Recently, it has been made clear that Noah Vonleh’s draft stock has him as a virtual lock for being a top ten pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. But what teams have the most need for his talents? For me, there are 4 teams that will be looking to call his name on June 26th. The Kings, Jazz, Lakers, and 76ers have needs at his position.
The Sacramento Kings have a lot of good pieces put together to make a playoff team, but seem to be missing a few little things that keep them from making the next step. A dominant power forward that can compliment DeMarcus Cousins may be one of those pieces. Noah Vonleh’s ability to shoot outside shots will stretch out the defense for a more effective pick and roll game with Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins. Stretch 4’s have been gaining value in the NBA in recent years because of that ability. Noah Vonleh is still raw on both sides of the ball, but with some good coaching he could develop into exactly what the Kings need to become a more dominant force in the west.
While the Utah Jazz already have some good players in the frontcourt, there is soon going to have to be a decision made on if they want to keep Enes Kanter. Since the Jazz will have to pay a good amount to keep Gordon Hayward when he becomes a free agent this summer, there is a good chance that they will not be able to pay Enes Kanter enough to keep him in Salt Lake City. In the very possible case where that happens, the Jazz will have a gap in their frontcourt. Utah already has a young promising backcourt so they will be looking for a big man in the draft. They will be most likely getting a top five pick so Joel Embiid and Julius Randle could be available at that spot. However, even if one of those two is still available I think they will still give Noah Vonleh a hard look.
The Lakers were just a mess this year. LA has needs at just about every position. It has been made known that their top target is Dante Exum, but I have a hard time seeing him drop to sixth overall. At this point in the draft, Julius Randle and Dante Exum will both most likely be off the board, so I think LA could look at drafting Vonleh and steal him from the Kings. Also, Pau Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. I’m not saying that Noah Vonleh is Pau Gasol, but he does have the ability to hit outside shots and stretch the defense like Gasol does. Noah Vonleh is definitely not their top option, but he will be considered if their other options are taken by other teams.
Then there’s the 76ers. We all know how terrible they were this season, but they have all the makings of a great team that is ready for a breakout season. They have their franchise point in Michael Carter-Williams, they will have Nerlens Noel next year, Thaddeus Young has always been a consistent performer, and they have two top ten picks this year. Their first pick will most likely be Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker as they really could use a good small forward. Their second pick, which will most likely be between 8 and 10, could be used on another big man. If Vonleh is available there they will most likely take him. He could be a lift off the bench for them as he develops and learns under Thaddeus Young, which is not the worst thing you could have happening in your organization.
Noah Vonleh is a top talent in this years draft, and will likely be a top ten pick, but only time will tell where he will begin his career in the NBA.