Evaluating all 14 lottery teams (cont.)
Golden State Warriors: Stability is harder to come by than victories amid the likelihood that the uncertainty will continue with Don Nelson turning 70 soon after the end of next season and many of their prospects unable to get consistent minutes. A summer trade is a big possibility.
The Warriors would love a big point guard to play alongside small shooting guard Monta Ellis, unless they revert to the less-desirable fall-back plan of Ellis as point guard. The real jackpot is adding someone who will defend and rebound, if that's allowed in Golden State.
New York Knicks: There's plenty of roster uncertainty, on purpose, with few commitments beyond this season to build a war chest for the summer of LeBron. David Lee is a restricted free agent. Chris Duhon, Al Harrington and Quentin Richardson will be unrestricted free agents after another season. Last year's lottery pick, Danilo Gallinari, barely played because of a back injury. The Knicks either have holes, impending holes or potential holes everywhere.
Toronto Raptors: That Jermaine O'Neal thing didn't turn out too well, so someone to ride shotgun to Chris Bosh would be a nice idea, with Bosh (22.7 points, 10 rebounds in 2008-09) heading into his contract year and Toronto needing to establish an identity. A perimeter upgrade, alongside and behind starting point guard Jose Calderon, is a necessity, too. And the only other Raptor to average more than six rebounds a game, Shawn Marion, could leave as a free agent. Needs, they have a few.
Milwaukee Bucks: A team that won 34 games has a lot to be encouraged about because it won 34 games -- five away from Detroit as No. 8 in the East -- with Michael Redd playing 33 times and Andrew Bogut limited to 36 games. A healthy Bucks roster and we're not having this conversation.
New Jersey Nets: They're locked in at point guard (Harris) and center (Brook Lopez, the best rookie at the position), noteworthy because those are the toughest positions to fill. Shooting guard is filled as long as Vince Carter is around. Lots and lots of questions at forward, though.
Charlotte Bobcats: They stayed in the playoff race with good defense and decent rebounding, plus the coaching of Larry Brown, and those are good foundation points. But moving forward requires the scoring punch missing since shooting guard Jason Richardson was traded to the Suns. Gerald Wallace led Charlotte with 16.6 points, a terrible number for a No. 1 scorer, and No. 2 Raymond Felton is a restricted free agent.
Indiana Pacers: They play fast, and fast is fun, but fast still only produced one dependable scorer, Danny Granger. He turned into very dependable, the Most Improved Player, and maybe the return of a healthy Mike Dunleavy solves the problem. The Pacers can't leave it to Granger to do all the heavy lifting.
Phoenix Suns: How about some youth? (The draft specializes in that.) They have Steve Nash and Shaquille O'Neal and maybe Grant Hill, a free agent who wants to return, and someone has to make it to the future. Maybe Amar'e Stoudemire, maybe not. So power forward could be a need, too.
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