As the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs battle it out in the NBA finals, the other 28 professional franchises prepare for the offseason, observing and reflecting on their problems and potential remedies.
One of the more significant outlets for teams to retool for the forthcoming season is the NBA Draft. For several clubs, this year's draft can potentially provide an essential building block for future success. Here are three teams that have a lot contingent on this year’s haul.
It’s likely too early to tell if Anthony Bennett (last year’s No. 1 overall pick) will be a bust, but it isn’t looking great so far for the UNLV product. In a draft lauded by pundits as one of the weakest in recent memory, the Cavaliers took a risk with Bennett. He averaged just 4.2 points in 12.8 minutes last year.
Ironically enough, Cleveland snagged the top selection in this year’s draft as well, one of lauded as one of the deepest in recent memory.
The Cavaliers have more on their minds, too.
Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports has the Cavaliers picking Kansas center Joel Embiid. I think Cleveland should opt for Embiid’s college teammate, Andrew Wiggins. Pairing him with Kyrie Irving would not only make for a solid young duo in the paltry Eastern Conference. Cleveland fans are still desperate for good times after LeBron spurned them, and Wiggins could steer them in the right direction.
After trading away local heroes Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last year, the Celtics remained steadfast in their desire to keep point guard Rajon Rondo and build a team around him. A franchise of rich tradition, don’t expect Celtics fans to remain patient through another lengthy rebuilding process.
If the Celtics pick the right player at No. 6 to pair with Rondo and nab a star free agent next offseason, another successful run in Boston is feasible. Many experts have tied the Celtics to Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, a solid rebounder and shot blocker with a 41.5-inch vertical.
Check out Gordon's versatility below.
When was the last time the Kings were remotely competitive?
They haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2005-2006, and they haven’t made it out of the first round since 2003-2004. They actually have a decent core now, with a triumvirate for stellar scorers — Isiaah Thomas, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins.
If Gay doesn't bolt via Free Agency, a really good selection at No. 8 could put the Kings over the hump in a brutal Western Conference.
Or, Sacramento could always trade the pick. According to ESPN's Chad Ford, they are interested in Dennis Schröder and Brandon Knight.