Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Remember how LeBron James signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer?
So much for that. He's now going to be playing for a third NBA team, one that doesn't call Northeast Ohio or South Beach home. Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki? No longer lifelong members of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, respectively.
What if you learned that the Big Three in San Antonio was being split up, with one member joining the Heat and another taking his talents to the Washington Wizards in a move that precious few saw coming? How would you react if the Atlanta Hawks actually landed a marquee player?
These are the types of things that can only happen when a select group of 30 NBA writers get together and participate in Bleacher Report's third annual NBA re-draft.
While starting from scratch and completely dispersing the league's talent across the 30 current teams into a landscape flush with parity, these basketball minds built 13-man rosters—12 players and a coach—set up to compete with one other during the 2014-2015 season in a magical world where injuries are suddenly healed before the first game.
Thursday we unveiled how the first round shook out. This installment has every team's new full roster, complete with analysis and results, decided by a vote from the 30 writers who competed as GMs.
Where will Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and the rest of the star-studded 2014 rookie class end up? How high will the up-and-comers like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis be drafted? Will age be the downfall of veterans like Kobe, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett?
For the answers to all these questions and far more, this is the 2014 re-draft, a unique preview of the upcoming NBA season. You can check out the 2013 and 2012 versions to refamiliarize yourself with the process if you so choose.
More detail on the first round of the 13-round selection process can be found here, but now it's time for the full draft order, the revealing of the complete teams, the league superlatives and the re-draft's final standings.
Begin Slideshow »
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John Locher/Associated Press
If you're wondering how the re-draft worked, wonder no longer.
Once all 30 participants had selected which teams they would control, a random number generator determined the order of the draft.
The 13 rounds proceeded in a snake format. For those of you unfamiliar with fantasy lingo, that means the 30th team in the first round picked first in the second round. Essentially, the draft order snakes back and forth to allow for a more even playing field.
The 30 of us selected 13-man rosters (12 players and a coach, selected from a 50-man pool of candidates who either coached in the NBA or had a legitimate shot at doing so in the near future), keeping quite a few things in mind:
- We were only concerned with the 2014-15 season, so how these players develop in the future is completely and utterly irrelevant. A player is only as good as he'll be during the next campaign.
- Team fit does matter, especially when thinking about the coach. The players selected should be able to work well together, and playing styles should not clash.
- Injuries—like Paul George's brutally fractured leg—are automatically healed for the start of the season. However, injury-prone players do remain injury-prone.
- We can form whatever type of team we wanted. If someone wanted five centers in his starting lineup, well then, that was his prerogative.
- Players are only eligible if they're going to play in the NBA next season. Foreign players, collegiate athletes and retired stars are not available to be selected.
Now, let's move on to the results.
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
(Again, full pick-by-pick analysis of the first round was published here on Thursday. Team-by-team analysis will follow all of the picks later in this slideshow.)
1. Kevin Durant, Dallas Mavericks (Up two spots from last year)
2. LeBron James, Charlotte Hornets (Down one)
3. Kevin Love, Utah Jazz (Up two)
4. Anthony Davis, Detroit Pistons (Up 25)
5. Chris Paul, Indiana Pacers (Down one)
6. Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks (Up four)
7. Tim Duncan, Washington Wizards (Up five)
8. Stephen Curry, New York Knicks (Up six)
9. Blake Griffin, Boston Celtics (Up six)
10. Russell Westbrook, Brooklyn Nets (Down four)
11. John Wall, Phoenix Suns (Up 20)
12. Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Clippers (Down three)
13. James Harden, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down six)
14. LaMarcus Aldridge, Denver Nuggets (Up eight)
15. Joakim Noah, Houston Rockets (Up 11)
16. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Up three)
17. Paul George, Philadelphia 76ers (Down nine)
18. Kyrie Irving, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down one)
19. Marc Gasol, Golden State Warriors (Down eight)
20. Gregg Popovich, Minnesota Timberwolves (Ineligible in 2013)
21. Dirk Nowitzki, Milwaukee Bucks (Up three)
22. Kobe Bryant, Memphis Grizzlies (Down six)
23. Derrick Rose, San Antonio Spurs (Down 21)
24. DeMarcus Cousins, Toronto Raptors (Down four)
25. Kyle Lowry, Sacramento Kings (Up 78)
26. Tony Parker, Miami Heat (Down 13)
27. Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls (Ineligible in 2013)
28. Al Jefferson, New Orleans Pelicans (Up 33)
29. Andre Drummond, Orlando Magic (Up 18)
30. Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Lakers (Up 24)
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
31. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Lakers (Up four)
32. Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic (Up 12)
33. Al Horford, New Orleans Pelicans (Down 12)
34. Goran Dragic, Chicago Bulls (Up 12)
35. DeAndre Jordan, Miami Heat (Up 106)
36. Klay Thompson, Sacramento Kings (Up 15)
37. Rajon Rondo, Toronto Raptors (Down 14)
38. Zach Randolph, San Antonio Spurs (Up one)
39. Chris Bosh, Memphis Grizzlies (Down three)
40. Ty Lawson, Milwaukee Bucks (Up 10)
41. Bradley Beal, Minnesota Timberwolves (Up 23)
42. Manu Ginobili, Golden State Warriors (Up 24)
43. Andre Iguodala, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down two)
44. Paul Millsap, Philadelphia 76ers (Up 34)
45. Dwyane Wade, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 27)
46. Monta Ellis, Houston Rockets (Up 33)
47. Mike Conley, Denver Nuggets (Down two)
48. Pau Gasol, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 15)
49. Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers (Down 17)
50. David West, Phoenix Suns (Down two)
51. DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn Nets (Up 38)
52. Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics (Up 61)
53. Chandler Parsons, New York Knicks (Up seven)
54. Lance Stephenson, Washington Wizards (Up 92)
55. Rudy Gay, Atlanta Hawks (Up 16)
56. Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers (Down 29)
57. Nikola Vucevic, Detroit Pistons (Up 11)
58. Jabari Parker, Utah Jazz (Ineligible in 2013)
59. Andrew Wiggins, Charlotte Hornets (Ineligible in 2013)
60. Jrue Holiday, Dallas Mavericks (Down 26)
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
61. Michael Carter-Williams, Dallas Mavericks (Up 237)
62. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets (Down 13)
63. Ricky Rubio, Utah Jazz (Down 26)
64. Jeff Teague, Detroit Pistons (Up 28)
65. Arron Afflalo, Indiana Pacers (Up 45)
66. Taj Gibson, Atlanta Hawks (Up 63)
67. Victor Oladipo, Washington Wizards (Up 41)
68. Luol Deng, New York Knicks (Down six)
69. Brook Lopez, Boston Celtics (Down 39)
70. Kenneth Faried, Brooklyn Nets (Up six)
71. Omer Asik, Phoenix Suns (Down four)
72. Andrew Bogut, Los Angeles Clippers (Down 14)
73. Greg Monroe, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 35)
74. Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets (Down one)
75. Isaiah Thomas, Houston Rockets (Down five)
76. Josh Smith, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 48)
77. Joe Johnson, Philadelphia 76ers (Up 10)
78. Tyson Chandler, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 21)
79. Boris Diaw, Golden State Warriors (Up 186)
80. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves (Down 11)
81. Robin Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks (Up 52)
82. Deron Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 57)
83. Jeff Green, San Antonio Spurs (Down three)
84. Wesley Matthews, Toronto Raptors (Up 40)
85. Doc Rivers, Sacramento Kings (Ineligible in 2013)
86. Ryan Anderson, Miami Heat (No change)
87. Joel Embiid, Chicago Bulls (Ineligible in 2013)
88. Jose Calderon, New Orleans Pelicans (Up 13)
89. Jamal Crawford, Orlando Magic (Up 30)
90. Derrick Favors, Los Angeles Lakers (Down 25)
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
91. Jimmy Butler, Los Angeles Lakers (Down 35)
92. Dante Exum, Orlando Magic (Ineligible in 2013)
93. Thaddeus Young, New Orleans Pelicans (Up six)
94. Trevor Ariza, Chicago Bulls (Up 108)
95. Tyreke Evans, Miami Heat (Down 42)
96. Marcin Gortat, Sacramento Kings (Up one)
97. Nene, Toronto Raptors (Up 20)
98. Avery Bradley, San Antonio Spurs (Up 44)
99. David Lee, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 57)
100. Danny Green, Milwaukee Bucks (No change)
101. Reggie Jackson, Minnesota Timberwolves (Up 24)
102. Paul Pierce, Golden State Warriors (Down 30)
103. Markieff Morris, Oklahoma City Thunder (Up 150)
104. Shaun Livingston, Philadelphia 76ers (Up 212)
105. Spencer Hawes, Portland Trail Blazers (Up 118)
106. John Henson, Houston Rockets (Up 49)
107. Nerlens Noel, Denver Nuggets (Up 42)
108. Kyle Korver, Cleveland Cavaliers (Up 28)
109. Kevin Martin, Los Angeles Clippers (Down 25)
110. Alec Burks, Phoenix Suns (Up 108)
111. Jonas Valanciunas, Brooklyn Nets (Down 34)
112. Rick Carlisle, Boston Celtics (Ineligible in 2013)
113. Anderson Varejao, New York Knicks (Down 54)
114. Larry Sanders, Washington Wizards (Down 59)
115. Gerald Green, Atlanta Hawks (Up 185)
116. Channing Frye, Indiana Pacers (Up 58)
117. Dion Waiters, Detroit Pistons (Up one)
118. Tony Allen, Utah Jazz (Down 20)
119. J.J. Redick, Charlotte Hornets (Down 15)
120. Terrence Jones, Dallas Mavericks (Up 77)
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
121. Aaron Gordon, Dallas Mavericks (Ineligible in 2013)
122. Iman Shumpert, Charlotte Hornets (Down 70)
123. Mason Plumlee, Utah Jazz (Up 124)
124. Tobias Harris, Detroit Pistons (Down 17)
125. Draymond Green, Indiana Pacers (Up 123)
126. Patrick Beverley, Atlanta Hawks (Up 51)
127. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Washington Wizards (Up 12)
128. Vince Carter, New York Knicks (Up 23)
129. Jeremy Lin, Boston Celtics (Up 16)
130. Darren Collison, Brooklyn Nets (Up 78)
131. Steve Clifford, Phoenix Suns (Ineligible in 2013)
132. Marcus Smart, Los Angeles Clippers (Ineligible in 2013)
133. Kendall Marshall, Cleveland Cavaliers (Up 152)
134. Jordan Farmar, Denver Nuggets (Ineligible in 2013)
135. P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets (Up 146)
136. Nick Young, Portland Trail Blazers (Up 76)
137. George Hill, Philadelphia 76ers (Down 74)
138. Eric Gordon, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 56)
139. Patty Mills, Golden State Warriors (Up 147)
140. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota Timberwolves (Up 217)
141. Corey Brewer, Milwaukee Bucks (Up 12)
142. Terrence Ross, Memphis Grizzlies (Up 43)
143. Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs (Down 58)
144. Wilson Chandler, Toronto Raptors (Down 35)
145. Patrick Patterson, Sacramento Kings (Up 27)
146. Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat (Ineligible in 2013)
147. Jared Sullinger, Chicago Bulls (Up 67)
148. Gerald Henderson, New Orleans Pelicans (Down eight)
149. Shawn Marion, Orlando Magic (Down 19)
150. J.R. Smith, Los Angeles Lakers (Down 59)
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
151. Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (Ineligible in 2013)
152. Harrison Barnes, Orlando Magic (Down 64)
153. Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Pelicans (Up 23)
154. Tim Hardaway Jr., Chicago Bulls (Up 53)
155. Lou Williams, Miami Heat (Up three)
156. Mike Dunleavy, Sacramento Kings (Up 28)
157. Jeff Hornacek, Toronto Raptors (Ineligible in 2013)
158. Evan Turner, San Antonio Spurs (Down 15)
159. Gorgui Dieng, Memphis Grizzlies (Up 77)
160. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 65)
161. Greivis Vasquez, Minnesota Timberwolves (Down 45)
162. Josh McRoberts, Golden State Warriors (Up 189)
163. Marvin Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (Up 68)
164. Brandan Wright, Philadelphia 76ers (Up 14)
165. JaVale McGee, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 60)
166. Emeka Okafor, Houston Rockets (Down 64)
167. Doug McDermott, Denver Nuggets (Ineligible in 2013)
168. Ramon Sessions, Cleveland Cavaliers (Up 89)
169. Amir Johnson, Los Angeles Clippers (No change)
170. DeMarre Carroll, Phoenix Suns (Up 107)
171. Mike Miller, Brooklyn Nets (Up 99)
172. Nik Stauskas, Boston Celtics (Ineligible in 2013)
173. Steven Adams, New York Knicks (Undrafted in 2013)
174. Ray Allen, Washington Wizards (Down 54)
175. Nate Robinson, Atlanta Hawks (Down seven)
176. Kevin Garnett, Indiana Pacers (Down 136)
177. Ersan Ilyasova, Detroit Pistons (Down 87)
178. Miles Plumlee, Utah Jazz (Undrafted in 2013)
179. Enes Kanter, Charlotte Hornets (Down 48)
180. Brandon Knight, Dallas Mavericks (Down 48)
181. Jordan Hill, Dallas Mavericks (Up 58)
182. Carlos Boozer, Charlotte Hornets (Down 88)
183. Michael Beasley, Utah Jazz (Up 16)
184. Trey Burke, Detroit Pistons (Down 11)
185. Tristan Thompson, Indiana Pacers (Down 62)
186. Jodie Meeks, Atlanta Hawks (Up 90)
187. D.J. Augustin, Washington Wizards (Up 145)
188. Randy Foye, New York Knicks (Up 47)
189. Anthony Morrow, Boston Celtics (Up 54)
190. Anthony Bennett, Brooklyn Nets (Down 52)
191. Nikola Mirotic, Phoenix Suns (Ineligible in 2013)
192. Courtney Lee, Los Angeles Clippers (Up 52)
193. J.J. Hickson, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 110)
194. Matt Barnes, Denver Nuggets (Down 31)
195. Steve Nash, Houston Rockets (Down 114)
196. Mark Jackson, Portland Trail Blazers (Ineligible in 2013)
197. Amar'e Stoudemire, Philadelphia 76ers (Down 70)
198. Carl Landry, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 87)
199. Devin Harris, Golden State Warriors (Up one)
200. Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota Timberwolves (Down 86)
201. O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 127)
202. Caron Butler, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 58)
203. Andray Blatche, San Antonio Spurs (Up 26)
204. Marcus Morris, Toronto Raptors (Up 84)
205. Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento Kings (Up five)
206. James Johnson, Miami Heat (Undrafted in 2013)
207. C.J. Watson, Chicago Bulls (Up 19)
208. Elfrid Payton, New Orleans Pelicans (Ineligible in 2013)
209. Noah Vonleh, Orlando Magic (Ineligible in 2013)
210. Jeremy Lamb, Los Angeles Lakers (Down 46)
211. Mo Williams, Los Angeles Lakers (Down 13)
212. Jarrett Jack, Orlando Magic (Down 119)
213. Andrea Bargnani, New Orleans Pelicans (Down 138)
214. Chris Kaman, Chicago Bulls (Down 49)
215. Timofey Mozgov, Miami Heat (Up 87)
216. Kris Humphries, Sacramento Kings (Down 21)
217. Tony Wroten, Toronto Raptors (Undrafted in 2013)
218. Kirk Hinrich, San Antonio Spurs (Down 27)
219. Gary Neal, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 48)
220. Chris Andersen, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 58)
221. Kelly Olynyk, Minnesota Timberwolves (Down 39)
222. Jimmer Fredette, Golden State Warriors (Up 29)
223. Ian Mahinmi, Oklahoma City Thunder (Up 57)
224. Nick Collison, Philadelphia 76ers (Down five)
225. Thabo Sefolosha, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 119)
226. Frank Vogel, Houston Rockets (Ineligible in 2013)
227. Kyle O'Quinn, Denver Nuggets (Undrafted in 2013)
228. Rudy Gobert, Cleveland Cavaliers (Undrafted in 2013)
229. C.J. McCollum, Los Angeles Clippers (Down 35)
230. T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns (Ineligible in 2013)
231. Chris Copeland, Brooklyn Nets (Down nine)
232. Andre Miller, Boston Celtics (Down 12)
234. DeJuan Blair, Washington Wizards (Up 62)
235. Brandon Bass, Atlanta Hawks (Up 31)
236. Mario Chalmers, Indiana Pacers (Down 124)
237. Marcus Thornton, Detroit Pistons (Down 71)
238. Pablo Prigioni, Utah Jazz (Down 58)
239. Ben McLemore, Charlotte Hornets (Down 118)
240. Kent Bazemore, Dallas Mavericks (Down two)
241. Jermaine O'Neal, Dallas Mavericks (Up 11)
242. Rodney Stuckey, Charlotte Hornets (Up eight)
243. Tyler Hansbrough, Utah Jazz (Down 121)
244. Adreian Payne, Detroit Pistons (Ineligible in 2013)
245. Evan Fournier, Indiana Pacers (Down 59)
246. David Blatt, Atlanta Hawks (Ineligible in 2013)
247. George Karl, Washington Wizards (Ineligible in 2013)
248. Luke Ridnour, New York Knicks (Down 16)
249. Mirza Teletovic, Boston Celtics (Down eight)
250. Norris Cole, Brooklyn Nets (Up 17)
251. Kosta Koufos, Phoenix Suns (Down 103)
252. C.J. Miles, Los Angeles Clippers (Up seven)
253. Chase Budinger, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 83)
254. Luis Scola, Denver Nuggets (Down 79)
255. Rashard Lewis, Houston Rockets (Undrafted in 2013)
256. Martell Webster, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 119)
257. Gary Harris, Philadelphia 76ers (Ineligible in 2013)
258. Jerryd Bayless, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 24)
259. Matt Bonner, Golden State Warriors (Up three)
260. Tony Snell, Minnesota Timberwolves (Up 39)
261. Brandon Rush, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 105)
262. Zach LaVine, Memphis Grizzlies (Ineligible in 2013)
263. Rodney Hood, San Antonio Spurs (Ineligible in 2013)
264. Khris Middleton, Toronto Raptors (Undrafted in 2013)
265. Ray McCallum, Sacramento Kings (Undrafted in 2013)
266. Steve Blake, Miami Heat (Up 77)
267. Donatas Motiejunas, Chicago Bulls (Down 30)
268. Al-Farouq Aminu, New Orleans Pelicans (Down 62)
269. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Orlando Magic (Down 77)
270. Ryan Kelly, Los Angeles Lakers (Up four)
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271. Trevor Booker, Los Angeles Lakers (Undrafted in 2013)
272. Stan Van Gundy, Orlando Magic (Ineligible in 2013)
273. Reggie Evans, New Orleans Pelicans (Down 116)
274. Danny Granger, Chicago Bulls (Down 178)
275. Maurice Harkless, Miami Heat (Down 147)
276. Jordan Crawford, Sacramento Kings (Down 20)
277. Kyle Singler, Toronto Raptors (Up 31)
278. Jason Thompson, San Antonio Spurs (Down 57)
279. Zaza Pachulia, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 86)
280. Drew Gooden, Milwaukee Bucks (Up 47)
281. Troy Daniels, Minnesota Timberwolves (Undrafted in 2013)
282. Perry Jones, Golden State Warriors (Up 74)
283. Brad Stevens, Oklahoma City Thunder (Ineligible in 2013)
284. Mike Budenholzer, Philadelphia 76ers (Ineligible in 2013)
285. Jameer Nelson, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 68)
286. Jared Dudley, Houston Rockets (Down 151)
287. Wesley Johnson, Denver Nuggets (Up 73)
288. Cody Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 83)
289. Terry Stotts, Los Angeles Clippers (Ineligible in 2013)
290. Brian Roberts, Phoenix Suns (Up 62)
291. James Young, Brooklyn Nets (Ineligible in 2013)
292. Jason Smith, Boston Celtics (Up five)
293. Kyle Anderson, New York Knicks (Ineligible in 2013)
294. Tyler Zeller, Washington Wizards (Down 16)
295. Jae Crowder, Atlanta Hawks (Down 99)
296. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Indiana Pacers (Down 113)
297. Cleanthony Early, Detroit Pistons (Ineligible in 2013)
298. Wayne Ellington, Utah Jazz (Down 97)
299. Otto Porter, Charlotte Hornets (Down 139)
300. Richard Jefferson, Dallas Mavericks (Undrafted in 2013)
301. Quin Snyder, Dallas Mavericks (Ineligible in 2013)
302. Mitch McGary, Charlotte Hornets (Ineligible in 2013)
303. Fred Hoiberg, Utah Jazz (Ineligible in 2013)
304. Lionel Hollins, Detroit Pistons (Ineligible in 2013)
305. Jeff Van Gundy, Indiana Pacers (Ineligible in 2013)
306. Henry Sims, Atlanta Hawks (Undrafted in 2013)
307. P.J. Hairston, Washington Wizards (Ineligible in 2013)
308. Ettore Messina, New York Knicks (Ineligible in 2013)
309. Archie Goodwin, Boston Celtics (Down 15)
310. Thomas Robinson, Brooklyn Nets (Down 122)
311. Nick Johnson, Phoenix Suns (Ineligible in 2013)
312. Anthony Tolliver, Los Angeles Clippers (Undrafted in 2013)
313. Jason Terry, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 146)
314. Shaka Smart, Denver Nuggets (Ineligible in 2013)
315. K.J. McDaniels, Houston Rockets (Ineligible in 2013)
316. Elton Brand, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 107)
317. Xavier Henry, Philadelphia 76ers (Undrafted in 2013)
318. Pero Antic, Oklahoma City Thunder (Undrafted in 2013)
319. Mike D'Antoni, Golden State Warriors (Ineligible in 2013)
320. Aron Baynes, Minnesota Timberwolves (Undrafted in 2013)
321. Larry Brown, Milwaukee Bucks (Ineligible in 2013)
322. Matthew Dellavedova (Undrafted in 2013)
323. Flip Saunders, San Antonio Spurs (Ineligible in 2013)
324. Jeff Withey, Toronto Raptors (Undrafted in 2013)
325. Derrick Williams, Sacramento Kings (Down 171)
326. Jonas Jerebko, Miami Heat (Undrafted in 2013)
327. Ben Gordon, Chicago Bulls (Down 123)
328. Dwane Casey, New Orleans Pelicans (Ineligible in 2013)
329. Alexi Ajinca, Orlando Magic (Undrafted in 2013)
330. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Los Angeles Lakers (Undrafted in 2013)
331. John Calipari, Los Angeles Lakers (Ineligible in 2013)
332. Bruno Caboclo, Orlando Magic (Ineligible in 2013)
333. Kendrick Perkins, New Orleans Pelicans (Down 69)
334. Tayshaun Prince, Chicago Bulls (Down 184)
335. Alan Anderson, Miami Heat (Up 24)
336. Carlos Delfino, Sacramento Kings (Down 120)
337. Mike Scott, Toronto Raptors (Undrafted in 2013)
338. Marreese Speights, San Antonio Spurs (Down 113)
339. Steve Novak, Memphis Grizzlies (Down 97)
340. Dorell Wright, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 188)
341. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota Timberwolves (Ineligible in 2013)
342. Omri Casspi, Golden State Warriors (Down 52)
343. Jeff Taylor, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 98)
344. Quincy Pondexter, Philadelphia 76ers (Down 157)
345. Glen Davis, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 142)
346. Austin Rivers, Houston Rockets (Down 77)
347. Shabazz Napier, Denver Nuggets (Ineligible in 2013)
348. Chauncey Billups, Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 189)
349. Nate Wolters, Los Angeles Clippers (Down one)
350. Willie Green, Phoenix Suns (Down 43)
351. Steve Kerr, Brooklyn Nets (Ineligible in 2013)
352. Beno Udrih, Boston Celtics (Down 57)
353. Gerald Wallace, New York Knicks (Down 206)
354. Shane Larkin, Washington Wizards (Down 21)
355. Glen Rice Jr., Atlanta Hawks (Undrafted in 2013)
356. Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Pacers (Ineligible in 2013)
357. Cole Aldrich, Detroit Pistons (Undrafted in 2013)
358. Aaron Brooks, Utah Jazz (Down 179)
359. Derek Fisher, Charlotte Hornets (Ineligible in 2013)
360. Bismack Biyombo, Dallas Mavericks (Down 130)
361. Jeremy Evans, Dallas Mavericks (Undrafted in 2013)
362. Tyler Ennis, Charlotte Hornets (Ineligible in 2013)
363. Andrew Bynum, Utah Jazz (Down 320)
364. Shelvin Mack, Detroit Pistons (Undrafted in 2013)
365. Isaiah Canaan, Indiana Pacers (Undrafted in 2013)
366. Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks (Down 133)
367. Al Harrington, Washington Wizards (Down 66)
368. Toney Douglas, New York Knicks (Down 43)
369. Greg Oden, Boston Celtics (Down 145)
370. J.J. Barea, Brooklyn Nets (Down 159)
371. Kevin Seraphin, Phoenix Suns (Down 29)
372. Alex Len, Los Angeles Clippers (Down 211)
373. Scott Brooks, Cleveland Cavaliers (Ineligible in 2013)
374. Roy Devyn Marble, Denver Nuggets (Ineligible in 2013)
375. Jason Richardson, Houston Rockets (Down 147)
376. Raymond Felton, Portland Trail Blazers (Down 195)
377. Francisco Garcia, Philadelphia 76ers (Down 128)
378. Cartier Martin, Oklahoma City Thunder (Down 72)
379. Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors (Down 139)
380. Alexey Shved, Minnesota Timberwolves (Down 105)
381. Will Bynum, Milwaukee Bucks (Down 76)
382. Brett Brown, Memphis Grizzlies (Ineligible in 2013)
383. Cory Joseph, San Antonio Spurs (Down 69)
384. Kenyon Martin, Toronto Raptors (Down 102)
385. Sim Bhullar, Sacramento Kings (Ineligible in 2013)
386. Robert Sacre, Miami Heat (Undrafted in 2013)
387. Landry Fields, Chicago Bulls (Down 104)
388. Ricky Ledo, New Orleans Pelicans (Undrafted in 2013)
389. Pierre Jackson, Orlando Magic (Undrafted in 2013)
390. Toure' Murry, Los Angeles Lakers (Undrafted in 2013)
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- Michael Carter-Williams, Up 237
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Up 217
- Shaun Livingston, Up 212
- Josh McRoberts, Up 189
- Boris Diaw, Up 186
- Gerald Green, Up 185
- Kendall Marshall, Up 152
- Markieff Morris, Up 150
- Patty Mills, Up 147
- P.J. Tucker, Up 146
- Andrew Bynum, Down 320
- Alex Len, Down 211
- Gerald Wallace, Down 206
- Raymond Felton, Down 195
- Chauncey Billups, Down 189
- Dorell Wright, Down 188
- Tayshaun Prince, Down 184
- Aaron Brooks, Down 179
- Danny Granger, Down 178
- Derrick Williams, Down 171
Top Re-Draft Rookies
- Jabari Parker, No. 58
- Andrew Wiggins, No. 59
- Joel Embiid, No. 87
- Dante Exum, No. 92
- Aaron Gordon, No. 121
- Marcus Smart, No. 132
- Julius Randle. No. 151
- Doug McDermott, No. 167
- Nik Stauskas, No. 172
- Nikola Mirotic, No. 191
Top Undrafted-to-Drafted Guys
- Steven Adams, No. 173
- Miles Plumlee, No. 178
- James Johnson, No. 206
- Tony Wroten, No. 217
- Kyle O'Quinn, No. 227
- Rudy Gobert, No. 228
- Rashard Lewis, No. 255
- Khris Middleton, No. 264
- Ray McCallum, No. 265
- Trevor Booker, No. 271
- Gregg Popovich, No. 20
- Tom Thibodeau, No. 27
- Doc Rivers, No. 85
- Rick Carlisle, No. 112
- Steve Clifford, No. 131
- Erik Spoelstra, No. 146
- Jeff Hornacek, No. 157
- Mark Jackson, No. 196
- Frank Vogel, No. 226
- David Blatt, No. 246
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- Goran Dragic, No. 34 (3 votes)
- Anthony Davis, No. 4; Gregg Popovich, No. 20; Derrick Rose, No. 23; Serge Ibaka, No. 32 (2 votes)
- Kevin Durant, No. 1; LeBron James, No. 2: Russell Westbrook, No. 10; LaMarcus Aldridge, No. 14; Tony Parker, No. 26; Al Horford, No. 33; Bradley Beal, No. 41; Pau Gasol, No. 48; Jrue Holiday, No. 60; Brook Lopez, No. 69; Greg Monroe, No. 73; Deron Williams, No. 82; Derrick Favors, No. 90; David Lee, No. 99; Paul Pierce, No. 102; Nerlens Noel, No. 107; Kyle Korver, No. 108; David Blatt, No. 246; Brandon Rush, No. 261
- Kevin Love, No. 3; Tim Duncan, No. 7 (5 votes)
- Tom Thibodeau, No. 27 (4 votes)
- Kevin Durant, No. 1; Kyrie Irving, No. 18; Nikola Vucevic, No. 57; Jabari Parker, No. 58 (2 votes)
- John Wall, No. 11; Gregg Popovich, No. 20; Kyle Lowry, No. 25; DeAndre Jordan, No. 35; Roy Hibbert, No. 56; Michael Carter-Williams, No. 61; Doc Rivers, No. 85; Kendall Marshall, No. 133; Caron Butler, No. 202
Best Team Defense
- Atlanta Hawks (11 votes)
- Washington Wizards (7 votes)
- Indiana Pacers; Los Angeles Lakers; Orlando Magic (3 votes)
- Phoenix Suns (2 votes)
- Chicago Bulls
Worst Team Defense
- Cleveland Cavaliers (18 votes)
- Boston Celtics; New York Knicks; Utah Jazz (2 votes)
- Philadelphia 76ers; New Orleans Pelicans; Detroit Pistons; Sacramento Kings; Chicago Bulls
Best Team Offense
- Dallas Mavericks (5 votes)
- New York Knicks (4 votes)
- Boston Celtics; Cleveland Cavaliers (3 votes)
- Charlotte Hornets; Golden State Warriors; Memphis Grizzlies (2 votes)
- Portland Trail Blazers; Toronto Raptors; Oklahoma City Thunder; Indiana Pacers; Minnesota Timberwolves; Brooklyn Nets; New Orleans Pelicans; Los Angeles Clippers
Worst Team Offense
- Chicago Bulls (7 votes)
- Washington Wizards (5 votes)
- Houston Rockets; Orlando Magic (3 votes)
- Golden State Warriors; Utah Jazz (2 votes)
- Sacramento Kings; Brooklyn Nets; Detroit Pistons; New Orleans Pelicans; San Antonio Spurs; Phoenix Suns; Minnesota Timberwolves
Most Entertaining Team
- Golden State Warriors (5 votes)
- Detroit Pistons (3 votes)
- Charlotte Hornets; Brooklyn Nets; Denver Nuggets; Memphis Grizzlies; New York Knicks; Toronto Raptors (2 votes)
- Washington Wizards; Dallas Mavericks; Orlando Magic; Los Angeles Lakers; Boston Celtics; Cleveland Cavaliers; Portland Trail Blazers; Minnesota Timberwolves; Milwaukee Bucks
Least Entertaining Team
- New Orleans Pelicans (6 votes)
- Chicago Bulls (4 votes)
- Charlotte Hornets; Philadelphia 76ers (3 votes)
- Atlanta Hawks; Cleveland Cavaliers; Golden State Warriors; Minnesota Timberwolves (2 votes)
- Utah Jazz; Houston Rockets; San Antonio Spurs; Boston Celtics; Washington Wizards; Denver Nuggets
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Patrick Beverley, Nate Robinson, Dennis Schroeder
Shooting guard: Gerald Green, Jodie Meeks
Small forward: Rudy Gay, Jae Crowder, Glen Rice Jr.
Power forward: Taj Gibson, Brandon Bass
Center: Dwight Howard, Henry Sims
Head Coach: David Blatt
Heat Coach: David Blatt (No. 246 overall)
Am I particularly concerned with David Blatt's status as a rookie head coach in the NBA? Not really, seeing as his international resume is filled with success, and he's established himself as a master strategist and motivator.
Originally, I had planned on selecting a defensive-minded signal-caller to fit in with the clear strength of my team, but then I decided that wasn't exactly necessary. Mike D'Antoni could coach this squad to a top-three finish in defensive efficiency, so why not go for a guy who was going to prioritize ball movement and teamwork in this modified Princeton offense?
Plus, if anyone is slacking, this will happen.
Starting Point Guard: Patrick Beverley (No. 126 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.4 PER (for Houston Rockets)
There's no denying that Patrick Beverley has some serious shortcomings. He's not particularly adept at scoring or distributing the ball out to his teammates, and his presence at the point necessitates the installation of a movement-heavy offense (thank you, Blatt).
However, it's even harder to sniff at his defensive prowess. Few players are more intense on the less-glamorous end, and Beverley is more than willing to kick off our squad's suffocating unit for the full 94 feet. He's a bulldog across the vast expanses of the court, and he'll make it even harder for guards to gain penetration—not that they'll want to mess with our interior anyway.
Starting Shooting Guard: Gerald Green (No. 115 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
Amazingly enough, Gerald Green is actually the weakest defender in the Atlanta Hawks' starting lineup, and he's pretty darn good at that end of the court. According to 82games.com, he held opposing 2's and 3's to respective player efficiency ratings of 15.9 and 8.3 during his breakout season in the desert.
But what made Green so special last year—and in my mind, a top-100 player with room to spare—was his scoring efficiency, as he was one of just four players (Ryan Anderson, Stephen Curry, Green and Klay Thompson) to knock down 40 percent of his triples while taking at least six per game. He's fully capable of spacing out the court for Atlanta's interior scorers.
Starting Small Forward: Rudy Gay (No. 55 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, 18.3 PER (for Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings)
To be clear, the Hawks are drafting the Sacramento Kings' version of Rudy Gay, not the one who struggled mightily while he was playing north of the border. Because the small forward was such an easy punchline and so often derided, the work he did in Sac-Town often went unnoticed.
But while functioning as a plus defender who could hold down multiple positions in the lineup and switch on most picks, Gay also eschewed three-point attempts and managed to average 20.1 points and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and earning a PER of 19.6.
That's the player we're drafting, not the three-happy Gay who flamed out in such spectacular fashion while with the Toronto Raptors.
Starting Power Forward: Taj Gibson (No. 66 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.4 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
The Hawks are doing what the Chicago Bulls can't—giving Taj Gibson a spot in the starting five. He absolutely earned such a gig during his breakout season in 2013-14, and now he's being rewarded for his efforts, which finally include far more than defensive excellence.
In fact, Gibson essentially serves as a one-man microcosm for the starting five in Atlanta. He's a defensive stalwart with a point-preventing reputation, but that's overshadowing his offensive game, which deserves far more credit than it actually gets.
Starting Center: Dwight Howard (No. 6 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks, 21.3 PER (for Houston Rockets)
On a neutral team, there's no better center in the NBA than Dwight Howard, who can dominate on offense and hold down the paint defensively each and every night. Joakim Noah was better in 2013-14, but that was largely due to opportunity on a poor offensive team that lost Derrick Rose.
D12 might not win me any popularity contests, but last time I checked, popularity didn't win basketball games. Elite rim protection, great defense on roll men and an offensive presence stellar enough to shape opposing schemes will do that for me.
If there's a way to score consistently against an interior of Howard and Gibson, I haven't come up with it yet. Nor has the NBA as a whole.
Backup Point Guard: Nate Robinson (No. 175 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.6 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Now it's time for some offensive specialists. While the starting lineup is all about defense, the second unit was built so that one player could sub on at a time, take advantage of a weak defender and serve as a primary offensive player.
Nate Robinson is the perfect foil for Beverley, as he's an offensively dynamic floor general. The diminutive Denver Nugget no longer has worries about his ACL, and he can continue dunking on anyone in his path, draining triples and creating his own shot as well as anyone on the roster.
Backup Point Guard: Dennis Schroeder (No. 366 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.7 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.0 blocks, 5.8 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
After 12 rounds, the Hawks didn't have any Hawks. That had to change with Dennis "Nintendo DS" Schroeder.
He's nothing more than a high-upside point guard who will provide depth in case of injuries throughout the season, though his video game speed, defensive ability and athleticism will come in handy during garbage-time minutes. And based on the Atlanta defense, there will be some of those.
Backup Shooting Guard: Jodie Meeks (No. 186 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.7 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Thank goodness we don't have to pay Jodie Meeks the salary the Detroit Pistons are handing him.
Nonetheless, he's a valuable guard off the Atlanta bench, as he's one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. Meeks is coming off a great season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he's set to bring that floor-spacing ability to the Highlight Factory.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, nine qualified players topped 40 percent from downtown on at least five attempts per game. In Meeks and Green, the Hawks now have two of them.
Backup Small Forward: Jae Crowder (No. 295 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.9 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
There are some players who just need more minutes, and Jae Crowder certainly qualifies as one of those guys. After all, he's been quite impressive coming off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks, serving as a veritable Swiss army knife who can fill any role that's asked of him.
Every team needs a glue guy, and Crowder functions as such for the Hawks. He won't be asked to do that much scoring, but he fits in perfectly with the hustle-filled defensive mentality of this squad.
During the 2013-14 season, Crowder made the Mavericks 3.3 points per 100 possessions better on offense and another 11.1 points better on the other end. That's the type of impact Atlanta is looking for.
Backup Small Forward: Glen Rice Jr. (No. 355 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 6.6 PER (for Washington Wizards)
Forget about what Glen Rice Jr. did during his season with the Washington Wizards. Those numbers came in only 11 games, which isn't exactly a solid sample size, especially when his playing time was so limited.
Rice is going to enjoy a much better 2014-15, especially coming off a D-League season in which he averaged 17.2 points per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 35.1 percent beyond the arc. And how about during summer league, when he looked like he was building upon that performance and ready to fill a larger role this coming season?
Rice is fully capable of functioning as a third small forward on the depth chart who can come in and provide some three-point shooting in short spurts.
Backup Power Forward: Brandon Bass (No. 235 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, 15.0 PER (for Boston Celtics)
Brandon Bass has always been an underrated player, as few recognize just how good he is at creating his own mid-range looks, something that's pretty lacking on this Atlanta roster.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Bass required assists on only 60.3 percent of his made two-point field goals during the 2013-14 season with the Boston Celtics. From 10-16 feet, he shot 56.2 percent and only needed a teammate's pass on 58.9 percent of those makes. That's an impressive amount of shot-creating skills, and those will be highly beneficial on these Hawks.
Backup Center: Henry Sims (No. 306 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.1 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers)
Though he wasn't particularly impressive with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Henry Sims broke out in a big way during the portion of his season that came with the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, he was good enough that he managed to crack the NBA 200, which it's safe to say no one really saw coming.
In Philly, Sims averaged 11.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, shooting 48.9 percent from the field and earning a PER of 17.4, via Basketball-Reference.com. A developing center with a big, 7'4" wingspan, Sims has two-way potential and can help keep Howard fresh during the short rests D12 will receive throughout the hypothetical re-draft season.
-Adam Fromal, Hawks re-draft GM
13 of 73
How Will the Hawks Play?
Jason Miller/Getty Images
I'd love to know how opponents think they're going to score on this lineup.
First, they'll have to make it past Patrick Beverley's tenacious defense just to advance the ball to the top of the key and set up a half-court offense. Then, they'll have to deal with a core of impressive stoppers who won't allow for a single weakness.
The wing players have to contend with Gerald Green and Rudy Gay, both of whom are capable of defending in isolation and chasing off-ball players around the court while Beverley hounds the opposing point guards. And even if there's penetration, shots will be turned away by the impressive interior duo of Taj Gibson and Dwight Howard.
So again, how is anyone going to score? We're planning on winning games by holding the opponent to around 80 points during the average outing, and that really might not be the least bit hyperbolic.
Offensively, everything relies on David Blatt's system, a modified Princeton offense that prioritizes off-ball movement, plenty of passing and a virtual lack of true positions on that end of the floor. Not only are Green, Gay, Gibson and Howard all underrated scorers at this stage of their respective careers, but they're all remarkably athletic and capable of moving with ease. It's easy to allow the defensive potency to distract you from the athleticism, but don't let that happen.
Off the bench, the Hawks will bring in shooters galore.
Jodie Meeks, Nate Robinson and Glen Rice Jr. are all capable snipers (more than capable, in the case of Meeks), while Jae Crowder has shown signs of developing into such a player. Brandon Bass will essentially function as a floor-spacing big man, given his proclivity for mid-range jumpers, and Henry Sims has displayed a bit of range himself, though he's by no means an established offensive stalwart.
This is rather easily the best defensive team in the league, but it's not as though the offense is going to struggle either. After finishing fourth in the 2012 re-draft and repeating that finish in 2013, it's time for Atlanta to get over the hump.
-Adam Fromal, Hawks re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Jeremy Lin, Andre Miller, Beno Udrih
Shooting guard: Nik Stauskas, Anthony Morrow
Small forward: Gordon Hayward, Archie Goodwin
Power forward: Blake Griffin, Mirza Teletovic
Center: Brook Lopez, Jason Smith, Greg Oden
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle (No. 112 overall)
Behind Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle is the second-best coach in the NBA, coming off a campaign in which he manufactured one of the NBA's best offenses around a less-than-peak Dirk Nowitzki and a take-no-prisoners Monta Ellis.
He's an offensive mastermind, yes, but his tactical precision slowing down a seemingly perfect San Antonio Spurs offense in the first round of last year's playoffs shouldn't go unnoticed. Carlisle gets the most out of his players, and it's almost impossible to imagine a team with him as head coach failing to reach its full potential. Only three other active head coaches have a championship under their belt too.
Carlisle is a gem.
Starting Point Guard: Jeremy Lin (No. 129 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks, 14.3 PER (for Houston Rockets)
This team needed a point guard, and Jeremy Lin was the best scorer of the available ones on the board. Lin can't control a game's tempo like other floor generals throughout the league, but he can whirl all the way to the rim whenever someone supplies him with a high screen or by himself in transition.
Lin can run pick-and-rolls all over the floor, too, and plays with necessary fearlessness on drives to the basket. Context matters here, and with Rick Carlisle as the head coach along with this team's plethora of talented frontcourt players setting screens, Lin should be a positive difference-maker with the ball in his hands.
Starting Shooting Guard: Nik Stuaskas (No. 172 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 22.7 PER (for Michigan Wolverines)
Every team needs spacing, even if it's supplied by a rookie with no actual NBA experience. Nik Stauskas just spent his college career not only knocking down threes, but doing so with (at least) one hand in his face nearly every time.
He has a lightning-quick release, can fire shots off the dribble and attack the basket if necessary. Leaving him open to double down on either Brook Lopez or Blake Griffin won't be a wise decision.
Starting Small Forward: Gordon Hayward (No. 52 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.2 PER (for Utah Jazz)
Playing beside Blake Griffin as a clear second (or third—more on that later) option with the ball, Gordon Hayward's shooting numbers two years ago better represent what he brings to the table than the porous output from last season.
In 2012-13, Hayward made 41.5 percent of his threes, mostly because the looks were open. He had Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap constantly diverting the defense's attention. Last year, with no help, his accuracy dropped down to 30.4 percent. That won't happen here.
Hayward is also capable of making plays off the dribble, running pick-and-rolls, cutting from the weak side, diving for rebounds and, generally, being a really good basketball player.
Starting Power Forward: Blake Griffin (No. 9 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, 23.9 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
He's the center of this team's universe. An unstoppable offensive weapon in so many different ways, and he's getting better each year. Grabbing him with the ninth overall pick was a steal, considering he finished third in the 2013-14 MVP race.
Griffin is a fantastic pick-and-roll player who sets tight screens and sucks defenders into the paint on thunderous rolls to the hoop. No opponent matches up against him with a sound defensive game plan.
He can punish defenders in the post (putting the other team in foul trouble almost at will), go coast-to-coast by himself after snatching a rebound off the glass and is slowly getting better on the other end. Griffin makes those around him better, too, which is the sign of a true superstar.
And he's only 25 years old.
Starting Center: Brook Lopez (No. 69 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.8 blocks, 25.4 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Arguably the most impressive offensive center in the league, Brook Lopez broke his foot last season and missed most of the year. Now that he's 100 percent, there's no reason to think Lopez won't go back to being an All-Star-caliber big man.
Before he hurt himself last season, Lopez was also one of the NBA's most deterring rim-protectors. The sample size here is small, but it indicates an improving area of his game that only increases his value as a third-round pick.
It also isn't hard to picture Lopez adding a corner three to his repertoire; he has one of the better mid-range "jump" shots in the league for someone his size.
Backup Point Guard: Andre Miller (No. 232 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 13.9 PER (for Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards)
Andre Miller is as much a pleasure as any backup point guard in the league. At 38 years old, he can still work over small guards down low and throw some of the most daring alley-oop passes ever (Blake Griffin is his teammate!).
When Jeremy Lin comes out of the game, this team's offense could actually improve, especially with Miller going up against opposing backup point guards.
Backup Point Guard: Beno Udrih (No. 352 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.9 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.7 PER (for New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies)
The point guard position here is thin, but Beno Udrih supplies insurance in case either Jeremy Lin or Andre Miller goes down. He's also able to run the show in two-point guard lineups if Carlisle wants to go super small and get creative.
Defenses can't leave Udrih alone, as we saw in last year's playoffs when he briefly owned the Oklahoma City Thunder, willing the Memphis Grizzlies to a win almost single-handedly. The potential for him to take over a game still exists, and that's why he's on this team.
Backup Shooting Guard: Anthony Morrow (No. 189 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 13.9 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
More shooting! No team can have enough accuracy from distance, and Morrow made 45.1 percent of his threes last season (third best in the league).
More importantly, his career 42.8 percent average is eighth highest in league history. Morrow can absolutely stroke it, and his shot will be necessary on a team that plans to win by outscoring its opponent.
Backup Small Forward: Archie Goodwin (No. 309 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 10.3 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
Providing more depth on the wing, Archie Goodwin is such a tantalizing, young athlete. He's not even 20 years old but could be a fantastic piece in this team's uptempo system.
He'll be an energy guy off the bench, if he plays at all, picking his man up full court, cutting and moving and crashing the glass and filling the lane in transition. Goodwin's far from reaching his potential, but surrounded by this much talent he won't be asked to do too much.
Backup Power Forward: Mirza Teletovic (No. 249 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.3 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
A great two-way piece for depth, Mirza Teletovic can space the floor with his three-point shot and do a serviceable job defending opposing small and power forwards.
He can either make the other team pay by standing in the corner or running a drag pick-and-pop with the likes of Hayward, Lin or Miller to get open behind the three-point line in transition. He's another shooter on a team full of them, a stretch 4 who will allow Carlisle to experiment with some feisty small-ball lineups.
Backup Center: Jason Smith (No. 292 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, 12.4 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
When Rick Carlisle sinks his teeth into a 7-footer who can shoot, all bets are off. Smith battled a knee injury last season (the second serious one of his career) but has Dirk Nowitzki-esque accuracy from 16-23 feet.
Similar to Brook Lopez, it isn't difficult to picture Smith pushing that range out beyond the three-point line in Carlisle's system. If he can, the 12-15 minutes he's in the game will be a nightmare for the opposition.
Backup Center: Greg Oden (No. 369 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, 12.4 PER (for Miami Heat)
The only player on this team who was drafted with defense in mind, Greg Oden is the ultimate buy-low asset.
He was selected with the final pick because there's always hope he can get healthy and become a sturdy rim-protector/rebounder/screen-setter for eight to 12 minutes a game. Anything more than that would be a blessing, and anything less is already expected.
-Michael Pina, Celtics re-draft GM
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How Will the C's Play?
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
The Boston Celtics have a clear identity: offense. They will push the ball in transition, shoot a bunch of threes, run multiple pick-and-rolls and break the defense's back down low. Points will be scored.
From the head coach (Rick Carlisle) to the best player (Blake Griffin) to the starting center (Brook Lopez) to the wide range of ball-handlers, three-point marksmen and versatile wings, this team will put the ball in the basket with ease.
Getting stops will be an issue—although Gordon Hayward, Mirza Teletovic and Lopez are perhaps a bit underrated on defense—but not as big as the one opponents will have to deal with on a possession-by-possession basis. The floor will always be spread, and everyone on it will be able to shoot, pass and dribble, allowing Carlisle to experiment with quirky lineup combinations and rotations that will bring defenses to their knees.
The point guards all know how to score as well as distribute the ball, and while running a transition-based system may be difficult given the team's inability to get consistent stops and race out off missed shots, the half-court sets should prove to be equally, if not more so, unstoppable.
The team's Big Three of Griffin, Lopez and Hayward are all scorers in their own right, and the offense will flow out of multiple pick-and-rolls and post-ups that either force double-teams or lead to high-percentage looks at the basket.
The pieces fit here, too, which is important for any successful team. The big men are each skilled enough to thrive off one another, the three-point shooters can either knock down shots standing still or create a bit off the dribble—if need be—and Carlisle will always be there to tweak the action, make brilliant adjustments, invent new sets and maximize everyone's individual strength. If they don't score, they don't win.
But that doesn't figure to be much of a problem.
-Michael Pina, Celtics re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Russell Westbrook, Norris Cole, J.J. Barea
Shooting guard: Darren Collison, James Young
Small forward: DeMar DeRozan, Mike Miller, Chris Copeland
Power forward: Kenneth Faried, Anthony Bennett
Center: Jonas Valanciunas, Thomas Robinson
Head Coach: Steve Kerr
Head Coach: Steve Kerr (No. 351 overall)
Steve Kerr was chosen to coach this team because he can maximize the guard-heavy roster.
Is Kerr going to teach Robinson Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook? Stop it. But he can get Westbrook, Collison, DeRozan, Young and the rest of the gang in good positions to score. The 49-year-old Kerr is young for a coach, too, which will help him relate to and keep the attention of the youthful roster.
Starting Point Guard: Russell Westbrook (No. 10 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 24.7 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Finally at the helm of his own team—that angry look is directed at you, Kevin Durant—Russell Westbrook is primed to catapult himself into the conversation for the league's top point guard.
Westbrook, a California native, will watch his brand, his level of stardom and his ring total (fingers crossed) rise in Brooklyn.
Starting Shooting Guard: Darren Collison (No. 130 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, 16.2 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
Darren Collison was made to play alongside Westbrook. Never anything but calm, cool and collected, Collison has a little bit of everything in his bag of tricks.
With the Nets, Collison will shoulder some of the decision-making that goes along with running the point, which will allow Westbrook to do his Westbrook thing with more freedom. Contested transition jumpers for everyone!
Starting Small Forward: DeMar DeRozan (No. 51 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 22.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 18.4 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan are quite similar. Both were born and attended college in California (UCLA and USC, respectively). Both possess circus-like athleticism along with top-tier talent. But most importantly, both Westbrook and DeRozan will shine in Brooklyn.
The Nets will let DeRozan run freely on the break and defend with valor but will also count on him to continue honing a consistent perimeter shot.
(Side note: Brooklyn drafted several Raptors after an agreement that Drake will drop his allegiance to Toronto and become a Nets fan. Lil Wayne may or may not hop on the train as well. Love live Drizzy.)
Starting Power Forward: Kenneth Faried (No. 70 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks, 19.8 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
The Manimal will own the concrete jungle.
Kenneth Faried, though undersized at 6'8", plays like a man possessed. He'll give the Nets the toughness and heart that are needed on every championship-caliber team.
Starting Center: Jonas Valanciunas (No. 111 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 16.1 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
The skilled big man is a dying breed in the NBA. Jonas Valanciunas is one the few exceptions.
Valanciunas ranked in the top 15 at his position at both scoring and rebounding last season, anchoring a young Toronto Raptors team that made some noise down the stretch. In Brooklyn, Valanciunas will unleash "Lithuania Mania" on the rest of the league.
Backup Point Guard: Norris Cole (No. 250 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 8.8 PER (for Miami Heat)
Norris Cole is a poor-man's Nate Robinson. He's a diminutive, vicious scorer with the ability to get hot at a moment's notice.
Will Cole get the big-time minutes that his immaculate flattop deserves in Brooklyn? You bet. Though he’s playing behind Westbrook and Collison, Cole is a potential game-changer and will have his number called early and often.
Backup Point Guard: J.J. Barea (No. 370 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.0 blocks, 11.6 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Hey, why not? J.J. Barea can play-uh (I'm so sorry for that one). You can never have too many quality guards.
Barea's presence on the roster will make it even easier for Kerr to run the dual-point guard system. And, like Cole, Barea can heat up in a hurry. If the Nets get anything close to what Barea gave the Mavericks four years ago, they'll be ecstatic.
Backup Shooting Guard: James Young (No. 291 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 16.6 PER (for Kentucky Wildcats)
The Nets need at least one true shooting guard, right? Well, here he is: James Young. The 19-year-old Young helped carry Kentucky to the national championship game in his freshman campaign.
Along the way, he displayed a diverse offensive game that could translate into monster NBA numbers. Being that he's a rook, Young won't be asked to carry Brooklyn. But he'll get his chances, and if he's up to the task, Young will land a bigger role as the season unwinds.
Copeland and Faried will also mentor Young and help take his hair to new lengths. Oh, one more thing: Young is represented by Brooklyn's own Jay Z. Throw up the Roc one time.
Backup Small Forward: Mike Miller (No. 171 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.5 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
Every team needs shooters. Westbrook, Collison and DeRozan can all knock down outside shots—but not like Mike Miller.
Miller won't do much else than hit big shots for the Nets, but there's a ton of value in having a battle-tested assassin squaring up on the wing. Brooklyn will also be sure to bring in the Memphis Grizzlies' 2013-14 medical staff to keep Mikey Millz on the floor.
Backup Small Forward: Chris Copeland (No. 231 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.7 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 17.6 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Seriously, nobody wants to give Chris Copeland a chance? I gladly will.
Copeland is an energetic, positionless shooter with great upside. He plays with heart on both sides of the ball and has proved he can knock down outside shots.
The Knicks got him very acquainted with Mr. Bench, and the Indiana Pacers continued the trend last season. That won't happen in Brooklyn—time to let the peacock fly.
Backup Power Forward: Anthony Bennett (No. 190 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 6.9 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
All right, all right, all right—we get it. Anthony Bennett was terrible last year. SB Nation's Drew Garrison points out that after getting taken with the first pick in 2013, Bennett's PER last season was "10.1 lower than Kwame Brown."
But next season will be different. Bennett shed 20 pounds and dominated the summer league in recent months, proving that he does, in fact, have some game. He'll be expected to really flex his wide offensive arsenal with the Nets.
Backup Center: Thomas Robinson (No. 310 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.1 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Thomas Robinson wasn’t drafted for his 4.8 points and 4.4 boards per game. He was drafted because he's 6'10" and weighs in at 237 pounds of pure stone.
T-Rob won't be asked to do a whole lot for the Nets. But as long as after every game other teams know that they're not welcome in the paint, Robinson will have done his job.
-Thomas Duffy, Nets re-draft GM
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How Will the Nets Play?
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Russell Westbrook is a superstar and will thrive as the Nets' top option. He jumps out of the gym, pours his heart and soul onto both ends of the floor and is an elite offensive talent.
But Westbrook can—on occasion—be considered a gunner.
Thanks to Darren Collison, Norris Cole and J.J. Barea, Brooklyn has the ability to institute a dual-point guard system that will relieve Westbrook of much of the decision-making that comes along with single-handedly running the show.
DeMar DeRozan, one of the league's premier young players, will anchor the wing. DeRozan, like Westbrook, is a freak athlete with serious game. Last season, the 25-year-old Toronto Raptor put up 22.7 points, 4.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
DeRozan’s three-point stroke has improved each year he's been in the NBA. In 2013-14, he hit 30.5 percent from downtown, and that number is expected to continue rising with the Nets. Brooklyn didn't take DeRozan for his three-point prowess, though.
Mike Miller and Chris Copeland have that covered.
Miller is one of the best long-ball launchers of the modern era. Copeland, while inexperienced, has proved to wield a deadeye three-point shot when given decent minutes. Luckily for the Nets, both Miller and Copeland can play at either forward spot.
What's an army of guards and shooters without a couple of big moose behind them?
At power forward, Brooklyn will send out Kenneth Faried and Anthony Bennett—two very different players.
Faried is a complete animal on both ends, playing with an immeasurable amount of passion as his dreads float more gracefully with each stride. And Bennett, who had a historically poor rookie season after getting drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013, will bounce back and be a dexterous, perimeter-based alternative to Faried.
Jonas Valanciunas and Thomas Robinson will give the Nets a similar one-two punch at the center position that Faried and Bennett will at the 4.
Valanciunas is a talented young big man with the ability to score as well as clean the glass. The all-muscle Robinson will throw some 'bows, protect that paint and let opponents know that Brooklyn won't give up any easy buckets.
-Thomas Duffy, Nets Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Kemba Walker, Rodney Stuckey, Tyler Ennis
Shooting guard: J.J. Redick, Iman Shumpert, Ben McLemore
Small forward: Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter
Power forward: LeBron James, Carlos Boozer
Center: Enes Kanter, Mitch McGary
Head Coach: Derek Fisher
Head Coach: Derek Fisher (No. 359 overall)
Derek Fisher will coach, but this is LeBron James' team. I'm fully expecting James to coach through Fisher, who has zero experience coming in. With James on the squad, I couldn't care less who holds the clipboard on the sidelines.
Starting Point Guard: Kemba Walker (No. 62 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.8 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
Kemba Walker is on the rise, and I got him at just the right time. His floor game has improved dramatically. He'll be the engine that powers this offense.
Walker gives me a little bit of playmaking and offensive firepower as a setup man and scorer. He's ready to take the next step, which should be easier to make next to LeBron James.
Starting Shooting Guard: J.J. Redick (No. 119 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 16.6 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
You need shooters, and there aren't many better than J.J. Redick. He's become a real nice complementary scorer—a guy who can knock down shots in that 15-25-foot range without needing many dribbles.
And with Kemba Walker and LeBron James in the lineup, he should be looking at plenty of open shots.
Starting Small Forward: Andrew Wiggins (No. 59 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks, 21.4 PER (for Kansas Jayhawks)
It's apparently not going to happen in real life, but I'm giving Andrew Wiggins the chance to play with LeBron following our re-draft. Together, we're talking major defensive versatility, and though Wiggins still needs polish, he should still be good for around 15 points a game.
Just like he did at Kansas, look for Wiggins to start cooking in the second half of the year once his confidence spikes. When he's locked in, he's just too quick and explosive to stay in front of.
Starting Power Forward: LeBron James (No. 2 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 29.3 PER (for Miami Heat)
With LeBron James on the squad, go ahead and put my Charlotte Hornets in the contender conversation. Nobody does a better job of making those around him better, which should benefit the young guys like Walker and Wiggins.
James will play the 4 for me to allow Wiggins and Redick time on the floor.
Starting Center: Enes Kanter (No. 179 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 15.6 PER (for Utah Jazz)
He's no defensive game-changer, but Kanter can score and rebound. He's got a real nice touch around the basket and a monster body for carving out space.
I'd be skeptical of Kanter as a top two or three option. But as a No. 4 or No. 5 option behind James, Wiggins, Walker and Redick, Kanter could be a sneaky late pick and double-double starting center.
Backup Point Guard: Rodney Stuckey (No. 242 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
I got Stuckey late, where he holds tremendous value as a backup. In real life, we're probably talking about the Pacers' starting 2-guard.
On Detroit, he had too much of a green light and little talent to play off. Now a reserve on a contender, Stuckey should be a little more effective as a scoring playmaker.
Backup Point Guard: Tyler Ennis (No. 362 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 21.3 PER (for Syracuse Orange)
I'm not sure how much time Ennis will get this season, but he's an excellent passer and decision-maker with the ball. His maturity and poise should help make up for some his physical and fundamental weaknesses early on.
Backup Shooting Guard: Iman Shumpert (No. 122 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, 9.6 PER (for New York Knicks)
Iman Shumpert gives me another lockdown defender to sub in for Redick as the sixth man. How about Shumpert-Wiggins-James as a defensive trio?
In the right role, Shumpert can also explode for offense from time to time. He'll be my two-way spark plug and first guard off the bench.
Backup Shooting Guard: Ben McLemore (No. 239 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 7.7 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
Ben McLemore gives me some offense, defense and a whole lot of athleticism. He's not ready to take on featured-scoring duties, but as a shot-maker and finisher off the bench, McLemore should be able to play to his strengths.
Backup Small Forward: Otto Porter (No. 299 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.0 blocks, 6.0 PER (for Washington Wizards)
Porter missed the start of last year and never really found a rhythm as a rookie. But he was dominant at times during his first full summer league, where he showed why he was the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft.
Porter is a sneaky scorer who can finish plays as a shooter and driver. And he doesn't need the rock in his hands to make things happen.
Backup Power Forward: Carlos Boozer (No. 182 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.4 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
Boozer isn't what he used to be, but he still offers toughness and offense. He can be a bully on that low block and a threat to score from the elbows.
In a part-time role as a backup, Boozer should be a solid veteran presence on this young Hornets squad.
Backup Center: Mitch McGary (No. 302 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks, 26.2 PER (for Michigan Wolverines)
McGary will get some minutes as a rookie, something he should be able to provide given his age and particular strengths. He's an energy guy with soft hands, quick feet and terrific rebounding instincts.
Worst comes to worst, he gives me interior activity off the bench as a finisher, rebounder and clean-up man.
-Jonathan Wasserman, Hornets re-draft GM
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How Will the Hornets Play?
John Minchillo/Associated Press
Derek Fisher will have LeBron James to lean on as head coach of these Hornets.
This team is obviously built around LeBron James, and based on the strength of Wiggins and Walker, my No. 2 and No. 3 picks, it's a team that's going to run. Nobody is stopping that speed and athleticism in the open floor.
But the Hornets also have some nice half-court scorers like Kanter, Redick, Boozer and Stuckey. Though we're going to look to push the tempo whenever we have the chance, with James in the lineup and shot-makers around him, we could also slow it down, spread the floor and exploit the mismatches.
We're also going to be playing a lot of pressure defense. With Wiggins, James and Shumpert, you'll see a lot of picking up at half court and even the occasional full-court press.
When we want to focus on locking down, we can even try Shumpert on opposing point guards, McLemore on opposing 2's, Wiggins on 3's and James on 4's. That's crazy size, athleticism and defensive versatility.
But the keys will ultimately be Walker and Wiggins—two young players who'll have to step up and take on featured roles. Walker should be ready after his breakout season in 2013-14. But Wiggins might ultimately make or break this squad. The Hornets will need him to mature quickly and emerge as a routine No. 2 or No. 3 option.
-Jonathan Wasserman, Hornets re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Goran Dragic, C.J. Watson
Shooting guard: Tim Hardaway Jr., Ben Gordon, Landry Fields
Small forward: Trevor Ariza, Danny Granger, Tayshaun Prince
Power forward: Jared Sullinger, Donatas Motiejunas
Center: Joel Embiid, Chris Kaman
Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau
Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (No. 27 overall)
Thibodeau is one of only two coaches in the league (the other being Gregg Popovich) who can carry a team to the postseason. Point blank, he's a superstar from the bench. His defense will assure the Bulls of being in playoff contention, even though they're drafting this late.
Plus, there's a huge advantage to drafting a coach first, in that you know what players to fit around him and his style.
Frankly, there was no player who could be taken with the top pick who could impact winning more than the second-best coach in the league.
Starting Point Guard: Goran Dragic (No. 34 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 21.4 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
If we've learned anything about Thibodeau's offenses, it's that it depends on a quality point guard, so Dragic being available in the second round is an absolute steal.
The Most Improved Player for 2013-14 was 15th in win shares. Not bad for the 34th pick in the draft. He can run the Bulls offense and be remembered in Chicago for something other than being on the wrong side of Derrick Rose's greatest dunk.
Starting Shooting Guard: Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 154 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.7 PER (for New York Knicks)
Many a Chicago Bulls fan will be happy to see Hardaway taken here, as many wished he'd been selected as a rookie. He has good range and handles. He looks like he'll develop into a nice all-around player. And with Thibodeau teaching him defense, he'll be able to shine on both ends of the court.
Now all the Bulls fans who felt he should have been taken in 2013 can do their victory dance.
Starting Small Forward: Trevor Ariza (No. 94 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 15.8 PER (for Washington Wizards)
You can't have a Thibodeau team without a stopper on the wings. Ariza's defense has been an underappreciated aspect of his game, but marrying him to Chicago's fantastic schemes should get him onto an All-Defensive team.
And his three-point shooting isn't quite the outlier it's been purported by some to be. It's been on the rise for several years, so I expect that to continue.
Starting Power Forward: Jared Sullinger (No. 147 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks, 16.4 PER (for Boston Celtics)
I wanted a stretch 4 here with a solid defensive presence. It didn't have to be someone who was going to dominate and take over games, but with Embiid inside I wanted to open up the court. Sullinger gives the ability to do that, and he's a stout defensive presence.
He drained 56 threes in his sophomore season and had a defensive real plus-minus of 1.58. He'll work here.
Starting Center: Joel Embiid (No. 87 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 2.6 blocks, 28.2 PER (for Kansas Jayhawks)
Unlike the real world, Embiid is healthy in our re-draft, so that means a good healthy dose of pick-and-roll play. He should pair nicely with Dragic, and with a four-out offense, he should be able to dominate inside and put up points.
By surrounding him with three-point shooters, the Bulls will help Embiid to flourish. Move out of the way, Dwight Howard, there's a new dominant center in town!
Well, all that and he's a great follow on Twitter. I just hope he doesn't ball like he tweets (i.e., constantly quitting).
Backup Point Guard: C.J. Watson (No. 207 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.0 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
He worked out well enough the first time around, so why not bring him back? You can never have too much three-point shooting.
Backup Shooting Guard: Ben Gordon (No. 327 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 6.4 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
He worked out well enough the first time around, so why not bring him back? You can never have too much three-point shooting.
Backup Shooting Guard: Landry Fields (No. 387 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 8.6 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
Fields is a candidate for a Thibodeau reclamation. His rookie year wasn't bad. Maybe that can be tapped into again with the right coaching.
Backup Small Forward: Danny Granger (No. 274 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks, 10.9 PER (for Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers)
My hope is that he's better in his second year back from injury than he was last year. He has the ability to defend and to create a shot. He's also got the competitive fire we like in Chicago.
Backup Small Forward: Tayshaun Prince (No. 334 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 8.2 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
He's long and has a penchant for defense, and with nearly the last pick of the last round, he was pretty much the only one left on the board with any value. Even if he's just an occasional defensive stopper to bring off the bench, he should have some minutes.
Backup Power Forward: Donatas Motiejunas (No. 267 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 10.7 PER (for Houston Rockets)
D-Mo he talks D-Mo you have to laugh.
When the oyster-eating power forward isn't stirring up trouble, he has been disappointing on the court. But the quotable 7-foot Lithuanian power forward has potential he hasn't reached.
At best he gets there this year. At worst, he becomes the obligatory failed stretch 4 who Thibs likes to keep on the bench all season. But hey, pickings were getting slim.
Backup Center: Chris Kaman (No. 214 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks, 17.0 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
He's not great, and he's often injured, but when he's around he's capable. He'll be able to do the same things I want from Embiid, although not as well. Still, among the 5's on the board, he's the best one and the best fit for the team.
-Kelly Scaletta, Bulls re-draft GM
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How Will the Bulls Play?
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
Basically, my philosophy was to go four-out on offense. To do that, I wanted to get the best players who could fit that scheme and not underwhelm so much on defense that they never saw the court—because, you know with Thibodeau coaching...
Generally, I was pretty happy with the results. Dragic is a hugely underrated point guard who can both score and create for those around him. He'll be a great catalyst to spark the scoring.
With Hardaway, Ariza and Sullinger all capable of hitting a three (albeit with varying rates of success), the court should be pretty well spread for Embiid. Even though he's a rookie, there aren't many bigs who can stop him one-on-one.
Defensively, I wanted to make sure I found players who could play within the Bulls' scheme without being completely horrible on offense, because we're sick of seeing that. For the most part, I think I took care of it. Being able to grab Ariza was a great help because he can both shoot the three and stay in front of the ball-handler.
There are some concerns. Hardaway is my chief worry among the starters, but by the time I drafted a shooting guard, there wasn't much left on the board.
With my bench, I was trying to find players who could plug into the system. That way I don't have to worry about having to change the entire scheme if one player gets hurt, which, with Thibodeau coaching is always a distinct possibility.
Essentially, what you learn from this kind of exercise is that it's really hard to build a roster that's 13 deep.
-Kelly Scaletta, Bulls re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Kendall Marshall, Ramon Sessions, Chauncey Billups
Shooting guard: James Harden, Jason Terry
Small forward: Kyle Korver, Chase Budinger
Power forward: Pau Gasol, J.J. Hickson, Cody Zeller
Center: Greg Monroe, Rudy Gobert
Head Coach: Scott Brooks
Head Coach: Scott Brooks (No. 373 overall)
After Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers went off the board early, I decided to wait on selecting a head coach. As some more unproven, first-year coaches were taken, I was surprised Brooks fell into my lap.
The 2009-10 Coach of the Year, Brooks has led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 293-170 record and five playoff appearances in six years.
The Thunder ranked in the top six last season in both offensive and defensive rating, finishing with 59 wins in a tough Western Conference. He's helped transform players like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook into strong defenders, something that's important with my mostly offensive-minded roster.
Starting Point Guard: Kendall Marshall (No. 133 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.6 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
With Harden already cemented in the backcourt, I needed a point guard who was a willing passer and could knock down threes. Marshall more than satisfies both needs and was one of only two NBA players last season to average eight-plus assists while shooting 39 percent or better from deep.
Although playing on an injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers team a year ago, Marshall averaged 8.8 assists, second in the league to Chris Paul.
Starting Shooting Guard: James Harden (No. 13 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 25.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, 23.5 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Harden is the alpha dog of the team and will handle scoring and ball-handling responsibilities.
His 25.4 points per game were fifth best in the NBA, helping Harden land on the All-NBA first team. Despite playing in a tough Western Conference, Harden led the Rockets to 54 wins and the league's second-highest scoring offense. Harden's pick-and-roll ability with my team's big men will be key to our offense.
Starting Small Forward: Kyle Korver (No. 108 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks, 13.5 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA title while also leading the league in three-point shooting. This was in the back of my mind throughout the draft process and helped lead to the drafting of Korver.
The NBA's best shooter from deep in 2013-14, Korver knocked down a remarkable 47.2 percent of his long-range attempts. He also showed off a strong overall game, averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. With Marshall, Harden and Korver, my backcourt is loaded with splash ability.
Starting Power Forward: Pau Gasol (No. 48 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 19.3 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
After selecting Harden, my main target was a big he could play the pick-and-roll with.
Gasol is a four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion. He's played beautifully with a ball-dominant shooting guard in the past, so I knew Gasol and Harden could be a good combo.
One of the lone bright spots for the Lakers last season, Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks in just 31.4 minutes a game.
Starting Center: Greg Monroe (No. 73 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks, 18.1 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
I considered Monroe in the second round and was thrilled he fell to the third. One of the most underrated players in the league today, I'll be moving Monroe back to center, his natural and more effective position.
While playing for Detroit last season, Monroe posted a PER of 20.6 while playing center and averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. A willing passer, Monroe can also play with his bask to the basket or face up his opponent from mid-range.
Backup Point Guard: Ramon Sessions (No. 168 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks)
Although I like my starting lineup, I wanted a little more experience at the point guard position. Sessions, 28, was both a starter and reserve for the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks last season, averaging 12.3 points and 4.1 assists a game.
I like Sessions because he can change the pace of the offense. While Marshall is a good three-point shooter, Sessions prefers to drive the lane and serve as a playmaker.
Backup Point Guard: Chauncey Billups (No. 348 overall)*
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 5.3 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Billups must have been inspired by his re-drafting to the Cavaliers since he later met with and worked out for the real team.
For my 12th man, I just wanted someone who could fill a player-coach role and mentor the younger guys. Billups is an NBA Finals MVP and five time All-Star who's been to the playoffs 12 times. Plus, he's Mr. Big Shot. That's got to be good for a handful of win shares, right?
Backup Shooting Guard: Jason Terry (No. 313 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 7.4 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Besides Gasol and Korver, I didn't have a lot of veterans on my team. Given my need for more leadership (and greed for threes), Terry was a natural fit.
An NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year, Terry has made nine playoff trips in his 15 seasons. Never afraid to let it fly, Terry is fourth in NBA history with 1,950 made three-pointers.
Backup Small Forward: Chase Budinger (No. 253 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, 9.7 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Budinger has struggled with injuries throughout his career, but when healthy he brings a lot to the table.
Athleticism is a big part of his game, as is versatility. Budinger split his playing time evenly between shooting guard and small forward for the Wolves last season. He's also a very capable three-point shooter, having converted as high as 40.2 percent from deep over the course of a season.
Backup Power Forward: J.J. Hickson (No. 193 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, 16.2 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
The Cavs welcome back Hickson, who's turned into one of the better rebounding big men in the game today. His 16.3 boards per 48 minutes was a higher mark than players like Tim Duncan, Joakim Noah and Anthony Davis.
Hickson can play both power forward and center, a nice option to have coming off the bench. With offensive-minded big men Gasol and Monroe in front of him, Hickson can come in to clean the glass and do the dirty work the team needs.
Backup Power Forward: Cody Zeller (No. 288 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.1 PER (for Charlotte Hornets)
Because one can never have enough big men, I decided to add Zeller for a little insurance. At 7'0" and 240 pounds, he can play either post position.
Zeller is an intelligent, athletic big who can run the floor. While he probably won't get much playing time behind Gasol, Monroe and Co., we trust he'll be a swell teammate with his "ah shucks" attitude.
Backup Center: Rudy Gobert (No. 228 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.9 blocks, 12.9 PER (for Utah Jazz)
Looking at my bench group, I decided to add a true rim-protector to the mix. Gobert is 7'2" with a near-7'9" wingspan. During his rookie season, he collected 12.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes of play. Had he been given enough playing time to qualify, his blocks per 48 minutes would have been the best in the NBA.
Coming off a successful rookie season, Gobert shined in the summer league with 11.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, despite averaging fewer than 24 minutes a game.
-Greg Swartz, Cavaliers re-draft GM
*Billups had not yet retired at the time of drafting.
23 of 73
How Will the Cavs Play?
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
I had two strategies in mind when assembling the Cavaliers. The first was putting together the best group of overall talent I could while also considering team need. The second was a desire for three-point shooting and ball movement, keys to the San Antonio Spurs' 2013-14 championship team.
Harden and Gasol are the heart of the team and players I felt were the best available at the time of their selections. So many great teams have displayed that dominant guard-big combo, while others that load up in the backcourt or frontcourt only often fall short of success.
I also took into consideration the type of players to draft so that their skill sets would mesh. With Harden being a dominant on-ball player, I wanted to surround him with shooters who didn't need the ball to be effective. Korver was the NBA's best three-point shooter last season and should help prevent opponents from double-teaming Harden.
Players like Harden, Korver, Terry, Billups and Marshall have proved their ability to connect from deep. Even bigs like Gasol and Monroe can step out and hit the mid-range jumper. Speaking of the bigs, it was important that I added players with strong post games to help collapse the defense and open room for shooters on the outside.
Defense may be an issue at times, I'll admit.
I'm hoping Coach Brooks will help fix that, aided by the bench contributions of Gobert, Hickson and Budinger. What the Cavaliers lack on defense, I'm banking on them making up for with offensive firepower. It's worth noting that the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks were all in the bottom half of defensive teams last year, while the New York Knicks cracked the top 10.
Overall, this is a team that'll put up plenty of points a night while moving the ball and fitting in well with each other. Veterans and past champions like Billups and Terry help balance out young stars like Harden and Monroe.
It may take a 110-108 score to do it, but the Cavs should take home a number of victories this season.
-Greg Swartz, Cavaliers re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Jrue Holiday, Brandon Knight
Shooting guard: Michael Carter-Williams, Kent Bazemore
Small forward: Kevin Durant, Richard Jefferson
Power forward: Terrence Jones, Aaron Gordon, Jeremy Evans
Center: Jordan Hill, Jermaine O'Neal, Bismack Biyombo
Head Coach: Quin Snyder
Head Coach: Quin Snyder (No. 301 overall)
Players love him, and there's little doubt he has the best hair of any coach in the game. Snyder may be a rookie head coach in the NBA, but he's been very successful in the NCAA and D-League.
That experience working with young players was a big draw for me. These Mavs are mostly 25 or younger, so someone with a career spent developing young talent made a lot of sense.
Starting Point Guard: Jrue Holiday (No. 60 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, 17.1 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Point guards fly off the board in these drafts, so I was thrilled to grab Holiday at the end of Round 2. He's an exceptional defender with great length for the point, and he showed flashes of elite play in his final season with the 76ers.
The other big perk is that Holiday is an efficient three-point shooter. I look for him to spend much of his time off the ball, spacing the floor for Dallas and serving as a secondary playmaker.
Starting Shooting Guard: Michael Carter-Williams (No. 61 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.6 blocks, 15.5 PER (for Philadelphia 76ers)
Another point guard? He has the size to defend shooting guards, but I look for him to handle the majority of ball-handling duties on the offensive end, allowing Holiday to set up on the perimeter and look for his own scoring a bit more.
Though MCW struggled with efficiency as a rookie, his numbers were incredibly similar to Russell Westbrook's rookie campaign. On a better team and with less pressure to shoulder all offensive burdens, I think he'd thrive. He scores, distributes, defends and rebounds, making him a great sidekick for KD and Holiday.
Starting Small Forward: Kevin Durant (No. 1 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 29.8 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
He's the best scorer in the game and capable of carrying his team single-handedly. He instantly spaces the floor and forces opposing defenses to devote the lion's share of their attention toward stopping him.
LeBron James remains the best all-around player in the game, but I thought it would be easier to build around such a dominant scorer. Plus, KD is a model of humility and quiet leadership—precisely the kind of values I want characterizing Dallas' culture.
Starting Power Forward: Terrence Jones (No. 120 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.3 blocks, 19.1 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Overshadowed by all the talent in Houston last season, it's easy to forget Jones had a super-efficient year and impacted games on both ends of the floor. He stretches the floor a bit and adds plenty of athleticism to a team poised to outrun the opposition down the floor. While Jones isn't huge, he has a 7'2" wingspan that he uses to alter shots.
Jones is poised to raise his game to another level. He's still young and showed plenty of potential at Kentucky despite being surrounded by so much talent. He proved there and in Houston that he can excel as a complementary piece, which is exactly what he'll be in Dallas.
Starting Center: Jordan Hill (No. 181 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, 19.3 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Still needing a center, Hill was almost certainly the best available this late in the draft—especially if you consider what he did during the final weeks of last season. Hill was one of the league's best rebounders on a per-minute basis, and he's not a bad rim protector either.
There's a reason the Lakers gave him such a lucrative deal this summer. Hill is better than advertised and just needs some opportunity. There won't be much pressure on him to score. The Mavs just needed someone to grab boards, and Hill will certainly do that.
Backup Point Guard: Brandon Knight (No. 180 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
I think Knight was a steal this late in the draft. He's the perfect candidate to come off the bench and provide a scoring spark. While I'm not sold on his ability as a starting point guard, he has the kind of combo-guard sensibilities that make him an ideal sixth man.
Plus, he's proved to be a pretty solid long-range shooter despite dipping efficiency last season (he made 37 percent and 38 percent of his three-pointers in his first two seasons before dropping to 32.5 percent in 2013-14). In any event, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add another scorer and playmaker, especially one who injects life into the second unit.
Backup Shooting Guard: Kent Bazemore (No. 240 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.2 PER (for Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers)
Last season's statistics look pretty bad on face, but check out what Bazemore did with the Lakers when actually given some minutes. He shot the three-ball well and served as a versatile playmaker who put up nice numbers across the board.
Though he probably won't play more than 20 minutes a game on this club, I'm optimistic about his ability to maintain pace and attack while he's in the game. It helps that he's another capable passer who can keep the ball moving.
Backup Small Forward: Richard Jefferson (No. 300 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.8 PER (for Utah Jazz)
Jefferson is another veteran who can still produce as a role player. He has transformed himself over the years into a dangerous spot-up shooter, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to further improve Dallas' floor spacing.
Jefferson's opportunities behind Durant will be limited, but he's capable of playing a larger role when needed. If nothing else, his professionalism and experience will benefit an otherwise young rotation.
Backup Power Forward: Aaron Gordon (No. 121 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks, 20.4 PER (for Arizona Wildcats)
To be sure, Gordon will be raw as a rookie. But I still love what he can contribute off the bench as an energy guy who can produce without plays being run for him. He defends, hustles, cuts off the ball and boasts other-worldly athleticism.
I also like his versatility. He's the kind of defender who can take some of the pressure off Durant when it comes to guarding scorers. I don't expect him to put up huge numbers, but I think he'll be an instant glue guy.
Backup Power Forward: Jeremy Evans (No. 361 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks, 16.2 PER (for Utah Jazz)
He's good for the occasional highlight (and the occasional portrait). It was my last pick in the draft, so I figured I might as well have some fun with it.
In basketball terms, Evans was actually surprisingly efficient last season. Though he isn't much of a shooter, he plays within his limitations pretty well. His ability to add a little defense and back up both forward positions made him a worthy addition.
Backup Center: Jermaine O'Neal (No. 241 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 15.3 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
I needed to add a veteran presence, but the nice thing about O'Neal is that he's still much more than that. He remains an excellent interior defender and rebounder.
I see him getting 15-20 minutes per game, anchoring the defense and providing some leadership for starter Jordan Hill.
Backup Center: Bismack Biyombo (No. 360 overall)
2013-14 Per Game Stats: 2.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.1 steals, 1.1 blocks, 13.3 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
You can never have enough front-line depth. Biyombo is pretty one-dimensional, but he's a very capable rim-protector and rebounder who can play the 4 or 5.
He'll probably be used sparingly, but he's a nice insurance policy in the event something happens to Jermaine O'Neal.
-Stephen Babb, Mavericks re-draft GM
25 of 73
How Will the Mavs Play?
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
My first priority was to surround Kevin Durant with playmakers, willing passers who help carry some of the scoring load while keeping the ball moving enough for Durant to get some quality touches. Holiday, Carter-Williams, Knight and Bazemore are all capable and willing distributors. They can score, but they’re multidimensional enough to facilitate a motion-based offense in which Durant should thrive.
Isolation will be used sparingly for these Mavericks—a tool when needed, but not a crutch. The prevalence of ball-handlers and passers means Dallas can run the pick-and-roll from all over the floor, collapsing defenses and allowing KD plenty of clean looks in the process.
I also look for this team to push the tempo and exploit plenty of open-court opportunities. Holiday and MCW cause lots of turnovers in the backcourt, and Dallas' all-around length should put it in strong position to capitalize on turnovers and get some easy points.
Spacing is always crucial to any motion-based offense, so that was another consideration. Durant is arguably the best floor-spacer in the game, but he'll be joined by capable three-point shooters like Holiday, Knight, Bazemore and Jefferson. Even Jones can knock down the occasional long ball, and MCW may see some progress in his second campaign.
Though Durant can spend some time at the 4, he tends to struggle a bit against stronger power forwards. To that end, we'll look to keep him primarily at small forward while pairing him with athletic 4s who can run the floor (Jones and Gordon).
I'm confident in the defense I’ll get out of my bigs. While this team doesn't boast an "elite" player at either the 4 or 5, I think my bigs are underrated and fit the system well. I also believe the depth afforded by guys like O'Neal and Biyombo will maintain a formidable defensive presence over the course of 48 minutes.
-Stephen Babb, Mavericks re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Mike Conley, Jordan Farmar, Shabazz Napier
Shooting guard: Doug McDermott, Wesley Johnson
Small forward: Danilo Gallinari, Matt Barnes, Roy Devyn Marble
Power forward: LaMarcus Aldridge, Luis Scola
Center: Nerlens Noel, Kyle O'Quinn
Head Coach: Shaka Smart
Head Coach: Shaka Smart (No. 314 overall)
With no NBA experience, is Smart a gamble? Sure. But if you want a coach who could provide an immediate impact and has major upside, he's the man for the job.
If you've watched VCU basketball over the last few years, you'll notice his teams guard 100 percent at all times, and they know how to move the ball and get everyone involved. If all goes according to plan, Smart will have this team playing with a Gregg Popovich style of offense and a Tom Thibodeau attitude on defense.
Starting Point Guard: Mike Conley (No. 47 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 20.0 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
Everyone knows Conley is an excellent point guard who can play both sides of the ball, but he really emerged last season with his 27.4 points per 100 possessions. Instead of just being a guy who occasionally had his offensive moments and primarily got the ball inside, he was a priority for the defense to stop.
Conley will have plenty of weapons on offense in Denver, and his ability to read defenses off high-ball screens will drive opponents crazy.
Starting Shooting Guard: Doug McDermott (No. 167 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 32.8 PER (for Creighton Bluejays)
Even though I am a proponent of the Nuggets' trade during the 2014 NBA draft, the former Creighton start was too good to pass up at 167. Coming in with one of the most polished offensive games for a rookie in quite some time, McDermott will provide an immediate impact for this Nuggets team. He'll come off curls, launch it from distance and create mismatches in the post.
While there might be question marks surrounding his defense, he'll have plenty of great defenders around him, and his 6'7" length at the 2 should help him contest shots.
Starting Small Forward: Danilo Gallinari (No. 74 overall)
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.7 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Gallinari stays in Denver for his return from his ACL injury. The Nuggets have clearly missed his presence after a losing season in 2013-14 and getting eliminated in the first round of the 2012-13 playoffs.
Like McDermott, Gallo has a diverse offensive attack, and his 6'10" length is tough to deal with at small forward.
Starting Power Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge (No. 14 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks, 21.8 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Aldridge may not be a flashy first-round pick, but he's arguably the best two-way power forward in the NBA.
He'll get plenty of opportunities in the pick-and-pop with Conley, and stretching the defense will give Nerlens Noel more space to operate in the post. Defensively, Aldridge and Noel will be a daunting and lengthy frontcourt to deal with.
Starting Center: Nerlens Noel (No. 107 overall)
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 4.4 blocks, 27.3 PER (for Kentucky Wildcats)
I was shocked Noel was available this late in the re-draft. Even though he hasn't played an NBA regular-season game yet, he should have been the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
He’ll dominate the boards, swat shots into the stands and score efficiently.
Backup Point Guard: Jordan Farmar (No. 134 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 15.0 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Farmar will be a nice change of pace off the bench at point. He'll play uptempo more with the depth in the backcourt and take on a fair share of the bench scoring.
Remember, Farmar has also quietly become one of the more consistent three-point shooters in the game. He made 43.8 percent from behind the arc last season and 44 percent in 2011-12.
Backup Point Guard: Shabazz Napier (No. 347 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 25.5 PER (for Connecticut Huskies)
At this point in the draft, the bench still lacked another great ball-handler. Therefore, the two-time national champion Napier was the pick.
As you can see, finding multiple guys who can play both sides of the ball is important. He's certainly quick, explosive and can score, but he will guard full court at all times under Shaka Smart.
Backup Shooting Guard: Wesley Johnson (No. 287 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 blocks, 11.0 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Johnson has played with three different franchises the last three seasons, so playing with another new team shouldn't be an issue at all.
His athleticism and technique have made him a legitimate defender, but he also shot 42.5 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from three and 79.2 percent from the line last year, all career highs.
Backup Small Forward: Matt Barnes (No. 194 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.0 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
While he'll have a lot of support around him, Matt Barnes steps into the sixth-man role. He and Wesley Johnson will switch between the 2 and the 3 depending on matchups.
Ironically, Barnes and Farmar will actually be teammates with the Los Angeles Clippers this season. You'll see the chemistry develop and the two drain three-pointers.
Backup Small Forward: Roy Devyn Marble (No. 374 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 22.6 PER (for Iowa Hawkeyes)
For my last pick, I wanted someone who can play multiple positions and do a little bit of everything. Marble is the man for the job, since he can play the 1, 2 or 3.
Most importantly, he can do a lot of different things in those areas. He's particularly great in uptempo situations and the pick-and-roll, but he can also guard a variety of players on the perimeter with his quick feet and 6'6" length.
Backup Power Forward: Luis Scola (No. 254 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 13.4 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Scola’s averages dropped some last year, but he's still producing efficiently—23.2 points and a career-high 11.3 defensive rebounds per 100 possessions.
Like Aldridge, he'll be used to stretch the floor. Scola made 48.2 percent of his shots outside 16 feet last year, which is remarkably higher than his 29.5 percent career average from that range.
Backup Center: Kyle O'Quinn (No. 227 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Orlando Magic)
A lot of people don't not know about O'Quinn since he's been a bench player on the Orlando Magic in his first two seasons. But after this season in Denver, NBA fans will recognize him every time he steps onto the floor.
With a 16.5 player efficiency rating last season, O'Quinn put up 18.5 points, 15.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 3.8 blocks per 100 possessions. Granted, efficiency tends to dip when given more minutes, but O'Quinn will only be expected to play around his 16.5-minute average, and those are outstanding numbers for a two-way player off the bench.
-Nick Juskewycz, Nuggets re-draft GM
27 of 73
How Will the Nuggets Play?
Can Nerlens Noel deliver Denver a championship?
The main goal of the Denver Nuggets was to acquire players who can play both sides of the ball.
If there's one thing we have learned about winning championships, it's that you don't need a specific style. The "defense wins championships" slogan, the theory that you can outscore people all the time or having the best player in the game—throw it all out the window.
The champion is the one that executes the best, plays to its potential and is multidimensional. Sure, Denver wasn’t fortunate enough to have the No. 1 overall pick to land LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but this is an outstanding team from top to bottom that has a superb chance at winning the NBA Finals.
With a starting five of Conley, McDermott, Gallinari, Aldridge and Noel, there are dynamic players all over the place.
Conley and Aldridge are perhaps the most underrated players at their respective positions, while many forget about Gallinari's skills on both sides. Noel will put on a similar block party to JaVale McGee while grabbing more boards and not wind up on Shaqtin' A Fool on a regular basis. McDermott is a matchup nightmare since he can score from anywhere.
Oh, and the wings are 6'7" and 6'10", while the big men are both 6'11". They will alter shots all day long.
The situation is the same for the bench with efficient players in multiple categories. There are ball-handlers, shooters, post threats and defenders.
Furthermore, there is also a great balance of youth and veteran leadership. There are four rookies, but nearly everyone else is in the prime of their careers or coming off career-best seasons.
With Shaka Smart leading the way, Denver may not all-out press like VCU would, but you can definitely expect havoc on defense. There will be nonstop ball pressure, half-court trapping, fighting over screens and, overall, a very aggressive style of defense.
On offense, with his preaching of ball movement, constant screening and team-oriented basketball, there will be several easy baskets. No one will ever feel like he has to take over a game.
This roster may not have that "wow" factor at first glance, but put the pieces together, and it will be in position for an NBA championship.
-Nick Juskewycz, Nuggets re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Jeff Teague, Trey Burke, Shelvin Mack
Shooting guard: Dion Waiters, Marcus Thornton
Small forward: Tobias Harris, Cleanthony Early
Power forward: Anthony Davis, Ersan Ilyasova, Adreian Payne
Center: Nikola Vucevic, Cole Aldrich
Head Coach: Lionel Hollins
Head Coach: Lionel Hollins (No. 304 overall)
Lionel Hollins might've only spent one season with the Pistons as a player, but his no-nonsense attitude and defense-first principles are Detroit to the bone. This team will need some guidance on that latter front, but once those points get hammered home, it stands to be a legitimate defensive force.
Starting Point Guard: Jeff Teague (No. 64 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 17.1 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
Heady. Steady. Effective, though seldom flashy. Isiah Thomas he is not, but Jeff Teague showed everyone last year why he deserves top point guard billing in this league.
Imagine, if you will, the speedy Teague running pick-and-pops and rolls aplenty with our friend Mr. Davis. Fun, right? Teague's defense has never been his strong suit, but with Davis roaming the interior, the Pistons can afford to freelance a bit more along the perimeter.
Starting Shooting Guard: Dion Waiters (No. 117 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
There are few players more polarizing than Dion Waiters, whose undeniable talents have taken a bit of a backseat to questions of attitude and his relationship with Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving.
Still, with this particular cast of professionals around him—and a coach not known for taking guff—Waiters won't be given the luxury of being a nuisance. Add his sky-high ceiling and unimpeachable competitiveness, and you have yourself another instant fan favorite in Detroit.
Starting Small Forward: Tobias Harris (No. 124 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Orlando Magic)
The jury is still somewhat out on whether Tobias Harris' NBA fate is as a small forward or power forward. We're basically forcing him into the former.
Harris will certainly be seen as something of a weak link—both defensively and in terms of offensive versatility—on these Pistons. Then you remember he's only 21 years old. Indeed, it's not difficult to imagine Harris having himself a coming-out party. As his body gets more accustomed to the rigors of the NBA grind, he has a legitimate shot at rising to All-Star levels sooner rather than later.
Starting Power Forward: Anthony Davis (No. 4 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.8 blocks, 26.5 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Taking Anthony Davis at No. 4 might seem to some like something of a reach. But when you have a player this young and this talented, the upside is more than worth the risk.
Detroit is nothing if not a blue-collar city, and the resulting picks were meant to reflect that ethos. It all starts with Davis, whose commitment to defense alone would endear him right off the bat to fans of these new-look Bad Boys.
Starting Center: Nikola Vucevic (No. 57 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks, 18.8 PER (for Orlando Magic)
Full disclosure: I didn't realize Greg Monroe (among many others, obviously) was still on the board when I nabbed Nikola Vucevic in the second round. No matter—his rebounding and blossoming all-around game make for the perfect frontcourt pairing with Davis.
Vucevic needs to develop a more consistent mid-range game if he truly wants to take his game to the next level. But there's still plenty to love about this hard-nosed double-double machine. I fully expect a breakout year from Mr. Vucevic.
Backup Point Guard: Trey Burke (No. 184 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.6 PER (for Utah Jazz)
Call it sentimental if you want. We just call Trey Burke a very promising NBA point guard.
The University of Michigan standout might lack the size to be a full-time starting-caliber 1, but the quickness, hunger and passion make Burke a low-risk, high-upside option behind the more seasoned Teague. So long as he can stay healthy, Burke stands a good chance of proving his detractors woefully wrong.
Backup Point Guard: Shelvin Mack (No. 364 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, 13.2 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
As the bulldog point guard of the great Butler University teams of a few years back, Shelvin Mack displayed a combination of steadiness and fearlessness that guaranteed he'd find an NBA home—second-round stock notwithstanding.
If Mack is ever going to assert himself as a future starter in waiting, this is the year he has to make the leap. He's proved to be an excellent defender and capable shooter from deep. Now it's time to add playmaking to the list of superlatives.
Backup Shooting Guard: Marcus Thornton (No. 237 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.0 PER (for Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets)
"But where's the scoring coming from?" you ask? Marcus Thornton, mostly.
Thornton has authored something of a strange career to date, with productive peaks and valleys aplenty. Like Ilyasova, we envision Thornton thriving as a sixth or seventh man, free from the pressures of being a full-time starter. So long as he keeps the heat checks to a minimum, his top-notch scoring ability should prove quite the boon for Detroit.
Backup Small Forward: Cleanthony Early (No. 297 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 26.5 PER (for Wichita State Shockers)
Yes, we have a thing for four-year players. Like Payne, Cleanthony Early not only brings to the table an impressive all-around game; his maturity should make his NBA transition much smoother.
We don't anticipate Early landing a ton of playing time early on, but as the season wears on and his confidence continues to grow—particularly in his jump shot—we could easily see him getting a solid 10-12 minutes a night.
Backup Power Forward: Ersan Ilyasova (No. 177 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.8 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
Yes, Ersan Ilyasova is coming off a certifiably awful year with the Milwaukee Bucks—a season in which he shot a putrid 28 percent from three-point range. And that's supposed to be his strong suit.
That is why we're slating Ilyasova for a role as Detroit's first big off the bench. A classic floor-spacer who can lend the second unit some much-needed firepower, the Turkish forward has found himself the perfect home with the Pistons, where rim protection is paramount and his defensive weaknesses won't be so disastrous.
Backup Power Forward: Adreian Payne (No. 244 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 25.1 PER (for Michigan State Spartans)
As a Michigan State fan, I simply couldn't justify taking a Wolverine without snagging a Spartan as well. And this is one Tom Izzo disciple who would immediately endear himself to Detroit's steely fanbase.
Since arriving as a hyper-athletic but ridiculously raw freshman four years ago, Payne's game has steadily developed into that of the ideal floor-spacing 4. Couple that with great rim protection and sneaky-good passing ability (and, oh yeah, that hyper-athleticism), and you've got the makings of a solid—if not spectacular—NBA career.
Backup Center: Cole Aldrich (No. 357 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.7 blocks, 19.1 PER (for New York Knicks)
At 25 years old, it's a bit difficult to say what Cole Aldrich's ultimate ceiling might be. What we do know is that the burly center's per-36-minute stats—however much stock you want to put into them—are promising enough to warrant him at least some spot-center minutes off the bench.
Don't expect much in the way of offensive versatility from this former Kansas pivot. But as a high-energy rebounder and a few extra fouls, Aldrich has very real value.
-Jim Cavan, Pistons re-draft GM
29 of 73
How Will the Pistons Play?
Kathy Willens/Associated Press
Can Lionel Hollins get the most out of Anthony Davis?
Basically, I had two goals in mind when weighing my approach to picking for the Detroit Pistons: Get Anthony Davis, and build a team that both embodied the spirit of Detroit while also, you know, being good at basketball.
Davis is obviously the centerpiece here—without a big year-three leap from him on offense, it's difficult to say where, exactly, this team will get its scoring. It's a roster with a lot of youth and upside but also laden with risks (Dion Waiters being the most obvious example). Other than Davis, the starting five doesn't boast much in the way of elite defenders. We're banking on Waiters and Harris in particular to take the next step in this regard.
In Teague, head coach Lionel Hollins has a point guard whose steady year-to-year improvement bodes well indeed. Might this be the season Teague snags his first All-Star appearance? These Pistons are banking on it.
The team's bench could prove a sneaky strength. In Ilyasova—from whom we're expecting a bounce-back year—Burke and Thornton, the Pistons have plenty of scoring punch to spare. Luckily, Payne and Aldrich can both provide a steady interior presence in the event their perimeter brethren can't quite hold down the fort.
Between Ilyasova, Payne and Davis, Detroit touts three prototypical stretch 4s, giving it a rotational constant regardless of how Lionel Hollins chooses to shuffle his lineups. You have to figure playing with Davis will do wonders for Payne's development, even if the latter is a full two years older.
It might be a wee bit early to declare Detroit a championship contender, but if the Pistons can get significant leaps from at least four of their core players, Motown is in for a real hardwood treat.
-Jim Cavan, Pistons re-draft GM
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Golden State Warriors
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Patty Mills, Devin Harris
Shooting guard: Manu Ginobili, Jimmer Fredette
Small forward: Paul Pierce, Perry Jones III, Omri Caspi
Power forward: Boris Diaw, Josh McRoberts
Center: Marc Gasol, Matt Bonner, Festus Ezeli
Head Coach: Mike D'Antoni
Head Coach: Mike D'Antoni (No. 319 overall)
If you're building a team that will thrive on ball movement, constant player motion and more three-point attempts than you can count, you hire Mike D'Antoni to run it.
Of course, you also hire Mike D'Antoni to coach your team if all of the other half-decent coaches are long gone by the time you get around to picking one (shakes fist at sky, especially at Joel Cordes' Minnesota Timberwolves). I want to defend this selection more vehemently, but I don't feel comfortable lying to you, dear reader.
Starting Point Guard: Patty Mills (No. 139 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 18.7 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
It's fair to doubt Mills' abilities as a primary ball-handler. He's not a conventional offensive point guard by any stretch.
But he can absolutely kill opponents with his three-point accuracy (he’s hit a career 40.6 percent from deep), and he’s a terrific on-ball defender against even the quickest lead guards. And really, on this team, with all of its distributors at other positions, Mills will get to to play exclusively to those two strengths. Get ready for a boatload of open triples, Patty.
Starting Shooting Guard: Manu Ginobili (No. 42 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks, 20.0 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
Personal bias came on strong here, as Ginobili ranks among my favorite players of all time. As a championship-tested combo guard who can run an offense, bury big shots and provide ample Eurosteps, the Argentine gives the Dubs the exact offensive tone they want.
Good luck wrangling the handoffs and back cuts between him and Gasol. With just two selections, Golden State had already completely cornered the market on craftiness.
Starting Small Forward: Paul Pierce (No. 102 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.8 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
How about a little more championship experience, big-shot guts and criminally underrated defense on the wing?
Pierce is getting on in years, but playing with this crew will ease the shot-creating burden he's carried for most of his career. Nobody's more competitive than Pierce, and precious few understand the value of team togetherness better than the man who studied Ubuntu for so many successful years under Doc Rivers.
Starting Power Forward: Boris Diaw (No. 79 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, 14.1 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
If some unselfishness is good, more is better. Enter Boris Diaw, a major key to the Spurs' Finals success who completely swung the series from the stretch 4 position. He’ll occupy that role here but will also see some time in ultra-small lineups at center.
Diaw is as good of a frontcourt facilitator as there is in the game, and his ability to draw opposing bigs out to the perimeter will create ridiculous amounts of space for the Warriors' cutters to attack. He’ll fit in beautifully with Gasol and Ginobili, and dribbling may soon become obsolete after the world watches this team pass.
Starting Center: Marc Gasol (No. 19 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks, 18.2 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
Gasol led a Memphis Grizzlies team with no depth and no shooting to a 33-13 finish after returning from a knee injury on Jan. 14. There aren't many players you can install as a cornerstone with full confidence they'll make teammates better on both ends of the floor, but Gasol is one such player.
The Warriors plan to play an unselfish style with premiums on offensive ball movement and teamwork on D. Gasol is the perfect foundational piece.
Backup Point Guard: Devin Harris (No. 199 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.6 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
Harris is a solid, if unspectacular, foil for Mills as the Warriors backup point guard. Though his days as an All-Star are behind him, Harris can run a team, attack off the dribble and fit into a system.
He's still extremely fast from end to end, and with the space all of Golden State's shooters will create, we could even see him rediscover some of his half-court magic. Harris is safe, but he also brings intriguing upside because of the Warriors' system.
Backup Shooting Guard: Jimmer Fredette (No. 222 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.8 PER (for Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls)
If you're going to take a fourth guard (fifth really, if Pierce gets some spot minutes at the 2), you should probably make sure he has at least one elite NBA skill. And because Fredette is such a beastly on-ball defender, he gets the nod.
Just making sure you were still paying attention.
Of course Fredette is on the team to shoot. His career percentage from long range is just a hair over 40 percent, and he hasn't exactly been blessed with the most brilliant offensive systems in Sacramento or Chicago. He'll get all the shots he can handle with the Warriors. Bombs away.
Backup Small Forward: Perry Jones III (No. 282 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.3 blocks, 10.1 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Would a 6'11" specimen who hit 36.1 percent of his threes in 2013-14, can guard four positions and Kevin Durant called "the best athlete in the league" interest you as a 10th man?
Thought so. Jones is a work in progress, but he has the tools to be an elite stopper and has shown the ability to knock down open shots. He's a gamble who could pay huge dividends and a welcome injection of youth on an otherwise experience-driven roster.
Backup Small Forward: Omri Casspi (No. 342 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.9 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Euroleague championship pedigree? Check.
Size and a penchant for three-point shots? Check and check.
Nothing else to see here. Let’s move on.
Backup Power Forward: Josh McRoberts (No. 162 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, 13.8 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
The Warriors' first reserve selection fits the team's mold, as McRoberts is a versatile, pass-first big man who can knock down open shots. His 36.1 percent long-range accuracy rate and 4.3 assists per game last year mean he'll pick up precisely where Diaw leaves off.
And lest there be any worry about the Dubs lacking athleticism, let us never forget that McBob has sneaky springs. Finally, he's the Warriors' second left-handed draftee. Impossibly, this team just got craftier.
Backup Center: Matt Bonner (No. 259 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.2 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
Threes! More threes, I say!
Bonner satisfies this team's hankering for additional Spurs and all the no-nonsense role-filling they bring to the table. The Red Rocket will spell the frontcourt for short stints, bringing two championships, the 14th-highest three-point field-goal percentage in NBA history (41.7 percent) and the occasional breathtaking floater.
Backup Center: Festus Ezeli (No. 379 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 9.3 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
The Dubs need a Dub, so Festus Ezeli rounds out the roster as the final pick.
The ox-strong center missed all of 2013-14 with a knee injury, but he showed flashes of being an impact defender as a rookie the year before. He cannot catch basketballs and probably shouldn't even touch them outside the restricted area on offense, but Ezeli can knock people over, rebound and turn away shots. We'll take it.
-Grant Hughes, Warriors re-draft GM
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How Will the Warriors Play?
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
The Warriors have been created in the championship image of the Spurs. The pillars: terrific spacing, unselfish ball movement that passes up good shots for great ones and, above all, craftiness.
Lacking a true off-the-dribble penetrator, Golden State will use Gasol and Diaw as initiators from the elbow and perimeter, respectively. Ginobili is a maestro in the pick-and-roll, and the floor will be wide open because of copious amounts of three-point shooting.
There'll be no way to contain Ginobili's attacks without sacrificing coverage on guys like Mills, Diaw and Pierce from the outside. And when the likes of Fredette, Bonner and McRoberts are also spacing the floor as reserves, defenses will struggle mightily to stop the onslaught of triples.
Defensively, Gasol is the anchor. All traffic will be directed toward him, where he'll create gridlock in the lane and lead this club to what should easily be a top-five defensive rating.
The key here will be smarts.
The Warriors lack athleticism in the rotation, but they'll compensate with slick passing and off-the-charts basketball IQ. Backdoor cuts, slipped screens and incessant ball rotations will create ample offensive looks.
Basically, if you enjoyed watching San Antonio think and out-execute all of its opponents during last year's title run, you'll dig the way these Warriors play. Nobody will feature a smarter, more cunning brand of ball than Golden State.
-Grant Hughes, Warriors re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Isaiah Thomas, Steve Nash
Shooting guard: Monta Ellis, Austin Rivers, Jason Richardson
Small forward: P.J. Tucker, Jared Dudley, K.J. McDaniels
Power forward: John Henson, Rashard Lewis
Center: Joakim Noah, Emeka Okafor
Head Coach: Frank Vogel
Head Coach: Frank Vogel (No. 226 overall)
A team built around defense needs a coach with a defensive mindset, right? There aren't many defensive-minded coaches better than Frank Vogel. He'll have a field day with a roster filled with guys who can get stops and force turnovers.
Additionally, he has experience with coaching teams that struggle to score, and this may be the least offensively gifted roster in the entire re-draft.
Starting Point Guard: Isaiah Thomas (No. 75 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 20.5 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
Five NBA point guards averaged at least 20 points per game last season. Three (Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard) went in the first round. The fourth (Goran Dragic) went at the top of Round 2. The last man standing was Isaiah Thomas, and I thought he was a steal in the middle of Round 3.
A Thomas-Ellis backcourt could be a train wreck since they are both score-first, undersized guards. The flip side is it gives my team a guard tandem that combined for almost 40 points a night last year. That's fine by me.
Starting Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis (No. 46 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 16.8 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
With Noah's offensive shortcomings, I wanted to pair him with a scoring guard who could also play a little defense. Ellis fits that bill. It's been a while since Ellis has played for a team that built its offense around him, and that's the plan here.
Is it a flawed plan? Possibly. Ellis' shot selection has drawn criticism in the past, and he isn't a particularly great outside shooter (career 31.9 percent from three). However, it's tough to pass up a guy who's averaged 19 points and nearly two steals a game for his career.
Starting Small Forward: P.J. Tucker (No. 135 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 13.3 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
P.J. Tucker is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. He can score a little, averaging 9.4 points per game for Phoenix last year. He shot nearly 39 percent from three. He also put in work on the glass to the tune of 6.5 rebounds a night.
Defensively, he's solid and has a knack for forcing turnovers (1.3 steals per game). There weren't many small forwards left who could give you a little bit of everything, but you could do worse than having Tucker as the fifth-best player in your rotation.
Starting Power Forward: John Henson (No. 106 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.7 blocks, 17.9 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
Right after the Thomas pick, I wrote down five names for my next selection: Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, Jimmy Butler, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young. I wanted a good shooting big man or a solid perimeter defender.
All five were gone, so I settled on John Henson. Henson is kind of like Joakim Noah lite. He's long, athletic, works the glass, blocks shots and is still coming along offensively. Pairing Henson with Noah leaves me without a reliable scoring option in the post, but I'll settle for having an advantage defensively and on the boards.
Starting Center: Joakim Noah (No. 15 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.5 blocks, 20.0 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
Elite big men are hard to come by in the NBA, especially ones who can protect the rim. I figured, if I didn't take Joakim Noah here, there would be a run on centers, and the pickings would get slim.
The only downside to this pick is that it limits the team offensively, as Noah isn't exactly a scoring machine in the post. Still, I like guys that play with his kind of energy and intensity. Those kind of intangibles tend to be infectious.
Backup Point Guard: Steve Nash (No. 195 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.2 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Again, like Okafor, we are assuming Steve Nash is healthy. Could a healthy, motivated Steve Nash have one good season left in him? I think so.
The Nash pick flies in the face of my strategy of building around defense, but it was hard to pass up one of the greatest point guards ever to be my backup. Nash gives the team a scoring boost off the bench and helps our shooting woes in the backcourt.
Backup Shooting Guard: Austin Rivers (No. 346 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.6 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Even as a New Orleans Pelicans fan, I've never been big on Austin Rivers. However, he bounced back last season after having one of the worst rookie years in recent memory.
He was particularly good at the tail end of the season, averaging 14.8 and 5.8 assists in his last five games. He's always been a good defender, and if last season was a sign that his stock is on the rise, he's worth a shot as a backup at either guard spot.
Backup Shooting Guard: Jason Richardson (No. 375 overall)
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, 12.6 PER (for Philadelphia 76ers)
Jason Richardson fits the mold of everything I unintentionally did with my second unit. He's on the downside of his career and coming off of a major injury.
At the very least, teaming him with Rashard Lewis, Emeka Okafor and Steve Nash gives me the NBA's version of The Expendables. If J-Rich has any spring left in his step, he could be worthwhile as a veteran scorer at the end of the bench.
Backup Small Forward: Jared Dudley (No. 286 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 8.9 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
I needed to find offense by any means necessary, so I started to load up on shooters. Jared Dudley is a career 39.7 percent three-point shooter, so that gives us another dangerous weapon on the perimeter.
It will be tough for opposing teams to get out on all of our shooters when we have Nash, Lewis and Dudley on the floor at the same time.
Backup Small Forward: K.J. McDaniels (No. 315 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.6 blocks, 28.4 PER (for Clemson Tigers)
Outside of the elite guys at the top (Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker), K.J. McDaniels was the rookie who intrigued me the most. A 6'6" guard/forward who averaged 17.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.1 steals a game last season for Clemson, McDaniels has a ton of two-way potential.
Even if his offensive numbers in college were a fluke, he still has the defensive chops to be a poor man's Bruce Bowen on this team. Plus, at 21 years old, he's an infant on this second unit of elder statesmen.
Backup Power Forward: Rashard Lewis (No. 255 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.7 PER (for Miami Heat)
This was a desperation pick. I wanted a big man who can stretch the floor, and Rashard Lewis was the last one left. He's not the scoring machine he once was, but he can still be a serviceable backup.
Defensively, Lewis doesn't give me much, but he wasn't drafted to get stops. His role is to space the floor with his shooting and keep the paint less crowded for Noah or Okafor.
Backup Center: Emeka Okafor (No. 166 overall)
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.0 blocks, 15.8 PER (for Washington Wizards)
The provision before the draft was that every player was given a clean bill of health. When healthy, Emeka Okafor is a potential double-double machine (career averages: 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds) who can really protect the rim.
Like the other bigs on my roster thus far, Okafor doesn't give you much to work with on the offensive end. When you look at the rest of the draft, though, you won't find a better backup center.
-Dave Leonardis, Rockets re-draft GM
33 of 73
How Will the Rockets Play?
R Brent Smith/Associated Press
With very few proven scorers on the roster, everything the Houston Rockets will do is going to be centered around defense. With Joakim Noah and John Henson locking down the paint, we are going to put an emphasis on getting stops, dominating the glass and getting out in transition as quickly as possible.
In the half court, Vogel will put the ball in Monta Ellis' hands and cross his fingers that the shooting guard doesn't turn into J.R. Smith. Isaiah Thomas will help take the scoring burden off of Ellis, too. With two guards who can score at will and an athletic big man in Noah, we'll be using a lot of pick-and-roll as well.
This is a team with a ton of energy and athleticism (at least in the starting rotation), so we are going to use that to our advantage. An uptempo approach will work to our benefit, especially when Steve Nash comes in to run point. Offensively, it won't be pretty, but the defense is good enough to churn out more than enough low-scoring wins.
-Dave Leonardis, Rockets re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Chris Paul, Mario Chalmers, Isaiah Canaan
Shooting guard: Arron Afflalo, Evan Fournier
Small forward: Draymond Green, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bojan Bogdanovic
Power forward: Channing Frye, Tristan Thompson
Center: Roy Hibbert, Kevin Garnett
Head Coach: Jeff Van Gundy
Head Coach: Jeff Van Gundy (No. 305 overall)
NBA teams have been trying to get him out of the broadcast booth for seven years now. That should tell you all you need to know about Van Gundy's bona fides as a head coach. In parts of 11 seasons with the Rockets and Knicks, he missed the playoffs once. He's still only 52 years old despite his lengthy layoff as well, so it's not like the game has passed him by.
More importantly, Van Gundy's defense-first mindset meshes perfectly with this roster. His teams in New York played with a brash toughness and swagger that helped usher in a new era of rules designed to emphasize offense. With the coaching pile dwindling in the 11th round, Van Gundy was the last and one of the best fits for the team already constructed.
Starting Point Guard: Chris Paul (No. 5 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 2.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 25.9 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
We'll chalk this one up entirely to good fortune. After landing the No. 5 pick, I went through umpteen scenarios trying to figure out who I'd take, never once thinking Paul would be available. When he was, the decision made itself.
My adoration for Paul's game is littered across the World Wide Web. He's unquestionably the best player at the NBA's deepest position, which says all it should about his Hall of Fame talent. Despite a frame generously listed at 6'0", Paul has LeBron-esque court vision and makes the right basketball play on nearly every possession. He is a good enough shooter to make defenses respect him beyond the three-point line and crafty enough to make plays in the tricky in-between areas on the floor. Couple that with six All-Defensive team selections, and you get a foundational player worth building around.
Starting Shooting Guard: Arron Afflalo (No. 65 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Orlando Magic)
There are plenty of players who earn the theoretical three-and-D badge. There are few with Afflalo's statistical prowess to back it up. The Nuggets guard has increased his scoring output in each of his first seven NBA seasons, one away from matching the NBA record. He is a career 39.2 percent shooter from three-point range and shot a sterling 42.7 percent from distance last season while attempting threes at a career-high rate.
While not a transformative perimeter defender, he ranks well into the above-average strata. He has solid lateral quickness and athleticism, making him able to occasionally switch onto opposing small forwards. His main role on this team will be providing floor spacing and secondary scoring. But his two-way talent wound up swaying the odds in his favor.
Starting Small Forward: Draymond Green (No. 125 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.9 blocks, 12.7 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
In a vacuum, I'm not sure I'd be in love with this selection. Making Green a full-time small forward is a dangerous venture in today's NBA. He is still developing a consistent jump shot—33 percent from three is still well below the league average—and has yet to play starter minutes. In basketball utopia, Green would slot in as a small-ball power forward.
Given Channing Frye's presence, though, I felt much more comfortable handing Green the 3. He won't have as many size disadvantages defensively, can slide over and help when Frye needs hiding against an elite power forward and will generally have more freedom. In a league where talent is theoretically evenly distributed, Green has shown more than enough to earn a fifth starter role.
Starting Power Forward: Channing Frye (No. 116 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks, 13.2 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
I was so excited about the Paul-Frye combination that I spent two hours playing with them together on NBA 2K14. Frye is everything Paul would ever want from a pick-and-pop partner. He's a dead-eye shooter, highly intelligent and commands such respect that CP3 would end up with fear-based lanes to the basket. The biggest question facing Goran Dragic next season is whether he can excel without Frye around garnering defensive attention.
Frye is a career 38.5 percent shooter from three-point range and did not miss a beat after sitting out the entire 2012-13 season. Defense isn't necessarily a strong suit, but the former Arizona star is better than advertised. He had more defensive win shares than Tony Allen last season, for what that's worth. Having Frye and Roy Hibbert in the middle gives the team length few other teams can match.
Starting Center: Roy Hibbert (No. 56 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.2 blocks, 13.5 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Clowning Hibbert is its own cottage industry. I'm guilty of it. You're guilty of it. Basketball Twitter is all the better for his continued bouts with utter befuddlement. But we're getting to the point where the vitriol espoused for Hibbert obscures one very important fact: He is the NBA's best defensive center.
Last season, opposing players shot 41.4 percent when he was within the area of the shot. That was the second-best rate in basketball among players who appeared in at least half the games and saw five rim-protecting opportunities per contest. Keeping him in Indiana might not give him the change of scenery he probably needs at this point, but this team isn't asking him to prop up a poor offense. He'll dominate defensively, clean up the occasional shot on offense and stick to the things that make him a valuable commodity.
Backup Point Guard: Mario Chalmers (No. 236 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Miami Heat)
Why have one of the Internet's most mocked players when you can have two? Chalmers, like Hibbert, has entered the phase where the hate far outweighs what he should actually be receiving. His Finals collapse was disappointing and instructive for Miami's front office, but we're forgetting he's a fine NBA guard as a whole.
Chalmers is an above-average threat from three-point range, a crafty ball-handler who can get into the paint and a very solid team defender. He's prone to fits of boneheadedness, yet we're talking about a guy with 346 regular-season starts under his belt. He's doing something right. Given the chance to give Paul a quality backup outside the top 200, we'll take a risk on the Hibbert-Chalmers mockery.
Backup Point Guard: Isaiah Canaan (No. 365 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 9.5 PER (for Houston Rockets)
You're trying to hit an ant on a dartboard in the last round. Luckily, I think I came away with a usable player in Canaan. The diminutive guard was one of my sleeper players when scouting him coming out of Murray State, and he should make an impact next season in Houston after dangling in the D-League last year.
Canaan can really put the ball in the hoop. Equipped with a roster that may struggle at times to score at an elite level, he's a nice safety valve as a microwave scorer.
Backup Shooting Guard: Evan Fournier (No. 245 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.3 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Synergy is an important aspect to every walk of life. So if we already have Afflalo in the fold, adding the player deemed good enough to be traded for our starter sounds pretty good. Fournier has developed in fits and starts during his first two seasons. He's clearly a solid spot-up shooter and flashed some nifty off-the-bounce stuff coming off the bench, though it's unclear whether he's able to do much more.
I'm curious to see how he'll fare with a starter's workload with the Magic. We could look back on a seemingly lopsided trade in a few years and credit Rob Hennigan for seeing an underlying talent in Fournier. For now, we'll just assume he can continue his role of being an above-average backup behind Afflalo.
Backup Small Forward: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (No. 296 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 8.3 PER (for Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves)
We could essentially take everything said about Green and repurpose it for Mbah a Moute. The former UCLA star has carved his niche in the league swinging between the 3 and 4 positions and defending both with proficiency. He's a bit of a nightmare to have on the floor offensively, and playing him with Green would be a nonstarter, but spelling him in a similar role wouldn't be a problem.
Adding similar players would at least continue the synergy buzzword I've decided is the key to this roster construction.
Backup Small Forward: Bojan Bogdanovic (No. 356 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 16.4 PER (for Fenerbahce Ulker)
Don't be surprised if Bogdanovic is as good if not better than Nikola Mirotic next season. For all of the hype the Spaniard has received before arriving in the U.S., Bogdanovic's game should translate nearly as well. He is an excellent creator from the small forward spot, shooting the ball at a solid clip and using an array of creative moves near the basket to get shots off.
The Nets thought enough of Bogdanovic to give him a three-year, $10 million contract. His expected arrival is at least partially responsible for Paul Pierce's departure from Brooklyn. With so few sure things available, Bogdanovic is a nice fit for our weakest offensive position.
Backup Power Forward: Tristan Thompson (No. 185 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 14.9 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
We're going to get a good idea of where Thompson stands in the NBA hierarchy next season. Despite the expected presence of Kevin Love, Thompson is going to get a ton of crunch-time minutes on a championship contender. His first three seasons have been a bit of a mixed bag filled with flashes of promise and statistical stagnation.
Still, Thompson has averaged nearly a double-double each of the past two years and will rank among the NBA's best backup bigs once the Love era begins. Throwing him in a similar situation behind Frye should allow him to excel while mitigating his struggles defensively.
Backup Center: Kevin Garnett (No. 176 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.7 blocks, 13.3 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Kevin Garnett, superstar around whom you can build a championship contender, is cooked. That man is done and he's never coming back. Kevin Garnett, elite rim protector who can give 20 minutes of solid two-way play? That man is still alive and in full force. I'm pretty sure I did the Shmoney Dance when I realized he was available at No. 176.
Having Hibbert and Garnett on the same team gives the Pacers this league's best rim-protecting duo. Playing the pair together would be a spacing nightmare, but we don't really need to in this scenario. Frye and Thompson are two offense-first players who need help in the middle. Garnett and Hibbert were lost at times offensively last season, but they work their tails off defensively. I like this mix of frontcourt talent.
-Tyler Conway, Pacers Re-Draft GM
35 of 73
How Will the Pacers Play?
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images
Unfortunately, this team won't be winning any pageants for aesthetics. Very few of these players would be on an ideal incarnation of these Pacers in terms of my overall playing preference. But having the good fortune of landing Paul with the fifth overall pick left me with little choice other than to blend old-school mentalities with new-school analytics.
Any CP3-led team is going to base its offense on pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops. We're much more of the latter with the likes of Frye and Garnett on the team, which is just fine. Paul and David West terrorized opposing defenses for years in New Orleans. I look at Frye and envision him playing a modernized version of the role West employed in their heyday.
For all of the thrills of Lob City and their open-court excellence, Paul works just as well in a slowed-down attack. It's no secret that he sometimes gets himself into trouble by over-dribbling in crunch time, and I fear the roster construction may force him toward his worst impulses. It should be noted we're talking about Chris Paul's worst impulses here, which still tend to be pretty good.
Defensively, our style should be pretty straightforward. Tom Thibodeau developed his defensive system over more than a decade working under Van Gundy in New York and Houston. We'll implement many of the same principles. Hibbert and Garnett are both familiar with their responsibilities, and by dropping back on pick-and-rolls, their athletic shortcomings aren't as glaring.
I would be really surprised if this team didn't end up near or at the top of a theoretical defensive efficiency conversation. The offense might trend more toward the middle of the pack, which is why I attempted to add as many three-point shooters around the margins as possible. Having the likes of Chalmers, Fournier and Bogdanovic coming off the bench will be nice on a team that might need 10 points here or there from that unit.
Here's to hoping we can pretty up our offense to look at least a little better than the real-life Pacers.
-Tyler Conway, Pacers Re-Draft GM
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Los Angeles Clippers
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Marcus Smart, C.J. McCollum, Nate Wolters
Shooting guard: Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee
Small forward: Nicolas Batum, C.J. Miles
Power forward: Carmelo Anthony, Amir Johnson, Anthony Tolliver
Center: Andrew Bogut, Alex Len
Head Coach: Terry Stotts
Head Coach: Terry Stotts (No. 289 overall)
It's funny how quickly the things you prioritize can get thrown out the window in a draft. I strongly think that coaches impact the defensive end more than anything else, but here I am taking a guy who hasn't shown much on that side of the floor as a coach.
Terry Stotts does seem to be a perfect fit for this roster, though, and I needed a coach who could utilize Anthony properly at the 4. Stotts has built one of the league's best offenses with the Portland Trail Blazers and LaMarcus Aldridge, so that's the thought process behind taking him here.
Starting Point Guard: Marcus Smart (No. 132 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.9 steals, 0.6 blocks, 26.9 PER (for Oklahoma State Cowboys)
The theory was that waiting to draft a starting point guard last would work because it's the league's deepest position. Unfortunately, a few teams who went with two point guards in the backcourt screwed that up for me.
That's how Marcus Smart was selected here, but there's still a lot to like. Smart's defensive ability, size and rebounding can compensate for a lot of what Martin lacks on the wing, and the pressure to create offense will be alleviated elsewhere. I like the combination of a high floor and ceiling, and that's Smart.
Starting Shooting Guard: Kevin Martin (No. 109 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 16.3 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
I wish I had a mulligan on this one. While it was important to get some perimeter shooting at the 2, it would have been nice to get a player who could defend or create for others.
Even with that said, Kevin Martin can still score at a really efficient rate thanks to his ability to draw fouls and connect from deep at a high rate. It’s hard to dismiss about 21 points per 36 minutes on the wing these days, and that's what Martin provides.
Starting Small Forward: Nicolas Batum (No. 49 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks, 15.8 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Nicolas Batum does just about everything except score the ball at a prolific rate, but that's fine on a team with Carmelo Anthony. Batum's distributing ability (5.1 assists) and outside shooting make him an ideal point-forward type, and defensively, his length can make an impact in passing lanes and on the glass.
Batum can't typically be the second-best player on a title team, but with the re-draft distributing the wealth evenly around the league, his contributions across the board are welcome at this point.
Starting Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony (No. 12 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, 24.4 PER (for New York Knicks)
He's the perfect blend between a modern and traditional power forward. Anthony can space the floor with his three-point shooting, but he can also score and pass out of the post. He has a mismatch against virtually every defender, and his love for drawing contact makes him a much more efficient scorer than he gets credit for.
Anthony provides some challenges defensively, but it's rare you can build an entire offense around one player. Every great offense needs a guy who can make defenses collapse and scramble, and Anthony does that every time he touches the ball.
Starting Center: Andrew Bogut (No. 72 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.8 blocks, 17.0 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
Giving Anthony the defensive protection he needs was one of my highest priorities. Andrew Bogut certainly provides that, but what separates him from some of the other shot-blockers and glass-cleaners that went after him is his passing ability.
While he's not a scoring threat, Bogut gets plenty of offensive rebounds and is a slick interior passer. With the number of big men who could legitimately anchor a defense dwindling down, he's a good pick here. Bogut was fifth in the league in defensive real plus-minus. We'll take that.
Backup Point Guard: C.J. McCollum (No. 229 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.0 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
I'm a huge believer in C.J. McCollum's ability. He has the perfect profile to be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate soon, and his bench scoring could be a huge asset given the limitations of a few other players on my roster.
Whether he's creating his own shot or spotting up and spacing the floor, McCollum can be an integral part of a great offense.
Backup Point Guard: Nate Wolters (No. 349 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 12.7 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
This was a pretty uninspiring pick, but Wolters is a safe choice who can back up either guard position thanks to his size. If the scoring from his college days shines through, he could be a nice player one day.
Again, this wasn't flashy, but he at least fills a need.
Backup Shooting Guard: Courtney Lee (No. 192 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks, 13.8 PER (for Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies)
Courtney Lee is the three-and-D guy I was looking for at shooting guard, and moving Kevin Martin to a sixth man role to add Lee's defense to the starting lineup makes some sense based on matchups.
Lee is one of those guys who always seems to be underrated, despite being a 38 percent career three-point shooter and great on-ball defender. Any team with a star offensive talent who draws double-teams needs a guy like this.
Backup Small Forward: C.J. Miles (No. 252 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
I went with back-to-back C.J.s with McCollum and then Miles, and both guys are on board to provide perimeter scoring. Miles can heat up in a hurry, and you have to love the raw amount of threes he gets up (8.3 per 36 minutes the past two seasons).
Miles can play either wing spot rather easily, and he's another guy on this roster you just can't leave alone offensively.
Backup Power Forward: Amir Johnson (No. 169 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, 15.4 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
Amir Johnson's ability to play the 4 or 5 is an important asset as the first big man off the bench, and advanced stats love him. Johnson was 16th in the whole league in real plus-minus, so that alone probably justifies his selection in the sixth round.
It makes sense that good things happen when Johnson is on the floor because he's mobile and can do a little bit of everything on both ends. Getting another smart, versatile player was big here.
Backup Power Forward: Anthony Tolliver (No. 312 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.0 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
It's all about spacing the court here.
Anthony Tolliver might not be Channing Frye (though the Phoenix Suns in real life and the Clippers here are hoping he will be), but he can still knock down triples and make driving easier for the guards on this squad.
Backup Center: Alex Len (No. 373 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 7.3 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
Why not? I'm a fan of pulling a lottery ticket with the last pick (I took Giannis Antetokounmpo here last year), and Len seems to be the forgotten man from last year's draft class.
If he can get on the floor, perhaps he can provide some shot-blocking and offensive production that made him a top pick. He's worth the risk at this point.
-D.J. Foster, Clippers re-draft GM (Tolliver blurb provided by Fromal)
37 of 73
How Will the Clippers Play?
Steve Dykes/Associated Press
After taking Carmelo Anthony with my first pick, I was determined to build an impenetrable defense around him. The idea was that he'd carry the offense on his own, and the rest of the roster would handle everything else.
It's funny how plans can change once you're on the clock, though. In multiple scenarios, the allure of three-point shooting and scoring was too hard to pass on, and so after the first few picks, it became about building an elite offense instead.
At least in that regard, the Clippers should be just fine. Under Terry Stotts, this team should hoist up a ridiculous amount of threes and score at an efficient clip thanks to Anthony and Kevin Martin's ability to draw fouls and get to the line.
Aside from those two, this team is built around the little things, like Andrew Bogut's vicious on-ball screens and Nicolas Batum's floor vision. Putting established players who know their role around Anthony was considered crucial.
Defensively, Bogut has to be the anchor in the middle who can protect the rim and keep teams from getting extra chances. Even though guys like Martin and Anthony are clearly weak defenders, bench players like Courtney Lee and Amir Johnson will hopefully help in that regard.
The primary goal defensively is to chase shooters off the three-point line and force long twos, which is something Stotts had the Blazers do successfully last year. Marcus Smart should be able to turn ball-handlers over and make pick-and-roll defense a little easier for his big men with his strength and quickness.
The Clippers will look to maximize their three-point shooting advantage as much as humanly possible. Ideally, defenses will have to pick their poison between leaving perimeter shooters open or doubling Anthony. This should be an elite offense and a serviceable defense.
-D.J. Foster, Clippers re-draft GM
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Los Angeles Lakers
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Eric Bledsoe, Mo Williams, Toure' Murry
Shooting guard: Jimmy Butler, J.R. Smith
Small forward: Kawhi Leonard, Jeremy Lamb, Chris Douglas-Roberts
Power forward: Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly
Center: Derrick Favors, Trevor Booker
Head Coach: John Calipari
Head Coach: John Calipari (No. 331 overall)
It was only a matter of time until Coach Cal played his hand in the NBA again, and there's no better spot for him to return than with the Lakers family.
Coach Cal has a long history of successful working relationships with great players that extends beyond the hardwood, and he is the ideal candidate to build and lead the culture we're working toward installing in our team.
We have no doubts about Cal's ability to succeed with this group, and we're eager to get the season started under his leadership.
Starting Point Guard: Eric Bledsoe (No. 30 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 19.6 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
Eric Bledsoe is poised to take his game to the next level with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now that he has a team to call his own, Bledsoe will demonstrate what makes him a threat at both ends of the floor each night he steps on the court.
There is no doubt that Bledsoe's expanded role will make him a household name. He'll showcase his skills as one of the league's best point guards.
Starting Shooting Guard: Jimmy Butler (No. 91 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.5 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
If you're sensing a theme with these Lakers, you're perceptive: We're loading up on defense, and Butler is exactly the type of player we were hoping to pair with Kawhi Leonard.
Although Butler doesn't get the credit he should at the offensive end, his improving game will be a weapon on a team with this much talent. He is already one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league. Between Butler and Leonard, it's going to be tough to get anything going against our wings.
Starting Small Forward: Kawhi Leonard (No. 31 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.8 blocks, 19.4 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
Although Leonard might not get into his opponent's head with trash-talk while he's on the floor, he will take advantage of his weakness as soon as it's shown.
A smart, crafty and unique player, Leonard will be an asset on both ends for the Lakers, as his lockdown defense is welcomed on the perimeter and his blossoming offensive game will only continue to improve. Leonard's time to emerge as a star in this league is now.
Starting Power Forward: Julius Randle (No. 151 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, 24.5 PER (for Kentucky Wildcats)
Shocked that the future Rookie of the Year fell so far, the Lakers couldn't be happier to welcome Randle to his proper home with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Just 19 years old, Randle has a high ceiling and is already displaying flashes of his game that some talent evaluators said he simply didn't possess during his collegiate career. He will pair very nicely with Derrick Favors on the low block and should blossom into a critical offensive weapon for seasons to come.
Starting Center: Derrick Favors (No. 90 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.5 blocks, 19.0 PER (for Utah Jazz)
A consistently overlooked player, Favors is in prime position to show the league why he drew Dwight Howard comparisons when he was initially drafted.
Even though some would deem him undersized, Favors' best position is at center, where he's more than capable of holding his own. A defensive stalwart, Favors will anchor the Lakers defense while continuing to grow a rapidly improving offensive arsenal. Favors will shine brighter in Los Angeles than Dwight Howard ever did.
Backup Point Guard: Mo Williams (No. 211 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.8 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Mo was such a great value for us with the Lakers. With his experience and ability to play either on or off the ball, we're really fortunate that we can now present teams with unorthodox lineups that provide a challenge.
Williams' experience in the postseason as well as his ability to lead the second unit really appealed to us, and we felt that the value was simply too good to pass up.
Backup Point Guard: Toure' Murry (No. 390 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 11.1 PER (for New York Knicks)
Murry, a very underrated player, gives us a guard with great size and someone who is eager to prove himself in this league.
We're very much looking forward to having Murry on the team and are very excited about what he can potentially contribute in the future.
Backup Shooting Guard: J.R. Smith (No. 150 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.0 PER (for New York Knicks)
The Lakers needed to create an offensive weapon off the bench, and Smith fits that profile to a tee. A talented offensive player, Smith will provide our club with a dynamic threat in the second unit as our sixth man.
He'll give us something we simply didn't have prior to his selection, and we feel really good about having a scorer of Smith's caliber.
Backup Small Forward: Jeremy Lamb (No. 210 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 13.4 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Although Lamb's NBA career has gotten off to an up-and-down start, we feel strongly about his ability to contribute to our team and feel even better about his future with the Lakers.
A lengthy athlete capable of playing multiple positions, Lamb will provide depth in the backcourt as well as both forward spots. His three-point shooting and evolving offensive game will be weapons for him moving forward.
Backup Small Forward: Chris Douglas-Roberts (No. 330 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 12.2 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
Douglas-Roberts hasn't gotten a lot of opportunity to prove himself in the NBA, but that won't be the case now that he finds himself with the Lakers. CDR will be counted on to provide energy in the second unit, and there's a chance that he finds himself with a larger role if he can excel in a contained one.
Backup Power Forward: Ryan Kelly (No. 270 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, 12.6 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
After establishing himself as a legitimate floor-spacing forward in his rookie season, Kelly winds up right back where he's always belonged—with the Lakers.
Kelly, known primarily as a three-point shooter, will be eager to show the league that he's much more than that, and we are prepared to give him every opportunity to show why he should be a prominent piece of our rotation.
Backup Center: Trevor Booker (No. 271 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, 15.0 PER (for Washington Wizards)
One of the more undervalued big men in the league, Booker provides us with an excellent option off our bench and a very underrated defender underneath the basket.
With his physical style of play, Booker gives an element to our team that we didn't have before.
-Ethan Norof, Lakers re-draft GM
39 of 73
How Will the Lakers Play?
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Fast, intelligent and with strong effort on both sides of the basketball. The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a new era of hoop, and it won't be defined by anything from the Showtime era.
Defense will be something we emphasize every day we take the floor, whether it's in practice or in a game. We will not achieve our highest goals of winning a championship if we cannot commit to a strong effort on the defensive end.
Offensively, we'll be bolstered by the athletes on our team and their ability to penetrate toward the basket. We feel we have a great mix of young talent that will really disrupt defensive schemes that are thrown our way. However, it will be our level of defense that defines this team and elevates it to its fullest potential.
Coach Cal will demand that our team brings intensity and effort every single night. Anything less than that will be flatly unacceptable, and those who do not want to put forth their full effort on every play in every game and every practice will quickly find themselves with a major issue to address.
There's little doubt that this no-excuse mentality will help to build our team day by day.
-Ethan Norof, Lakers re-draft GM
40 of 73
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Deron Williams, Zach LaVine, Matthew Dellavedova
Shooting guard: Kobe Bryant, Gary Neal
Small forward: Terrence Ross, Caron Butler, Steve Novak
Power forward: Chris Bosh, David Lee
Center: Gorgui Dieng, Zaza Pachulia
Head Coach: Brett Brown
Head Coach: Brett Brown (No. 382 overall)
Grabbing a coach wasn't a top priority for these Grizzlies, but Brett Brown was a great option deep in the proceedings. After all, he seemed a great motivator during his first season with the Philadelphia 76ers, and it's hard to hold the extreme lack of talent against him.
Now, we'll get a chance to see what he can do with a much more potent squad.
Starting Point Guard: Deron Williams (No. 82 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 17.6 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Had I selected Deron Williams in the first two rounds, I might have been crazy. Once he slipped to Round 3, he became too good to pass up, especially because the drop-off in point guard talent after him was stark.
I decided early on to wait on a point guard since it is such a deep position, and I knew there would be a good value pick a few rounds deep. Williams will be coming off of two ankle surgeries, which will hopefully get him back to being more like his old self. There is no reason why he can’t get back to posting at least 18 points and eight assists a night with two good ankles.
He is only 30 and not far removed from being one of the two best point guards in basketball. He also has experience playing with other big stars. This was an easy selection for me.
Starting Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant (No. 22 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, 10.7 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Picking 22nd, it is unlikely to find a guy who can unquestionably lead you to a title. Kobe was a no-brainer at that slot because no one questions his competitive spirit. He has already won five rings and is surely seething at the chance to get at least one more now that he is going to be healthy.
Kobe clearly wasn't himself last season, although he only appeared in six games. There are a lot of miles on that body, but there aren't many players I feel more confident handing the leadership role of my team over to. The risk was definitely worth it as a late first-round pick. Memphis is banking on him still having at least one good year left to destroy opposing shooting guards on both ends of the court.
Starting Small Forward: Terrence Ross (No. 142 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 12.0 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
Ross made some strides in his second season north of the border, highlighted by a ridiculous 51-point performance. His addition gave me a third player with a 50-point explosion under his belt in addition to Williams and Kobe.
My thought process was that I needed some outside shooting and some athleticism, both of which Ross is more than capable of. He hit 40 percent from three last season and is a former dunk contest winner. Playing in a starting lineup with such veteran leadership should get the most out of him. Kobe will teach the kid a thing or two.
Starting Power Forward: Chris Bosh (No. 39 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, 19.0 PER (for Miami Heat)
Bosh has proven over his Miami Heat tenure that he can and will do anything to help his team to a title. On this roster, he will be asked to do similar things.
His long body and ability to stretch the floor from his position were invaluable to Miami's roster the past four seasons. As a defender and high-efficiency scorer, Bosh was too good to pass up in Round 2. The playoff experience also went along with what I was trying to build.
He got two rings next to LeBron; now it is time to go get one with Kobe.
Starting Center: Gorgui Dieng (No. 159 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Those numbers simply do not tell the whole story with this big fella.
Dieng was trapped in Rick Adelman's infamous purgatory that he has locked all young players in throughout his coaching career. Once Nikola Pekovic went down, Dieng made a loud statement, winning the Rookie of the Month Award. He averaged 12.2 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.6 assists in 15 games as a starter.
Alongside Bosh, this should be one of the league's best interior defenses. Both have great instincts and are extremely active on both ends. Dieng is also versatile enough to thrive in the half court while still being able to run the floor, playing right into what ideally will be a well-balanced team.
Backup Point Guard: Zach LaVine (No. 262 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks. 14.6 PER (for UCLA Bruins)
What better guy to select when looking for some athleticism and upside? LaVine should latch onto Kobe like a tick and learn everything he can from him from day one.
LaVine was the most athletic player in the 2014 draft and will have very little pressure on him. All this team will ask of him is that he provides great energy off the bench in the form of fast-break dunks and open threes. This was a nice value pick in Round 9.
Backup Point Guard: Matthew Dellavedova (No. 322 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.7 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
Dellavedova was a pleasant surprise last year for Cleveland as an undrafted rookie. He is the ultimate pest of a backup point guard and will give this squad a perfect, unselfish team player off the bench
Delly will be playing some solid minutes to keep Williams healthy and should become a favorite of Kobe’s quite fast due to his tenacity. He is just the type of guy a winning team needs off the bench.
Backup Shooting Guard: Gary Neal (No. 219 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.0 blocks, 12.5 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats)
Getting another guy with NBA Finals experience who has a career success rate of 39 percent from three-point range was an easy decision.
Neal will be a great shooting option off the bench who can fit right in alongside the bigger names on this roster. Guys who shoot 47 percent from three in an NBA Finals don't grow on trees, and that is exactly what Neal did in 2012-13. You can never have enough shooting in this league.
Backup Small Forward: Caron Butler (No. 202 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 12.2 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder)
Butler has 65 games of playoff experience and an NBA championship. He also shot 39 percent from downtown last season. Notice a theme here? Memphis loves it some shooters.
Butler is understandably not the player he once was, but he is more than capable of being a key cog off the bench for a title contender. He shot 44 percent from three with OKC last season, as opposed to 36 percent with Milwaukee. This is a guy who thrives on the big stage and knows how to get it done on both ends of the floor.
Backup Small Forward: Steve Novak (No. 339 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.1 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
For my last player pick, I decided, why not take another shooter?
Novak does little else, and he certainly got lost on Toronto's bench last season. That was not enough to make me ignore his 43 percent career success rate from long range. I envision him as more of the New York Knicks version of himself on this roster. He will not play huge minutes, but his ability to come in and light it up for a few minutes will provide a huge boost.
Backup Power Forward: David Lee (No. 99 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 19.1 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
I went back and forth with this pick before ultimately deciding that David Lee would make an exceptional choice for Sixth Man of the Year.
Since we will be able use Bosh at center for heavy minutes, Lee will see more than enough playing time. He was the highest scorer last season out of all the players I drafted, and he will be a perfect complementary piece on this roster without sacrificing any of his effectiveness. He is also used to playing with other high-volume scorers, so it should be smooth sailing alongside Kobe, Bosh and Williams.
Lee is an incredible passer who will allow this team to play some ridiculous half-court basketball while he is sharing the court with the three aforementioned guys. He also had a defensive rating last season of 103, the fourth consecutive year he has improved in that department. His versatility allows this team to have some real fun, and he is an incredible guy to be able to bring off the bench.
Backup Center: Zaza Pachulia (No. 279 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
Pachulia is not much of a rim protector, but that is what Bosh and Dieng are for. He will not see a ton of minutes with Lee being the first big man off the bench, but Pachulia is still a very talented big who can hit the glass and move the rock.
Frankly, there weren’t a ton of backup center options late in the draft. I went with another proven veteran who fits right into the makeup of this team. He loves to mix it up and will always be a fan favorite, just what the Grizz need.
-Justin Hussong, Grizzlies re-draft GM (Brown blurb provided by Fromal)
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How Will the Grizz Play?
David Zalubowski/Associated Press
The Grizzlies have been constructed to win games against any style of team, but this squad's calling card will be as a gritty, playoff-proven bunch, just like the real Grizzlies.
Kobe, Williams, Bosh and Lee at the core of this roster give the team a tenacious veteran mentality that will rub off on the young guys. All four are more than capable of still dominating at this level, and each has experience playing with fellow superstars.
It was a point of emphasis to grab some young athleticism to fill out the roster, as well as some strong outside shooters. LaVine and Ross will be feisty on the perimeter and will get out on the break every chance they get. It was also important to surround the stars with some strong outside shooters. Neal, Butler and Novak all shot over 39 percent from deep last year.
Down low, Lee and Bosh will be able to stretch the floor offensively while the latter continues to be one of the best interior defensive big men in basketball. Dieng will also see big minutes and give the squad a legitimate shot-blocker.
This team will play a unique style that emphasizes an extremely unselfish offensive attack in the half court. Every player besides Pachulia can extend the floor with jumpers. The offense will not run entirely through Kobe, although having him and D-Will healthy gives us two veteran bullies in the backcourt.
Rebounding may be a slight issue from time to time, but frontcourt depth was not a huge concern given the fact that Lee will be seeing huge minutes as a sixth man. Dieng and Bosh will see almost all minutes at center, and the three are all versatile enough to defend the paint and stretch the floor. Their ability to open up the paint and pass the ball is the icing on the cake for this offense.
This team is orchestrated to obliterate half-court defenses but still get out in the open court and rain transition threes and a loud dunk or two from the young athletes. The bench is loaded with shooters, and the frontcourt is highly versatile. The one weakness may be perimeter defense due to a lack of a single lockdown defender, but all that could change with Kobe’s health.
Most of all, this team is built to win a title right now. Every player on this roster with more than two years of NBA experience has been at least to the second round of the playoffs. Combined, this roster has nine NBA titles.
-Justin Hussong, Grizzlies re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Tony Parker, Steve Blake
Shooting guard: Lou Williams, Maurice Harkless
Small forward: Tyreke Evans, James Johnson, Alan Anderson
Power forward: Ryan Anderson, Jonas Jerebko
Center: DeAndre Jordan, Timofey Mozgov, Robert Sacre
Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra (No. 146 overall)
It’s only fitting that the fake Miami Heat would be led by the actual Miami Heat's head coach.
It helps, too, that Erik Spoelstra just so happens to be one of the sharpest, most adaptable basketball minds around. He played a pivotal part in fashioning the "small ball" offense and aggressive, trapping defense that fully activated LeBron James' prodigious talents and turned the Heat into two-time champs.
Spoelstra wouldn't necessarily run the same system with these Heat, though it's clear that he's got the goods upstairs to make the most of whatever roster he’s handed.
Starting Point Guard: Tony Parker (No. 26 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 18.9 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
The NBA is a pick-and-roll league these days, with point guards pushing basketball's pet set to the forefront. Few have done more to spur on that evolution than Tony Parker.
The six-time All-Star has been the focal point of the San Antonio Spurs' offense for the better part of the last decade. Not surprisingly, that shift away from Tim Duncan's low-post prowess has coincided with San Antonio's rise as a point-scoring powerhouse and, over the last two seasons, return to the top of the NBA.
Who better, then, with whom to start a new squad on South Beach than Parker?
Starting Shooting Guard: Lou Williams (No. 155 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.2 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
Lou Williams isn't quite the substitute scoring machine he was prior to his ACL tear, but next to Tony Parker, he wouldn't have to be. Williams' on-ball creativity could come in handy when Parker needs to rest, though it's his ability to hit shots from all over the floor that'll keep him in the starting lineup.
Granted, Williams isn't much of a defender, due in part to his relatively slight frame (6'2", 175 pounds). But his offensive contributions should suffice, especially if Spo makes use of his combo-guard skills in a role as a destitute man's Dwyane Wade.
Starting Small Forward: Tyreke Evans (No. 95 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.4 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
At first glance, Tyreke Evans would seem to have had an abysmal 2013-14 season. He posted career-lows in points (14.5) and minutes (28.2) while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 22.1 percent from three.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you'll see that 'Reke stood out when slotted into the starting five. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Evans averaged 19.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field in his 22 starts with the New Orleans Pelicans. Numbers like that should be enough to justify a starting spot on the wing in Miami.
Starting Power Forward: Ryan Anderson (No. 86 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.8 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
The rise of the pick-and-roll in the NBA has gone hand-in-hand with that of the "stretch 4." Dirk Nowitzki aside, Ryan Anderson may well be the best of the bunch. He posted career-highs in points (19.8) and three-point percentage (40.9) this past season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The only drawback? He missed 60 games due to a debilitating neck injury. If he's healthy, though, the new-look Heat, with Parker and Jordan at the fore, will be an absolute terror on the offensive end, with Anderson pouring in shots from beyond the arc.
Starting Center: DeAndre Jordan (No. 35 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.5 blocks, 18.2 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
Behind every great pick-and-roll point guard is a mobile big man who can set jarring screens and turn pinpoint passes into fantastic finishes. DeAndre Jordan certainly fits that particular bill.
Jordan led the league in field-goal percentage (67.6) last season with the Los Angeles Clippers. That included a startling 69.6 percent as the roll man in pick-and-roll situations, per Synergy Sports.
Granted, when you're seven feet tall, can jump out of the gym and get more than 93 percent (481 out of 515) of your looks within five feet, you should probably be converting at as prodigious a rate as does Jordan. But the fact that he's such a terror up front, on both ends of the floor, is no less impressive or important to a team's cause.
Backup Point Guard: Steve Blake (No. 266 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.0 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors)
You can never have too many guys who can man either backcourt spot, especially when your starters (i.e. Parker and Williams) are perennially prone to injury.
Granted, Steve Blake is no picture of health himself. He hasn't so much as approached a full season of play since 2010-11, and, at 34, he's unlikely to reverse that trend going forward.
Still, it never hurts to have a veteran who can run the point and shoot threes (38.8 percent for his career) if need be.
Backup Shooting Guard: Maurice Harkless (No. 275 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, 11.8 PER (for Orlando Magic)
The upside of this Heat squad is Maurice Harkless' to wield. The 21-year-old Queens native saw his playing time and productivity slip slightly in Year 2 with the Orlando Magic, even as his three-point accuracy soared to 38.3 percent.
In Miami, Harkless wouldn't have to worry about being buried behind the likes of Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Nicholson. Instead, he'd get every opportunity to let his length and athleticism speak for itself, especially as an all-court threat in Spo's trapping defense.
Backup Small Forward: James Johnson (No. 206 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.1 blocks, 18.5 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
James Johnson is just the sort of jack-of-all-trades that these Heat need. He's got the size (6'9", 245 pounds), athleticism and feistiness to defend multiple positions and create scoring opportunities on the offensive end.
As it happens, Johnson's latest stint with the Memphis Grizzlies was probably his finest yet in the NBA. His counting stats (7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.1 blocks in 18.4 minutes) might not blow anyone away, but it's no easy feat for a sub to post an above-average PER of 18.5 like Johnson did. That speaks to his ability to impact the game in multiple ways—especially those that his team might need at any given moment.
Backup Small Forward: Alan Anderson (No. 335 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.5 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
If shooting and versatility are the names of the game, Alan Anderson should prove a worthy pickup for the end of the bench.
The Michigan State alum played a pivotal part in the Brooklyn Nets' success against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of last year's playoffs. He started in place of the shot-challenged Shaun Livingston in Games 6 and 7 of that series, both of which Brooklyn won on the way to the second round.
In truth, Anderson's hardly a marksman, having hit 34.5 percent of his three-pointers in the NBA. But the mere threat of him doing so, along with his defensive toughness, makes him an asset on the end of the bench.
Backup Power Forward: Jonas Jerebko (No. 326 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.4 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Like Harkless, Jonas Jerebko saw his playing time dip just as his three-point shot was soaring. The Swedish forward shot a sizzling 41.9 percent from downtown last season but garnered a paltry 11.6 minutes per game last season.
Perhaps a change of scenery and role in Miami will be enough to get Jerebko back on track. He's only 27, which means he should have plenty of prime left in his future.
Backup Center: Timofey Mozgov (No. 215 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.2 blocks, 16.7 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
After three seasons spent scrounging for minutes, Timofey Mozgov finally got to play regularly in 2013-14 and made the most his new-found opportunity. The Russian big man averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 21.6 minutes, with a 20-rebound game against the Brooklyn Nets and a 29-rebound performance against the Golden State Warriors (i.e. the NBA's best boarding team) to boot.
Mozgov would be hard-pressed to surpass DeAndre Jordan on Miami's depth chart, but should have little trouble starting in a pinch if need be. As it stands, he'd probably be the best backup center in the league.
Backup Center: Robert Sacre (No. 386 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.7 blocks, 12.1 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
No team would be complete without a capable cheerleader. To that end, Robert Sacre might be the steal of the draft…
OK, so maybe that's overselling Sacre's value somewhat. Still, there's no denying Sacre’s brilliance as a dancing fiend—even more so when considering his influences.
"I learned a little bit from Yosemite Sam," Sacre told The Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch back in January 2013. "He had those guns shooting up in the air, but other than that, really I just freestyle and go with it and get super excited when they make a great play."
Hopefully, the Heat will have many a play about which Sacre can and will get "super excited."
-Josh Martin, Heat Re-Draft GM
43 of 73
How Will the Heat Play?
Darren Abate/Associated Press
By and large, the Heat will be tailoring their style of play to the trends that have come to dominate the NBA.
Offensively, Miami has the personnel to be a dominant spread pick-and-roll outfit. Tony Parker, Lou Williams, Steve Blake and Tyreke Evans are all eminently capable of handling the ball and making decisions on the fly in the NBA's pet set. DeAndre Jordan and Timofey Mozgov have the hands and the mobility to catch in traffic and finish with authority.
This arrangement wouldn't work quite so well, though, without a veritable army of shooters with which to surround the central pick-and-roll. Ryan Anderson, Blake, Maurice Harkless, Jonas Jerebko and Alan Anderson can all command varying degrees of attention for their three-point prowess. That extra bit of space is so often crucial when attempting to open up lanes for a team's penetrators and finishers to get to the rim.
Defensively, the Heat would organize their efforts around Jordan's superb rim protection. Last season, the 26-year-old led the league in rebounding (13.6) and finished third in blocks (2.5) while demonstrating an approach to and understanding of defense that was at once more measured and more menacing.
Having Parker around to pick the pockets of opposing point guards will help. So, too, will the toughness of Blake, the athleticism on the wing of Harkless and the sheer space eating that Mozgov brings to the table on a nightly basis. But the success (or failure) of the Heat's defense will rest squarely on Jordan's young, leaping shoulders.
-Josh Martin, Heat Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Will Bynum
Shooting guard: Danny Green, O.J. Mayo
Small forward: Corey Brewer, Brandon Rush, Dorell Wright
Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Andersen
Center: Robin Lopez, Drew Gooden
Head Coach: Larry Brown
Head Coach: Larry Brown (No. 321 overall)
Here's the great thing about Larry Brown: He can really coach defense, he can coach a good deal of offense, and he knows exactly how to handle difficult players.
In his NBA coaching career, Brown's teams on average rank 10th in defensive efficiency. Five of his teams in the 25 seasons he coached between 1977 and 2010 finished ranked No. 1 defensively, 16 were in the top 10 and 22 were in the top half of the league. And don't worry about Brandon Jennings running amok under Brown. If he could handle Allen Iverson, Jennings won't even be a blip on his radar.
Starting Point Guard: Ty Lawson (No. 40 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 19.0 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Ty Lawson is arguably the perfect point guard in that he is an excellent scorer but an even better distributor. Lawson can be your go-to scorer when necessary but isn't selfish enough to demand that role.
In 2013-14, even with a depleted Nuggets roster to pass to, Lawson upped his assists per game to a career high 8.8, up from 6.9 the year before and good enough for second in the entire NBA. Meanwhile he posted an assist-to-turnover ratio better than highly-touted passers including Stephen Curry, John Wall and Ricky Rubio. At 5'11", Lawson is a threat from distance and can even penetrate handily enough to draw defenders away from spot-up shooters.
Starting Shooting Guard: Danny Green (No. 100 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.9 blocks, 13.9 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
You want a starting wing who can play defense and bury the three? Try Danny Green on for size.
In 2013-14, 156 guards and forwards played over 24 minutes per game. Of those 156, only three shot a higher three-point percentage than Green's 41.5 percent, and just five finished with a defensive rating better than Green's 101. But Green was the only one to do both so effectively. Of that pool of 156 players, only Green shot the three ball at over 38 percent and posted a defensive rating better than 103.
The 3-and-D man is all the rage, and Danny Green is the cream of the crop.
Starting Small Forward: Corey Brewer (No. 141 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.7 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Corey Brewer has matured into a player who knows how to thrive within his limitations. He's an above average athlete who excels with space to work inside the three-point line.
His career best 48.1 field-goal percentage last year will stay consistent as he continues to move away from his three-point shot and focus on his real offensive strengths. As his discipline continues to develop, so too will his defensive prowess. Already a pesky defender often tasked with defending opposing teams' best scorers, Brewer can prove that he really is as good as his fourth-in-the-league 1.9 steals per game, and that the stat is not just a product of his propensity to gamble on defense.
Starting Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki (No. 21 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 21.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks, 23.6 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
There was no easier pick in the entire draft for me than taking Dirk Nowitzki at 21. The future Hall of Famer is in some ways (shooting) getting better with age and in most ways staying near his elite career averages.
Nowitzki played arguably his best basketball in six years last season, finishing a waning crescent from a second 54/40/90 season. If he could do it at 35, he can do it at 36. We've seen Dirk win a ring with a mediocre supporting cast. Imagine what he could do with the stellar team I'm drafting around him.
Starting Center: Robin Lopez (No. 81 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.7 blocks, 17.7 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Robin Lopez is capable of everything a starting center should be and is excellent in a couple areas that make a big difference.
Lopez is elite on the offensive glass. He pulled down four per game last season, accounting for nearly half of his rebounds. He trailed only DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond in total offensive rebounds for centers, which is an astounding feat given he possesses nowhere near the athleticism of those two. He was also third in offensive rebounding percentage among starting centers behind Drummond and Samuel Dalembert.
His other forte is free-throw shooting, where he delivered nearly 82 percent of his attempts in 2013-2014, best among all starting centers by a wide margin.
Backup Point Guard: Brandon Jennings (No. 160 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.6 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
On his best days, Brandon Jennings is an electric scorer and efficient playmaker.
His shooting percentage is nothing to write home about, but he's an underrated passer who can take care of the ball. In the entire NBA last season, only Jennings and Chris Paul totaled over 590 assists and under 220 turnovers.
Coming off the bench in his return to the Bucks, Jennings will be able to facilitate offense and even play off the ball. Having a top-tier point guard to set Jennings up in his best spots, rather than forcing Jennings to create his own shot, will allow him to increase his offensive efficiency to career-high levels.
Backup Point Guard: Will Bynum (No. 381 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.4 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Will Bynum is not Andrew Bynum, which, for the first time in his career, is a good thing. He's a solid veteran backup point guard who could probably stand up to Shaq in a fight. What more could you want with the 381st pick in the draft?
Backup Shooting Guard: O.J. Mayo (No. 201 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.2 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
Here's a reclamation project I'm willing to take a risk on. O.J. Mayo was heralded as the next big thing in high school and college for a reason.
Don't forget that Mayo scored 18.5 points per game his rookie season and has shot threes at a 38 percent clip his entire career. If all you want is scoring off the bench, Mayo can give it to you in multiple ways. With a little fine-tuning, Mayo can use his full offensive arsenal—spotting up from deep, slashing with and without the ball and finding his way to the free-throw line (where last year he buried 86.4 percent of his attempts). When that happens, Mayo becomes a player who defenses can't ignore.
Backup Small Forward: Brandon Rush (No. 261 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.1 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 4.1 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
This is the steal of the draft.
Last time Rush was healthy, he was easily one of the Warriors' most important pieces on offense as well as defense, and he did it in a bench role. That year, he was the only player in the entire NBA to shoot over 50 percent from the field and over 45 percent from three. In the entire history of the NBA, only 15 guys have ever matched that level of shooting in a single season while playing at least 58 games and attempting at least 85 threes.
But it's not all about offense for Rush. It's not rare to see him come from the weak side to block a taller guy's shot or pick his man's pocket and go the other way for an easy dunk.
Backup Small Forward: Dorell Wright (No. 340 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.9 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
We've seen Dorell Wright hit 194 threes in a single season. We've seen over and over that he has the best pump fake in the league. He's a max-effort guy on defense who will fit right in with Larry Brown's hard-work system, and best of all, he's suited for any role you give him.
Wright isn't the type of guy who demands a certain amount of minutes. Given a starter's role, he can put up 16 points, five rebounds and a couple assists. But scale him back to a bench role, and you know he's still good to give you a shot from deep, good defensive effort and short stretches covering the opposing team's best scorer.
Backup Power Forward: Chris Andersen (No. 220 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks, 18.5 PER (for Miami Heat)
Here's your quintessential energy guy. Even at 35 years old last season, Andersen's per-36 numbers were that of a respectable starting center, and he shot a career-best 64.4 percent from the field.
Birdman is still reliable and agile enough to enter the game, block a couple shots, slip around defenders for a dunk or two and amp the crowd on a nightly basis. For short spurts, there's not much drop off from Robin Lopez when Andersen subs in for 15 minutes per game.
Backup Center: Drew Gooden (No. 280 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.4 PER (for Washington Wizards)
In Drew Gooden's 12 NBA seasons, only twice has he posted a PER under the league average. Once was in a season in which he played just 16 games, and the other was a decent year split between Cleveland and Chicago. But in limited time last season, he proved he's still Drew Gooden, dropping a PER of 18.4 (near his career best) and an offensive rating of 117, good enough for ninth among centers.
In a 14-game stretch to end the season last year, Gooden was arguably the Wizards' most important piece off the bench, helping them solidify a playoff spot. In that span, he averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game on 58.5 percent shooting. He can do many things well enough to play real backup minutes for years to come.
-Jacob Bourne, Bucks Re-Draft GM
45 of 73
How Will the Bucks Play?
Chuck Burton/Associated Press
This Bucks team is designed to operate at multiple paces, and Larry Brown is a coach who can get the most out of his team either pushing the ball or slowing it down.
Dirk will be the primary scoring option, especially in the half court where he excels from every distance. Ty Lawson is the perfect complement to this offense. When the pace slows, he keeps defenders close with his ability to shoot from deep, but also penetrates to draw the defense away from Danny Green and Nowitzki, waiting to score from the perimeter. Robin Lopez clogs the middle and uses his near-league-best offensive rebounding skills to clean up any rare misfires from Milwaukee's sharpshooters.
Corey Brewer is an ideal cog in an uptempo system. His swarming defense and ability to cause turnovers pair perfectly with his skillful slashing in the open court and finishing in traffic.
On those rare occasions that ball handlers do get past Brewer and the even better defenseman Green, they'll have a hell of a time trying to finish over Robin Lopez lurking down low. With above-average defenders on the bench as well in Brandon Rush, Dorell Wright and Chris Andersen, the Bucks defense will have few holes. Add in the fact that Brown can coach defense as well as anyone (six of his 25 teams from 1977-2010 finished ranked No. 1 overall in defensive efficiency) and you've got an elite Milwaukee D on your hands.
The Bucks' scoring punch is strong off the bench. Brandon Jennings will have his most efficient and focused year of his career as the sixth man, playing both the 1 in the second unit and logging minutes at the 2 alongside Lawson in one of the league's quickest backcourts. O.J. Mayo, Rush and Wright fill the backup 2 and 3 spots with Wright even stretching to the 4 when the lineup goes small.
Drew Gooden and Birdman will platoon as backup bigs providing mostly offense and defense, respectively. Will Bynum...well he's the cheerleader/water boy, but just in case Jennings can't be tamed one night, Bynum will be there to right the ship off the bench.
Good luck finding a category that these Bucks aren't at least solid in. The Bradley Center is about to see more sellouts than it has in a decade.
-Jacob Bourne, Bucks Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Greivis Vasquez, Reggie Jackson, Alexey Shved
Shooting guard: Bradley Beal, Troy Daniels
Small forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tony Snell, Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Power forward: Andrei Kirilenko, Kelly Olynyk
Center: Nikola Pekovic, Aron Baynes
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich (No. 20 overall)
Taking a coach a full round earlier than I figured anyone else might would normally be a risk. But Gregg Popovich was the one leader I could count on to inflate the impact of any future players I selected (sorry, Thibs, Doc and Carlisle). His unselfish offense, attention to detail on defense and overall adjustment ability would overcome my team's guaranteed lack of star power.
However, the next challenge would be finding the right personalities and diversity of skill sets to fit within his system. I would need shooters, willing passers and a noticeable international contingent to make this work. Still, just having Pop in charge made me confident that my crew would be a playoff team at worst and a dark-horse contender at best.
Starting Point Guard: Greivis Vasquez (No. 161 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.1 PER (for Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors)
I had to reselect Greivis Vasquez here due to his leadership and facilitating abilities. As happened last season, he'll be my starter, even though I drafted Reggie Jackson before him. Vasquez is a huge point guard at 6'6", and while he's a slow-footed defender, that length will pair nicely with a slightly undersized Bradley Beal. We'll have enough plus stoppers elsewhere to compensate.
My team will not have a lot of guys who create for themselves off the dribble (what Pop crew does?), especially in the starting lineup, so Vazquez' superb table-setting skills are a must. He can see over the defense and isn't afraid to make big shots (even if he's an average shooter overall). He'll split point guard minutes evenly with Jackson and may not finish games, but he's a pro and will make everyone around him look better on offense.
Starting Shooting Guard: Bradley Beal (No. 41 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.3 PER (for Washington Wizards)
By this point, the "sure-thing" stars were off the board. I needed a multi-dimensional scorer who could stretch the floor in Popovich's offense. Young legs and coachable upside were also must-haves, so Bradley Beal fit the bill. We can run much of our movement around him without actually asking him to carry the whole offense.
He’s improved greatly with the ball in his hands, and his shooting range will keep defenses honest even as they worry about him in transition or on the deck. He's a little undersized defensively, but we'll hedge against that elsewhere. He just needs to score 20 points per game and be our lead shooter. His late and post-season stats from last year indicate he ready for that and more.
Starting Small Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 140 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 10.8 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
This is our version of Kawhi Leonard. While he's tabbed to be our starting small forward, expect to also see him as a 4 in fast lineups while routinely guarding positions 1 through 4. When I drafted Pekovic, I knew I would need some length, athleticism and shot-blocking around him. Giannis Antetokounmpo is just that. He's already jumped the NBA learning curve so fast, I can't wait to see what he'll do under Popovich's care.
His shooting isn't at Leonard's level yet, but there's a good foundation to build on. (Remember that Pop had to coach up Kawhi there too.) And if he truly is 6'10" and still growing, we'll have the most awkwardly athletic, yet devastating defensive demolition man since young Andrei Kirilenko and Shawn Marion roamed the earth. Picture him, Reggie Jackson and Bradley Beal in the open floor, and try not to smile (or soil yourself in terror).
Starting Power Forward: Andrei Kirilenko (No. 200 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.4 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Why only have the young, Greek-Freak version of Andrei Kirilenko when you can also have AK-47 himself? He may not be the high-flying, stat-stuffing weapon of yesteryear, but Kirilenko still has those incredibly long arms, a knack for cutting back door, a savvy passing ability and a respectable jumper. Last season's underwhelming stint was due to health and inconsistent minutes, not a fully eroded skill set.
The slower, more ground-bound version of AK-47 isn't a small forward anymore, but rather a stellar "fast 4" in this starting lineup, a fantastic veteran glue guy for Pop and a great skill set fit up front next to Pekovic and Antetokounmpo. We won't play him heavy minutes, and he'll be the fifth option in the lead unit, but that's perfect for Kirilenko at this point in his career.
Starting Center: Nikola Pekovic (No. 80 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, 20.7 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Everyone knows him as the "big scary guy" in the post, but he’s also incredibly nimble-of-foot and a much better runner, cutter and roller than people realize. We needed a low-block scorer, someone to draw defenses and create shooting room. Pekovic not only does that and puts up 17-18 points per game, but he's hovered around nine rebounds per contest the last couple seasons as well.
Pek can't play above the rim on either end though, while occasionally struggling against those that do. So we'll need some front-line athleticism and rim protection later on. He's also a bit of a health risk, as his bully-ball style creates a lot of collateral damage to himself and the opposition. I'll take the good with the bad; he’s solid enough as a one-on-one defender, is a positive locker room guy and an unstoppable force in the paint when we need it.
Backup Point Guard: Reggie Jackson (No. 101 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.4 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Though originally selected to be Bradley Beal's starting backcourt mate, I eventually returned Reggie Jackson to his more natural sixth-man spot. Is this too early a pick for that position? Not at all. Reggie will play starter's minutes and lead the second-unit scoring attack while slotting time at both guard spots. He'll likely finish games next to Beal anyway.
His long arms, speed and driving ability pair exceptionally well with Beal, and he'll fill the "Manu Mode" role as our offensive wild card. While he may not have Ginobili's shooting touch or overall creativity, he's faster, stronger and a much more pesky defender for Popovich to utilize. Plus, he can create his own shot in transition or off the drive, something my roster lacks otherwise. Selected to the same role last year, it says how much I value Jackson that I would nab him a full two rounds earlier this time.
Backup Point Guard: Alexey Shved (No. 380 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 10.2 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
He never would have been selected here had it not been for fellow Russian Andrei Kirilenko's presence on the roster. Sans his comrade, Alexey Shved's confidence cratered last year when his minutes and role got yanked around. His international shooting ability hasn't translated during his two NBA seasons either. However, two years ago, when AK-47 and Shved were on the same team, those two had some crazy-good chemistry on pick-and-rolls, back-door lobs and defensive switches.
Maybe Pop can help the reclamation process too. Alexey is 6'6", can fill either guard spot for short stints and is a fine playmaker when the ball is in his hands. We'll hope he shakes out of his stateside shooting slump while logging occasional minutes in Kirilenko lineups.
Backup Shooting Guard: Troy Daniels (No. 281 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 0.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Houston Rockets)
With a lot of solid and/or improving three-point shooters, I otherwise lacked another true specialist besides Bradley Beal. Since floor-stretching is so important for Gregg Popovich's teams, it was time to find our version of Danny Green here. Troy Daniels burst out of the D-League (after a truly prolific shooting stretch there) and into the Houston Rockets' playoff lineup last season, knocking down quality and quantity shots all along the way.
Like Green, there will be initial questions about whether Daniels is a one-trick pony who's just on a hot streak. But shooting translates, and Troy has the knack. He's a non-entity on defense, though, so that will require the right wingmen alongside him. There will be meaningful minutes for him as long as that sweet stroke keeps on.
Backup Small Forward: Tony Snell (No. 260 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 8.0 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
Length, athleticism, defensive prowess and range. I needed a classic "3 and D" guy here, especially since Antetokounmpo would see a lot of time at the 4 when not manning the small forward spot. Tony Snell struggled under Tom Thibodeau during his rookie season, but who doesn't? He was stellar in Summer League as a two-way player, and his shooting ability appears to be on the up in a big way.
He'll have to grow up fast as a player, but I see a guy who could fill the Bruce Bowen role for this team as another (badly needed) plus-defender. If he can finish in transition and knock down some outside shots like he did in college and during this summer, then he'll be valuable in any combination of lineups we trot out.
Backup Small Forward: Thanasis Antetokounmpo (No. 341 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.3 blocks, 13.2 PER (for Delaware 87ers)
Was I simply intrigued (nay, obsessed) with pairing "Antetokounmpo the Elder" with "Antetokounmpo the Greater"? Perhaps I was. Yet, this wasn't just a gimmick either. Thanasis showed some defensive chops in the D-League last season, and he's another ball of clay for Popovich to truly mold.
The older bro's shooting ability isn't there yet, but today's NBA requires good rosters to have a full menu of defensive wings. Thanasis will be brought along slowly, but he could see a few of Snell's minutes every now and then, especially if he has any "brother-to-brother" chemistry with Giannis. For now, he's just a fun double-take when viewing our box scores.
Backup Power Forward: Kelly Olynyk (No. 221 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 15.2 PER (for Boston Celtics)
The bench needed to add shooters and some speed. I also needed a pick-and-pop guy on the roster who could play either spot up front. Kelly Olynyk fit the bill, so I was excited that he was still available. Once the light bulb went on during his rookie season last year, Olynyk showed the versatility and range that had scouts previously drooling over the seven-footer.
He'll get plenty of burn, splitting backup minutes at the four with Greek Freak and taking the bulk of the reserve time at center behind Pekovic. We'll need to hide him defensively, but his height is very helpful, and it's the offensive end where he'll do his damage. Can he be the more athletic, better passing version of "stretch 5" Spencer Hawes? I'm incredibly confident that he will.
Backup Center: Aron Baynes (No. 320 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.7 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
I needed another dose of size, especially since every other frontcourt player besides Pekovic lacked real bulk. Fewer and fewer NBA teams will exploit that anymore, but there are still a few out there. However, I didn't just want any other bruiser. I wanted a guy who understood Pop's system, played with a high motor and a higher I.Q. Aron Baynes is that insurance policy.
Baynes may not be anything more than a garbage-time face to Spurs fans and a championship footnote to everyone else, but I've consistently watched a guy who could own a bigger role. He crashes the glass hard, plays great "straight-up" defense and has some finishing ability. Olynyk will take most of the minutes behind Pekovic, but where more size and defense are needed, I'm confident giving Baynes some run.
-Joel Cordes, Timberwolves Re-Draft GM
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How Will the 'Wolves Play?
Eric Gay/Associated Press
Bradley Beal and Nikola Pekovic will carry our starting lineup's offense, and that would be a problem for those two near-stars on nearly any other team. But this is a Gregg Popovich outfit, and we're going to surround Beal and Pek with the complementary depth, passing ability and defensive coverage to really make them shine.
Grevis Vasquez is the table-setter the starting unit needs and the big guard Beal would prefer to play alongside. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Andrei Kirilenko are the completely interchangeable Swiss Army knives who will create chaos on defense, provide shot-blocking support for Pekovic and athletic offensive movement.
This will be a group that trends towards half-court motion utilizing Pekovic's low-block game and three solid shooters next to Beal's superlative range. Yet, they also have some transition and above-the-rim finishing ability when the opportunity arises. Beal and Pekovic can hold their own in man defense, so "Greak Freak" and "AK-47" will be tasked with covering for Vasquez and creating turnovers.
The second unit is where things get fun, as Reggie Jackson and Tony Snell will really up the length and speed factors on defense and in transition. Kelly Olynyk will provide pick-and-pop ability in a seven-foot frame that mans either frontcourt spot. There will be numerous planned opportunities for a Jackson-Beal-Snell-Antetokounmpo-Olynyk lineup to swarm defensively, then run opponents out of the gym.
If Olynyk is struggling to hold the paint when playing backup center, Aron Baynes will also get some minutes as a guy who knows the Popovich system and stays within himself. Troy Daniels is the resident three-point specialist and will see meaningful minutes with both the starters and second unit, especially when flanked by defensive counterparts.
From the deep bench, Thanasis Antetokounmpo provides some defensive upside while Alexey Shved can make plays. Both add length and some sneaky chemistry connections with teammates (Giannis and Kirilenko, respectively), but their minutes will be relegated to situational and depth duty.
-Joel Cordes, Timberwolves Re-Draft GM
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New Orleans Pelicans
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Jose Calderon, Elfrid Payton
Shooting guard: Gerald Henderson, Marco Belinelli, Ricky Ledo
Small forward: Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu
Power forward: Al Horford, Andrea Bargnani, Reggie Evans
Center: Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins
Head Coach: Dwane Casey
Head Coach: Dwane Casey (No. 328 overall)
With Ettore Messina and Mike D'Antoni off the board, my plans for an Italian coach and Belinelli friendship to transform Bargnani back into a star were foiled.
Still, the Hornets were more than happy to bring Dwane Casey out of the snowy north in Toronto and into the sunny warmth of New Orleans. Casey came on strong as a coach last season with a very impressive job steering the Raptors to an Atlantic Division title after a shaky start.
Starting Point Guard: Jose Calderon (No. 88 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.2 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
By the time pick No. 88 rolled around, 21 point guards had come off the board. Given my first two selections, I wanted an experienced floor general to work well with the veteran frontcourt. We also clearly weren't going to be a run-and-gun squad. Given the quality frontcourt already set up, I also needed a point who had some range.
Enter nine-year NBA veteran Jose Calderon. The 33-year-old point guard has bounced around lately, but has never not put together a quality season. Able to play off-ball a bit more last season with the Dallas Mavericks, Calderon hit on 44.9 percent of his 5.2 threes per game. He should still have a distributor instinct, though, as he has long been one of the more sure-handed and patient points in the league.
Starting Shooting Guard: Gerald Henderson (No. 148 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 13.1 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
In need of a shooting guard to round things out, the Pelicans bring in Gerald Henderson, Al Jefferson's teammate with the Charlotte HornetCats. Henderson is often forgotten about but has developed into a really solid pro after five years in the league, toiling for bad teams.
Playing opposite Calderon, I like his ability as more of a penetrating slasher to play off of our main distributor. He has proven an ability to get to the line successfully in recent years (4.3 free-throw attempts per game the past two seasons). While he has very little range on his shot, Henderson has improved in each of his seasons, and Calderon and this next pick will cover the bases from beyond the arc.
Starting Small Forward: Thaddeus Young (No. 93 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.6 PER (for Philadelphia 76ers)
With wings becoming scarce in the Re-Draft, and a lot of scoring already on the team, the Pelicans had to get a bit creative and tab Thaddeus Young. Young has made known his wishes to see more minutes at small forward in the past and has the athleticism to handle playing more on the perimeter.
Young has the size and scoring ability to play power forward with New Orleans' second unit, which will feature some more uptempo, younger guys. However, his primary directive will be channeling the athleticism and size into perimeter defense. He seems to think he can handle that role, so I am willing the let him prove it.
Starting Power Forward: Al Horford (No. 33 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.5 blocks, 22.0 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
To aid in covering up Al Jefferson’s defensive deficiencies, as well as the opportunity to have an all-Al frontcourt, the Pelicans brought in Al Horford in the second round. Fully healthy in this fantasy world of B/R, Horford is a first-round talent and was an All-NBA player in 2011. By immediately pairing him with Jefferson, we have completely clogged our paint defensively, while allowing flexibility at the other end.
While both are enormous people, Horford brings a bunch more athleticism and can play outside the paint offensively. Both are capable mid-range shooters, and Horford hit 45.5 percent of his 314 attempts from 15-19 feet two seasons ago. Al and Al is fantastic from a marketing standpoint and should work equally well on the floor.
Starting Center: Al Jefferson (No. 28 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 blocks, 22.7 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
With the 28th pick, the Pelicans were already at a bit of a disadvantage. However, the chance to pick up an automatic 20-10 every night was still available and enticing. Thus, the pick was Al Jefferson.
Jefferson is an offensive juggernaut, requiring double-teams at all times. He can score in a multitude of ways, either facing the basket or posting up. He is also still barely on the right side of 30 and experienced enough to lead a team. Defensively, he may be slow and plodding, but he is still a huge human being, which counts for a lot.
Backup Point Guard: Elfrid Payton (No. 208 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, 25.2 PER (for Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns)
While I was forced to use a third-round pick on Jose Calderon, I am not so naive to think he is a big-minute player who can change pace in a game. While he will start, the Pelicans would also like to work ferocious rookie Elfrid Payton into their rotation.
Payton will lead a perhaps more mobile and interchangeable secondary unit. He is far more capable of getting out into the open court with the likes of Young, Henderson and Horford, helping the Pelicans shake things up mid-game. His defensive prowess will also come as a welcome replacement for Calderon in certain situations. Payton also comes with the history of being from the New Orleans area and playing three years of college ball for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Backup Shooting Guard: Marco Belinelli (No. 153 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.0 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
Not feeling great about starting Henderson and giving him big minutes on a championship-caliber team, we needed instant help at the 2-guard. The Pelicans were thrilled to get one of the league's best reserves in Marco Belinelli.
Fresh off winning a title with the San Antonio Spurs, Belinelli will immediately see a slightly expanded role in New Orleans. He saw just 15.5 minutes per game during the Spurs' playoff run, but what many may not realize is that he is still just 28 years old. Belinelli can handle a bit more run, which he proved with the depleted Chicago Bulls two years ago. The career 39.5 percent three-point shooter will help spread the floor for the Als and has already played in New Orleans for two seasons in his career.
Backup Shooting Guard: Ricky Ledo (No. 388 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 1.7 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.0 blocks, 12.7 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
On the clock in Round 13, we had Ricky Ledo and Pierre Jackson at the top of New Orleans' big board.
In the end, Jackson seemed unnecessary with Elfrid Payton on the roster. Ledo is a sleeper pick to develop into something after a strange and interesting high school and college career.
Backup Small Forward: Al-Farouq Aminu (No. 268 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.2 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Just in case Young struggles with a more small forward-heavy role, the Pelicans wanted a trustworthy back up and believe they got that in Al-Farouq Aminu. The 23-year-old wing is a bit more agile on the perimeter and capable of guarding quick opponents.
Aminu has been primarily starting for New Orleans over the past three seasons, but I believe a back-up role will allow his strengths to show a bit more and his weaknesses to somewhat be swept under a rug. Aminu is an excellent rebounder for his position, and very long defensively. With that second unit, he will allow Young to shift to power forward with Horford in the frontcourt, while running with Payton and Hendeson/Belinelli for stretches.
Backup Power Forward: Andrea Bargnani (No. 213 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.2 blocks, 14.5 PER (for New York Knicks)
For all the detractors and criticisms Andrea Bargnani has had heaped upon him in recent years, this is still a very talented basketball player. Take away the salary and the No. 1 pick history, and Bargnani averaged 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent in 29.9 minutes per game for the New York Knicks last season.
The three-point shooting went down the tubes, but perhaps it is buried in there somewhere. The plan, which did not wind up working out, was to pair him with a coach who could dust him off. Still, in the ninth round, Bargnani could wind up being a steal.
Backup Power Forward: Reggie Evans (No. 273 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.7 PER (for Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings)
I got a little greedy in Round 10. Instead of making the move I wanted for Ettore Messina, the Pelicans grabbed Reggie Evans.
While looking over the roster, the lack of big-man depth was worrisome. Using Young at small forward left just Horford, Jefferson and Bargnani. So, Evans will do what he has always done—rebound, rebound and then rebound some more.
Backup Center: Kendrick Perkins (No. 333 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 6.3 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Adding some height, fouls and overall frontcourt depth, the Pelicans grabbed Kendrick Perkins in Round 12. He will pair in a frontcourt once again with Al Jefferson, whom he played with previously in Boston.
Also, I once met Perkins on Bourbon Street in New Orleans while wearing his Celtics jersey in 2008, a couple of months before he won his ring, and that had to be a sign.
-Mike Walsh, Pelicans Re-Draft GM
49 of 73
How Will the Pelicans Play?
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I like the experience New Orleans has in its starting unit. Calderon is a veteran leader, with two reliable options in the paint every time down the court. Jefferson and Horford are an interesting match, and there could be criticism for pairing them, but I am fascinated by it and confident they would figure it out.
Both have the ability to step out and hit a mid-range shot, as well as body up and score tough buckets in the paint. That makes them incredibly difficult to guard as a duo.
Between Calderon, Belinelli and hopefully Bargnani, we had a bit of floor spacing to help out those interior beasts. The pairing with Belinelli would also help Bargnani feel more comfortable and hopefully regain some of his earlier magic.
Payton and Aminu give the Pelicans a jolt of youth that Casey can play with to change pace and styles from a half-court team to a quicker, more fast break-oriented unit. Aminu and Young are capable rebounders, so little is lost there, and Evans is always just a call away.
Defensively, there is some trouble to watch for. Jefferson isn't a foundational defensive player, and him taking up space could potentially limit some of what Horford brings at that end. However, on the perimeter, I like the length and strength that Young and Aminu can bring.
In the backcourt, Payton will have to learn quickly, as Calderon can't be trusted to chase around the league's top point guards on a nightly basis. A major benefit would be that the tall and long Ledo comes on strong as he matures as a shooting guard.
-Mike Walsh, Pelicans Re-Draft GM
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New York Knicks
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Stephen Curry, Luke Ridnour, Toney Douglas
Shooting guard: Vince Carter, Randy Foye
Small forward: Luol Deng, Kyle Anderson, Gerald Wallace
Power forward: Chandler Parsons, Ed Davis
Center: Anderson Varejao, Steven Adams
Head Coach: Ettore Messina
Head Coach: Ettore Messina (No. 308 overall)
No, Ettore Messina has never been the head coach of an NBA team. But he's a Spurs assistant. That should say it all. He's going to impart incredible wisdom on these Knicks, forcing them to move the ball on the offensive end while effectively covering up their defensive flaws.
If he's good enough for real-life Coach Pop, he's more than good enough for this team.
Starting Point Guard: Stephen Curry (No. 8 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 24.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 24.1 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
Stephen Curry is the best shooter to ever play in the NBA, has understated playmaking abilities and a sometimes-pretty floater. How could the Knicks pass up on him? They couldn't, and they didn't.
Our offense is going to run through the Baby-Faced Assassin. He'll play off the ball and on the ball, initiate pick-and-rolls and drive-and-kicks, and yes, he'll even defend the less threatening of opposing guards. With his ankles healthy and his shooting stroke intact, he's the right player to headline this team.
Starting Shooting Guard: Vince Carter (No. 128 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks, 15.9 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
Is there any other former star in NBA history who has transitioned into role player-dom better than Vince Carter? The answer is hell no.
Vinsanity is coming to New York, and the Knicks are thrilled. He can shoot, he can pass, he can rebound and, despite what Dallas' defense implied in 2013-14, he can even defend. Be jealous.
Starting Small Forward: Luol Deng (No. 68 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.2 PER (for Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers)
Every team needs a premier perimeter defender. Luol Deng is that guy for the Knicks.
In lieu of an elite rim protector, New York has Deng, who will be tasked with cutting off dribble penetration before it starts. He and Carter make for the most underrated defensive duo in the league. Plus, you know, he'll thrive as a third or fourth offensive option.
Starting Power Forward: Chandler Parsons (No. 53 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.6 points, 55.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, 15.9 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Two words: Floor. Spacing. Curry and Chandler Parsons are going to be awesome together. He's like a taller Klay Thompson, only he passes and rebounds better. And his hair is way, way (way) cooler.
Parsons garners modest criticism for his defense, but in the age of stretch forwards, he's more than equipped to be a plus defender. Yes, a plus defender. Believe me when I say this was about more than his lethal offense.
Starting Center: Anderson Varejao (No. 113 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks, 17.0 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
Anderson Varejao is a sexier version of Sideshow Bob when he's healthy. And in this magical world of no injuries, he's going to be healthy.
The Knicks will gladly house his double-doubles and overlook his awkward jumper and subpar rim protection because he's better than advertised everywhere else on the defensive end. Color him a steal.
Backup Point Guard: Luke Ridnour (No. 248 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.0 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats)
Although Luke Ridnour has seen better days, cut him some slack. You'd be coming off a horrible season too if you spent part of it with the Bucks.
As a floor general who can also thrive off the ball, the Knicks need him to keep their movement-heavy offense running smoothly. He comes to New York fully prepared to be a little more 2012-13, and a little less 2013-14.
Backup Point Guard: Toney Douglas (No. 368 overall)*
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.2 PER (for Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat)
Truth be told, Toney Douglas won't play many minutes. But for our last pick, he brings plenty of defense and, in the right situation, mountains of energy.
Douglas also shot over 37 percent from deep during his first two seasons in the league. The Knicks are expecting him to bring his time machine.
Backup Shooting Guard: Randy Foye (No. 188 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.3 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Pulled right from a wanted add: New York basketball team seeking hot-shooting guard who can serve as a secondary playmaker. Must be willing to play alongside and subsequently pass to Stephen Curry. Must also play a little more defense than people credit him for.
Related: New York found its guy.
Backup Small Forward: Kyle Anderson (No. 293 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 24.7 PER (for UCLA Bruins)
There isn't anything Kyle Anderson cannot do. Though fresh off the collegiate boat, Anderson can do everything: shoot, score, pass, rebound, defend and cook four-course meals. He's the real deal.
Moreover, his shot selection is the realest of deals. The Knicks look forward to him being the most Spurs-y player on their roster.
Backup Small Forward: Gerald Wallace (No. 353 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 10.0 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Word on the block has it Gerald Wallace still has some defense to play. The Knicks are hell-bent on finding out if this is true.
That is all.
Backup Power Forward: Ed Davis (No. 233 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 15.9 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
No matter where he goes, Ed Davis never seems to get playing time. It's beyond confusing.
Aspects of his game are clearly still raw, but he's a strong scorer and adequate defender who can man both the 4 and 5 positions. He might be the Knicks' best rim protector, which, admittedly, isn't saying much. But still, yes please.
Backup Center: Steven Adams (No. 173 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks, 11.2 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Meet the Knicks' requisite dose of nasty.
Steven Adams is going to play a bunch of minutes. His per-36-minute production was sensational in 2013-14, he knows how to foul and, given extra burn, he has the potential to develop into an excitingly brutal two-way center. He was a must-have at No. 173.
-Dan Favale, Knicks Re-Draft GM
*Douglas had not yet signed overseas at the time of drafting.
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How Will the Knicks Play?
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
This Knicks team is going to score. All the time.
Everything will run through Curry, who emerged as a top-seven—I'd dare to say top five—superstar during the 2013-14 campaign. He can pass, shoot and run, and that's what this team needs.
Pick-and-rolls and drive-and-kicks will be all over place. We're bogged down with rangy scorers who know no bounds, from Curry to Parsons to Foye to Carter to Anderson.
Part of the beauty of New York's setup remains Deng, who became something of a wild card in 2013-14. When he was asked to be the No. 1 or No. 2 scorer, it rarely worked out. While in New York, he'll never be ranked higher than No. 3. Expect his scoring totals to stand strong while his efficiency skyrockets.
This, too, is where Messina comes in. He has the Spurs' offense in his DNA. The ball is going to move crisply, frequently and with purpose inside this offense, creating spot-up shooting, slashing and transition opportunities galore, stopping and yielding to no one, forever operating and executing in harmony, its chemistry second to none.
There will be concerns defensively, and the Knicks understand that. We welcome it. The docket comprises a handful of underrated stoppers in Varejao, Carter, Anderson, Adams, Wallace and Douglas. With Deng anchoring everything, we'll be able to piece something spectacular together. We won't be the best, but that's what the offense is for: to scare and beat and clobber and drub and slug everyone else into submission.
Forget not that the NBA runs on stars, and the Knicks have three in Parsons, Deng and Curry. And Varejao, when healthy, is one of the more serviceable big men out there. And Messina, again, is an offensive genius.
Talent is the buzzword in New York, and the Knicks, from the sidelines to the hardwood, have plenty.
-Dan Favale, Knicks Re-Draft GM
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Oklahoma City Thunder
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Kyrie Irving, Jerryd Bayless
Shooting guard: Eric Gordon, Jeffery Taylor
Small forward: Andre Iguodala, Marvin Williams, Cartier Martin
Power forward: Markieff Morris, Carl Landry
Center: Tyson Chandler, Ian Mahinmi, Pero Antic
Head Coach: Brad Stevens
Head Coach: Brad Stevens (No. 283 overall)
I got my guy. Unfortunately, Matt Howard doesn't come in the deal.
Stevens' Celtics played so hard for him in his first NBA season that they managed to stand out, even in a 25-win campaign. Meanwhile, the second-year coach can build a defense that prioritizes taking away the three and forcing turnovers. His offense can operate with lots of Irving pick-and-roll. This was a no-brainer selection for me.
Starting Point Guard: Kyrie Irving (No. 18 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 20.1 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
Knowing I wanted someone who could capably run an offense, the choice of my first pick came down to Irving or Tony Parker, but considering I didn’t know my coach or offensive system, Irving's versatility made sense.
Parker may have been the better point guard playing for Gregg Popovich in 2013-14, but Irving's age, high ceiling and shooting ability could allow him to have a better season for my team in the upcoming year. I do, however, fully acknowledge I'll need to add some reinforcements to make up for Kyrie's shaky-at-best defense.
Starting Shooting Guard: Eric Gordon (No. 138 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.9 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Gordon rounds out my starting five, as I take even more risk on my roster. Let’s put it this way: I’ll have to pretend I drafted the Suns training. This pick gives four of my five starters (Irving, Chandler, Iguodala, Gordon) high injury potential.
Still, Gordon is a shooter who knocked in 39.1 percent of his threes last year, and as an underrated and physical perimeter defender, he can play next to Irving and Iguodala just fine. Gordon can run some pick-and-roll, but looked more comfortable last year when Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans took over ball-handling duties. With Kyrie and Iggy there, Gordon can simply worry about spotting up, and taking a gluttonous amount of threes.
Starting Small Forward: Andre Iguodala (No. 43 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 13.7 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
The Irving pick handicapped me in some ways. Because of that, I made it a mission to go with an elite defender in the second round. Unfortunately, praying that Serge Ibaka or DeAndre Jordan would be around to protect the rim for me didn’t work, and both those guys heard their names called early in the second round.
Instead of picking a big man, someone who could make more of an impact defensively, I went with Iguodala, the best remaining defender on the board, assuming a rim-protector would still be there in Round 3. Iggy can guard anyone on the wing and doesn't miss his rotations. That's the type of defender you need playing next to Irving.
Starting Power Forward: Markieff Morris (No. 103 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 18.4 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
This is the point where every friend I have from college at Mizzou shuns me. Yes, I picked the KU (sorry…kU) guy. Deal with it. Just be happy I don't have to draft Marcus with him.
Though he's started taking fewer threes, Morris is a killer from mid-range and possesses the versatility to play the 4 or 5. Offensively, his popping will work next to Chandler's rolling, and his ability to play off the ball can bring success in an offense where—so far—Irving and Iguodala will be doing most of the ball handling.
Starting Center: Tyson Chandler (No. 78 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, 16.4 PER (for New York Knicks)
At this point, I was basically copying the Warriors' model. Irving is my Curry, the hot-shooting point guard. Iggy is my…Iggy. And Chandler is my Bogut, a solid pick-and-roll center who can protect the rim.
Even after a down year in New York last season, I still remain a Chandler believer. So many things went wrong with the Knicks in 2013-14.
Mike Woodson lost control of the team, changing pick-and-roll coverages throughout the season and helping his defense become one of the worst communicating units in the league. Meanwhile, injury and personal issues derailed the former Defensive Player of the Year's season. I'm banking on a bounce-back year for a guy who can be an effective defender, rebounder, screen-setter and finisher in the paint.
Backup Point Guard: Jerryd Bayless (No. 258 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.0 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics)
I needed instant offense off the bench. Bayless was the best person for that role. This pick is that simple.
Meanwhile, Bayless' ability to play the 1 and 2 allows my future coach to maneuver the roster a little easier.
Backup Shooting Guard: Jeffery Taylor (No. 343 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 5.9 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
I have already pretended to claim the Suns' training staff, something that is completely true in my mind even if that's not so in reality. In that case, why not take a risk on Taylor, who's returning from a major Achilles injury? (Please don't answer that.)
I'm still on the Taylor bandwagon, especially after he improved during each individual collegiate season at Vanderbilt, turning into a three-and-D star as a senior. Last year was a step back, but that was because of a slow start and injuries. If Stevens needs quick defenders who know how to rotate and run guys off the three-point line, Taylor fits the bill. Now, he just needs to make his long-range attempts on the other end.
Backup Small Forward: Marvin Williams (No. 163 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Utah Jazz)
You’ll notice a theme of my bench as I continue to draft: versatility. Williams can play as a small-ball 4 or as a comfortable 3. Though he's not a killer shooter from beyond the arc, he's capable enough that defenders can't leave him open. That's part of why he found success playing more 4 than he ever had before last season in Utah.
All Williams has to do for me is act as a defensive-minded bench guy. As long as he pulls that off, he can be a perfectly solid sixth man. Just ask Roy Williams.
Backup Small Forward: Cartier Martin (No. 378 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.0 PER (for Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls)
I already had five big men and figured I would target one last shooter to add to the roster, especially considering the underwhelming nature of the remaining ball-handlers in the player pool.
After Alec Nathan selected my target, Francisco Garcia, Martin was the intuitive choice. But I would be lying though, if I told you I didn't strongly consider a Vanderbilt reunion between Taylor and John Jenkins. Jenkins is an outrageously accurate shooter, but Martin understands how to move better off the ball. That broke the tie for me, no matter how badly I wanted to make Kevin Stallings proud.
Backup Power Forward: Carl Landry (No. 198 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.2 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
Throw Landry's numbers from last year's 18 games out the proverbial window. In an injury-plagued season, they don't matter all that much.
Instead, concentrate on his 17.6 career player efficiency rating, the consistency on his mid-range shot and the perfectly respectable rebounding for a power forward. Oh, and he can play a little bit of backup center, as well.
Backup Center: Ian Mahinmi (No. 223 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 10.2 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Mahinmi probably wasn't the best player left on the board. Actually, he wasn't close to that. But he may have been the most valuable, and I wasn't about to wait 35 picks to find out that there were no more rim-protectors to snatch up once I got to my ninth-round selection.
If Chandler were to get hurt, I would need someone to fill his role on defense. Even on a regular night, Mahinmi can come in and seamlessly defend the rim for 15 minutes. And, with the coach I was targeting, defending the rim will be paramount.
Backup Center: Pero Antic (No. 318 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.7 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
How underrated is Antic? He's a center who can shoot the three ball. That's always going to have value, even if it's just in small spurts.
Until now, I didn't really have bigs who could drain threes. Morris can make long-range attempts if he's left open. Williams can knock them down as a small-ball 4. But Antic provides my team with the man who is quite possibly the toughest pick-and-pop five in the league to guard (Non-Channing Frye Category).
-Fred Katz, Thunder Re-Draft GM
53 of 73
How Will the Thunder Play?
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
We're going with Brad Stevens basketball. That means we're getting lots of shots at the rim and from three, and we're prioritizing taking those attempts away at the other end. Sounds so simple, doesn't it?
Stevens has his defenders funnel the ball toward the middle, unlike your average team, which likes to drive ball-handlers toward the out-of-bounds line. Chandler and Mahinmi can both protect the rim once attackers put the rock on the floor. Meanwhile, tough defenders like Iguodala, Gordon, Williams and Taylor can guard the perimeter capably, closing out hard on shooters (just how Stevens likes) and forcing turnovers because of it.
Offensively, we're running lots of pick-and-roll. Irving can command those sets. So can Iguodala. So can Gordon. Chandler is a quality roll man. Morris is one of the most underrated pick-and-pop bigs in the league. You could say the same for Landry and Antic off the bench, as well.
The beauty of the pick-and-roll with this squad is we'll have shooters to kick out to in penetration. Kyrie still struggles at times creating for teammates off the bounce, but I imagine Stevens can help with that. Just look at what he did for Jordan Crawford this past season.
With guys who can excel in the corner like Martin, Gordon, Taylor and even Williams, Iguodala and Irving will have options spotting up as they dribble around screens. That will also help create space for them to get into the lane and get to the line.
-Fred Katz, Thunder Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Dante Exum, Jarrett Jack, Pierre Jackson
Shooting guard: Jamal Crawford, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Small forward: Shawn Marion, Harrison Barnes, Bruno Caboclo
Power forward: Serge Ibaka, Noah Vonleh
Center: Andre Drummond, Alexis Ajinca
Head Coach: Stan Van Gundy
Head Coach: Stan Van Gundy (No. 272 overall)
Stan Van Gundy wasn't my first choice for a head coach, but he was the highest one on my list when I felt comfortable filling my sideline seat.
He's a proven winner (career .641 winning percentage) and a savvy tactician. He once helped maximize Dwight Howard's production, so my hope—and that of the real life Detroit Pistons—is that he can work the same magic with the physically freakish Drummond.
Starting Point Guard: Dante Exum (No. 92 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: N/A
There are risks involved with plugging any rookie into the starting lineup, so the fact that Exum essentially swapped competition for training over the last 12 months really didn't bother me.
His 6'6" frame allows him to see over the top of a defense, so he shouldn't have a problem making the correct reads more often than not. Throw in his 6'9.5" wingspan plus his elite-level athleticism and he can be a nightmare matchup at one end and a disruptive defender at the opposite side.
Starting Shooting Guard: Jamal Crawford (No. 89 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 17.3 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
With a rookie point guard running the show, I needed someone capable of creating his own shot. Enter Jamal Crawford, the man with dizzying handles and a three-point cannon that does serious damage when it's on.
Only 36.2 percent of his two-point field goals came off of assists last season, and that was when he had floor general extraordinaire Chris Paul at his side. Crawford will lighten Exum's offensive load, and the 34-year-old can run an offense in stretches. With elite rim-protectors at his back, Crawford will be well shielded at his seventh NBA stop.
Starting Small Forward: Shawn Marion (No. 149 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.7 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
Shawn Marion brings championship experience, tremendous versatility and defensive discipline to the starting lineup.
At 36 years old, his bag of physical tricks isn't as deep as it used to be, but with some young guns behind him, he can afford to give maximum efforts during the limited playing time he’ll receive.
Starting Power Forward: Serge Ibaka (No. 32 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.7 blocks, 19.6 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Admit it, the idea of Serge Ibaka as more than a third wheel is enticing, isn’t it? With his size, athleticism and shooting stroke, he's still only scratching the surface of his offensive potential.
Starting alongside Andre Drummond, Ibaka will need to stretch the floor to create room under the basket. He'll also see plenty of chances as a pick-and-fill-in-the-blank (pop, roll, slip) partner for Exum and Crawford.
Starting Center: Andre Drummond (No. 29 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.2 steals. 1.6 blocks, 22.6 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
This isn't the best shooting starting lineup you’ll ever see, so why not target the player who grabbed 109 more offensive rebounds than anyone else in the league last season?
Andre Drummond won't be asked to step outside his offensive comfort zone, as his primary tasks will be cleaning the glass and exploding to the rim away from the ball. Defensively, he'll pair with Ibaka to form one of the most physically intimidating interior tandems in the league.
Backup Point Guard: Jarrett Jack (No. 212 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.5 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
As much as I like Exum, I'm a realist. He turned 19 in July and doesn't have a second of NBA experience.
He needs a veteran insurance policy behind him, and Jarrett Jack will fill that role. Jack is only one year removed from posting a .452/.404/.843 shooting slash, and the fact he can share the floor with Exum is an added bonus.
Backup Point Guard: Pierre Jackson (No. 389 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 29.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 19.8 PER (for Idaho Stampede)
Those aren't NBA numbers, but they're still impressive at any professional level.
With his ruptured Achilles magically healed, Pierre Jackson will get garbage-time minutes to prove that his 5'10" frame won't hold him back at the game's highest level. His role could expand over time if his explosive scoring ability makes him too hard to sit.
Backup Shooting Guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (No. 269 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 9.4 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Who is the real Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: the one who struggled to keep a consistent rotation spot last season, or the one who lit up the Orlando Summer League to the tune of 24 points a night?
He's probably somewhere in the middle, so he's a perfect second guard off the bench. His textbook shooting form suggests he’s far better than a 31.9 percent shooter from distance, and his athleticism helps compensate for his lack of experience at the defensive end.
Backup Small Forward: Harrison Barnes (No. 152 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 9.8 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
Harrison Barnes has the versatility to play either forward position, and for all the frustrations created during his sophomore season, he's still only 22 years old.
He'll be a reserve by title only, as his minutes total will easily eclipse that of Marion. This offense will cater to Barnes' intriguing skills, so he'll be tabbed early and often as an off-ball slasher and spot-up shooter—he cashed in 37.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples last season.
Backup Small Forward: Bruno Caboclo (No. 332 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 15.5 PER (for Pinheiros/Sky)
With Marion and Barnes ahead of him, the 2014 draft's international man of mystery will receive as big a role as he can handle.
If Bruno Caboclo is truly "two years away from being two years away" as ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla thinks, the 19-year-old will develop in practice and help someone's Re-Draft team down the line. But if his combination of length, quickness and competitive fire proves ready for the bright lights, he'll be eased into the rotation.
Backup Power Forward: Noah Vonleh (No. 209 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.4 blocks, 22.2 PER (for Indiana Hoosiers)
Long, athletic and in possession of compelling inside-out offensive tools, Noah Vonleh should see major minutes as this team's third big. He can spread the floor for Drummond or occupy the post with Ibaka, so his versatility will be critical in keeping the offense clicking.
If he can develop as a shot-blocker, he could provide a lift for this defense. If not, the 2013-14 Big Ten rebounding champ will help close possessions on the glass.
Backup Center: Alexis Ajinca (No. 329 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 14.6 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Alexis Ajinca continues with my team's theme of stockpiling young players with size and explosiveness. With Drummond as my centerpiece, Ajinca won't see a lot of action. In short runs, though, he'll add some rebounding, shot-blocking and above-the-rim finishing.
-Zach Buckley, Magic Re-Draft GM
55 of 73
How Will the Magic Play?
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Magic were built from the inside out, but with a heavy premium placed on athleticism, this is still a roster built to run.
That said, it won't likely be an offensive juggernaut. The starting lineup features a number of complementary pieces, but Crawford is as close as it gets to a proven scorer.
Still, there are several ways to manufacture offense, either off dribble penetrations from Exum, Crawford and Jack or pick-and-roll attacks with Ibaka, Drummond and Vonleh all projecting as upper-level screeners.
With so much attention paid to the ball-handlers and crashing or popping bigs, Marion, Barnes and—if he's ready—Caboclo should find prime slashing lanes. The offense won't convert as many triples as Van Gundy would like, but there are enough shooters to punish a defense for sagging off the perimeter.
Defensively, this is a long, active group with the lateral quickness to pounce on guards and close off driving lanes. With Drummond, Ibaka and Vonleh prepared to play individual defense on the low block, wing defenders will be free to stick on shooters or plug up passing lanes.
This group should create ample transition opportunities with steals, rejections and defensive rebounds all spurring a potent up-tempo attack. The faster we can play the better we’ll be, as Exum and Crawford will put on dazzling displays in the open court.
When the gazelles can't get out and run, Van Gundy's sharp offensive mind will be relied on to create scoring chances. There is talent on this roster, and while it's raw, a savvy coach should be able to bring it along.
Orlando's success will hinge on the development of its young players, but if this group booms more than it busts, it could be a scary team come playoff time.
-Zach Buckley, Magic Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Shaun Livingston, George Hill
Shooting guard: Joe Johnson, Gary Harris, Quincy Pondexter
Small forward: Paul George, Xavier Henry, Francisco Garcia
Power forward: Paul Millsap, Nick Collison, Amar'e Stoudemire
Center: Brandan Wright
Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer
Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer (No. 284 overall)
All along, I had pegged Mike Budenholzer as the man to lead this veteran Sixers team.
As I'll discuss later, floor spacing and ball movement were top priorities entering the re-draft, and Budenholzer's brief track record as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks suggests he's set to have a long and prosperous career coaching in the mold of former boss Gregg Popovich.
Starting Point Guard: Shaun Livingston (No. 104 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, 14.5 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Shaun Livingston was one of the biggest reaches of the fourth round, particularly when you consider a shot-blocking maven like Nerlens Noel was still on the board.
But with point guard depth dwindling at a rapid pace, it was imperative that I lock up a floor general whose 6'7" frame would make him an ideal fit in a system that prizes defensive and positional versatility.
Starting Shooting Guard: Joe Johnson (No. 77 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists. 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.5 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
After securing Paul George in the first round, I prioritized finding additional floor spacers, and Joe Johnson fit the bill.
Although he averaged his lowest point-per-game output since 2002-03 last season, his three-point field-goal percentage topped out at 40.1, the second-highest mark of his career. Factor in Johnson's knack for repeatedly knocking down clutch jumpers, and he felt like a safe pick in the third round.
Starting Small Forward: Paul George (No. 17 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.3 blocks, 20.1 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Considering elite offensive players like James Harden and Damian Lillard were selected before Paul George, I had no problem picking up one of the league's most established two-way presences in the latter half of Round 1.
Possessing the tools necessary to provide balance on both ends of the floor, George is exactly the sort of centerpiece teams would love to build around given his ever-expanding skill set and elite athletic tools.
Starting Power Forward: Paul Millsap (No. 44 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, 19.8 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
After flourishing with the Atlanta Hawks during his first year under Mike Budenholzer, it only felt right to reunite Paul Millsap with the man behind his statistical surge.
An All-Star selection in 2013-14 for Millsap was apt, particularly after he averaged a career-high 17.9 points and 8.5 rebounds while assuming much of Atlanta's frontcourt burden in place of Al Horford. The fact that Millsap also shot the three at a 35.8 percent clip is an added bonus for a team looking to stretch the floor.
Starting Center: Brandan Wright (No. 164 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks, 23.5 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
One of the league’s hidden frontcourt gems from an advanced statistical standpoint, Brandan Wright projects as my starting center despite standing just 6'9".
An athletic freak who can function as a terror on lobs as a roll man, Wright and his near-7'4" wingspan will also help intimidate opponents around the rim.
Another fun fact: Among players listed as power forwards last season, Wright ranked No. 5 overall in player efficiency rating behind only Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki.
Backup Point Guard: George Hill (No. 137 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists. 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks, 13.4 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Since I waited so long to select a point guard, it felt appropriate to bolster my club's backcourt depth with another rangy floor general in George Hill.
While he's not an offensive juggernaut by any means, Hill will be able to play the point when we choose to slot Livingston in at the 2, and his 6'9" wingspan coupled with some solid confidence from beyond the arc (37.1 percent for his career) will give Mike Budenholzer plenty of lineup permutations to work with.
Backup Shooting Guard: Gary Harris (No. 257 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.4 blocks, 22.5 PER (for Michigan State Spartans)
At this point, a youthful injection was necessary. Which is why I opted to select Michigan State's Gary Harris to help shore up some of the club's defensive concerns at shooting guard.
After Joe Johnson's defensive rating approached a career-worst mark last season, adding a reliable three-and-D wing like Harris felt appropriate given the trajectory of Iso Joe's career.
Backup Shooting Guard: Quincy Pondexter (No. 344 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.3 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
A largely forgotten man after appearing in just 15 games last season due to a stress fracture in his right foot, Quincy Pondexter joins the Sixers primarily as a three-point specialist.
Essentially, I'm hoping Pondexter can harness some of his 2013 postseason success, when he shot 45.3 percent from beyond the arc over the course of 15 games with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Backup Small Forward: Xavier Henry (No. 317 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.3 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Xavier Henry isn't the most refined offensive player by any stretch, but he proved his worth on the defensive end with the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
And that's not exactly an easy task, considering how broken that defense was. According to NBA.com, the Lakers were 5.5 points better defensively per 100 possessions when Henry was on the floor last season, and we're hoping he brings similar value here.
Backup Small Forward: Francisco Garcia (No. 377 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.6 blocks, 9.3 PER (for Houston Rockets)
In today's NBA, you really can’t have enough shooters. Which is why Francisco Garcia, a career 36.1 percent shooter from three, was my final pick of the re-draft.
He won't see much time behind Paul George, Joe Johnson, Gary Harris, Quincy Pondexter and even Xavier Henry, but it can't hurt to have marksmen floating around the perimeter under the tutelage of Mike Budenholzer.
Backup Power Forward: Nick Collison (No. 224 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.8 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
If Stoudemire is going to represent the glitz and glam when it comes to frontcourt depth, then Nick Collison will function as the personification of heart and hustle.
A rough and tumble defender who averaged 7.8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, Collison will act as insurance should Stoudemire or Millsap get into foul trouble.
Backup Power Forward: Amar'e Stoudemire (No. 197 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks, 18.8 PER (for New York Knicks)
With contractual and medical concerns muted, Amar'e Stoudemire felt like a solid pickup in Round 7.
Capable of slotting in at power forward or center, Stoudemire, when allotted a reasonable cut of minutes, could produce like he did in March of last year. During that span, Stoudemire averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.
-Alec Nathan, Sixers Re-Draft GM
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How Will the Sixers Play?
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
On paper, this is hardly the league's most exciting team.
But then again, excitement doesn't have a direct correlation to wins.
With Paul George functioning as our offensive and defensive stalwart at the 3, it was imperative to surround him with a blend of capable scorers and defenders.
By adding Paul Millsap and Joe Johnson at the 4 and 2, respectively, this edition of the Philadelphia 76ers has the ability to space the floor comfortably, which was a major focus of mine entering the re-draft.
Additionally, Philadelphia's brain trust thought floor spacing could be improved via depth at the 2 and 3, which is where three-and-D specialists like Gary Harris, Quincy Pondexter and even Xavier Henry came into play.
As far as defense is concerned, I felt it was imperative to nab long, versatile bodies capable of defending multiple positions.
With that framework in mind, Shaun Livingston, George Hill, Brandan Wright and Nick Collison were brought aboard to complement George and take some pressure off of the likes of Johnson and Millsap, giving us some reliability when it came to defending the pick-and-roll.
The other major key here was targeting the right coach to help implement the system I felt best fit the club’s key pieces and strategic tenets.
In that vein, the Sixers got their man in head coach Mike Budenholzer. During his first year as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Budenholzer helped his impressive group of floor spacers make the league's fifth-most threes (and attempt the second-most) while emphasizing rapid ball movement on the perimeter.
During that span, the Hawks racked up 2,041 assists, which trailed only the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.
It's that sort of philosophy these Sixers are hoping to embrace moving forward.
-Alec Nathan, Sixers re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: John Wall, Brian Roberts
Shooting guard: Alec Burks, Nick Johnson, Willie Green
Small forward: DeMarre Carroll, T.J. Warren
Power forward: David West, Nikola Mirotic, Kevin Seraphin
Center: Omer Asik, Kosta Koufos
Head Coach: Steve Clifford
Head Coach: Steve Clifford (No. 131 overall)
The Suns attacked the re-draft with a defensive mindset and solidified that identity in Round 5 with head coach Steve Clifford.
During his first year as head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Charlotte Hornets), Clifford flipped the script defensively. After finishing dead last in defensive efficiency by surrendering 108.9 points per 100 possessions in 2012-13, Charlotte finished sixth in that category with a defensive rating of 101.2, per ESPN.com. The turnaround happened despite the fact that Al Jefferson—a notoriously lackluster defender—was added to the squad during the offseason.
Clifford is an absolute wizard on the less glamorous end of the court. He'll ensure that Phoenix dominates on that end more often than not.
Starting Point Guard: John Wall (No. 11 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 19.5 PER (for Washington Wizards)
John Wall is coming off the best year of his professional career. During the 2013-14 season, he averaged 19.3 points per game (fifth among qualified point guards) and 8.8 assists per game (tied for second at his position).
The Kentucky product is a two-way talent who can orchestrate an offense and defend the opposing team's floor general. That's exactly what you want in a franchise point guard.
Starting Shooting Guard: Alec Burks (No. 110 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 15.8 PER (for Utah Jazz)
Alec Burks played just 28.1 minutes per game on average in 2013-14 under head coach Tyrone Corbin. He'll earn a bigger role on the Suns as the team's starting shooting guard.
In 12 starts for the Utah Jazz last season, Burks shot 48 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from long range—far better than his numbers off the bench: 45.3 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively, per NBA.com. He was clearly more comfortable as a starter.
His ability to score from a variety of areas and handle the ball like a point guard will take pressure off Wall in the backcourt.
Starting Small Forward: DeMarre Carroll (No. 170 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals. 0.3 blocks, 13.9 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
DeMarre Carroll proved to be a rock-solid supporting player during his first season with the Atlanta Hawks. In 73 starts at small forward, Carroll averaged 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He shot 47 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc.
His offensive repertoire improved by leaps and bounds in 2013-14 thanks to Atlanta's coaching staff. He's a perfect complementary piece on both ends of the court.
Starting Power Forward: David West (No. 50 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.9 blocks, 17.5 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
Sticking with the theme of nabbing gritty, defensive-minded players who can also score, the Suns grabbed David West with the 50th overall pick.
West is a dedicated interior defender. He was also one of the few Indiana Pacers who played consistently well throughout their second-half collapse.
Wall is the Suns' new alpha dog, but West is a tested veteran who can lead everyone by example.
Starting Center: Omer Asik (No. 71 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Every team needs a defensive anchor to alter shots and protect the rim. Omer Asik is one of the best in the Association in that regard.
Throughout the Houston Rockets' six postseason games in 2014, the Turkish center held opponents to 41.9 percent shooting at the rim on 5.2 field-goal attempts per game in that area.
During 2012-13 (his only campaign as a full-time starter), Asik played all 82 games and averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Expect similar production as he returns to his desired role of starting center.
Backup Point Guard: Brian Roberts (No. 290 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.6 steals. 0.1 blocks, 13.4 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Brian Roberts may not be a terrific defender, but he's a career 37.2 percent shooter from beyond the arc. He also drained 94 percent of his free throws during 2013-14, which led qualified players in the Association.
John Wall will get the bulk of the minutes at floor general, but Roberts can fill in or play off the ball at shooting guard in a pinch.
Backup Shooting Guard: Nick Johnson (No. 311 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks, 21.5 PER (for Arizona Wildcats)
Though undersized for a shooting guard at 6'3", Nick Johnson makes up for it with explosive athletic ability.
He can defend, knock down open threes and even add a highlight dunk to electrify the home crowd. Plus, he went to the University of Arizona, my alma mater. I needed a Wildcat who knows how to Bear Down.
Backup Shooting Guard: Willie Green (No. 350 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.0 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 7.1 PER (for Los Angeles Clippers)
Every team needs a veteran sage who can bring a locker room together with chemistry. Willie Green has been doing that for a long time.
In fact, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said the following of Green last year, per Clips Nation’s Steve Perrin, "He's a valuable player to have on your team on the floor. His value is huge off the floor, too, because he just does his job every day. If he plays 40 minutes, he plays them well. If he plays zero minutes, he's a very good teammate."
Backup Small Forward: T.J. Warren (No. 230 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 24.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 31.3 PER (for N.C. State Wolfpack)
The desert-based franchise failed to bring in any actual Suns in Rounds 1-7, but it landed a promising young one in Round 8.
T.J. Warren—the 14th overall pick in the 2014 draft—averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds during five summer league games. It's unrealistic to expect those numbers, but Warren is a savvy offensive player who thrives in the paint. He'll ensure there won't be a lack of scoring from the Suns’ bench.
Backup Power Forward: Nikola Mirotic (No. 191 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, 22.7 PER (for Real Madrid)
In reality, highly touted European prospect Nikola Mirotic is finally set to suit up in NBA action for the Chicago Bulls. In the re-draft universe, he'll do so for the Suns.
We won't know how good Mirotic really is until we see him against the league's best, but rolling the dice on him in Round 7 is a no-brainer. He shot 53.7 percent from the field and 46.1 percent from three-point range in 2013-14 for Real Madrid, per Euroleague.net.
If he's at least a 6.5 on a scale from Nikoloz Tskitishvili to Dirk Nowitzki, he'll be a reliable floor-spreading big for Phoenix's second unit.
Backup Power Forward: Kevin Seraphin (No. 371 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.5 blocks, 12.5 PER (for Washington Wizards)
As the 12th man on the roster, Kevin Seraphin will solely be around to provide depth in the frontcourt. The 24-year-old won't see many minutes, but he shot 50.5 percent from the floor and 87.1 percent from the charity stripe in 10.9 minutes per contest for the Washington Wizards last season.
He posted 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game the season prior, so he's at least shown he can be a capable role player when called upon. If another big man gets injured, the Suns can confidently slide Seraphin into the playing rotation.
Backup Center: Kosta Koufos (No. 251 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, 16.5 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
Even though Asik was incredibly durable during his lone year as a starter (playing all 82 games), he played 48 games a season ago. Phoenix needed a viable backup. Kosta Koufos fits the bill.
Despite playing just 16.9 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013-14, Koufos averaged 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. No matter how you slice it, that's solid production from a backup big man.
-Ben Leibowitz, Suns re-draft GM
59 of 73
How Will the Suns Play?
Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press
The new-look Phoenix Suns are built with a defensive mentality headlined by head coach Steve Clifford. John Wall has become one of the league's best defensive point guards. David West helped anchor the Indiana Pacers' top-ranked defense in 2013-14, and Omer Asik is among the best in the game at protecting the rim without fouling.
With those three core pieces, there's no reason why the Suns can't be a top-six defense as the Charlotte Bobcats were a year ago under Clifford. He has the personnel necessary to make an elite defensive unit.
On the offensive end of the court, Wall's dribble penetration will set the tone. Both he and shooting guard Alec Burks can run pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop sets with D-West. If West isn't open to spot up for mid-range looks or roll to the basket for easy buckets, kicking the ball out to Burks or DeMarre Carroll on the perimeter for open treys is a tantalizing option. If shooters close out on Burks, he can use his athletic ability to take defenders off the dribble and start the process over again by drawing attention on drives.
Asik doesn't offer much as a post-up option, but his ability to crash the offensive boards will provide the team with extra opportunities to score.
In the second unit, Brian Roberts, Nick Johnson/Willie Green and Nikola Mirotic can all rain down triples and spread the floor around other guys. Kosta Koufos is a capable scorer on the interior, and rookie T.J. Warren was one of the nation's top scorers in college. He also had a great showing in summer league by showing he can finish through contact in the paint.
The bench guys can all score the ball. Unlike teams that hemorrhage points when the second unit takes over, this squad has the capability to hold leads and provide more offensive gusto when compared with the defensive-minded starting five.
-Ben Leibowitz, Suns Re-Draft GM
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Portland Trail Blazers
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Damian Lillard, Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton
Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade, Martell Webster
Small forward: Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Young
Power forward: Josh Smith, Elton Brand, Glen Davis
Center: Spencer Hawes, JaVale McGee
Head Coach: Mark Jackson
Head Coach: Mark Jackson (No. 196 overall)
Taking a head coach in the seventh round might seem like a bit of a stretch (especially considering this head coach was recently relieved of his coaching duties), but this offensive-minded group is going to need discipline on defense, and that's exactly what Mark Jackson is going to provide throughout an 82-game season.
Starting Point Guard: Damian Lillard (No. 16 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.6 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
Damian Lillard is quickly becoming a "face of the franchise" type of player. Not only did he improve following his 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign, but he established himself as a bona fide All-Star while hitting the most three-pointers of any player not named Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.
When people questioned how well he would play in his first postseason, he responded by boosting his averages, hitting "The Shot" and getting the Portland Trail Blazers to the second round for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The best part? His best days are still ahead of him. In his own words following his walk-off three-pointer against the Houston Rockets, courtesy of The Oregonian’s Sean Meagher, "That's definitely the biggest shot of my life," he said. "So far."
Starting Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade (No. 45 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 22.0 PER (for Miami Heat)
The reasons to pass on Dwyane Wade are understandable, and even justifiable—for a while. At No. 45 overall, though? Not a chance.
We know that Wade will deal with health issues at some point, but that's why the Blazers have paired him next to a dynamic playmaker in Lillard. At 32 years old, he's adjusted his game because of health and age, and as a result, he's increased his efficiency, which is all we can ask for from someone who has accepted a role as a No. 2 (sometimes No. 3) scoring option over the past few seasons.
Starting Small Forward: Thabo Sefolosha (No. 225 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 10.4 PER (for Oklahoma City Thunder)
Defense, defense, defense. That's what this team is going to get from Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup.
With Wade and Lillard manning the backcourt, somebody has to be a defensive presence on the perimeter. That task belongs to Sefolosha, and he'll accomplish it without commanding too many shots along the way.
Starting Power Forward: Josh Smith (No. 76 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.4 blocks, 14.1 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Josh Smith is a power forward. The Detroit Pistons have tried him out at small forward for a year, and barring injury (or a drastic improvement in his three-point shooting), you won't see that in Portland next season.
With two-thirds of the perimeter positions lacking defensive intensity, Smith will be something of a "last line of defense" when it comes to defending the rim. He'll score in transition—sure. But his primary role on this team will be stopping players in the paint, and if a few shots his way makes him happy, so be it.
Starting Center: Spencer Hawes (No. 105 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.2 blocks, 15.7 PER (for Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers)
With Josh Smith stuck on the block and Thabo Sefolosha limited to minimal shots, Spencer Hawes will be used to help spread the floor in the starting five.
At 26 years old, Hawes is still improving. The 2013-14 season was undoubtedly his best season, but he's learning how to contribute on both ends of the floor as he matures. He's coming off a career year, and he's the go-to guy Portland needs to make this starting lineup a legitimate threat from the three-point line.
Backup Point Guard: Jameer Nelson (No. 285 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.9 PER (for Orlando Magic)
For the first time in his career, Jameer Nelson is about to put on a jersey for a team other than the Orlando Magic—and we're not talking about the Dallas Mavericks.
Having been a starter virtually his entire career, Nelson is entering a new stage in his career. He'll play an integral role off the bench for Portland, and while he'll certainly take over the floor general role and allow Damian Lillard to play off the ball at times, he'll also give the young All-Star something he's yet to experience in his early career—rest.
Backup Point Guard: Raymond Felton (No. 376 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.9 PER (for New York Knicks)
Raymond Felton believes he can still be an elite point guard. The rest of the league isn't so sure, which is why he wasn't selected until the 376th pick in the re-draft (15 spots from not being chosen at all).
Although Felton has become an easy player to rag on, he has to be considered one of the most accomplished third-string point guards in this draft. It'll take an injury to get him significant minutes, but should that feared scenario come to fruition, the Blazers can find solace in the fact that they have a player hungry to prove he's still reliable and ready to make a difference.
Backup Shooting Guard: Martell Webster (No. 256 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 11.5 PER (for Washington Wizards)
Martell Webster underachieved during his original stint in Portland, but having spent four seasons away growing up and developing his game, Rip City joyously welcomes him back to the Pacific Northwest where he'll make it rain three-pointers as often as it actually rains.
Backup Small Forward: Nick Young (No. 136 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, 16.0 PER (for Los Angeles Lakers)
Nick Young isn't going to be happy about coming off the bench. However, with playing the 3 and not the 2, his minutes will increase behind Thabo Sefolosha, and he'll start games when Dwyane Wade sits.
When it comes to sixth men, you can't get much better than Nick Young. Jamal Crawford? Sure. But a scorer off the bench is as valuable as it comes, and having one who can strike from deep is all you can ask for—especially when he has the mentality of a starter.
Backup Power Forward: Elton Brand (No. 316 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
Elton Brand was brought onto this roster to provide defense as the backup power forward. However, with an inconsistent option in JaVale McGee as the backup 5, there's a good chance the veteran big man will see time at both positions, giving the Blazers the toughness they need whoever is manning the post.
Backup Power Forward: Glen Davis (No. 345 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, 13.1 PER (for Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers)
Glen Davis is about to play the increasingly crucial role of third-string power forward/fourth-string center for the Trail Blazers (sarcasm included).
Although he's not going to be an integral part of the rotation, he will consistently give what is expected of him. When he sees the floor, he'll grab a few boards, make a bucket or two and probably get his shot blocked at least once, and as long as you understand that this is what you're getting, he'll be the ultimate role player to have toward the end of the bench.
Backup Center: JaVale McGee (No. 165 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 1.4 blocks, 10.2 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
JaVale McGee, when healthy and disciplined, is a starting-caliber center. His length and athleticism is off the charts, but we just haven’t seen enough of that health and discipline to trust him with the starting spot just yet.
Behind Hawes, McGee gives this team a consistent shot-blocking presence at the rim. He has to become a more reliable rebounder, but with a clean bill of health and about 20 minutes per game, he should prove to be a solid option off the bench.
-Bryant Knox, Blazers re-draft GM
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How Will the Blazers Play?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The Portland Trail Blazers believe wholeheartedly that they have the most talented roster in the NBA. We know from past examples that the procurement of talent alone doesn't win championships (see: Dwight Howard's Los Angeles Lakers), but that's why this group was strategically built to be an offensive juggernaut with defensive specialists placed both on the perimeter and down on the block.
With versatility and complementation in mind, the Trail Blazers drafted dynamic scorers who can play multiple positions. The dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and Dwyane Wade will be a nice complement to the defensive perimeter presence of Thabo Sefolosha, while Spencer Hawes will spread the floor, leaving Josh Smith to defend the paint and score in transition.
Interchangeability was a common draft theme when it came to the reserves. Nick Young can play multiple positions, and so can Elton Brand. Jameer Nelson will allow Lillard to slide to the 2, and while Glen Davis and Raymond Felton will be used as last resorts, they're talented enough to step into place when the end of the bench is called into duty.
Will there be an acclimation period with this group? Absolutely. There's no question that certain players will feel slighted if they don't get enough touches, but that's where the team needs leadership and guidance—not to mention someone who can rally the troops and get everyone on the same page.
Enter Mark Jackson.
Although the former head coach is coming off of a sudden firing at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, he did something with that group that's almost unfathomable in today’s NBA. He instilled a defensive mentality that pushed the Dubs' D to elite status without sacrificing the offensive culture that had defined the franchise for so many years.
That's the kind of leadership every roster league-wide could use, and it's what's going to push the Trail Blazers to become contenders in 2014-15.
-Bryant Knox, Blazers Re-Draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Kyle Lowry, Ray McCallum
Shooting guard: Klay Thompson, Jordan Crawford
Small forward: Mike Dunleavy, Derrick Williams, Carlos Delfino
Power forward: Patrick Patterson, Kris Humphries
Center: Marcin Gortat, Samuel Dalembert, Sim Bhullar
Head Coach: Doc Rivers
Head Coach: Doc Rivers (No. 85 overall)
Having my backcourt intact, I wanted to get a coach who could get the most out of it. I had the perfect guy in mind in Doc Rivers.
Rivers was an effective point guard for years in the NBA, so he has the personal experience to draw on. Beyond that, he's coached two of the best point guards in Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, and the coach really helped maximize the latter's potential. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Rivers has a track record of success wherever he's gone.
Starting Point Guard: Kyle Lowry (No. 25 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 20.1 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
I went into the draft without any real idea of what type of team I wanted to build. That meant selecting the best player available with my first pick and going from there. Well, Kyle Lowry was, in my opinion, the best player still on the board at No. 25.
He also provides the perfect starting point for my team. He can do everything well on the basketball court, and he makes the most of whomever he's playing with. He's the perfect creator and distributor for the Kings. Perhaps most importantly, he's our on-court leader.
Starting Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson (No. 36 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, 14.3 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
Since Lowry was so versatile and already on the team, I went into the second round with somewhat of a best-player-available attitude. However, there were a couple of parameters in mind with the pick. I wanted someone who could stretch the floor and have an impact on both ends of the court. That's where Klay Thompson comes in.
Thompson's an all-around effective scorer, and at 41 percent from downtown, he's more than capable of spreading the floor. Not to mention, he's an effective and versatile defender, holding point guards (8.3), shooting guards (12.4) and small forwards (10.5) to below-average player efficiency ratings, per 82games.com.
Starting Small Forward: Mike Dunleavy (No. 156 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 12.6 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
Like Patterson, I selected Mike Dunleavy because he can mesh well with Lowry's drive-and-kick game on offense.
Dunleavy has hit 37.3 percent of his three-pointers throughout his career, which will allow him to spread the floor. However, he also has some secondary skills that will help the Kings. He's a solid passer for a small forward (3.0 assists per 36 minutes), and he's made himself into a decent defender.
Starting Power Forward: Patrick Patterson (No. 145 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 14.6 PER (for Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors)
Already possessing a point guard in Lowry who could create for others, I wanted a power forward who could stretch the floor on offense and provide some interior rebounding. That's what was largely behind the thinking in selecting Patrick Patterson.
Since developing a three-point shot prior to the 2012-13 season, Patterson has made 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts, including 41.1 percent last season after being traded to the Raptors. Beyond that, the power forward pulled down 8.0 rebounds per 36 minutes and was a solid defender.
Starting Center: Marcin Gortat (No. 96 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 17.6 PER (for Washington Wizards)
With the backcourt taken care of, it was time to select someone who could provide punch on the inside. Luckily Marcin Gortat was still available.
Gortat is a good fit because of his defense. He's a decent rim protector, and he's solid on the defensive glass. On offense, Gortat is efficient, making at least 52 percent of his shots every year since his rookie year. But he also has some range to his game, making 43 percent of his shots from 10-16 feet.
Backup Point Guard: Ray McCallum (No. 265 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 9.7 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
With such a strong backcourt in Lowry and Thompson, I took an upside play with Ray McCallum in the ninth round. McCallum doesn't have a ton of NBA experience, playing only one year in the league and not getting much playing time for most of his rookie season. However, he's been effective when he's had chances to play.
With Isaiah Thomas down last year, McCallum averaged 13.8 points, 7.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and only 1.9 turnovers as the starter. It was a solid showing, especially when considering he'd only appeared in 33 games up to that point. He also had an excellent summer league. While you can't read too much into that, it’s an encouraging sign when coupled with his late-season emergence. As Lowry's backup, he won't be expected to play much, but he's shown to be capable when on the court.
Backup Shooting Guard: Jordan Crawford (No. 276 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.3 PER (for Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors)
We know Jordan Crawford can score. He's averaged double-digit points in each of his four NBA seasons, this despite only starting 99 of his 257 games and playing for four different teams. He'll be called on to provide bench scoring for the Kings.
On top of his ability to score points off the bench, Crawford is an underrated passer. While he's primarily played shooting guard, he's averaged 4.6 assists per 36 minutes. This unselfishness will allow him to play with the second unit as a primary scorer or come in with the first unit in more of a facilitating role.
Backup Small Forward: Derrick Williams (No. 325 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 11.5 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings)
While Derrick Williams clearly hasn't lived up to the expectations that come along with being the No. 2 pick in the draft, he'll have no problem meeting the requirements of an 11th-round draft pick.
Williams' biggest weakness is his outside shooting, as he only made 26.3 percent of his three-pointers and 28.3 percent of his jump shots last season. On this Kings team, he won't be asked to spread the floor. Enough pieces are on the squad to do that for him. When Williams gets the ball, he'll be expected to attack the basket. That's a good thing, as the forward made 68.3 percent of his attempts at the rim.
Backup Small Forward: Carlos Delfino (No. 336 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.3 PER (for Houston Rockets)
Carlos Delfino fits the mold of our other forwards, with the exclusion of Derrick Williams, in that he stretches the floor and plays defense. However, "The Dolphin" is probably the best perimeter defender of the backups.
Delfino held opposing shooting guards to a PER of 10.4 and opposing 3s to a PER of 14.1 in 2012-13, according to 82games.com. He did that while knocking down 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts, making him another three-and-D option.
Backup Power Forward: Kris Humphries (No. 216 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, 18.2 PER (for Boston Celtics)
Kris Humphries is a safe pick, which is the main reason I selected him in the eighth round. He's shown the ability to come off the bench or start games, and he's been equally effective in both roles.
He's averaged a double-double on a per-36-minute basis every year since 2009-10, and it's not like he's only shown that type of production in small workloads. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, when he was a starter for much of the time, he averaged 11.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. He's also adequate on defense, holding opposing power forwards to a PER of 15.1 last season, per 82games.com.
Backup Center: Samuel Dalembert (No. 205 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks, 16.8 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
With defense being a big part of Sacramento's foundation, Samuel Dalembert is the perfect sixth man. He doesn't provide a ton on offense, but the big man does two things really well: play defense and rebound the basketball.
Dalembert has averaged at least 10 rebounds and two blocks per 36 minutes every year he's been in the NBA. And even though he doesn't score much, Dalembert is efficient. Last season, he had an offensive rating of 117, a PER of 16.8, knocked down 56.8 percent of his field goals and made 73.7 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Backup Center: Sim Bhullar (No. 385 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.1 steals, 3.4 blocks, 24.5 PER (for New Mexico State Aggies)
Unlike the other players on the team, Sim Bhullar doesn't figure to get a ton of playing time. Not only was he the 13th and final pick, but he's also behind Gortat and Dalembert on the depth chart, two players with more experience and ability.
The overall thinking was that regardless of who was selected, they wouldn't get much playing time. With that being the case, why not pick a guy who's 7'5"? Sure, he may be raw, but you might as well take someone with a high ceiling—pun intended. It also didn't hurt that Sim has one of the coolest first names around.
-Sim Risso, Kings re-draft GM
63 of 73
How Will the Kings Play?
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
As should be expected with a great point guard, the Kings will run through Kyle Lowry on offense. That was the expectation when he was drafted, and the picks surrounding him were selected with that in mind.
We don't have too many guys who work out of isolation, and anybody who will get playing time, with the exception of Derrick Williams and Samuel Dalembert, has the ability to stretch the floor. This will allow all of the players to remain effective within the confines of the offense while spreading the floor, allowing Lowry space to work.
Opposing defenses will have to pick their poison. They can focus on preventing penetration, but as soon as they sag off their man, Lowry, or whoever is driving, will hit them for an open three-pointer. If the defense stays honest on its assignments, it'll allow one-on-one matchups for the ball-handler.
Pretty much every position on the roster has a capable, if not above-average, defender. Carlos Delfino and Klay Thompson provide two excellent wing defenders. Furthermore, each is versatile, as Thompson is effective against 1s, 2s or 3s, while "The Dolphin" can defend shooting guards or small forwards.
Samuel Dalembert is a superb interior defender and rim protector, which should help for the few occasions when the opposition has a lane to the hoop. Kris Humphries and Marcin Gortat are both solid defenders who are effective at cleaning the defensive glass.
All of this will be molded by a coach with a proven track record in Doc Rivers. Rivers is known for getting the most out of his point guards and a team's defense. In Lowry, he already has an elite floor general who will only get better under his guidance. The coach also has a plethora of good individual defenders who will only get better when working in his defensive system.
-Sim Risso, Kings re-draft GM
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San Antonio Spurs
Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Cory Joseph
Shooting guard: Avery Bradley, Evan Turner
Small forward: Jeff Green, Rodney Hood
Power forward: Zach Randolph, Jason Thompson, Marreese Speights
Center: Tiago Splitter, Andray Blatche
Head Coach: Flip Saunders
Head Coach: Flip Saunders (No. 323 overall)
After struggling in Washington and igniting critics when he named himself head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Flip Saunders has people forgetting that he holds a winning record as a head coach and had a good tenure with Minnesota during Kevin Garnett's reign. Now, he'll have the opportunity to lead a defensive-minded squad with plenty of toughness to match the tenacity that Garnett spewed.
He isn't Gregg Popovich, but Saunders has proved himself an intelligent basketball mind. With a versatile cast of characters who fit his play style, he'll look good calling the shots from the Black and Silver sidelines.
Starting Point Guard: Derrick Rose (No. 23 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 9.7 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
In the latter half of the first round, I'd take Derrick Rose any day—especially with restored health. Before his string of bad luck, the former MVP led his team to the NBA's best record in consecutive years and had emerged as one of the brightest point guards and players in the entire league.
He's an offensive powerhouse with an improving shot and unlimited athleticism. At full health and full confidence, Rose is the complete package and more than I expected at pick No. 23.
Starting Shooting Guard: Avery Bradley (No. 98 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.7 PER (for Boston Celtics)
Avery Bradley has emerged as one of the best—if not the best—on-ball defenders in the league, and an improvement in his offensive production last season showed his potential as a two-way player.
He can lead the perimeter defense, creating transition opportunities for fast-break studs like Rose and Green to dominate, and he can contribute offensively as both a shooter and a slasher. He may be raw to an extent on that end, but as one of the league's best defenders, Bradley is a steal at pick No. 98.
Starting Small Forward: Jeff Green (No. 83 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, 13.1 PER (for Boston Celtics)
With Rose leading the offense, a dynamic scorer would hardly be a good fit at the wing. Instead, Jeff Green—a rising renaissance man with the ability to play both forward positions—fits the bill as a natural complement to both previous picks.
He has established himself as a budding star, with an all-around skill set that encompasses scoring, distributing, defense and rebounding. Green may not be the flashy pick, but he has proved to be a legitimate talent, and his versatility makes him an ideal addition.
Starting Power Forward: Zach Randolph (No. 38 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 17.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.3 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
With Rose basking in the spotlight, San Antonio needed a no-nonsense big man to do the dirty work.
Cue Zach Randolph.
What the 6'9" power forward lacks in athleticism and finesse, he makes up in toughness and raw skill. He is an offensive workhorse with a propensity to dominate in the paint—though he can contribute from mid-range as well. Throw in his glass-cleaning prowess, and Randolph brings the talent to supplement his tenacity.
Starting Center: Tiago Splitter (No. 143 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.5 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
Rounding out the starting lineup is none other than San Antonio's own Tiago Splitter. A poor man's Marc Gasol, Splitter provides the inside passing ability to complement Randolph and the defensive aptitude to fill any holes on that end of the floor.
Offensively, his pick-and-roll prowess will mesh well with Rose, and his improved finishing ability will make him useful as a secondary offensive option in the post.
Backup Point Guard: Kirk Hinrich (No. 218 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 10.8 PER (for Chicago Bulls)
Even though Derrick Rose is healthy, it never hurts to add insurance—especially in the form of a player who knows the role of Rose's backup so well. Hinrich meshes well with the defensive-minded lineup that has formed in San Antonio, and his history as a strong shooter shouldn't be overlooked either.
The veteran provides the locker room presence to keep his teammates in check, while also possessing the experience necessary to take the team to the next level on the court. He fits nicely into the second unit but can also play alongside Rose at the 2 should the team require his services as a shooter.
Backup Point Guard: Cory Joseph (No. 383 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.7 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
With the San Antonio Spurs relatively Spur-less, it seemed necessary to end the draft with a familiar face. Cory Joseph hasn't established himself as a standout, but he has proved himself as a strong defensive talent with a well-rounded—though raw—skill set on the offensive end.
He's a fine role player with a high IQ and upside. In the final round, what more can you ask for?
Backup Shooting Guard: Evan Turner (No. 158 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.4 PER (for Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers)
Had Evan Turner avoided that end-of-season horror show that was his time with the Indiana Pacers, he likely would have been off the board a few rounds earlier. In Philadelphia, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft demonstrated a versatile scoring game that included an improved mid-range shot, a strong driving ability and—most importantly—the capacity to create his own shot.
As a sixth-man scoring spark, Turner will have the opportunity to do all of that and more without much scrutiny in an environment that values his offensive versatility.
Backup Small Forward: Rodney Hood (No. 263 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 20.1 PER (for Duke Blue Devils)
To avoid any worries that the Spurs would lack the outside shooters necessary to space the floor for Rose and the team's other stars, I brought in Rodney Hood and his rookie legs to provide another dimension to the team.
He's proved to be a strong offensive player, with no visible weaknesses on that end. Elsewhere, he has established himself as a legitimate defender and distributor, even if he doesn't excel in either category. In San Antonio, he'll be used largely as a scorer, though he may prove to be a very important piece once his sneakers hit the NBA hardwood for the first time.
Backup Power Forward: Jason Thompson (No. 278 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.7 blocks, 11.1 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
Jason Thompson has been on a slow decline that really isn't his fault. He's been stuck in a terrible situation in Sacramento throughout his career and deserves better. Hopefully, he'll get it in San Antonio.
He can play either post position and has the athleticism and raw skill to make an impact on either end. His attitude has been called into question, but it remains to be seen whether that's simply the product of perennial team failure. As the second big off the bench, someone who has started throughout his career and has posted respectable stats warrants more than just a second look in the 10th round.
Backup Power Forward: Marreese Speights (No. 338 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 15.2 PER (for Golden State Warriors)
Marreese Speights has never been viewed as a big-impact player, but he produces well when he's given playing time. Despite averaging just 15 minutes of court time throughout his career, the journeyman has averaged upward of seven points, posting per-36 scoring totals in the high teens and rebounding totals right around double digits.
He can play center and power forward and fills holes on both ends of the floor. As a 12th-rounder, Speights isn't guaranteed too many minutes in San Antonio, but he'll be expected to shine when given the opportunity.
Backup Center: Andray Blatche (No. 203 overall)*
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 18.8 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
I had initially pegged Andray Blatche as a potential starter, so when his name was still in the mix while I was searching for a backup big, I was more than happy to add him to the team.
Blatche's turnaround since his departure from Washington has been admirable. His improved attitude only supplements the advancements he has made as a basketball player. He has proved himself an offensive asset, with a good touch around the rim and a nose for the ball. As a backup to Splitter, who has struggled offensively at times, Blatche—having ranked 14th in PER just two seasons earlier—is a low-risk, high-reward addition in the seventh round.
-Garrett Jochnau, Spurs re-draft GM
*Blatche had not yet signed overseas at the time of drafting.
65 of 73
How Will the Spurs Play?
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
When it came to modeling the new-look Spurs after a successful franchise, I initially looked to the real San Antonio squad for a blueprint.
Needless to say, the lack of players capable of doing what Tim Duncan does annually made it somewhat difficult to emulate their unique style. So, I reshifted my focus to a team whose success has been cut short annually due to one fatal flaw—the Memphis Grizzlies and their deficiency of scorers capable of creating their own shot.
This San Antonio team has all of the pieces to bring the grit-and-grind that carried Memphis to the Western Conference Finals in 2013. Zach Randolph headlines the group, and Splitter—a growing defensive project—fits in nicely as a poor man's Marc Gasol. Avery Bradley can go toe-to-toe with Tony Allen defensively and maintains a substantial advantage on the other end. The same applies to Jeff Green, whose versatility on both ends makes him a good fit.
Of course, that leaves Derrick Rose, my first-round selection and the biggest difference between my Spurs and the 2013 Memphis squad that fell just short. Having missed the majority of the past few seasons to injuries, Rose has many forgetting what made him so great. But his ability to create offensively—both for himself and his teammates—earned him an MVP award, and with health on his side, there’s no reason to suggest he can't earn another.
Rose will spearhead the Spurs' offense, utilizing a cast of strong passers to open up looks down low and beyond the perimeter. The rest of the starters will do what they do for their own respective teams in real life—play off the star.
Beyond the main five, the roster features a variety of players capable of contributing in numerous areas. Some, like Evan Turner, specialize in offensive creation. Others, like Hood and Hinrich, can fill in gaps.
As a whole, look for San Antonio to march out with the defensive tenacity of the 2013 Grizzlies squad, but with a substantially greater number of opportunities on the offensive end.
-Garrett Jochnau, Spurs re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Rajon Rondo, Tony Wroten
Shooting guard: Wesley Matthews, Kyle Singler
Small forward: Wilson Chandler, Khris Middleton
Power forward: Nene, Marcus Morris, Mike Scott
Center: DeMarcus Cousins, Jeff Withey, Kenyon Martin
Head Coach: Jeff Hornacek
Head Coach: Jeff Hornacek (No. 157 overall)
The NBA's runner-up for Coach of the Year, Jeff Hornacek proved in 2013-14 he can get the most out of a young team. That's why I tabbed him to lead a team built around Cousins and featuring a slew of skilled but unproven bench pieces.
His free-flowing offensive system will give Rondo creative control, and he'll be able to experiment with unique lineups using the bevy of combo forwards off the pine. The team may not be elite defensively, but it'll be nearly impossible to stop.
Starting Point Guard: Rajon Rondo (No. 37 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.3 PER (for Boston Celtics)
Rajon Rondo struggled somewhat in 2013-14, but he still averaged nearly 10 assists per game and showed plenty of flashes of All-Star talent. Now magically healthy, he should be a perfect complement to Cousins in the pick-and-roll and find the bevy of shooters on the Toronto roster.
Rondo won't put up elite scoring numbers, but he'll be able to make plays, pressure ball-handlers and provide crucial veteran leadership for the Raptors.
Starting Shooting Guard: Wesley Matthews (No. 84 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 15.7 PER (for Portland Trail Blazers)
One of the game's more underrated wings, Wesley Matthews will team with Rondo to form a dynamic defensive backcourt and provide some crucial shooting around Cousins.
He's more than just a three-and-D player, though, as he has a nifty post game to use against smaller guards and has improved his off-the-dribble play. He has all of the tools to thrive while defenses key in on the two stars.
Starting Small Forward: Wilson Chandler (No. 144 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, 12.4 PER (for Denver Nuggets)
Needing a small forward to round out my starting lineup, Wilson Chandler seemed like the best available option. He's an elite athlete whose star has fallen due to injury concerns, but he can make his presence felt on both ends of the court.
He can comfortably play the 2, 3 or 4, and he knocked down two threes per game last season. He should work well cutting off the ball around Cousins and Rondo, and he's also an option to guard elite scorers like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
Starting Power Forward: Nene (No. 97 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.9 blocks, 16.6 PER (for Washington Wizards)
A healthy Nene is one of the game's best offensive big men and a capable defender as well. He isn't a three-point threat, but he can consistently splash 18-footers, work out of the pick-and-roll and make smart passes to open teammates.
He'll be able to provide a little space around Cousins, and also log some minutes at the 5 when Toronto goes small. His presence as a vocal leader should not be underrated either.
Starting Center: DeMarcus Cousins (No. 24 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks, 26.1 PER (for Sacramento Kings)
He still hasn't quite put it all together, but DeMarcus Cousins is easily one of the game's most talented players. He put up absurd numbers for Sacramento in 2013-14 and proved he could be a lethal offensive piece anywhere inside the arc.
He won't protect the rim, but he has good hands defensively, and I'm banking on the fact that he'll play better alongside older, more experienced teammates with playoff pedigree.
Backup Point Guard: Tony Wroten (No. 217 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.9 PER (for Philadelphia 76ers)
Tony Wroten isn't much of a shooter, but he's a monster attacking the basket and could log time with Rondo in an unconventional lineup.
His 6’6” frame is a huge asset defensively as he can cover 2-guards, and he'll be a beast in the open court like Eric Bledsoe was under Hornacek.
Backup Shooting Guard: Kyle Singler (No. 277 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, 11.8 PER (for Detroit Pistons)
Even. More. Shooting.
That was the rationale for taking Kyle Singler, who creates space with his jumper but also can react to a closeout and knows where to be defensively. He's a solid insurance policy for Chandler, since he logged more than 2,300 minutes last season and settled into a well-defined role in the Detroit offense.
Backup Small Forward: Khris Middleton (No. 264 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.5 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
Another talented, young offensive player, Middleton can add some off-the-dribble creativity in addition to a proven three-point stroke (41.4 percent in 2013-14).
He works hard defensively despite some bad habits and will be able to play multiple positions thanks to his size and quickness.
Backup Power Forward: Marcus Morris (No. 204 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.8 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
A true stretch 4, Marcus Morris will be able to slide in alongside either Nene or Cousins and provide space with his shooting. Morris hit 39 percent of his threes last season and can also finish around the basket.
The Toronto bench is full of scorers, but Morris will likely see the most minutes of any of them since he can play either forward position, defend, rebound a little and, most importantly, knock down triples.
Backup Power Forward: Mike Scott (No. 337 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.3 PER (for Atlanta Hawks)
I promise Mike Scott is the last scoring forward on the roster. He got some valuable playoff experience with Atlanta and has worked hard to improve his three-point shot.
He won't log much time behind Nene, Chandler and Morris, but he's a decent defender and athlete who could see time in the event of injuries or foul trouble.
Backup Center: Jeff Withey (No. 324 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 15.2 PER (for New Orleans Pelicans)
Admittedly a bit of a reach, but Jeff Withey actually averaged 8.3 points, 3.6 boards and 2.3 blocks in April.
He's excellent at contesting shots and rotating while also showing some solid awareness on the offensive end. He won't play more than 15 minutes per game, but he's a good foil to Cousins off the pine.
Backup Center: Kenyon Martin (No. 384 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 12.2 PER (for New York Knicks)
With such a young bench, I felt it was important to grab one tough, grizzly veteran. Kenyon Martin's best days are long behind him, but he's still good for a few rebounds and brutal fouls per game.
At the very least, he'll toughen up the young frontcourt players and collect some technicals on a veteran’s minimum salary.
-Grant Rindner, Raptors re-draft GM
67 of 73
How Will the Raptors Play?
LM Otero/Associated Press
Look, relying on DeMarcus Cousins is undoubtedly a scary proposition, but in an experienced starting five filled with winners and quality defenders, there is no reason he couldn't emerge as a franchise cornerstone.
Cousins has become an offensive threat all over the floor, and the combination of him and Rajon Rondo will give opponents fits both as a pick-and-roll tandem and also with Rondo feeding DMC in the post.
Surround that with two proven wing defenders and shooters in Wesley Matthews and Wilson Chandler, as well as a whip-smart power forward like Nene, and this team will be able to play in a myriad different styles.
They can push the pace with four capable ball-handlers or go high-low with Nene and Cousins to take advantage of their superior passing instincts.
Once the reserves come in, Jeff Hornacek will have the opportunity to exploit his youth and shooting in order to go small and open up space for Cousins or Nene.
Kyle Singler, Mike Scott, Khris Middleton and Marcus Morris are all solid outside shooters with good size who can create matchup problems and also open up driving lanes.
They can get up and down the court too, mimicking the successful, free-flowing offense Hornacek employed with the Phoenix Suns in 2013-14.
Defensively, this team has some limitations, as Jeff Withey is the only true rim-protector, but they have terrific size on the perimeter and enough individual talent to scrape out something like a league-average defense.
With Rondo, Cousins, Matthews and Tony Wroten, they should be able to force plenty of turnovers to create easy offense.
Rondo and Cousins will undoubtedly have huge responsibilities on the offensive end, but both have proved up to it in the past.
Fast-paced, offense-first teams may not have a long history of winning titles, but this Toronto squad should be a game-planning nightmare with its shooting and elite frontcourt talent.
-Grant Rindner, Raptors re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Ricky Rubio, Pablo Prigioni, Aaron Brooks
Shooting guard: Tony Allen, Wayne Ellington
Small forward: Jabari Parker, Michael Beasley
Power forward: Kevin Love, Tyler Hansbrough
Center: Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee, Andrew Bynum
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg (No. 303 overall)
According to Bleacher Report’s C.J. Moore, "The NBA's interest is only going to increase the more success Hoiberg has at Iowa State, and maybe some day the NBA pull will get him."
Well, Utah's pulling Fred Hoiberg on in after seeing the impact he's had on his team's defense and offense in the college ranks. Plus, if he could fix DeAndre Kane's shot, he can certainly help Rubio's.
Starting Point Guard: Ricky Rubio (No. 63 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 15.4 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
With two scorers in Love and Parker looking to take 15 to 20 shots per game, a pass-first, nay, pass-always point guard will keep both happy.
Ricky Rubio may not be able to shoot, but we don't need him to. The assist percentage of 37.8 is more important in this lineup. Plus, he'll pester opposing 1's with that league-leading steal percentage of 3.6.
Starting Shooting Guard: Tony Allen (No. 118 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 15.6 PER (for Memphis Grizzlies)
Tony Allen is a near-annual contender for Defensive Player of the Year and has been named All-Defense three times in his career.
The Grindfather will check the opposition's best wing while helping to make up for the gambling of Rubio on the perimeter.
Starting Small Forward: Jabari Parker (No. 58 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks, 28.4 PER (for Duke Blue Devils)
Combining Love with Jabari Parker gives the Utah Jazz a forward tandem that will be as close to unstoppable as you can get.
Parker enters the league with fluid scoring abilities that include ball-handling and outside shooting if you throw a big at him and a punishing low-post game if you try to guard him with a wing.
Starting Power Forward: Kevin Love (No. 3 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 26.9 PER (for Minnesota Timberwolves)
Most people harp on the boards and outside shooting—and rightfully so—but Kevin Love is about as versatile a big man as you're going to find.
Eight different NBA players have had seasons in which they averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds and four assists: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Bob McAdoo, Billy Cunningham and, you guessed it, Kevin Love in 2013-14.
Starting Center: Mason Plumlee (No. 123 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks, 19.0 PER (for Brooklyn Nets)
Believe it or not, Mason Plumlee was the best rookie from the class of 2013, leading the whole bunch in player efficiency rating, true shooting percentage and win shares (and all by healthy margins).
His ability to run the floor like a giant gazelle will work beautifully with the outlet passing of Love and the vision of Rubio.
Backup Point Guard: Pablo Prigioni (No. 238 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, 13.0 PER (for New York Knicks)
Pablo Prigioni is the human embodiment of the old cliche, "team-first player."
Last season with the New York Knicks, he averaged more assists (3.5) than field-goal attempts (2.9) while shooting a blistering 46.4 percent from three-point range.
Backup Point Guard: Aaron Brooks (No. 358 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, 12.5 PER (for Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets)
Aaron Brooks may never recapture the magic of 2009-10, when he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists, but he had a bit of a renaissance by shooting 38.7 percent from three and averaging nine points last season. That was enough to take him in Round 12.
As more of a shoot-first guy (14.7 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes in his career), he'll be a much different look than Rubio or Prigioni at the point guard spot in certain situations.
Backup Shooting Guard: Wayne Ellington (No. 298 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 3.2 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 12.2 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
In need of shooting and another Tar Heel to offset the Blue Devils-heavy nature of the roster, Wayne Ellington was the pick at No. 298.
He'll be a big change of pace backing up Tony Allen with his career three-point percentage of 38.6.
Backup Small Forward: Michael Beasley (No. 183 overall)*
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.8 PER (for Miami Heat)
Say what you will about Michael Beasley, but the dude has proved during his career that he can get buckets.
As little more than an ancillary piece for the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat last season, Beasley averaged 18.9 points per 36 minutes while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range. He'll get plenty more shots in Utah as the first scorer off the bench.
Backup Power Forward: Tyler Hansbrough (No. 243 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 4.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 14.2 PER (for Toronto Raptors)
At the start of Round 9, Utah’s re-draft team was shaping up nicely but still lacked a little psychosis.
To remedy that, Tyler "Psycho T" Hansbrough was selected to bring his unique blend of energy, size, toughness and bulging eyeballs off the pine. Opposing bigs beware.
Backup Center: Miles Plumlee (No. 178 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.1 blocks, 14.6 PER (for Phoenix Suns)
In taking Miles, I completed The Brothers Plumlee combo, thus upping the team's chemistry, size, athleticism and toughness around the rim.
The elder Plumlee is a finishing, rebounding and rim-protecting machine, punishing opponents in the lane to the tune of 11.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes.
Backup Center: Andrew Bynum (No. 363 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.2 steals, 1.1 blocks, 15.2 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers)
According to re-draft dungeon master Adam Fromal, "all injuries are healed" prior to the start of this event.
With that in mind, Andrew Bynum is too good to pass up in Round 13. Remember, he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds before his knees betrayed him worse than Walder Frey.
-Andy Bailey, Jazz re-draft GM
*Beasley had not yet signed overseas at the time of drafting.
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How Will the Jazz Play?
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Offensively, Utah will look to get out in transition on makes and misses. A great rebounder and outlet passer in Kevin Love, paired with a pass-first point guard in Ricky Rubio, allows that.
Jabari Parker and Mason Plumlee will look to get plenty of layups that way. If he can't get to the rim in transition, Parker can join Love as a secondary trailer option on the break for threes.
In the rare instances in which we have to set up in the half court, we'll run a pro-style offense with heavy doses of the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop. Plumlee has solid feet and great athleticism—perfect for a roll guy. Parker and Love are both capable of rolling and popping.
At this point, you may be wondering, "Where does Tony Allen fit into this?" Well, we don't really need him to shoot, ever. Parker, Love and Rubio will carry the offense, leaving defense and hustle points to Allen and Plumlee.
Speaking of defense and hustle, we have two more specialists off the bench that will bring those things in spades—Miles Plumlee and Tyler Hansbrough.
And in case the ACC quotient isn't high enough yet, Wayne Ellington will spell Allen if we ever need extra floor spacing from the wing.
Add a couple more reserve gunners in Michael Beasley and Aaron Brooks, throw in a savvy vet who can run the team while Rubio sits in Pablo Prigioni, don't forget a cyborg-legged Andrew Bynum, and voila, you can see the balance Utah's front office of one sought in the draft.
Charged with making all of the pieces fit together is Fred Hoiberg, who has plenty of executive experience as "The Mayor."
-Andy Bailey, Jazz re-draft GM
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Ryan Hurst/Bleacher Report Media Lab
Point guard: Victor Oladipo, D.J. Augustin, Shane Larkin
Shooting guard: Lance Stephenson, Ray Allen
Small forward: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, P.J. Hairston
Power forward: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Al Harrington
Center: Larry Sanders, Tyler Zeller
Head Coach: George Karl
Head Coach: George Karl (No. 247 overall)
Heading in to the re-draft, I knew I wanted to pick a coach to fit the play style of the players I selected rather than taking a coach and then picking players to fit that system. Karl's philosophy of moving the ball around and very rarely settling for mid-range jumpers fits well with Oladipo and Stephenson's tendency to drive to the basket.
Karl doesn't have a strict set of defensive plays or philosophies, but Kidd-Gilchrist, Oladipo and Stephenson can defend any of the guard spots, any small forwards and some smaller power forwards. He's also a hard-nosed guy, so Stephenson, Sanders and Hairston will want to think twice before doing anything dumb on or off the court.
Starting Point Guard: Victor Oladipo (No. 67 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, 13.6 PER (for Orlando Magic)
I know Oladipo isn't the best primary ball-handler, but taking Lance Stephenson at shooting guard made me more comfortable with selecting Oladipo. He did show in his rookie campaign that he can pass the ball, and on this team, he and Stephenson will split ball-handling duties.
Per 36 minutes last year, he averaged 16 points (most of which came at the rim). We’ll look past his 24.4 percent shooting from between three and 10 feet, per Basketball-Reference, and instead focus on what he can do near the basket and how he can show off his athleticism in Karl’s offense of getting free throws and moving the ball around at a fast pace.
Starting Shooting Guard: Lance Stephenson (No. 54 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 14.7 PER (for Indiana Pacers)
It's no secret that Stephenson led the league in triple-doubles last season, but it's worth mentioning once again here. Taking Stephenson allowed me to be more flexible with the point guard position. He can be the primary ball-handler at times and, like Oladipo, is great at getting to the rim.
Taking Duncan with my first-round selection also made me feel better about Stephenson's personality. Duncan should be a calming influence over Stephenson on and off the floor.
An Oladipo/Stephenson backcourt won't be leading this version of the Wizards to a top-10 offense, but they both bring energy on defense, and I trust either of them to guard the best scorer for any opponent.
Stephenson had 4.8 defensive win shares last season, per Basketball-Reference, while averaging 10 rebounds and 20 points per 36 minutes. That's a pretty strong argument for taking him in the late second round.
Starting Small Forward: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 127 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, 12.0 PER (for Charlotte Bobcats)
Oladipo, Stephenson and MKG. Try scoring on that. I'm well aware of how awful Kidd-Gilchrist is on offense (mainly his jump shot), but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to strengthen the defense like this.
Per 36 minutes, MKG had 7.8 rebounds last season, per Basketball-Reference, a 12.2 total rebound percentage and 2.2 defensive win shares. Between Duncan, Stephenson, Sanders and Kidd-Gilchrist, I’d love to see another team try to out-rebound these Wizards.
Had I taken a guard with my No. 6 pick, I would have passed on Kidd-Gilchrist, but with Oladipo and Stephenson, he'll be a lockdown defensive specialist who really adds to the group of players around Duncan.
Starting Power Forward: Tim Duncan (No. 7 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.9 blocks, 21.3 PER (for San Antonio Spurs)
I just couldn’t pass up the chance to take one of the 10 best players of all time. Duncan is an amazing leader on and off the floor, especially for the younger Oladipo and Stephenson. Even at age 37/38 during the season, he was fourth in the league in defensive rating, sixth in defensive rebounding percentage, 14th in total rebounds and ninth in defensive win shares.
On the offensive end, he’s still the king of big men who can take mid-range shots, making 45.5 percent of his shots between three and 10 feet last season. He’s also one of the best frontcourt passers around and will again fit well in Karl's offensive system. Sure, he won't play in all 82 games, but this is a team built for the playoffs, which is when Duncan shines.
Starting Center: Larry Sanders (No. 114 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.7 blocks, 14.0 PER (for Milwaukee Bucks)
There's an inherent risk with taking Sanders. He's encountered suspensions and injuries throughout his short career, and while Duncan won't be able to keep him healthy all year, I expect him to be a good role model for Sanders in Washington.
With Duncan patrolling six feet out, Sanders only has to worry about playing at the rim. Even in just 20 starts last season, he made 57.1 percent of his shots at the rim, per Basketball-Reference.com, and 63.3 percent during the 2012-13 season.
On defense, two things stand out: He held opponents to 41.6 percent shooting at the rim last season, according to NBA.com, and in 2012-13, he was ninth among all players in defensive rating (Duncan was first). I don't expect Sanders to be 100 percent healthy all season, but when he’s on the floor, he and Duncan will make quite the frontcourt.
Backup Point Guard: D.J. Augustin (No. 187 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.4 assist, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, 16.2 PER (for Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls)
Even after taking Allen, the thing the Wizards needed most was a perimeter presence. Augustin is a clear-cut point guard, unlike Oladipo, and can come off the bench and be the primary ball-handler. In Chicago last year, Augustin made just about one three per game and averaged 17.3 points per 36 minutes.
He also fits in to the defense-first mentality on the first unit, sporting a 105 (OK, but not great) defensive rating last season and finishing the year with 2.4 defensive win shares for the Bulls. Should Oladipo or Stephenson go down at any point during the year, I also feel perfectly comfortable running Augustin out as the starting point guard.
Backup Point Guard: Shane Larkin (No. 354 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 2.8 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, 8.3 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
Larkin's numbers from his rookie year are rough, but keep in mind he only played in 10.2 minutes per game for 48 contests. Now that he's healthy, I think Larkin has more to give in the league off the bench (not that these Wizards will need him to play more than 10 minutes per game).
I went with Larkin here rather than a third shooting guard because of Oladipo's lack of pure point guard skills. Should Stephenson or Allen get hurt at any time, Oladipo can slide over to the 2, and Larkin would be a fine backup point guard. This late in the rotation, all I'd want is for the pace of the offense to stay the same, and Larkin can do just that.
Backup Shooting Guard: Ray Allen (No. 174 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.8 PER (for Miami Heat)
This was my value pick of the draft. Around this time, the other general managers were going for perimeter shooting off the bench, yet in the sixth round, the greatest three-point shooter of all time was still on the board. Seriously, he’s made 2,973 three-pointers during his career, over 400 more than the second-place guy, Reggie Miller.
Sure, he's 39 years old, but there’s no reason why Allen can't patrol the perimeter and wait for Stephenson or Augustin to kick it out to him. His age hurts him on defense, but on the second unit I’ll be able to hide him in the rotation, and he's at least quick enough to keep up with everyone on the fast breaks.
Backup Small Forward: P.J. Hairston (No. 307 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 19.2 PER (for Texas Legends)
I probably waited far too long to take a backup small forward, especially with what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist calls a jump shot. Hairston attempted 7.8 three-pointers per game for the Legends this season, far too much for mine and Coach Karl’s liking. But it is the D-League, and Hairston was probably given the green light to shoot as much as he wanted.
Hairston has a smooth jump shot that will easily translate to the NBA. After dominating on defense with the first unit, the Wizards will be able to start bombing long-range shots with the second unit between Hairston, Allen and Augustin. And, as this continues to be a common theme, Hairston's character issues should be kept in check by Duncan’s influence.
Backup Power Forward: DeJuan Blair (No. 234 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 17.3 PER (for Dallas Mavericks)
Knowing that Duncan is going to have to sit out a few games and won't be able to start every day, Blair was a great pick for the late eighth round. He averaged just 15.6 minutes last season, with Duncan's minutes falling to fewer than 30 per game. Blair has a similar skill set to Duncan, making 47.4 percent of his shots between three and 10 feet last season and posting a total rebound percentage of .175, per Basketball-Reference.com.
Blair's an energy guy off the bench who can provide a spark for the second unit and play aggressively at the rim when Sanders and Duncan are off the floor.
Backup Power Forward: Al Harrington (No. 367 overall)*
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 6.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 9.7 PER (for Washington Wizards)
In the final round of the re-draft, we were all just looking at guys who won't play more than 10 minutes per game. As to take some of the player-coach load off Duncan's shoulders, Harrington seemed like a good selection. The real-life Wizards even used him as a coach in the summer league.
With Blair, Duncan, Sanders and Zeller in the frontcourt, I needed a big guy who could stretch the floor, and if Zeller or Blair is playing center, Harrington doesn't have to concern himself with even being in the paint. Grabbing him late also gives these Wizards a great balance of young talent and athleticism (Oladipo, Stephenson, MKG and Hairston) and veteran play (Harrington, Duncan and Allen).
Backup Center: Tyler Zeller (No. 294 overall)
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 5.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.5 blocks, 15.4 PER (for Cleveland Cavaliers)
With Sanders' injury history, I'm not totally confident in taking Zeller. But he did start 55 games in Cleveland during his rookie year. Like Sanders, Zeller is most effective at the rim (on offense and defense).
He held opponents to 47.3 percent shooting at the rim last season, according to NBA.com, and has a career 17.7 defensive rebounding percentage. Centers are hard to come by in the NBA, so getting Zeller in the 10th round isn't the most desirable outcome, but I'll take it.
-Jonathan Munshaw, Wizards re-draft GM
*Harrington had not yet signed overseas at the time of drafting.
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How Will the Wizards Play?
David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Dear opponents: Try to find a defensive weakness with a starting five of Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tim Duncan and Larry Sanders.
When the starting five is out on the floor, these Wizards will rely on Oladipo and Stephenson to drive to the basket and either take layups or draw a fouls, with Duncan waiting to take spot-up mid-range shots and Sanders down low for putbacks.
On the second unit, there's a plethora of perimeter shooting. Allen could even play with Oladipo and MKG if Stephenson needs some rest, but a second unit of D.J. Augustin, Allen, P.J. Hairston, DeJuan Blair and Tyler Zeller gives two guys who can rebound off missed threes, and it'll be tough for opponents to cover Allen and Hairston on the perimeter. What the first unit lacks, the second unit makes up for.
Duncan is also the master of setting screens, which is great for Stephenson and Hairston, if he gets in the starting lineup once George Karl gets tired of looking at Kidd-Gilchrist's shooting.
Mainly, offensive plays will revolve around Oladipo and Stephenson getting steals and running up the floor. When running a half-court offense, Stephenson and Oladipo can split ball-handling duties with Duncan setting picks left and right.
Defensively, Stephenson and MKG can both guard the opponent's best scorer, and Sanders and Duncan make for quite the frontcourt pairing. Blair isn't great at protecting the rim, but Zeller certainly is, and Augustin comes from a defense-first system in Chicago.
While defense will be the focal point for this team, scoring is going to be easier than it looks just from the names on paper because of the energy the younger guys bring.
-Jonathan Munshaw, Wizards re-draft GM
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Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
1. Charlotte Hornets, 69-13
2. Atlanta Hawks, 63-19
3. Indiana Pacers, 57-25
4. Dallas Mavericks, 57-25
5. New York Knicks, 54-28
6. Los Angeles Lakers, 49-33
7. Toronto Raptors, 48-34
8. Los Angeles Clippers, 47-35
9. Memphis Grizzlies, 46-36
10. Washington Wizards, 45-37
11. San Antonio Spurs, 45-37
12. Brooklyn Nets, 44-38
13. Portland Trail Blazers, 43-39
14. Denver Nuggets, 43-39
15. Boston Celtics, 42-40
16. Oklahoma City Thunder, 40-42
17. Detroit Pistons, 40-42
18. Milwaukee Bucks, 39-43
19. Miami Heat, 38-44
20. Cleveland Cavaliers, 37-45
21. Philadelphia 76ers, 32-50
22. New Orleans Pelicans, 32-50
23. Houston Rockets, 32-50
24. Utah Jazz, 31-51
25. Golden State Warriors, 29-53
26. Orlando Magic, 29-53
27. Sacramento Kings, 28-54
28. Phoenix Suns, 27-55
29. Minnesota Timberwolves, 24-58
30. Chicago Bulls, 21-61
Upon completion of the re-draft, all 30 general managers were asked to submit their power rankings of the 30 teams, ranked from No. 1 through No. 30.
A first-place vote received one point, a second-place vote received two points and so on and so forth. The total points were added up with the lowest point total serving as the ultimate goal.
Instead of simply ranking the teams at the end, I felt as though it added something to see how big the gaps between the teams were. We're more familiar with win-loss records than make-believe point compilations, so I calculated these win-loss records based on the standings.
With 30 spots on each ballot, the total number of points handed out to the re-draft league was 13,950. The team's percentage of those points was multiplied by the total number of losses in a full NBA season (1,230), essentially prorating the point totals into loss totals.
Take Jonathan Wasserman's league-leading Hornets, for example. He received 146 points (with an impressive six first-place votes), so (146/13,950)*1,230 = 12.873. After rounding up to 13, I simply set that as the number of losses, and Charlotte ended up with a 69-13 record.
Rounding errors caused the total number of losses in the league to equal 1,229.
Regardless, these records not only show the final rankings, but also how close—or far apart—the teams were from each other.