Tonight, I will start a series looking at the NBA teams and what I believe their team needs are and how they can do their best to fill them through the draft, including trying to target specific players at each pick. Since the lottery order has not been chosen, I will assume that teams will pick in the current order based on record, which leads us to our first edition – The New Jersey Nets.
Returning Players- Devin Harris (PG), Brook Lopez (C), Courtney Lee (SG), Terrence Williams (SF), Yi Jianlin (SF/PF), Kris Humphries (PF, Player Option)
Team Payroll (6 Players) – $22,211,940
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- Superstar to put fans in seats, 3rd scoring option, Power Forward, Back-up bigs
Position Needs – PG, PF, C
Picks – 1st Round (#1 and #27),2nd Round (#31)
Analysis- The New Jersey Nets came dangerously close this season to becoming the worst team record-wise in NBA history. You would think that a team that won 11 games would need a full team revision in order to compete again, yet the Nets are not that far talent-wise from being a playoff team again. With somewhere between 25 and 28 million dollars in cap room, the Nets hope to pick up one of the major free agents this summer. With 3 picks in the Top 31, the Nets can add the surrounding pieces to go with Brook Lopez, Yi Jianlin and Devin Harris to form a young, explosive team. With the first pick, John Wall will solve a few problems for the Nets – putting fans in the seats and the addition of a catalyst for the offense, as well as a 3rd scoring option. The Nets can then look to focus on shoring up the depth of their frontcourt with the 27th and 31st picks. Some players that they may consider for both of these picks would be Solomon Alabi as a back-up to Lopez, and possibly one of the following – Gani Lawal, Larry Sanders, or Jarvis Varnado. Of course, there is always the option of packaging the 27th and 31st picks to move up and pick up a pick somewhere in the 15-20 range. The addition of these players will definitely make the Nets a much more formidable team to deal with in the years to come, while exciting their future fan base in Brooklyn.
Feel free to leave me any comments, let me know what you think. Tomorrow – Philadelphia 76ers.