NBA Draft 2020: Atlantic Division Team Needs

Story posted November 15, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

Boston Celtics: Star-Caliber Center

The Boston Celtics have had a major hole at the center position for the past few seasons, and this weak spot was glorified during the playoffs, as Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo torched the Celtics all series long.

The Celtics have been reluctant to upgrade at the position, but if the team wants to take the next step and become a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference, they’ll have to do that in the draft.

Despite Robert Williams exceeding expectations, the Celtics are still very weak at the position, with Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter being the other centers on the roster. Kanter has a $5 million player option for next season that he will most likely decline, so the depth for the Celtics will get even lighter. The Celtics have picks No. 14, 26, 30 and 47.

Brooklyn Nets: Shooting

The Brooklyn Nets were a team that had very high expectations coming into last season, as they had just signed superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, both Irving and Durant dealt with injuries for most of the season, and the team struggled mightily in their absence.

The main weakness of the Nets was a lack of shooting. The Nets saw a breakout season from Caris LeVert, as he shot 38.1%, but he is a career 32.9% shooter from 3-point range. The Nets’ best shooter is Joe Harris, but he is an unrestricted free agent and is soon to get a big payday.

Even if the Nets decide to resign Harris, they still should consider taking a shooter, as you can never have too much shooting. The Nets have picks No. 19 and 55.

New York Knicks: Franchise Point Guard

The New York Knicks have been abysmal for the last few years, but they have two building blocks in R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. Still, they have lacked a dominant point guard for a long time. The Knicks are in luck, as this draft features many top point guards that have franchise-changing potential.

The Knicks currently have Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr., and Frank Ntilikina at the position, but that just is not cutting it. If the Knicks want to improve and make basketball fun again in New York, they need to upgrade at point guard. The Knicks have picks No. 8, 27 and 38.

Philadelphia 76ers: Depth

The Philadelphia 76ers have major problems with the salary cap, as they have $131 million tied up to the current roster, and that could go up if Josh Richardson accepts his $11.6 million option. The 76ers were expected to be a serious title contender, but they did not live up to these expectations.

The lineup of Richardson, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford had a plus-8.5 net rating together, which means the team needs to upgrade its bench, perhaps in the shooting department. The 76ers have picks No. 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58.

Toronto Raptors: Size

After winning the NBA Finals in 2019, the Raptors have faced significant changes, as last offseason, superstar Kawhi Leonard left to join the Los Angeles Clippers, and in this offseason, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet are all hitting the open market.

If both Ibaka and Gasol decide to leave, then the Raptors will have a major hole with just Pascal Siakam in the frontcourt. A player such as Maryland’s Jalen Smith could be of interest to the Raptors, as he offers shot blocking and the ability to stretch the floor. The Raptors have picks No. 29 and 59.

 

Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu.

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76ers , celtics , knicks , nets , raptors