After listening to the interviews and reading some of the articles, I am retracting my statement about the Celtics tanking. Although I am fairly certain they will be one of the bottom teams, I think Brad Stevens will have this team will playing hard every night and could surprise the league this season. Unfortunately for Stevens, Danny Ainge did not give the Celtics the proper weapons to be able to compete against some of the more talented East team.
Removed from the list: Cleveland Cavs and Phoenix Suns
10. Detroit Pistons
Key Players: Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond
Target: Josh Smith
With the addition of Josh Smith, Detroit has one of the most formidable front court in the league. They are a borderline playoff team and the addition of Luigi Datome might just be enough to get them the 8th spot in the East.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Key Players: Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pevlovic, Derrick Williams, and Kevin Martin
Target Kevin Martin
With Love, Pevlovic, and Williams, the Timberwolves have three talented young centers and power forwards. In addition to those three, the Timberwolves appears to have their point guard of the future as well with Ricky Rubio. The addition of both Martin and Shabazz should put this team in contention, however with a deep Western conference the Timberwolves could be looking at a first round exit in the playoff.
The Washington Wizards are my wildcard team for next year. Beating tough opponents like the Lakers, OKC, Chicago, and Memphis last year. A healthy John Wall and the addition of Porter will be a boost for this up and coming team. Eric Maynor will provide solid minutes as the backup pg.
Key players: DeMar Derozan and Rudy Gay
Trading Andrea Bargnani was a huge move for the Raptors, losing one of their key players for 3 role players. Steve Novak is as one dimensional player you can get and Fields is overpaid at 6 mill per year for two years. Besides Derozen and Gay, this team is one injury away from complete disaster.
I currently have them ranked 7th worst but could be
6. Charlotte Bobcats
Key players: Al Jefferson,Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Cody Zeller, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Targets: Al Jefferson
Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson will be a solid pair for the Bobcats to build on. Both Kemba Walker and MKG needs to step up next year in order to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
5. Boston Celtics
Key Players: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Jared Sullinger
Target: Greg Oden and Vitor Faverani
Rajon Rondo is one of those players that always plays with a chip on his shoulders and this year he has a lot to prove as the leader of this team. Rondo is a great facilitator that can make a good team great, the question would be if he has the ability to make a pretty bad team good?
Jeff Green showed glimpses last year of the type of player he can become.Can he grow even further now that he will be the focal point of the team's scoring ability. Bradley struggled last year along with the rest of the team without Rondo. Avery Bradley is a solid 2 guard but showed his limitations when Doc and Ainge tried him as a pg.
Like Rondo Sully is coming off of a season ending injury. Will they be healthy throughout the season?
With Monta Ellis gone, the Bucks are in dire need to retain point guard Brandon Jennings. The addition of Zaza Pachulia and OJ Mayo are a boost to the team however they still do not have enough talent to compete in the East.
3. Sacramento Kings
Key Players: DeMarcus Cousins and Ben McLemore
Target: Tyreke Evans
The Sacramento Kings could possibly have the steal of the night by getting Ben McLemore with the seventh pick overall. McLemore is a terrific scorer with outstanding range on his jumper. Acquiring Greivis Vasquez for Tyreke Evans might not be so bad, adding a pass first point guard to go along with McLemore. DeMarcus Cousin is the key how far this team goes now and the future.
2. Orlando Magic
Key Players: PG Jameer Nelson, SG Arron Afflalo, SF Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Glen Davis
Targets: Eric Bledsoe
The way this team is currently structured, it appears to be one of the front runners to the Andrew Wiggins sweepstake. Tobias Harris showed promise last year with the Orlando Magic and at the age of 20 he still has room to grow. Victor Oladipo could be a great complimentary player, but this team needs more than a complimentary player in order to compete even in a weak Eastern Conference. Afflalo was rumored to be offered for Eric Bledsoe but the Clippers decided to accept an offer to get both Jared Dudley and JJ Reddick.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Key Players: Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young
Target: Nerlens Noel
No changes here!
Let’s face it if there is a team that are going all in for the number one pick this year it would be the Sixers. Trading Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel shows me two things. One they are completely done with the Andrew Bynum experiment and two this team is really going to suck next year. I would say barring any significant signings this team is at best a 20 win team.