Tag:Kyrie Irving
Posted on: June 22, 2011 7:42 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 7:55 pm
 

NBA Draft: Poised Kyrie Irving stands atop class

Kyrie Irving, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, met with the media on Wednesday. Posted by Ben Golliver.
 
kyrie-irving

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The word you're looking for to describe projected No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving is "poised."

Irving and 11 other future first-round picks in the 2011 NBA Draft met with the media at the Westin in Times Square on Wednesday,

By and large, the twelve young men -- who range in age from 19 to 22 -- were asked the same questions. No one was as prepared or as polished as Irving.

A hot topic in New York and across the country is the looming potential of a lockout and work stoppage. Those questions were usually met with a dodge by the Class of 2011. Something like, "I'm just concentrating on tomorrow right now and that will work itself out" or "I'll stay in shape and be ready whenever the season starts."

Irving, however, wasn't ready to cop out.

Dressed comfortably in a full suit when most of his peers were wearing polo shirts or casual attire, Irving said he would head back to Duke, where he went one and done, and enroll "like a regular student" to get to work on his degree. He laid out a five-year plan for earning his diploma, expressing a desire to major in African-American studies, and said he had committed to maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Reporters that had never heard Irving in person exchanged looks and raised eyebrows. More than one seemed ready to take him home to meet their daughters.

Where most of the players assembled fumbled with how to respond to questions about this being a weak draft, Irving stuck up for his peers. "This draft is really special regardless of what people say," Irving proclaimed, before listing off Arizona forward Derrick Williams and Turkish big man Enes Kanter as potential stars.
Where other prospects hesitated to compare their games to current NBA players, Irving seized the opportunity with a concise, studious description.

"I'm a balance between Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul," Irving said. 

That combination is fairly apt. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Irving has excellent size, good decision-making skills and the ability to beat you with his own offense or by making plays for others. He has an excellent, intuitive sense of the game and he makes a coach comfortable when the ball is in his hands. 

Irving is widely expected to be the first name called on Thursday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the No. 1 pick and it would qualify as a stunner if they selected anyone but Irving. While Irving made it clear he is no replacement for departed Cavaliers forward LeBron James, he also said he sees opportunity for someone in his position to make an immediate impact in today's NBA.

“This is a youthful league," Irving noted. "Derrick Rose won the MVP in just three years.”

The type of transformation Rose brought to the Chicago Bulls would be a dream scenario for Cavaliers fans. The year before Rose arrived, Chicago won 33 games. This season, the new-look Bulls, constructed entirely around his skills, won 61 games and made the Eastern Conference Finals.

Irving was even prepared with a one-liner when the inevitable question about what he planned to wear on Thursday night.

"I might wear a bright Duke blue suit with blue gators,” Irving joked. In typical fashion, he then made it clear that he would actually be wearing "something conservative." 

As the pre-draft process has unfolded, Irving has been painted as a safe pick, the conservative option compared to the potentially more dynamic Williams or the unknown in Kanter. That dichotomy doesn't do his talent and leadeship justice. He's a natural leader with true star potential. Much like Paul, Irving's self-confidence hits exactly the right note. His fellow players will follow him.

Wednesday capped what has been essentially a flawless pre-draft process start-to-finish for Irving. From his unusual appearance at the draft lottery drawing, to his regular visibility courtside at high-profile playoff games, Irving has shown time and again that he means business. No matter the question, he had the answer.

There shouldn't be any question about who goes No. 1.


Category: NBA
Posted on: June 20, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Report: Cavs 'commit' to Kyrie Irving at No. 1?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly decided that they will draft Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.

kyrie-irving

Have the Cleveland Cavaliers officially decided on their man?

The Cavaliers hold the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft and have long been expected to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the pick.

ESPN.com reports that Cleveland has made up its mind:
The Cavaliers, after taking the temperature of the Timberwolves and Jazz to see if Kyrie Irving could somehow fall to No. 4 in Thursday's NBA draft, are now committed to the former Duke guard as the No. 1 pick and are fielding offers for the fourth pick, league sources said Monday.

In preparation for the No. 4 pick, Cleveland brought in Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight for a visit Monday.

And former Kentucky student Enes Kanter of Turkey, who was ruled by the NCAA to be permanently ineligible with the school, returned Monday for a second visit.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain Dealer disputes the report on Twitter, writing: "My NBA sources dispute ESPN report that Cavs have committed to Kyrie Irving at No. 1, but that doesn't mean they won't wind up taking him."
This one probably qualifies as non-news. Since the Cavaliers won the Draft Lottery, Irving has been penciled in as their selection. The only other prospect in the running for the No. 1 selection is Arizona forward Derrick Williams, and it would be a massive upset if the Cavaliers selected him over Irving. 

Things get a bit more interesting with the No. 4 pick, as there is no consensus as to who should go there. Flipping the pick to another lottery team to move a few spots up or down is definitely an option that's in play. Trading out of the pick entirely to obtain a proven veteran to help make Irving's life easier wouldn't be the worst idea either.

It's just unclear how valuable the No. 4 pick in a 2-player draft is.
Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: June 17, 2011 3:46 pm
 

NBA Draft: Is Kyrie Irving a franchise player?

Posted by Matt Moore




So the Cavs manage to hit the jackpot, win the lottery, and have a legitimate chance to start over. They've got a No.1 overall pick, the kind of asset that can become the next franchise player to lead a Cavalier rebirth, getting people excited about the team, taking them to the playoffs and eventually abandoning them leaving them crushed on national television.

Okay, that sounded mean. The point I'm trying to make, dear Ohioans, is that there's no way you get LeBron'd again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime screw-job and if Irving works out ability-wise, you don't have to worry about the utter demolition again thanks to ego and hubris. Now all you have to worry about is whether Kyrie Irving really is a franchise player.

At some point the overall diminished value of the draft started to have a weird effect on Irving's value. Despite the fact that Irving has been considered the top overall prospect since last summer when he blew doors off hinges in summer exhibitions, the fact that so many top players dropped out before next week's draft has somehow left Irving being considered less than other top picks.

The doubt isn't completely without merit. After all, Irving did miss most of his freshman year with an injury before returning for the NCAA tournament. If you don't think that can be a bad omen, please find the nearest Portland Trail Blazer Fan Support Group and sit in for a session. ESPN recently noted that Irving's assists decreased and turnovers increased in his latter games versus his earlier outings.

But given the context of Irving's games in terms of increased intensity on little to no practice and integration back into the team from injury, you have to look beyond just the metrics and more into the play style and approach. And both of those elements support the idea that Irving's going to be incredibly successful and well worth that Cavs pick.

Comparing a player to Chris Paul is pretty daring and will cause a great amount of "Whoa, ho, settle down there!" comments because, well, everyone freaks out if you qualitatively compare an unproven player to a player with high quantitative value. In other words, if you say that a patch of grass is like a $100 bill because they're both green, people freak out because the grass isn't worth the buck, despite that not being your point at all. You'll find the same phenomenon when you talk about LeBron James' post game, comparative religious philosophies and reality television shows.

But when you start to analyze Irving's game, you begin to figure out how those comparisons come about. Irving shows the smoothness of Paul's game, as well as the oh-so-rare established jumper entering the league. Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, all of the elite point guards of the last few years taken first at their position have lacked that jumper, with really only Stephen Curry a notable top point guard taken with the J already established. Irving on the other hand has a silk stroke but isn't just a shooter. He's got the playmaking ability. While he doesn't have Paul's vision (who does?), again, we're talking about qualitative ability, and Irving can play in CP3's role, even if he's not as incredible.

One of the minus points on Irving in comparison to Rose and the other Calipari star guards is Irving's limited athleticism. But really, it's only limited in comparison to those other super-freak athletes, and Irving has a shorter distance to go in terms of polish. While Irving doesn't have the straight-line speed of the other elite point guards, he does have great quickness which is just as valuable in the half-court set.

Beyond all this though, is an attitude that is key in establishing a franchise-player quality prospect. In the NCAA tournament, Irving had every reason to be passive, returning for the first time in months to an established team with more senior stars. Instead, Irving immediately gave the Blue Devils the necessary spark to make it as far as they did, even with Derrick Williams crashing the party (and making his own claim to that No.1 spot). Irving made plays at both ends, converting steals into scores and knocking down transition 3-pointers. (Imagine that, a point guard with range, in this day and age.)

The Cavaliers could use a player who doesn't have the kind of ego their last mega-star did. They could use a player who can make his teammates better without operating a frequency that makes him difficult to play with. They could use a player who can immediately act as a scoring threat and run the offense efficiently. Are Irving's turnovers a concern? They were a concern for all the great point guards in their first season (and continue to be for the MVP). They're a product of usage. And while Irving isn't the most pure of all point guards, he's still capable of running an offense. That's a different type of building block. Coaches constantly talk about consistency. Irving's curve for consistency is much shorter than other prototypes.

Maybe his highlight reel isn't as flashy, or his athleticism as knock-your-socks-off. But if we're examining talent and capability, Irving shows every sign of being the franchise player the Cavaliers need him to be. Now all they need is to take him. If they don't, with Minnesota committed to Ricky Rubio... chaos breaks out in the draft really quickly.

Irving began the year as the top overall pick in the mock drafts. When Thursday night rolls around, it should be his name said first, and the Cavs should feel good about trusting him with the wheel of the fortune-ravaged franchise.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Cavs still on the fence about top pick?

Posted by Matt Moore

 The Cleveland Cavaliers have seven days to make a decision. After that, there's no more time for second-guessing or consideration about who the No.1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft will be. The pick will have to be sent in, and the direction of a franchise will be decided. You would think that after having started scouting months ago (you'd hope), knowing they had the pick for nearly a month, and having had the book on all possible prospects since the end of their season, a decision would be clear. And you would be wrong, according to Byron Scott. From Yahoo! Sports: 
 
“The main reason is we want to do our due diligence on the other guys as well,” Scott said on why a decision hasn’t been made. “We have a few more workouts we want to get in before we really want to start evaluating on who we think is the best possible pick at No. 1 and who we think is the best at No. 4. So, by no means has anyone in our organization who has been to our workouts said, ‘Derrick Williams is our first pick’ or ‘Kyrie Irving is our first pick.’

“We’re all keeping an open mind and understand we have a few more workouts to go through. Both of those guys are very, very good basketball players in our minds. Both are going to have a long career, but no way are we set on a guy.”
via Cavs still debating No. 1 pick - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

The Cavs have the luxury of debating the pick to the last moment while they try to see what value they can get for the fourth or try to move up for the second. But if we're looking at this from a purely objective standpoint, they should know who the guy is going to be. They may just not be saying who that is, but if we take them at their word, this is a little unnecessary. They've had the time, they know what they're getting. If we're talking ceilings, it's pretty much Chris Paul for Irving vs. Carmelo Anthony for Williams, though Williams has more physicality and size. Antawn Jamison and Paul Pierce are other forwards Williams is compared to. The Cavs can go in whatever direction they want, provided they have that direction set in stone by the time the clock hits zero. No need to be scrambling on Thursday trying to make up your mind.

Make a choice and go with it.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:20 pm
 

Agent: No room for Ramon Sessions in Cleveland?

The agent for Ramon Sessions doesn't think there's enough room for his client if the Cleveland Cavaliers draft Kyrie Irving. Posted by Ben Golliver. ramon-sessions

We all saw this one coming a mile away.

As soon as the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery, and thus the rights to select Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving, they immediately acquired a log jam at the point guard position.

Why? Because the Cavaliers already have Baron Davis -- recently acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade for Mo Williams -- and Ramon Sessions as incumbents.

With the drafts still weeks away, Ohio.com reports that Chubby Wells, the agent for Ramon Sessions, is already making noise that there's not enough minutes for all three players.
Sessions would seem to be the odd man out, with Irving as the point guard of the future and Baron Davis on hand to groom him as such. Sessions averaged 13.3 points and 5.2 assists last season, his first in Cleveland. Now 25 and a four-year veteran, Sessions believes he can start in this league. That doesn't appear likely to happen in Cleveland. 

Sessions' agent, Chubby Wells, hasn't asked the Cavaliers for a trade yet. That might change after the draft. 

''Obviously something has to give,'' Wells said. ''I don't see how they can keep all three of those guys.''
The best case scenario would be to find a way to off-load Davis, who is owed more than $28 million over the next two seasons. That would allow the Cavaliers to turn the keys over to Irving on day one, with Sessions in place as an affordable, quality back-up point guard capable of playing as many minutes as needed.

Star point guards that have taken the reins early get the reps they need to truly succeed. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are two obvious recent examples. While Irving might not have the ceiling of either player, he's good enough as a prospect and smart enough as a player to be thrown to the wolves immediately so that he can learn on the job.

As for Sessions and his agent, they're not saying anything the entire league hasn't assumed already. It will be difficult for the Cavaliers to keep all three point guards on their roster for very long, considering the combined money that will be paid to them and the number of other holes the team needs to fill.

If you needed another good reason to keep your eye on Cleveland -- who owns both the No. 1 and the No. 4 pick in this draft -- as the most likely team to wheel and deal this draft season, you've got it now.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 7:41 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:46 pm
 

2011 NBA Draft: Which teams should make moves?

A look at which NBA teams should move up or down the draft board in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Team needs and draft positioning never align perfectly in the NBA Draft. Some teams find themselves just out of reach of their target player while others want to avoid taking their prospect earlier than they need to, hoping to cash in on their draft positioning to add another asset.

Even in a weak draft crop like this year’s, the potential for movement – even if minor – is always there. Here’s a look at three teams that might consider moving up the board and three teams that might look to move down.

Three Teams That Should Move Up

1. New York Knicks NY

The New York Knicks need to fill their center position and will likely do whatever they possibly can to accomplish that goal in free agency. Samuel Dalembert makes all sorts of sense. But there’s another option. Sitting at No. 17, it’s possible the Knicks would only need to trade up 5-8 positions to have a crack at Bismack Biyombo, the fast-rising big man prospect out of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Biyombo is hyper-athletic, has an endless motor and is a very skilled shot-blocker, both in one-on-one defense and from the help side.

Putting him alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony would arguably give the Knicks the most dynamic 3-4-5 combination in the entire league. Biyombo doesn’t need touches, can finish putbacks in traffic and will work hard at all times. Does he need some polish and refinement? Of course. Are there questions about his age? Absolutely. But if he falls to the 9-12 range it’s worth whatever price it takes – it shouldn’t be exorbitant – for the Knicks to move up and nab him.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers cle

The Cavaliers own the top pick and will wisely use that on Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving. The intrigue comes with their No. 4 selection, which doesn’t do them much good. The best available names will either be point guards – and therefore redundant with Irving – or European big men. With Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson in place, the Cavaliers are not the ideal breeding ground for a project big.

The rumored trade with Minnesota to get the No. 2 pick makes all sorts of sense. The Cavaliers need starpower and they need talent on their wing badly. Derrick Williams would be an ideal fit. Cleveland, with a deep-pocketed owner and nowhere to go but up, is in a position where it can overpay for the luxury of drafting Williams. Whether that’s by absorbing salary into its massive trade exception, sending over cash or future pick considerations, or making anyone on their roster outside of Varejao available. The reward of building around an Irving/Williams/Varejao core is worth virtually any risk for a Cleveland team coming off a very, very bad season.

3. 
Charlotte Bobcats charlotte

The Charlotte Bobcats have a gigantic hole in the middle. Addressing the center position through the draft can be a difficult process even if you’re at the very top of the board, but picking at No. 9 in a weak crop with no American-born, star big men makes it an even trickier proposition.

Here, the need is so great that they have to bring a big man home, pretty much no matter what. There’s a distinct possibility that Valanciunas, Kanter and Biyombo are all gone by pick No. 9, although there's variability in the stock of all three players. The good news: The Bobcats also possess the No. 19 pick, good bait to move up the board a few spots, so they can manage this risk nicely. Package the picks, move up a bit and snag whichever of those three big men are the most appealing to Michael Jordan and his staff.

Three Teams That Should Move Down

1. Minnesota Timberwolves
 min

The rumors surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves' draft position started within minutes after David Kahn lost the Lottery ping pong ball drawing to Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. The reasoning is simple: The second most coveted player on the board, Derrick Williams, is not of particular use to the Timberwolves, as his combo forward skillset is similar to that of incumbent Michael Beasley and the Timberwolves have greater needs at both the guard and center positions. With the recent reports that Ricky Rubio will agree to come stateside, those needs have narrowed to a two guard and a center.

An ideal situation for Minnesota would be to auction the No. 2 selection – perhaps along with its No. 20 selection -- into a pick in the 5-10 range and two ready-now rotation players. That would allow the team to draft a big of their choice – Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas or Biyombo – or one of the class’s elite wings – Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks or Klay Thompson – while simultaneously speeding up the rebuilding curve. Coming off of 32 combined wins in the last two seasons, this team badly needs to win some games.

2. Utah Jazz 

utah-jazz

The Utah Jazz are in a similar position as the Minnesota Timberwolves, although it’s a bit trickier. The obvious fit for Utah is Brandon Knight, the best point guard on the board not named Irving. He’s an intelligent leader, excellent citizen and has loads of upside. For a team looking to move past Deron Williams, he’s as good as the Jazz can hope for.

Knight might not necessarily be the third most valued prospect on the board, though, especially because teams at the top of the draft order often favor big men. Players like Kanter, Valanciunas and even Biyombo might wind up with more buzz when all is said and done.

The Jazz also hold the No. 12 selection, which could turn out to be a bit of no man’s land in this draft. If there's a run on wings – say, if Leonard, Burks and Thompson all go off the board – the pickings get pretty slim for a team that already has a fairly stocked frontcourt. Jimmer Fredette looms as an excellent back-up option, but he’s more novelty than impact player.

A best case scenario: the Jazz land a veteran guard by swapping picks to move down a few slots and are able to still snag Knight wherever they land. 

3. Portland Trail Blazers por

The Portland Trail Blazers have, arguably, the greatest stockpile of unused pieces of any team in the league. Last year's Draft produced three players that played very few minutes -- Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams, and Armon Johnson -- and the team has three (yes, three!) players stashed overseas already. Blazers management has already acknowledged publicly that they don't anticipate selecting an impact player at No. 21, and the team is hamstrung salary-wise because of a looming decision with Greg Oden. The oft-injured center will command big dollars, and the team has already committed to large multi-year deals for Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews.

If you don't see a player that will meaningfully impact your rotation at No. 21, then why pay him guaranteed first-round money? Ship the pick for a future consideration. Knowing Owner Paul Allen, though, this is an unlikely strategy. He loves the draft too much to simply fold his hand. The problem? He's already fired his keenest advisors: Former GMs Kevin Pritchard and Rich Cho. In other words, expect more haphazard decision-making.

Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 2:52 pm
 

Cavaliers trying to trade for No. 2 pick?

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly in trade talks involving their draft picks. Posted by Ben Golliver.irving-williams

Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams? Why not both?

ESPN.com reports that sources say that the Cleveland Cavaliers, who own the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and are expected to draft Irving, a star point guard out of Duke University, are also considering trading for the No. 2 pick. The Cavaliers would then use that pick, which is currently owned by the Minnesota Timberwolves, to select Williams, a star forward from the University of Arizona.

The full trade rumor breaks down as follows:
  • Detroit Pistons trade the No. 8 pick and Richard Hamilton to Cleveland Cavaliers. 
  • Cleveland Cavaliers trade the No. 4 pick and Detroit's No. 8 pick to Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 2 pick.
  • Cleveland uses its $14.6 million trade exception to absorb Hamilton's contract.
The site also reports...
Cleveland would then buy Hamilton out of the $25 million remaining in the last two years on his contract, leaving the veteran shooting guard free to sign with another club as a free agent. Chicago would be one of the likeliest destinations.
Let's take a look at this trade proposal from all angles.

First, for the Cavaliers, this would require a fair bit of capital expenditure in bringing Hamilton on board. He is owed $12.7 million next season and $12.7 in 2012-2013, although only $9 million of that is guaranteed. Hamilton, 33, still has a little fuel left in the tank and badly needs a change of scenery out of Detroit. If the Cavaliers love Derrick Williams, though, paying Hamilton is a reasonable cost to have the opportunity to draft Williams. This move would give the Cavaliers a core of Irving, Williams, Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson to build around, with Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions also in the fold as rotation players or trade assets. Additional moves would need to be made to clarify that rotation, including the possibility mentioned above of buying out Hamilton, but no doubt that team wins more than the 19 games Cleveland won in 2010-2011 and the group would clearly be on an upward path. Nabbing the top two "sure thing" prospects in a draft would have to be considered a major win.

The Timberwolves would consider this trade because Williams is probably too similar to Michael Beasley, who is already in place. Trying to dissect this franchise's logic is always difficult, but if Minnesota prefers a big man like Enes Kanter, he will likely be available at No. 4 and they would be able to add an asset for flopping spots. With the No. 8 selection, the Timberwolves could then address their point guard position if either Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker was still on the board, or they could add a shooter -- something they desperately need -- like Alec Burks or maybe even take a chance on Bismack Biyombo. Like the Cavaliers, the Timberwolves need a lot of help. Does Williams alone make them better in the short term? Would Knight plus Burks or Kanter plus Burks be a better combination? There's a 

The Pistons, here, are probably griping that the cost of moving Hamilton's contract is too high, as it would leave them without a first round draft pick. Indeed, the Detroit Free Press reported that a source denied the talks were taking place and Detroit News reported soon after this rumor broke that the "Pistons wouldn't trade Rip, who's almost becoming an expiring contract w/lockout coming, and get rid of a draft pick." That's half-true at best. Hamilton is owned at least $20 million, the franchise is under new ownership and badly needs to rebuild, and Hamilton made life absolutely miserable all season long for coach John Kuester. The Pistons should be happy to pay for the right to dump him, but obviously they don't want to be left empty handed. There's definitely a way to get Detroit happy with this trade, whether it's sending back a lower pick, a role player or a future draft consideration. Shedding Hamilton's contract and attitude is priceless if Detroit is serious about taking their team in a new direction.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 7:11 pm
 

NBA Draft Buzz: 5.20.11

With the lottery settled and the combine underway, draft news is picking up. Here's a round-up of rumors and quotes about the 2011 NBA Draft.

2011 NBA Draft
  • Kemba Walker has fluctuated up and down draft boards due to questions about his height. At the measurements, Walker measured 5-11.5 without shoes, and 6-1 with. 6-1 is a resonable height for a point guard, even if it's still on the slight side.  Even if there are questions from analysts remaining about Walker's relative "playing height," there are rumors that he could go as high as No. 3 overall if the Jazz decide they absolutely have to have the best scorer available. 
  • The Racine Journal-Times reports that the Blazers are interested in moving up to get Colorado SG Alec Burks. To do so, they'd have to move into the top ten, most likely, with the Bucks at 10 probably the median for where he'll get tabbed. Burks is going to keep moving up as the draft gets closer, he's got a lot of the skills out of the box. He spent 16 percent of his possessions this year in the pick and roll according to Synergy Sports, and while he only shot 30 percent, the experience is what's key there. Wouldn't be surprised to see multiple teams trying to reach up to grab him. For what it's worth, Burks compares himself to a "young T-Mac." 
  • There was some noise about Enes Kanter not working out for the Jazz, following Kyrie Irving's decision not to work out at the combine at all. But apparently instead, Kanter will have a private workout with the Jazz. It's hard to see Utah taking Kanter when they already have such a logjam at power forward, but, well, welcome to the draft. 
  • Derrick Williams is not shy about being awesome. He told reporters when asked if he was the best player in the draft, "Yes, sir. I definitely am." Williams also thinks he'd be a good replacement for LeBron in Cleveland, which is, you know, out-there. I suppose it's better than a guy being uncertain, but we've seen such success lately with humble guys like Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, it seems a bit out there. Williams does deserve to be in consideration for the No.1 overall, but Irving is still the better prospect. 
  • Houston's interested in moving up as high as the seventh spot according to Sports Illustrated, swapping with Sacramento. The Rockets have enough young talents with cap-flexible contracts to maybe swing something. 
  • TSN reports the Raptors board looks like "Kanter, Knight, and Kemba." Kanter seems like an odd fit next to Bargnani, who essentially needs the best rebounder in ... any draft ever. Knight fits adequately with Calderon nearing the end of his contract, though. Walker doesn't fit at all with DeRozan and Weems already on roster, but if they really feel like Walker can convert to point guard, he can fit several of their needs.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com