The Biggest Area of Need for Every 2013 NBA Draft Lottery Team
Teams drafting in the NBA lottery typically have more than one need. The toughest part of the evaluation process is deciding whether to fill a specific need or go with the best available player.
It's a pickle that general managers find themselves in all the time.
Let's address what each team needs specifically and see who might be available to fit.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Area of Need: Frontcourt Production
The Cleveland Cavaliers rely heavily on their backcourt for offense. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined to take 31.5 shots per game but only shot 43.5 percent from the floor.
Tha Cavs need a more high-percentage scoring option up front who can put points on the board and complement the guards.
Otto Porter would be a fit on the wing as someone who can score, pass, rebound and defend. He's one of those guys who makes everyone better—ask any Georgetown Hoya.
Nerlens Noel is also a fit for his ability to protect the rim and finish around it. He'd give them an athletic anchor in the middle and defensive credibility. But he'd also give Irving a glowing target for easy buckets. Though limited offensively, he's always a threat in the pick-and-roll game, on the glass and as a drive-and-dish closer.
2. Orlando Magic
Area of Need: Floor General
Jameer Nelson has lost his luster in Orlando. It's not to say he's washed up or over the hill. Nelson can still play. But sometimes, a change of scenery could be good for everybody.
Orlando needs a new floor general to lead this team into the next era.
Trey Burke seems like an ideal option in this draft, given his talent and leadership qualities. Burke took Michigan to the national championship game and should be qualified to run an offense after developing for two years in college.
If Orlando isn't feeling Burke as its long-term point guard, trading down or focusing elsewhere might be the plan. Though Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel aren't immediate needs, both will get looks given their high NBA ceilings.
3. Washington Wizards
Area of Need: Frontcourt Asset
Washington's frontcourt is all on the decline. Easy buckets are hard to come by for the Wizards, who actually aren't all that bad on the defensive side of the ball.
The Wizards need a frontcourt asset to build with moving forward, whether it's a wing or a big man.
How about a little of both?
Combo forwards Otto Porter and Anthony Bennett both seems like attractive options here. They have the versatility to provide mismatches up front given their ability to play inside and out.
If Washington wanted to upgrade the 5 position, only Alex Len has a ceiling worthy of a top-three pick. He's a 7'1" skilled center and a potential No. 2 scoring option once his game comes around.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Area of Need: Talent
The Charlotte Bobcats are clearly just in need of talent. They'll take it however they can get it, big or small.
Chances are Trey Burke is out of the question with Kemba Walker developing nicely. But other than Burke, nobody is off limits. The Bobcats will operate in best-player-available mode, with Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Anthony Bennett likely the guys atop their board.
Alex Len is a sleeper here, as they could really use an offensive-oriented big man and mismatch down low.
If Charlotte isn't thrilled with any of these options, Victor Oladipo is always a safe play.
5. Phoneix Suns
Area of Need: Long-Term Building Block
The Suns have one of the least threatening lineups in the NBA right now. There isn't a long-term building block at any position on the floor.
The Suns have to go with best player available with the exception of a point guard, assuming they're content with Goran Dragic and have some plans for Kendall Marshall.
Ben McLemore seems like an obvious target, though he's unlikely to be there at No. 5. That makes Victor Oladipo the most realistic option here—a safe, reliable player who you know can contribute both long and short-term.
Anthony Bennett will be considered thanks to his offensive upside as a frontcourt mismatch.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
Area of Need: Frontcourt Scorer
The Pelicans finished ranked No. 25 in points per game this year. They just don't have anyone to feed the ball to up front who can generate his own offense.
This isn't a knock on Anthony Davis, who's more of a complementary scorer than a featured one.
New Orleans could use an offensive-minded center they can go to for points in the paint. How about Alex Len, 7'1'' center from Maryland who has the chance to be the top two-way big man this draft has to offer? He projects as a multidimensional post scorer who can also protect the rim.
Cody Zeller should also be an option at the 4 or the 5, while Otto Porter and Anthony Bennett would make sense as combo forwards.
7. Sacramento Kings
Area of Need: Floor General
Sacramento needs someone to step in and run the show. It needs a floor general to take charge and put everyone in position to succeed—someone who can create easy buckets for the less talented scorers and get the ball in a timely to fashion to the more talented scorers.
That's not Isaiah Thomas' strength.
Michael Carter-Williams should get a good, hard look by the Kings at No. 7. If I were them, I'd make him my No. 1 target in this draft assuming the higher-ranked prospects won't be around.
M.C.W. has big-time upside thanks to a unique set of tools he has. Once that jumper starts falling, he's going to give defenses a lot of issues on the perimeter.
Trading up a few spots to snag Trey Burke wouldn't be a bad plan either.
8. Detroit Pistons
Area of Need: Wing Production/Frontcourt Versatility
The Pistons have built themselves a strong interior with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond to pair with Brandon Knight as the rotation's core.
But there's nobody to generate offense in between.
Detroit could use a wing who can create his own shot, or at least give the team some frontcourt versatility. Anthony Bennett would be a fit as an inside-outside scorer at the 3 and 4 positions, though the Pistons might have to pray he slips to No. 8. Same goes for Otto Porter.
Victor Oladipo would likely be a target, but he's unlikely to be available at No. 8 overall.
Though Shabazz Muhammad's stock is down, he's another potential option as a physically imposing athlete who can put points on the board.
The Pistons have also made it known they made a trip to Greece to check out Giannis Antetokoumpo, a 6'9" wing who can also run the point.
The last name to keep an eye on is Jamaal Franklin of San Diego State, a jack-of-all-trades small forward from San Diego State.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Area of Need: Shooting/Athleticism
Minnesota needs both shooting and athleticism, but two in one sounds better. Ricky Rubio should be paired with a knockdown shooter and a much better athlete than Luke Ridnour or Alexey Shved.
Ben McLemore might be the guy Minnesota looks to trade up for. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also fits the mold.
Caldwell-Pope is a 6'6" 2-guard with fluid athleticism and a deadly long-range jumper. He's also an excellent defender, something else Minnesota could use in its backcourt.
10. Portland Trail Blazers
Area of Need: Depth
Portland's second unit just isn't very threatening. The Blazers have built a solid core with LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard, but the bench is lacking .
In fact, Meyers Leonard is the highest-scoring reserve at just 5.5 points per game. That has to change.
C.J. McCollum was second in the nation in points per game before breaking his foot in January. He's a scoring combo guard, an ideal candidate to fill a sixth-man role.
Kenavious Caldwell-Pope and Shabazz Muhammad are two other scorers who'd fit in a role off the bench.
Consider Croatian prospect Dario Saric, a versatile 6'10'' combo forward, a potential surprise option at No. 10 as well.
11. Philadelphia 76ers
Area of Need: Post Scoring
I'm not so sure the Philadelpha 76ers will be willing to overspend on Andrew Bynum when they can get a cheaper option in the draft.
The Sixers don't have an offensive player capable of picking up points in the paint.
Cue Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk and Steven Adams, five 7-footers and excellent long-term prospects.
If you're a betting man or woman, I'd recommend putting money on one of these guys.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
Area of Need: Interior Offense
Though Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are two elite-level scorers, a lot of the shots they take are tough. The Thunder don't get enough easy buckets inside, being that Kendrick Perkin's isn't an offensive threat.
Oklahoma City could use a guy who can pick up some tip-in dunks, backdoor alley-oops and strong finishes at the rim. Mason Plumlee sounds like a candidate given his size, hops and hand-eye coordination.
He's a guy who averaged 17 points a game doing most of his damage without ever using a dribble. His ability to play above the rim could take some of the pressure off the Thunder's ball-dominant scorers.
Kelly Olynyk would be another option as a 7-footer who can generate his own offense in the half court. He can't jump like Plumlee can, but he's much better at creating his own shot as a high- and low-post scorer.
13. Dallas Mavericks
Area of Need: Long-Term Upside, Short-Term Production
It's tough to say what the Dallas Mavericks' biggest need is without knowing where O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison will end up next season.
What we do know is that Dallas needs a long-term asset who's NBA-ready. Mark Cuban is going to make a run at some of the top free agents on the market, and he'll want to surround whoever that is with guys who can contribute right away.
The Mavericks could use a center for next season, and Kelly Olynyk might be available. He's a 7-footer who can score in a number of ways with the ball in his hands.
Mason Plumlee is a big man capable of contributing immediately. Michael Carter-Williams could also be targeted here, though he's not ready to take on a full-time role.
The Mavs will likely look to trade this pick if they don't feel they can find someone worth a spot in the 2013-14 rotation.
14. Utah Jazz
Area of Need: Backcourt
Utah needs to be targeting the top-ranked guard on the board unless one of the high-rated big men happens to slip.
Dennis Schroeder from Germany will be an option here, a lightning-quick point guard with a nifty little handle. He's got the talent, athleticism and instincts to eventually settle into a starting role in this league.
Shane Larkin should also be considered, given his athleticism, speed and positive energy he brings to the table. Larkin has been picking up steam and might not be available with Utah's second first-round pick.
The Jazz could also use some scoring at the off-guard position. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C.J. McCollum and even Shabazz Muhammad might be around here. All three could give this team a scoring touch it could use.
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