Out of the top 14 draft positions of June's NBA draft, only two non-playoff teams were without a lottery pick, as New Jersey's pick belonged to Portland and Minnesota's choice belonged to the Hornets. Quite a few teams have made significant changes between the trade deadline and this summer, enough to potentially make the race for a playoff berth an interesting one down the line.
The Wizards made some notable additions this offseason, acquiring veteran help for John Wall in the form of Nene, Trevor Ariza, and Emeka Okafor to go along with a promising young talent in Bradley Beal. The Bucks were very much in the Eastern Conference playoff picture before a 3-7 finish sent the team to the lottery for a second consecutive season. It should be noted that the team went 11-11 with Monta Ellis in the lineup, and it will be intriguing to see what direction the team will go in with a larger sample size of games to work with.
Mark Jackson has quite a collection of talent and experience to work with in Golden State, and much of the Warriors' success hinges on the health of Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut. Ideally, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry could serve as solid and dependable reserves, Brandon Rush returns looking to build upon shooting 50.1% from the field and a stellar 45.2% from three point range last year, and we've yet to see what role Harrison Barnes will have as a rookie.
The Suns begin the post-Steve Nash era having brought in Goran Dragic fresh off of a breakout season in Houston. Considering his remarkable production over the final two months of the season (15.0 PPG, 7.4 APG, 1.8 SPG, 49.7% FG, and 41% from three in March/ 18.9 PPG, 7.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 46.1% FG in April), Dragic will have a great opportunity to continue his success with consistent starter's minutes. Michael Beasley has self-imposed the standard of becoming an All-Star this season, and Luis Scola is a seasoned veteran who appears ready to pick up where he left off with Dragic last year.
While there certainly are other factors to consider (especially with other teams, such as how the talent of the Raptors and Kings will fit), which team that selected in the top 14 of this year's NBA Draft has the best chance of making the playoffs this year?