Five teams are clearly the bottom feeders and presumably would benefit the most from having a top two draft choice (assuming Oden and Durant both declare for the NBA draft). Those bottom five teams are:
1. Memphis 2. Charlotte 3. Milwaukee 4. Boston 5. Atlanta
All five of these teams have had one thing in common - their best player (and often the best two or three players) have missed significant time due to injury. And the depletion of these five rosters have contributed to the struggles of each of the clubs. The Celtics in particular have lost their five best players and their entire veteran staff to injuries forcing the use of young players that were not ready for NBA talent. They are my pick of these five bottom feeders to leap frog quickly up the NBA ladder due to young talent maturing, veterans coming back, superior chemistry, and a good draft pick. Memphis will continue to languish with there poor roster. Atlanta will have a tough time moving up against their rivals. So will Charlotte if Okafor keeps getting hurt. Milwaukee can get back to respectablity ala Indiana or Washington but can never compete.
The Celtics are already showing characteristics of a team ready to emerge whether Pierce stays or is traded after the season. Here is why:
1. Perkins and Jefferson are forming a big man battery. 2. Rondo is an emerging PG 3. You got Pierce. 4. You got West, Green, and Tony Allen as young wingers. 5. You get Gomes and Powe as capable backup big men. 6. Add Oden or Durant and this opens doors for key trades for a veteran PG that make the Celtics of 2008 that came from nowhere to prominence.
And that's the way the Celtics are in April 2007..... A team of the past and a team of the future. The NBA has made a comeback but the comeback can never be complete unless the Celtics return to NBA prominence.