As the 2020 NBA Draft approaches on Nov. 18, 110 Sports examined what each team needs ahead of draft night and ahead of the 2020-21 NBA Season
Minnesota Timberwolves, Picks 1, 17, 33
Defensive versatility, off-ball scoring
The acquisition of D’Angelo Russell immediately turns the Timberwolves into an interesting team. After a 19-45 season last year, Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns make this a team fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, hypothetically. However, this team still has major holes in its roster. Unfortunately, those holes aren’t really filled by any of the top prospects in this draft. They need defensive versatility and off-ball scoring. LaMelo Ball isn’t an effective off-ball scorer and defense is optional as far as he’s concerned. James Wiseman would help defensively, but the fit next to Towns is interesting at best and Anthony Edwards has the same problems as Ball considering he’s not a great shooter yet and he doesn’t defend. However, perimeter scoring is another area of need and Edwards would of course help with that and fill a role around Russell and Towns.
The Timberwolves have some interesting defenders in Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver but could definitely use more players like that. Right now, they’re drafting too early to take a player like Isaac Okoro or Sadiq Bey, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Minnesota trade down to pick up another asset and draft a better fit player when there are fair questions about the top prospects and not a clear No. 1 pick.
Golden State Warriors, Picks 2, 48, 51
Immediate impact, preferably size
Last year, the Warriors went 15-50. That’s not exactly where anyone thought Golden State would be with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the roster. However, Thompson suffers an ACL injury, Curry breaks his hand and all of a sudden the Warriors have the chance to find the center of the next era while still in the middle of this incredible run.
At the same time, Golden State is ready to win now. Curry just finished year 10, Thompson and Green are right behind him at years eight and seven. While these guys have plenty of time left, they are immediately trying to compete for a title in 2020-21. So, they need to capitalize by using this pick to get immediate impact. Whether that means drafting someone like James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick or trading down and getting a proven NBA player to contribute right away as well as a pick somewhere else in the lottery.
The Warriors would benefit from immediate impact with a lot of size. The big with the most starts last season was Willie Cauley-Stein and after that it doesn’t get any better. Wiseman, in theory, fits nicely as a defensive presence and a guy who runs the floor like a gazelle. It’s most important that Golden State walks away from draft night with immediate impact, whether that be in the form of a No. 2 pick or something else.
Charlotte Hornets, Picks 3, 32, 56
Star power, impact big, defense, off-ball shooting
A year ago, the Hornets were the team that had the worst roster and the least intriguing young guys. They aren’t in a completely different spot now, but the emergence of Devonte’ Graham, the solid play of PJ Washington and the No. 3 pick suggest there is some sort of a future in Charlotte.
However, the Hornets have a lot of holes they need to fill. Option A is for Charlotte to find a star in this draft, whoever that may be. There have been reports that the Hornets like Wiseman and that has the potential to add an impact big and a star, but it’s fair to be skeptical of Wiseman’s star ability given his skillset. I really like Onyeka Okongwu (he’s No. 1 on my Big Board for bigs in this draft) and think he would also bring both defense and playmaking abilities to this team.
With the third pick, the Hornets should probably go with the best guy available. Draft the guy that has the best chance of being a star in this league regardless of fit because that’s what Charlotte needs. With their other picks, especially the 32nd pick, the team who finished 25th in defensive rating and 19th in 3-point shooting could benefit from some defensive versatility and shooting. Players like Tyler Bey from Colorado, Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey and Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard all make sense and should be available in that range.
Chicago Bulls, Picks 4, 44
Perimeter depth, in any form
I’m scared that the Chicago Bulls are going to watch LaMelo Ball drop out of the top three and into their laps at No. 4. While Ball might have the highest ceiling in this draft, he might also have the lowest floor and the backcourt is crowded in Chicago. They spent last year’s No. 7 pick on Coby White, who was a 2019-20 All-Rookie Team member, averaging 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. And honestly, the NBA is so point guard-rich that there will be other opportunities to get impact point guards if need be. If you want a point guard, Killian Hayes is the safer pick, in my opinion, as a shot creator and lead guard next to White who isn’t known for his facilitation.
On the other end of the position spectrum, Chicago has Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter, who both averaged in double figures last season and they fit together in the front court with Carter manning the interior and Markkanen being a stretch four. In between the point guards and the front court is a less-than-inspiring group of wings. Zach LaVine has turned into a very good scorer but he clearly wants out and the options behind him are led by Otto Porter. Talk about uninspiring.
The team has been linked to Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija who would add to the play-making in Chicago and bring a high basketball IQ. He would be a good fit in Chicago.
Cleveland Cavaliers, Pick 5
Anything but a combo guard, defense
Nobody was worse on defense last season than the Cavaliers. It’s not hard to figure out why. There really isn’t a single player on the roster known for his defense. It’s Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in the backcourt. Kevin Porter Jr on the wing and Kevin Love in the frontcourt. None of those guys scream defensive intensity or leadership.
Lucky for the Cavs, there are some guys who would immediately make this team better on that end of the court. Unfortunately, they are probably going to draft Dayton’s Obi Toppin if he’s there at No. 5 as a guy with lots of offensive upside and major questions on the defensive end. While Toppin is very interesting on the offensive end as an explosive athlete, good passer and functional shooter, he’s just bad on defense.
With that in mind, there are a solid selection of 3 and D wings that could help on both ends of the floor, setting the tone defensively and playing off Garland and Sexton on offense. Okoro and Florida State’s Devin Vassell would make the most sense here (I like Sadiq Bey but this is too high to draft him) as elite defenders who can help spread the floor.
At the end of the day, they probably won’t do this, but they should.
Atlanta Hawks, Picks 6, 50
Shot creator, defense
Trae Young is special. He averaged 29.6 points and 9.3 assists last season en route to his first All-Star game. Of course, the Hawks have a very good shot creator in their point guard. I then challenge you to tell me who the next best shot creator is on this team.
We’re talking Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Jabari Parker. None of those guys strike me as elite shot creators. When Young isn’t on the floor or when he’s not playing well, the Hawks are in deep trouble. There’s just no one else that can fill the role.
With the sixth pick, it’s hard to find a guy that is clearly going to be a shot creator and that’s true again this year. Guys like Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton or 3 and D wings like Vassell and Okoro are the type of guys that you’ll find still on the board. Both Haliburton and Vassell would help, but finding another shot creator would really help this team. I’m just not sure there is one at No. 6. If it’s not a shot creator, it’s defense and off-ball scoring to put around Young and a team that was not good on defense last season.
Detroit Pistons, Pick 7
Future building blocks
Detroit needs the center of their team for the next 10 years. That’s a lot to put on anybody, much less a No. 7 pick. They probably aren’t going to find that player in this draft unless they stumble into a Donovan Mitchell kind of situation. What they can get is a guy who’s going to contribute to this team long-term.
For me, that’s a guy who’s going to bring you something on the offensive end. Don’t go and get someone who has a hard ceiling when it comes to abilities as a piece of the offense. A solid defender with upside on the offensive end, whether that’s Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey, Florida State’s Patrick Williams or someone else.
It doesn’t really matter who it is, but find someone that Detroit will want to sign to a second contract. Apart from Luke Kennard, they haven’t had many of those recently.
New York Knicks, Picks 8, 27, 38
A franchise point guard
I know the Knicks don’t want to hear about drafting another French point guard (they drafted Frank Ntilikina in 2017 and it hasn’t exactly worked out). However, if Killian Hayes falls to No. 8, that’s absolutely who the Knicks should draft. The future at that position isn’t Dennis Smith Jr. or Elfrid Payton or Ntilikina. They have an obscene amount of small forwards, a promising center in Mitch Robinson and a guy in RJ Barrett who had a promising first season with room to grow.
Now, the Knicks need a point guard to bring it all together. Hayes should be choice No. 1. There are lots of people who think he’s the best guard in this draft and he’s got the game for today’s NBA as a great shot creator and a dangerous pick-and-roll ball handler. If he’s not there, Alabama’s Kira Lewis is another good option as the fastest player in this draft and one of the more exciting with room to grow as a passer and finisher.
Washington Wizards, Picks 9, 37
The Wizards are in a weird spot. When healthy and in shape, they have one of the best backcourts in the NBA. No matter how you spin it, Bradley Beal is one of the best scorers in the NBA and there are times when no one is scarier with the ball in his hands in the open court than John Wall. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot going on. Davis Bertans is one of the more sought after free agents in the NBA this offseason and he would be very helpful if they manage to bring him back.
The rest of the roster is just weird and not very good. This position the Wizards need to tackle the most is the center position. In other words, they need to find a big guy to anchor their interior. If Onyeka Okongwu manages to fall that far, that would be a great pick up and Aleksej Pokusevski would be intriguing if nothing else. Of course, Wiseman or Okongwu would be the best prizes, but whatever they do someone needs to take control of the frontcourt in D.C.
Phoenix Suns, Pick 10
Point guard depth, front court playmaking, defensive wing
Two days ago I would’ve said the Suns need another playmaker. One trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder later, Chris Paul is a Sun and obviously that’s not an issue anymore. Now the Suns have an elite starting point guard, a go-to scorer in Devin Booker, wings in Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges and a young big in Deandre Ayton supplemented by Aron Baynes.
There aren’t any obvious holes in this Suns roster, but there are places where they can improve. There could be options for them at No. 10 to fill any of the above needs.
I like the idea of Tyrese Haliburton in Phoenix as the backup to Paul and he could play off the ball with Paul in smaller lineups by knocking down shots. If Deni Avdija falls to No. 10 that would be interesting next to Ayton in the front court and a Vassell or Okoro to strengthen the perimeter along with Bridges would work as well.
By acquiring Paul, the Suns have the luxury of finding someone to fill a specific spot to even further extend this team’s ceiling rather than finding a player who can do it all. There are a lot of options for a team that just needs answers to a couple of smaller problems.
San Antonio Spurs, Picks 11, 41
Shooting and defense
Now would be a really good time for the Spurs front office to pull the next Kawhi Leonard out of the NBA draft, but that’s an unrealistic expectation so let’s keep it simple. The Spurs need more defense and they need better shooting. Between Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker, they have some very intriguing young guards that feel like they fit the San Antonio franchise. However, none of them are particularly great defensively or from beyond the arc. DeMar DeRozan is also the best scorer on this team and is one of the few players in the NBA who still prefers the mid-range jumper over the deep ball.
All this to say, the Spurs need a guy who is going to up the intensity and performance on the defensive end while contributing to taking and making more three’s. In this area of the draft there are a lot of those guys whether it be Okoro, Bey, Williams, Vassell or Arizona’s Josh Green. San Antonio should be able to find a player like this to develop into a more well-rounded scorer as this young team continues to find its identity. Eventually DeRozan and LeMarcus Aldridge will move on and the youth movement will be in full effect. Hopefully, the Spurs can find someone who fills some holes and contributes to that movement.
Sacramento Kings, Picks 12, 35, 43, 52
First and foremost, the Kings need to find a guy that can stay on the floor. Marvin Bagley was supposed to be the frontcourt guy of the future, instead Richaun Holmes played the most important big man role in 2019-20. Let’s start there. Find someone who is going to be an important part of the front court moving forward and that guy probably isn’t the best player to take at No. 12. So, find someone who is going to be an athletic, defensive wing who can get up and down the floor with De’Aaron Fox. There are a lot of those guys around this area of the draft (see previous list in the Spurs’ section).
As for a big, Xavier Tillman might fall to the Kings at 35, Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu plays hard and is a defensive weapon and Maryland’s Jalen Smith would be an intriguing fit as well. It’s likely the majority of those guys won’t be available at 35, but the point still stands. Find a big guy that can supplement the front court and find weapons for Fox in transition.
New Orleans Pelicans, Picks 13, 39, 42, 60
Backcourt/frontcourt shooting, defense
Ah, yes, the first year in which the Pelicans get to reap the benefits of all the picks they got for Anthony Davis. They’ve got four of them and they’ve got a lot of spots to fill, especially with Jrue Holiday heading to Milwaukee. They get Eric Bledsoe and George Hill along with a collection of picks but there are a lot of holes in New Orleans.
In the backcourt, Holiday was the center of the shooting and the defense. Bledsoe and Hill bring some of that but it’s clearly an area of improvement. Lonzo Ball is a good facilitator, but he’s up and down at best as a shooter and adding more backcourt shooting along with JJ Redick is desperately needed. It would be nice if he could play defense, too, which is why guys like Josh Green, Sadiq Bey, Aaron Nesmith would be seemingly good fits.
There’s obvious reason for optimism in the front court with Jaxson Hayes and Zion Williamson, but neither of them can shoot it. A stretch big who can step out and shoot it on one end and be versatile on the other would be helpful as well. My initial thought is Jalen Smith from Maryland.
Boston Celtics, 14, 26, 30, 47
Center, backup point guard
Clearly, Boston has been trying to shop the picks that they have. It was reported that they threw a lot at New Orleans for Jrue Holiday and they’ve tried to use those assets in the past but haven’t been successful. As of right now, Boston has all of its picks (though don’t be surprised if they move up on draft night) and it’s obvious what their biggest hole is: center.
Daniel Theis is a fine basketball player. He might even be a good one, but he can’t be depended on as the most important frontcourt player deep in the playoffs. Miami’s Bam Adebayo was the best player on the floor in the Eastern Conference Finals and there wasn’t a whole lot the Celtics could do.
Unless they can package their picks and move up far enough to draft USC’s Okongwu, I’m not sure 14 is the place to get a big. They could move back slightly and draft Precious Achiuwa from Memphis or Jalen Smith from Maryland or grab Oturu, Tillman or Isaiah Stewart from Washington at the end of the first round.
Eventually, the C’s are going to need a better backup point guard. Brad Wanamaker just isn’t the guy you want to have to depend on in the playoffs. Luckily, there are lots of places to grab that kind of backup point guard whether it’s RJ Hampton at 14, Duke’s Tre Jones later in the first round or somebody else.
Boston is very close, but there are definitely places where the Celtics can improve their roster.
Orlando Magic, Picks 15, 45
The Magic are officially at that point where they need to draft someone that actually brings excitement to this franchise. Clearly, the core that they have right now is just not good enough to be anything other than an eight seed and Jonathan Isaac is the only player that gives fans a reason to be excited.
Enter Tyrell Terry. In my point guards big board for this draft I loosely compared Terry to Steph Curry. He’s exciting, he takes deep shots and plays with the utmost confidence. The Magic need ball-handling, Terry gives them that. The Magic need shooting. Terry gives them that.
At this point, Orlando is in a downward slide toward a rebuild. They have a promising young prospect in Isaac, they have All-Star Nikola Vucevic and now they need a point guard. I think Terry has a good chance to be that exciting young player to, along with Isaac, lead Orlando into a new era of younger players.
Dallas Mavericks, Picks 18, 31
Perimeter defense, off-ball shooting
It’s easy to decipher what the Mavericks need. They don’t need a playmaker. Luka Doncic might end up being the best player of his generation. They don’t need a major boost on offense, they easily had the best offensive rating in the NBA last season.
However, this is a team who doesn’t have a go-to defender to guard the other team’s best player and they could shoot the ball from beyond the arc better as a team. It was clear against the Clippers in the playoffs that they didn’t really have anyone to guard Kawhi Leonard and someone needed to knock down shots other than Doncic.
I really like Saddiq Bey from Villanova in this spot. The 3-and-D wing is 6’8, 216 pounds so he’ll very rarely be undersized and he is a great defender that played in a no-nonsense program under Jay Wright. He’ll play well off the ball like he did with Collin Gillespie at Villanova and I’m confident in his abilities to eventually be the best defender on an NBA team.
The Mavs are here to stay, they have the superstar, a collection of bigs including Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber. They have some off-ball shooting with Seth Curry and he leads a solid group of backcourt players. It’s clear that Dallas needs that defensive stopper on the perimeter who can play with Luka on the other end.
Brooklyn Nets, Picks 19, 55
Somebody who will actually play defense, but also play well off the ball
If the Nets actually make a trade happen with the Rockets to acquire James Harden, it will make the above statement pointless, but way more meaningful at the same time. It will be pointless because that trade would 100 percent involve the Nets 2020 first round pick, but more meaningful because Kevin Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving could effectively guard a 10th grade church league basketball team. They just aren’t that interested in playing defense and a pick in this draft that does defend would really help.
Either way, whether it’s with the 19th pick or the 55th pick, the Nets need to find someone else to be a perimeter defender. At 19, Josh Green and Desmond Bane might both be available and both would be able to contribute as playmakers off the ball with potential to be solid, to very good defensively. At 55, it might be someone like Jordan Nwora or Elijah Hughes.
I’ll just say it now: The holes in perimeter defense should Harden make it to Brooklyn are not insubstantial and might be the reason the Nets never win a title with that hypothetical team.
Miami Heat, Pick 20
Interior size and depth
There might not be a team that’s future plans change more if Giannis Antetokounmpo signs a super-max with Milwaukee than the Heat. This offseason they were probably going to sign their important free agents (like Goran Dragic) to one-year deals so they had the space to sign Giannis after this season. With the acquisitions of Bogdanovic and Holiday, the Bucks have a very solid case to throw at Giannis.
That’s not really that important right now, but it does solidify some of their areas of need. After the finals, it’s clear they need another true big behind Bam Adebayo. Having to play Kelly Olynyk against a physical big is just not what you want. At 20, the Heat could get a number of bigs to help Adebayo down low, whether that be Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji or Achiuwa from Memphis. Those are the big guys around 20 on most mock drafts, but other players like Daniel Oturu from Minnesota and Tillman from Michigan State could be helpful in that situation.
Philadelphia 76ers, Picks 21, 34, 36, 49, 58
Ball handlers and shooters, please
Death, taxes and the 76ers having a roster that doesn’t actually allow Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid to be the best they can be. They’re too slow for Simmons, there isn’t enough space for Embiid and both problems could be fixed with more ball handlers and guys who can shoot. Get guys who can run with Simmons and spot up and get guys who can pull defenders out of the pain so the best center in the NBA can go to work with a little bit of space.
It’s just not that hard, Elton Brand.
With the 21st pick there should be several different options. It’s a broken record at this point, but Green, Nesmith, Bey would all be good fits. With those later picks, Payton Pritchard, Cassius Winston, Markus Howard, Malachi Flynn, you name a college guard and they’ll probably be a better fit than Shake Milton and assist Philly’s desperate plea for shooters and ball handlers.
Denver Nuggets, Pick 22
Someone to guard LeBron, knock down shots off the ball
The Nuggets proved in the bubble that they have a duo that can compete deep into the Western Conference playoffs, but the painful truth is that the West is going through LeBron for the next several years. They didn’t really have someone who could guard him. That’s the important part in the 2020 draft, finding defensive role players to put around Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic who can knock down shots on one end and be the best defender on the other. Murray and Jokic aren’t going to be that guy and no way is Michael Porter Jr. that guy.
Denver has some options here. If they want to go heavy on defense they could get a guy like Jaden McDaniels from Washington who is a freak athlete, even someone like Paul Reed might work. The more attractive 3-and-D guys are Josh Green or Saddiq Bey. If the Nuggets walk away with one of those two players, it’s a successful draft night.
Utah Jazz, Pick 23
Frontcourt depth, immediate impact players
The most forgotten play of the bubble is Mike Conley’s shot at the buzzer in Game 7 of the first round that would’ve sent the Jazz to the second round and kicked the Nuggets out two rounds earlier. The Jazz bring back a lot of that team. Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale. Everyone is on the way back, and that’s definitely a playoff team.
So, the Jazz need a prospect that can help them win right now. It could be in the form of another defensive stopper behind O’Neale, but the most obvious hole is an impact big behind Gobert. Utah might try and get someone else to fill this role in free agency, but Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji and Washington’s Isaiah Stewart would have an impact right away and would help solidify that position group. Utah is going to be good, the Jazz need somebody to help the moment they step into the locker room.
Milwaukee Bucks, Pick 60
Playmakers off the bench
The Bucks used trades to acquire what they needed. They proved to Giannis they are serious about trying to win a championship by trading for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Those two guys, along with Khris Middleton, Giannis and Brook Lopez is a great starting lineup. However, they gave up a lot of glue pieces and role players in those trades. They had to give up Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Illyasova, Eric Bledsoe and George Hill.
So, what happens when those guys need to take a break? Right now, there isn’t a whole lot to turn to and that’s what would make the Bucks better. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with the 60th pick and it’s not like the Bucks have any more picks to offer to move up in the draft. Drafting a veteran college player that might be able to step in and help quickly could be the right play. Utah State’s Sam Merril, Marquette’s Markus Howard, LSU’s Skylar Mays, those guys could be available deep into the draft.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Picks 25, 28, 53
Anyone who can be part of the rebuild, or the start of what kind of team Sam Presti wants
The Thunder have so many picks and the best players on their team not named Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are attractive pieces that teams might want at the trade deadline like Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre and Steven Adams. The point is, this roster isn’t anywhere close to the roster that will eventually turn this into a good basketball team in five years.
Whoever GM Sam Presti picks should be the guy(s) that the Thunder front office believes could be the first new piece in the rebuild or set the tone for the type of team they want to construct. There’s very little pressure on this pick but might as well start capitalizing on the draft assets sooner rather than later.
Toronto Raptors, Picks 29, 59
Backup point guard, big man
To be honest, Toronto’s future might look completely different if they feel like Giannis is going to re-sign in Milwaukee. Now, they can do other things with their money instead of clearing space to aid in the illusive chase for the Greek Freak. I would love to see Fred Van Vleet back along with Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol (assuming he doesn’t leave for Spain).
Assuming those things happen, Toronto has a very good roster and could just benefit from some depth. I love the idea of getting someone like Malachi Flynn from San Diego St. or Cassius Winston from Michigan St. to have an immediate impact and provide backcourt depth. They could also do the same in the frontcourt, especially if they don’t bring both Gasol and Ibaka back in free agency.
Memphis Grizzlies, Pick 40
Two-way wing, backup point guard
It became clear in the bubble that Tyus Jones was the only player on the Memphis roster capable of playing the backup point guard position. Of course, Ja Morant is going to be the starter for a long time, but asking De’Anthony Melton to play any point guard is not advantageous for anyone. With the 40th pick, the Grizzlies will be in a position to draft a reliable veteran college guard, whether that be Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, Arizona’s Nico Mannion or a more ball-dominant guard in Markus Howard.
If they don’t solidify the point guard position, the Grizzlies should look to solidify the wing position. Off-ball perimeter play has been inconsistent at best between Dillon Brooks, Grayson Allen and Melton. Brooks certainly has the most upside, but a team with a player like Morant needs to put better shooters around him. Shooters like LSU’s Skylar Mays, Arkansas’ Isaiah Joe or Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander could be good fits to help improve Memphis’ shooting while also assisting on the defensive end. They could also go more defensive-oriented with a Paul Reed from DePaul.
Portland Trail Blazers, Pick 46
Backup production, defense
Portland lost its first round pick recently when it finalized a trade that sent Trevor Ariza to Houston along with the first round pick for Robert Covington. I really like that move. He immediately ups the level of defense in Portland and can knock down shots off the ball alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The biggest issue in Portland right now is the lack of bench depth. Gary Trent Jr. was great in the bubble but he’s an off-ball shooter who doesn’t excel with the ball in his hands. Anfernee Simons hasn’t been what Portland hoped yet and the same can be said for Nassir Little.
There isn’t a whole lot that can be done with the 46th pick, but you could find someone to come in and at least put points up on the board in the second unit. That could be a ball-dominant guard like Markus Howard, a tough scorer like BYU’s Sam Merrill or something else.
They could also use some more help defensively, which Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander would bring along with shoring up the Portland backcourt.
Indiana Pacers, Pick 54
They have bigger problems than the NBA Draft
Let’s be honest, what to do with Indiana’s 54th pick is not what’s on the minds of Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers front office. Victor Oladipo is quickly becoming a player who’s not worth the headache that he’s creating and that completely changes Indiana’s standing in the NBA. The backcourt is crowded with some good options in Malcolm Brogdon and TJ McConnell, but if Oladipo decides he wants out, the draft could be the first place to look for someone to possibly replace him.
Of course, no one picked at No. 54 is actually going to replace Oladipo, but the Pacers will need another player to put pressure on opposing defenses because the rest of the perimeter depth chart, save TJ Warren, is best used off the ball and being set up for shots by other players.
Los Angeles Clippers, Pick 57
Size, size, size
Yes, they could use off ball shooting, yes, they could use a point guard, but those are problems you can get around when you have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams. What you can’t get around is the fact that the tallest guy on this roster not named Ivica Zubac or Joakim Noah is Paul George. Montrezl Harrell is an unrestricted free agent, at the moment and even if he comes back the Clippers desperately need more size like to guard guys like Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic
Of course, the 57th pick isn’t the absolute best place to find that player and of course the Thunder have the Clippers’ first round picks for the foreseeable future. However, Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. and Kansas’ Udoka Azubiuke would bring quick size to the roster.