With the 2011 NBA Draft now just under two weeks away, I figured it would be a good time to update the first mock draft I published two and a half weeks ago. Not many changes in the top-10 of my mock, but after that there is plenty of shake up. Let’s take a look!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving – G, Duke
Some mocks out there are getting a big crazy and predicting a couple other players at the top spot, but I don’t think the Cavaliers will look anywhere else outside of Irving.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams – F, Arizona
He may not fit a need for Minnesota, but he is arguably the best player in this draft. David Kahn would then need to look at moving Michael Beasley or Anthony Randolph to fill other gaping holes.
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight – G, Kentucky
Time to start phasing out Devin Harris as the starting point guard of this team. I don’t think that Knight is a top-3 player in this draft right now, but he certainly has the size, potential and big-play ability to be the gem of this class.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter – F/C, Kentucky
Has been looking very good in workouts and is a dark-horse to be selected first overall in this draft. If the Cavaliers were to do that, they would assume that Brandon Knight would be available here.
5. Toronto Raptors: Jan Vesely – F, Czech Republic
The only way GM Bryan Colangelo doesn’t go international with this pick is if Brandon Knight is still on the board. Vesely gives them great size and athleticism at either of the forward spots and should allow for a more uptempo game for the Raptors.
Pick in Previous Mock: Jonas Valanciunas
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard – F, San Diego State
With Josh Howard on his last leg, Kawhi Leonard would be a significant upgrade at the small forward position. He has been great in workouts over the past month and Washington fans should be plenty pleased with this selection.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker – G, Connecticut
The national champion point guard is looking to be a lock to go no lower than No. 7 as the Kings really like what they see from him. A Tyreke Evans-Kemba Walker back court would be very entertaining to watch.
8. Detroit Pistons: Jonas Valanciunas – C, Lithuania
The Pistons desperately need to upgrade their front court and Valanciunas is a large, long big that lives around the rim. His workman-like work ethic will be fully appreciated in Detroit.
Pick in Previous Mock: Jan Vesely
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Marcus Morris – F, Kansas
Michael Jordan and the Bobcats need someone who can contribute right away, especially after dealing away Gerald Wallace. Marcus Morris has looked great in workouts and can play both the small and power forward positions. His offensive repertoire has steadily grown over the years and is a legitimate rebounder.
Pick in Previous Mock: Bismack Biyombo
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks – G, Colorado
The Bucks need serious help at the shooting guard position. Alec Burks is the best shooting guard in the draft. Seems to be an easy pick for the Bucks.
11. Golden State Warriors: Chris Singleton – F, Florida State
New head coach Mark Jackson said that the Warriors will pride themselves on defense. They have two of the best scoring guards in the league in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis already. Rumors have the Warriors moving Ellis, but Jackson said he can’t wait to coach him. Assuming Ellis is still in Golden State, Singleton could be a step in the right direction for this club to make the playoffs.
Pick in Previous Mock: Tristan Thompson
12. Utah Jazz: Klay Thompson – G, Washington State
If Singleton is still on the board, that’s who the Jazz will take. With him going the pick before, Utah bolsters their back court yet again, pairing Brandon Knight, the second best point guard in the draft, with the second best shooting guard in the draft in Klay Thompson. This team hasn’t had a legitimate difference maker at this position in years and should be a welcomed addition.
Pick in Previous Mock: Chris Singleton
13. Phoenix Suns: Jordan Hamilton – G/F, Texas
Here’s a list of the shooting guards and small forwards on the Suns roster: Jared Dudley, Grant Hill, Mikael Pietrus, Vince Carter, Josh Childress. That swing man position is in desperate need of a makeover and Hamilton adds a versatile scorer to a roster that is getting old fast.
14. Houston Rockets: Markieff Morris – F, Kansas
With the uncertainty behind Yao Ming’s career, the Rockets look to add a legitimate big man. “The Other Morris” is more of a post player and a better rebounder and should battle Patrick Patterson and Jordan Hill for backup duties at the power forward and center positions.
Pick in Previous Mock: Marcus Morris
15. Indiana Pacers: Jimmer Fredette – G, Brigham Young University
The Pacers desperately need a scorer at the shooting guard position and Fredette can do just that. He’s got the best jump shot in the entire draft and has enough handles to run a little point guard if needed. Jimmer could quickly become a crowd favorite in Indiana.
Pick in Previous Mock: Klay Thompson
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Bismack Biyombo – F/C, Congo
Philadelphia could really use an infusion of tenacity on the glass and in the paint on defense and Biyombo fits the bill. This is perhaps the lowest he would go in the draft. If the rumors come true and Andre Iguodala is dealt away, then the small forward position becomes first priority for this team in the draft.
Pick in Previous Mock: Markieff Morris
17. New York Knicks: Marshon Brooks – G, Providence
Since the end of the college basketball season, there may not be another player that has raised their stock as much as Brooks. He’s got all the measurables and skills to be a very good player in the league and the Knicks could use a reliable scorer at the shooting guard position with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brooks ends up in the lottery when it is all said and done on draft night.
Pick in Previous Mock: Josh Selby
18. Washington Wizards: Tobias Harris – F, Tennessee
After already taking Kawhi Leonard in the draft, the Wizards pair him up with Tobias Harris. Harris can play both the small and power forward positions and would be an interesting addition to the bench backing up both Leonard and Andray Blatche.
Pick in Previous Mock: Jimmer Fredette
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Kenneth Faried – F, Morehead State
The Bobcats could use a legit center prospect, but there aren’t any worth taking at this position unless they want to reach a little bit. Charlotte pairs up Marcus Morris with the best rebounder in all of college basketball last season in Kenneth Faried. His relentless motor will set the tone off the bench for this Bobcats team.
Pick in Previous Mock: Donatas Motiejunas
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Donatas Motiejunas – F, Lithuania
With the Timberwolves already selecting one of the safest and best players in the draft in Derrick Williams, they can afford to take a risk on a potential dynamic scorer in Donatas Motiejunas. He has the skill set of Andrea Bargnani with more athleticism and less range on his jumper.
Pick in Previous Mock: Marshon Brooks
21. Portland Trailblazers: Darius Morris – G, Michigan
With Andre Miller looking to be close to retirement or on the way out by way of trade or free agency, time to start thinking about his replacement. The Blazers could go with Darius Morris, who is compared to none other than Andre Miller by most experts. He’s got excellent size and may be the only pure point guard in the entire draft.
Pick in Previous Mock: Kenneth Faried
22. Denver Nuggets: Nikola Vucevic – C, USC
With the possibility of Nene leaving, the Nuggets need to bolster their front line. Vucevic measured out as a legitimate center prospect for the league and has been playing great in workouts so far. He’ll never be a good athlete, but his size, length and skills will more than make up for it.
Pick in Previous Mock: Tobias Harris
23. Houston Rockets: Nikola Mirotic – F, Serbia
After drafting Markieff Morris earlier in the round, the Rockets need to address the small forward position. Mirotic has got all the skills to translate well to the NBA, but needs some work. His contract may hinder him from coming to America for a season or two, but Houston probably would not mind seeing him gain experience overseas while not paying him.
Pick in Previous Mock: Nikola Vucevic
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Lucas Nogueira – C, Brazil
Is there any chance that Sam Presti doesn’t go international with this pick? With the third youngest team in the league, the Thunder can afford to take a player and stash them overseas for a season or two. Nogueira is a big, long and active defender that can be an immediate shot blocker in the league, but his offense is a long way from being respectable.
Pick in Previous Mock: Nikola Mirotic
25. Boston Celtics: Jeremy Tyler – C, USA
The Celtics desperately need to add big men to this roster with Shaquille O’Neal retiring and Nenad Krstic signing with a team in Russia. Jeremy Tyler has had an interesting path to this year’s draft, but he has got the upside to become a very good player with some development. He seems to be maturing in the eyes of NBA GM’s as he has reportedly had some great interviews.
Pick in Previous Mock: Jordan Williams
26. Dallas Mavericks: Tyler Honeycutt – G, UCLA
Deshawn Stevenson is arguably the worst starter in the entire league. Honeycutt would be an instant upgrade at the position. He is a very good shooter and uses his great length to his advantage on defense.
27. New Jersey Nets: Josh Selby – G, Kansas
Selby looked great early on in workouts, but reportedly hasn’t been as good as Marshon Brooks or Klay Thompson. He seems to be falling in the first round, but should find a spot in the top thirty picks.
Pick in Previous Mock: JaJuan Johnson
28. Chicago Bulls: Reggie Jackson – G, Boston College
An injury has kept Reggie Jackson from fully participating in pre-draft camps and workouts, but the Bulls could use some depth at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. Jackson is freakishly long and is a dangerous scorer. He’s also got enough handles to allow Derrick Rose to play off the ball at times.
Pick in Previous Mock: Davis Bertans
29. San Antonio Spurs: JaJuan Johnson – F, Purdue
With Tim Duncan slowing down and Antonio McDyess retiring, the Spurs need to add some depth at the power forward and center positions. Johnson is a long, athletic big man with great athleticism and a respectable face-up game. He could be a great compliment for Duncan and could become a very good role player in the league.
Pick in Previous Mock: Jeremy Tyler
30. Chicago Bulls: Trey Thompkins – F, Georgia
Thompkins is a big man (6-10, 239 pounds) that has an inside-out game. He can do damage on the block and can stretch the defense with his jump shot. Will add yet even more depth to one of he best front courts in the entire league.
Pick in Previous Mock: Shelvin Mack