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Where will A. J. Hammons end up?

We give you a team by team look on who might end up wanting the Senior big man.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

A.. J. Hammons has as much variance in his draft stock as any player in the draft. The senior could go anywhere from late first round to undrafted. He's proven himself on the college level, but off the court issues have raised a red flag amongst teams. He didn't participate in the combine. This could be read in two ways: he has assurance from one team that he's coveted or that he was worried about hurting his stock.

Hammons is a defensive anchor, with a soft touch at the rim, and a surprisingly skilled post-game. He's not quick enough to switch on screens and cover crafty guards, but he's an absolutely proven rim protector, capable of dropping on pick and rolls and preventing easy looks at the hoop. On offense, he's shown a nice array of post moves while also developing a nice mid-range jumper. He'll be 24 by the time next season starts, has been suspended for not taking care of business, and doesn't offer the kind of elite athleticism that teams look for in big men, but the production and length is there. He's also one of the thickest of bodied big men coming into the draft.

So here's a team by team look as to where he could end up.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks made a splash today trading away Jeff Teague and picking up a late lottery pick. This does nothing to alter their big men need -€” which isn't that high. With Horford and Millsap and cheap holds on Muscala and Scott, a rim-protecting big is probably not as big of a need as another guard or wing to replace Carroll from two years ago, and now Teague this year.

12, 21

44, 54

Boston Celtics

With this many picks, the Celtics are in play for anyone at almost anywhere. They have a record number of draft picks at the moment, but they will absolutely look to package any of them to get a proven player that will help this out immediately this season. That being said, they are absolutely in need of a big man that can protect the rim and score a little. Hammons would be a crafty pick late in the second round whether with the 35th or 45th pick. Unless JJ scared the Celtics off Boilers that is.

3, 16, 23

31, 35, 45, 51, 58

Brooklyn Nets

There's a world where Hammons falls all the way to 55th and that point any time might pull the trigger on the fourth-year senior as a value pick. A team as bad as the Nets, with as many holes, you can expect them to just take the best player available which A. J.  might be.



Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets have a lot of free agency questions. If Jefferson stays, that's one post anchor to go with three white guy big men. There's not a bunch of room to add another big man in the draft, especially with Lin and Batum both entering free agency. The Hornets need playmakers with the ball and on the wing more than more big men. Especially with just one first round draft pick, and no seconds. Hammons will not be a Hornet.



Chicago Bulls

With 10 guaranteed contracts, the Bulls entire offseason will depend on what they do with Noah and Gasol. If they let the two older big men go, then Hammons could absolutely be a target at 48. The Bulls are in one of the strangest places to be as an NBA team. They've been stuck between rebuild and running it back the last few years, and Rose's knees and contract continue to hold both paths hostage. If they don't think they'll resign either of their big men, it wouldn't surprise me if the Bulls even tried to move up to try and get Hammons who could help make the transition from Noah less painful.



Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs leveraged their future for Lebron and Love. It paid off. Unless they make a surprise early move to gain draft picks, they ain't picking nobody.



Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs won a championship against the Heat by surrounding Dirk with shooters and matching him up with a rim-protecting big man. Mark Cuban has struggled drafting in the past, and Hammons isn't quite as mobile as Chandler back in the day, but if AJ is still on the board, he would fill a major need for the Mavs who are always looking to win now and not waste the last of the Nowitzki days.



Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have a lot of young players, a lot of picks in this draft, and a lot of promising young big men. They'll be looking for players with star potential if they can't package their picks for something immediate. This is not the place for Hammons.

7, 15, 19

53, 56

Detroit Pistons

Drummond will sign for the max, Baynes was paid a lot of money to back him up, and the Pistons desperately need a back-up point guard to spell Reggie Jackson. If Hammons falls to the Pistons in the second round, Van Gundy might like the idea of his rim protection, but don't get on AJ still being there or the Pistons not looking for a pick and stash with a lot of young talent already on the roster.



Golden State Warriors

With just one pick, Ezeli and Barnes will be the highest priority for the Warriors this off-season. Both will be overpaid, but they're also valuable assets on a team that just won 73 regular season games. Unless the Warriors think they can get Durant, expect both to be back which means the Warriors probably won't need a back-up center. Looney, last year's first round pick, is also a youngster with some upside with McAdoo. But Bogut is gone after next year, and his health is always suspect. There's certainly a chance they stretch and get the most win-now center prospect in the draft. The problem is, Warriors value passing and defense. Hammons only excels at one of those.



Houston Rockets

After the disaster of this season, the Rockets will likely be saying goodbye to Howard, still one of the most predominate centers in the game. Clint Capela is a quick, mobile, and long replacement who the Rockets are very high on going forward, but is barely wider than a pencil. Hammons has spent the last two summers in Houston to work on his game. He didn't go to the combine, hinting he had some assurances of his place. With picks 37 and 43, he might be just what the Rockets had in mind to help against bigger post threats that Capela can't handle with Howard likely leaving for greener skittle pastures.




Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have hole, but with Mahini's comeback year last year and the promising rookie campaign of Myles Turner, they'll be looking to add on the wing, not the frontcourt.



Los Angeles Clippers

Want a dark horse? Look at the Clippers. Doc Rivers has enough confidence to take on someone with some off-court concerns, and the Clippers have one of the worst benches in the league. They have a one year window to try and make Chris Paul and Griffin work. As one of the most ready centers in the draft, look at Hammons as being a possible early second round pick to provide some punch off the bench behind DeAndre Jordan.



Los Angeles Lakers

Again, the Lakers as currently put together, have nothing but holds. Could they look for a center in the draft at 32? Sure, but Hammons doesn't seem the type of player to cause a splash and 32 is a bit of a reach for AJ's stock at this point. This is not likely.



Memphis Grizzlies

Brandan Wright was a steal for the Grizzlies last year, and Marc Gasol should be healthy for this upcoming season. The Grizzlies don't have a real need for another center when they continue to lack playmaking and shooting.



Miami Heat

No picks. No chance. Sad, as the Heat have shown a great touch on their late draft picks of late.



Milwaukee Bucks

While Kidd loves length and defense, two things Hammons has going for him, the Bucks are losing some playmaking and will look to add to their wing positions. They just paid Henson a lot of money, and they need a back-up point guard, and an athletic power forward to play behind Jabari Parker. If the Bucks were looking for value later in the draft, AJ would be a stronger possibility. As it is, they probably won't reach for the big man with their two second round picks.




Minnesota Timberwolves

Unless the Timberwolves trade back, they won't be in contention for Hammons. They're also paying Pekovich a lot of money to be the second best center on the roster as is. Not likely at all.



New Orleans Pelicans

There's too many centers on this roster already that the Pelicans don't' want. They're unlikely to unload Asik on anyone before the draft and Ajinca is a nice completement to Anthony Davis and they need a lot of wing and guard help.


39, 40

New York Knicks

No draft picks, despite the loss of Robin Lopez thanks to their Rose acquisition, so unless they trade into the draft with their limited resources, this ain't happening either.



Oklahoma City Thunder

Even if the Thunder had 7 draft picks, they're absolutely loaded with big men. Not a chance.



Orlando Magic

The Magic are a real possibility. The Magic have struggled to find a big man that can work effectively with Vucevic. Hammons provides the needed rim protection and a little bit of spacing. The Magic will be looking to make the playoffs and need another big man that can play the five in small lineups that juice spacing for the assorted young talent on the Magic's roster. They have two picks in the 40's and that could be right where AJ goes.


41, 47

Philadelphia 76ers

With only first round picks, and too many top-lottery pick big men already, this is a non-starter.

1, 24, 26


Phoenix Suns

They spent a lot of money on Chandler and still need to figure out how good top-4 pick Alex Len is. They aren't looking for more big men depth.

4, 13, 28


Portland Trail Blazers

No picks. No chance. Again.



Sacramento Kings

The Kings have a lot of holes, but center is the one spot they're set with Demarcus Cousins and last year's top pick Willey Cauley-Stein.



San Antonio Spurs

West and Duncan might be gone, Boban is a circus sideshow sized extra, and the Spurs were probably one big man short of going agains the Thunder in the playoffs. This is the dream scenario. Hammons spends his summers in Texas and Coach Pop definitely isn't afraid of taking chances on players, trusting in the Spurs system. This is probably the dream scenario for Hammons, but it might be a little too early for Hammons to go. It's a gut feeling, but the team in Houston seems the more likely Texas destination



Toronto Raptors

If Biyombo goes, the Raptors will have a hole to fill behind Jonas Valucunas, but 27 is a little early for Hammons to go and they'll probably do whatever they can to keep Bismack and his athleticism at the 5 that gave the Cavs trouble in the playoffs.

9, 27


Utah Jazz

There's not much room for the Jazz to add players to their roster. They gave up their 12th pick to pick up Hill from the Pacers, but they still have 11 fully guaranteed contracts and just one completely free agent. They could in theory use another big man to back up Gobert, but Favors plays a little 5, and they've struggled with playmakers more than big man. But three second round picks makes Hammons a possible target if he falls to them at 52.


42, 52, 60

Washington Wizards

No picks. No chance. If they trade into the second though, the Wiz could use a quality big man not named Drew Gooden.