For the Eastern Conference team needs, click here. All players are unrestricted free agents, unless noted. (ETO = Early Termination Option, P = Player Option, R = Restricted, T = Team Option.)
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 26; 2nd – 27
Free Agents: Jose Juan Barea, Caron Butler, Brian Cardinal, Tyson Chandler, DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic,
Team Needs: Two or three that can create his own shot and finish on breaks from Jason Kidd dishes (for now) and Rodrigue Beaubois (for the future). A solid five spot player that can have the time to develop.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 22
Free Agents: Arron Afflalo (R), Wilson Chandler (R), Gary Forbes (R), Melvin Ely, Kenyon Martin,
Nene Hilario (ETO), J.R. Smith
Team Needs: The Nuggets will likely keep Afflalo and Chandler, so they’ll be solid at the two and three spots. Nene may be gone and Martin is questionable. However, Smith is not — buh-bye, J.R. The Nuggets should go big at the four or five spots since the backcourt is set.
Golden State Warriors
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 11; 2nd – 14
Free Agents: Reggie Williams (R), Louis Amundson (P), Charlie Bell (ETO), Acie Law, Al Thornton, Vladimir Radmanovic
Team Needs: Williams is likely to be retained depending on any exorbitant contract offers the Warriors won’t match. The Warriors are set in the backcourt with Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, and while Epke Udoh showed flashes and David Lee and Andris Biedrins are there, a legitimate low-post scorer would be nice.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 14, 23; 2nd – 8
Free Agents: Goran Dragic (T), Chuck Hayes, Yao Ming
Team Needs: Will the Rockets re-sign Yao? Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin are set as the guards and Luis Scola can play either the four or five. Chase Budinger shows promise. A low-post beast defensively would be most desirable considering they won’t have anyone on the roster that averaged more than 0.7 blocks per game this season.
Los Angeles Clippers
Projected Draft Picks: 2nd – 7, 17
Free Agents: DeAndre Jordan (R), Brian Cook (P), Jamario Moon, Craig Smith
Team Needs: The Clippers will keep Jordan because he did so well playing next to Blake Griffin and filling in for an injured Chris Kaman. Eric Gordon can become a special player. Since Al-Farouq Aminu didn’t look so great during his rookie season, getting another three may be the way to go to push last year’s lottery selection.
Los Angeles Lakers
Projected Draft Picks: 2nd – 11, 16, 26, 28
Free Agents: Matt Barnes (P), Shannon Brown (P), Theo Ratliff, Joe Smith
Team Needs: Barnes and Brown should re-up with the Lakers because there aren’t many organizations that have a legitimate shot to win a title like the Lakers do. Getting a point guard that can do what Derek Fisher does, but score a bit more and be younger seems right.
Projected Draft Picks: 2nd – 19
Free Agents: Marc Gasol, Hamed Haddadi, Sam Young (T), Shane Battier, Leon Powe
Team Needs: Both Gasol and Battier should be looked to be re-signed, as well as the Grizz picking up the option on Young. It’s amazing what they’ve done without Rudy Gay. Going big just in case Gasol isn’t re-signed or getting a possible O.J. Mayo replacement at the two if Mayo is traded are possible ways to go. However, with such a late pick, it may be BPA all the way.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 1, 20; 2nd – 1
Free Agents: Sebastian Telfair
Team Needs: The Timberwolves will basically have the same team next season. That’s not necessarily a good thing. The T-Wolves have never won the NBA Draft lottery, but it will happen this year because the top player (arguably) is a point guard (Kyrie Irving). Kaaaahn!
New Orleans Hornets
Projected Draft Picks: 2nd – 15
Free Agents: Marco Belinelli (R), Jason Smith (R), Marcus Banks, Aaron Gray (P), Willie Green, Carl Landry, D.J. Mbenga, David West (ETO)
Team Needs: West is sure to come back after a season-ending injury basically destroyed any open market value he may have had this offseason. A wing that can hit from three-point range and stretch the defense would be ideal since they may lose Belinelli and Green, their top long-range bombers.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 24
Free Agents: Daequan Cook (R)
Team Needs: The Thunder are basically set for the next few seasons with a solid eight-man rotation. However, another four or five player that can provide some offense the way Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins don’t should be in the mix.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 13
Free Agents: Aaron Brooks (R), Grant Hill, Mickael Pietrus (P)
Team Needs: They will probably want to keep Hill and re-sign Brooks to back up Steve Nash. With Hill and Vince Carter, at any point, their bodies could give out despite the highly-adept Suns medical staff. They need to get young at the two and three positions.
Portland Trail Blazers
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 21; 2nd – 21
Free Agents: Patrick Mills (R), Greg Oden (R)
Team Needs: Could the Greg Oden Era come to a lackluster end with the Blazers? The team is basically set throughout the positions, but with Oden possibly gone and Marcus Camby basically being one of those players always on the cusp of injury, the Blazers should look for a center that can actually stay healthy. Good luck.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 5; 2nd – 6, 30
Free Agents: Darnell Jackson (R), Pooh Jeter (T), Marcus Thornton (R), Samuel Dalembert, Marquis Daniels
Team Needs: There will be a lot of teams that will want Thornton, and why not? The dude is a beast. But will he clash with Tyreke Evans and take some shine away? Either way, the Kings should go point guard, so that Beno Udrih can work his magic off the bench. The Kings have to hope they win the lottery, and subsequently Irving. Although, Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight would be a nice consolation.
San Antonio Spurs
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 29; 2nd – 29
Free Agents: Tim Duncan (ETO), Steve Novak, Chris Quinn
Team Needs: It’s time to start thinking about life without Duncan in the next few years. Going for a five man seems right, although there may be hope there with Tiago Splitter. However, going big is needed more than getting a guard or possibly a small forward.
Projected Draft Picks: 1st – 6, 12
Free Agents: Francisco Elson, Kyrylo Fesenko, Andrei Kirilenko, C.J. Miles (T), Ronnie Price, Earl Watson
Team Needs: The team is set at the four and five with Al Jefferson, Paul Milsap and Derrick Favors. Will they re-sign Kirilenko and Miles? If one of the point guards drop into their lap, the Jazz would need to take him, considering Devin Harris’ sketchy durability. Someone to hit from three-point land to open up space in the box might also be needed.
Agree or disagree with your favorite team’s needs? Leave comments and/or attack Dennis on Twitter to let him know your blatant disgust. Next time, the ubiquitous mock draft.