Tag:2011 NBA Draft
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Wolves open to trading No. 2?

Posted by Royce Young

When he's not making fairly dumb comments, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has always been one up for a trade. He's always willing to take a risk and move some parts.

In the lottery last night, with the best chance of any team, the Wolves finished with the second overall pick in a draft most feel like is a one player draft. There's talent to be had no doubt -- Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo -- but there's not necessarily a sure thing.

And according to ESPN.com, the Wolves are wide open to moving the No. 2 overall pick. The word is, Kahn is very much interested in adding veteran help to the team.

Is this a good idea? Well, I guess. Hard to say really. With the history the Wolves have in the draft of missing on players, taking guys that don't want to be with the team and just outright mis-evaluating, it makes sense to just get out and get a proven commodity. However, it's unlikely you'll get equal talent back. Potential talent, I should say.

There's good reason to believe that Williams, Biyombo, Walker, Kanter or whoever could be the next big thing. They could be the next 10-time All-Star. You've got to do your homework, scout the heck out of them and go with your gut. Thus far, Kahn's has been mostly wrong. (Though Wes Johnson might not be a total disaster.)

In a backwards way, Kahn has a point because there's not a whole lot of open roster space on his team right now. That's silly, I realize, for a team that just went 17-65, but with the way he's accumulated talent, if you draft a young player, where does he play? Ironically, the most open place on the roster might actually be point guard. How about that one?

Right now, between Johnson, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Kevin Love and, well, Darko Milicic the Wolves don't have a ton of space to just pop in another young player that needs time to develop. Minnesota has plenty of those. The wrong ones most likely, but still, not a ton of space for playing time.

Depending on what's available, the Wolves could certainly use some veteran help to take a little pressure off their young players. Development is what all of this is about and I'm not sure how well the Wolves are developing young players like Jonny Flynn, Johnson and Randolph. Bringing in a veteran player that's actually talented enough to play might not be a bad idea.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Kyrie Irving wants no comparison to LeBron

Kyrie Irving says to not compare him to LeBron. 

Posted by Matt Moore

I'll give Kyrie Irving this, he's certainly selling himself as the No.1 overall pick. He's selling himself so hard, he's already telling his future fans in Cleveland, should he be drafted first overall, what not to compare him to. From the Bergen Record:
“I don’t think you can make comparisons to me and LeBron,” said Irving, who attended the lottery. “One, I’m not 6-8. Two, I’m not a high flyer and three, my name isn’t LeBron James. Honestly, you can’t make those comparisons yet. I think I would bring a different feel to the Cleveland organization if they do decide to take me.”
via Cavaliers win top pick in NBA Draft lottery.


These are all true statements. Irving is not 6-8, and he's not a high flyer (though his athleticism is pretty impressive). I also like the use of "yet" in that sentence. That's cute.

But if Irving wants the money and glory that comes with being a first round pick, he's going to have to deal with the expectations. This year that team happens to be Cleveland, and with that comes the responsibility of helping the franchise move past the loss of the best player in franchise history. Them's the breaks.

The good news is that with the Cavs in the No.4 spot as well, there's a good chance Irving will have some help. Which is another way he's not like LeBron.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:46 pm
 

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently insinuates that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-kahn

Update: Here's video of Kahn's comments.

For years -- no, decades -- basketball observers have had suspicions about the NBA Draft Lottery. The process is hidden, ping pong balls are involved, and there are a bunch of hurt feelings because 13 of the teams present go home without the No. 1 pick.

Speculation about the lottery being rigged has always been a favorite custom of fans, but it's not something you ever hear spoken about, or even implied, by NBA executives. Until now.

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently implied in an interview with the Associated Press that the NBA's lottery process is not totally on the up and up.

Kahn's comments came after he joined Utah Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor and Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, as the three finalists for the No. 1 pick. Nick Gibert suffers from a nerve disorder and eventually secured the No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers. 
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
A "habit" of producing incredible storylines implies that it's not intentional or manipulated but simply the product of a track record. But the disclaimer "I am just going to say habit" screams "I am really, really bitter because this was totally fixed so that the kid would win."

Either this was the clumsiest language of all time or a crystal clear implication. I don't see any other interpretations. Surely, a clarification is coming. (Not to mention an apology for referring to a child with a nerve disorder and a widow as "storylines".)

Even the implication of impropriety is sure to rub NBA commissioner David Stern the wrong way and this isn't Kahn's first time getting on Stern's bad side. Kahn was fined $50,000 last July for comments made regarding Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's marijuana use. A fine here wouldn't be out of the question considering what's at stake for the league: its reputation.

Here's CBSSports.com video of Nick Gilbert winning the NBA Draft Lottery.


Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:06 am
 

Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft by Ben Golliver

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers landed the No.1 overall spot. Here's a first take mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Ben Golliver, EOB Blogger.

kyrie-irving

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving: A mature, talented point guard with good size and a solid offensive game. He makes his teammates better, and that’s exactly what Cleveland needs.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Derrick Williams: After failing to win more than 24 games in the last four seasons, star potential is at a premium. Williams’ ability to play on the perimeter should complement Kevin Love nicely.

3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight: The Jazz, like just about everyone, can use a point guard of the future. Knight, a scorer and playmaker with excellent upside, fits the bill.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bismack Biyombo: This might raise some eyebrows, but the Cavaliers need a ready-right-now, physical specimen like Biyombo and can afford a bit of a risk with Irving already in hand.

5. Toronto Raptors – Enes Kanter: The Raptors know full well that Andrea Bargnani needs a wide-bodied low-post presence to play next to him, and Kanter is the best bet.

6. Washington Wizards -- Kawhi Leonard: The Wizards need help at positions 2-4 and Leonard’s energy and athleticism will fill the gaping lineup hole between franchise point guard John Wall and developing big man JaVale McGee.

7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker: Tyreke Evans is probably better as a two long-term. The Kings would probably prefer Knight, but Walker is an excellent consolation prize and yet another exciting puzzle piece on a roster full of them.

8. Detroit Pistons – Jonas Valanciunas: Does Joe Dumars dare go dipping back into the European well? If so, Valanciunas could make a nice post pairing with All-Rookie snub Greg Monroe.

9. Charlotte Bobcats – Tristan Thompson: Thompson doesn’t have the inside-out versatility to replace Gerald Wallace but he does bring elite physicality and excellent defensive tools.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks: The Bucks need a floor-spacer to pair with Brandon Jennings and Burks fits that bill.

11. Golden State Warriors – Jan Vesely: Whether Vesely is truly a small forward remains an open question, but he’s long and has highlight film potential. If the Warriors stick with their push-the-pace mentality under a new coach, he could be a fit.

12. Utah Jazz – Donatas Motiejunas: If the Jazz opt for a guard with their top selection, they can do worse than Motiejunas, who once drew “poor man’s Dirk” comparisons. His ceiling has come down a bit, but he can score and has excellent vision.

13. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Morris: The Suns have a lot of mismatched pieces in the frontcourt, but Steve Nash can always use a power forward that can play both inside and out and has some offensive game.

14. Houston Rockets – Jordan Hamilton: There’s no Yao Ming at No. 1 this year, let alone No. 14, so the Rockets look to mine the undervalued asset route, snagging a wing scorer who has had a rocky road to the NBA.

15. Indiana Pacers – Klay Thompson: Paul George has been a revelation but another knockdown shooter in the backcourt wouldn’t hurt.

16. Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris: When in doubt, add a talented big man to the frontcourt. The Sixers have some contract decisions to make after next season.

17. New York Knicks – Chris Singleton: The Knicks will look to address their hole in the middle via free agency but Singleton adds much needed defensive intensity to the wings.

18. Washington Wizards – Kenneth Faried: A bottom five rebounding team, Washington would do well to grab this group’s most obvious board-cleaning specialist.

19. Charlotte Bobcats – Nolan Smith: Best available ACC player on the board. Plus the Bobcats need a point guard.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Jimmer Fredette: Maybe the most David Kahn pick of all time.

21. Portland Trail Blazers – Davis Bertans: The Blazers are at a roster crossroads and need to replenish their coffers after a bunch of consolidation trades. Bertans is a long, versatile forward, can shoot the rock and could be a nice future asset.

22. Denver Nuggets – Tobias Harris: With Carmelo Anthony gone, there’s a pothole at the three. Harris can’t fill it, not even close, but he can get buckets.

23. Houston Rockets – Lucas Nogueira: Daryl Morey has said that sometimes you need to swing for the fences in the draft. Nogueira is rail-thin but has such incredible height and length that he can nearly dunk while standing on his tiptoes.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Nikola Mirotic: With a beautifully constructed rotation, the Thunder have the luxury of snapping up the best available European without worrying about the contract situation that could keep him overseas for awhile.

25. Boston Celtics – Trey Thompkins: With Glen Davis likely headed out in free agency, Thompkins can plug the “needs to be in better shape, can surprise you every once in awhile” hole.

26. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Selby: The Mavericks need to add to their aging backcourt and the undersized scoring two guard has been a productive staple for Dallas for years. Could make an electric pair with Rodrigue Beaubois someday.

27. New Jersey Nets – Tyler Honeycutt: Travis Outlaw has been kind of a disaster and the Nets’ small forward was one of the worst positions in the entire NBA. Honeycutt probably isn’t a long-term answer but the pickings are slim.

28. Chicago Bulls – Travis Leslie: The Bulls really need a floor-spacing shooter at the two spot, but would settle for the remarkable athlete who would make the “Bench Mob” that much scarier.

29. San Antonio Spurs – Kyle Singler: Incredibly intelligent, competitive forward who would kill to have the opportunity to play for Gregg Popovich.

30. Chicago Bulls – Marshon Brooks: Another off-the-dribble threat for the Bulls. Maybe he can prove to be the shooter they need but, if not, there are other elements to his game.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:07 am
 

NBA Mock Draft v.3.0 by Dave Del Grande

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night, with the Cleveland Cavliers landing the No.1 overall spot, and the UtahJazz moving up to the No. 3 position. Here's our immediate mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Dave Del Grande, EOB Blogger. 

Posted by Dave Del Grande

derrick-williams


Where’s Jared Sullinger when you need him?

The Cleveland Cavaliers could sure use the homegrown Ohio State standout, much as they parlayed fellow Buckeye State native LeBron James into seven memorable seasons earlier this decade.

Alas, Sullinger has decided to return to Ohio State for his sophomore season, no doubt believing he’d be surrounding himself with better talent than the Cavs had on display this past season.

But now with the first and fourth picks of the 2011 draft, that could be about to change.

So what do the Cavs do with the top pick? The good news is: They could use a little of everything. OK, maybe a lot of everything.

The next James could be nice. Heck, even the next Kevin Durant.

That guy probably doesn’t exist in the 2011 draft crop. But surely the prospect who comes closest to fitting the mold is Arizona swingman Derrick Williams.

You might have seen the two-year collegian play, but chances are you’ve never noticed his height and weight: 6-foot-8, 241 pounds. Hmmm … very James-like.

Whether he’s got the feet to fit into those big shoes is another matter.

Here’s my first mock projection of the 2011 NBA Draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Clippers) -- Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona.
If they’d known dealing Mo Williams was going to bring them the No. 1 pick in the draft, they’d have done it a lot earlier. Chances are, this Williams will have a far greater impact.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke. Falling out of the No. 1 spot isn’t a big deal for the Timberwolves. In fact, they’d probably like to see Irving go first, because, truth be told, they’ve drafted enough point guards in recent years.

3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey) -- Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky. Don’t be surprised if the Jazz attempt to package their picks to move up, because the dropoff from 2 to 3 in this year’s available talent is sizable. No doubt, Utah has its eyes on a certain BYU little guy at No. 12, so a big man is the obvious choice here.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. The best thing about being the least talented team in the league is it makes draft night easy. You simply take the best available athlete that doesn’t duplicate the guy you’ve already selected.

5. Toronto Raptors -- Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut. Several international prospects are projected in the Top 10, but the Raptors are already overloaded with them. The Big East Conference standout will give American fans in the Northeast a reason to cross the border.

6. Washington Wizards-- Jan Vesely, C, Czech Republic. Yes, it’s early, but here is where the 2011 draft becomes a bit anonymous. The Wizards need a big man, and arguably the best three available at this point are foreigners. Roll the international tapes.

7. Sacramento Kings -- Jimmer Fredette PG, BYU. Saved by the bell at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Kings' franchise desperately needs a ticket-seller more than any in the league. Few have fascinated the masses more than Fredette this past season.

8. Detroit Pistons -- Donatas Motiejunas, C, Lithuania. Here’s another candidate to move up, dangling at least one of their underachieving, highly-paid talents. Yeah, that’s more likely to move them down than up, but given the early run on their position of need (point guard), the Pistons have to try something.

9. Charlotte Bobcats -- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State. The Bobcats would love to discover a reincarnation of a young Gerald Wallace. They might have had to win the lottery to accomplish that feat, but at least Leonard is better than what they have.

10. Milwaukee Bucks -- Bismark Biyembo, PF, Spain. The Bucks believe they’re ready to win now, so they’re looking for experience. Biyembo is a far greater talent than the best remaining collegiate senior.

11. Golden State Warriors  -- Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania. You might recall the last Lithuanian the Warriors drafted – Sarunas Marciulionis. That worked out well. This could, too, as he would address the club’s greatest need.

12. Utah Jazz -- Alec Burks, SG, Colorado. If they knew Fredette would be done by 12, I wouldn’t put it past the Jazz to take him at No. 3. That said, Burks might be a better fit for what the club needs – a deadly long-range shooter who can actually defend a bit.

13. Phoenix Suns -- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State. Dealing Jason Richardson for Vince Carter was a mistake, so the goal here is finding a Richardson facsimile. Remarkably, Thompson looks the part.

14. Houston Rockets -- Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas. The Rockets have to be careful here. Their chief need is a center if Yao Ming doesn’t return. But if they draft a center, then maybe they'd be giving the big guy a reason not to come back. Morris can be sold as a sidekick.

15. Indiana Pacers -- Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas. The early run on point guards helps some talented power forwards slip through the lottery. You won’t hear the Pacers complaining.

16. Philadelphia 76ers -- Markief Morris, PF, Kansas. The 76ers need someone more like Samuel Dalembert, but he doesn’t exist this low in the draft. So taking the most defensive minded power forward has to suffice.

17. New York Knicks -- Chris Singleton, PF, Florida State. The Knicks are another team desperate for a defensive presence in the middle. Maybe Singleton can turn into a Tyson Chandler type. Then again, maybe not.

18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta) -- Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas. The run on big men in the middle of the round helps convince the Wizards going big early on was a wise choice. The slick Hamilton has a lot more potential here than someone taller.

19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans) -- Nolan Smith, PG, Duke. Neither of the remaining Duke prospects is Kyrie Irving, who would be the answer to the Hornets’ dreams. Smith makes a lot more sense as a hometown selection at this point than Kyle Singler.

20. Minnesota  Timberwolves (from Memphis) -- Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee. Recent history warns us the Timberwolves are more likely to draft a point guard here now that they’ve just taken another. But this time around, brighter minds should prevail.

21. Portland Trail Blazers -- Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA. The freshman has the potential to be taken a lot higher, but he doesn’t have the size most of the teams immediately north of the Trail Blazers in the draft covet. So Portland gets a nice value here.

22. Denver Nuggets-- Jordan Williams, C, Maryland. The run on foreign big men who’ll never come to America is about to start, but unlike many of the teams in the high-rent district, the Nuggets actually need a center who can play.

23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando) -- Lucas Riva Nogueira, C, Brazil. Luis Scola might be a South American rival on the international trail, but they’d make a nice side-by-side tandem on any court. Of course, the Brazilian will be Yao’s backup (wink, wink).

24. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College. The Mavericks are said to have a big depth advantage over the Thunder in the Western finals. This selection helps Oklahoma City close that gap.

25. Boston Celtics--Davis Bertans, SF, Slovenia. Replacing Kendrick Perkins is the club’s top priority. The slender European isn’t exactly the guy, but at least he’s tall.

26. Dallas Mavericks-- Kyle Singler, SF, Duke. The Mavericks are as deep as any team in the league, so it’s unlikely anyone taken at this point will crack the rotation. But rest assured the hard-working Singler will give it a go.

27. New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers) --JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue. It’s going to sting watching the Jazz use the Nets’ pick to take the third-best talent in the draft. But this Big Ten standout has a chance to contribute right away nonetheless.

28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami) --Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State. Most teams consider low first-rounders as the worst picks in the draft because of their two-year guarantees. The only thing worse is having two of them.

29. San Antonio Spurs --Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia. Life could be worse than making a seven-figure guaranteed salary to learn the NBA game from Tim Duncan. It’s worked well so far for DeJuan Blair.

30. Chicago Bulls --Nikola Mirotic, PF, Serbia. It’s best-available-athlete-who’s-least-likely-to-cross-the-p
ond time. At least it’ll give Mirotic a rooting interest next spring.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:06 am
 

Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft v.3.1 by Matt Moore

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night, with the Cleveland Cavliers landing the No.1 overall spot, and the Utah Jazz moving up to the No. 3 position. Here's our immediate mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Matt Moore, EOB Blogger. 

Posted by Matt Moore

kyrie-irving-5

1. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Kyrie Irving: The Cavs have to start over and just got a chance to do that. Irving is the consensus best player in the draft. Young, explosive, with an actual jumper, Irving's only questions is a toe injury that he returned from to dominate the NCAA tournament. He'll make for a great building block. The only question now: "Who's dumb enough to take Baron Davis off our hands?"

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Derrick Williams. The small-ball lineups for the Wolves next year with Williams at PF and Love at C are going to be awesome. Wes Johnson may spend more time at the 2 with Williams on board. If David Kahn can connive Ricky Rubio to come over, the Wolves are going to improve, finally. If Kahn doesn't screw this up.

3. Utah Jazz -- Brandon Knight. Knight's going to play in combo sets with Devin Harris. If he develops into a better PG, great, they can move Devin Harris. If he doesn't, he'll be an undersized SG, but still a legit scoring threat.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Jonas Valanciunas. You've got the PG, get the big man. Valanciunas is the lone Euro big in this draft who really impresses on the glass and off the pick and roll. 6-11, 240, he and Kyrie can set a new tone in Cleveland.

5. Toronto Raptors -- Jan Vesely. 6-11 forward with aggression. He's a Euro, which is going to mean Colangelo catching flak, but he's the best option. DeRozan slides to the 2 and Vesely's aggression gives the Raptors some much needed attitude.

6. Washington Wizards -- Kawhi Leonard. Kemba Walker's too small to pair with Wall, and the Euro bigs don't help with JaVale McGee and Blatch on roster. Leonard gives the Wizards a talented all-around SF to build around with Wall.

7. Sacramento Kings -- Kemba Walker. Well, the Kings have great size in the backcourt already with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. Kemba Walker's not a great fit. He's small, a scorer, and could be a defensive liability. But he's Best Player Available, and the Kings don't have time for a project center.

8. Detroit Pistons -- Enes Kanter. Twin towers with Monroe. 'Nuff said.

9. Charlotte Bobcats -- Donatas Motiejunas. Well the Bobcats' future isn't super bright, so they can afford a project. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but with Tyrus Thomas, maybe he doesn't have to be. Having a versatile low-post big man will help them, provided Jordan doesn't Kwame him.

10. Milwaukee Bucks -- Alec Burks. Bucks need scoring. Burks is a pure scorer. Happily ever after.

11. Golden State Warriors -- Bismack Biyombo. A project for a team with a long-term vision. Incredible physical tools and some explosiveness. Right system, Biyombo's a star. Wrong system, he's a bust.

12. Utah Jazz -- Marcus Morris. A terrible spot for Utah with all the raw size off the board. Morris allows for a trade of Millsap or Jefferson if they don't move the pick itself.

13. Phoenix Suns -- Tobias Harris. Versatility is the Suns' game. Harris' biggest liability is defense. The Suns don't defend much. Convenient.

14. Houston Rockets -- Tristan Thompson. Rough spot for the Rockets as well. Thompson is high-upside, and the Rockets can hope that he can play in some versatile lineups.

15. Indiana Pacers -- Josh Selby. Hey, you can't swing and miss on every Kansas shooting guard, right? Selby's a reach here, but his impressive workouts at Impact in Las Vegas could push him here.

16. Philadelphia 76ers -- Lucas Nogueira. 7-0, high upside. The Sixers can afford to take a project with the core they have. Nogueira could replace Hawes by end of season if things go right, or be the long-term solution.

17. New York Knicks -- Jimmer Fredette. Big name star, explosive scorer, defensive issues limited by system (or exaggerated if you will). Fredette's an easy one here.

18. Washington Wizards -- Kenneth Faried. The Anti-Blatche.

19. Charlotte Bobcats -- Klay Thompson. Can spell Tyrus Thomas when he inevitably gets in foul trouble.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Chris Singleton. Best player available for the Wolves.

21. Portland Trail Blazers -- Reggie Jackson. Nate McMillan says the backcourt must change. It starts here.

22. Denver Nuggets -- Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton falls among all the small forwards, and the Nuggets swoop him up with some big free agent questions lingering for them.

23. Houston Rockets -- Tyler Honeycutt. A solid player to work off-ball with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin. BPA theorem in effect (Best Player Available).

24. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Davis Bertans. High upside player falls to the Thunder. Perimeter scoring and good size. A Euro replacement for Jeff Green.

25. Boston Celtics -- Charles Jenkins. A versatile perimeter threat with handle, could provide the bench scoring that was so badly missing this year.

26. Dallas Mavericks -- Travis Leslie. Mavericks need wings. The end.

27. New Jersey Nets -- Kyle Singler. A high energy guy with touch to pair with Brook Lopez and never get any rebounds ever.

28. Chicago Bulls -- Nolan Smith. The Bulls need shooters. Smith's the closest thing to it at this point.

29. San Antonio Spurs -- Keith Benson. Anyone who rebounds will do here.

30. Chicago Bulls -- Darius Morris. Hey, they're loaded at every other position. Why not?
Posted on: May 17, 2011 8:27 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 9:09 pm
 

2011 NBA Draft Lottery: Cavs get top pick

Cleveland Cavaliers win No.1 overall pick in 2011 NBA Draft. Utah Jazz move up to No. 3. 

Posted by Matt Moore



The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA lottery, giving them a chance to move forward. The Minnesota Timberwolves managed not to fall out of the top three, landing at No.2, while the Utah Jazz jumped up to the No.3 spot. So two teams that lost their superstar in the past 12 months get a chance to start over in a top-heavy, shallow draft. The big losers are the Raptors, Wizards, and Kings who drop down significantly. 

The question has to start right now, where is Baron Davis going to play next year? Kyrie Irving is the consensus No.1 overall pick, and the piece to build around for the Cavs. Meanwhile, the Wolves have a big man cluster to deal with, as Derrick Williams will be on the board for a team with Kevin Love, Darko Milicic, and Wes Johnson brought in in the past two years. 

Lots of questions. We'll have an updated mock draft soon on CBSSports.com.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Washington Wizards
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Indiana Pacers
16. Philadelphia 76ers
17. New York Knicks
18. Washington Wizards
19. Charlotte Bobcats
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Portland Trail Blazers
22. Denver Nuggets
23. Houston Rockets
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
25. Boston Celtics
26. Dallas Mavericks
27. New Jersey Nets
28. Chicago Bulls
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Chicago Bulls
Posted on: May 17, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 5:46 pm
 

NBA Mock Draft 2.0, Pre-Lotto Edition



The NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday night and as always, the ramifications of the event could dramatically alter the future of one or more franchises. Don't believe? Consider that the Bulls were huge underdogs to land MVP Derrick Rose. Even in a draft many consider weak, the lottery changes the course of a franchise's history with a simple combination of ping pong balls. 

Before we know who's going to be in the top spot for "The Kyrie Lottery," we ran one more mock draft with Matt Moore and Ben Golliver from Eye on Basketball and Matt Norlander from CBSSports.com's College Basketball Blog. Here's how things look from our perspective before the lottery balls shake everything up.



1. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Kyrie Irving. Eventually, probably in a dark, empty room, Timberwolves president David Kahn will admit to himself that Ricky Rubio isn't coming to the NBA next season and that point guard remains the most glaring weakness on his abysmal roster. Everything we've seen in Round One of the NBA Playoffs reinforces a point guard's transformative power in today's game. Rajon Rondo. Derrick Rose. And, most importantly for teams at the top of the lottery list like the Timberwolves, Chris Paul. In David West's absence, Paul has carried a talent-deficient roster to two victories against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, dishing out dozens of assists and getting his points when needed. Duke point guard Kyrie Irving might not be Paul but he's really, really good, a can't-miss, multi-dimensional offensive threat who works hard, exhibits leadership qualities and has an excellent understanding of the game. If Paul can carry a debt-ridden, league-owned on the verge of contraction into Staples and come out with a victory, surely Irving can be the guy who eventually gets the Timberwolves to the playoffs for the first time since 2003-2004. Irving simply makes everyone else better, and lord knows Minnesota's roster can put that skill to good use.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Derrick Williams. The Cavaliers talent. Any talent they can get. Whatever talent they can find. And Williams is clearly the best talent on the board in a phenomenally weak draft. It would be better to build with Kyrie Irving, but in the 2 spot, Derrick Williams isn't a bad consolation price. Let's just hope no one freaks about the uber-athletic 6-8 combo forward coming in. Awk-ward.

3. Toronto Raptors -- Enes Kanter. The Turkish center will probably adapt more to the 4, but he's got incredible talent. Because he received money that was seen as more than the bare minimum while playing pro ball overseas, the NCAA never let him play with Kentucky. But those who have seen him work out rave about his collection of already-honed skills. Lack of competitive game play in the past year is a little disconcerting, but Kanter's seen as a once-every-five-years type of big man with the multitude of weapons he has.

4. Washington Wizards -- Jonas Valanciunas. The Wizards' reported interest in Kanter leaves them a bit crushed at the Raptors' decision, but they switch to Plan B: Best available big. Washington was a bottom five rebounding team despite promising center JaVale McGee so filling out the frontcourt depth is a primary concern. Picking the Lithuanian big man -- who has good touch around the rim and NBA size -- is a fairly easy decision as the other elite prospects are mostly point guards who would serve no purpose with John Wall installed as the face of the franchise.

5. Sacramento Kings -- Brandon Knight. Kyrie Irving would fit so awesomely in with the Kings 1-2-3 combo with Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans, but Brandon Knight's not a bad alternative. Knight showed a lot more versatility and polish in the Wildcats' NCAA tournament run than he had in conference play. With a quality jumpshot (rare for point guards entering the league), Knight can work as both the initiator of the offense and an endpoint kickout shooter with Tyreke Evans working as the distributor. The upgrade of Beno Udrih to Knight could help the Kings move out of the lottery and rebound from a disappointing year.

6. Utah Jazz- Jan Veseley. The Jazz can't take a legitimate big, they're stacked with Millsap, Favors and Jefferson. They can't take a point guard, they've got Devin Harris and after Knight the drop off is significant. Veseley has crazy athleticism, he's like a more explosive Kirilenko and could wind up with the same kind of stat-stuffing abilities while he learns behind the dragon-backed veteran, expected to re-sign in free agency. Veseley has some exciting highlight reels and his aggression to the basket is almost, dare we say, American.

7. Detroit Pistons -- Kemba Walker. Well, Mighty Mouse has to go sometime. The best/second-best player in college basketball season goes to Joe Dumars finally giving him the impetus to trade Rip Hamilton now that he has ownership to approve such a move. An explosive scorer who's going to be a defensive liability due to his size won't be able to be on the floor with Will Bynum but could also allow the Pistons to let Rodney Stuckey get away if he shows better passing ability than expected at the pro level. A good start to cleaning house is drafting a recognizable star, and Walker's nothing if not that.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Bismack Biyombo. With the top three point guards off the board, Cleveland adds to its frontcourt by selecting Bismack Biyombo, the Congolese sensation who took the Nike Hoop Summit by storm. Biyombo plugs in as ready to play from day one as a defensive specialist. There should be plenty of minutes available to get to work on refining his phenomenally athletic but raw game.

9. Charlotte Bobcats -- Kawhi Leonard. Gerald Wallace is gone. Alec Burks is going to be incredibly tempting for Jordan to take here, but Gerald Henderson's late season promise makes it just a little too difficult. A 2-3-4 lineup of Henderson-Leonard-Thomas makes for a good mix of athleticism, polish, and versatility, varying on the spectrum, with Leonard in the middle. It's a rebuilding....er.... decade for the Bobcats, and it's more important for them to take the obvious picks rather than gamble on one of the bajillion Euro bigs available.

10. Milwaukee Bucks -- Tristan Thompson. Fear the Deer. Has it already been a year since the Bucks were in the playoffs? Anyway, with Thompson, he's the prototype of Potential, Long NBA Prospect. Thompson lacks a fire, but he's got so much room to grow, has massive hands and will be a valuable Gumby for the Bucks -- and about 20 other NBA teams that'd love to have someone with his frame and 14 years of future. Beyond anything, Thompson has to go here because there's no way he slips below the 10 line. No way

11.Golden State Warriors -- Alec Burks. With questions about the long-term pairing of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, the Warriors opt to draft a potential Ellis replacement in Burks, whose size and skillset add up to that of a more traditional two. Burks can score in just about every conceivable manner and would work as instant offense off the bench should the Warriors decide to ride out the Curry/Ellis pairing for another season.

12. Utah Jazz -- Donatas Motiejunas. You're probably going to ask me what the difference is between Motiejunas, a 7-foot Euro who shot 46% behind the arc this season, and Mehmet Okur, a 7-foot Euro who is known for his perimeter shooting. Well, outside of Motiejunas' superior post-moves, not a whole lot. Motiejunas isn't a rebounding prospect, which is what the Jazz really need. But with the previous pick of Veseley, the Jazz don't need to be gambling on another SF, the good PGs are gone, and Motiejunas is the best available talent. Yes, Jimmer Fredette is there. But we refuse to sink to such a cliche'd level of analysis. (Note: The Jazz will probably take Fredette here.)

13. Phoenix Suns -- Trey Thompkins. Consider him a project, only you don't need instructions to figure him out. Thompkins has a lot of pure skill that's thawed out over the past year. If he had Kemba Walker's work ethic he'd be drafted in the top five. Thompkins is a 6-10 guy who can hit from 20 feet. You need him to post up? That'll do, too. He can also run the floor well; he certainly had his opportunities on the Georgia fast break here and there. Some may not expect Thompkins to go this high, but he'll likely impress in workouts and play his way into a good pick.

14. Houston Rockets -- Jordan Hamilton. With no readily available centers to fill their biggest need, the Rockets opt for Jordan Hamilton, a multi-talented wing scorer who might be a bit undervalued after a year away from competitive basketball as a high school senior and an up-and-down two-year career at Texas.

15. Indiana Pacers -- Marcus Morris. Roy Hibbert could use an offensively talented big to help on the glass, and Josh McRoberts may not be around very long leaving a lack of depth after Tyler Hansbrough. Granger works at either forward position, but this would free up the Pacers to move him if they wanted to build around the rest of the core, which would bring in a windfall of talent. If not, Morris can work in a small lineup alongside Granger with Paul George. Hey, you can never be too versatile right? This is another spot where Jimmer Fredette's going to be very tempting, but his inability to play the 2-guard spot hurts him; the Pacers don't need another PG.

16. Philadelphia 76ers -- Chris Singleton. Meet this draft's best defender. We've got a guy here who can be reliable and dominant -- yes, dominant -- in the paint for the next decade. Because of Singleton, Florida State was the best defensive team in the nation the past two seasons. His offensive game doesn't have much to it, but when you've got a player so good on one side of the ball this far into a draft, it's pretty hard to pass up. Experienced, mature and ready to play immediately.

17. New York Knicks -- Jimmer Fredette. If Fredette lasts to 17 it will be difficult for the Knicks to pass on the New York native, whose range and scoring acumen are an obvious fit for coach Mike D'Antoni's system. With high usage scorers Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony locked into the starting lineup for years to come, Fredette pencils in as instant offense off the bench.

18. Washington Wizards -- Markieff Morris. They can viably trade Andray Blatche to anyone who will take him. The end Morris is the lesser twin, but could be a solid bench forward to provide rebounding. He and JaVale McGee could make for some entertaining defensive sets. In a bad way, but still.

19. Charlotte Bobcats -- Kenneth Faried. He's rightfully considered the greatest natural rebounder to come out of college since Dennis Rodman. That stats back it up. Faried, who played at Morehead State, is also a deceptively good shot-blocker. He's transformed his body in the past two seasons and should average 10 grabs in his sleep. The Bobcats could use the beef and nose-to-the-grindstone mentality. Faried will bring that, and there's no question of character here. Charlotte should be so lucky to see him fall to 19.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Klay Thompson. The Timberwolves have nothing but questions in their backcourt and Thompson is a pure shooter who may be able to develop into more down the road. If the NBA thing doesn't work out, Thompson and Minnesota forward Michael Beasley can always star in a 21st century "Cheech and Chong" adaptation

21. Portland Trail Blazers -- Lucas Nogueira. Marcus Camby is getting up there. Nogueira is 7-0, 18 years old, a project Brazilian. So just theoretically, if Greg Oden were to not work out, hypothetically, the Blazers could develop Noqueira for the long-run while seeing if Oden's ever going to put it together. Insurance policy.

22. Denver Nuggets -- Tobias Harris. The 6-8 freshman out of Tennessee will play the 3 at the next level. He's a reliable scorer -- only three times last season was he kept in single digits -- and seems to fit Denver's offense-first style. Harris is not a tough player and doesn't have a post game, but he's the type of guy who'll bang 15-footers with deceptive efficiency. He's also able to put it on the floor from that far out. The Nuggets could use his maturity, too. Don't be deceived by his age -- many are impressed with how Harris handles himself.

23. Houston Rockets -- Davis Bertans. An underrated standout from the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit, this long, versatile forward can shoot the rock and will be a nice future asset.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Kyle Singler. The Thunder are too likable at this point. Getting a Duke guy will solve that problem (oh, and he's yet another versatile wing to add to their core for depth).

25. Boston Celtics -- Reggie Jackson. The Celtics go with the local product. Jackson, a junior out of Boston College, is the type of shooter Boston could use to help ease the inevitable transition from the New Big Three era. Probably never going to be a starter in this league, but he's got offense to keep things seamless coming off the bench.

26. Dallas Mavericks -- Josh Selby. With Jason Kidd aging, the Mavericks are willing to take a chance on Selby, who has fallen off a cliff since his days as a top-ranked high school senior. He could be paired with Rodrigue Beaubois to provide a fearsome but undersized future backcourt combination. Dallas is not in a position where it needs to rush his development.

27. New Jersey Nets -- Tyler Honeycutt. Low-risk, high-upside player with good athleticism who could become explosive if he develops right? Yes, please and thank you, say the Nets. Honeycutt needs to play off the ball, but with as many ball-handlers as the Nets have, that's not a problem.

28. Chicago Bulls -- Travis Leslie. Is it possible for the Bulls' backcourt to get even more athletic? You bet. Leslie was the college game's best dunker the past two years. He's very good off the ball and even better in transition. If the Bulls want to keep speed and defense the keys to their winning -- aside from that Rose guy -- then Leslie's a great fit, an absolutely great fit.

29. San Antonio Spurs -- Nikola Mirotic. The Spurs can't resist the intelligent, skilled and versatile Croatian forward. They need help now too but are willing to wait on Mirotic should his deal with Real Madrid keep him overseas in the short-term.

30. Chicago Bulls -- Charles Jenkins. 22 years old? Sure. Undersized at 6-3? Yup. 42 percent 3-point shooter for a team badly in need of them? Absolutely.
 
 
 
 
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