Teams with the Most to Gain and Lose in the 2013 NBA Draft

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2013

Teams with the Most to Gain and Lose in the 2013 NBA Draft

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    The 2013 NBA Draft is important for every team, but some clubs have more at stake than others.

    A couple teams have a slew of picks to work with. If they push the right buttons, they could get better in a hurry, much like the 2012-13 Golden State Warriors.

    Meanwhile, some teams are well-positioned in the draft order, but have little room for error with the pick because the franchise is already financially strapped.

    Which squads have the most riding on this draft?

    Find out as we identify the teams with the most to gain and lose on June 27.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Picks: 41, 55, 60

    2012-13 Finish: 56-26, lost in Western Conference Finals

    Needs: Three-point shooting

    Up to $68 million is already committed to the 2013-14 payroll, so the Memphis Grizzlies don't have much wiggle-room in free agency.

    Although they don't have a first-round pick, their trio of second-round choices could go a long way in getting over the hump in the Western Conference and obtaining assets for the future.

    With Lionel Hollins out the door and a new sheriff soon to take the reins, it's imperative that the Grizzlies make moves that fit within their system and also address their weaknesses.

    They're already an upper-echelon NBA squad, but this draft is a pivotal one.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Picks: 10, 39, 40, 45

    2012-13 Finish: 33-49, 11th in Western Conference

    Needs: Guard depth, defense

    With four draft picks at their disposal, Neil Olshey and the Portland Trail Blazers front office will be busy on June 27.

    Since they already have a young squad, it's doubtful that they will use all four picks on incoming rookies. Trading a couple or stashing European talent might be realistic options. Either way, this draft is a major opportunity to build around Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

    What they definitely could use right away is depth, particularly in the backcourt. Terry Stotts gave Lillard workhorse minutes last year because the bench was so unreliable.

    They've worked out several guards the past couple weeks, hoping to find an addition who would make the team stronger for the long haul.

Brooklyn Nets

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    Picks: 22

    2012-13 Finish: 49-33, lost in first round

    Needs: Forward, outside shooting

    With a brand new head coach and no salary-cap flexibility, the Brooklyn Nets are counting on their first-round draft pick to be the piece that makes them a well-rounded club poised for a deep run.

    They need help at both forward spots, but more importantly, they need a shooter who can take the scoring burden off Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

    All too often in 2012-13, D-Will's supporting cast failed to hit open shots and take advantage of holes in opposing defenses.

    If someone like Sergey Karasev or Jamaal Franklin is still on the board at No. 22, Brooklyn should scoop him up.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Picks: 1, 19, 31, 33

    2012-13 Finish: 24-58, 13th in Eastern Conference

    Needs: Small forward production

    Among the Cleveland Cavaliers' four draft choices is the No. 1 slot they won at the lottery, so this club has a whole lot to gain in the next couple weeks.

    They'll listen to offers for the pick while they evaluate top prospects Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore. If a draft-day trade works out well for them, they could get a proven forward to help Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

    Things could also go awry for them if a draftee like Nerlens Noel turns out to be an injury-prone bust.

    Expect intense negotiations and plenty of trade rumors leading up to draft night.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Picks: 12, 29

    2012-13 Finish: 60-22, lost in second round

    Needs: Offensive big man, bench wing

    Even with a healthy Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have some deficiencies that require attention. Luckily, they have a pair of first-round picks, which give them a chance to get substantially better next year and beyond.

    Chief among the needs is that of a legitimate post presence on offense. Serge Ibaka is not a true low-block big man, and Kendrick Perkins is ineffectual as a scorer.

    An ideal scenario would see them snatch up Cody Zeller or Steven Adams, if either of the two is available at No. 12. If not, the club would be wise not to reach for a mediocre big man, but rather pick the best available wing.

    A successful draft night could be the difference that ensures a trip back to the NBA Finals.

Orlando Magic

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    Picks: 2, 51

    2012-13 Finish: 20-62, 15th in Eastern Conference

    Needs: Outside shooting

    Jacque Vaughn's Orlando Magic need help at almost every position. It's unlikely that they will land a marquee free agent, so they need to make the most of the No. 2 pick.

    Whether they trade down or keep the pick, perimeter scoring is a priority.

    Adding Ben McLemore to the fold would supply them with a foundational piece for the future while immediately filling a need.

    Even though the lottery didn't grant them the No. 1 choice, the Magic still have a lot riding on this second selection.