Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Who needs the Draft’s No. 1 pick the most? Who will use it best?
Steve Aschburner: Charlotte. Please, Charlotte. No team in The Association needs more help – on the court, at the turnstiles, for the boss’ legacy – than the Bobcats. Doesn’t matter how they spend it (Nerlens Noel, Marcus Smart, whomever), they need to pick high, they need to get it right, they need to get moving. As for which team would best utilize it, I’m thinking San Antonio, which aces the No. 1 pick every time it gets it.
Fran Blinebury: Oh, for sure the Bobcats need it the most. They’ve been living on the bottom so long they should be renamed “Flounders.” Of course, based on Michael Jordan‘s stewardship, they’ll be right back fishing for No. 1 again next season. Orlando probably deserves it after having Shaq and Dwight Howard walk out the door. But based on what’s already going on in Cleveland and the pieces that have already been put around Kyrie Irving, I believe the Cavs could take a big step forward with the No. 1 pick and make it more appealing for free agent LeBron James to return in 2014.
Jeff Caplan: We all know who needs the No. 1 pick. His initials are M and J. But do we trust the Charlotte Bobcats owner with the top pick? I’ve got a bridge to sell you … So who’d best utilize it? I’d like to see what Dell Demps and Monty Williams could deliver to the young and intriguing New Orleans Pelicans.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Needs it most? Probably Charlotte or Sacramento. The other teams with the best chance to get No. 1 either had relatively recent success or signs of forward movement in place. The Bobcats have struggled to gain traction and the Kings are rowing in circles. Who makes the best use of the pick? The GM that still has his job in two years. This Draft is filled with potential peril.
John Schuhmann: The answer to the first question is obviously the Bobcats, because they’re terrible on both ends of the floor and need help at every position, except maybe small forward (because I like the Kidd-Gilchrist/Taylor combination if they just get MKG a dedicated shooting coach). I think the Pistons would do well with the pick, though. They already have three young pieces with Brandon Knight, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. If they keep Jose Calderon, use their cap space wisely, and add a top pick that’s ready to contribute, they could be ready to take the next step.
Sekou Smith: First we we have to identify exactly what the team with the No. 1 pick in the Draft would be getting their hands on with that top pick. And from what I saw during March Madness, there didn’t seem to be a program changer running through the college ranks. If Ben McLemore of Kansas is the man, then it would be fantastic to see what a couple of unusual lottery types could do with the No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks need a young star to help bridge the gap between the Dirk Nowitzki era and whatever comes next. Sure, the Charlotte Bobcats are in much more dire straits than an outfit like the Mavericks. But after years of seeing what perennial lottery teams do with the top picks in the Draft, I’d love to see what the Mavericks could do with the No. 1 overall pick.