Team needs on NBA draft day - NBC Sports

Team needs on NBA draft day
A look at what all 30 teams may be looking for on June 23
May 25, 2011, 10:05 pm

Atlanta - No first-round pick: Every year the Hawks need a point guard, yet every year they choke at the draft. Famously passing on Chris Paul AND Deron Williams in order to get their hands on Marvin Williams in 2005 will go down as one of the worst draft-day decisions in history. But the tide could be turning, as young Jeff Teague actually hung with Derrick Rose in their playoff series, which the Hawks lost. And since the Hawks have resorted to starting one of the Collins twins (Jason - not that it matters) at center, that is now obviously their most glowing need. Unfortunately, they don't hold a first-round pick.

Boston - 25th pick: The Celtics are old and have three centers that can generally be classified as useless (Jermaine & Shaquille O'Neal, Nenad Krstic). While it can safely be argued they need every position but point guard, center is the most glaring problem, while finding future replacements for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett is also a priority. And while everyone is down on Jeff Green, he should be a solid replacement for Paul Pierce when he shuts it down.

Charlotte - 9th and 19th picks: The Cats relied on Kwame Brown at center this year, but appear to be in good shape at the other four positions. Stephen Jackson's future in Charlotte is still up in the air, but they're deep at power forward and young in the backcourt. Like many others, the team that passed on Brook Lopez in 2008 is still searching for a center.

Chicago - 28th and 30th picks: The Bulls aren't the youngest team around, but have a massive hole at shooting guard. Could you even pick Keith Bogans out of a lineup? Derrick Rose needs a running mate in the backcourt, or at least a defensive specialist in the mold of Thabo Sefolosha.

Cleveland - 1st and 4th picks: What don't the Cavs need? They've got some solid big men and Ramon Sessions is interesting, but this team simply needs to grab the best players available with every pick.

Dallas - 26th pick: The Mavs have a plethora of guards, a pair of solid centers in Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood, and solid forwards across the board. But Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler aren't going to be around forever, making scoring forwards their biggest draft-day need.

Denver - 22nd pick: With both Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton around, the last thing the Nuggets need is a point guard. They also aren't going to immediately improve any other positions in this draft, despite not being dominant in any of them. They should ignore all point guards this year, and take the best player available left on the board.

Detroit - 8th pick: We'll have to see what offseason moves are coming for the Pistons, but as of right now, it looks like they have needs across the board. Greg Monroe is the F/C of the future in Detroit, Austin Daye might eventually be turned loose as a small forward, but they're not thrilled with their guards. Shooting guard appears to be their most dire need, despite the fact Ben Gordon plays for them.

Golden State - 11th pick: The Warriors are set at guard, solid at small forward and have gaping holes at the two big positions. Ekpe Udoh is possibly the future, but then again, so was Anthony Randolph. Look for the GSW to take another big man on draft day.

Houston - 14th and 23rd picks: With Yao Ming's future still completely up in the air, center is a glaring need for the Rockets, although Chuck Hayes had a career season this year. Small forward is also a bit of a question mark, and we're guessing those will be the two positions targeted by Houston. Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin and Luis Scola are all locked into most of the minutes available at the other three.

Indiana - 15th pick: Shooting guard remains the biggest question mark for the Pacers, as they resorted to relying on Dahntay Jones in the playoffs this year. Maybe Paul George can play the 2, but I'm afraid he's going to have to wait for Danny Granger to move before getting a full time job. Either way, with Darren Collison, Granger, Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert around, this team needs help at SG.

L.A. Clippers - No first-round pick: Mo Williams is not the point guard of the future for the Clippers, but Eric Bledsoe might be. Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all look ready to take it to the next level in 2012, which means the Clippers simply need the best player/athlete they can get their hands on. However, they don't hold a first-round pick. And look out Los Angeles - there could be a new sheriff in town. If you're thinking about jumping on the Clippers' bandwagon, now's the time.

L.A. Lakers - No first-round pick: After what we just witnessed, this is the biggest question out there. Will they blow up the team? Can they blow up the team? Is Dwight Howard coming? Will Pau Gasol be traded for Russell Westbrook? I have no idea what the answer is to any of those questions right now, but I do know that the last Laker draft pick to get any run was Andrew Bynum. But given the fact they don't even have a first-round pick, this is all irrelevant. At least one question has been answered, and that is that Mike Brown will coach the team next season, for better or worse.

Memphis - No first-round pick: This team seemingly has it all, including enough tools to possibly win a championship this year. Mike Conley is an underrated point guard, they've got the luxury of having O.J. Mayo off the bench, while Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are all rock solid. Best player available, please, although they won't have a pick until Round 2.

Miami - No first-round pick: If you have watched the Heat one time this season, you know as well as I do that they need a point guard. They could also use a center, but as we've seen, it may not really matter if they have a point guard or center anyway. It also doesn't matter what their needs are, as they don't hold a first-round pick.

Milwaukee - 10th pick: Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut are locked and loaded at PG and C, but the Bucks would be wise to take the best player available at the other three positions. Yes, John Salmons appears to be a solid player for them, but I don't see him staying with the Bucks over the long haul.

Minnesota - 2nd and 20th picks: David Kahn loves two things as far as we can tell; Drafting point guards, and Darko Milicic. Surely even Kahn can see that a better center would help his team, while their most glaring need is probably shooting guard. But if they land the No. 1 pick, and Ricky Rubio still isn't looking likely to show up next season, point guard Kyrie Irving could be their man. Had they just kept Ty Lawson (their third first-round pick in 2009) for themselves after drafting both Rubio and Johnny Flynn, Kahn would have a lot less to worry about. Or, if they would have taken Stephen Curry and Gerald Henderson instead of those two, the same could be said. Oh, and the Wolves could use a coach as well, but won't be able to draft one.

New Orleans - No first-round pick: The Hornets gave Marcus Thornton away and still can't depend on Marco Belinelli. Therefore, SG is their greatest need. They're set at the other positions, although Trevor Ariza is still a pretty big problem as a starting small forward. He'd be much more effective as a role player off the bench, meaning the Hornets should be targeting a wing. Chris Paul, David West and Emeka Okafor have the rest locked down. But it doesn't help that the Bobcats have the Hornets' first-round pick.

New Jersey - 27th pick: The Nets could never get it figured out at shooting guard or small forward this year. Maybe a couple of the Nets wings (Anthony Morrow, Sasha Vujacic, Damion James, Travis Outlaw) could step up next year, but we seriously doubt it. And while Kris Humphries had a great season, it still feels a little fluky. This team needs a wing player who can make an impact next season, although that player may not be available in this draft. Especially since the Jazz hold the Nets' pick this year, while New Jersey will pick late by owning the Lakers' pick.

New York - 17th pick: While we certainly know the Knicks don't need a forward or point guard, there's no doubt they've got holes to fill. The biggest being at shooting guard and center, while an alternative backup for Chauncey Billups is also on the wish list. Toney Douglas did an admirable job filling in this season, while Landry Fields and the bench crew did a nice job of making things work, but the Knicks need the best player available at PG, SG or C.

Oklahoma City - 24th pick: James Harden is quickly proving to be an important player for the Thunder and should be starting at shooting guard next year. That means the Thunder are stacked across the board and should simply draft the best player available to them on draft day.

Orlando - No first-round pick: This team, like the Lakers, is still in a state of shock and you have to get the sense it will be blown up. They could use younger or better players at every position but center, and you've heard the rumors about Dwight Howard being traded. At this point, Orlando simply has to take the best player available and pray they don't lose Dwight. Of course, it doesn't help that they don't have a first-round pick.

Philadelphia - 16th pick: Jrue Holiday has cemented himself as the team's point guard of the future, Elton Brand is still alive, Andre Iguodala is on the trading block, while Thaddeus Young is waiting for an opportunity. They've also got young guards like Lou Williams and Evan Turner around, and Spencer Hawes is at least a serviceable center. A back up for Brand or Hawes looks like the smartest route to take on draft night.

Phoenix - 13th pick: The Suns could use a true power forward that rebounds instead of Channing Frye, who looks more like Reggie Miller than a F/C on most nights. Jared Dudley is the starting small forward, while old men like Grant Hill, Vince Carter and Steve Nash are also still holding roster spots. They don't need a center with Marcin Gortat around, and Aaron Brooks is a nice insurance policy for Nash, but the other three positions could all be targeted on draft night.

Portland - 21st pick: Glancing at Portland's depth chart, you quickly notice they're as solid as anyone at the two forward spots (Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge), but after that, it's a crapshoot. The centers are injured, old, or both, and the guards are injured, old or inexperienced, outside of Wesley Matthews, who should be solid over the next six years. Unless Patty Mills, Armon Johnson or Elliot Williams are better than they've shown thus far, adding another point guard seems to make sense, as Andre Miller is entering his 13th season.

Sacramento - 7th pick: Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert make for a nice foundation, but as usual, the Kings don't have a reliable small forward. In fact, the last one we remember them having was Gerald Wallace, but that was before he was doing much.

San Antonio - 29th pick: Much like the Lakers and Magic, the Spurs are at a crossroads and should probably just take the best player they can get in the draft. They've got a couple of nice, young guard options behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in George Hill and Gary Neal, while DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter are young bigs. Richard Jefferson isn't really the ideal starting small forward for the Spurs and it makes sense they'd target one in the draft. However, picking so late, the Spurs are going to have to make some trades to fix their problems.

Toronto - 5th pick: The Raptors' biggest hole is at small forward, as Linas Kleiza missed most of the season and had microfracture surgery, making his status going forward a bit iffy. James Johnson, Sonny Weems and Julian Wright can all play small forward, but it would make sense for the Raptors to look for another one in the draft. And there is also talk that Andrea Bargnani will be traded, making a center a real strong possibility for the Raps.

Utah - 3rd and 8th picks: The Jazz have Devin Harris at point guard, but could really use a suitable back up for when he goes down, as Earl Watson was simply disappointing. Andrei Kirilenko's future in Utah is pretty cloudy, so finding a small forward should also be a priority.

Washington - 6th and 18th picks: Despite how awful their record was this season, the Wiz are in decent shape with John Wall, Nick Young and Jordan Crawford in the back court, and young bigs like Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee. The problem comes from veterans Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard. Both had pretty severe knee problems this year, although you have to think Lewis will bounce back, given all the money he's making. But for the Wiz, taking a young small forward makes a lot of sense.