Kevin Jones. 6/20/2011. 3:14 PM
There is no sense in making an NBA mock draft on what you think WILL happen. General managers have hidden agendas all throughout this scouting process. Even top insiders like Chad Forde really have very few ideas on how the whole enchilada will play out. So this mock draft is based on what I think SHOULD happen. Take a gander below…
1) Cleveland Cavaliers – Derrick Williams / F /Arizona
Comparison: Chris Webber
Kyrie Irving has only played a handful of college basketball games. The games in which he did wow me were against much lesser opponents. Williams’ athleticism with and without the ball are unduplicated from any other prospect in this draft. I’m in the minority on Williams, but I think he will develop into a borderline 3rd team All-NBA guy.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves – Enes Kanter / C / Turkey
Comparison: Samuel Dalembert
This is a guy who was recruited to star at Kentucky this past season but sat out because of overseas obligations. I think he will be decent in the league. The chances the T-Wolves trade out of this pick are around 90 percent, especially if Irving is still on the board.
3) Utah Jazz – Kyrie Irving / PG / Duke
Comparison: Mike Conley
See above, I’m just not sold on the injury prone guard. I just can’t picture this guy excelling at the NBA level quite like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, John Wall or even Steph Curry. I think making all-star games for Irving is going to be a constant struggle. Nonetheless Devin Harris will take off a lot of pressure if he lands in Utah.
4) Cleveland Cavilers – Kemba Walker / PG / UConn
Comparison: Tim Hardaway
This is an absolute dream scenario for Cav’s fans and LeBron haters. The entire world saw how dominant Walker can get when the stage in the grandest in the 2011 March Madness tournament. Picture this: A 2015 Eastern Conference finals featuring these new Cavs and the Miami Heat. That could be the most epic playoff series in sports history.
5) Toronto Raptors – Jonas Valanciunas / C / Lithuania
Comparison: Primoz Brezic
Mark down another bust for the worst organization in the NBA. Drafting size (6-11) is a no-brainer for the Raptors but they are kind of stuck with the 5th pick. This year’s center crop is weaker than most, and that’s saying something.
6) Washington Wizards – Kawhi Leonard / F / San Diego St.
Comparison: Gerald Wallace
What does every single team in the eastern conference need? A defensive stopper to mark LeBron, Carmelo and the Boston/Chicago arsenal. Leonard will be that guy and then some with his rebounding ability.
7) Sacramento Kings – Jan Vesely / F / Czech Republic
Comparison: Andrei Kirilenko
Vesely is a rare European breed. Unlike most Euro stars, who simply shoot and play along the perimeter, Vesely is an athletic specimen with a strong ability to finish around the rim. Vesely is great in transition and tough to stop with his 6-11 frame.
8) Detroit Pistons – Brandon Knight / PG / Kentucky
Comparison: Rafer Alston
Knight, like most point guards these days, isn’t a pure prospect. He is a hell of a shooter though and some even compare him to Jason Terry. The Pistons would be thrilled if he landed in their lap. I don’t think he will ever outshine either Irving or Kemba.
9) Charlotte Bobcats – Jimmer Fredette / G / BYU
Comparison: Monta Ellis
Yes, I think he can score that much on the pro level, especially in Charlotte. The Bobcats have to make this pick. People in their own state of North Carolina could give a flying shart about the NBA with both Duke and UNC. Selecting The Jimmer is smart from a business standpoint and he will pan out. Mark my words.
10) Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks / G / Colorado
Comparison: Eddie Jones
Milwaukee is in desperate need of a guard who can literally keep the rock out of ball-hog Brandon Jennings hands. Burks has a lethal pull-up jumper, can handle the ball on a fast break and can rebound exceptionally well for a guard.
11) Golden State – Marcus Morris / F / Kansas
Comparison: Udonis Haslem
He’s regarded as possibly the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft. Morris attitude has been a problem though. He recently compared his game on the court to that of Carmelo Anthony. Lay off the reefer brother.
12) Utah Jazz – Jordan Hamilton / F / Texas
Comparison: Extremely poor man’s Paul Pierce
The first “reach” of the draft. Hamilton will be a dazzling shooter on the next level and can create for himself with the dribble. His stock fell because his team choked in March Madness (shocker), otherwise he could’ve been a top five pick with a run like Derrick Williams. This phases out Kirilenko, which is a good thing.
13) Phoenix Suns – Chris Singleton / F / Florida State
Comparison: Trevor Ariza
Offensively, Singleton can’t really play in the post and isn't necessarily a prototypical NBA small forward. Singleton's length will be a great asset for him as he attempts to defend perimeter players such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Also the Suns may be looking for a point guard, with Nash’s age and Aaron Brooks becoming a restricted free agent.
14) Houston Rockets – Tristan Thompson / F / Texas
Comparison: Joe Smith
The comparison says it all…Thompson is going to show flashes of brilliance but will make freshman-like mistakes for a good part of his career. Houston is dying to acquire a veteran player. Watch out for a trade. He could fit in nicely off the bench subbing for Luis Scola if he is coached right.