NBA Draft 2011: The Utah Jazz and 10 Teams That Can Change Their Fortunes
The NBA draft, as well as the days before and after it, is always exciting. Multiple teams pull of a string of transactions that really change the makeup of their roster.
That is certainly a time that NBA fans look forward to because it's guaranteed that moves will be made. And they have no idea what to expect.
Here are some teams that could make some noise within the next week.
The Utah Jazz experiences dramatic changes during the season. They witnessed the shocking resignation of their long-time coach Jerry Sloan, and decided to trade franchise point guard Deron Williams. The trade landed them Devin Harris, as well as the No. 3 pick. Both can really be important assets this summer.
The third overall pick is obviously a big piece for them. Most people feel that Utah will use it to pick point guard Brandon Knight from Kentucky. They will probably want to get as young as possible to really embrace the rebuilding mode, and Knight is 8 year Harris' junior.
The Jazz also own the 12th pick which could land them another young impact player.
They have a few trade options that could land them even more youthful pieces. Devin Harris, and Paul Millsap could be guys they could shop over the next few weeks.
The Utah Jazz have a great opportunity to become the best young team in the league. They can quickly be on there way back to being a contender in the West in a season or two.
After the LeBron James fiasco last July, followed by a historically bad season, the Basketball Gods made it up to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month. They ended up with the first (from the Clippers) and fourth picks of the draft. To have the opportunity to take perhaps two of the top four players in the class, could definitely push them back into the right direction.
Kyrie Irving is believed to be their choice at No. 1. That selection would get them an potential elite point guard, which is a must in today's NBA.
With the fourth pick, they have the options of selecting Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas. Both are centers with upside, and the Cavs desperately need a man in the middle.
Cleveland looks to be well on their way to becoming a respected team once again.
After an incredibly disappointing end to their season, the Los Angeles Lakers are probably willing to try anything to improve their roster for next season. Names like Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum could be dealt away to shake things up in LA.
One deal, sending Gasol to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick and Kevin Love, has been rumored. This deal would have them better prepared for the future, and perhaps even more fun to watch.
Another deal that would out Dwight Howard in purple and gold has been a popular discussion since the middle of the playoffs. There isn't a strong possibility of it going down, but it's something to look out for.
The Lakers are one of the most powerful franchises in all of sports, and certainly won't tolerate a decline in play. Don't be surprised if they make some big moves to alter their appearance.
Many believe that guards Stephon Curry and Monta Ellis cannot play in the back court together for the Golden State Warriors. Their style of play ais pretty similar to each other. Their names will be in trade rumors until a deal happens most likely. And there's a good chance one of them is shipped.
The Warriors are just trying to find an identity right now, and trading either Curry or Ellis would land them a nice piece to retool with. They have a number of other players who are expendable as well.
The 11th pick will land them another player to build on too. Someone like Marcus Morris from Kansas and Tristan Thompson from Texas are their potential draftees who would give them a tough inside presence they have needed for a while.
With Mark Jackson as their new coach and many opportunities to enhance their roster, the Golden State could have a new look next season.
The Orlando Magic may have to look into trading Dwight Howard in fear of him bolting as a free agent next year. Obviously they don't want to get rid of him, but it's a real risk keeping him now considering they may lose him for nothing in return. Dealing him would be playing it safe, and many teams would love to take him off their hands.
Orlando could get a lot in return for the three time Defensive Player of the Year. Enough to get a new start for a bright future. A draft pick or two, along with some current young players is good value and better than having Howard flat out skipping town in 13 months. It might be an easier, more stress free route than to try to build a championship contender for this coming season.
If they decide to pull the trigger, rebuilding mode could be laid out perfectly for them.
The Toronto Raptors' No. 5 pick is the highest selection they've had since 2006. It puts them in great position to get an impact player. Their roster desperately need some talent on their roster. Drafting the best player available should be their mindset coming into the draft.
That guy could very well be point guard Kemba Walker from UConn. Having a player like that would certainly help them have some excitement in Toronto, which they have lacked n recent seasons.
No one currently on their roster should be considered untradeable, which leaves them plenty of room to make some moves to improve their layout.
With the No. 2 pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves will most likely have the opportunity to draft Derrick Williams from Arizona. That would allow them to have another young player to move forward with. Many believe he is the best player in the draft.
He plays the same position as Minnesota's Michael Beasley, however. This gives them the option of possibly trading Beasley for more talent in other positions.
This summer could lay the foundation of the T'Wolves returning to relevancy.
Then the Denver Nuggets pulled off the Carmelo Anthony trade back in February, they got a lot of assets in return. They have a deep roster, and many pieces they could trade. They could choose to ship out guys like Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, or J.R. Smith. Doing this could land them a player better than all of them in a package deal.
They have the 22th pick, and that can land them another impact player.
With everything they have to offer, the Nuggets should be one of the most active teams this offseason.
The Washington Wizards have a nice young team in place. But they are still building towards being a playoff squad. The sixth pick will help them move towards that level.
With that pick they can add someone to their relatively thin front court. Jan Vesely, Jonas Valanciunas, Kawhi Leonard, or Marcus Morris could be guys to strengthen up their rotation. They own the 18th pick as well.
They could also look into trading Rashard Lewis, whose contract is expiring next summer. He could land them more youthful talent to rebuild with.
The Houston Rockets have been close to making the playoffs the last two years. Some key moves this offseason could thrust them into post season status.
It starts with the draft. They own the 14th pick and could take someone like Tristan Thompson or Markieff Morris would help them in the front court.
A few signings and trades would probably get them back to the playoffs. Expect them be working really hard this summer.
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