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2011 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

The first mock draft was in early May. The second NBA mock draft was after the lottery. I predict I’ll get 10 of the 30 picks correct.

1 Cleveland Cavaliers
– Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

2 Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, F, Arizona.

3 Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky …Went Kanter in my first mock (pre-lottery), then Knight in my second … but I’m leaning Knight here today over the Turkish center. Stockton…Deron Williams…Knight?

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. Do you trust the Cavs to make a smart trade here? I don’t. [UPDATE: 12:53 pm: I'm ignoring the Ric Bucher report, assuming it's a last chance at trying to make a trade.]

5 Toronto Raptors – Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas … Won’t be a popular pick, but I’m sticking with it. They’ll probably select a Euro who won’t help them, which is par for the course with this downtrodden franchise. Take the Canadian kid, trade Bargnani, and build around DeRozan. Draft a shooter in the 2nd round.

6 Washington Wizards – Kawahi, Leonard, SF, San Diego St. … defense, small forward, perfect fit. Everyone seems to think it’s going to be Jan Vesely, but why, when you have Blatche and McGee and Rashard Lewis? An argument could be made for Klay Thompson here, since it is becoming obvious he won’t last until 18 (where I had him going on Mock 1.0).

7 Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut … Sticking with Walker here. I think the Jimmer chatter is just a smokescreen in an effort to get Utah or the Knicks to trade up, and I think Leonard (who the Kings are reportedly enamored with) will be gone.

8 Detroit Pistons – Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo … Significantly higher than where most pundits have him, and I think Tristan Thompson is the better pick, but Dumars loves upside, and it seems like he’s leaning foreign big over American Big. My backup pick here would be Vesely.

9 Charlotte Bobcats – Klay Thompson, SG, Washington St … 2nd worst 3-point shooting team in the league lands very good offensive player. He probably won’t fall this far, but if he does, Michael Jordan finally has a player to build around.

10 Milwaukee Bucks – Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic … Tough decision here, considering who the local media likes. I really believe the Bucks have a solid team, and if not for injuries, they would have been in the playoffs. Which is why I think they’ll “stash” a Euro who will show up in a year or two.

11 Golden State Warriors – Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania … I’m not a fan from what I’ve seen, but some think when he’s ready to come into the league in two years, he will be the best player in this draft. Surely new coach Mark Jackson will be thrilled with this pick. I’d go Chris Singleton to add a defensive mentality to the team.

12 Utah Jazz – Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU … Would they really take two guards in the Top 12? Who is running these guys, David Kahn? Well, if Gordon Haywood is indeed their SF of the future, and with Jefferson, Millsap and Favors up front …

13 Phoenix Suns – Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech … It sure sounds like he’s their guy. I don’t think drafting solely because someone kills the combine is ever a good thing, but oh well. I’d go with Alec Burks here, but it looks like Burks is sliding.

14 Houston Rockets – Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania … Starting to feel like the Rockets treat the NBA draft the way the Patriots do. All the chatter is a trade is coming, and even though I had Tobias Harris of Tennessee here in the first two drafts, I’m changing course and going with a Euro. It seems Daryl Morey spends all his time overseas.

15 Indiana Pacers – Marshon Brooks, G, Providence … If you saw Indiana’s playoff series against the Bulls, you know the one thing they lacked – besides a defender to shut down Derrick Rose in the 4th quarter (Paul George will be a good defender in a couple year – is scoring. Brooks is a surprise this high, considering Alec Burks is on the board.

16 Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas … One of the few guys who I haven’t budged at all through all three mocks. Tough player, fits a need inside, and is from Philly.

17 New York Knicks – Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State … if you read this site regularly, you know I love Singleton, who could be the best defender in the draft. Melo would love this addition – he wouldn’t have to guard guys like LeBron. The Knicks could use a big – Vucevic might work – but I like wing defense to stop the likes of Pierce/LeBron/etc. I can see Singleton being Landry Fields, only a better defender. Donnie Walsh likes Singleton, but does Walsh’s opinion matter?

18 Washington Wizards (from Atlanta) – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado … he’s not Klay Thompson, but he probably has value here (he was long considered a lottery lock), especially as a replacement for Nick Young (who I loved coming out of USC).

19 Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans) – Marcus Morris, SF, Kansas … There’s a 1% chance he falls this far – some folks have him in the Top 10 – and if he does, the Bobcats will be the 2nd biggest winners in the first round after the Cavs.

20 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis) – Nikola Vucevic, C, USC … this could actually be low for him, as the Trojan big man is rising rapidly because he’s one of the rare true centers in the draft. Could he steal minutes from Darko as a rookie?

21 Portland Trail Blazers – Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College … There’s talk that Jackson has a “promise” from the Heat at 31, but I don’t think Jackson will get out of the first round. This guess is based on the Andre Miller situation.

22 Denver Nuggets – Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State … Shouldn’t have a difficult time becoming the team’s next starting PF.

23 Houston Rockets (from Orlando) – Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee … only 18, but thought to have a high ceiling because of his skill set. I’m a big fan, but would the Rockets really take another tweener?

24 Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler, SF, Duke … I’ve stuck with him through both mocks, and have maintained since March that he’s a first round pick, so why change now? Since everyone’s comparing him to white guys, I’ll stick with my Chase Budinger call.

25 Boston Celtics – Shelvin Mack, G, Butler … because there’s no size available, and I’ve soured on Jordan Williams.

26 Dallas Mavericks – Isaiah Thomas, PG Washington … Had Shelvin Mack here for two straight mocks, but the news that Thomas wowed the Mavs this week made me change my mind. Here’s my favorite Thomas highlight, ever.

27 New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers) – Jeremy Tyler, C, Japan … no clue where Tyler is going, but depending on whom you read, he’s well-liked by a lot of teams late in the first round. If they take Tyler, do they still re-sign Kris Humphries?

28 Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto) – Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA … some pundits are saying Lee could go late in the lottery, but I still have no read on UCLA players (I didn’t like Jrue Holiday, either) because of the system the Bruins play in. I could see Lee getting significant minutes replacing Keith Bogans. Why take him over Jordan Hamilton, who I have falling out of the first round? Read the take on Kawhi Leonard here.

29 San Antonio Spurs – Tyler Honeycutt, F, UCLA … he’s here because I think he’ll go in the first round, I just have no idea where. This is probably a bad spot, since the Spurs like to go foreign late in the first round. I’m not sold on Honeycutt as a player, but see Malcolm Lee as to why.

30 Chicago Bulls – Jimmy Butler, F, Marquette … He was once homeless. You should read this.

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