Cleveland has plenty of areas for improvement on its roster. Kyrie Irving is being groomed as the face of the franchise, and the Cavaliers do not believe that there is a star like Irving to be found in this year’s draft. Cleveland has been shopping the number one overall pick, but has yet to find a trade partner. In the past week, six players have suggested that they could each go number one overall, and this pick is truly a toss up. GMs often prefer to fill a need in free agency, and go for the best player available in the draft, but with Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao, will the Cavs look to add another shooting guard (Victor Oladipo) or big man (Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, or Nerlens Noel), or will they look to fill their pressing need at SF (Otto Porter)? Although Cavs owner Dan Gilbert follows Oladipo on Twitter and doesn’t follow the others, NBA experts have suggested that the Cavs are looking to draft a center, perhaps not trusting Varejao or Tyler Zeller as good long term options for a team that hopes to be out of the lottery next year. Len is perhaps more polished offensively, but Noel’s athleticism gives him the edge.
The pick: Nerlens Noel
Ceiling: Andrew Bynum (healthy)
Middle: Larry Sanders
Floor: DeAndre Jordan
After being ridiculed for their return in the Dwight Howard trade, Orlando suddenly looks like it may have come out on top with budding center Nikola Vucevic, underrated forward Maurice Harkless, and a great trade chip in Arron Afflalo. There has been talk of an Afflalo deal that would bring Eric Bledsoe to the Magic as a talented point guard of the future. As talk of this trade heats up, talk of Trey Burke going to Orlando is cooling down. Oladipo and Ben McLemore are now the favorites to be selected by Orlando. While an Orlando backcourt of Bledsoe and Oladipo would not provide great scoring, Oladipo’s athleticism, defense, and character reportedly make him Orlando’s favorite SG prospect.
The pick: Victor Oladipo
Ceiling: Andre Iguodala
Middle: Luol Deng
Floor: Thabo Sefolosha
The DMV loves Otto Porter. The former Georgetown forward brought fans to the Verizon Center for Georgetown Basketball games, and would certainly help bring more fans to Wizard games if Washington selects him. On a team that may lose Martell Webster—its best SF from the past season—to free agency, and with an aging and less effective Trevor Ariza, Washington should look to add a player that should work well with John Wall and provide good defense from the SF position.
The pick: Otto Porter
Ceiling: Paul George
Middle: Nicholas Batum
Floor: Tayshaun Prince
Charlotte believes in Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Gerald Henderson still has potential to be a good SG in the league, but aside from those three players the Bobcats have a ton of areas the need improvement. Tyrus Thomas is owed 18 million over the next two years, but isn’t the answer at PF. While Bismack Biyombo has shown flashes of brilliance with his defense, and BJ Mullens has a nice inside-out game, those two bigs would be better served in role postions. Although Charlotte desperately wants to move back later in the draft is deep in big men, Alex Len could emerge as the best big man in this draft class, and should emerge as the pick.
The pick: Alex Len
Ceiling: Marc Gasol
Middle: Marcin Gortat
Floor: Omer Asik
Phoenix has tons of big men on its roster, so although Anthony Bennett strikes some as the second coming of Charles Barkley, Phoenix has enough scoring big men in the forms of Gortat, Scola, Frye, Beasley, and the Morris brothers. Cody Zeller doesn’t make sense for the same reason. With Dragic and Kendall Marshall, Phoenix has players to develop at PG, and Trey Burke wouldn’t make much sense here either. Good news for Phoenix is that the player with this year’s highest ceiling, Ben McLemore, is still available.
The pick: Ben McLemore
Ceiling: Ray Allen
Middle: Marcus Thornton
Floor: MarShon Brooks
New Orleans is a team that just needs some time. Greivis Vasquez showed great promise as New Orleans’ starting PG last season, and Eric Gordon has proven that he can produce when healthy. Austin Rivers and Al-Farouq Aminu have disappointed but will both be under contract and under 23 years of age at the start of next season. New Orleans should be set at guard, and although they could use a small forward, their biggest hole is in the post. New Orleans has a great defensive big man in Anthony Davis, who shows offensive promise as well; but while Davis is not a strong center, Anthony Bennett has plenty of bulk. Their frontcourt could turn into a younger version of Memphis’ where Gasol protects the paint and Randolph gobbles up rebounds and put-backs. Bennett would provide some nice low-post scoring to compliment Ryan Anderson’s three-point shooting and Anthony Davis’ defense from its other prominent big men.
The pick: Anthony Bennett
Ceiling: Zach Randolph
Middle: Carl Landry
Floor: Brandon Bass
The Sacramento Kings had the worst defense in the NBA by 2.5 points per game. Although they have some offensive firepower in Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, and restricted free-agent Tyreke Evans, they need to add defense wherever they can. With Oladipo off the board, there are no more elite two-way players in the field, and the Kings can afford to trade down and try to select a bigger, more defensive oriented PG in Michael Carter-Williams, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., or center prospects such as Gorgui Dieng, Mason Plumlee, or Jeff Withey. If the Kings keep the pick, expect them to pick the best fit, since they already have plenty of untapped talent on their roster.
The pick: Michael Carter-Williams
Ceiling: Andre Miller
Middle: Jeff Teague
Floor: Shaun Livingston
The Pistons have an exciting young frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but they have been let down by their guard play in recent years thanks to the inconsistent youngsters Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. The Pistons should once again look for a young stud at guard. The two best options here are C.J. McCollum and Trey Burke. Between his Patriot League competition, broken foot, and most importantly his undefined position (similar to Stuckey and Knight), McCollum could struggle to find his place on the Pistons. Trey Burke dominated college basketball as the Naismith player of the year, and led his team to the National Championship game. Burke is not an elite athlete, but he is an elite decision maker, scorer, and leader in the clutch. Detroit would be lucky to get Burke at number eight as one of the safest picks in the draft.
The pick: Trey Burke
Ceiling: Tony Parker
Middle: Jrue Holliday
Floor: Jameer Nelson
Minnesota will look to improve the fourth worst scoring offense in the NBA in terms of points per game. Roy, Kirilenko, and Shved were brought in to Minnesota to bring a combination of offense and defense that would bring the T-wolves to the playoffs, but injuries and bad shooting from those players derailed Minnesota’s season. The T-wolves need scoring, and have three great options available in C.J. McCollum, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Cody Zeller. Zeller and Love would leave Minnesota without much hope on defense. C.J. McCollum led Lehigh to a tournament victory over Duke a few years ago, and has impressed teams with his intelligence and character. The Wolves were reportedly impressed by Caldwell-Pope’s workout, and with a point guard in Rubio, the Wolves might turn to the better athlete with better size for a SG.
The pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Ceiling: Vince Carter
Middle: J.R. Smith
Floor: Martell Webster
Portland had the NBAs worst interior defense last year, but at the tenth spot in the draft Portland will not be able to fill that need. The best players available at this point are C.J. McCollum and Cody Zeller. Zeller would only enhance the competition for minutes for offensive minded centers alongside Aldridge and Meyers Leonard. McCollum could fill the void left by Brandon Roy as a SG who can also handle the ball well. Lillard and McCollum would make for a very poised and talented young backcourt, and would provide Portland with more than just a shooter (yeah… I’m talking about you Wes Matthews). If McCollum falls Portland would have to be thrilled.
The pick: C.J. McCollum
Ceiling: Brandon Roy (healthy)
Middle: George Hill
Floor: Jerryd Bayless
The Rest: are they boom or bust players?
|11. Philadelphia 76ers||Steven Adams||bust|
|12. Oklahoma City Thunder||Cody Zeller||boom|
|13. Dallas Mavericks||Sergey Karasev||boom|
|14. Utah Jazz||Shane Larkin||boom|
|15. Milwaukee Bucks||Shabazz Muhammad||boom|
|16. Boston Celtics||Dennis Schroeder||boom|
|17. Atlanta Hawks||Tony Snell||bust|
|18. Atlanta Hawks||Lucas Nogueira||bust|
|19. Cleveland Cavaliers||Tim Hardaway Jr.||bust|
|20. Chicago Bulls||Tony Mitchell||bust|
|21. Utah Jazz||Kelly Olynyk||boom|
|22. Brooklyn Nets||Rudy Gobert||bust|
|23. Indiana Pacers||Isaiah Canaan||bust|
|24. New York Knicks||Reggie Bullock||boom|
|25. Los Angeles Clippers||Jamaal Franklin||bust|
|26. Minnesota Timberwolves||Gorgui Dieng||boom|
|27. Denver Nuggets||Giannis Adetokunbo||boom|
|28. San Antonio Spurs||DeShaun Thomas||boom|
|29. Oklahoma City Thunder||Livio Jean-Charles||boom|
|30. Phoenix Suns||Glen Rice Jr||bust|
Georgetown University Class of 2016