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Can the Lakers, Celtics or Heat find any help in this draft?

Jun 23, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

The focus during the draft is often on the teams that saw little of the spotlight during the season — hello Minnesota!

But what about some of the league’s top teams that need some tweaks to get a ring next season? The Miami Heat made it to the finals but it is clear their roster needs improvement around the Big Three (or whatever you want to call them). The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are still very good teams that need to get younger and more athletic to hang another banner.

Can those teams find help in this draft?

No, not really. Not where they are picking.

Not that they can’t get guys who can evolve into good players, but they can’t get anyone in this draft who can help next season in any meaningful way. And all three of these teams are in “win now” modes. Their championship window is open, they need guys who can play tomorrow, not in two years.

The Heat have the 31st pick in the draft, the first pick of the second round. They are rumored to be high on Reggie Jackson, the 6’3” point guard out of Boston College, who is a favorite sleeper of a lot of scouts. To do my best Jay Billis imitation, he has a freakishly long wingspan (7’0”) and is very athletic, he’s able to penetrate and get in the lane, plus he is a willing passer. His outside shooting needs work and his game needs to mature. So, right now he sounds a lot like what the Heat already have. But in a couple of years he could be a quality point guard.

The Celtics are not under any illusions they are getting real talent in this draft, picking No. 25 in the first round. Look what Boston decision maker Danny Ainge told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.

“Not trying to put a negative spin on this; trying to be realistic,” said Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations. “The 25th pick of the draft is probably not going to help us immediately. But there are some players that we think can fit our roster, the personality of our team, make our team better in practice and add depth to our roster.”

So, Boston is drafting a practice body, someone for Kevin Garnett to beat up before he beats up other teams. Rumor is they like Jimmy Butler, the forward out of Marquette.

The Lakers have four picks in the draft — but the first one is No. 41, the 11th pick in the second round. Once you get to pick 40, the Lakers have 20 percent of the picks left in the draft.

What they are looking for is a guy that can develop into a player for them in three years or so. Or a guy they could stash in Europe while he matures. This is essentially what they did last year when drafting Devin Ebanks (he will stick with the team next season) and Derrick Caracter (he may not).

Of the four guys the Lakers draft this year, look for one or two to fill out the very end of the team’s bench this season (depending on roster moves and how many spots there are).

The Celtics, Lakers and Heat may find a gem in this draft. They may find a guy who becomes a part of the regular rotation. But it won’t be for next year, when these teams really need the help.

  1. n2thaizzo - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    “The Heat have the 31th pick in the draft” 31th? I guess I have the 1th comment for this story…

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

      Everyones going to give me thumbs down for this and it only shows how arrogant and even somewhat ignorant a lot of the readers on this site are… but you don’t have Kurt’s job. You don’t write every day of your life for a living. But if you do one thing, you read and Kurt isn’t the only one in the media who has had errors in their wiritng. Why don’t you e-mail NBC Sports and ask them for a job. I’m sure they’ll laugh at you. Get real.

      • n2thaizzo - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Sorry, didn’t mean to get your panties all in a bunch. Just picking up an error that THE EDITOR clearly should have caught. I understand people make mistakes. Doesn’t mean I can’t point them out and make fun of them.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        If I had the same job as Kurt I would at least respect my work and read over my articles once, just once Kurt, it only takes 2 minutes to read it over come onnnn

      • denverhoopdreams - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        @Aboogy123456; you obviously have never written countless papers at the college level is my guess… let alone countless articles at the professional level. Spell check doesn’t get everything, human minds don’t get everything. We are humans after all, we make mistakes.

        @n2; You’re just a loser if you feel the need to point out everyones mistakes and make fun of them. Don’t feel too good about yourself usually at night, do you?

      • passerby23 - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM


        That’s a strawman argument saying only ignorant people will give you a thumbs down, i.e. smart people = agreeing with me, dumb people = ignorant idiots who disagree with me. Yet, you are attacking people for making fun of grammatical errors? Get real.

        There are a lot of grammatical mistakes on here, some of them are egregious and funny. We get that mistakes are made and look past them, but some of them are just bad. Spell check will not catch everything, but proofreading should prevent most of the recurring mistakes.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        i’m going with Denver on this one. its very petty to write comments about spelling errors. i mean, we all knew what kurt was saying. unless it was several errors stringed together to create a completely different idea/thought/opinion, no need for comments like that.

    • downtowndanny - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:51 AM

      is that like Colin 1th?

  2. loungefly74 - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Too bad 2nd round NBA picks are not like NFL 2nd round picks for the Lakers…

    • raiderdave - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      What, a comment actually pertaining to the content of the article? What is that doing here?


      I agree with you, too bad they couldn’t bundle those picks to move up either. Looks like Phil Jackson’s insistence on veterans and trading away draft picks is finally catching up with and hurting the Lakers. We could really use someone like Toney Douglas (who we took late in the first round and immediately traded to the Knicks) right about now…We shall see.

      In Buss we trust…

  3. goforthanddie - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    The Heat have no 1st-rounders for the next 4 drafts, correct? 2 years to CLE, 2 to Tor?

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