The Portland Trail Blazers are very good at finding players that fit their style and slotting them into their lineups. They do a good job placing rookies into rolls they can largely succeed in. Their decision to acquire Robert Covington shows they are trying to beef up their defense some. This team still needs a lot. But I have them taking Vernon Carey to further shore up their frontcourt. They know that Hassan Whiteside is likely going elsewhere at this point. Carey is a solid rebounder and has shown potential to be a fine defender. Off the bench, his production and his development will get the focus it needs.
The Minnesota Timberwolves should be looking for players who can contribute fairly quickly and give the team something that they do not otherwise have. Saddiq Bey is ready to contribute fairly quickly. He is a solid shooter and has the Villanova reputation of being a good defender. Bey’s size could be what makes or breaks him. He has the size to defend multiple positions, but his lateral quickness remains a question.
The Dallas Mavericks do not need a traditional point guard. Luka Doncic can run the point from the shooting guard or small forward position. What Dallas has always been good at is finding non-traditional point guard or showing a willingness to go small with guys who are willing to fight and defend. Getting defense out of Tyrell Terry might be tough, but he seems willing to work. That is the start. Because otherwise, he is one of the best shooters in the Draft. He is someone that can certainly run the point and create his own shot. But he should also be a solid spot-up shooter playing off another ball handler.
Jalen Smith is a versatile and dynamic forward. He has a good shooting stroke for a player of his size. And he is not afraid to get into it defensively. His weaknesses are still putting all those potential skills together. He has to improve his defensive technique and his shooting is not enough to completely buy into. But the Brooklyn Nets should be a team that can carve out a role that will help him define his skills.
The rest of the league is going to be livid if the Miami Heat end up with a player with as much talent as R.J. Hampton. If the Orlando Magic were not picking Kira Lewis at 15, I would have gone for Hampton. He has elite burst and the ability to get to the basket. The only thing missing is his shooting. He has spent much of his quarantine working on that with Mike Miller. But there is still a mystery as to just how far along he is. This guy is truly a potential star if he gets in the right situation and the right team with the talent he has.