Monday, April 25, 2011

NBA Draft 6.0, Underclassmen Deadline

Derrick Williams has solidified
his position in the top 3.
The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft has passed, but underclassmen who have not hired an agent have retained their NCAA eligibility and can return to school.  Many of the top prospects have already decided to stay in school  and that has weakened an already weak draft class.  Because a lot of top prospects from college are out of the draft I expect scouts to turn their attention to Europe and bring over a lot more prospects than in recent years.

For more mock drafts here is a link to my Mock Draft Database.

Round 1
1. Minnesota-Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke-Drafting Irving gives them a trade asset in either Irving himself if Rubio comes over, or in the rights to Rubio.  The won't have 2 rookie point guards next year, that is for sure.  If they get a certain decision from Rubio it will greatly impact their choice.  If he does come this pick is Derrick Williams all the way, if not then I think Irving is a good pick.

2.  Cleveland-Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona- With a lot of the top tier players in this draft dropping out Derrick Williams' status as a top three pick is all but set in stone.  He most likely would have been a top pick anyway, but now there is no chance of him slipping past the 2nd spot in the draft.  

Kanter is still in the running for
the number one overall pick.
3. Toronto- Enes Kanter, C, Turkey-Enes Kanter has been projected as a top pick all season, but being ruled ineligible could have hurt his stock.  He will benefit the same way that Williams will and is pretty much assured a top 3 pick.  He would add a lot of toughness to Toronto's front line and would add more skill around the basket then Reggie Evans or Ed Davis.  

4. Washington- Bismack Biombo, PF, Congo- Biombo has soared up the draft charts after a few good showings at Nike camps.  Bimombo is being compared to an Ibaka like player who has freaky long arms and amazing athleticism.  There are a lot of questions about his age, I've read that he could be anywhere from 17 to 26.  Even if he is around 22 or 23 he still has the potential and natural ability to make a difference.  He wouldn't be a perfect fit for Washington, but his upside is tremendous and he could develop nicely next to McGee.

5. Sacramento- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky- Brandon Knight had a good tournament which has improved his draft stock.  He is a gifted athlete and would form a large back court with Evans.  The problem may be that he likes the ball in his hand, which Evans also does not to mention Thornton. If he develops he could be a nice piece in the young, but immature, Kings franchise.

6. Utah- From New Jersey-Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky- Terrence Jones would give the Jazz a huge front 3 with Favors, Jefferson and Jones.  The multi talented forward would also give the team a lot of versatility with their line ups.

Valanciunas is one of the top Euro players
because of his size and skill around the basket.
7. Detroit- Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania- Valanciunas is a skilled scorer around the hoop and would complement Monroe very well.  They could be a good high low option because both are good passers. If he clears up contract issues with his current Euro league team he will be drafted much higher.

8. Cleveland- From LA Clippers-Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut- Kemba showed that he can carry a team on his back all year.  Despite his size he is a dynamite scorer who can finish at the hoop and has a lethal long range shot.  He may never be an all star but he will be a very good player and has a knack to show up in crunch time.

9. Charlotte- Tristian Thompson, PF, Texas- Thompson added his name close to the deadline and could retract it if he isn't assured a lottery pick.  He is a bit undersized for the power forward position, but he makes up for it with long arms, a great motor, and good overall IQ.  He needs to work on his raw offensive game, but he is definitely a talented basketball player.  

10. Milwaukee- Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic- Vesely is a physical defender and an active rebounder.  He needs to improve his offensive game but his hustle and gritty play would be a good combination with Bogut on the front line of a young Bucks team. 

11. Golden State- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego St- Leonard would give the Warriors a player that does all the dirty work.  Leonard is a great defender and rebounds very well for his position. He often gets compared to a Shawn Marion type player, but he reminds me a lot of Gerald Wallace.  He may struggle his first year or two, but he could develop into a great player.  I think he could be one guy that surprises people and turns into a player who makes an all star team at least once.

Alec Burks repeatedly showed the ability
to get to the hoop and finish against
any competition.
12. Utah-Alec Burks, SG, Colorado- Utah needs a shooting guard that can create his own shot and Burks is the best available.  He is fearless driving to the basket and is great at taking his man off the dribble, but Burks really needs to improve his jumper to make a difference on this current Jazz squad.

13. Phoenix-Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas- Hamilton would be a nice fit in Phoenix's run and gun system.  He can be a great scorer and his game resembles Rashard Lewis'.  His main problem is shot selection as he sometimes gets a little shot happy and jacks them up from anywhere.  

14. Houston- From New York- Lucas Nogueira- In a draft void of many big men Nogueira could go around here.  He is a young, raw, 7 footer who is a defensive presence.  Houston needs a defensive presence and might be tempted by his potential, although their roster already contains a few project big men in Thabeet and Jordan Hill.

15. Indiana- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania- Motiejunas could have been a high pick last year but decided to withdraw his name.  He is compared to Nowitzki because he has a sweet stroke for a 7 footer.   He would be a nice fit for an Indiana team that is rapidly improving.

16. Philadelphia- Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas- Marcus Morris could be a nice stretch 4 for the 76ers.  He showed that he can nail an outside jumper consistently, but will still need to improve.  He is a tough, versatile player who could take the place of Thaddeus Young if he leaves via free agency.

17. New York- From Houston- Jimmer Freddette, PG, BYU- Freddette could be great in New York.  He is a natural scorer from the point guard position who has incredibly deep range on his jumper.  He is tough as nails, which anyone playing in New York needs to be.  He will have to learn to play off the ball if he wants to play with Melo and Stoudamire.

Jackson's athletic ability and size
 for a point guard could make him the steal of the draft.
18. Washington- From Atlanta-Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College- Jackson has been compared to Russell Westbrook and he could be a steal.  He would have to come off the bench as a combo guard, but he could be a difference maker with his athleticism.  Jackson could play with Wall or back him up.

19. Charlotte-From Portland, Via New Orleans-Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee- Harris is a 3/4 tweener, but he is a very cerebral player for someone his age and because of that I think he will make it.  He has to define his position either playing down low and improving his strength or playing on the wing and improve his shooting and quickness.

20. Minnesota- From Memphis-  Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA- Honeycutt is a long lanky player in the mold of Matt Barnes.  He is a scrappy player who has the skill set to positively effect a game in many ways.  He needs to improve his shooting if he wants to stick around.  If he goes to Minnesota I expect him to spend time in the D-league because they are stacked with wing players.

21. Portland-  Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State- Faried showed how good of a rebounder he is in the first 2 rounds of the tournament.  He seemed to get the ball anytime he was near it.  His hustle and great defense would be a great addition to a Blazers team who has continued to grow during adversity.

22. Denver- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas- Markieff is the better rebounder and shot blocker of the Morris twins, and he would help out Denver's front line. He would add more youth to the team and would bring the toughness that you might not get if you played Gallinari at the 4 position.

23.  Houston- From Phoenix- Josh Selby, PG, Kansas-Selby had a tough year but at one point was considered a lottery pick.  I think if he decides to enter the draft his stock will rise when the work outs start.  Teams will remember what they liked before and he will go in the mid first round.  He could turn into the answer at point guard, but he will have to compete with Lowry and Dragic for playing time.

Singler had a great college career and will
turn that success into being a
 great role player in the NBA.
24. Oklahoma City- Kyle Singler, SF, Duke- Oklahoma has an incredibly deep team with quality back ups at every position except for sf.  Singler would come in, much like Collison does, and be the fundamentally sound player that the Thunder need.  I think of him as a Mike Dunleavy clone, a solid player with a nice shooting touch.  He would be player who is smart enough to identify his roll, and fill it immediately.

25. Boston- Augusto Lima, PF, Brazil- Is a long and lanky forward who can run the floor.  He has crazy athleticism, but like a lot of young foreign players is very raw on the offensive end.  He is a project pick that could turn into a steal for the Celtics.

26. Dallas- Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia- Dallas needs help at the small forward position.  Davis Bertans is a big small forward who has a great shot and a lightning fast release.  He needs to add weight to compete against the more physical NBA style of play, but he is a project that could pay off in a few years.

27. New Jersey- From LA Lakers- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State-  Damion James played well when he was on the court for the Nets last  year, but he was often injured and it is still yet to be seen if he is the small forward of the future for the team or just a very good reserve.  Chris Singleton could help solidify that position and even play spot minutes at the 4.  Singleton has the ability to be a lock down defender at the next level.

28. Chicago- From Toronto, Via Miami-Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State- Chicago fills the hole at shooting guard with the sharp shooting Thompson.  Thompson had some off the court troubles last season, but you can't deny his talent as a shooter.  

29. San Antonio-JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue- JaJuan is a multi talented forward who has improved each year at Purdue.  He is also a great shot blocker and has a huge wing span.  The problem with Johnson is he is rail thin and doesn't have the strength to play in the post yet.  

Jereme Richmond will need to grow as a player,
but his supreme athletic ability puts him
in the position to be great.
30. Chicago-Jereme Richmond, SF, Illinois- Jereme Richmond is extremely raw but he could go much higher in the middle of the first round.  Richmond has elite athletic ability and has shown signs of becoming a great player.  He could turn into an amazing addition for the Bulls.

Round 2

31. Miami- From Minnesota- Nolan Smith, PG, Duke

32. Cleveland- Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

33. Detroit- From Toronto-Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia

34. Washington- Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, Serbia

Kieth Benson has shown the ability
to compete on defense against anyone
 on the college level.
35. New Jersey- Justin Harper, PF, Richmond

36. Sacramento- Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia

37. LA Clippers- From Detroit-Keith Benson, C, Oakland

38. Houston- From LA Clippers-Darius Morris, PG, Michigan

39. Charlotte- Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia

40. Milwaukee- E'twaun Moore, SG, Purdue

41. LA Lakers- From Golden State- Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler

42. Indiana- Charles Jenkins, SG, Hofstra

43. Chicago- From Utah-  John Leur, PF, Wisconsin

44. Golden State- From Chicago, Via Phoenix- Orlando Johnson, F, UC Santa Barbra

Orlando Johnson is a do it
all guard who could be a steal
in the second round.
45. New Orleans- From Philadelphia- Robin Benzing, PF, Germany 

46. LA Lakers- From New York-  Jordan Williams, C, Maryland

47. LA Clippers- From Houston- Justin Holiday, SF, Washington

48. Atlanta- Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland St.

49. Philadelphia- From New Orleans- Mamadou Diarra, C, Chaminade

50. Memphis- Jamine Peterson, SF, D-league

51. Portland- Demetri McCamey, PG, Illinois

52. Detroit- From Denver-  Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee

While at Oregon Dunigan didn't always
 play to his size, he will have to
 show that he can compete against
bigger players to have a chance
in the NBA.
53. Orlando-Michael Dunigan, C, Oregon

54. Cleveland- From Oklahoma City- Furkan Aldemir, PF, Turkey

55. Boston- Ben Hansbrough, PG, Notre Dame

56.LA Lakers-Lacedarius Dunn, SG, Baylor

57. Dallas- Giorgi Shermadini, C, Greece

58. LA Lakers- From Miami- Jeremy Tyler, PF, Japan

59. San Antonio-Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida

60. Sacramento- From Milwaukee, Via Chicago- DeAndre Liggins, SF, Kentucky

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