New president of basketball operations David Kahn has five picks to use, including three in the first round. Minnesota has the Nos. 6, 18, and 28 picks in Round 1, and two more in the second round.
Will Kahn use all of those picks to drastically remake the T-Wolves' roster, or might he package a couple of picks or three in order to land a veteran difference-maker? More on the Northwest Division after the jump.
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Picks: No. 34 (second round)
Needs: Center with size, shooting guard.
Possibilities: Chase Budinger, Dionte Christmas, B.J. Mullens.
Put it into the equation: On their own, Kenyon Martin, Nene and Chris Andersen have proven to be solid contributors to a team that went deep into the playoffs. At the same time, there's not a center among them, and that became evident against the L.A. Lakers. The Nuggets need a legit five. And while Dahntay Jones did some nice things for Denver in 2008-09, he's got some limitations you're eventually going to have to deal with deep into the postseason.
Picks: No. 6 (first round), No. 18 (first round, from Miami), No. 28 (first round, from Boston), No. 45 (second round, from Philadelphia via Miami), No. 47 (second round, from Miami).
Needs: shooting guards and small forwards.
Possibilities: Jordan Hill, Terrence Williams, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday (pictured above)
Put it into the equation: New president of basketball operations David Kahn is in a tough spot. While there's no doubt he could pluck at player at No. 6 who could really help, it's also possible that the No. 6 pick could be a swing and miss. There are any number of ways Kahn could go. Yes, he's got Randy Foye, Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, but are any of those players good enough for Kahn to bypass a nice prospect at any of those spots?
Oklahoma City Thunder
Picks: No. 3 (first round), No. 25 (first round, from San Antonio),
Needs: Center and two guard.
Possibilities: Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden (pictured right), Ricky Rubio, Jordan Hill.
Put it into the equation: There are some who believe the Thunder are onto something big here, with three-fifths of their starting lineup in place for the foreseeable future: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. All that leaves is center and shooting guard, and since shooting guard is considered one of the easier positions to fill, there's a lot to like about Hasheem Thabeet here.
Portland Trail Blazers
Picks: No. 24 (first round), No. 33 (second round, from L.A. Clippers), No. 38 (second round, from New York via Chicago), No. 55 (second round, from Denver), No 56 (second round)
Needs: Another scorer, a rebounder and perhaps a point guard.
Possibilities: Patrick Mills, Earl Clark, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson, Nick Calathes.
Put it into the equation: There's a tendency to call Brandon Roy a point guard, but that ignores the fact that he mostly plays alongside Steve Blake. Question is, will the Blazers use the No. 24 pick to try to upgrade the one? While there are questions about Patty Mills, he might be the type of waterbug point guard who could give the Blazers a unique dimension. And Roy could cover most defensive shortcomings, if need be.
Picks: No. 20 (first round), No. 50 (second round)
Needs: Shooting guard, small forward, depth up front.
Possibilities: Earl Clark, Terrence Williams, Sam Young, Wayne Ellington.
Put it into the equation: Two years ago, the Jazz were Western Conference finalists. This past year, they lost in the first round of the playoffs. There's a good chance Carlos Boozer is on his way out the door. While that will make room for Paul Millsap, it also means the Jazz need to address some frontcourt depth. And there's always the matter in Utah of finding a two-guard.