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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Chrony’s NBA Draft

Atlantic Division

Boston CelticsPicks: 5, 32 Needs: SG, PF

The Celtics must find a dominant inside presence or a scorer to compliment Paul Pierce. The Celts could nab Yi Jianlian or Jeff Green with the fifth pick to fill that role. Joakim Noah could also be picked here, and could be the inspirational lift Bean Town needs.

Philadelphia 76ers (35-47)Picks: 12, 21, 30, 38 Needs: PF, SG

Three first-round picks should bode well for this team in its first full season without Allen Iverson. The Sixers should take the best available of Acie Law IV, Javaris Crittenton or Jeff Green for a guard option, then try to harvest the raw talent of Brazilian pro Tiago Splitter or Thaddeus Young later in the round.

New Jersey Nets (41-41)Pick: 17 Needs: SF, SG

Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson together average nearly 31 years of age, so Kansas’ Julian Wright is an all-around smart pick for the next generation. Rice’s Morris Almond is a potent scorer that the Nets might take a gamble on. And if the Nets really want a reward for their imagination, they might nab Rodney Stuckey.

New York Knicks (33-49)Pick: 23 Needs: SG

Eddie Curry and David Lee saw too many double teams and need a marksman like Marcus Almond or Daequan Cook that can make open shots. But the Knicks could opt for another big man, like Pao Gasol’s younger brother Marc, to compliment the many swingmen the team already has.

Toronto Raptors (47-35)Pick: none Needs: experience

The Raptors are in as good a situation as possible without draft picks. Chris Bosh is a franchise player and T.J. Ford is terrific when healthy. Andrea Bargnani was expected to take a couple of years to develop, but he’s ahead of schedule. This young team is primed to make strides with what it has.Jon Gilbert

Central Division

Milwaukee Bucks (28-54)Picks: 6, 56. Needs: SF, PG? PF.

If Milwaukee chooses to pick Mike Conley Jr. at No. 6, you can bet that Williams likely won’t be donning a Bucks’ jersey next season. Corey Brewer and Brendan Wright are the most logical names for Milwaukee to consider, and Wright could be a nice compliment to Andrew Bogut in the paint.

Chicago Bulls (49-33)Picks: 9, 49, 51. Needs: C, backup SF

The ideal pick for the Bulls would be a low-post scorer at the center position as they continue to search for the piece that would finally shore up their inside scoring deficiencies. Spencer Hawes and Joakim Noah are two big men that should be ripe for the picking at No. 9.

Detroit Pistons (53-29)Picks: 15, 27, 57 Needs: C, SG, PF

While the top centers in the draft will most likely be gone by the 15th pick, the Pistons will be in a nice position to add some scoring off the bench at the guard and forward positions. Scoring dynamo Rodney Stuckey could be available at No. 15, as well as Nick Young out of USC.

Indiana Pacers (35-47)Picks: none Needs: C, SG

Count Indiana as another draft pick-less team in desperate need of a youth revival. Rumors say Indiana is looking to get into the draft, but with nothing to offer but bloated contracts, the Pacers will find it difficult to find a deal. Their best shot is to deal Jermaine O’Neal for youth.

Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32)Picks: none Needs: PG, PF, backup C

Without any draft picks — and gobs of salary cap limitations — it’s hard to see any way the Cavs can improve their roster by way of the draft. As the perpetual quest to find LeBron a legitimate running mate continues, any significant upgrades will have to come through a trade.Matt Andreason

Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks (30-52)Picks: 3, 11 Needs: PG, PF

The big question in the draft seems to be whom the Hawks should take with the No. 3 pick. Al Horford could be the wise pick. As far as the point guard position goes, Hawks’ brass has made it clear that they want an NBA ready guard. No one is that more than Acie Law IV. Charlotte Bobcats (33-49)Picks: 8, 22 Needs: PG, SG, C

If Corey Brewer is still on the board at pick No. 8, the Bobcats would regret not picking him. At 6-foot-9, power forward Josh McRoberts would be a steal if he slipped to the No. 22 slot. Daequan Cook might be the choice as well, as Gerald Wallace explores his options.

Washington Wizards (41-41)Picks: 16, 47 Needs: PG, C

The Wizards took some giant steps last year, but injuries absolutely killed them. Washington will probably try to add some depth to its center position with its first-round pick, likely going after 7-foot center Jason Smith (Colorado State). Look for the Wiz to go after a point guard with their second round pick.

Miami Heat (44-38) Pick: 20 Needs: PG, SF

The most appropriate question might be: what don’t the Heat need? If a nimble point guard such as Javaris Crittenton or Acie Law IV slips to No. 20, the Heat will likely snag one of them. If neither is available, they’ll probably take the best swingman they can, which makes Thaddeus Young a hot option.

Orlando Magic (40-42)Picks: 39, 44, 54 Needs: SG, SF, PF

Orlando has two building blocks in Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard. Look for them to pick up a slew of ‘tweeners to fill up the roster for the future. If Spaniard Rudy Fernandez or Brazilian-born Tiago Splitter slips to early second round, the Magic would likely go after them.Cody Brunner

Northwest Division

Portland Trailblazers (32-50)Picks: 1, 37, 42, 52, 53 Needs: C, SF

Portland trumped all odds and landed the choice between two franchise players — both of whom would fill a need. This year they get the “granddaddy” of all picks in a franchise center named Greg Oden. The Blazers could also try to package their four second-round picks to move their second pick up.

Seattle Supersonics (31-51)Picks: 2, 31, 35 Needs: A frontline

The Sonics probably have the easiest pick in draft history. When Portland takes Oden (assuming they learned from their Sam Bowie-over-Michael Jordan mistake in 1985), Seattle would do well to take Texas’ Kevin Durant, regardless of whether they keep or lose Rashard Lewis.

Minnesota Timberwolves (32-50)Picks: 7, 41 Needs: A true PG

All the news coming out of Minnesota revolves around Kevin Garnett and his potential relocation in the near future. Knowing Kevin McHale’s tendency to make questionable choices, the T-wolves could take Chinese prospect Yi Jianlian or go with the high potential of Mike Conley if he’s still available.

Denver Nuggets (45-37)Picks: none Needs: Kenyon Martin, SG

The Nuggets currently have no draft picks and are strapped under the salary cap. Denver may try to trade into the first round of the draft, which figures to be loaded with two-guards but shallow in the point guard pool. The Nuggets will likely sit tight this off-season and wait for K-Mart’s return.

Utah Jazz (51-31)Picks: 25, 55 Needs: SG, C

Luckily for the Jazz, the majority of the shooting guards in this year’s draft seem to hover right around where they pick at 25. Possibilities include Marco Belinelli, Morris Almond, Aaron Afflalo, Alando Tucker and Rudy Fernandez. The Jazz insist, however, that they will take the best player available, which could be Sean Williams.Jason Peterson

Southwest Division

Memphis Grizzlies (22-60)Picks: 4 Needs: Everything

Mike Conley. We may remember Greg Oden some day as the Kwame Brown who grew up with Isaiah Thomas. Well, maybe not, but nobody — repeat, NOBODY — was bigger when it mattered from January onward than Mike Conley. Al Horford might also fill an upcoming need when Pau Gasol bolts for the big bucks.

New Orleans Hornets (39-43)Picks: 13, 43 Needs: C, SG

Nick Young is a popular choice for them, but he’ll go much earlier. They should take Acie Law IV if he’s still on the board. The Jazz proved this year that two small guards can be effective in
today’s NBA, and Law’s pick-and-pop shooting would be the perfect complement to Paul’s game.

Houston Rockets (52-30)Picks: 26 Needs: SG, PG

BYU alum and big-time asshole Chad Ford says they’ll take PF Glen Davis, who would presumably get Yao to bulk up on jambalaya. I say take Ford’s pick for San Antonio, Finnish wonder boy Petteri Koponen, just on the basis that San Antonio likes him. When you’re dumb, put your fate in the hands of smarter people. Bush it.

San Antonio Spurs (58-24)Picks: 28, 33, 58 Needs: SF, Backup PG

They’re just so boring, right? They should get a clown here — an actual man in a clown suit to liven things up when they have a 24-point lead. Marco Belinelli, who is a spitting image of Manu Ginobili, or Josh McRoberts would be All-Stars in a Spurs uniform.

Dallas Mavericks (67-15)Picks: 34, 50, 60 Needs: Playoff recharge, C

Cuban should call Isaiah Thomas and tell him he’d trade all their picks to Thomas for $20, then Cuban would give Thomas a coloring book and an enormous extended contract, then Thomas would give Cuban the two picks back, then Cuban would give him some crayons, and Thomas would give Cuban his pick and another $20.Matt Piper

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors (42-40)Picks: 18, 36, 46 Needs: PG, C

Aside from being a fun team to play for, the Warriors are on the up-and-up. But the West is no picnic, and if the Warriors want to continue to compete, they’ll need to draft someone who can help Andris Biedrins pull down some rebounds. That someone could be Duke stud Josh McRoberts.

Los Angeles Lakers (42-40) Picks: 19, 40, 48 Needs: PG, SF, C

Everyone knows that this is Kobe’s team, and the Lakers are never going to let him get away. The Lakers should play it safe and pick the best player available. Sean Williams seems like an obvious choice to help Kobe and the Lakers on defense and on the boards.

Sacramento Kings (33-49)Pick: 10 Needs: Forward

The Kings have been hurting for a power forward. In a best case scenario either Chinese sensation Yi Jianlian or Florida standout Joakim Noah could still be available when the 10th pick rolls around. If not, the Kings could opt for the talented Julian Wright out of Kansas. Los Angeles Clippers (40-42) Picks: 14, 45 Needs: PG

The Clippers will get a nice consolation prize for missing the playoffs with the chance to add a lottery pick to their roster (although they haven’t exactly been known for making smart off-season decisions in the past). Javaris Crittenton or Acie Law IV would fit in nicely training to run the point.

Phoenix Suns (61-21) Picks: 24, 29, 59 Needs: fast runners

This year’s draft is deep, but it’s not this deep. By the time the Suns’ picks roll around, any player capable of earning playing time in their star-studded lineup will be long gone. Whoever they pick, he had better like to run. Morris Almond and Alando Tucker could be good options.Natalie Dicou

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