Having already added some size with an earlier pick, the Celtics will shift gears with this selection and try to nab a scorer. Regardless of who stays and who goes in the coming year, an additional scorer who can play in the backcourt and make up for some of Rajon Rondo’s deficiencies will always get PT. As he showed in the National Championship game, Lamb can put up points with the best of them. On top of being a deadly shooter, this kid is also great at running the offense, plays solid defense and has a certain natural instinct that helped him continuously adjust/evolve during his time at Kentucky. He’ll be great fit here.
In a year where everything is seemingly going wrong for them, the Magic will get a gift in the form of Taylor. This kid is a ridiculously good athlete, strong scorer (both in terms of shooting and off the dribble) and an amazing defender. Within one year, he’ll probably be the second best defensive player on the squad behind Dwight Howard. For now, Orlando is set at center and point and can upgrade basically everywhere else. Taylor is a fantastic young piece that will fit in nicely with this unit regardless of whether or not Howard sticks around.
The Cavaliers are slowly but surely building up a nice little squad down in Cleveland while nobody is paying attention. Having already picked up a power forward earlier in the draft to address one need, management will fill another hole at the two with this selection. Even though Waiters’ shooting isn’t as consistent as you would like for it to be, when he’s on – he’s really on. Furthermore, he plays solid defense, plays with a lot of energy and has an NBA-ready body. If he can improve his shooting even a little bit before making the jump, he could be a huge asset to Cleveland on both ends of the floor right off the bat.
PF, Iowa State
The Golden State Warriors came into this season pledging to do some sort of run-and-gun and lockdown defense mishmash. Predictably, they’ve failed on both counts. Now that they’ve traded away Monta Ellis, it’s probably safe to assume that the powers that be don’t want to replace him with the exact same player. Since they won’t address the two here, the next logical step would be bringing in a big that’s slightly more athletic, and slightly less injured than center Andrew Bogut. White is arguably the most versatile big available in this draft, and he’ll be a perfect fit for whatever it is that Mark Jackson is looking to do next year. Offensively, there is very little that this kid can’t do – as he made abundantly clear this past season. Defensively, he’s not particularly great – but neither is anyone else on this Golden State squad. White comes with some attitude questions, but his talent is worth taking a chance on.
The Heat need to address their hole at big man, so them reaching ever so slightly for a center who at the very least can come in and be a great rebounder right off the bat makes a lot of sense. Offensively, Ezeli is very raw and mostly just tries to use his size and strength to muscle the ball in, but defensively is where he’ll make his money for the first few years. As it stands, Miami has enough offensive talent at the moment to justify taking a chance on a center who may or may not end up being serviceable in the foreseeable future.
PF, St. Bonaventure
The Thunder are good at point guard, shooting guard and small forward. The other two pieces of the front court aren’t a problem, per se, but they could definitely use some fine-tuning should the opportunity become available. Nicholson is a talented big that can score in a myriad of ways (both in the post and on the perimeter), and he’s also a very solid rebounder. Defensively, he leaves a lot to be desired and may have trouble at the next level, but that may not be such a problem given the fact that reserve fours typically aren’t huge scoring threats in the NBA anyway. All in all, at this point in the draft, you’re just looking for the pluses to outweigh the minuses – which they do in this case.
The Bulls learned this year that Derrick Rose’s health is something they can’t take for granted, so look for them to add some point guard depth in this draft if it becomes available. Wroten has good size and athleticism, knows how to get to the basket, has good court vision and plays solid defense. He’s not a great shooter, but neither was Rose when he first came into the league. That’s something that can be developed given the right nourishment. Chicago finds itself in the unique position of having a ridiculous amount of depth, so taking a risk on the best player available who could be a very solid backup to the reigning MVP actually makes a lot of sense.