Attempting to ease the depression of watching everyone else in the playoffs I have put together a nice big list of all the guys that can help this team next season. They are of varying availability, but should be in some way available. If you look at the teams remaining, they are all long, physical, and defensive minded. Save for Golden State and New York of course. Mike's Cavs teams were the same, for the most part, and I'm sure he will have plenty of input this time around. So lets get to it.
Draft Targets, or potential undrafted FA
Nerlens Noel - F/C - Kentucky: The obvious choice for almost every team. Profiles as a defensive freak, and can play C in a normal lineup, or PF in a large lineup with Tyler or Andy.
Otto Porter - SF - Georgetown: While his jumper is a work in progress, he has excellent size and court vision. Will be a factor defensively based on length alone, and won't be a ball stopper on offense.
Victor Oladipo - G/F - Indiana: Might have the highest ceiling, but lowest floor of high picks. Is short, but has ridiculous length, strength, and motor to make a high a great defender. Would be my choice if the previous two are off the board
Rudy Gobert - C - International: Has the raw tools to be a wonderful defender. However, DraftExpress has him rated as their 11th overall prospect. Given the meteoric rise of big men, there is a good chance he will be going too high to trade up from 19.
Archie Goodwin - SG - Kentucky: Goodwin is my personal favorite for our 19th pick. He was inconsistent at Kentucky, but showed flashes of offensive excellence off the catch, and in transition. In rhythm he showed the ability to make open jumpers, and shot well overall, until confidence issues destroyed his mechanics later in the year. On defense, Goodwin has a ridiculous 6 foot 10 wingspan, despite standing only 6'5. At 19 years old, he would be a wonderful pickup.
Tony Mitchell - F - North Texas: Stands 6'9, but with a 7'3 wingspan. Has potential for a well rounded game, but currently only a rebounder, finisher, and shot blocker.
CJ Leslie - F - NC State: A second round prospect, has the flexibility to play SF or PF with a 7'2 wingspan and good defensive instincts.
Giannis Adetokunbo - F - International: Hasn't played the best competition in Greece, but MAN, its hard to look at him and not be intrigued. a 6'9 18 year old forward who handles like a guard, has a 7'3 wingspan and MASSIVE hands. Currently a 20+ pick, if he gets in a workout and can outperform guys like Porter, he is going to rocket up draft boards.
DJ Stephens - G/F - Memphis: Stephens gained notoriety in the NCAA tournament for his leaping ability. Standing only 6'5 he has a 6'11 wingspan, and has flashed incredible timing as a shot blocker. A low usage player, he cannot handle the ball well, but shot 63% from the field and 36% from 3 in college. Has a great motor, and hunger on D. Wasnt even invited to the PIT, so could be an undrafted pickup. I consider his upside to be that of Tony Allen. As a defender alone, he could be similar to Dwyane Wade who has similar strength and leaping ability and is a great shotblocker for his size.
I also like Steven Adams, Karasev, and Saric at that 19 slot, but they have been discussed in other articles, so I wont re-hash that. I wouldnt touch Shabazz, Anthony Bennett, or Cody Zeller. While they certainy could have offensive potential in the NBA, they dont seem to have the tools to make an impact defensively.
Current NBA Players of Rumored Availability or Outright Free Agency
Wilson Chandler - SF - Denver Nuggets: Of anyone mentioned, this would be my favorite. Assuming Iggy opts in, Denver will be in a position with a glut of swingmen, and paying the luxury tax. David suggested to me on twitter that they would wait until the trade deadline, and I would agree given Danilo's knee injury. The wildcard, as with Andy, is that he has had injury issues. The right offer may get him on draft night.
Corey Brewer - G/F - Denver Nuggets: The consummate journeyman, he is a very good defender, and can hit the corner 3 with consistency. He will be imminently obtainable, the only stumbling block being money and wanting to play for some contenders Im sure will want him. He had a terrible playoff series, however, and might come on the very cheap. Nothing more than a 9th or 10th man.
Timofey Mozgov - C - Denver Nuggets: I dont like the idea of signing anyone who has become a verb. That said, He is big, he is physical, and he wouldnt be the worst signing in the world. Probably not much need for him if Andy and Tyler are on the roster, simply because he doesnt seem to have one thing that he great at.
DeJuan Blair - F/C - San Antonio Spurs: Large and physical, but I would worry about anyone Pop has given up on repeatedly. He has issues getting lost on rotations, and can take a few plays off. That said, in a slower paced offense, and as a physical defense, Blair is a good player to obtain on the cheap. He's smart, plays angles well, and is impossible to move on the block due to a low center of gravity and strong base.
Samuel Dalembert C - Milwaukee Bucks: A strong post defender and shot blocker with limited offensive game. No long term value, but on the right contract would be a valuable player for Mike. Defends well on the ball in the post, and is an excellent help defender also. He would push Tyler down the food chain, but would also provide him true competition, and some incentive to work a little harder. Mike is not long for bigs that dont defend, so a proven veteran defender might be a smart combo with the second year center.
Pau Gasol F/C - Los Angeles Lakers: A player I have argued for with almost anyone with a twitter handle. The Lakers have tough decisions to make next year. Kobe might be ready for the season, but a safer projection is the All Star Break. Even if Dwight doesnt re-sign, the Lakers are in the luxury tax. Much like Luke Walton, I love Pau's complete understanding of the game. The pro here is that he has the body and ability to do something with it, unlike Luke. He will have one year and $19 million remaining on his contract, and would have to be obtained through a trade, or an amnesty bid. What kind of trade works for LA? Not sure, they're desperate for depth, and if it becomes amnesty or best offer, they might take an offer that is favorable to us.Not a whole lot of teams with the players/cap space to work a deal for Pau, and keep LA in the LBJ sweeps in 2014.
Brandon Rush - G/F - Golden State Warriors: Has a player option for this year, and coming off of an ACL tear, he may use it. A good defender with great length, he is a good 3 point shooter who can go on incredible hot streaks. Can sometimes vanish on offense but always plays good D.
Metta World Peace - F - Los Angeles Lakers: He's nuts, and old, but he can still defend, provides good defensive energy, and oh, did I mention he's nuts? We need an enforcer after all. Would be a candidate on the cheap if he is amnestied.
Earl Clark - F - Los Angeles Lakers: While playing with the Magic, Alex Kennedy frequently talked him up as a 3 and D guy. He probably has played well enough in LA to be too pricey in this FA class, as he isnt worth overspending for. However, for the right price, his 6'10 frame and good shooting would be valuable as a 3/4 off the bench.
Andrei Kirilenko - F - Minnesota Timberwolves: Tough to see him turning down a $10 million player option, but he's prone to oddness so wouldnt be shocking. With needing to keep Pekovic for big $$$, and a new GM in town, he could be had in a trade, which would keep our 2014 flexibility as well. With him, Clark, Chandler, and Metta, there is a flexibility to go big or small, as all 4 have shown they can defend the 4 in small ball units.
David West - F/C - Indiana Pacers: Seems destined to stay in Indiana, but a large enough first year deal could pry him away. He doesnt have Bird Rights, and Indiana is at 48 Million before team options/qualifying offers on Tyler Hansbrough, Lance Stephenson, Ben Hansbrough, and Jeff Pendergraph
Danny Granger - F - Indiana Pacers: I am torn on him. He is physical, and can certainly shoot, but he has always seemed like a fake tough guy to me. On a one year, $14 Million deal, I wouldnt mind it for the right price. They might take another run hoping he is healthy, or given their success this year without him, and their tough salary situation, look to dump him off.
Francisco Garcia - G/F - Houston Rockets: Probably looking for a contender, his drawback has long been the terrible contract the Kings gave him, and injuries. Healthy, he is a versatile forward who can shoot, get to the rack, and defend his position well.Houston holds a $6.4 Million option on him, doubt they use it.
Patrick Beverly - G - Houston Rockets: I doubt he goes anywhere, but he is a good defender and can shoot. An ideal backup point. Hoopshype has him listed with no Salary info. Not sure what his deal is.
Onward! to the playoffs, so I dont have to do this until a few weeks later next time.