1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, PG DUKE
* All sorts of misdirection in the media, but I still say there is a 90% chance Irving goes here, just as the BPA should.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, SF/PF ARIZONA
* Will they trade it? Flip a coin. Williams may be redundant to Beasley, but Beasley hasn’t proven himself to be the sort of talent you pass on the consensus #2 talent in the draft for. The only question that remains is whether or not Williams actually is the #2 talent.
3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG KENTUCKY
* Personally, I’d go Kanter here and get rid of Mehmet Okur as soon as possible. However, it seems like the Jazz really want a guard and the PG pedigree at Kentucky makes Knight the no brainer pick.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, C TURKEY
* Kanter plays below the rim for a center but JJ Hickson and Anderson Varejao will serve as a nice compliment. I think there is a good chance Kanter, whether taken here or earlier, ends up with the Wolves.
5. Toronto Raptors – Kemba Walker, PG CONNECTICUT
* Toronto gets not only the play making guard they so desperately need but also a star personality to help everyone forget about the loss of Chris Bosh.
6. Washington Wizards – Kawhi Leonard, SF SAN DIEGO STATE
* After Irving, I rank Leonard as the #2 can’t miss prospect in this draft. His overall upside may not be all that great but his athleticism and defensive intensity will translate well to the pro level.
7. Sacramento Kings – Jimmer Fredette, PG BYU
* Fredette is a great backcourt mate for Tyreke Evans. What Evans lacks in shooting, Fredette more than makes up for. What Fredette lacks in defense Evans makes up for. Or at least, has the ability to make up for.
8. Detroit Pistons – Jonas Valanciunas, C LITHUANIA
* Valanciunas has incredible potential and would be a tremendous compliment to Greg Monroe. The only hesitation I have about this pick is if echos of Darko still linger in Detroit and they’ll be skittish about taking another Euro-big this high.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Jan Vesely, SF CZECH REPUBLIC
* Charlotte is weak at every position. So they go BPA in Vesely. Questions about how the Euro game translates to the NBA aside, I think this guy has top 5 talent in the draft.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks, SG COLORADO
* This pick seems destined to be. The Wiz might grab Burks at #6. The Bobcats might snipe him at #9. However, I don’t expect either of those things likely to happen.
11. Golden State Warriors – Chris Singleton, SF/PF FLORIDA STATE
* Defense will be the new name of the game in Golden State. Singleton has all the tools to be an elite defensive presence in the league for many years to come.
12. Utah Jazz – Klay Thompson, SG WASHINGTON STATE
13. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Morris, PF KANSAS
* This is a very un-Phoenix like pick but he’s the BPA and the Suns may be starting to think about life after Nash. Plus, Morris will be ready to contribute from Day 1.
14. Houston Rockets – Jordan Hamilton, SF TEXAS
* This would be the first real reach of the draft. Hamilton represents a direct need in scoring from the wing position. Fellow Longhorn, Tristan Thompson, is a better prospect but with Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson and Jordan Hill already in the mix, there’s really no room for him.
15. Indiana Pacers – Marshon Brooks, SG PROVIDENCE
* Assuming Indiana feels good about Tyler Hansbrough at PF, SG is the one glaring need. Brooks packs a fair amount of boom or bust potential, but should add some punch to a fringe Eastern playoff team.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Tristan Thompson, PF TEXAS
* Elton Brand was productive last year but his presence on the roster is a formality. When his insanely huge deal runs out Brand will be on the first flight out of Philly. Thompson will then step in as the starting PF of the future.
17. New York Knicks – Markieff Morris, PF KANSAS
* This pick will be the result of D’Antoni trying to prove to ownership that he is serious about improving defensively. Morris is a limited upside pick but he will bring some grit that Amare and Carmelo do not.
18. Washington Wizards – Donatas Montiejunas, PF/C LITHUANIA
* No one with the upside of Montiejunas who doesn’t add to the position jam they already have is still available. He reminds almost everyone of Andres Bargnani, which would compliment a JaVale McGee-Andray Blatche front court well.
19. Charlotte Bobcats – Josh Selby, SG KANSAS
* This feels like a Michael Jordan pick to me. The Bobcats were one of the worst offensive teams last year. This should help with that.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Bismack Biyombo, PF/C CONGO
* Biyombo has major upside and ultra rare physical gifts, but he is a long ways away from being ready to play at the NBA level. This would be a great value pick for the Wolves.
21. Portland Trailblazers – Nolan Smith, PG DUKE
22. Denver Nuggets – Tobias Harris, PF TENNESSEE
* I can’t imagine the Nuggets will bring back Kenyon Martin and so they’ll seek his replacement here. There are some questions about whether or not Harris is big enough to play PF in the NBA. I think he is.
23. Houston Rockets – Nikola Vucevic, C USC
* Yao Ming is not walking through the door. McHale is known for coaching up big guys and Vucevic is a talented 7 footer. Seems like a good match.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kenneth Faried, PF MOREHEAD STATE
* With Serge Ibaka and Kenneth Faried, OKC will feature two hard nosed, blue collar mashers at the 4 spot. If Faried gets decent minutes he’ll average 10 boards a game without much difficulty at all.
25. Boston Celtics – Jordan Williams, PF/C MARYLAND
* The need someone to replace Shaq and Kendrick Perkins. Williams is the closest thing in the draft.
26. Dallas Mavericks – Kyle Singler, SF DUKE
* I doubt they’ll bring back Peja Stojakovic or Caron Butler, which means they have a need for some bench scoring from the wing position. Singler is big-game tested and will be able to step into a meaningful role from the beginning.
27. New Jersey Nets – Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF UCLA* Honecutt is a classic wing who underachieved his college expectations. He’s still very young and has the size and excellent athleticism to grow into his talent. Plus, he's from New Jersey.
28. Chicago Bulls – Malcolm Lee, SG UCLA
* Malcom Lee didn’t get a lot of attention at college, but that sort of seems to be the trend with a lot of UCLA players who go on to produce at the next level. He has legit size and if they add nothing else, could probably replace Keith Bogans as the starting 2 guard.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Davis Bertens, SF LATVIA
- This Spurs have consistently cleaned up by grabbing bigtime Euro talents and giving them time to develop. That will continue here. Bertens is an amazing shooter but will probably need another year or two before he’s physically ready for the NBA.
30. Chicago Bulls – Trey Thompkins, PF Georgia
- With Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson in the fold Thompkins doesn't have an immediate place to play. I just think he has a tremendous amount of talent and is worth drafting here. He's got good size and a knack for scoring, which is something the Bulls didn't consistently get from their bigs last season.