We are in the waining hours of preparations as NBA front offices prepare for D-Day. The Draft tips off on Thursday night, and surely each of the 30 teams have their favorites that they will be hoping to land in one of the two rounds of the selection show.
Each of the franchises will know what voids they need to fill in their roster, and what players they are willing to take a chance on. While they already know what they need, you may not. So here is a list of draft needs from Atlanta to Washington.
Atlanta need someone to help get them back to the team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago, but the strange thing is not much changed from that team and the team that was KOed by the Heat in the first round. They are a bit thin at the center spot, which showed when Clint Capela went down with injury. They could use this spot to bring in his back up.
Boston showed they have one of the most complete starting fives in the NBA in their run to the NBA Finals. They will be looking to add depth at every position in this draft, but maybe most importantly is finding some one who can back up the ageless wonder, Al Horford.
Don’t have a pick
The Buzz is back in Charlotte for the first time in a long time as the Hornets have a young crop of talent that has been knocking on the door of the playoffs for the last few years. They need a big man and a swing that can give the team some thunder to the lightening of Lamelo Ball and Miles Bridges.
Up until the final stretch of the regular season the Bulls showed they can hang with the best teams in the east. They are a bit thin in the front court with Nikola Vucevic and Tristan Thompson. This could be an opportunity to get a big man that could take over a starting role in the paint this year or in the years to come.
There is reason to be excited if you are a Cavaliers fan. They have built up a core that will compete in the year to come, but they have a few missing pieces. There is talk of them bringing in free agent Andrew Wiggins, but may look for the cheaper option in filling that small forward spot in the draft.
Don’t have a pick
A combo guard that can handle business when Jamal Murray is on the bench or still getting in to game shape after most of the last two seasons would come in handy for the Nugs. They could also use a spot up shooter from the permitter with Nikola Jokic drawing so many defenders inside.
The Piston have been building something that could be special in a few years. They have had a number of great first round selections in the last few drafts. I guess that’s what happens when you finish at the bottom of the standings year after year. Cade Cunningham will need some help on the perimeter and I think they go for a two guard who can light it up.
Golden State Warriors
How do you improve on a championship winning team? You look at where they struggled during the post season and how to improve those weaknesses. At times they struggled to rebound the ball, so adding depth down low will be a priority. They could also lose either Jordan Poole or Andrew Wiggins to free agency, so finding a replacement could be priority number one.
Houston could use a big man down low, but I think if they get a chance to get a star like Paolo Banchero who is for me the top talent in the draft they can’t pass him up. They need some one to fill the void of James Harden and Russell Westbrook who both abandoned the Rockets over the last couple of years.
You know that saying what do you get someone who has everything? It’s like that, but the opposite. The Pacers need a total revamping, but their trade for Haliburton shows they are ready to build around him.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers need to get healthy first. But once Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are back to their best LAC could use a combo guard to team up with Reggie Jackson in the back court.
Los Angeles Lakers
Don’t have a pick
The Grizzlies have limitless potential with the roster they have. They need to grow and mature as a team, and perhaps a missing piece of the puzzle to send them into the spotlight in the West. A second scorer at the two guard that would unbalance defenses and take some of the pressure off of Ja Morant.
The Heat’s run to the Conference Finals was no fluke. They are a fantastic team, with discipline and grit. The only problem is they have a point guard that is in his last few years in Kyle Lowry. Finding someone who could eventually replace him and allow Jimmy Butler to stay at the 2 when Lowry is on the bench would be a huge help for the Heat.
Brook Lopez missed most of the regular season with a back injury and the Bucks had to improvise for much of the year. While he’s still effective, he’s getting up there in age. Milwaukee might want to find a back up that could develop into a starter in the years to come.
The T’Wolves can turn their team of next generation stars into a team a playoff team that will be fighting for a place in the Conference Finals if they play their cards right in this draft. Minnesota has no problem scoring the ball, but a slasher type player at the 3 or 4 spot who can create matchup problems and defend Minnesota could become a serious contender in the West.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans need someone to make an impact on both sides of the court. There’s plenty of dynamite with CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram on the perimeter. If they get a healthy happy Zion Williams back that could spell trouble for the West. A good defender that can spot up form deep would be a perfect fit for the boys on Bourbon Street.
New York Knicks
One thing is for sure. Whoever New York picks at 11 will be booed by the Knicks fans in attendance. They have a decent base to build around, but just haven’t connected the pieces yet. A productive small forward would be just what the Knicks need to field a starting five that could compete for a playoff spot.
Oklahoma City Thunder
With their top pick from last year Josh Giddy expected to be back for the start of the season and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander developing as a star scorer the Thunder need a bit of bang down low. Look for them to go for Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith Jr. whoever is not taken with the first pick. They have three picks in the first round and don’t be surprised if they trade one of those in exchanged for some more experienced players.
The Magic need a superstar. Someone not named Mickey or Minnie to bring the excitement back to Orlando. They have the first overall pick for the first time since drafting Dwight Howard in 2004. He turned the franchise around early in his career, they will need the same impact with their #1 pick this year.
Philly were one of the favorites to win the East, and getting James Harden made them even more of a favorite. The only thing missing for this team is a guys who can hang around the perimeter and light it up from deep. Joel Embiid could also use a tag team partner down low to play off him and fill in during those rare moments the MVP candidate is on the bench.
Don’t have a pick
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are lucky to have such a loyal super star in Damian Lillard. They traded away CJ McCollum last year, which did not make Lillard happy, so they will have to bring in another out and out scorer to ease the tension between star and franchise.
Only team in top four that may not be a big man. Donatas Sabonis is a bonafide star down low who can get you a triple double every time he steps on the court. The Kings need just about everything else, so they will go with the best available on their draft board with the fourth pick.
San Antonio Spurs
If you look up and down the Spurs roster, there is a serious lack of star power and excitement. Coach Popovich loves international guys, so look for San Antonio to go with the top foreign player in his eyes with the first of two first round picks. Again the Spurs shouldn’t be limiting their options to just one or two positions. They need help at almost every position if they want to be in the conversation for a playoff team next year.
The Raptors need some one to handle the rock. They have had a tough time replacing Kyle Lowry since his departure, and they will be looking for a steal in the early part of the second round.
Don’t have a pick
One of the top scorers in the league resides in the nation’s capital, and the Wizards could be looking to add a set up man for Bradley Beal. A point guard is not the only thing they need, and in a thin class at the point guard position they could look to beef up their front court.