NBA Draft 2011: Cleveland Cavaliers and the Teams with the Biggest Holes to Fill
When a team doesn't win the championship, that means they must look to free agency and the draft to improve on the areas they were lacking.
Even after winning a championship, you have to look to get better, because now the target is on your back.
Some teams obviously have more needs than others, but all teams can definitely use a young player committed to earning his check and making a name for himself.
The teams with the five biggest holes to fill are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Knicks are on a rapid rise after signing free agent Amare Stoudemire last summer and trading for Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony at the trade deadline.
With Stoudemire, they finally had a go-to player they could feed the ball to when times get rough.
With Anthony, they added yet another go-to player capable of dropping 30 plus points on any given night. His offensive game is as good as any player's in the league.
Chauncey Billups plays the floor general. He is a gritty point guard who makes sure the ball is where it needs to be on offense. He is also doesn't shy away from the big shot.
The problem going forward for the Knicks is defense. Not one player on their roster scares you defensively.
That is a huge problem when your two superstars don't consistently commit to that side of the ball. However, they knew what they getting when they acquired Stoudemire and Anthony so now they must add defensive prowess through the draft.
Look for the Knicks to draft a player who will crash the boards hard and provide tough defense in the paint.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Philadelphia 76ers is another rapidly rising franchise who just need a few more pieces in order to be a contender.
They have a young point guard, Jrue Holiday, who looks as if he may be an All-Star as early as next season. His development will be key to other player's development, such as Evan Turner.
Turner will be in his second year this season and showed promise after his performance in this year's playoffs. The Sixers are expected to trade Andre Iguodala, which will open the door for Turner to get better.
They have scoring coming off the bench in Louis Williams. If they re-sign Thaddeus Young, he and Turner may both be promoted from bench players into the starting line up.
Elton Brand is tough on the interior and will bang for his buckets.
The problem with the Sixers is their defensive interior and rebounding. The series against the Miami Heat exposed this glaring weakness to the maximum.
Time and time again, the Sixers gave up offensive rebounds which resulted in extra possessions.
Also, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade got to the bucket at will, which kept the defense off balance and forced them to foul.
If the Sixers want to get better and really compete for the next couple of years, they will have to bulk up on the inside.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Michael Redd and Chris Douglas-Roberts are set to be free agents and that means the Bucks will need some depth on the perimeter.
Even if these two weren't free agents, they would need to upgrade the shooting guard position to give Brandon Jennings help. John Salmons is a solid shooting guard in his own right, but not who you would want as your only option of a starter.
There are a lot of players in this year's draft who can flat-out score. With the 10th pick, the Bucks should be able to grab a player who can help fill the scoring void immediately.
This team has a good core of players, the problem is they are not a big-name city. Free agents don't dream of playing in Milwaukee. In order for them to be competitive, they MUST draft well.
Alec Burks out of Colorado or Marshon Brooks from Providence should still be on the board when the Bucks make their first selection. I expect them to draft whichever one of these players they figure is better.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Although fresh off of their loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, the new-look Heat appear to be forming a dynasty.
Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh are three of the best players in the entire league and don't need too many impact players around them to be competitive.
With that being said, they do have weaknesses, because the three of them can't do it alone.
Their biggest weakness was point guard play. Mario Chalmers came alive during the finals and gives the Heat a reason to hesitate on drafting another floor general, but they should anyway.
Chalmers has proven since his days at Kansas that he plays well in pressure situations. However, on a regular night in-night out basis, he is just average. The Heat need a point guard of the future to start grooming now.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Ever since LeBron James "took his talents to South Beach," the Cavaliers have returned to being a bottom-dweller of the NBA. Many basketball fans with no allegiance to the Cavs even feel sorry for what happened.
With James gone, they suffered through a 26-game losing streak and traded a few fan favorites away.
What also happened for them after James' departure, though, is them having two of the top four overall picks on Thursday.
Any team picking in the top three has many holes to fill and Cleveland, like Milwaukee, is not a free-agency hot spot. This means they too will have to draft well.
If they get these two picks wrong, it will set their franchise back even further than "The Decision."
No disrespect to Baron Davis or Antawn Jamison, who both are still very effective at this point in their careers, but every position on the Cavs could afford an upgrade.
They don't have a great player on this roster at all. With their two early picks, I expect them to draft a guard and a big man.
These two prospects will set the tone for a new brand of Cavalier basketball.