2011 NBA Draft: 5 Teams Watching March Madness Very Closely

Eric CaspersonCorrespondent IIMarch 18, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: 5 Teams Watching March Madness Very Closely

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    Not just college basketball fans are glued to their TV sets during March Madness.

    Many NBA teams and their scouts are watching the NCAA tournament with a close eye as well.

    Teams are already getting prepared for the NBA draft this summer. Their playoff dreams have come and gone though the 2010-2011 season.

    The draft provides these weaker teams with the chance to rebuild for the future. Many players in the NCAA tournament are entering the draft following their last games in college.

    This is the last chance these players have to show off their in-game skills for their future employers.

    Here are some teams that should be keeping a close eye on the March Madness talent.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Cleveland could sure use some help. It currently is 13-54 and owns the worst record in the NBA.

    That is the bad news.

    The good news is that the Cavs should have two lottery picks in June.

    They own their own selection, which hopefully should get them the No. 1 pick, and the Clippers' first-rounder.

    A lot of mock drafts have Derrick Williams from Arizona as the top selection this year.

    Williams and the Wildcats will start their tourney run today against Memphis.

    The Cavs and the rest of the NBA should be on hand or at least be watching. Williams may be the next NBA star.

Utah Jazz

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    The Utah Jazz are right on the edge of making it into the lottery. They currently sit as the No. 9 seed in the West.

    After their trade of Deron Williams, the Jazz lack leadership.

    The Jazz are predicted to have two first-round picks (their own and New Jersey's).

    With New Jersey's pick, the Jazz are hopeful to get a top 10 pick.

    In the top 10, the Jazz could get another big man like Harrison Barnes out of UNC.

    With the loss of Deron Williams, Utah needs another franchise PG though.

    Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker could be two guards that Utah follows closely this March.

Houston Rockets

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    After the trade of Aaron Brooks to Phoenix, the Rockets are in need of a PG. Kyle Lowry is not the long-term answer for Houston.

    One possibility would be Jimmer Fredette. Fredette's draft position solely rests on the rest of his NCAA tournament performance. Teams have been watching him closely for the entire year now.

    At 6'2", Fredette will have to play the 1 at the next level. Will he be able to do that?

    That is what scouts are looking for out of him. One team will take a chance on Fredette in June. He likely will be a solid role player, or he could be a bust.

    The Rockets are a team in the middle of the first round that could use a PG. They definitely can take a chance on him since they are not going anywhere soon.

New Jersey Nets

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    Even though the Nets won't have a pick until late in the first round, this draft will be a big step in the direction of this young team.

    The Nets, with the addition of Deron Williams, have shown that they can play with most teams in the NBA.

    Before last night's loss to Chicago, NJ had won four straight, including a win over Boston.

    The Nets have their PG and C positions lined up for the future. The rest of the starting lineup is in the air.

    Kris Humphries has played great since Williams came over from Utah, but is he a starter on a contending team?

    The Nets should look to improve their SF or SG positions in June.

    They will be sure to keep an eye on guys like Kyle Singler (Duke) and Jordan Hamilton (Texas).

Sacramento Kings

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    The Kings are currently the worst team in the Western Conference at 16-50.

    They are on pace for at least a top three pick in June.

    The Kings have a bright future that has no ceiling. They are a very young team with franchise players Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and now Marcus Thornton.

    With the addition of a top three pick, the Kings lineup might scare some teams next year.

    Imagine a frontcourt with Jared Sullinger and Cousins and then a backcourt with Evans and Thornton.

    The Kings could be next year's OKC Thunder.

    The Kings' owners should take a long look at Sullinger if he enters the draft. They should be able to watch the No. 1-seeded Buckeyes advance far.