NBA Draft 2015: Ranking Every 2015 Lottery Team's Needs by Position

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2015

NBA Draft 2015: Ranking Every 2015 Lottery Team's Needs by Position

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    Every NBA lottery team has more than one need.

    It's a straightforward concept, really. You don't end up in the lottery, outside the playoff picture, pining for a way back to prominence, by having only one need.

    Every single one of the Association's lottery squads have multiple positions that need upgrading. Knowing this, we're going to follow our natural impulse to rank the spots that need tending ahead of the June 25 draft.

    Incumbent personnel, team weaknesses and statistical output at individual positions will be our guiding light. We'll also be taking into account where each team is drafting.

    The Phoenix Suns, for instance, could use a shot-blocking big with three-point range. But Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns cannot be their primary target. They're drafting 13th overall, and he will be long gone. 


    Lottery outfits will be presented in order of when they're selecting. We're also only focusing on the top-three areas of need, because let's face it, you have a life.

    Let's rank.

Jonathan Wasserman's Draft Breakdown

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    Just so we're all clear on what players probably will and won't be available at particular points in the draft, it would be wise to take a gander at the mock draft and prospect big board Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has put together.

    This breakdown will be kept in mind throughout as we try to diagnose every team's biggest needs and suggest possible action plans.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

    1. Center

    The Minnesota Timberwolves' logic is twofold here: First, they own the No. 1 pick, and this year's top two prospects are both towers. Second, and most importantly, they ranked as the worst defensive team inside six feet during the regular season. They need a big other than Gorgui Dieng and half of Kevin Garnett to protect the hoop.

    Towns seems to be the obvious pick here. He's a shot-blocking machine, while his counterpart, Duke's Jahlil Okafor, likes to daydream on the defensive end.

    But coach and president Flip Saunders is apparently smitten with Okafor, according ESPN Insider Chad Ford. His polished footwork in the post is a weapon the Timberwolves don't have in Dieng or the injury-prone Nikola Pekovic, and it's something Garnett left in 2010.

    2. Shooting Guard

    Andrew Wiggins is a small forward. Let's make that clear. More than one-third of his minutes came at shooting guard as a rookie, but he's 6'8" and already boasts three-point range, giving him all the trimmings of an eventual stretch 4.

    Lining him up at the 2 is something the Timberwolves should abandon long term. Hence why Ford says they're looking at Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, a combo guard with the size (6'5") to defend the 2 slot and three-point stroke to play off Ricky Rubio.

    3. Small Forward

    If the Timberwolves feel like reaching, Duke's Justise Winslow poses an interesting fit. At 6'6", he can defend either the 2 or 3, so the above sentiments still stand.

    Really, Minnesota needs another perimeter defender to partner with Wiggins. Neither Zach LaVine nor Shabazz Muhammad fits the bill just yet.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    1. Center

    Timberwolves logic applies here: The Los Angeles Lakers ranked 28th in point-blank defense, they don't have their center of the future on the roster and both of this year's top two prospects can play the 5.

    Draft-day surprises can be fun. But the safe play has Los Angeles taking whomever Minnesota leaves behind between Okafor and Towns.

    2. Point Guard

    No offense to Jordan Clarkson. He averaged 17 points and 5.7 assists per game from March on and gave Los Angeles a capable body at the league's deepest spot.

    Point guard, however, was still the Lakers' worst position.

    If general manager Mitch Kupchak thinks Clarkson is the second coming of Russell Westbrook, the team can fill needs elsewhere. Otherwise, the Lakers have to at least consider going small at No. 2—which they will, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

    3. Small Forward

    Perimeter defense is definitely an issue for the Lakers. Wesley Johnson, a free agent, was horrible last season; Nick Young hasn't played defense since entering the league; Ryan Kelly isn't quick enough to keep pace with opposing wings; and Kobe Bryant is 36 going on 59.

    Though the Lakers could look to address their outside deficiencies in free agency, they always have the option of trading down or reaching for a savvy defender such as Winslow.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

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    1. Point Guard

    Michael Carter-Williams was the Philadelphia 76ers point guard of the future and then, quite suddenly, he wasn't. General manager Sam Hinkie shipped him to the Milwaukee Bucks, and now the Sixers need to look elsewhere for their franchise floor general.

    The third pick is a good place to start. At least one of Emmanuel Mudiaywho played in China last year—and Russell should still be on the board, and both are fits in Philadelphia insofar as they can score and pass better than anyone already on the roster.

    Smart people have the Sixers taking Russell, per's Keith Pompey, though they're ultimately at the mercy of the Lakers' willingness to let him fall that far.

    2. Shooting Guard

    Tony Wroten Jr. was productive before suffering a partially torn ACL, but the Sixers' big picture is fluid. It also remains to be seen whether his stat totals are the offshoot of playing for a cruddy basketball team that has more possessions available.

    Taking a flier on Winslow would make some sense here. He's listed as a shooting guard, but at 6'6" he can shimmy between either wing position. 

    3. (Stretch) Power Forward

    For the love of floor spacing, the Sixers need, well, floor spacing.

    Playing Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid together would sound good in theory if it didn't seem destined to look ugly in practice. Noel is not an ideal power forward in today's NBA. He was a minus-3.4 in player efficiency rating at the 4 as a rookie, compared to a plus-6.8 at center. He shot just 26.3 percent outside eight feet as well.

    Dario Saric is still stashed overseas, has three-point range and could come stateside whenever Commissioner Hinkie flashes the bat signal. But he's never shot 35 percent from deep, per RealGM.

    Kristaps Porzingis out of Latvia would be a fun gamble here if Hinkie and crew are feeling contrarian.

4. New York Knicks

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    Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

    1. Center

    Everything comes back to the center spot for the New York Knicks. They have no true shot-swatter on the roster. Cole Aldrich—yes, Cole Aldrich—led the team in block totals. Carmelo Anthony is also their only post scorer, which isn't going to fly in Phil Jackson's triangle offense.

    After falling to fourth in the lottery order, the Knicks aren't going to land that do-it-all big man. There is only one of those in this year's draft (Towns), and he'll be gone long before they're on the clock.

    It behooves the Knicks to see if Okafor drops or make a draft-day reach on Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein or Porzingis. Ford says they're taking a long look at Cauley-Stein, a 7-footer who spent three years in college and plays like the DNA crosslink of DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler and a baby pterodactyl.

    2. Point Guard

    Statistically speaking, point guard was the Knicks' worst position last season. Although Langston Galloway provides them with an actual prospect to evaluate, they haven't been able to defend opposing point men since 2012.

    One of Mudiay or Russell should still be available when the Knicks are selecting. Mudiay poses an iffy fit on offense because of his shaky jumper but solves the team's defensive issues immediately. Russell, meanwhile, has the game of a more provocative Manu Ginobili. 

    Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal will now take it away:

    Not only are both prospects smooth lefties with great body control, but they each possess plenty of craftiness when they have the ball in their hands. Plus, they're perfectly comfortable lining up at either guard slot and serving as primary distributors, squeezing the rock into tight spaces and seeing plays develop mentally before they do physically. 

    If either guard is available at No. 4, the Knicks owe it to themselves to digest the possibilities.

    3. Small Forward

    Carmelo Anthony belongs at power forward. End of story.

    Drafting someone (Winslow) who can play the 3 (Winslow), assume the toughest wing assignments on defense (Winslow) and play off Anthony's ball-dominate scoring (Winslow) would be a boon for New York on both ends of the floor.

    Here's a thought: The Knicks should consider drafting Winslow.

5. Orlando Magic

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    1. Small Forward

    Tobias Harris is going to get never-wear-the-same-boxers-or-briefs-twice paid in restricted free agency, and the Orlando Magic need to decide if they'll be doing the paying.

    Committing tens of millions of dollars to Harris isn't a no-brainer. He was the third-leading scorer on a 25-win team, and keeping him only succeeds in taking touches away from Victor Oladipo, Elfrid "Best Hairstyle Ever" Payton and Nikola Vucevic.

    Gambling on someone such as Croatia's Mario Hezonja or Winslow should be a real possibility. Either one of them, along with Evan Fournier, can help replace Harris immediately.

    2. (Stretch) Power Forward

    Last year's No. 4 pick, Aaron Gordon, is athletic and plays defense. The Magic should not give up on him. They just need more shooters.

    This team ranked middle-of-the-road in three-point attempts and conversion rate, and neither one of their starting guards (Oladipo and Payton) bombs away at especially high clips.

    Porzingis, or if the Magic are feeling adventurous, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, would fit this bill.

    3. Shooting Guard

    This is actually a compliment. 

    All of the pieces are basically in place for the Magic. If, for some reason, they're not going to address the uncertainty at the 3 and lack of shooting at the 4 (sorry, Channing Frye), they're better off selecting another guard not named Luke Ridnour to spell Oladipo and Payton. Hezonja would, again, be a nice fit.

6. Sacramento Kings

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    1. Power Forward

    Only one word is needed to describe the Sacramento Kings' power forward situation: dire.

    Jason Thompson and Carl Landry are not the answer. The Kings will let Derrick Williams walk over the offseason if they're smart. They will resist offering Reggie Evans a max contract if they're smarter than smart.

    Selecting a defense-stretching power forward makes the most sense. Head coach George Karl likes to run, the Kings aren't brimming with shooters and their power forward rotation gives basketball fans between the ages of two and 107 nightmares.

    Reaching for Kaminsky or investing in Porzingis are both acceptable courses of action.

    2. Small Forward

    Caveat incoming: The Kings are allowed to abandon the pursuit of a stretch 4 if they're prepared to slot Rudy Gay at power forward. That's totally, wholly, completely OK.

    Picking a small forward becomes their primary job in that scenario—someone who can run and play defense and has a higher ceiling than Omri Casspi.

    Taking Winslow—should he fall this far—bolsters the Kings' aesthetic appeal considerably. Picture a starting five of Darren Collison, DeMarcus Cousins, Gay, Ben McLemore and Winslow. That offense would be fun.

    3. Power Forward

    Dear Captain Obvious: Yes, this was done on purpose.

    That's how badly the Kings need a competent power forward. If they don't draft for floor spacing, defense becomes the priority.

    Getting super unconventional, drafting Arizona's Stanley Johnson and telling him to defend opposing 4s is an interesting option. Making the reach of all reaches on Texas' Myles Turner flies too. Trading down rather than rolling all the dice ever works as well.

    Anything is better than the alternative: Sacramento failing to address its glaring needs at either forward spot.

7. Denver Nuggets

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    1. Small Forward

    Assuming the Denver Nuggets change nothing about their current core, small forward is their biggest need.

    They do have some interchangeable guys at the 3 and 4 in Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. But Chandler will be a free agent after next season, and Gallinari only started to regain his New York form toward the tail end of 2014-15.

    Besides, the Nuggets have an opportunity to get super creative. They're well within range of Hezonja and Winslow and could run either one of them with both Chandler and Gallinari in certain lineups.

    2. Power Forward

    Sources told Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders that Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson aren't quite happy with the Nuggets' direction. Moving one or both of them creates a gaping hole at the point guard and power forward slots.

    Faried specifically is a liability in the more modernized NBA, so Denver might want to consider adding another stretch 4—in addition to Gallinari—even if they don't trade him. His jumper is underdeveloped, and he doesn't block shots or defend sweet-shooting forwards particularly well.

    Kaminsky, Porzingis and Turner are all names to keep in mind should the Nuggets go this route.

    3. Shooting Guard

    Unless Mudiay or Russell is miraculously still on the board, there will be no point guards worth drafting at this point. Jusuf Nurkic looks like a franchise center, and J.J. Hickson is a serviceable backup. That leaves the shooting guard spot.

    Gary Harris could be the answer here. Emphasis on "could." Randy Foye is not.

    Hezonja and Winslow would once again be better options. So too would Johnson if the Nuggets are looking for an oversized shooting guard prototype—kind of like Klay Thompson, minus the angelic outside touch.

8. Detroit Pistons

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    1. Small Forward

    Depending on how the first seven picks shake out, the Pistons will have to rely on free agency to get their small forward fix. But they've needed a capable 3 since before they inexplicably signed Josh Smith.

    Ideally, seven other teams would pass on Winslow and then coach and president Stan Van Gundy would do his happy dance. Realistically, the Pistons will have to consider Hezonja and Johnson—both of whom are, in terms of shot selection, anti-Josh Smiths.

    2. Power Forward

    Power forward could truthfully top this list.

    Greg Monroe is approaching free agency and about to get bodyguards-when-he-goes-to-Costco paid. Dual-big men lineups don't have a place in today's NBA anymore, unless one of the two can shoot threes. Ergo, Andre Drummond and Monroe shouldn't be playing together.

    Van Gundy has shown he can plug any relatively tall player with range into his offense (see: Anthony Tolliver), but betting on a potential household name has its appeal. He likes Kaminsky, after all.

    "He's the National Player of the Year," he said of Wisconsin's big gun, per Matt Dery of Detroit Sports 105.1 FM. "We talked to him in Chicago. He's certainly likely in the mix at No. 8."

    3. Point Guard

    Brandon Jennings is still working his way back from an Achilles injury.

    Reggie Jackson's jumper is still too, um, inconsistent for Van Gundy's floor-spacing offense.

    Murray State's Cameron Payne can stroke threes, drive-and-kick in his sleep, defend bigger point guards and is shooting up draft boards everywhere.

    See where I'm going with this?

9. Charlotte Hornets

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    1. Shooting Guard

    As if you needed another reminder that the Lance Stephenson experiment has crashed and burned and now needs to have its smoldering pile of ash buried under the Nascar Hall of Fame.

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's ability to defend the 2 and 3—and 4—positions would allow the Charlotte Hornets to roll with someone such as Johnson. Together, they would seal off penetration lanes, and Johnson is a jump-shooting upgrade for the NBA's worst long-range team.

    Spinning the roulette wheel on Notre Dame's Jerian Grant morphing into a lethal combo guard is equally acceptable. Hoping Hezonja somehow gets past the Nuggets and Pistons is another good call.

    2. Power Forward

    Don't write Noah Vonleh's NBA obituary just yet. His rookie season was marred by injuries and a lack of playing time, but he has the makings of a rotation power forward who, one day, might start drilling threes.

    In the meantime, while the Hornets are waiting for that to happen (or not happen), they could start falling in love with Wisconsin's Sam Dekker or Kaminsky.

    Standing at 6'9" and lacking the lateral chops to defend small forwards, Dekker is best suited as a stretch 4. His three-point stroke is a work in progress, but relative to Charlotte's barren deep-ball corps, his 34.8 percent clip in college is a godsend.

    A center while at Wisconsin, Kaminsky is prepping for a role change at the NBA level. As he told reporters, per Basketball Insiders' Eric Pincus: "[I'm] turning myself into a 4. In college, I played the 5 for so long. I know I can play the 4. I just have to pick up the nuances. The NBA values big guys that can stretch the floor."

    Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, Marvin Williams and Vonleh make drafting another big seem like overkill. But that front-line foundation is written in pencil, not permanent marker. Selling a couple of those guys off to make room for a Kaminsky-type has its offensive advantages.

    3. Point Guard

    Sorry, not sorry.

    Kemba Walker is a fine point guard. He creates his own shots, and if the Hornets ever get him surrounding shooters or a legitimate pick-and-roll partner, his playmaking will eventually shine through.

    But a 31.8 percent career clip from downtown is no good for a point guard. The Hornets would be doing themselves a favor by pairing him with Grant or Payne, two point men who can play off the ball and nail threes with more frequency.

10. Miami Heat

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    1. Small Forward

    Miami Heat president Pat Riley isn't one for rebuilding or retooling through the draft. Now is a good time for him to change his tune.

    Even if Luol Deng (player option) is still in town, Miami needs to get younger and faster. Free-agent Goran Dragic wants to run the break more, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, and the Heat cannot afford to play a game of chicken with someone who cost them two future first-rounders.

    Additional shooting also needs to be atop their list. They won't get much from the 2-guard slot if Dwyane Wade is still around—which, shockingly, Jackson says isn't a given—and Deng's distance shooting has always been tepid.

    Rolling with Johnson would satisfy most of what Miami needs. Drafting Kansas' Kelly Oubre Jr. should not be out of the question if Riley is wearing his crazy-ambitious slacks on June 25.

    2. Power Forward

    Easy does it, pitchfork-wielders. Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside aren't going anywhere. We get it. The rest of Miami's rotation up front is just too vanilla.

    Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem can still soak up some playing time, but neither has any semblance of an outside game. And while Josh McRoberts will provide spacing off the bench, he alone isn't enough.

    Dekker and Kaminsky may still be available at No. 10, and the Heat can hope the rest of the NBA forgets Porzingis exists. Riley could also throw all his championship rings on the metaphorical table as proof he knows more than the rest of us and draft Bobby Portis out of Arkansas.

    3. Shooting Guard

    Another shooting guard wouldn't hurt.

    Mario Chalmers cannot effectively defend opposing 2s for long stretches, and Wade hasn't cracked 70 regular-season appearances since Mastodons roamed the earth. (OK, fine, since 2010-11).

    With Hezonja likely going before No. 10, the Heat would have to embrace the risky, oft-crippling art of draft-day reaching. That, or they could trade down.

    Either way, they're looking at names such as Devin Booker (Kentucky) and R.J. Hunter (Georgia State).

11. Indiana Pacers

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    1. Point Guard

    The Indiana Pacers are thinnest where the league is deepest. That's a problem. But it's a problem that Payne can help remedy.

    Jon Washburn of 8 Points 9 Seconds has more:

    Payne possesses perhaps the best handle in this year’s entire draft.

    While he’s not quite on the Curry/Paul/Irving level, he’s not far from it. The lefty doesn’t necessarily swing the ball back and forth on a string like those guys, but rather, Payne uses crafty hesitations and amazing footwork to manipulate defenders. He is not James Harden. He’s not close. Do not misquote me. But he does handle the ball a little bit like The Beard.

    There are only a limited number of point guards available in the lottery. The top two—Mudiay and Russell—will be gone by No. 11. Payne is the non-negotiable pick here, barring any crazy surprises.

    2. Center

    Selecting a center would be one such surprise.

    Head coach Frank Vogel and team president Larry Bird spit hot fire in Roy Hibbert's direction once the season ended, per the Indianapolis Star's Candace Buckner, no doubt hoping it might compel him to opt out of his current contract. Bird did nothing to quell speculation by calling Cauley-Stein a $100 million player, according to Buckner.

    Cauley-Stein won't be in play at No. 11, and the Pacers don't have the requisite assets to trade up—unless, of course, one of the Kings, Knicks and Nuggets are irrationally high on overpaid big men (Hibbert) or backcourt tweeners (Hill).

    Indiana can, however, go for Turner. He flashed some three-point range at Texas, so he can man the 4 in a pinch. Mostly, though, he's someone who helps the Pacers limit Hibbert's role.

     3. Shooting Guard

    Donald Sloan and C.J. Watson are both free agents, C.J. Miles is no Stephenson and Hill can only play shooting guard if Indiana drafts a point man.

    Paul George, David West and Hibbert also leave the Pacers set up front. Any and all tinkering should be done in the backcourt—preferably the point guard position. If not, picking a shooting guard is the next best option.

12. Utah Jazz

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    Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

    1. Power Forward

    According to a rule I just made up in my head, we're not allowed to write "Nothing." The Utah Jazz's nucleus is set, and that's great. But the position-pillaging must press on.

    Rookie head honcho Quin Snyder attempted to turn Enes Kanter into a stretch 4 before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. That didn't work out, and Derrick Favors isn't stepping behind that three-point line just yet.

    Portis or Turner could be groomed for that type of role. The Jazz could also try to make Dekker into a long-ball-launching power forward.

    2. Point Guard

    Neither Trey Burke nor Dante Exum has shown without a shadow of a doubt that he's worthy of being Utah's full-time pilot. Exum himself may end up playing more shooting guard.

    Any point man with a superstar ceiling will be long gone at No. 12, and the Jazz would have to start entertaining trade proposals if they bring another ball-dominant 1 into the mix. But they have a chance to land a difference-maker in Grant or Payne.

    Given the state of flux their point guard carousel exists in, this is a scenario that should be on the table.

    3. Small Forward

    Gordon Hayward could use a backup not named Joe Ingles.

    Utah's rotation is already crowded and calls for Rodney Hood to spend time at the 3, but a player such as Oubre would really help bolster the team's wing depth.

13. Phoenix Suns

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    1. Small Forward

    Using back-to-back first-rounders on small forwards isn't ideal. But, well, the Suns need a small forward.

    Gerald Green is a free agent with both feet out the door, P.J. Tucker has plateaued with a below-board PER and T.J. Warren has less than 650 minutes of NBA experience to his name.

    Exploring the fits of Booker, Hunter or Oubre would be wise as the Suns try to complement the dual-point guard backcourt with which they are so obviously still in love.

    2. Power Forward

    Resist the urge to demand a new center. Alex Len is getting it together.

    Yet, for a team that likes to run the floor and deploy unusually undersized lineups, the Suns don't have enough perimeter-oriented firepower at the 4. Markieff Morris is doing things, and his brother, Marcus Morris, remains playable.

    Still, the Suns need that rare combination big who both shoots and protects the rim—a hybrid forward-center, if you will. Should Turner slip this far, they have to pounce. They must also be open to ruining the Toronto Raptors' draft day by gambling on Kentucky's Trey Lyles.

    3. Point Guard

    More point guards? More point guards.

    Brandon Knight is slated for restricted free agency, while Dragic and Isaiah Thomas are already gone. Though the Suns are expected to keep Knight, they use point guards as shooting guards and therefore can make room for another one.

    Wasserman actually has them picking Payne in his latest mock. Snatching another point man doesn't address their most glaring holes (wing talent and rim protection), but it's a best-player-available ploy these Suns can be counted on to at least consider.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    1. Shooting Guard

    Basically, the Oklahoma City Thunder need more Anthony Morrows. 

    New head coach Billy Donovan is going to steer the Thunder away from volume isolation plays and utilize Kevin Durant's and Russell Westbrook's abilities to create open shots for teammates off drive-and-kicks and pick-and-rolls.

    Serge Ibaka's and Morrow's three-point range come in handy on those sets. But the Thunder need more. Nick Collison's transition into stretch forward-dom is progressing slowly, and Dion Waiters shot just 30.4 percent on catch-and-shoot treys last season.

    Booker and Hunter should be on their radar, as both can fulfill the role of spot-up assassin.

    2. Point Guard

    Instead of a shooting guard, the Thunder can nab another point man to replace Jackson. While D.J. Augustin is wily off the dribble, he's undersized and a defensive liability.

    Recognizing this, the Thunder have apparently assured Payne they'll draft him if he's available, according to Ford. And though he too can be a defensive detriment, he complements Westbrook in ways Waiters can't and Jackson never did.

    B/R's own Daniel O'Brien has more:

    Payne should thrive in uptempo situations because he loves to push the rock. He'll quickly rifle the ball to teammates on the move, making foes pay for being even a half-step late down the floor.

    He doesn't have the height or burst to put up huge scoring numbers, but he can fill up the hoop in a variety of ways. Payne uses an assortment of bankers and floaters, and he's a solid jump-shooter. He hit 37.7 percent from three-land and 45.6 percent on two-point jumpers during 2014-15, per

    Inserting Payne into Donovan's offense would ensure the Thunder are never short on pick-and-roll opportunities. If he's already off the board, though, they'll have to hope Grant remains. And if he's also gone, it's time for Plan C.

    3. Small Forward

    Finding a backup for Durant has been tough sledding. It's clearly not Perry Jones III, and Andre Roberson's offensive range is nonexistent.

    Dekker or Oubre can finally give the Thunder someone to fill that role. The former can play the 3 and 4 spots; the latter has Paul George's defensive ceiling.

    Plus, you know, there's the elephant, rhinoceros and blue whale in the room: Durant's free agency. If he leaves next summer, the Thunder could use a lottery prospect with the potential to help them survive Plans D through Z.

    Stats courtesy of and unless otherwise cited.

    Dan Favale covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @danfavale.


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