2011 NBA Mock Draft: Ben Golliver

NBA Mock Draft - 06/22/2011
Round 1
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Clippers)
Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: Irving played high school ball just miles away from the Prudential Center, where he will be named the No. 1 pick in this year's draft on Thursday. He answers every question: size, smarts, a solid jumper and a clean bill of health. And, as we've said for more than a month, he makes his teammates better, which is something Cleveland desperately needs.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona: The No. 2 pick continues to be the flash point for this draft, with a new trade scenario arising daily. The hold up for Minnesota keeping this pick is Williams' potential overlap with Michael Beasley. The Timberwolves should conduct this draft as if Beasley doesn't exist. He can always be shipped out. At the core, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Derrick Williams will all complement each other fairly well.
3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey)
Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky: Landing the No. 3 pick was a blessing for the Jazz but it's also a bit of a curse, as there is no clear-cut third best guy. That said, Knight brings a robust package of skills: high intelligence, confidence, leadership, very good athleticism and the John Calipari pedigree. He's a better fit than Devin Harris as the point guard of Utah's future.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Enes Kanter, PF, Kentucky: There has been a steady stream of trade talk around this pick. After taking Irving at No. 1, conventional wisdom says the Cavaliers look for a complementary big man if they do wind up using this selection. Kanter likely emerges from a trio of international bigs that also includes Jonas Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo. At times over the last few years, Kanter was seen as a legit No. 1 overall prospect, which would give Cleveland two of those in this draft. Not bad at all.
5. Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State: The Raptors, with the league's worst defense last season, should already have been targeting defenders with this selection from the start. But that thought only takes on added weight With new coach Dwane Casey on board. Leonard is said to have impressed the folks north of the border during his workout and has the type of motor needed to help turn around a failing program.
6. Washington Wizards
Jan Vesely, PF, KK Partizan Belgrade,: With John Wall in place and thus no need for a point guard, it feels like the Wizards draft Kanter, Leonard or Vesely, whichever is available. They need to fill out their front line and badly need to address their wing situation; Vesely fits the second bill, bringing a highlight reel above the rim element and could easily develop into a match-up nightmare.
7. Sacramento Kings
Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut: It's a scary time to be a Kings fan. Walker grades out by just about every measure as a better pro prospect than Jimmer Fredette. Yet ownership, struggling to make ends meet, reportedly favors the BYU guard because of his obvious marketability. Ultimately, creating a long-term winner will sell tickets, but no one would be surprised if the Maloofs tried to take a Jimmer shortcut here.
8. Detroit Pistons
Bismack Biyombo, PF, Baloncesto Fuenlabrada: With new ownership in place, it's time for a major culture change in Detroit, where in-fighting and coach-killing ran rampant last season. Biyombo is the best defensive prospect in the draft and has a winning attitude to boot. He's got the hunger on the boards and the desire to block shots that helped push the Bad Boys Pistons over the top. He can help do some of the dirty work to make Greg Monroe's life easier too.
9. Charlotte Bobcats
Tristan Thompson, SF, Texas: New GM Rich Cho isn't a slave to numbers, but he certainly uses analytics to help guide his decisions. Look for Cho to undergo a massive rebuilding effort in Charlotte. Thompson is an excellent two-way player who grades out well by the advanced stats. He's arguably the best talent available at this spot, and a potential building block for the new era Bobcats.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Alec Burks, SG, Colorado: This selection should be all about who fits best in the backcourt with Brandon Jennings (assuming he isn't moved). That could be Burks or Klay Thompson. Burks has seen his stock rise and fall throughout the draft process, but he's the best overall pure two guard prospect in this crop. His range needs some work, but his overall offensive game is multi-dimensional and he should be able to fill the secondary attacker role that will open up driving lanes for Jennings.
11. Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State: Another franchise with relatively new ownership in town, Golden State has been the most proactive, installing a big-name coach in Mark Jackson, pushing out team president Robert Rowell and looking to put a new stamp on everything it does. Thompson brings a bigger body to Golden State's diminutive backcourt and would make Monta Ellis more expendable.
12. Utah Jazz
Jimmer Fredette, SG, Brigham Young: Hype aside (yes, that's difficult), Fredette has worked out well in the pre-draft process and would fill a need for the Jazz. There's a never-ending debate about whether he is a one or a two, but it really doesn't matter if he's coming off the bench in the NBA. He wanted to face Brandon Knight in pre-draft workouts; he'll have to settle for going head-to-head in practice next year.
13. Phoenix Suns
Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas: The Suns are at a bit of a crossroads as they wrestle with the Steve Nash question. If they decide they're willing to give it another go, Morris has the size and versatility to work well in pick and roll situations. He can score in a lot of ways and fills a position of need. A solid, relatively safe pick.
14. Houston Rockets
Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius,: Rockets GM Daryl Morey needs to make a splash this year, but the No. 14 spot really isn't the place to do it. With multiple first round picks, he should be very active on the trade front. If Valanciunas slides as expected because of his contract buyout issues, he becomes a major undervalued asset that new-school Morey couldn't pass up if he keeps this pick. The downside? The Rockets would then find themselves waiting on a big man again, as they have for years due to Yao Ming's many injuries.
15. Indiana Pacers
Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State: The Pacers seem to have their hearts set on Jimmer, but if he's gone they can take solace in selecting Singleton, a very good perimeter defender who is more ready to contribute than a lot of the names above him.
16. Philadelphia 76ers
Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas: The 76ers are said to be looking to add to their front line. Morris, with the possible exception of Jeremy Tyler, is the most talented name available. He brings less red flags than Tyler and has solid size and defensive instincts. Doug Collins wouldn't complain about this one.
17. New York Knicks
Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC: For a few weeks, this pick has felt like it would come down to Fredette, Biyombo, Faried or Vucevic, depending on who slipped. If the first two names are gone, Vucevic fills a roster hole better than the undersized Faried does, although his game might not be the prettiest. Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to Knicks centers.
18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta)
Marshon Brooks, SF, Providence: Washington was one of the bottom three offenses in the NBA last season, and Brooks can certainly score in bunches. Might be a bit redundant with Jordan Crawford, but the jury is still out on him too.
19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans through Portland)
Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas: Hamilton fits all the signs of a guy who slips through the cracks: eligibility issues in high school and no major, immediate impact in college. He seems to have turned things around and his overall offensive game should make him a solid rotation piece -- if not a starter -- for years to come. If the Bobcats do wind up keeping both of their first round picks, A Tristan Thompson / Jordan Hamilton haul would be pretty solid.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis through Utah)
Donatas Montiejunas, PF, Benetton Treviso,: Motiejunas seems to be the biggest "faller" on most mock drafts. He was once regarded as a top-5 type of talent and the Timberwolves, if they keep this pick, would be in the position to take a flier on him. A face-the-basket big man game and good passing instincts could make for a fun pairing with Rubio at some point.
21. Portland Trail Blazers
Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State: The Blazers need rebounding or a backup point guard. If Faried, the draft's best pure rebounder, makes it past the Knicks and the Bobcats, there's no way the Blazers pass on him. Portland loves four-year guys who have an established body of work and raved about him after his workout in Portland.
22. Denver Nuggets
Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee: There are questions about his position but not about his attitude or potential. The Nuggets have a major hole to fill in their post-Carmelo Anthony reality. Harris is a solid upside guy and the advanced stats say he should be in the lottery discussion.
23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando through Phoenix)
Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA: One of the more difficult prospects to get a clean read on. DraftExpress has noted that he was a bit of a letdown at UCLA, primarily because of his poor shot selection. The numbers guys in Houston would fix that ASAP.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kyle Singler, SF, Duke: Low-risk, potentially low-reward, but the Thunder's rotation is so well constructed that they simply need young, quality people to fill out the end of the bench. Might be a team that would consider trading out.
25. Boston Celtics
Josh Selby, PG, Kansas: Another highly-rated high school prospect that has seen his stock fall, Selby represents good value and could be a solid scorer off the bench for an aging team in transition.
26. Dallas Mavericks
Jeremy Tyler, C, Tokyo Apache,: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is playing with house money after winning the 2011 title. No better way to cash in on that karma than by drafting the biggest risk in the first round. Tyler is a top 15 player on talent but all sorts of questions dog him off the court. Dallas has a winning environment and a coaching staff that could turn help turn him into a big hit.
27. New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers)
Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia: The Nets badly need a small forward, to the point that it's almost comical. Other options: Chandler Parsons and Jimmy Butler.
28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami through Toronto)
Iman Shumpert, SG, Georgia Tech: An excellent athlete whose stock has risen considerably in recent weeks. Very possible he's not available here. The Bulls could use his scorer's approach off their impotent bench.
29. San Antonio Spurs
Davis Bertans, SF, Union Olimpija Ljubjana,: The Spurs love the draft-and-stash and Bertans is a very long forward with a knockdown jumper and plenty of room to grow. If he had waited a few years to enter his name in the draft we could be talking about a lottery player.
30. Chicago Bulls
Charles Jenkins, SG, Hofstra: If I'm the Bulls and I do decide to use both picks, I double down on undersized scoring guards and hope one pans out.
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