The 2011 NBA draft is a month away, and here’s Mock Draft No. 2. The first mock was last week, and after last night’s draft lottery, there was significant change in the Top 14. For the picks that have no explanation/reasoning: It’s because there’s no change from last week’s mock draft. Taking a peek at some of the other mocks posted today, it looks like we were ahead of the curve with the Wizards, Rockets, 76ers and Thunder. If you’re wondering why I have foreign players falling, take a look at the 29th pick.
1 Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke … Seen some people think the Cavs should go Williams first and then take a PG at 4, but I think a healthy Irving is a more complete player than Walker/Knight.
2 Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, F, Arizona.
3 Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky … Had the Jazz going big in the last mock, but moving up three spots allows them to grab the 2nd best PG in the draft, who will take over for Devin Harris in a year or two.
4 Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, F, Kentucky … Lots of options for the Cavs here, including Leonard, since they don’t have a SF. But if Kanter is the best post player in this draft (we’ll find out in the coming weeks), they must take him.
5 Toronto Raptors – Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas … I actually like their backcourt but hate their frontcourt. Grab some beef to make life for Bargnani easier?
6 Washington Wizards – Kawahi, Leonard, SF, San Diego St. Had him 4th last time, and the next day Chad Ford labeled Leonard a “Top 5 pick.”
7 Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut … Had them going with Brandon Knight last time, but Walker’s the next best option.
8 Detroit Pistons – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado … Other than Greg Monroe’s future at PF, isn’t any position in play here? Or does the worst rebounding team in the league go big? Burks is a smooth, Rip-like shooter.
9 Charlotte Bobcats – Klay Thompson, SG, Washington St … 2nd worst 3-point shooting team in the league lands very good offensive player. Gerald Henderson seems more like a valuable reserve.
10 Milwaukee Bucks – Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic
11 Golden State Warriors – Chris Singleton, SF, FSU
12 Utah Jazz – Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU … They’ve got Jefferson, Millsap, Okur and Favors at PF/C, and Gordon Hayward is supposed to be their future SF. So take the local kid who may light it up off the bench the way Redick, Vinnie Johnson, Jamal Crawford or Korver do.
13 Phoenix Suns – Josh Selby, G, Kansas … Moved him way up from the last mock draft because of the dearth of available scorers, and the fact that the Suns are set in the frontcourt.
14 Houston Rockets – Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
15 Indiana Pacers – Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas … Some sites have Morris going in the Top 10, but I slide him down two spots from last time, which is probably a better fit. He can come off the bench to back up Granger and Hansbrough.
16 Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
17 New York Knicks – Jordan Hamilton, SG, Texas … This may seem silly considering their lack of size and how good of a story Landry Fields was last year, but they could use another scorer to take the pressure off Melo & Amare. Hamilton has New York swagger, too.
18 Washington Wizards (from Atlanta) – Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence … If the Wizards lose Nick Young, Brooks could be a solid replacement.
19 Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans) – Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo … Most mock drafts have the Bobcats taking him 9th. The next Serge Ibaka?
20 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis) – Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania … Everyone has this guy hovering around the Top 10, but he might not be able to come to the US for a few years. Who wants to waste a pick, like Orlando did with Fran Vazquez in 2005? Kahn does, of course.
21 Portland Trail Blazers – Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
22 Denver Nuggets – Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil
23 Houston Rockets (from Orlando) – Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
24 Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler, SF, Duke
25 Boston Celtics – Jordan Williams, PF/C, Maryland … Had him going to the Knicks last time, when I had Boston going with a scorer. Williams isn’t the second coming of Kendrick Perkins, but he’s not a bad start. Would it feel weird for Boston to draft a guy from Maryland … 25 years after Len Bias?
26 Dallas Mavericks – Shelvin Mack, G, Butler
27 New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers) – Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia … They probably won’t bring back Vujacic, leaving Anthony Morrow the only SG on the roster. Leslie is a sick athlete.
28 Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto) – Davis Bertans, SF, Serbia
29 San Antonio Spurs –Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania … As you can see, I’m not too high on foreign players in this draft. You’ve seen plenty of solid, young, former college players contribute in the playoffs – Gibson, Vazquez, Sam Young, Darrell Arthur, etc – and my guess is some of the foreign prospects slip because of it.
30 Chicago Bulls – Nolan Smith, PG, Duke … CJ Watson’s only on the books for one more year, and I think Smith will make a much better backup.