5 NBA Teams Committed to Full Rebuilding Project After 2012 NBA Draft
Sometimes, they are looking for that one missing piece to make their teams contenders, but other times they are looking for several pieces to assemble a nucleus for the future. The latter often happens in the earlier part of the draft with teams that clearly have not been cutting it and therefore need some fresh talent in place to lead the charge in future seasons.
The NBA draft is a time for hope, but the desperation in some teams is tangible when they decide to bring in a slew of new talent with the futures of their current players in question.
Let's take a look at five teams that have become fully committed to rebuilding their current rosters after last night's draft.
5. Portland Trail Blazers
The sixth overall pick, Damian Lillard.
After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Portland has essentially disassembled its entire team.
The Greg Oden project was cut short, former head coach Nate McMillan is out the door and even GM Chad Buchanan was ousted from his spot.
With a retired Brandon Roy, no more Oden and trading away veterans Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby, the Blazers were looking for a clean slate of talent and direction in their organization.
Luckily, they made a smart move in the Wallace trade by acquiring Brooklyn's first-round pick in this year's draft, a pick that ended up being sixth overall after the draft lottery.
With this pick and the 11th pick, Portland drafted two core pieces for its future in Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard. With the futures of current players Raymond Felton (unrestricted free agent) and Nicolas Batum (restricted free agent) in question, the Blazers have decided to plan accordingly and draft two young talented players to build around with LaMarcus Aldridge as well.
Even though they are rebuilding now, the Blazers have plenty to hope for with their new solid core of players and some possible money to work with in free agency.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
The 15th overall pick, Maurice Harkless.
Philadelphia may be on the brink of seeing its star, Andre Iguodala, traded to another team in order to free up some cap space.
However, the Sixers have taken note of this possibility and are looking towards the future with their selections in the first round. Moe Harkless, taken 15th overall, could be groomed to become Iguodala's eventual replacement if he is dealt. Also, the 76ers acquired power forward Arnett Moultrie from the Miami Heat to bolster their frontcourt.
Those two picks are clearly building blocks in Philadelphia, especially since Iguodala's days are numbered as a Sixer. On top of that, guard Louis Williams is a free agent and forward Elton Brand can opt out this offseason and become a free agent.
With Harkless, Moultrie and young point guard Jrue Holiday, the Sixers may have to go back to square one and get younger after their second-round exit from the playoffs last season.
3. Boston Celtics
The 21st overall pick, Jared Sullinger.
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With this in mind, the Celtics used their two late first-rounders to add some quality big men to their short-handed frontcourt.
The Celtics may have gotten a steal in the medically red-flagged Jared Sullinger at 21 overall, since he was once considered a sure-fire lottery talent. At 22 overall, Boston got a raw prospect in center Fab Melo, but he too could end up being a quality player in his own right.
While the Celtics may be taking a few steps back without Allen or Garnett next season, they are looking prepared to rebuild for the future with a core of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass, in addition to their newest picks from this year's draft.
2. Houston Rockets
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According to thebiglead.com, rumors were swirling around in the days leading up to the draft about the Rockets trying to put a package of high first-round picks together to sway the Magic towards making a deal for center Dwight Howard.
However, the Rockets were only able to acquire the 12th and 18th picks to go with their own 16th pick. Therefore, Houston couldn't make anything tasty enough for the Magic to bite on, and the Rockets were forced to use their own picks.
Additionally, breakout star point guard Kyle Lowry has stated his dislike for playing under head coach Kevin McHale, and he may be dealt in the near future (houston-rockets.fans-talk.com).
Depending on what the organization gets in return for Lowry, and with other point guard Goran Dragic a restricted free agent, Houston may be looking at hitting reset on its roster and using its draft picks (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones) to make its future nucleus.
1. Phoenix Suns
While the Suns didn't blow up their team and look to acquire multiple first-round picks, they certainly showed that they are prepared for longtime point guard Steve Nash to move on to a contender in free agency.
Nash will most likely be headed to a winning team for a multi-year deal in pursuit of his first championship, which means the Suns will have to fill the gaping hole he will leave behind.
This is where their 13th overall pick, Kendall Marshall, will most likely come in. Marshall may have to wait a while to see whom his teammates will be, since Phoenix has a bundle of free agents this summer including Aaron Brooks, Robin Lopez, Shannon Brown, Grant Hill and Michael Redd.
Phoenix also has the expensive contracts of Josh Childress and Channing Frye, which they may be looking to deal for some cap space to maybe find a new core in free agency.
Whatever happens this offseason for the Suns, they are certainly entering what will be known as the rebuilding, post-Steve Nash era.