3.) Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to become a contender in the Eastern Conference next year, for the first time after the departure of LeBron James. The Cavs already have a solid franchise player, in Kyrie Irving, to build a team around. Now, the only thing left to do is fit the puzzle together. Prospects such as Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes could all potentially bring the Cavaliers to the next level within the next few years. The best fit for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are building around Kyrie Irving, would be Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Irving’s previous high school teammate at Montclair Kimberly Academy. The addition of Kidd-Gilchrist is a key factor to Cleveland in their re-building phase. With MKG, it’s not outlandish to believe, that after some development, the Cavaliers can get back to the top of the NBA.
2.) Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have the 21st and 22nd pick in this year’s 2012 NBA Draft, but as they age, they’lll need someone who can compliment Rajon Rondo and his all-star abilities. Trading up for one marquee player such as Terrence Jones, someone who can contribute right away and learn under veteran players such as Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Peirce, seems ideal for the Celtics. Jones has a stellar outside shot and dominant moves when posting up. The Celtics can begin to fill the holes that aging players such as Allen, Garnett and Pierce will leave, while also improving their chances in the immediate future, making for a win-win situation.
1.) Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are the number one team that can make themselves an NBA Finals contender with a stellar draft. The 76ers came very close to knocking off the Boston Celtics this year, and with a key addition through the draft they can make their way into the Eastern Conference Finals next year. The 76ers have the luxury of having Andre Iguodala, who they can trade for a high first-round draft pick. Rod Thorn, President of the Philadelphia 76ers, has said that the 76ers are looking to get “bigger and more athletic across the front line and to add a shooter.” This makes the ideal situation for the 76ers to trade Andre Iguodala to move up in the draft and acquire Andre Drummond. Although Drummond’s work ethic has been questioned in the past, his strengths out way his weaknesses for Philadelphia. Drummond, at 6’10”, 270 pounds, provides size and speed with the ability to beat smaller players down the court, as he did in college at UCONN. With the potential to become an elite big man in the NBA, this opportunity is too good for the Philadelphia 76ers to pass up as they look to reach the NBA Finals in years to come.