Game Plan for NBA Teams with the Most Draft Picks
Heading into the 2013 NBA draft, six teams have multiple first-round picks to go with one or more picks in Round 2 (to see where these picks came from, check here).
Each team has a draft board with ranked prospects, but those with multiple picks have some extra work to do. They have to lay out possible scenarios for each draft slot, as one pick will affect the next.
For example, if a team must settle on Player B at No. 14 overall after Player A was taken No. 13, how does that affect who they target with their next pick at No. 21? If Utah can get a point guard with its first pick, the plans might change for its next pick.
They also must address team needs and how they value them. Does a team that needs a shooting guard pass on a better prospect to fill at hole? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
For these six teams, I've laid out plans A, B and C for each first-round pick and provided some potential targets for Round 2.
Since the lottery hasn't played out yet, all draft slots are projections.
Pick No. 3
Plan A: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, C
Noel is the top prospect on our board as the only one capable of changing the direction of a franchise. Instead of having to overpay for Anderson Varejao in a year, the Cavs can save that money for someone else and select Noel to replace him.
His athleticism and defensive tools would mesh well with Kyrie Irving and lineup needs, which include a source for easy buckets and a dominant interior presence.
Plan B: Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF/Anthony Bennett, UNLV, SF/PF
If Noel is off the board, the Cavs should be looking for a wing. Either Porter or Bennett works here, with Porter being the safer option and Bennett the high-risk, high-reward target.
Both of these guys could present frontcourt mismatches because of their versatility, which will also allow them to play alongside Tristan Thompson, a player the Cavs value.
Between Noel, Bennett or Porter, Cleveland should come away with a solid prospect who fits a need.
Pick No. 19 (via Lakers)
Potential Targets: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C/MasonPlumlee, Duke, C/Steven Adams, Pitt, C
If the Cavs land Nerlens Noel, then these targets go out the window. But in the likelihood they end up with either Porter or Bennett, one of these centers should be a target in the mid-to-late first round.
Plumlee is likely the best fit because of his ability to run the floor. Dieng works as a rim protector and Adams is more of a long-term project whose ceiling surpasses those of the others.
Potential Targets: Jamaal Franklin, SDSU, SF/Giannis Adetokunbo, Greece, SF/Tony Mitchell, N. Texas, SF/PF
If the Cavs end up with a big man at No. 3 overall, they should address the wing position next. Jamaal Franklin would be a great fit as a three-tool prospect who can score, rebound and defend.
Adetokunbo has generated serious buzz in Greece thanks to the upside he offers as a 6'9'' point forward.
Tony Mitchell is an explosive athlete who can play the 3 or the 4 and has loads of upside if he finds a niche.
Pick No. 31 (via Orlando) and Pick No. 33
Potential Targets: Shane Larkin, Miami, PG/Isaiah Canaan, Murray St., PG/Lorenzo Brown, NC St., PG/Myck Kabongo, Texas, PG
Cleveland could really use a backup for Kyrie Irving, and it'll have some options early in the second round. Any of these potential targets would offer value here.
Potential Targets: C.J. Leslie, NC St., SF/PF/Reggie Bullock, UNC, SF/Livio Jean-Charles, France, SF/PF
These are forwards who can put the ball in the hole. Jean-Charles could be a sneaky pick here, though his stock is on the rise and his availability this late will be in question.
Leslie's athleticism would be a pleasant addition up front, as would Bullock's shot-making and perimeter defense.
Pick No. 4
Plan A: Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG
The Phoenix Suns need someone who can put the ball in the hole, and Ben McLemore projects as the top scoring guard in the field. He's an electric athlete with elite shooting accuracy and strong defensive tools. McLemore offers the best risk-to-reward ratio on the board when you combine his high ceiling with his high-basement floor.
Plan B: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, SF/PF
There's no doubt Anthony Bennett will be a top target considering the Suns' lack of athleticism up front. Bennett has big-time upside if he figures out how to exploit his strengths as a mismatch as opposed to getting exposed as a tweener.
In terms of fit, there aren't many better than Bennett in a Suns jersey.
Pick No. 30 (via Miami)
Potential Targets: Jeff Withey, Kansas, C/Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, C/Tony Mitchell, N. Texas, PF/Allen Crabbe, Cal, SG
The Suns need depth up front, and could be losing Marcin Gortat pretty soon. Jeff Withey would be a solid defensive replacement this late, as would Lucas Nogueira of Brazil, a 7'0'' athlete.
Tony Mitchell is similar to Anthony Bennett, just not as polished offensively. But his upside is worth a look this late if he's still on the board.
Allen Crabbe could also be a target, whose shot-making skills and scoring prowess could provide the Suns' half-court offense with a source for perimeter points.
Pick No. 57 (via Denver)
Potential Targets: Brandon Paul, Ill., SG/Solomon Hill, Arizona, SF/Tony Snell, UNM, SF
There's a few upperclassmen in this draft who can potentially contribute minutes early in their careers.
Solomon Hill is a small forward who can score from any spot on the floor, and has a strong frame capable of plowing through defenders on the way to the rim. Tony Snell is a phenomenal athlete with extreme length. His three-point shooting and defensive tools are two skills to covet this late in a draft.
Brandon Paul has sixth-man appeal if he improves his shot selection and consistency. We know he can score in bunches when he finds the zone.
Pick No. 9
Plan A: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG
Minnesota desperately needs some athleticism at the off-guard spot and the wing, and Victor Oladipo could give it to them on both sides of the ball. He'd be a perfect fit, though it's possible he'll be gone this late in the lottery.
Plan B: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF
Shabazz Muhammad would give them an athlete and scorer at the small-forward position. He'll be able to spread the floor for Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio or attack the rim in a way that Andrei Kirilenko can't.
Muhammad's stock has fallen, which good be good news for a team like Minnesota projected to draft somewhere late in the lottery.
Plans C and D: Alex Len, Maryland, C/Cody Zeller, Indiana, C
Whether or not Minnesota can bring back Nikola Pekovic, they could still add depth up front, not to mention an athlete who can play above the rim. Both Len and Zeller would be solid options here, with Len offering two-way services as a long-term prospect and Zeller closer to contributing offensively next season.
Pick No. 26 (via Memphis)
Potential Targets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG/Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, SG/Jamaal Franklin, SDSU, SF/Allen Crabbe, Cal, SG
The theme here is wing-athleticism. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a 6'6'', two-way shooting guard; Archie Goodwin, a raw, explosive combo guard; and Jamaal Franklin, a versatile swingman would all be steals in terms of value this late.
There's a better chance that Allen Crabbe is there, who at 6'6'' can play either wing position and score from 10-to-27 feet from the rim. Reggie Bullock would offer similar services as Crabbe if he's not around at No. 26.
No. 52 (via Brooklyn) and No. 59 (via Oklahoma City)
Targets: Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, SG/James Ennis, LBSU, SF/Vander Blue, Marquette, SG/Tony Snell, UNM, SF
These are some of the top athletes who might be available in the second half of Round 2. Tim Hardaway Jr.'s stock has fallen, and he could be a potential faller on draft day.
James Ennis, Vander Blue and Tony Snell are all top-notch athletes who can man the wing as scorers and defenders.
If I'm Minnesota, I'm targeting athletes in the draft with four picks at their disposal.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Pick No. 12 (via Toronto)
Plan A: Alex Len, Maryland, C
Kendrick Perkins isn't exactly an option for easy half-court buckets. At 7'1'', Alex Len can play above the rim on both sides of the ball and would fit perfectly in the rotation as a potential future starting center.
The problem is he's unlikely to be there this late.
Plan B: Mason Plumlee, Duke, C
There's a chance Mason Plumlee will be available at No. 12, a center who can run the floor with Russell Westbrook and sky above the rim. He doesn't have Len's ceiling, but he's a safer option and could contribute sooner rather than later.
Plan C: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C
Kelly Olynyk would give Oklahoma City an option for half-court points at the center position.
He may not provide the defensive toughness of Perkins, but he's a much bigger threat for offense with the ball in his hands.
Pick No. 29 and Pick No. 32 (via Charlotte)
Potential Big Men Targets: Mouhammodou Jaiteh, France, C/Livio Jean-Charles, France, SF/PF/Jackie Carmichael, Ill. St., PF
Chances are the Thunder aren't going to use these picks for immediate help. Jaiteh and Jean-Charles are both long-term options and potential draft-and-stash candidates who play up front. Jaiteh is a beast at 6'11'' with a body built similar to Serge Ibaka's.
Jackie Carmichael had a monster senior year for Illinois State and has the size, bulk, strength and talent to bang inside and score at the NBA level.
Potential Backup Point Guard Targets: Erick Green, VT, PG/SG/ Lorenzo Brown, NC St.,PG/Shane Larkin, Miami, PG/Isaiah Canaan, Murray State/PG
If the Thunder are searching for a backup point guard, they will have options. Erick Green led the country in scoring and could play the combo role off the bench. Brown, Larkin and Canaan are all solid backup options if they don't feel Reggie Jackson is in the team's long-term plans.
Pick No. 17
Plan A: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C
Atlanta could really use a player it can give the ball to when the game is slowed down. Kelly Olynyk has become a difficult matchup in the post because of his ability to play with his back to the rim or facing it in the mid range.
Olynyk could probably allow Al Horford to play a bit more at the 4 as well, giving Atlanta a tough one-two punch in the frontcourt.
Plan B: Rudy Gobert, France, PF
At 7'2'' with a 7'9'' wingspan, Gobert could give Atlanta the frontcourt mismatch they don't currently have. His draft stock is still in limbo until we see what he does during workouts with American prospects, but if he's available here, the Hawks should be targeting him.
Plan C: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C
Dieng would be a defensive upgrade up front for Atlanta, but it's his offensive improvement that's made him a potential mid-first-round option.
The Hawks should be targeting big men and Dieng is certainly one of them.
Pick No. 18 (via Houston)
Plan A: Jamaal Franklin, SDSU, SF
Franklin would be a nice replacement for Josh Smith, who Atlanta is bound to lose during free agency. He's an athletic guard or forward who can contribute in every facet of the game and would likely get minutes early on, considering Atlanta's uninspiring wing rotation.
Plan B: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
Atlanta's shooting-guard position is suspect with Lou Williams, a 6'1'' scorer, coming off an ACL tear and Devin Harris headed for free agency. Caldwell-Pope is a serious athlete at 6'6'' who can stroke it from deep, finish at the rim and defend multiple positions.
Plan C: Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, SG
Archie Goodwin's upside is worth a look here, though it might be a few years until he's a regular contributor. He'd offer size and athleticism at the 2-guard position, as well as a potential long-term rotation player if he ever hits hits ceiling.
Pick No. 47 and No. 50 (via Houston)
Potential Backup-Point-Guard Targets: Myck Kabongo, Texas, PG/Pierre Jackson, Baylor, PG/Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, PG
Atlanta doesn't have a backup point guard, not to mention that Jeff Teague will be a restricted free agent. Myck Kabongo, Pierre Jackson and Isaiah Canaan could all be available in the mid-first round as potential reserve facilitators.
Potential Best-Player-Available Targets: Brandon Paul, Ill., SG/Michael Snaer, FSU, SG/Jackie Carmichael, Ill. St., PF/B.J. Young, Arkansas, PG/SG
With a second pick in Round 2, the Hawks should just be looking for talent. Brandon Paul and B.J. Young can score, Michael Snaer can defend and Jackie Carmichael is a presence inside. These are potential value picks at this point in the draft.
Pick No. 14
Plan A: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG
The Jazz need a point guard, and Michael Carter-Williams would offer excellent value here considering his position, physical tools and upside. Though he's not NBA ready, Carter-Williams can be looked as a potential point guard of the future.
Plan B: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
If the Jazz can't land a point guard here, they might want to turn to the off-guard position. Caldwell-Pope has the size and athleticism they don't get from Randy Foye. He also has the upside worthy of a pick this high.
Plan C: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SF
Jamaal Franklin might be a reach here, but he's a fit in terms of lineup needs, and his upside justifies this draft position. Utah lacks athleticism on the wing, and Franklin's physical tools and ability to make things happen should be welcomed in a lineup that lacks playmakers.
Pick No. 21 (via Golden State)
Plan A: Dennis Schroeder, Germany, PG
Dennis Schroeder's impressive showing at the Nike Hoops Summit has put him on first-round radars. He's incredibly quick with a body and athleticism built for the NBA game.
Depending on what the Jazz do at No. 14, Schroeder would be an interesting possibility here at No. 21.
Plan B: Jamaal Franklin, SDSU, SF or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
It's possible that one of these two guys could be here this late. Like I said before, they both fit as needs and are promising NBA prospects.
Plan C: Steven Adams, Pitt, C/Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C
It's tough to project without knowing if Utah plans on resigning Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who will both be free agents this summer. Steven Adams is a long-term-replacement option, while Dieng is more of a short-term solution.
Plan D: Tony Mitchell, North Texas, SF/PF
Mitchell is a devastating athlete at 6'8'' who can play inside and out, though still must find his role in the game. He's a high-risk/high-reward option, but his athleticism is what the Jazz should ultimately be targeting.
Pick No. 46
Potential Targets: Nate Wolters, SDSU, PG/Myck Kabongo, Texas, PG/Carrick Felix, Arizona St., SG
The Jazz will have point guards to choose from in the second round, and considering Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley are currently atop the depth chart, they could use more than one.
Nate Wolters is crafty off the dribble, and at 6'4'', he can create offense for himself (22.3 points per game) or his teammates (5.8 assists). Kabongo was once a top high-school recruit and has NBA potential if he can settle into his role.
Carrick Felix could play both wing positions for Utah. He's an exceptional athlete, one of the top perimeter defenders in the country, a much-improved shooter and a reliable off-ball scorer.
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