NBA Draft

Best Potential Fits for Every Non-Lottery Team in the 2014 NBA Draft

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterJune 3, 2014

Best Potential Fits for Every Non-Lottery Team in the 2014 NBA Draft

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    Feel free to debate about the talent at the top of this draft but not about the depth from No. 15 to No. 30. You can arguably get the same value late in Round 1 as you can right in the middle of it. 

    Each team will likely have a few prospects to choose from who all offer similar upside. Picking the one that fits best will be the challenge for general managers. 

    We picked these best fits based on team needs and who's likely to be on the board when each team is on the clock. 

Atlanta Hawks

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    James Young, Kentucky, 6'7", SF, Freshman

    With just Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll under contract in 2014-15, Atlanta's wing looks underwhelming. James Young meshes 6'7" size, a 7'0" wingspan and smooth athleticism with a deadly long-range jumper and an effective drive-and-slash game. He's also one of the youngest prospects in the country at 18 years old. He would seem ideal for Atlanta at No. 15, though it wouldn't be a surprise if he was already off the board. 

     

    Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6'4", SG, Sophomore

    Atlanta could use a new starting 2-guard, and Harris would offer nice value as a mid-first-rounder. He's not necessarily a scorer who can take over a game but rather a complementary shooter and slasher who can score without the ball. 

     

    Zach LaVine, UCLA, 6'6", SG, Freshman

    The Hawks don't really have any young upside guys to develop. LaVine gives them one while also filling a position of need. At 6'6" with a handle and jumper, he'd immediately step in as the team's most explosive athlete.

Chicago Bulls

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    Rodney Hood, Duke, 6'8", SF, Sophomore

    Assuming Kentucky's James Young is off the board, the Chicago Bulls could use an offensive specialist like Rodney Hood after finishing last in the NBA in scoring. And only three teams made less three-pointers per game than Chicago. With 6'8.5" size and a lethal 42 percent three-point stroke, Hood would be able to step in right away and fill an immediate need. 

     

    T.J. Warren, North Carolina State, 6'8", SF, Sophomore

    The worst scoring team in the NBA could use the third-best scorer from college. T.J. Warren averaged 24.9 points per game last season thanks to some unteachable offensive instincts. There isn't much flash to his game—he just knows how to get buckets, whether in the half court or transition, on or off the ball. 

     

    Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette, 6'4", PG, Junior

    Not only would Payton give Chicago some relief behind Derrick Rose, but as an athletic 6'4" point guard who just turned 20 years old, he is a high-upside prospect to develop in the mid-to-late first round. He also defends at a high level, which plays to the strengths of the team. Whether Rose returns as Rose or not, the Bulls could use a guy like Payton on the roster. 

Toronto Raptors

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    Kyle Anderson, UCLA, 6'9", PG/SF, Sophomore

    The Toronto Raptors improved last year after trading Rudy Gary, who disrupted the team's offensive rhythm. Kyle Anderson creates rhythm with his incredible passing instincts and vision off the dribble. Given his versatility as a 6'9" ball-handler who also shoots and rebounds, he should be able to complement DeMar DeRozan the way that Gay never did. 

     

    Adreian Payne, Michigan State, 6'10", PF, Senior

    Amir Johnson can play but not from as many spots on the floor as Adreian Payne, who can stretch it as a shooter from 26 feet away. Payne is also an excellent athlete who can finish above the rim or through traffic underneath. And at 23 years old with an NBA-ready skill set, he can probably contribute right away as a rookie in 2014-15. 

     

    Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, 6'1", PG, Senior

    Though the Raptors would probably prefer the Canadian-born Tyler Ennis, Shabazz Napier could give Toronto some immediate backcourt firepower. Whether Kyle Lowry stays or goes in free agency, Napier would make sense as an additional playmaker in the lineup.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Adreian Payne, Michigan State, 6'10", PF, Senior

    Though Serge Ibaka is capable on the perimeter, shooting is not his bread and butter. Adreian Payne could really stretch the floor with his 42.3 percent three-point stroke and 6'10" size, and after balling for four years at Michigan State, he could probably do it right away. 

     

    P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends, 6'5", SG

    The Oklahoma City Thunder might need a replacement for soon-to-be free agent Thabo Sefolosha, who played just eight minutes over the team's last four games. P.J. Hairston gives them a physical 2-guard with size and a dangerous three-point stroke. And after spending two years at North Carolina and one in the D-League, he should also be one of the more seasoned prospects in the field. If he can keep his head screwed on straight and his shooting numbers consistent, he should be a fine mid-to-late first-round pick. 

     

    Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, 6'1", PG, Senior

    The Thunder might want to think about adding a veteran lead guard like Shabazz Napier to run their second unit. This team needs Reggie Jackson and Russell Westbrook to score—Napier gives them another playmaker in the backcourt, as well as a much-needed three-point threat.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    T.J. Warren, North Carolina State, 6'8", SF, Sophomore

    Only three teams in the NBA scored fewer points per game than Memphis. Warren averaged 24.9 per game as a sophomore at North Carolina State, where he was unstoppable night after night despite being the focus of every opposing defensive scheme. Between Tayshaun Prince, James Johnson and Quincy Pondexter, the small forward position could use an upgrade. Warren should be high on Memphis' wish list.

     

    Jordan Adams, UCLA, 6'5", SG, Sophomore

    Memphis doesn't get much offense at the 2-guard position. Jordan Adams, whose physical style of play fits the Grizzlies' team identity, specializes in getting buckets from every angle on the floor. Though not the best athlete, he makes up for a lack of hops with unteachable scoring instincts. He's also a disruptive defensive playmaker, given his 168 steals in two years at UCLA. 

     

    P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends, 6'5", SG

    Hairston packs a potent offensive punch when you combine his size, athleticism, attack game and jumper. He'd fill a position of need in Memphis, while adding offensive strengths that are not shared by most of the rotation's guards or wings. 

Houston Rockets

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    Jordan Adams, UCLA, 6'5", SG, Sophomore

    The Rockets don't have any backup for James Harden at the 2. Cue Jordan Adams, whose scoring ability can keep the pressure on the defense when Harden is out of the game. Assuming Michigan State's Adreian Payne is gone by now, there aren't any bigs left who can step in at power forward. Adams' NBA-ready body and game fill an immediate need in Houston. 

     

    P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends, 6'5", SG

    Hairston is another offensive weapon that Houston could use to back up Harden at the 2-spot. He has NBA-caliber size and athleticism to optimize a potent scoring attack, whether he's slicing through the defense or connecting on the perimeter 

     

    Clint Capela, Switzerland, 6'11", PF, 1994 or Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia, 7'0", PF, 1995

    If the Rockets don't feel anyone on the board can help them right away, they might want to look overseas. Clint Capela is a big-time athlete at 6'11" with a 7'4" wingspan who can protect the rim, finish above it and run the floor like a wing.

    Kristaps Porzingis plays more on the perimeter, where he blends center size with forward foot speed. He can get to the rack off the dribble, stop and pop in the mid-range or stretch the floor as a shooter. Both players would need another year or two of seasoning, but their upsides down the road are legitimate. 

Miami Heat

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    Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, 6'1", PG, Senior

    With Mario Chalmers entering the prime of his career, it's not unreasonable to think he'll be chasing the money in free agency this offseason. Shabazz Napier would be able to step in right away and fill his place, either behind Norris Cole or in front of him. Napier won two national championships at Connecticut—one as a role player and one as a star. I'm not sure there's a better point guard option than Napier for a team that is looking to win now. 

     

    Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6'10", PF/C, Sophomore

    The Heat finished dead last in the NBA in rebounds per game this year. If McGary's back checks out prior to the draft, he has to be considered by the Heat 26 picks deep. He has a constant motor and presence in the paint, thanks to his great size, quick feet, soft hands and nose for the ball. He can pass, run and finish with either hand. If he's healthy, he could be a steal this late.

     

    Jordan Clarkson, Missouri, 6'5", PG/SG, Junior

    A 6'5" combo guard who can handle and score, Clarkson would give Miami an extra scorer and playmaker in the offense. He can get to the rack and make things happen off the dribble, whether he's finishing in the lane or driving and kicking it out to a teammate. Miami could use some offense at both backcourt positions, and Clarkson has the game and versatility to offer it. 

Los Angeles Clippers

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    Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6'10", PF/C, Sophomore

    The Clippers don't have much to offer up front behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. McGary could play the 4 or 5, where he has the size, instincts, agility and strength to make things happen in the paint. He isn't much of a scorer, but his ability to clean the glass, pass from the interior and run the floor give him high-end role-player potential. 

     

    Vasilije Micic, Serbia, 6'5", PG, 1994 

    According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, Darren Collison will "forgo the second year of his contract that would have paid him $1.9 million to become an unrestricted free agent this summer."

    "Darren is definitely opting out," Haynes' source said. That means the Clippers will need a point guard. If Elfrid Payton and Shabazz Napier are off the board, LA might want to take a look at Vasilije Micic, a crafty pass-first point guard with great size and a natural feel for the position. There isn't much upside here, but with similar tools and strengths as Jose Calderon, Micic could be an under-the-radar sleeper at the end of Round 1. 

     

    Clint Capela, Switzerland, 6'11", PF, 1994

    Capela is more of a long-term option, but his incredible blend of size, athleticism, hops and mobility plays to this team's strengths. He also fills a position of need, given the minimal depth behind Griffin and Jordan. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Cleanthony Early, Wichita State, 6'7", SF, Senior

    The Spurs are missing a backup wing, and at 23 years old, Cleanthony Early might be ready to roll right out of the gates. The last time we saw him in game action he dropped 31 points on Kentucky in the NCAA tournament. He's a top-shelf athlete who can slash, attack in line drives and knock down jumpers with range. Consistency and defensive effort will be his biggest challenges in the pros.

     

    Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia, 6'6", SG/SF, 1994

    Winner of this year's Euroleague Rising Star Trophy, Bogdan Bogdanovic could be a sneaky pickup for the Spurs, who are the kings of making sneaky late-round pickups. A crafty playmaker with excellent size, length and athleticism, he can create, shoot and defend at multiple positions on the floor. He even ran the point for Partizan when the team's starter went down early in the year. 

     

    Damien Inglis, France, 6'9", SF, 1995

    The Spurs have been pretty successful with the French. Damien Inglis offers arguably as much upside as anyone this late in the draft, given his 6'9" size, 7'3" wingspan and small forward foot speed and mobility. He has the potential to guard four or five positions, though his offensive game will need a few years of fine-tuning.

Dallas Mavericks

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Early Second-Round Targets

    K.J. McDaniels, Clemson, 6'6", SF

    Jerami Grant, Syracuse, 6'8", SF/PF

    Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6", SF

    With Vince Carter's and Shawn Marion's contracts up, the Mavericks could use some athleticism on the wing and in the frontcourt. I'd be willing to bet that one of McDaniels, Grant and Robinson—three explosive forwards—will overflow into Round 2. 

    They need to improve their shooting strokes, but if they do, we're probably talking mid-first-round value. 

Detroit Pistons

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    Early Second-Round Targets

    C.J. Wilcox, Washington, 6'5", SG

    DeAndre Daniels, Connecticut, 6'8", SF

    With three frontcourt starters who play mostly inside the arc, the Pistons could use a shooting specialist to spread the floor. C.J. Wilcox is a top-five shooter in this class, and though he's limited elsewhere, that three-point stroke alone is worth a pick in the early second round.

    Daniels wouldn't be a bad option either. He shot it 41.7 percent from downtown this year, and at 6'8" with smooth athleticism, he has some scoring upside to offer as well. 

     

    Vasilije Micic, Serbia, 6'5", PG

    Between Brandon Jennings and Will Bynum, the Pistons could use a pure passer somewhere in the backcourt. Micic is a true pass-first facilitator with excellent vision and a natural feel for the position. 

Washington Wizards

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    Early Second-Round Targets

    Isaiah Austin, Baylor, 7'1", C

    Walter Tavares, Gran Canaria, 7'2", C

    Nikola Jokic, Serbia, 6'11", C

    With Marcin Gortat entering free agency, the Wizards might want to think about adding some depth and relief up front. At 7'1", Austin can block shots and knock them down on the perimeter. Tavares has terrific mobility and unheard-of length, making him a factor in pick-and-roll defense, rim protection and finishing in the paint. Jokic is an interesting prospect who's shown a fairly complete repertoire of scoring, passing and shooting. All three are second-round fliers with long-term first-round upside thanks to their size and skill sets.

Indiana Pacers

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Early Second-Round Targets

    Deonte Burton, Nevada, 6'1", PG

    Nick Johnson, Arizona, 6'3", PG/SG

    Jordan McRae, Tennessee, 6'5", SG

    Indiana could use some more firepower in the backcourt, something that Deonte Burton, Nick Johnson and Jordan McRae all offer. Burton averaged 20.1 points by generating offense off the dribble. Johnson averaged 16.3 points while also displaying terrific leadership, poise and basketball IQ. McRae averaged 18.7 points thanks to his size, athleticism and shot-making ability on the perimeter.

    Indiana isn't landing a starter at No. 57 overall, but Burton, Johnson and McRae can put the ball in the hole—something the Pacers need their bench players to do. 

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