It's never too early to make predictions for a mock draft. A lot will change between now and the end of the season in terms of teams' records, but by this point in the season we have a pretty good idea which teams will be lottery-eligible.
Here is a rundown of the probable lottery teams' needs and possible selections in the upcoming draft.
Each slide will end with what player should be selected and which NBA player best reflects that draftees game.
Here's a breakdown of each slide's contents:
2011 First Round Draft Picks: What player was drafted by each team in the first round of last years draft.
Team's Best Player: Speaks for itself.
Future of the Franchise: Which player will carry the team into the foreseeable future.
Restricted Free Agents: Before this player is allowed to sign with a new club, the current club has a chance to match the terms of the new contract in which case the player must remain with the original team.
Unrestricted Free Agents: These players are free to entertain offers from all other teams and can sign with whomever they want.
Team Needs: In no particular order; positions that either need to be filled or could use an upgrade.
*Some players have initials closed in parenthesis after their name; this is the key: ETO = Early Termination Option; P = Player Option; T = Team Option
*Records are up-to-date through Wednesday, February, 15th, 2012.