. You take Parker or Wiggins -- whoever is available -- and you reconstruct the rest of the puzzle around those guys.
Draft picks: No. 13, 40, 44, 53
Needs: A plan with respect to Kevin Love, dynamite to blow up the roster if they do trade him
The Timberwolves are facing two totally different realities depending on whether Kevin Love is in or out. Love certainly seems like he's out, and even if Minnesota delays a trade until sometime later this summer -- or even until the deadline -- they should enter the draft preparing for the post-Love world. Assuming Love's camp is indeed successful in pressuring Flip Saunders into dealing him, Minnesota is back to pure talent acquisition mode, which is painful to say given they've missed the playoffs 10 straight years. Their new core would be composed of Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, with just about everyone else on the roster -- many of them signed to inflated deals -- open to being included as deadweight in a Love move. The best play in the draft, assuming they use this pick or others obtained in trade, would be to target wings or a power forward to develop as a Love replacement.
New Orleans Pelicans
Draft picks: None
Needs: Center, two guard
Lottery luck didn't strike for New Orleans, and the Pelicans forfeited their first-round pick to the Sixers as compensation for the Jrue Holiday trade. Paying that pick this year meant New Orleans won't have the chance to address its hole in the middle by adding a physical, protective presence for Anthony Davis or to find a reliable backcourt scoring threat that could step in when Eric Gordon is unavailable. New Orleans isn't in the greatest cap position -- with big dollars owed to both Gordon and Tyreke Evans -- but the Pelicans can expect to improve next season with the help of better injury luck and more phenomenal growth from Davis, the league's most promising young talent.
New York Knicks
Draft picks: None
Needs: Everything Knicks president Phil Jackson placed a call to Lamar Odom and some fans wondered whether Derek Fisher could start at point guard while also coaching the team. Say no more. The Knicks will be up a huge, long-term rebuilding creek if Carmelo Anthony decides to leave in free agency. If he stays, the real roster work won't commence until next summer, when the contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler all expire. Better luck next year.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Draft picks: No. 21, 29
Needs: Two guard, center, bench scoring
The Thunder face the possible departure of Thabo Sefolosha this summer and also must plan further into the future, as Kendrick Perkins finally comes off the books after next season and 33-year-old Nick Collison gets closer to winding down a stellar career. Perhaps even more pressing, Reggie Jackson's impending free agency will force the Thunder's hand and could wind up costing a pretty penny if they want to keep their talented sixth man. The good news: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are so good that the Thunder should be a strong championship contender even as the cast around them does some rotation. That's especially true because Oklahoma City looks to have nailed their 2013 first-round pick by snagging Steven Adams, who looks like he will be occupying a starting job sooner rather than later.
Draft picks: No. 4, 12
Needs: Point guard
The Magic are far from settled when it comes to their core roster pieces, but they are in desperate need of new blood at the point. Franchise mainstay Jameer Nelson, 31, has seen way, way better days, and Victor Oladipo is better suited as a secondary ball handler. Insert a dynamic, young, multi-dimensional point guard and Orlando would be a lot more fun to watch, and their No. 29-ranked offense would likely be a thing of the past. Even with Joel Embiid's injury, the Magic should be in position to draft either Dante Exum or Marcus Smart at No. 4. This could very well be a case where positional need and best player available are one and the same, and GM Rob Hennigan shouldn't overthink it. At No. 12, Orlando should have a number of floor-stretching wings from which to choose. Making a run at the 2015 playoffs in the weak East isn't out of the question if the Magic get contributors with both of these picks while also putting their cap space flexibility to good use.
Draft picks: No. 3, 10, 32, 39, 47, 52, 54
Needs: Twos and Threes
After thoroughly gutting its roster at the trade deadline, Philadelphia has only three players who truly matter: Rookie of the Year point guard Michael Carter-Williams, veteran forward Thaddeus Young and 2013 lottery pick Nerlens Noel. That leaves massive gaps at both wing positions, a reality that is surely fueling Philadelphia's reported interest in Andrew Wiggins. Even so, the Sixers are so far from being good that their draft approach will surely be dictated by talent first rather than positional needs. The Joel Embiid injury just might be karma catching up with the Sixers for tanking, as it will likely result in both Wiggins and Parker being off the board by the time Philadelphia gets to pick at No. 3. If that's how it plays out, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie will face a fascinating test for his unemotional asset acquisition approach: Does Philadelphia take Embiid, based on his No. 1 overall player talent, despite the injuries, immediately after taking Noel and sitting him for the entire season? The pure rationalist would say Embiid is the guy, assuming his health issues aren't deemed to be chronic. Would the fact that the Sixers have preached a long-term philosophy throughout the season, and the fact that they have the No. 10 pick, help cushion the backlash that might result from selecting Embiid? If Hinkie rules out Embiid, he will face a decision on whether to take the best player available -- possibly guard Dante Exum, who would seemingly overlap with Carter-Williams, or a power forward that could make Young expendable -- or to try to find a way to package assets to move up to get Wiggins.
Draft picks: No. 14, 18, 27, 50
The Suns currently have one of the most dangerous combinations of young talent, cap flexibility and draft picks the entire league. Their surprising breakout season in 2013-14 was powered by a host of players who are 28 and under -- Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, the Morris twins, Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker -- and they also have two other youngsters, Alex Len and Archie Goodwin, who are in the fold and just waiting for their respective shots. Adding three first-round talents to this group probably amounts to an overflow of youth; at the same time, the Suns shouldn't be in a hurry to rush this. If the right consolidation trade is there immediately, pull the trigger, but hoarding extra prospects worked out nicely for the Rockets in recent years, and it could pay off for the Suns too.
Portland Trail Blazers
Draft picks: None
Needs: Bench help at every position
Owners of the league's worst bench last season, Portland is tracking towards a quiet draft day after forfeiting its first-round pick to Charlotte and trading its second-round pick to Denver. Blazers GM Neil Olshey is expected to use his mid-level exception and biannual exception to add some punch to Terry Stotts' second unit, but Portland's short-term hopes at a deep playoff run ride on its current youngsters taking an unexpected leap forward. CJ McCollum, Meyers Leonard, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton -- somebody, anybody, step right up.
Draft picks: No. 8
Needs: Roster-leveling trades, backcourt depth
Sacramento's front office has been aggressive, if a little scattershot, since new owner Vivek Ranadive took over last year. If there's a trade conversation going on out there, the Kings are probably buzzing around the periphery trying to squeeze their way in. After acquiring Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy, Derrick Williams, Jason Terry and Reggie Evans via trades during the season, the Kings find themselves stuck in glut city. Sacramento has Williams, Evans, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, and Travis Outlaw all under contract for next season. How many meh power forwards does one team reasonably need? A little positional diversification never hurt anybody. Reports have indicated the Kings are interested in moving their pick -- of course. DeMarcus Cousins is a star in the making inside, the decks have been cleared for Ben McLemore at the two, and Gay can handle big minutes and a big role on the wing should he re-sign. The Kings also face a tough decision with free agent Isaiah Thomas. Even if he returns, as he should, Sacramento could still use some defensive-minded size in their backcourt to complement their current pieces.
San Antonio Spurs
Draft picks: No. 30, 58, 60
Needs: Back-up point guard, back-up small forward, third-string bigs
San Antonio's demolition of Miami was so thorough that perhaps their "needs" section should simply be left blank. The Spurs' biggest need -- assuming Tim Duncan returns, as he should -- is for Boris Diaw to agree to re-sign on a reasonable contract. If that happens, San Antonio must be considered the early favorite to defend their 2014 title next season. The only other free agents of note are Patty Mills and Matt Bonner; of the two, Mills played a bigger role in the postseason, and his fearless shooting could draw some interest from around the league. San Antonio already has Cory Joseph in the fold and Mills may very well return; if not, a third point guard could make sense in the draft. Even though Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard isn't hampered with major minutes, the Spurs don't have a true three behind him, and that could be another option. In all likelihood, Executive of the Year R.C. Buford will draft someone most people have never heard of and he will turn out to be awesome four years from now, when San Antonio's needs are very different than they are today.
MAHONEY: Spurs' offseason outlook after winning NBA title
Draft picks: No. 20, 37, 59
Needs: Rim-protecting big, back-up point guard
The assumption here is that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri will pay whatever it takes to keep free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry this summer. The heart and soul of the Raptors, Lowry's departure would undo all of the positive momentum that Toronto enjoyed this season. Assuming Lowry is back, Toronto is well-covered at just about every position. All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan and former lottery pick Terrence Ross will handle the wing minutes while Amir Johnson, the developing Jonas Valanciunas and Chuck Hayes will continue to hold down the interior. At 20, it might be difficult for the Raptors to find a true rim-protector, although perhaps Clint Capela would be worth a shot. Alternatively, Toronto could try to find a replacement for Greivis Vasquez, who has made it clear he wants to return to the Raptors but could prove to be a roster casualty if Lowry cashes in as expected.
Draft picks: No. 5, 23, 35
Needs: Power forward, backcourt depth
The Jazz have a nice trio of building blocks in Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, assuming Hayward is retained in restricted free agency this summer, which seems a virtual certainty. That leaves primary needs at the two, where Alec Burks is still working to establish himself, and the four, assuming the low-post-minded Favors is treated as a center. After inking Favors to a rookie extension last fall, the 6-foot-10 big man posted career highs of 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds, but Utah really suffered when pairing him with Enes Kanter, a fellow big man taken No. 3 overall in 2011. The Favors/Kanter pairing posted an atrocious minus-15.3 net rating and performed worse than Utah's average on both sides of the ball. Separating those two players opens up the need for a power forward with range and/or mobility to complement the bigger-bodied Favors and Kanter. Barring a trade, first-year coach Quin Snyder will get two shots in the first round to fill out a roster that was stripped down following the departures of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap last summer. Finding a reliable back-up guard, ideally one capable of swinging between either position and applying a little on-ball pressure, will likely be on Snyder's wish list.
Draft picks: No. 46
Needs: Small forward, frontcourt depth
The Wizards sacrificed their first-round pick to acquire
Marcin Gortat, a gamble that paid off with a first-round series victory over the Bulls and a competitive series with the Pacers. Now, Washington faces the prospect of Trevor Ariza leaving for a big pay day in free agency before 2013 lottery pick Otto Porter is ready to step in and fill his shoes. Re-signing Gortat will surely be a top priority, and the Wizards' frontcourt rotation isn't particularly deep behind the Gortat/Nene combination. Those holes will have to be filled at some point other than draft night, as the Wizards don't have a lot of juicy trade pieces to offer. The best way for Washington fans to spend the first round is daydreaming about the future of the lethal John Wall/Bradley Beal backcourt combination.