The 2013 NBA Draft goes down on June 27th at the Barclays Center and many fans are looking forward to checking out what their respective favorite team does. However, this year’s draft is widely considered to be weak, but I say let’s check it again in three-to-five years. Regardless, drafting is always a hit-or-miss proposition, and unless there’s another LeBron James coming out, decisions should mainly be based on what a team needs.
All free agents are listed as restricted (R), unrestricted (U), owning a player option (P), team option (T) or an early termination option (ETO).
Projected Draft Picks: 4 – 1.17, 1.18 (from Rockets), 2.17, 2.20 (from Rockets)
2013 Free Agents: Ivan Johnson (R), Jeff Teague (R), Devin Harris (U), Dahntay Jones (U), Kyle Korver (U), Zaza Pachulia (U), Johan Petro (U), Josh Smith (U), Anthony Tolliver (U)
2014 Free Agents: Shelvin Mack (R), Mike Scott (R)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $18,483,800; 2014-15 – $17,450,000
Team Needs: The Hawks have three key players hitting free agency this summer and we’ll see how important Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver are in the Hawks’ plans. It’s pretty much the consensus that J-Smoove will be let go into the stream of free agents with the hopes of landing a player like Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul. I think they’ll match any offer for Teague, so their draft needs will likely be for a big of some sort at the four or five. They could try to wheel and deal to move up in the draft, owning two first-rounders and two second-rounders.
Projected Draft Picks: 1 – 1.16
2013 Free Agents: Chris Wilcox (R)
2014 Free Agents: Avery Bradley (R), Jordan Crawford (R), Paul Pierce (U), Shavlik Randolph (U), D.J. White (U), Terrence Williams (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $73,064,519; 2014-15 – $52,050,000
Team Needs: This is the offseason where the franchise will have to think hard on Paul Pierce. They will be over the salary cap (whenever the official number comes out, they’ll still be over) and have Jeff Green ready to take over at the three if need be, so do they trade him in the last year of his current contract or try to make another run with a healthy Rajon Rondo and still-effective Kevin Garnett? Either way, the team will likely draft a center if one of the few intriguing center prospects is there at 16. Or maybe a small forward to develop as they will likely try to do with Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger (when healthy) at the four and five.
Projected Draft Picks: 1 – 1.22
2013 Free Agents: Andray Blatche (U), Keith Bogans (U), Jerry Stackhouse (U), C.J. Watson (P)
2014 Free Agents: Kris Joseph (R), Tornike Shengelia (R), Tyshawn Taylor (R), Kris Humphries (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $89,549,044; 2014-15 – $77,896,864
Team Needs: A back-up center. Athleticism. Someone to space the floor for Brook Lopez, as well as receive passes from Deron Williams and Joe Johnson when he’s not in iso-mode. Since the core roster is basically set, the Nets will likely look to take the best player available that fills in the three aforementioned needs and decide which has better potential and fit for this team. Euro-stashing is also possible with this pick in order to save money and have a player develop overseas. Don’t be surprised if they buy one or two second-round picks as well to Euro-stash, as it’s been their modus operandi the past couple of drafts.
Projected Draft Picks: 1 – 1.4
2013 Free Agents: Gerald Henderson (R), Byron Mullens (R), DeSagna Diop (U), Josh McRoberts (U), Jannero Pargo (U), Reggie Williams (U), Ben Gordon (P)
2014 Free Agents: Jeff Adrien (U), Ramon Sessions (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $40,420,327; 2014-15 – $11,388,430
Team Needs: Two players I liked a lot for the Bobcats (yes, it’s possible) that came out of nowhere — Byron Mullens and Josh McRoberts — are free agents-to-be and one of both could be on their way out. That means the power forward spot will open up, but Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon could both also bolt (with the former only being restricted), so maybe a spot opens up at the two guard. For a team like the Bobcats, however, it may not always be about position need as they really just need to keep adding to the talent pool, play free agency right this offseason or next, maybe actually win a draft lottery, and they could be respectable. But, the two and four positions are likely to be their target and there are a few nice prospects that could be there.
Projected Draft Picks: 2 – 1.20, 2.19
2013 Free Agents: Marco Belinelli (U), Daequan Cook (U), Nazr Mohammed (U), Vladimir Radmanovic (U), Nate Robinson (U)
2014 Free Agents: Malcolm Thomas (R), Luol Deng (U), Richard Hamilton (U), Kirk Hinrich (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $73,202,613; 2014-15 – $56,812,876
Team Needs: For Derrick Rose to be 100 percent mentally ready, as well as physically. The team will have two players that came up big for them during the season and postseason become unrestricted free agents: Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson. Decisions, decisions. Kirk Hinrich is still on the hook for one more season and Jimmy Butler emerged during the postseason. Did he do well enough for the Bulls to even consider letting Deng go next season? With the four and five positions basically set with Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson over the next few seasons, the Bulls could go for a wing in this draft to space the floor and replace one or both of the shooters they may lose this offseason in Belinelli and Robinson.
Projected Draft Picks: 4 – 1.1, 1.19 (from Lakers), 2.1 (from Magic), 2.3
2013 Free Agents: Omri Casspi (R), Wayne Ellington (R), Daniel Gibson (U), Shaun Livingston (U), Luke Walton (U), Marreese Speights (P)
2014 Free Agents: Kevin Jones (R), Chris Quinn (U), C.J. Miles (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $32,594,120; 2014-15 – $0
Team Needs: Well, if you listen to most people, it’s an injured tall guy with a flat-top hairdo. If they do that, I guess Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller form a four-man beast in the frontcourt for years to come with Nerlens Noel! OK, I’m being slightly hyperbolic. It remains to be seen just how good the three young guys can be, but I guess when you think of upside, it’s not so bad. The backcourt with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters is pretty set, so by the process of elimination, if the Cavs don’t want to “kid” around (get it, Kid from Kid N Play … flat-top … nevermind), they could fulfill a need at the three with a player like Otto Porter. It’s good to have choices. Even better having the first pick.
Projected Draft Picks: 3 – 1.8, 2.7, 2.26 (from Clippers)
2013 Free Agents: Will Bynum (U), Jose Calderon (U), Corey Maggette (U), Jason Maxiell (U), Charlie Villanueva (P)
2014 Free Agents: Kim English (R), Vlacheslav Kravtsov (R), Greg Monroe (R), Rodney Stuckey (U), Jonas Jerebko (P)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $35,172,720; 2014-15 – $5,590,000
Team Needs: Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight should be considered the core players here. So, a wing at the two or three that can get buckets should be a high consideration for the Pistons. In this draft, a player that fulfills this need should be available. Although, I still have faith in both Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko, a consistent threat is needed. One that’s athletic would be nice too.
Projected Draft Picks: 2 – 1.23, 2.23
2013 Free Agents: Ben Hansbrough (R), Tyler Hansbrough (R), Jeff Pendergraph (R), D.J. Augustin (U), David West (U), Sam Young (U)
2014 Free Agents: Paul George (R), Lance Stephenson (R), Danny Granger (U)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $48,998,027; 2014-15 – $30,398,938
Team Needs: A David West replacement not named Tyler Hansbrough, who is a restricted free agent anyway. Besides West being a possibility to leave this team that’s been on a great postseason run, D.J. Augustin could also be on the move this offseason. Power forward and a back-up point guard may be in order in Indy.
Projected Draft Picks: 0
2013 Free Agents: Chris Anderson (U), Juwan Howard (U), Ray Allen (P), James Jones (P), Rashard Lewis (P), Mario Chalmers (T)
2014 Free Agents: Jarvis Varnado (R), Shane Battier (U), Joel Anthony (P), Udonis Haslem (P), Mike Miller (P), Chris Bosh (ETO), LeBron James (ETO), Dwyane Wade (ETO)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $85,600,797; 2014-15 – $76,248,000
Team Needs: It doesn’t matter because they don’t have any picks! But maybe a magical salve of some kind to help cure old age and nagging injury … and maybe a receding hairline.
Projected Draft Picks: 2 – 1.15, 2.13
2013 Free Agents: Brandon Jennings (R), Samuel Dalembert (U), Marquis Daniels (U), Mike Dunleavy (U), Joel Przybilla (U), J.J. Redick (U), Monta Ellis (P)
2014 Free Agents: Gustavo Ayon (R), Larry Sanders (R), Ekpe Udoh (R)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $40,581,659; 2014-15 – $18,962,576
Team Needs: Should the main Milwaukee man be Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis? I’m not really sure how viable a question that is, but we’ll get the answer whether we like it or not by how Jennings’ free agency is handled this offseason. However, one of the better point guards in the draft will be available around their pick, so the answer may come sooner rather than later. But, if we stay out of the backcourt, a back-up center to Larry Sanders that can develop (yes, one of those upside centers should be around for this pick too) or a back-up wing would be nice gets considering the team’s free agents to be.
New York Knicks
Projected Draft Picks: 1 – 1.24
2013 Free Agents: Chris Copeland (R), Pablo Prigioni (R), Earl Barron (U), Kenyon Martin (U), Quentin Richardson (U), J.R. Smith (P)
2014 Free Agents: James White (U), Carmelo Anthony (ETO), Amar’e Stoudemire (ETO)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $76,404,547; 2014-15 – $76,611,031
Team Needs: Two of their restricted free agents, Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni could leave and they were important bench contributors. J.R. Smith has a player option and could bolt too for more money. And, Jason Kidd just said, “See ya!” Woefully, Knicks fans, STAT isn’t going anywhere just yet. The big needs for the team could come at the one for a back-up, a starting two-guard if Iman Shumpert plays the three and proper back-ups (see: not old) at the four and five positions. The 24th pick is about where you see these types of players, but unfortunately, considering the cap, the Knicks really needed multiple picks to fill out the bench. Here’s to vet minimums!
Projected Draft Picks: 2 – 1.2, 2..21 (from Warriors)
2013 Free Agents: DeQuan Jones (R), Beno Udrih (U), Hedo Turkoglu (ETO)
2014 Free Agents: E’Twaun Moore (R), Jameer Nelson (T)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $75,354,321; 2014-15 – $21,772,300
Team Needs: I actually like this young team. Not really sure who the core players would be since there are rumors of Arron Afflalo being tradeable, but we’ll say him, and possibly Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson as well. So, all of the positions have been filled with a “core” guy except point guard. Sorry, Jameer Nelson. So, look for them to maybe trade down and get that lead guard … unless they won’t care about the fan fallout if they reach for a player like Trey Burke with their second overall pick.
Projected Draft Picks: 3 – 1.11, 2.5 (from Pelicans), 2.12
2013 Free Agents: Charles Jenkins (R), Andrew Bynum (U), Royal Ivey (U), Damien Wilkins (U), Dorell Wright (U), Nick Young (U)
2014 Free Agents: Lavoy Allen (R), Justin Holiday (R), Evan Turner (R), Spencer Hawes (U), Jason Richardson (P)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $46,193,356; 2014-15 – $26,761,995
Team Needs: An answer to the Andrew Bynum conundrum. That said, they’ll have a lot of wings that could fly the coup this offseason in Damien Wilkins, Dorell Wright and Nick Young. So, look for Philly to take the best wing player available and pray that he can use the space created with Bynum down on the block next season. Sorry, a HEALTHY Bynum.
Projected Draft Picks: 0
2013 Free Agents: Alan Anderson (U), Mickael Pietrus (U), Sebastian Telfair (U), Aaron Gray (P), Linas Kleiza (P)
2014 Free Agents: Kyle Lowry (U), John Lucas III (U), Rudy Gay (P), Andrea Bargnani (ETO)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $65,887,884; 2014-15 – $49,317,326
Team Needs: Getting Masai Ujiri was a ridiculous snatch away from the Denver Nuggets. Believe in this man’s young career and bright future! Regarding the team’s future prospects, that frontcourt is looking good with Amir Johnson, Rudy Gay and Jonas Valanciunas. Backcourt isn’t too bad either with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. OK, I’ll stop gassing you up, Raptor fans. Regarding the draft, they can’t do a damn thing because they don’t own any picks.
Projected Draft Picks: 3 – 1.3, 2.8, 2.24 (from Knicks)
2013 Free Agents: Gary Temple (R), Leandro Barbosa (U), Jason Collins (U), Cartier Martin (U), A.J. Price (U), Martell Webter (U), Emeka Okafor (ETO)
2014 Free Agents: Trevor Booker (R), Kevin Seraphin (R), John Wall (R)
Team Salary: 2013-14 – $65,190,625; 2014-15 – $21,471,339
Team Needs: For Otto Porter to drop into their laps. ‘Nuff said.