June 22, 2011

NBA Mock Draft

Round 1

1. Cleveland Cavliers - Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

    The Cavs had one of the worst seasons in team history the year after LeBron leaves. In an effort to get some more wins to finish the season, the team traded for Baron Davis  in exchange for Mo Williams. The Cavs also got the Clippers first round pick, which through the draft lottery became the #1 selection overall. The Cav's own first round pick became pick #4, so they really lucked out.
    So Cleveland has the first pick for the first time since 2003 when the team selected high school phenom and Ohio native LeBron James. Cleveland is now hoping for a similar type story by taking Kyle Irving and hope he can become another star player to lead them to another Finals.
    Irving is a 6'4 point guard from Duke who was a top recruit. But he was injured most of the season, and did not play much. Everyone knew he would leave after one year, but some say he should stay one more as missing so much of last year might hurt him. However, he left and now is the projected #1 pick. To me, Irving is a great player and I could see him performing much like John Wall did in his rookie season. But I could also see him not playing to great and struggling.
     Which ever happens though, I don't think he will end up being a Derrick Rose or Chris Paul.  He  will always be just a solid player with flashes of greatness, but never a lot. Hopefully, veteran Baron Davis will mentor him, which might have been why the Cavs included him in the deal anyway.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona

    The Timberwolves finally have 2008 pick Ricky Rubio coming to play for them from Spain, and they have finally found a PG. With that, they now are looking to trade this pick for a veteran player who can help this team get out of the Western Conference's cellar.
    If no teams will trade though, I see them taking Derrick Williams. Williams is a very versatile player who I think is the best player in this very weak draft. 6'9, 249 pounds, and he can play SF as well as PF. He will be a great player no question about it. If the Timerwolves do end up taking him, then we could see Michael Beasley out of Minnesota after just one season. But this was the season where he finally showed some greatness. I still think though they will deal this pick -  maybe to a contender looking to add youth (Celtics, Lakers).

3. Utah Jazz - Enes Kanter, C, Turkey

    Enes Kanter is a big man from Turkey who originally was headed to Kentucky, but NCAA rules left him sitting on the bench all season. No worries to Kanter, as he will just go straight to the NBA draft. The Jazz need help all across the board, and Kanter is the best big man available. With him and Al Jefferson, hopefully they can start the process to get back to the playoffs. Good pick here.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Jan Vesley, PF, Czech Republic

    The second straight international big man to come off the board is Jan Vesley, from the Czech Republic. The Cavs will want to then help the post in their long rebuilding process, and Vesley is the best option here for them.

5. Toronto Raptors - Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky

    There is no way the Raptors pass up on Knight here, as they have been seriously looking at him and Kemba Walker. But the only reason I see them taking Walker would be because Knight is taken by the Jazz at #3. But I do not see that happening and Knight goes to Toronto. He is a solid point guard who really could become a strong force in the NBA in these coming years. I do believe that Walker is better, but from what it looks like, the Raptors think otherwise.

6. Washington Wizards - Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State

    The Wizards really will take the best player here who is not a point guard. That leaves Kawhi Leaonard, who is a strong player and can make an impact from the start. He is definitely the best option here for Washington.

7. Sacramento Kings - Kemba Walker, PG, UConn

    Tyreke Evans is a great player, with super-star written all over him. But one thing he also has shown is that he is not a point guard;  he is a shooting guard. That is why the Kings will take who I think may be the best PG in this draft. With Walker and Evans the Kings will have a great back court which will grow into one of the top ones in the NBA soon. DeMarcus Cousins will be a great compliment to them too in the future. The Kings still have a way to go, but they are on the right track.  The most important thing is staying in Sacramento.

8. Detroit Pistons - Bismack Biyombo, PF, Spain

    When the Pistons won the championship in 2004, they had one of the best defensive posts in the NBA with Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. In order for them to get back to a contender as they were just a few seasons ago, they need to have a much better post game. Greg Monroe, the 7th pick last season for Detroit had a good rookie season. But Ben Wallace cannot be the other post at this point. Enter Bismack Biyombo, a forward from Spain who could come here  immediately. He is a very physical player who could play center. The Pistons seem to really like Biyombo, so he makes sense here.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania 

    The third big man from Europe should be taken here, as the Bobcats play it safe and take the best man available. Charolotte has had bad luck drafting players ever sense they started out. Hopefully he will work out and Charlotte has a true big man.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Alec Burks, SG, Colorado

    The Bucks need a SG now that Michael Redd and Chris Douglas-Roberts are free agents. Burks has great potential, and he can really be a good player. He needs to work on shooting, but if he does, he has the potential to be an al -star in his future. The Bucks may have a steal here.

11. Golden State - Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State

    It is becoming more and more obvious that the Warriors will deal Monta Ellis when they are able to due to the NBA lockout starting soon. They will need another guard now and Klay Thompson is the best available. But is he going to be a Monta Ellis? Not even close. I really do not think the Warriors should trade him and try to build a stronger team around Ellis and Stephen Curry. But if they trade him like it looks like they will do, Thompson is who they should at least take here.

12. Utah Jazz - Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU

    The Jazz need a shooter off the bench, and Fredette could be the best they will ever see for years. There also is a good chance he could become the starting point guard too, but he will need some development. Chris Singelton also has a good chance being taken here, but Fredette will likely be the pick.

13. Phoenix Suns - Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas

    The Suns need help on defense here, and Thompson is the best defender available. He also is a solid rebounder which the Suns need help with too. Chris Singelton could also be a possibility here.

14. Houston Rockets - Nickola Vucevic, C, USC

    The Rockets really need a true center, so they might reach here for the only true center with first round talent. They also could try to trade for a higher pick to get someone like Jonas Valanciunas or Jan Vesley. But Vucevic has had great workouts, and may turn out to be a good pick.

15. Indiana Pacers - Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State 

    The Pacers will take the best player available here, and take Chris Singleton out of Florida State. There is a good chance he could be gone before this, but right now he is going to Indiana. Singleton is a strong forward who can add depth.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas

    The 76ers need a tough and versatile force in the post, and Morris provides just that. He is a good pick here and will be a solid player.

17. New York Knicks - Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

    The Knicks need depth, and that is what they need to focus on with  this draft. That means taking the best player available, and Marshon Brooks is who they will take. Josh Shelby is also a possibility. But in this draft, Brooks is going to New York and will get some big minutes off the bench if he starts the season well.

18. Washington Wizards - Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas

    The Wizards could use a true center here, but there really isn't one available. They will take the best post available and go with Markieff Morris out of Kansas. He is also versatile like his brother Marcus, but just not as good.

19. Charlotte Bobcats - Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas

    The Bobcats just need help everywhere and Hamilton is the best available. He has great potential and may end up being a steal here. 

20. Minnesota Timberwolves - Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania

    This is another pick the T-Wolves could trade, but if they stay here, they take a foreign player in Motiejunas who can help the team in rebounding. 

21. Portland Trail Blazers - Josh Selby, PG, Kansas

    Andre Miller is on the last year of his contract and has been actively shopped for the last two seasons. Selby can develop into a solid player and can be a future point guard. Kenneth Faried has a great shot to go here, as the Trail Blazers have liked him since last season's pre-draft workouts.

22. Denver Nuggets - Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State

    One of the best rebounders in all of college basketball, Faried is a player many teams are looking at for depth. Usually teams who are already contenders. The Nuggets may take a shot at him with Kenyon Martin going into free agency.

23. Houston Rockets - Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State

    The Rockets will most likely pick the best guard off the board here, and that is Norris Cole out of the small school  Cleveland State. Cole will provide depth if Goran Dragic (restricted free agent) does not return.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder - Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee

    No big need here, the Thunder also take the best player available in Tobias Harris, who is a very well-rounded player and can add some good depth to this team, and keep them young.

25. Boston Celtics - Jeremy Tyler, SF, No College

   Jeremy Tyler has top 10 talent, but skipped his senior year of high school to go play over-seas. That did not work out well and could easily now be a second round pick. But the Celtics will take a chance on him and hope that he will work out. The Celtics need to start rebuilding around Rajon Rondo, fast.

26. Dallas Mavericks - Darrius Morris, PG, Michigan

    The Mavs won the title, but they also are an old team that needs to address the future now, much like Boston. They will take the best player they can find who has good potential, and Darrius Morris has that. They will try to mold him into a solid point guard. If Josh Selby fell to them, it would be a dream come true for Dallas.

27. New Jersey Nets - Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA

    The Nets will add Honeycutt as depth.  I'm not sure if Deron Williams will be back. Lots of uncertainty in New Jersey makes them a hard team to predict. But Honeycutt seems like a likely option.

28. Chicago Bulls - Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College

    The Bulls will just add some kind of depth here, and Reggie Jackson can add some at point guard.

29. San Antonio Spurs - Nickola Mirotic, SF, Serbia

    Mirotic is a potential top 10 talent, but he will stay in Europe for at least three years, no less.  It is a  mystery as to  why he stayed in the draft, but because he did,a veteran team who can wait will take him.  And when he comes back, he can be a very good player. The Spurs seem like a likely team here.

30. Chicago Bulls - JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue

    Johnson can add some depth in the front court for Chicago and help them be a better team defensively.

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