2011 NBA Mock Draft: NBA Draft Lottery Mock
With the NBA draft lottery only days away we are going to take an early look at what prospects may be targeted by what teams if they stay in the same draft position.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Enes Kanter
The Timberwolves are the hardest team in the draft to peg as they have been bad enough in the last couple of years to have promising young talent at every position. They are stacked at PG with Jonny Flynn, Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour, they have their shooting guard of the future n Wesley Johnson, they have the supremely talented Michael Beasley at small forward, Kevin Love at power forward and Anthony Randolph who can play and start at center if needed. They also have the emerging Darko Milicic who can fill in at C. With that said if they decide to keep this pick the smart money is on them being wowed by Enes Kanter’s workouts which will highlight his physical post game and NBA ready body. While Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are two much more highly regarded prospects due to Kanter being forced to sit out the entire 2010 college season, Kanter has the talent and upside that would have thrust him in the conversation for number one overall if he had played this season. Kanter would be drafted to start and would be an amazing piece for one of the most exciting up and coming teams in the NBA. Kanter, Love, Randolph and Milicic would represent one of, if not the most talented front courts in the entire NBA.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving
The Cavaliers luck out in this scenario by getting the number one player on their draft board without moving up in the draft. The addition of a talent like Irving will really hasten the Cavs rebuilding efforts and coupled with their lottery pick acquired from the Clippers for taking on Baron Davis they look about a year away from playoff contention. Irving is a special talent and makes a ton of sense for the Cavs even with Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions on the roster. Irving has far greater upside than Sessions and Baron Davis needs to be on a contender and not a rebuilding team at this stage in his career.
3. Toronto Raptors – Derrick Williams
The Toronto Raptors in this scenario get one of the top two rated players in the draft without having to move up. Derrick Williams in this scenario would step right in as the starting small forward relegating James Johnson to the bench. The combination of DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Williams, Ed Davis and Jerryd Bayless will make the Raptors one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA.
4. Washington Wizards – Jan Vesely
With both Nick Young and Jordan Crawford looking like good potential building blocks on the wings, the Wizards will pass on Kawhi Leonard and opt for Czech big man Jan Vesely. Vesely embodies the typical European big man as a power forward who has range out to the three point line and struggles in the post. With that said he has a great motor coupled with mentionable leaping ability and a desire to finish in the paint. He has the chance to be something special on this team with his ability to spread the floor and with John Wall feeding him the rock. At 6’11 and 240 lbs Vesely has to put on some muscle but he appears to have the frame to eventually become force in the paint. Vesely is a good defender and is capable of guarding multiple positions on the floor.
5. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker
Despite Brandon Knight having more upside as a potential pure point in the NBA, the Kings are not looking for a point in the traditional sense. Walker is a great fit beside Tyreke Evans and could also thrive in a backcourt with Marcus Thornton. Walker has proven his ability to perform in clutch situations and would bring a winning pedigree and positive locker room influence to the Kings. Walker is a winner and will be looked upon to be a leader on and off the court.
6. Utah Jazz – Kawhi Leonard
With Andrei Kirilenko headed to free agency the Jazz will look to address the small forward position. Leonard fits the Jazz needs as a long, athletic, skilled three who can defend any position from two to four. Now while the Gerald Wallace comparisons may be a bit of a reach he has the ability to be a poor mans version of sorts. Leonard is an excellent rebounder and will put up plus numbers in the rebound department for a small forward.
7. Detroit Pistons – Tristan Thompson
Despite all the talk of Thompson being a Scott Skiles type of player, there is another type of player he is, a Detroit Pistons type of player. Greg Monroe and Tristan Thompson can provide the Pistons with an intimidating and very promising front court. The addition of Thompson will also allow Charlie V and Chris Wilcox to come off the bench, roles that they are more suited for on this particular team. Thompson has the tools and elite second jump ability to become one of the top shot blockers in the Eastern conference. While he has a polished post game he still needs a lot of work on his jumper and is considered raw in this area.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Alec Burks
Burks is a 6’6 shooting guard out of Colorado and is someone that can put up points in a hurry. Burks averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds as a sophomore and is the type of potent backcourt scoring option the a team like the Cavaliers could really use. In this scenario the Cavs have now landed Kyrie Irving and Alec Burks to add to J.J Hickson and Varajeo and seem to be just the 2012 draft away from being completely rebuilt.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Brandon Knight
In this scenario Knight who is a top five talent in this draft drops all the way to the Bobcats for two reasons; one being the Raptors who would have selected him at tee had Derrick Williams fall into their laps and two is because the Kings felt that Kemba Walker was a better fit beside Tyreke Evans. This is a perfect fit for Brandon Knight as he will have a clear path to the starting job. Knight is a solid defender and can score points in a hurry. Knight has significant upside and will prove to quite a steal this late in the draft.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Bismack Biyombo
The Bucks were hoping for Tristan Thompson here but will be just fine with the intriguing Biyombo still on the board. While it is true that they spent a lottery pick on Larry Sanders last year, strengthening the frontcourt seems to be high on the Bucks priority list. Bogut, Biyombo and Sanders will form a terrorizing defensive trio that will be feared by every team in the NBA.
11. Golden State Warriors – Chis Singleton
In this scenario Singleton winds up with the Warriors and is a perfect fit for his team. Singleton is not yet regarded as a lottery prospect but that will change after the combine and workouts. Singleton has been heralded as a lock down defender with a reliable mid-range jumper. He is also a great finisher in transition and has NBA three-point range.
Jordan Hamilton of Texas is also a possibility here.
12. Utah Jazz – Jimmer Fredette
Fredette was the nations top scorer averaging 28.9 points per game while leading BYU on a Cinderella run during march madness. Fredette is a combo guard with an emerging point guard game and will be in a position to succeed in Utah as a likely 6th man candidate. Fredette is not starter quality due to his atrocious defense but can thrive off the bench and almost instantaneously become one of the leagues most dangerous sixth men. Some may question the wisdom of using a lottery pick on a bench player, but this is no ordinary bench player, he will be asked to do what he does best off the bench which is score and will not have the burden of running a team or having to defend his position, which he could not do in college and definitely wont be able to do in the NBA.
13. Phoenix Suns- Jonas Valaciunas
Jonas is a very talented Lithuanian big man who unlike most European players is a solid rebounder and adept shot blocker. He may not get the love of a Jan Vesely but he can be and actually looks like a safer pick, especially at this point of the draft. Valaciunas is a solid finisher around the rim and looks to attack it when given the chance. While he projects as a power forward when he first enters the league, his lack or range and wide frame suggest that once he adds some muscle that he may very well be shifted to the center position.
14. Houston Rockets – Marcus Morris
The Rockets are seemingly always on the lookout for talented big men. With Hayes and Miller being unattractive if somewhat effective role players and Ming on the mend, Morris makes a ton of sense for the Rockets here. Morris is a lottery talent in the 2011 NBA draft and could slide right into the power forward role with Luis Scola manning the middle. Its more likely however that the Rockets let Hill, Morris, Patterson and an unnamed free agent battle it out for minutes.