Southeast Division

Miami Heat
Record – 58-24
Standing – 1st Place/2nd in East
2011-2012 Payroll - $63,744,411
Areas of Need – PG and C

Step back and realize, the Miami Heat will be a force for a very long time. Losing in the NBA Finals seems like a disappointing season, but imagine this team with a few tweaks and some chemistry developed after such a turbulent 2010/2011 season.

The Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals because LeBron James mysteriously lost all confidence on the offensive end of the floor. Going into this draft and the summer, finding appropriate roles for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are the most important aspects moving forward.

Mario Chalmers is, without a doubt, the PG moving forward. While he’s not a traditional PG in the sense of setting up teammates, he’s the perfect fit for Miami. His ability to play good defense and hit clutch, spot up jumpers makes him a great fit moving forward. Finding a C is the biggest need moving into the summer and into next season. Free agency is most likely the avenue Miami will look to fill its need for a C, but owning the first pick in the second round is a very valuable pick based on the non-guaranteed status of second round picks. Expect the Miami Heat to target the best player available; hoping it’s a C or a wing player with shooting range.

Second Round Targets
Jeremy Tyler C – USA
Reggie Jackson PG – Boston College
Josh Selby PG/SG – Kansas
Nikola Vucevic C – USC
Shelvin Mack PG/SG – Butler
Norris Cole PG – Cleveland State

Orlando Magic
Record – 52-30
Standing – 2nd place/4th in East
2011-2012 Payroll - $76,223,288
Areas of Need – PF, SF, SG

A disappointing finish to the 2010/2011 season puts the Orlando Magic in their most critical summer since Shaq’s departure to Los Angeles. General Manager Otis Smith faces the possibility of losing Dwight Howard and a total collapse of the Magic organization. The Magic own no first round picks and a late second round pick (53rd overall). Don’t be surprised if the Magic look to purchase a late first round pick.

The Orlando Magic need to improve on the wings and at PF. With the CBA looming over free agency, the options for the Magic to greatly improve seem slim. The Magic are looking for bounce back seasons from JJ Redick, Gil Arenas and HedoTurkoglu if they have any hopes of contending for an NBA championship. Many people wonder if the Magic should look to trade Dwight Howard now while his trade value is at its peak. Without knowing how the CBA will play out this summer, moving Dwight Howard seems like a longshot. How would it look if the Magic traded Howard before July 1 and a franchise tag was implemented in the next CBA? This is why Howard isn’t getting moved until the new CBA is determined.

Second Round Targets
Chadler Parsons SF - Florida
David Lighty SG – Ohio State
Scotty Hopson SG/SF – Tennessee
Ben Hansbrough SG – Notre Dame
Cory Joseph PG/SG – Texas
Andrew Goudelock PG – College of Charleston

Atlanta Hawks
Record – 44-38
Standing – 3rd/5th in East
2011-2012 Payroll - $66,596,237
Areas of Need – C and SF

All things considered, the Atlanta Hawks had their most productive season since the mid 90’s. While Atlanta coasted through the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks beat up on an Orlando Magic team in the first round that absolutely embarrassed the Hawks in 2010. Another major bright spot was the emergence of Jeff Teague as the PG of the future for the Hawks.

Much like the Heat and Magic, the Hawks don’t have a first round pick and only possess one second round pick. The Hawks desperately need a C because Al Horford is not developing like he should if he were playing his natural PF position. Zaza Pachulia has become a nice backup C for Atlanta, but they really need a long term solution at the C position.

Will the Hawks find a long term solution at C with a mid-second round pick? Probably not. Look for Atlanta to select the best player available with hopes of finding their C in free agency for through a trade.

Second Round Targets
Keith Benson C – Oakland
E’Twaun Moore SG – Purdue
David Lighty SG/SF – Ohio State
Chadler Parsons SF - Florida

Charlotte Bobcats
Record – 34-38
Standing – 4th/10th
2011-2012 Payroll - $41,125,922
Areas of Need – SG, C and overall depth

Hiring new General Manager Rich Cho is the best move Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats have made since Jordan took over as majority owner of the club. With all due respect to Jordan and Rod Higgins, the Bobcats needed a younger and more creative thinker leading the franchise. Cho leaves the Portland Trailblazers after one season as the General Manager. Looking back now, Cho probably wishes he didn’t steal Charlotte’s best player (Gerald Wallace) last February.

The Bobcats are in NBA purgatory, not good enough to make the playoffs on a consistent basis and not bad enough to get a top pick to lead the franchise moving forward. The Bobcats need an overall infusion of talent. They have some decent young prospects in DJ Augustin, Tyrus Thomas and Gerald Henderson, but they lack any true star power and a go-to player.

In a best case scenario, the Bobcats would move up to grab a player like Enes Kanter, Derrick Williams or Kemba Walker, but do the Bobcats have the assets to move up? Rich Cho, much like his mentor Sam Presti, sees the big picture and will not be afraid to select a project with major upside. The Bobcats are in a position where drafting best player available supersedes need.

First Round Targets
Kemba Walker PG - UCONN
Kawhi Leonard SF - SDSU
Jordan Hamilton SF - Texas
Marcus Morris PF - Kansas
Marshon Brooks SG – Providence
Bismack Biyombo C – Congo
Kenneth Faried PF – Morehead State

Washington Wizards
Record – 23-59
Standing – 5th/13th
2011-2012 Payroll - $40,792,788
Areas of Need – SF and PF

The Washington Wizards are in much better shape than their 23-59 record suggests. Finding a star young player is the toughest position to fill in the NBA and John Wall looks like a top 5 PG for the next 10 years. The Wizards are in a similar situation the Chicago Bulls found themselves in only 4 years ago. They possess a young, dynamic PG, some talent on the wings and a young, athletic C in JaVale McGee.

The Wizards truly need a scoring PF to pair with Wall and to play next to McGee after such a disappointing season from Andray Blatche. Derrick Williams would be an ideal fit for Washington and Minnesota is looking to deal the second pick for a guy like McGee. The question becomes, do you trade a young and athletic C for the second pick? This is a very tough call for Washington but Williams has much more potential than McGee and the dynamic duo of Wall and Williams would be a tremendous young nucleus for the Wizards.

If Washington holds onto the pick, look for them to take a stabilizing player that will come in, play their role and help the Wizards turn to a new chapter. The Wizards have some veteran SF’s that need to get healthy in Josh Howard and Rashard Lewis, so the Wizards won’t need a rookie to play a major role next season.

First Round Targets
Derrick Williams PF - Arizona
Enes Kanter C - Turkey
Kawhi Leonard SF – SDSU
Jan Vesely SF – Czech Republic
Marcus Morris PF - Kansas
Chris Singleton SF – Florida State
Klay Thompson SG – Washington State
Kenneth Faried PF Morehead State
Donatas Motiejunas PF – Lithuania
Jordan Hamilton SF – Texas
Marshon Brooks SG - Providence