Noah Vonleh is considered by many to the top Big Ten prospect in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, a player's career can often be just as much determined by his landing spot as by his potential on the court. Get the right situation and coaching staff and it can turn into something special. End up in the wrong place and things can turn south very quickly. With that in mind, what five teams would be the best landing spot for Noah Vonleh?
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Many are going to perceive this as a mixed selection for #1, but there are a few things to note here. First, Philadelphia picks at #3, #10, and #32 in this year's Draft. Having 3 picks that high is pretty big to begin, but two picks in the Top 10 is even bigger. It's pretty likely that Vonleh will be available at #3 and a decent chance he is available at #10 if he slides a bit. Now, Philadelphia has Nerlens Noel, but we can't be sure exactly what they have in him. Plus, it wouldn't be that insane to see both play alongside each other for segments. Philadelphia may not be a great team right now, but if they are able to use these picks well and snag a guy or two in free agency, this could be the best place for Vonleh. Not only would it mean he is drafted highly with a chance to play, but this team could be stacked with young and cheap talent, which could mean big things on the horizon early on.
2. Utah Jazz
The Jazz are an interesting landing spot for Vonleh. Utah was not a good team last season, but they do have some interesting pieces. However, even though they have shown some potential upfront, they still could use a quality power forward if they want to be a true contender. The other thing to consider is that Utah is in position to make a quick turnaround. Not only do they have some interesting backcourt pieces in Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke, but they have a good chunk of draft picks and still have a bunch of young players already. If some of the younger players progress well, Vonleh could be the piece that could really make them a contender. Along with this, he would also be a high draft pick, insuring some investment from the franchise.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
The Purple & Gold. The Lakers are one of the most prestigious franchises in the NBA, but have fallen on hard times the last few years with injuries and troublesome signings. Now, they have a good pick, some space, and most of their roster either filled by fringe NBA players or guys on the decline. They could desperately use a contributor upfront and with some potential game-changing free agent additions, the Lakers could have a bright future with Vonleh upfront. Plus, this is a franchise that is proven to be a consistent contender, which is typically a good place for a young player to join.
4. Orlando Magic
The Magic are still rebuilding after another big man departure has reset their franchise. This time it was Dwight Howard, but Orlando does have some good things going on, including former Indiana player Victor Oladipo. The Magic are probably a lot closer than people think to competing in a weak Eastern Conference, but a nice big man prospect upfront could really help. They do have some youth up there, but not a prospect like Vonleh.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
Look, there's no way Vonleh is left at pick #21 or #27 for OKC. However, in the situation where Vonleh did slide or OKC decided to move up through a trade, this would be a tremendous landing spot for Vonleh. He would likely have to battle for minutes behind a quality player in Serge Ibaka, but considering how badly the Thunder struggled without Ibaka, it might be nice to get a great prospect like Vonleh upfront. Plus, who knows, maybe they could find a way to play Ibaka and Vonleh together. This is highly unlikely to ever happen, but OKC would be a nice spot to land in if some unusual things occur.