My Quick, Uninformed, Scattershot, Random Analysis of What the NBA Lottery Teams Need to Do:
1. Miami - Get a new coach. Pat Riley can no longer do it. Then they need one good veteran to pair with Dwayne Wade. Shawn Marion could be that guy, but early rumblings are that the Matrix and the Heat are far apart on what they think his extension should be worth. Then they need to draft Derrick Rose or OJ Mayo. Let Jason Williams, Ricky Davis, and Alonzo Mourning go.
2. New York - Fi-re Isi-ah! Clap clap. Donnie Walsh is a good move. The 2008-2009 season already looks like a goner with their salary cap issues, but if he can somehow miraculously trade away Stephon Marbury, that'd be a start. He and Malik Rose are in the last year of their contracts, so actually a move could happen. They might be able to draft Rose or Mayo too. Coaching-wise, I'd probably see if Jeff Van Gundy would be interested in coming back, or lure Rick Carlisle away.
3. Milwaukee - They certainly underachieved this year. It just seems like Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, Mo Williams, Yi Jianlian, Charlie Villenueva, etc., should be able to do more. They need Sen. Herb Kohl to sell the team. Then a real owner can hire a new GM and new coach and start over. It's a young team, so a blow-up isn't necessary unless they can blow it up the way Boston did. They should see what they can get for Bobby Simmons and/or Desmond Mason.
4. Charlotte - Okay, the Jason Richardson gamble didn't work, despite his 21.7 points per game. This team has been cursed with injuries for years. Maybe it's time to see what offers they can get for Emeka Okafor in a sign-and-trade, but they're more likely to see if they actually have a team when Sean May and Adam Morrison come back from their season-long injuries.
5. New Jersey - They're going to be fine. I'd keep Lawrence Frank, give him a full year with Devin Harris, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Stromile Swift, etc. They should decide quickly if they want to re-sign DaSagna Diop or Nenad Krstic or both. It might not hurt to see if they can get a good trade for Vince Carter.
6. Chicago - This team has been dying for a big trade for years (Larry Hughes doesn't count). The current young combo isn't doing it. Surely there's an All-Star out there they can pair with Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng. Jermaine O'Neal, perhaps? Then again, maybe the right coach can make sense of this roster and make it work.
7. Indiana - Get a real point guard! Do they blow it up and start over? They came close to making the playoffs, but even then, what does making the 8th seed really do for this team? I think it's time to move O'Neal. They can move him if they offer the expiring contracts of Jeff Foster and/or Ike Diogu in a deal.
1. Seattle - Or should I say, Oklahoma City? They need to get some vets around Kevin Durant, Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, and whoever their draft pick will be. If they wind up with Rose, it's time to trade away Earl Watson or Luke Ridnour (actually, one should go anyway). They need Swift or Sene to develop some consistency (assuming they keep Swift). This team is still a year or two away from the playoffs.
2. Minnesota - Fire Kevin McHale. Hope that you land in the Top 3 in the draft and that the other two ping-pong balls go to Eastern teams. You don't still have Antoine Walker, do you?
Al Jefferson and Randy Foye are keepers; everyone else is expendable.
3. LA Clippers - Donald Sterling needs to sell the team. Beyond that, they need Elton Brand to be healthy and they should give up on the Shaun Livingston experiment and get a real starting point guard. They should see what they can get for Corey Maggette, who's coming off a career year.
4. Memphis - I'd say keep Marc Iavaroni as coach. Give him another year to see what he can do. Draft a big guy, preferrably Michael Beasley. If Rose is still on the b oard, take him and trade him for the moon, or trade away two of Conley, Lowry and Crittendon.
5. Sacramento - Hiring Reggie Theus was a step in the right direction, as was trading Mike Bibby for some valuable picks and cap space. Maybe they should see if they can get Ridnour away from Seattle.
6. Portland - They're doing everything right. They waived Darius Miles. They'll have Greg Oden back, they can move LaMarcus Aldridge to be a full-time PF, they'll get another lottery pick, they still have Nate McMillan as their coach, Brandon Roy will be a year better... I'd be surprised if they miss the playoffs next year. Dumping Raef laFrentz's contract could be the icing on their cake of a summer.
7. Golden State - Obviously Jason Richardson meant a little more to their franchise than they estimated, but then again, they'll finish at 49-33, which would be a playoff team any other year. It just highlights how the West is so much deeper than the East and it's been that way for years. With the task at hand, they have a lot of free agents, and they need to decide who to keep. Monta Ellis, yes, but can they keep Mickael Pietrus and Andris Biedrins as well? Will they let Matt Barnes go for nothing?