NBA Draft 2011: Best and Worst Case Draft Scenarios for All 30 NBA Teams

Zachary CohenContributor IIIApril 7, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Best and Worst Case Draft Scenarios for All 30 NBA Teams

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    Now that the madness is over, it's time to really start thinking about the NBA draft.

    Players are starting to make decisions on whether or not they will stay in college and NBA scouts are preparing their teams for who is going to be available. 

    A lot of crazy things can happen in the draft. We've witnessed players get drafted before they were projected to be picked and the other way around.

    Some teams will be left happy, and others disappointed. 

    Continue reading to find out the best case scenario and worst case scenario of every NBA team based on where they would be picking without a lottery system. 

    (Teams with a * only have a second round pick and I put them in order of who will be picking from first to last. This happened because multiple teams have more than one first round pick due to trades.) 

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Best Case Scenario: The Cavaliers have the first pick in the 2011 NBA draft, which means the best case scenario is literally up to them.

    My gut tells me they’ll pick either Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams. If they pick Williams they’ll probably look at a point guard like Brandon Knight with their second lottery pick.

    If they pick Irving they’ll most likely look at a small forward like Perry Jones, Terrence Jones or one of the Morris brothers with their next lottery pick. 

     


    Worst Case Scenario:
    The worst case scenario for the Cavaliers would be picking Williams and not finding a place for him on the roster. His position is a bit of a question mark.

    Something else that could be trouble for the Cavs would be picking Williams and then all of the point guards are off the board by the time they pick next. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Best Case Scenario: The Timberwolves are set at power forward for the next couple of years, and the only spot on their roster that isn’t set as of now is the center position.

    The best case scenario would be the Timberwolves picking Enes Kanter, who was supposed to play at Kentucky. Kanter is the only true center in this draft and he has tons of potential.

     

    Worst Case Scenario: Well, other than Enes Kanter being a Darko-like bust based just off the fact that nobody has really seen him play, it’d have to be David Kahn making a dumb decision like drafting another point guard. 

Toronto Raptors

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    Best Case Scenario: The best case scenario for the Toronto Raptors would be Kyrie Irving slipping to No. three.

    Irving is a playmaker who knows how to run an offense, and although Calderon is an above average NBA point guard, he’s getting up there in age. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst case scenario for the Raptors would be reaching on one of the foreign centers who are perimeter players.

    Guys like Donatas Motiejunas or Jan Vesely would be way too soft for the Raptors to pair up with the king of soft, Andrea Bargnani. 

Washington Wizards

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    Best Case Scenario: This is probably a long shot at this point, but the best case scenario for the Wizards would be Derrick Williams falling to them.

    Williams would play the small forward position for the Wizards, or step into Blatche’s power forward position, where fans are disappointed with his inconsistent play and his black hole offensive style. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst case scenario for the Wizards is any situation where Kyrie Irving is the best player available for them. They just invested their future in John Wall and it would be unfortunate for them to have to pass up a guy like Irving for a player who is a question mark, which is probably going to happen because this draft has a major drop off in talent level. 

Sacramento Kings

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    Best Case Scenario: The best case scenario for the Kings would be Harrison Barnes being available for them where they are picking.

    The Kings seem to have their backcourt set with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. They also have Cousins and Thompson manning the paint for the future.

    This leaves uncertainty at the small forward position where Barnes can come right in and contribute immediately for them. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst case scenario would be the Kings being tempted to take the best player available, which could disrupt their lineup by having this player having to come off the bench or take somebody else's spot in the starting lineup. 

Utah Jazz

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    Best Case Scenario: The Utah Jazz are in an awkward phase right now after trading Deron Williams. They have a talented roster, but not talented enough. There are no glaring weaknesses on the team, which means they can draft a player who needs time.

    I think the best case scenario for the Jazz would be drafting Donatas Motiejunas.

    He's a big man who can shoot the ball well and if he adds weight to his small frame, he could be a lot like Andrea Bargnani is (hopefully not as bad of a defender or rebounder). 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: I can see the Jazz picking one of the guards that is available which would be the worst thing they can do.

    Devin Harris is a good point guard and should be a keeper for Utah. Disappointing him would not be the way to go in this year's draft. 

Detroit Pistons

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    Best Case Scenario: The Pistons have gone through a rough couple of years after being perennial championship contenders. The team is missing something and that something is a good decision maker.

    There aren't many pure point guards in the draft besides Kyrie Irving and there's no way he'll be available with this pick.

    The next best point would probably be Brandon Knight. Knight is speedy fast, and throughout the year he developed into a decent decision maker.

    He should only get better with NBA coaching, and I think he'd be a good fit in Detroit. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Pistons can do is pick a potential player like Perry Jones. They don't have the luxury of taking a player who can very easily be a bust.

    Jones may be good, but he's raw and his off the court issues shouldn't appeal to a team picking this early. 

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Best Case Scenario: The Bucks are not far away from returning to the playoffs and their team doesn't have a lot of holes.

    The shooting guard position is one of the question mark areas for the Bucks. John Salmons and Carlos Delfino are good players, but both are expendable and getting older.

    I see the Bucks going after a player like Alec Burks. A backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Alec Burks will be able to light defenses up every night and their play styles won't clash in Milwaukee. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst move the Bucks can make would be to pick another undersized power forward like one of the Morris twins.

    The Bucks are full of tweeners and can't find a power forward who can bang with real players with size. 

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Best Case Scenario: The Bobcats recently went into rebuilding mode, full throttle (Charlie's Angels 2-style). They need help at a lot of positions, but one glaring weakness is up front.

    This is the reason I think the Bobcats select Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas is a young center from Lithuania who is different from most other foreign players.

    Valanciunas is a true center who plays with his back to the basket in the post.

    He's a little skinny and maybe a little unpolished right now, but with a year or two of NBA experience he could be a good running mate for D.J Augustin. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: As much as I love the guy, Kemba Walker could be a mistake if picked here.

    There are rumors going around that MJ is interested in taking Kemba Walker, and although he could be a good player in the league, his lack of a true position is killer.

    The worst thing the Bobcats can do is make D.J Augustin feel unwanted by bringing in another guy to handle the ball. 

Golden State Warriors

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    Best Case Scenario: The best thing that can happen to the Warriors would be either Donatas Motiejunas falling down to them or drafting the guy I just mentioned, Jonas Valanciunas. The Warriors need somebody with height and both of these guys have it.

    "The City" has the most exciting backcourt in basketball already, and pairing up one of these guys with David Lee could be something special. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: Similar to the Bobcats, the Warriors could disrupt their team chemistry by bringing in either Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette.

    If they draft a guard it could ruin them. The only places they can really improve are at small forward and center. 

Phoenix Suns

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    Best Case Scenario: The Suns have a strange assortment of talent on their roster after midseason trades, but I think one area they will address in the draft is the small forward position.

    This is a team I could see drafting Perry Jones or Terrence Jones. Both players have a lot of potential and could really excel in the fast paced offense that Steve Nash and Co. play in. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Suns can do is pick another soft big man like one of the foreign players not named Valanciunas. Picking Donatas or Jan Vesely could really set the team back a year or so.

Houston Rockets

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    Best Case Scenario: The Houston Rockets can use a center, and if Jonas Valanciunas is available, I'd say he has to be the pick. Yao Ming is obviously one of the best players in the league when healthy, but he never is.

    Perhaps it's the fried chicken and beer, but either way the Rockets need a reliable, healthy big man. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The one thing the Rockets can't afford to do is take another power forward.

    They already have too many on the roster like Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson, and they can't let one come in and stunt both of their development. 

Indiana Pacers

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    Best Case Scenario: This is a place I can see one of the Morris twins landing. I'd say Markieff is more of a power forward, which is why I think he'll end up here.

    Marcus is a better player, but Markieff fits more of a need. He plays extremely hard and does the little things teams need to win games. He has a nice jump shot for a big man and he has a solid back to the basket game. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: Picking the wrong Morris brother would actually be the worst thing for the Pacers. If one of them ends up being a paint threat and the other doesn't, then the Pacers better hope they got the one that did, because they'll likely have their choice of Morris. 

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Best Case Scenario: The 76ers are always talking about trading Andre Iguodala, and that is why I feel they will select a small forward with this pick, and they could get a good one.

    Kawhi Leonard is a guy I feel is very intriguing for the 76ers. He is a smart player who plays great defense and can rebound the basketball very well, even at his height. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: Picking an undersized big man like Tristan Thompson is something the Sixers can't do.

    They already have made that mistake before in the past and they really need a player who can play his real position. 

New York Knicks

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    Best Case Scenario: Other than Brandon Knight falling to the Knicks, I think a player who could really work out in New York is Nolan Smith.

    His game is very smooth, and I think with his body type and play style he can really benefit from spending a year as Chauncey Billups' backup.

    He may not be the appealing pick, but I truly believe he is the right one.

     

    Worst Case Scenario: I know it may be the appealing pick to most, but I believe picking Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette here would be a mistake for New York.

    Both of these guys are shooting guards stuck in point guard bodies, and the Knicks already have one of those in Toney Douglas.

New Orleans Hornets

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    Best Case Scenario: With the Hornets pick I see them drafting a shooting guard or a small forward.

    They have their point guard, power forward and center positions set, and I see them going after a player like Tobias Harris who has a lot of potential. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The Hornets can't afford to keep compiling average at best role players. The worst thing they can do is pick somebody who is classified as a ceiling player.

    An example of this would be Kyle Singler, who may have been productive in college, but isn't likely to get that much better throughout his career. 

Portland Trailblazers

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    Best Case Scenario: Although they have a lot of talent in their frontcourt, they can never be too safe in Portland. If Kenneth Faried is available, I think the Blazers will pick him.

    Faried was the talk of the first few rounds of the NCAA tournament due to his great rebounding and shot blocking abilities. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Blazers could do is realize that they may need a young point guard and reach on Norris Cole, who at that point will probably be the best at his position available.

    I have nothing against Cole, but he did a lot against bad players while never really proving himself against talent capable of playing at the next level.

    Faried performed well in the tournament and that is what sets the two apart. 

Denver Nuggets

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    Best Case Scenario: The Nuggets are now one of the deepest teams in basketball. The only position they don't have locked up is center because Nene might leave Denver the next chance he gets.

    I think a move that the Nuggets might make is taking a chance on Jeremy Tyler. Tyler left high school as a junior, but had he have played senior year he probably would've been the highest ranked player in his class.

    He decided to play for money overseas, but so far it hasn't worked out. He has tons of potential and the Nuggets have the time to develop him. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Nuggets can do is draft a player who may have already peaked like the player I mentioned before, Kyle Singler.

    The whole swagger the Nuggets are playing with right now is due to the fact that they are young and only getting better. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Best Case Scenario: Here is a team that I actually think could benefit from adding a player like Kyle Singler.

    The Thunder already have young players set to start at every position for the next couple of years and they could really benefit from adding some NBA-ready role players to come off the bench.

    Singler is a smart player who can really knock down jump shots, and that is something the Thunder could use having the luxury of. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Thunder could do with their draft pick is draft somebody who is going to try to shoot the ball too much.

    A player like Shelvin Mack could be available when they're picking, but they should really stick to a player who will know their role playing next to Durant and Westbrook. 

Dallas Mavericks

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    Best Case Scenario: The best thing the Mavericks can do is draft a big man who has potential and already has proven themselves in college. The player I can see going to Dallas is JaJuan Johnson.

    There is uncertainty about whether or not Tyson Chandler will be back next season, and Johnson is a guy who I think can guard centers if he puts on some solid muscle.

    He has nice touch on his mid-range shot and plays hard on both ends of the ball. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing Dallas could do is draft one dimensional players like Jon Leuer.

    Leuer may be a solid pro, but this Dallas team needs youth, athleticism and versatility to continue playing at such a high level. 

Chicago Bulls

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    Best Case Scenario: It may seem like a stretch, but if he falls this far I can see the Bulls taking Tyler Honeycutt.

    For some reason I think Tyler Honeycutt has been over-hyped, and I believe teams will see that. It's hard to say it, but I think he will drop to the late first round and if he lasts this far it'll be a no brainer for Chicago.

    This team is a shooting guard away from being my favorite to win the championship, and not just the Eastern Conference. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Bulls could do here is draft another big man like JaJuan Johnson or Jon Leuer, who would stunt the development of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. 

Boston Celtics

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    Best Case Scenario: The Boston Celtics are clearly committed to getting younger after trading for Jeff Green. They are starting to think of post-Big Three life, and that is why I think they go with a potential player.

    Even though the Celtics have Rondo starting at point guard, I think they will go after Josh Selby with their pick this year.

    Selby has the potential to be a very good scorer off the bench at the point position, and his quickness makes him a very tough cover. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Celtics can do is pick a player with bad decision making or character issues. This would be them picking Jeremy Tyler or somebody like him.

    Tyler might be an appealing pick here because of his talent, but he has had issues overseas with coaches, and he's already left one of the teams he was on. 

New Jersey Nets

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    Best Case Scenario: The Nets might lose out on Kris Humphries this summer, and that will make power forward a position of need for them.

    I think the Nets draft Jordan Williams with this pick, and if they do I think it is a great move.

    Jordan has great size and he has shown at Maryland that he is going to be able to play at the next level by performing well against some of the top talent in the NCAA. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Nets can do is pick a soft player like Jon Leuer to play power forward, or pick a player who may have reached their peak in Kyle Singler.

    The Nets may have gotten Deron Williams, but they still need to keep their focus on compiling young talent to keep around him. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Best Case Scenario: The Spurs are going to have to face reality and realize that they are getting much older. The player they have to worry the most about retiring soon is Tim Duncan.

    A player that could really benefit from playing under Duncan for a year or two is Jon Leuer. Leuer used to be a guard and then shot up and started playing the four.

    Leuer has a nice jump shot and he has great footwork. Learning from Duncan can be a great thing for Leuer and the Spurs. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Spurs can do is draft another foreign project and stash them overseas for a couple of years.

    It's paid off for them in the past, but with their age they don't have the time to wait for these guys anymore.

    The time is now for the Spurs to acquire young talent and have them ready to play significant minutes in as little as one or two years. 

*Miami Heat

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    Best Case Scenario: Picking early in the second round, the Heat are going to hope for a player with first round talent to drop to the second round.

    Players they might be interested in that this could happen to would be Josh Selby or Jeremy Tyler.

    The Heat need a point guard and a center pretty badly and these guys would maybe be able to fill these positions for them down the line. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Heat can do is pick a big name college player like a Chandler Parsons.

    Parsons may have been an above average college player, but he hasn't wowed anybody. He's the kind of guy who people always expect to breakout, but doesn't actually do it.

    They can't be sold on this hype and they need to take a guy they like at a position they need. 

*Los Angeles Clippers

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    Best Case Scenario: One position I see that the Clippers can use in the draft is a small forward. There won't be many great options out there in the second round, but I do think that Justin Brownlee can be a good pick for them.

    The Clippers are on their way to being a good team, and Brownlee will bring them the same intensity he brought the Red Storm.

    Brownlee plays the game very hard and he has a ton of potential to improve on both sides of the ball. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing the Clippers can do is pick another combo guard like a Malcolm Lee.

    The Clippers already have too many combo guards. If they can pick a pure point guard or a pure shooting guard that can contribute then great, but having another player like Randy Foye will only set them back. 

*Los Angeles Lakers

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    Best Case Scenario: The best thing the Lakers can do is pick a younger player who can maybe fill the point guard position for them. Derek Fisher is old and Steve Blake isn't a viable starting option.

    One player I think would be great for the Lakers is Demetri McCamey. McCamey is big for a point guard, but he's a good passer and hits very big shots.

    He must improve his handle to be an NBA point, but the guy can shoot the ball and I think he could be a steal for Los Angeles.

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The Lakers can't afford to pick a player who will mess with team chemistry. The guy I see that could be available for them that might do that is LaceDarius Dunn.

    Dunn has had some off the court issues in his career at Baylor and the Lakers can't afford to add somebody like that to their championship contending team. 

*Atlanta Hawks

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    Best Case Scenario: One player I really like for the Hawks is Brad Wanamaker.

    The Hawks just acquired Kirk Hinrich to run the point guard position, but he isn't a long term option and Wanamaker can come in and make for some good competition with Jeff Teague.

    Wanamaker is very quick, can get to the basket and is very capable of running an offense. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The worst thing for the Hawks to do is cause even more of a log jam at their forward positions.

    Drafting a foreign forward might seem like a good option, but they are already set at these positions and can only cause problems within their rotation. 

*Memphis Grizzlies

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    Best Case Scenario: The Grizzlies have had their issues with OJ Mayo, and despite his good play over the last few weeks I feel he is still on his way out of Memphis.

    That leaves a spot on the roster for a shooting guard and the most intriguing option that could be available when Memphis is picking is Ravern Johnson.

    Johnson doesn't need the ball to score as he is a catch and shoot player, and with his size and shooting ability he can be a very good option for the Grizzlies. 

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The Grizzlies are ready to compete now, but can use all of the help they can get right away.

    They can't afford to pick somebody like Bojan Bogdanovic (shooting guard from Croatia) who will need a lot of time to get used to the NBA. 

*Orlando Magic

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    Best Case Scenario: The Magic need a power forward, and a perfect one for the team is most likely going to be available for them where they are picking in the second round.

    That man is Vernon Macklin. Macklin is an absolute beast on defense and on the glass. Putting him next to Dwight Howard will make it nearly impossible for opposing big men to score on the Magic.

    With their incredible offense, they'd have one less liability on defense which could make them championship contenders once again.

     

    Worst Case Scenario: The one thing the Magic can't do is draft another three point shooter who won't play defense or attempt to get his teammates involved.

    This would be a guy like Jacob Pullen, whose college career may make him an interesting pick, but the Magic would be best to stay away.