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2011 NBA Mock Draft: 5/27

May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Cleveland Cavaliers:  PG Kyrie Irving, 6'2" Duke-

It's a tough call for the Cavs, they can take the top PG, whom many believe is the top player or the star wing they desperately need. I think they will lean towards Irving even though that is a bit of a mistake. While I think Irving can be a star PG, having the 4th pick gives Cleveland some options. If they take Williams here, they will get one of Irving, Kanter or Brandon Knight at 4 (likely either Knight or Kanter). Either way they will be able to add the center or point guard at that pick. The worst case scenario for the Cavs would be if they take Irving, Williams goes next, and Kanter is selected 3rd. Then the Cavs would be sitting there with Knight on the board, but zero need for him. Another thing I could see is the Cavs potentially swapping spots with Minnesota to land the T-wolves later pick in the first round.

Irving is likely to be the pick, but it is a big risk if Williams and Kanter go next.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Derrick Williams, 6'8" Arizona-

The Timberwolves have a ton of young talent and they don't particularly need a SF (though Williams couldn't hurt), meaning this pick is likely to be moved. Minnesota could look to move up to grab Irving if they can flip Ricky Rubio in another deal. Otherwise look for them to move this pick for an established player to play alongside PF Kevin Love.

3. Utah Jazz : PG Brandon Knight, 6'3" Kentucky -

The Jazz could look to take Enes Kanter here, or trade this pick for an established player, but Knight is probably the best fit. I love his PG potential, and think he can quickly replace Deron Williams as Utah's PG.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF-C Enes Kanter, 6'10" Turkey-

The Cavs luck out here as the 2nd player the covet is still on the board. Cleveland adds both a PG and C in this draft and should quickly enable their rebuild. The options aren't good after the Williams and Kanter go, but i could see the Wizards grabbing a European big man who has the upside to be a star. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but he is still developing and the Wizards already have bigs like Booker and McGee who are more defensive-minded.

5. Toronto Raptors: PF Donatas Motiejunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

The Raptors will likely take one of the Euro players with this pick. I know Motiejunas isn't rated as high, but I think he fits better. There also appear to be less questions involving his buyout, making him a safer pick for the Raptors.

6. Washington Wizards: F Tristan Thompson, 6'9" Texas-

The Wizards need to add some size and should take a long look at Thompson. Thompson has unlimited potential and he could make an early impact for the Wizards. The team desperately wants either Williams or Kanter so they should be looking to move up.

7. Sacramento Kings: F Jan Vessely, 6'11" Czech Republic-

Vessely gives the Kings another quality big to play alongside Cousins in the Kings front court. He looks to be a solid two-way player and he has some serious upside.

8. Detroit Pistons: PG Kemba Walker, 6'0" Connecticut-

The Pistons don't really need a PG, but that's alright because Walker isn't a true PG. Walker is a competitor and a winner and is a great fit for a team like Detroit. He can help the Pistons move on from some of their veteran players, and get younger.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Kawhi Leonard, 6'7" San Diego St.-

Leonard isn't a star, but he is a quality 3 and could fill Gerald Wallace's shoes quite nicely.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Jimmer Fredette, 6'2" BYU-

This could be a spot for Burks or a big man, but I like the idea of Fredette here. His range on his 3-pointer is unreal and he will give Milwaukee a great option beyond the arc.

11. Golden St. Warriors: PG/SG Josh Selby, 6'3" Kansas-

Selby is an extremely gifted athlete who I think will challenge for a lottery spot. He can back up both guard positions and he has the type of speed that the Warriors build their offense around.

12. Utah Jazz: PF Bismark Biyombo, 6'9" Spain-

The Jazz should use their 2nd 1st rounder to add some size to their front court. Biyombo is a raw talent, but he looks to be an excellent rebounder and has plenty of upside.

13. Phoenix Suns: PG/SG Alec Burks, 6'6" Colorado-

Burks isn't a perfect fit in Phoenix as he is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he has excellent potential, is highly athletic and can play multiple positions.

14. Houston Rockets: C Jonas Valanciunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

Houston is a team to watch in moving up, but if they stay here this is a smart pick for them.Valanciunas might be the best European player, but his buyout will likely make him slide in this draft. He has excellent size though and would be a nice fit in Houston whenever they can bring him over.

15. Indiana Pacers: F Tobias Harris, 6'8" Tennessee-

Forward isn't the biggest need, but Harris is moving up draft boards and looks to be the best player here. Harris has a ton of potential and could be a very good starter in a couple of years. Ideally though I think the Pacers might trade out of this pick, and try to acquire a late first and a first next year. The Pacers could look to move up to grab either Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter, but if they stay here this is solid value for them.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Marcus Morris, 6'9" Kansas-

The 76ers need some help to their front court and grabbing a Morris twin here makes sense. Marcus is the better offensive player and would be a nice fit in Philly.

17. New York Knicks: PG Reggie Jackson, 6'3" Boston College-

The Knicks look to be looking for a young point guard and Jackson would be a good fit here.

18. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried, 6'8" Morehead St.-

Does Washington need another PF, no not by any means. But the Wizards shouldn't pass up one of the most productive players in college basketball. Now Faried will need to at least have some semblance of a jumper to be a starter, but he should be an excellent role player for the Wizards. The Wizards could potentially use this pick to move up, but it looks like Minnesota wants a veteran to move the 2nd pick.

19. Charlotte Bobcats: G Marshon Brooks 6'5" Providence-

With their two picks the Bobcats should look to add a G and a forward, with landing Leonard earlier the Bobcats will be quite happy to see Brooks still on the board. Brooks can be the point guard they are looking for or he can fill in at SG. He's got great versatility and upside. He should be a at worst a 6th man as a rookie, and should provide Charlotte with a boost to their backcourt.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jordan Hamilton , 6'7" Texas-

If the T-wolves pass on Derrick Williams with the top pick, I think they will look to take the top wing player available. Hamilton is a steal if he slides this far, as he is one of the best scorers in college. This pick really depends on what the Timberwolves do at the top. If they draft Williams this is a guard or a center, but if they go with Kanter or trade back a SF could be in play.

21. Portland Trailblazers: PF/C Markieff Morris, 6'10" Kansas-

The Trailblazers could use another power forward here, and while Morris isn't a great all-around player he fits here. He's got excellent size and can play both the 4 and the 5, with a strong defensive game and an increasing offensive game. He can come in as a role player early and hopefully develop a defensive presence down the road.

22. Denver Nuggets: SF Chris Singleton, 6'8" Florida St.-

Singleton is moving up draft boards, and he could help fill the large shoes of Carmelo in Denver. The Nuggets could look at more of a big man here, but I like Singleton's upside.

23. Houston Rockets: PG/SG Nolan Smith, 6'3" Duke-

This might be high for Nolan Smith, but I really like his game. I think he is a smart player who gets the most out of his abilities. He probably will peak as a 6th man type of guy, but he should offer the Rockets good depth at both guard positions.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Trey Tompkins, 6'10" Georgia-

Tompkins gives the Thunder another young big man. He isn't exceptional in any one area, but he should give them good minutes and be a quality role player on that team. He's also a junior so he is more refined than some of these underclassmen/international players, which should allow him to contribute more early.

25. Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, 6'11" Brazil-

Boston needs to add some size, and whether they decide to keep Noguiera overseas or not this is a good value pick for them here.

26. Dallas Mavericks: G/F Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8" UCLA-

The Mavericks don't have one major position of need so I think they will look for the best player available. Honeycutt fits that bill, and he is the type of guy who can be a solid role player off the bench before developing into a potential starter.

27. New Jersey Nets: F/C Jordan Williams, 6'10" Maryland-

Williams seems to be moving up draft boards and its easy to see why. He is a legit big man who has the bulk to take on almost all 4's and 5's. While his game hasn't reached his potential yet, his size alone will make him valuable. He would be a nice fit next to Lopez in the middle.

28. Chicago Bulls: SG Klay Thompson, 6'6" Washington St.-

If the Bulls just had quality play from the SG they could really be an elite team. Thompson gives Chicago an excellent shooter and a 3-point sniper for Rose to find when the defense collapses around him.Thompson is a smart ballplayer and should get the most out of his abilities. He isn't a penetrator, but his shooting more than compensates for that.

29. San Antonio Spurs: PF JaJuan Johnson, 6'10" Purdue-

The Spurs need to add some size here, while they are getting old all over, their inside game is extremely vulnerable when Duncan isn't in there. Johnson is a nice safe addition here.

30. Chicago Bulls: SF Chandler Parsons, 6'10" Florida-

Parsons has been flying up the draft boards and now looks to be in the late 1st round mix. I think this could be slightly high for him still, but he gives Chicago a smart backup forward, who should get solid minutes. He might never be a starter (though the potential is there), but he will likely be a significant contributor and should be a nice role player for Chicago.

2011 NBA Draft Center Rankings

May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Enes Kanter, Turkey, 6'11":

Kanter is the best big man in this draft, and should be gone in the top-5 picks. He has good size and great leaping ability. He is a terror on the boards, and can absorb contact and still make a shot. Kanter is both a quality ball handler and a can score from range. While he isn't a pure center he will be able to defend most centers around the league. Kanter reminds me a lot of a cross between Greg Monroe and Amare Stoudemire.

2. Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania, 6'10":

Valanciunas is an impressive prospect, who has the potential to be a quality center. He's a good rebounder and a decent overall defender. He runs the floor well and could fit in on a full court offense. He dominates around the basket, but has limited range. His lack of bulk will likely hold him back somewhat and I think he will need a year or two before he could think about starting. He reminds me a bit of Marc Gasol crossed with Chris Andersen.

3. Jordan Williams, Maryland, 6'10":

Williams is a promising center prospect, who has added some bulk since his year ended. Williams has a developing offensive game that is pretty dependent on shots within 10 feet. While he lacks range, he is very tough player around the basket and can take contact (though not really a free throw shooter). His size and rebounding ability should allow him to be at least a solid rotational player, and could allow him to develop into a starter down the line. He reminds me some of Nene Hilario, but I am guessing he has closer to a Kurt Thomas type career.

4. Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, 6'11":

Nogueira has a lot of potential and rebounding ability, but he doesn't really have a very refined game. The potential is definitely there for him to be a starter down the line.

2011 NBA Draft Power Forward Rankings:

May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Tristan Thompson, Texas, 6'9":

Thompson has a ton of upside and I think he is a lock for the top 10 in this class. He has a tremendous wingspan and can really clear the glass with his leaping ability. He can do a little bit of everything, but is at his best when he is attacking the basket. He will need to learn how to play against bigger opponents, and could look to add some strength, but the potential is there. I see him as a cross between Josh Smith and Paul Milsap, and he should be a quality starter early in his career.

2. Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania, 7'0":

I really like Motiejunas, as he is a very well-rounded offensive player and looks pretty advanced for his age. Too often players dominate in their youth with just one shot or one comfort area (outside of easy layups and dunks), but Motiejunas is capable of scoring in any area with a variety of moves. He's got great height and is very athletic for his size. He still needs to add some bulk to face off against the top competition at the PF spot, but otherwise he looks pretty good going forward. He seems to be very advanced for his age (he'll be just 21 next season), and I really like the upside. He reminds be a lot of Pau Gasol, and I could see him developing similar to that career path.

3. Bismark Biyombo, Spain, 6'9":

Biyombo seems to be flying up draft boards with a projection that he can harness his natural talents. Biyombo his a high flyer with tremendous athletic ability and will be able to out jump just about anyone in the gym. He is a big time rebounder and that should translate from day one for him. Unfortunately he is an extremely raw player and if he is drafted in the lottery can a team really afford him not to come over? That could mean developing him in the NBA which can be a rough thing to do. His projection seems to be very similar to Serge Ibaka and he could end up being even better.

4. Marcus Morris, Kansas, 6'9":

Marcus is the better of the two Morris twins, with a better offensive game and a bit more athletic ability. He is going to need to bulk up at the next level to stay at the 4, but he projects as a good starter going forward. He's a smart ball player, who is pretty refined. He should be able to provide good minutes as a rookie and could even claim a starting role, depending on the team. He's not as good as an outside shooter as him, but Marcus reminds me a lot of Lamar Odom.

5. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State, 6'8":

Faried often gets overlooked given that he is undersized and has almost no jump shot, but he was simply the most productive player in college basketball on both ends of the court. Sure most of his competition was down, but he still played tremendous regardless of who was playing him. I don't think anyone has a better motor or plays above the rim better than he does. He needs to develop a 10 footer+ jump shot, to be more well rounded, but otherwise I don't see anyone really keeping him down. His game reminds me a lot of DeJuan Blair, and I think he will end up being a very good player.

6. Markieff Morris, Kansas, 6'10":

7. Tobias Harris, Tennessee, 6'8":

8. Justin Harper, Richmond, 6'9":

9. JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, 6'10:

10. Jeremy Tyler, USA, 6'11":

2011 NBA Draft: Small Forward Rankings

May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Derrick Williams, Arizona, 6'8":

Williams is in my book the best player in this entire draft class and a perfect small forward. He can score by driving to the basket or face up and drain a 3. He's a very good jump shooter overall and has the ability to just take over games. Williams is an advanced defender as well, and a very strong rebounder and shot blocker. He is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential so the sky is basically the limit for him. While the LeBron James and Kevin Durant comparisons seem unfair he could reach that level within a year.

2. Jan Vesley, Czech Republic, 6'11":

Vesley is a bit of a tweener as he isn't strong enough to the basket to be a 4, and he isn't really quick enough to run with most 3's. I think when he eventually develops he becomes the reverse matchup problem, as most 4's can't defend the perimeter and most 3's won't have the size to guard him. Vesley needs to add strength and show an ability to go to the basket to compliment his outside game. Vesley will get the Dirk Nowitzki comparisons, but he might be closer to Andrei Kirilenko.

3. Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State, 6'7":

Leonard is a very good all-around prospect. He excels on defense and along the boards, while giving quality offensive production. He doesn't have a ton of range and right now will be unable to contribute from the 3-point line, but he's still relatively raw, so he could still develop. He isn't the quickest player, but he plays a pretty sound game which helps. I think he is a more raw version of Shawn Marion when he came out, and if he has a career anywhere as good as him, he will make a fine top 10 pick.

4. Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 6'9":

Hamilton has fantastic size and shows well on both ends of the court. He is a stronger offensive player, who can be deadly accurate from deep. He runs the floor well, and is good at finding teammates when they are open. He was part of a fairly young Texas squad last year, and at times would force shots, but should do well when playing next to more quality players. His game reminds me a lot of Danny Granger, and I see that as his upside going forward.

5. Chris Singleton, Florida State, 6'9":

Singleton is an extremely advanced defender who forces quite a few turnovers and bad shots. He's a good rebounder and shot blocker as well. Although this past season he developed into an offensive threat he didn't have that game his first couple years in college. Despite fantastic size he doesn't utilize it on the offensive end like he does on defense. He has an okay outside shot, but he is at his best with a mid-range jumper. Singleton needs to slightly improve his outside shot and his ability to take it to the basket to really be a starter at the next level. His defensive ability means there is a quality role for him regardless, but without an offensive game he is just a solid player. I see a potential Tayshaun Prince career path for him with a little work and like him as a top 20 prospect.

6. Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8", UCLA-

7. Nikola Mirotic, 6'9", Serbia-

8. Chandler Parsons, 6'9", Florida-

9. Kyle Singler, 6'8", Duke-

10. Jereme Richmond, 6'7", Illinois-

Shooting Guard Rankings

May 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Alec Burks, Colorado, 6'6":

Burks isn't a great 3-point shooter right now, but he has the ability to improve in that area. His strength is his ability to penetrate and get to the basket, where he is extremely good. He's got excellent length, size and jumping ability which can translate into a good defender when he gets more refined. He is easily a top 15 player and has a good shot of going top 10. I could see him having a career like Jason Richardson.

2. Klay Thompson, Washington St., 6'6":

Thompson is one of the best all-around shooters in this entire draft class. He can knock down 3's from just about anywhere, and is automatic when at the charity stripe. He's a smart heady player, that knows how to create his own shot and doesn't force the ball if he has a bad look. While not really a combo guard type, he does have the leadership and court vision to run an offense and find the open man. He isn't much of a penetrator, and will struggle keeping up with highly athletic SG's. He still has the shooting ability and smarts that should land him in the top 25, and could crack the top 15. He reminds me some of Mike Miller but I think Manu Ginobili or James Harden is a better comparison.

3. Nolan Smith, Duke, 6'3":

Smith I feel is a bit underrated in this draft as most reports put him in the early 2nd round. While I don't see great upside here, I also don't see a high bust factor. I believe his all-around skills, smarts and versatility will mean he can at least be a solid bench player in a typical 9 man rotation. While a full time starter isn't probably in the cards, I think he is a perfect 6th man. He can backup both guard positions, and does a little bit of everything. I think that is basically the biggest knock on Smith is he does everything at least okay, but he isn't exceptional in any one area. I think he is a good solid late first round pick, that can really help a playoff team off the bench. He won't have Jason Terry's upside and prime years, but could have a similar career type.

4. Marshon Brooks, Providence, 6'5":

Brooks is an interesting guard to me as I kinda like him more as a point guard than a shooting guard. I love his size and think that he has a chance of being a starter, but he needs to work on his 3-point shot to make that happen. He really didn't display much NBA range in college so I think he won't be much of a perimeter threat early on in his career. While he can penetrate, he isn't nearly the option of a Dwayne Wade or J.R. Smith. He reminds me of a slightly worse shooting Richard Hamilton, but he's a better passer than him. Overall I see him more of 6th man type, but should have good value at the end of round 1.

5. Travis Leslie, Georgia, 6'5":

Leslie is an explosive fun player to watch, that I really see a lot of upside in. He's a good defender and rebounder for a college player and should project well as a backup early on. Although he could get some 1st round attention it appears he is headed for an early 2nd round spot. Leslie needs to stay in control more and work on his decision making, but the potential is there.

6. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee, 6'7":

7. Isaiah Thomas, Washington, 5'9":

8. Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston, 6'3":

9. E'Twaun Moore, Purdue, 6'4":

10. David Lighty, Ohio State, 6'5":

2011 NBA Mock Draft 5/20

May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Cleveland Cavaliers:  PG Kyrie Irving, 6'2" Duke-

It's a tough call for the Cavs, they can take the top PG, whom many believe is the top player or the star wing they desperately need. I think they will lean towards Irving even though that is a bit of a mistake. While I think Irving can be a star PG, having the 4th pick gives Cleveland some options. If they take Williams here, they will get one of Irving, Kanter or Brandon Knight at 4 (likely either Knight or Kanter). Either way they will be able to add the center or point guard at that pick. The worst case scenario for the Cavs would be if they take Irving, Williams goes next, and Kanter is selected 3rd. Then the Cavs would be sitting there with Knight on the board, but zero need for him. Another thing I could see is the Cavs potentially swapping spots with Minnesota to land the T-wolves later pick in the first round.

Irving is likely to be the pick, but it is a big risk if Williams and Kanter go next.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Derrick Williams, 6'8" Arizona-

The Timberwolves have a ton of young talent and they don't particularly need a SF (though Williams couldn't hurt), meaning this pick is likely to be moved. Minnesota could look to move up to grab Irving if they can flip Ricky Rubio in another deal. Otherwise look for them to move this pick for an established player to play alongside PF Kevin Love.

3. Utah Jazz : PG Brandon Knight, 6'3" Kentucky -

The Jazz could look to take Enes Kanter here, or trade this pick for an established player, but Knight is probably the best fit. I love his PG potential, and think he can quickly replace Deron Williams as Utah's PG.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF-C Enes Kanter, 6'10" Turkey-

The Cavs luck out here as the 2nd player the covet is still on the board. Cleveland adds both a PG and C in this draft and should quickly enable their rebuild. The options aren't good after the Williams and Kanter go, but i could see the Wizards grabbing a European big man who has the upside to be a star. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but he is still developing and the Wizards already have bigs like Booker and McGee who are more defensive-minded.

5. Toronto Raptors: PF Donatas Motiejunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

The Raptors will likely take one of the Euro players with this pick. I know Motiejunas isn't rated as high, but I think he fits better. There also appear to be less questions involving his buyout, making him a safer pick for the Raptors.

6. Washington Wizards: F Tristan Thompson, 6'9" Texas-

The Wizards need to add some size and should take a long look at Thompson. Thompson has unlimited potential and he could make an early impact for the Wizards. The team desperately wants either Williams or Kanter so they should be looking to move up.

7. Sacramento Kings: F Jan Vessely, 6'11" Czech Republic-

Vessely gives the Kings another quality big to play alongside Cousins in the Kings front court. He looks to be a solid two-way player and he has some serious upside.

8. Detroit Pistons: PG Kemba Walker, 6'0" Connecticut-

The Pistons don't really need a PG, but that's alright because Walker isn't a true PG. Walker is a competitor and a winner and is a great fit for a team like Detroit. He can help the Pistons move on from some of their veteran players, and get younger.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Kawhi Leonard, 6'7" San Diego St.-

Leonard isn't a star, but he is a quality 3 and could fill Gerald Wallace's shoes quite nicely.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Jimmer Fredette, 6'2" BYU-

This could be a spot for Burks or a big man, but I like the idea of Fredette here. His range on his 3-pointer is unreal and he will give Milwaukee a great option beyond the arc.

11. Golden St. Warriors: PG/SG Josh Selby, 6'3" Kansas-

Selby is an extremely gifted athlete who I think will challenge for a lottery spot. He can back up both guard positions and he has the type of speed that the Warriors build their offense around.

12. Utah Jazz: PF Bismark Biyombo, 6'9" Spain-

The Jazz should use their 2nd 1st rounder to add some size to their front court. Biyombo is a raw talent, but he looks to be an excellent rebounder and has plenty of upside.

13. Phoenix Suns: PG/SG Alec Burks, 6'6" Colorado-

Burks isn't a perfect fit in Phoenix as he is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he has excellent potential, is highly athletic and can play multiple positions.

14. Houston Rockets: C Jonas Valanciunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

Houston is a team to watch in moving up, but if they stay here this is a smart pick for them.Valanciunas might be the best European player, but his buyout will likely make him slide in this draft. He has excellent size though and would be a nice fit in Houston whenever they can bring him over.

15. Indiana Pacers: F Tobias Harris, 6'8" Tennessee-

Forward isn't the biggest need, but Harris is moving up draft boards and looks to be the best player here. Harris has a ton of potential and could be a very good starter in a couple of years. Ideally though I think the Pacers might trade out of this pick, and try to acquire a late first and a first next year. The Pacers could look to move up to grab either Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter, but if they stay here this is solid value for them.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Marcus Morris, 6'9" Kansas-

The 76ers need some help to their front court and grabbing a Morris twin here makes sense. Marcus is the better offensive player and would be a nice fit in Philly.

17. New York Knicks: PF/C Markieff Morris, 6'10" Kansas-

The Knicks desperately need a big to play along side Stoudimire and Morris would be a great fit if he fell this far. Morris will fit right into what the Knicks are doing and will make that front court pretty formidable.

18. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried, 6'8" Morehead St.-

Does Washington need another PF, no not by any means. But the Wizards shouldn't pass up one of the most productive players in college basketball. Now Faried will need to at least have some semblance of a jumper to be a starter, but he should be an excellent role player for the Wizards. The Wizards could potentially use this pick to move up, but it looks like Minnesota wants a veteran to move the 2nd pick.

19. Charlotte Bobcats: PG Reggie Jackson, 6'3" Boston College-

With their two picks the Bobcats should look to add a PG and a forward, with landing Leonard earlier the Bobcats will be quite happy to see Jackson fall to them. Jackson might never be an elite point guard, but he is should be a starting quality guard.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: , 6'7" Texas-

If the T-wolves pass on Derrick Williams with the top pick, I think they will look to take the top wing player available. Hamilton is a steal if he slides this far, as he is one of the best scorers in college. This pick really depends on what the Timberwolves do at the top. If they draft Williams this is a guard or a center, but if they go with Kanter or trade back a SF could be in play.

21. Portland Trailblazers: PF Nikola Mirotic, 6'10" Serbia-

The Trailblazers could use another power forward here, and while Mirotic isn't the best defender he fits here. He's got excellent size and can play both the 3 and the 4, with a strong offensive game. He can come in as a role player early and hopefully develop a defensive presence down the road.

22. Denver Nuggets: SF Chris Singleton, 6'8" Florida St.-

Singleton is moving up draft boards, and he could help fill the large shoes of Carmelo in Denver. The Nuggets could look at more of a big man here, but I like Singleton's upside.

23. Houston Rockets: PG/SG Nolan Smith, 6'3" Duke-

This might be high for Nolan Smith, but I really like his game. I think he is a smart player who gets the most out of his abilities. He probably will peak as a 6th man type of guy, but he should offer the Rockets good depth at both guard positions.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Trey Tompkins, 6'10" Georgia-

Tompkins gives the Thunder another young big man. He isn't exceptional in any one area, but he should give them good minutes and be a quality role player on that team. He's also a junior so he is more refined than some of these underclassmen/international players, which should allow him to contribute more early.

25. Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, 6'11" Brazil-

Boston needs to add some size, and whether they decide to keep Noguiera overseas or not this is a good value pick for them here.

26. Dallas Mavericks: G/F Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8" UCLA-

The Mavericks don't have one major position of need so I think they will look for the best player available. Honeycutt fits that bill, and he is the type of guy who can be a solid role player off the bench before developing into a potential starter.

27. New Jersey Nets: F/C Jordan Williams, 6'10" Maryland-

Williams seems to be moving up draft boards and its easy to see why. He is a legit big man who has the bulk to take on almost all 4's and 5's. While his game hasn't reached his potential yet, his size alone will make him valuable. He would be a nice fit next to Lopez in the middle.

28. Chicago Bulls: SG Klay Thompson, 6'6" Washington St.-

If the Bulls just had quality play from the SG they could really be an elite team. Thompson gives Chicago an excellent shooter and a 3-point sniper for Rose to find when the defense collapses around him.Thompson is a smart ballplayer and should get the most out of his abilities. He isn't a penetrator, but his shooting more than compensates for that.

29. San Antonio Spurs: PF JaJuan Johnson, 6'10" Purdue-

The Spurs need to add some size here, while they are getting old all over, their inside game is extremely vulnerable when Duncan isn't in there. Johnson is a nice safe addition here.

30. Chicago Bulls: SF Chandler Parsons, 6'10" Florida-

Parsons has been flying up the draft boards and now looks to be in the late 1st round mix. I think this could be slightly high for him still, but he gives Chicago a smart backup forward, who should get solid minutes. He might never be a starter (though the potential is there), but he will likely be a significant contributor and should be a nice role player for Chicago.

2011 NBA Draft Big Board Top 50

May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona:

2. Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke:

3. Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky:

4. Enes Kanter, C-F, Turkey:

5. Jan Vessley, C-F, Czech Republic:

6. Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas:

7. Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania:

8. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State:

9. Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut:

10. Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania:

11. Alec Burks, SG, Colorado:

12. Bismark Biyombo, PF, Spain:

13. Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee:

14. Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas:

15. Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU:

16. Markieff Morris, PF-C, Kansas:

17. Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St.:

18. Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas:

19. Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State:

20. Josh Selby, PG-SG, Kansas:

21. Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State:

22. Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College:

23. Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA:

24. Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil:

25. Jordan Williams, C, Maryland:

26. Darius Morris, PG, Michigan:

27. Justin Harper, PF, Richmond:

28. Malcolm Lee, PG, UCLA:

29. Marshon Brooks, PG, Providence:

30. Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia:

31. Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra:

32. Nolan Smith, PG-SG, Duke:

33. Trey Thompkins, PF, Geogia:

34. JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue:

35. Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida:

36. Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia:

37. Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler:

38. Jereme Richmond, SF, Illinois:

39. Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia:

40. Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin:

41. Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC:

42. Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland St.:

43. Kyle Singler, SF, Duke:

44. Cory Joseph, PG, Texas:

45. Jeremy Tyler, PF, International:

46. Keith Benson, C, Oakland:

47. Greg Smith, C, Fresno State:

48. Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee:

49. Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette:

50. Isaiah Thomas, G, Washington:

What the Wizards Should Do in the NBA Draft

May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

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The Washington Wizards weren't too lucky in yesterday's lottery, as they not only missed out on the top two selections (essentially guaranteeing the player they want), but they fell from 4th to 6th. Now normally having the 6th overall pick wouldn't be too bad of an outcome, but it pretty much ensures that the two guys they want (SF Derrick Williams and F/C Enes Kanter) will be off the board. With so much of the top talent in this draft coming from overseas players, the Wizards are in a tough position at this spot. With a lot of uncertainty in this draft, Washington has 3 basic options; package a combination of their two picks and players to move up to grab one of the two guys they really want, trade back from 6 for some combination of current NBA players and draft picks, or stay where they are and find the best fit. My guess is they end up with one of the first two options as they look to better their team.

Trading Up:

Moving up won't be easy in this draft class, but it is doable. The Wizards own the 6th, 18th and 34th overall picks in this draft. In addition Washington could look to move PF Andray Blatche. Blatche has always had limitless potential, but has never put it together for a full season. In each of the last two years though, down the stretch he flat out dominated at times. Given the fact that he is signed longterm to a relatively team friendly deal, is still young (he'll turn 25 this summer), and has that potential he could entice a team to move back a few spots. Washington could also look to part with rookie forwards Kevin Seraphin or Trevor Booker in the right situation as well.

The Timberwolves and Cavaliers (4th pick) are the two most likely options for moving up and getting either Williams or Kanter. Minnesota very well could be looking to shop this pick as they apparently don't love anyone after Irving in this draft. The problem is they already have a later first rounder (and a ton of young role players) so the 18th pick isn't going to entice them too much. Even something like the 6th pick, 18th pick, and Seraphin, might not be enticing enough to move down. The Timberwolves could be interested in a deal involving center JaVale McGee along with the 6th pick, but I don't know if that makes sense for Washington. Washington could look to try to center the deal around Andray Blatche and the 6th pick, but the T-wolves are probably looking for more of a sure thing. Cleveland might be more interested in moving back two spots and picking up another pick later in the first round. But at the same time the Cavs are likely quite interested in Kanter as well, and might not be willing to move down.

Trading The Pick Away:

The Wizards should seriously consider moving back if given the chance as they could turn the 6th pick into multiple players, picks or a combination of both. Washington currently only has 7 players under contract for next season so adding a player and a pick, or a pair of draft picks could workout well for them. If I was Washington though I would tend to shy away from adding a player or players, as the Wizards have a decent amount of salary cap and shouldn't eat too much into it. If they are getting a player they should be young, cost under $5 million and be under contract for at least 3 years.

Since the Wizards probably won't find too many players that fit the criteria they need, I'd look to try to turn that 6th pick into 2 or more picks. While it isn't a strong draft overall, there are still a number of guys who can be contributors in this league. And if Washington is able to add a couple decent free agents, they can then have some nice cheap depth guys with their later picks. The only question is will they get the offer they need to trade back. Right now three teams have multiple first round picks after the Wizards selection, lets see how they might matchup.

Charlotte Bobcats, 9th and 19th selections: Charlotte is rebuilding and could use a star player, but I don't know if they'd give both picks up just to jump up 3 spots. Now they could get intrigued if a player like Brandon Knight falls, but even then they might look to add two young players instead of one slightly better one. I'd say this would be a long shot.

Houston Rockets, 14th and 23rd selections: This could be a realistic scenario as the Rockets currently have 12 players under team control for next season. They also have a lot of youth and quality depth, meaning that it is possible that neither pick could even crack their 9 or 10 man rotation. Houston does need help at the center position, so if one of those European big men are there and Houston doesn't think they'll last till 14, they might pull the trigger.

Chicago Bulls, 28th and 30th: The Bulls finished with the league's best record and very well could end up Champions. Chicago doesn't have many needs (mainly just SG and depth at SF), but they could sit where they are and draft the best players, but it probably won't make much of an impact for the Bulls future. Chicago has a pretty good 3 year window (and quite possibly longer) so they should look to do what they can to add players that can significantly contribute. If the Bulls stay where they are, the guys they get at 28 and 30, will probably be no better than 10th and 11th guys off the bench, for the next couple of years. If the Bulls trade up into the top 10 though, they could find a player capable of being a 20+ min a night player, and maybe even start if it is a SG. The problem is the 28th and 30th picks aren't enough to get up to 6th, so the Bulls would need to add more. They do have an extra pick from the Bobcats for next season, that they could add to the deal, but it would be a risk for Washington. The Bobcats pick is lottery protected for next year, and has at least top 8 protections all the way through 2015. Given the fact that Charlotte is in the midst of a major rebuild the chance of Washington seeing that pick next year (or the year after) is pretty slim. That being said it is still a valuable commodity and could always be flipped for a player or pick later.

Conclusion:

Right now I just don't see a trade up in the works, and I do feel a trade back is far more likely. Of the potential deals I laid out I think the Houston option is the only likely scenario. I would be quite happy with that move and think it would be the best for the Wizards longterm. Washington could look to try to move the pick for a selection in 2012 (which is projected to be a much stronger class) but I don't know its a lot harder to predict who might be interested in dealing next year's selections.

The Wizards have a nice corps of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche (assuming they don't deal him), if they could add a couple quality free agents and some young talent in this draft, they could quickly be back in playoff contention.

Cavs End Up Big Lottery Winner:

May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Cavaliers entered the lottery with two selections in the lottery. The 2nd worst record, which gave them a 19.8% chance of getting the top pick, and the 8th worst (from L.A. Clippers), which had a 2.8% chance. While the Cavaliers would have been thrilled with either selection getting chosen as the top pick, their dream scenario came true, when the Clippers pick became the number 1 overall selection in the draft. Their own selection fell to 4th in the draft, ensuring Cleveland two extremely talented players to build their franchise around.

The Cavs made the bold move last year at the trade deadline to ship out popular point guard Mo Williams, to the Clippers for PG Baron Davis's bad contract and an unprotected 1st round pick. At the time it seemed like a good deal for both teams. The Cavs used their cap space (thanks LeBron) to pick up what was to likely be a mid-late lottery pick. Which would slightly increase their chances of getting a top pick, but would at the very least add another young, cheap quality player to build the team around. The Clippers on the other hand pick up the younger cheaper PG in Williams, that fits their system better and gives them some cap flexibility. While L.A. surrendered a lottery pick, it was likely to be near the bottom of the lottery, which for the Clippers (a deeper team with a lot of youth) would net them a role player. Now though with that pick ending up the top overall selection in the draft, the Clippers have to be second guessing themselves.

Cleveland now can move on from the LeBron James years and build a new future around their top two picks. While there is a lot of uncertainty in this draft, one thing that is pretty clear is that barring an injury the Cavaliers top pick will be PG Kyrie Irving from Duke. Irving is very similar to John Wall, last year's top pick, and he should revitalize this team like Wall did last season.

 

2011 NBA Mock Draft: 5/13

May 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

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1. Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Kyrie Irving, 6'2" Duke-

It's a tough call for the T-wolves, but if they feel like Irving can play right away then they need to look to move Rubio's rights and go with the PG that will play for them. Irving would be a nice addition to this team and could help a guy like Love turn into a superstar.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Derrick Williams, 6'8" Arizona-

The Cavs get their LeBron replacement here and should be quite happy about it. Williams is a great inside-outside player and should be an instant star at the next level.

3. Toronto Raptors: C/F Enes Kanter, 6'10" Turkey-

Kanter is a nice upside player and someone who I can see really developing into a star down the road. He adds size and talent to the Raptors front court that still isn't over the loss of Bosh.

4. Washington Wizards: PF Donatas Motiejunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

The options aren't good after the Williams and Kanter go, but i could see the Wizards grabbing a European big man who has the upside to be a star. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but he is still developing and the Wizards already have bigs like Booker and McGee who are more defensive-minded.

5. Sacramento Kings: PG Brandon Knight, 6'3" Kentucky-

Knight gives the Kings a PG to play alongside Evans and really improve their back court. I'm a big believer in Knight and see him as a star guard in the future. He's not as polished as Irving or Wall last year, but the upside is there.

6. Utah Jazz: F Tristan Thompson, 6'9" Texas-

The Jazz need to add some size and should take a long look at Thompson. Thompson has unlimited potential and he could make an early impact for the Jazz.

7. Detroit Pistons: F Jan Vessely, 6'11" Czech Republic-

Vessely gives the Pistons another quality big to play alongside Monroe in the Pistons front court. He looks to be a solid two-way player and he has some serious upside.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: PG Kemba Walker, 6'0" Connecticut-

The Cavs need a PG and Walker is the best one on the board. While most people don't like Walker's size and shot, you have to acknowledge that this guy is a winner and is clutch when he has to be. He'll bring that winning attitude to the Cavs and give them a PG to build around.

9. Charlotte Bobcats: SF Kawhi Leonard, 6'7" San Diego St.-

Leonard isn't a star, but he is a quality 3 and could fill Gerald Wallace's shoes quite nicely.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: PF Bismark Biyombo, 6'9" Congo-

Biyombo is moving up draft boards, and should give the Bucks some good size next to Bogut.

11. Golden St. Warriors: PG/SG Josh Selby, 6'3" Kansas-

Selby is an extremely gifted athlete who I think will challenge for a lottery spot. He can back up both guard positions and he has the type of speed that the Warriors build their offense around.

12. Utah Jazz: PG Jimmer Fredette, 6'2" BYU-

This pick makes too much sense not to happen, Utah would love to add the local college product. He might not be an athletic PG, but he is a smart player and will be a nice shooter.

13. Phoenix Suns: PG/SG Alec Burks, 6'6" Colorado-

Burks isn't a perfect fit in Phoenix as he is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he has excellent potential, is highly athletic and can play multiple positions.

14. Houston Rockets: C Jonas Valanciunas, 7'0" Lithuania-

Valanciunas might be the best European player, but his buyout will likely make him slide in this draft. He has excellent size though and would be a nice fit in Houston whenever they can bring him over.

15. Indiana Pacers: F Tobias Harris, 6'8" Tennessee-

Forward isn't the biggest need, but Harris is moving up draft boards and looks to be the best player here. Harris has a ton of potential and could be a very good starter in a couple of years. Ideally though I think the Pacers might trade out of this pick, and try to acquire a late first and a first next year.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Marcus Morris, 6'9" Kansas-

The 76ers need some help to their front court and grabbing a Morris twin here makes sense. Marcus is the better offensive player and would be a nice fit in Philly.

17. New York Knicks: PF/C Markieff Morris, 6'10" Kansas-

The Knicks desperately need a big to play along side Stoudimire and Morris would be a great fit if he fell this far. Morris will fit right into what the Knicks are doing and will make that front court pretty formidable.

18. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried, 6'8" Morehead St.-

Does Washington need another PF, no not by any means. But the Wizards shouldn't pass up one of the most productive players in college basketball. Now Faried will need to at least have some semblance of a jumper to be a starter, but he should be an excellent role player for the Wizards.

19. Charlotte Bobcats: PG Reggie Jackson, 6'3" Boston College-

With their two picks the Bobcats should look to add a PG and a forward, with landing Leonard earlier the Bobcats will be quite happy to see Jackson fall to them. Jackson might never be an elite point guard, but he is should be a starting quality guard.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Jordan Hamilton, 6'7" Texas-

If the T-wolves pass on Derrick Williams with the top pick, I think they will look to take the top wing player available. Hamilton is a steal if he slides this far, as he is one of the best scorers in college.

21. Portland Trailblazers: PF Nikola Mirotic, 6'10" Serbia-

The Trailblazers could use another power forward here, and while Mirotic isn't the best defender he fits here. He's got excellent size and can play both the 3 and the 4, with a strong offensive game. He can come in as a role player early and hopefully develop a defensive presence down the road.

22. Denver Nuggets: SF Chris Singleton, 6'8" Florida St.-

Singleton is moving up draft boards, and he could help fill the large shoes of Carmelo in Denver. The Nuggets could look at more of a big man here, but I like Singleton's upside.

23. Houston Rockets: PG/SG Nolan Smith, 6'3" Duke-

This might be high for Nolan Smith, but I really like his game. I think he is a smart player who gets the most out of his abilities. He probably will peak as a 6th man type of guy, but he should offer the Rockets good depth at both guard positions.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Trey Tompkins, 6'10" Georgia-

Tompkins gives the Thunder another young big man. He isn't exceptional in any one area, but he should give them good minutes and be a quality role player on that team. He's also a junior so he is more refined than some of these underclassmen/international players, which should allow him to contribute more early.

25. Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, 6'11" Brazil-

Boston needs to add some size, and whether they decide to keep Noguiera overseas or not this is a good value pick for them here.

26. Dallas Mavericks: G/F Tyler Honeycutt, 6'8" UCLA-

The Mavericks don't have one major position of need so I think they will look for the best player available. Honeycutt fits that bill, and he is the type of guy who can be a solid role player off the bench before developing into a potential starter.

27. New Jersey Nets: F/C Jordan Williams, 6'10" Maryland-

Williams seems to be moving up draft boards and its easy to see why. He is a legit big man who has the bulk to take on almost all 4's and 5's. While his game hasn't reached his potential yet, his size alone will make him valuable. He would be a nice fit next to Lopez in the middle.

28. Chicago Bulls: SG Klay Thompson, 6'6" Washington St.-

If the Bulls just had quality play from the SG they could really be an elite team. Thompson gives Chicago an excellent shooter and a 3-point sniper for Rose to find when the defense collapses around him.Thompson is a smart ballplayer and should get the most out of his abilities. He isn't a penetrator, but his shooting more than compensates for that.

29. San Antonio Spurs: PF JaJuan Johnson, 6'10" Purdue-

The Spurs need to add some size here, while they are getting old all over, their inside game is extremely vulnerable when Duncan isn't in there. Johnson is a nice safe addition here.

30. Chicago Bulls: SF Chandler Parsons, 6'10" Florida-

Parsons has been flying up the draft boards and now looks to be in the late 1st round mix. I think this could be slightly high for him still, but he gives Chicago a smart backup forward, who should get solid minutes. He might never be a starter (though the potential is there), but he will likely be a significant contributor and should be a nice role player for Chicago.