Now that the season’s been over for a few days, I guess it’s time to do a mock draft! It’s been called a weak draft class by just about everyone, and I have no solid reasons to say it won’t be, but on the other hand you never really know until the guys start playing in the NBA whether they can survive or not. I mean all 5’6″ of JJ Barea started on a finals team afterall, so you never really do know. Looking at a bunch of other mocks online I’ve seen a lot of international players in the lottery, so I’ll put a few of those guys in mine as well. Pretty much every player in this draft looks like a crapshoot, so here’ show I think the lottery teams should draft, but it’s doubtful they will heed to my advice. It’s like thinking the W’s or Kings will actually get a top 3 pick…
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers – Derrick Williams, SF Arizona. Why would you draft Kyrie Irving when you already have Baron Davis!?! Ok, that question answered itself. Seriously though, DW is a beast. He’s the only player in this mock that I saw play live, and he truly looked like a man among boys. His tourney run was pretty impressive as well if you didn’t see all his dunks on the top ten plays maybe you should youtube them. Not sure what the downside is to drafting a guy with range, a post game, and the size of a PF packed in a SF body. Oh yeah, he plays above the rim too, I don’t see anything not to like.
#2 Minnesota Timberwolves – Kyrie Irving, PG Duke. Am I sold on Kyrie? Not really, and that probably goes back to him being hurt a lot in college, and not really seeing him play much. Wait till he runs into a meat wall like Dwight Howard, that’s going to cause a lot more pain than anything he experienced in college. You can insert pretty much any joke you want about the T-wolves taking a PG. Since Rubio probably won’t come here, and Flynn looks like a bust, so may as well pick another PG in Kyrie, the supposed can’t miss prospect. I feel like his career will be like Shaun Livingston’s, potential but injured all the time…
#3 Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG Kentucky. The Jazz usually make smart decisions. While everyone seems to think Kyrie is hands down the best PG in the draft I feel like Knight is better. He feels like a more complete player from his above average jumper to the clutch gene he showed in college. Everything I’ve read says he’s a gym rat, so that’s another good thing about him. Having a 4.0 in college is another plus. He needs to work on his passing, but since I don’t think Devin Harris is the longterm answer in Utah, it would make a lot of sense to take him.
#4 Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, C Turkey. He’s supposedly the biggest thing out of Europe in 10 years. Tough for me to judge how good or not good he is. He did put up 34 pts and 13 rebounds against team USA in a scrimmage last summer, and was finishing inside with the best of them. 7-footers with his skill set are pretty rare, so why not take him and pair him with Hickson and Varejao. If he turns out like Bogut, I’m sure the Cavs would be happy.
#5 Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard, F San Diego State. The Raptors need help everywhere except SG and C. If Knight or Irving somehow falls to them, I’m pretty sure they would pick either of them, since Calderon digresses every year he’s in the league. I almost had them picking Kemba, but this team really needs someone that can play defense, and Kawhi can guard anyone from a PG to a PF. He doesn’t have a great shot, but they already have shot makers.
#6 Washington Wizards – Jan Vesely, SF/PF Serbia. A guy I don’t really know anything about. Sounds like he’s a project though, and why not take a chance at 6 to possibly get a solid two way player. I read that he might be a poor man’s Kirilenko, so I guess that’s a good thing?!?I just put him here more because I have no idea what he brings to the table and it sounds like the Wiz really liked him after workouts. Plus, I could care less what the Wizards do.
#7 Sacramento Kings – Jonas Valanciunas, C Lithuania. Another guy I don’t really know much about. Sounds like he’s a project though, and why not take him at 7 when he could possibly be the best player in the draft. Sarunas Marciulionis was one of my favorite Warriors growing up, and he was from Lithuania, so maybe he’ll be the next big thing out of that country. Since he is one of those “project” type players he can just sit behind Thompson, and Dalembert until their contracts are up while getting his learn on. I almost had them pick Kemba, but he’s way too much like Tyreke for that to work out imo.
#8 Detroit Pistons – Kemba Walker, G UConn. The Pistons need a lot of things. I don’t see Stuckey or Bynum working out in the long run, so you may as well bring in someone new at PG. Kemba was amazing in the tourney, and if he can make some of Detroit’s players passionate about basketball again, that’s a win, because they lack mental toughness, and Kemba clearly has that. I could also see them taking a SF to replace Prince who will be a free agent this summer.
#9 Charlotte Bobcats – Jimmer Fredette, G BYU. Michael Jordan will never be known for his greatness as a GM. He seems to like taking scorers over team needs. Maybe watching teach me how to Jimmer a few times and said what the hell, let’s take him, he can’t be worse than Morrison right?!? I’m sure he’ll compliment Gerald Henderson well in Charlotte.
#10 Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks, SG Colorado. This is probably who the Bobcats should’ve picked if they were going with a scoring guard, but that’s not how they roll. Burks is a perfect fit for the Bucks. They need someone to replace the never healthy Michael Redd, and Burks seems like he can fill it up coming off screens.
#11 Golden State Warriors – Bismack Biyombo, F/C Congo. Not really sure about him like a lot of the other foreign players, but he’s outstanding at protecting the rim. He put up a triple double with 10 blocks at the Hoops Summit in Portland. If the W’s are really committed to defense, this would be the guy to pick to show that they are making that commitment. Not sure I believe he’s the next Dikembe, but I’m onboard with them taking that chance on him! He’s got to be better than Biendris was last year (not saying much).
#12 Utah Jazz – Marcus Morris, F Kansas. I should’ve saved Jimmer for the Jazz, but it was too tempting for MJ to let him get past the #9 pick. Marcus is a very polished forward that can play the 3 or 4. I don’t see AK staying in Utah past this last year on his contract, so starting Morris and Millsap at the 3 and 4 is going to be tough for any team to guard. I think he’s a little better than his brother Markief, so that’s why the Jazz took him over his brother.
#13 Phoenix Suns – Tristan Thompson, F Texas. The Suns are looking for someone to replace Hakim Warrick, errr, I mean, Amare. I’m skeptical to think he’ll be the next Amare, but he’s got a huge wingspan and did shut down Derrick Williams in the tourney as well as one can shut that guy down. He’s super athletic, which is something that a player will really need playing with Nash.