So with the NBA Draft Thursday night (coverage starts at 6 on ESPN), I decided to try my hand at predicting who will go in the top 5 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Timberwolves again got owned in the lottery and have the 2nd pick. So without further adue, here is my 2011 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers- PG Kyrie Irving (Duke). Although I think the Cavaliers don’t need another point guard, owner Dan Gibson loves this kid, he is a true point guard who, although he only played 11 games for Duke last year. Playing under Coach K, Irving has had the best of the best when it comes to college mentors. In a very un-Duke way, Irving left after his freshman season to pursue the NBA, expect his name to be called first by David Stern.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves- F Derrick Williams (Arizona). For the love of peanuts David Kahn please just don’t screw this up. If you decide to keep this pick, take Williams if he is there. The 6′9″ freak of nature can play in the post and also create mismatches. I mean seriously, he shot over 50% from 3-point range for the Wildcats last season, that’s impressive! I like him in that SF or PF role, spelling Michael Beasley or Kevin Love when they need a rest. And the Wolves can even throw him at SF and move Beasley to the SG if they want a scoring lineup out there. Kahn, don’t be an idiot.
3. Utah Jazz- C Enes Kanter (Turkey). Kanter was supposed to play college ball at Kentucky (let’s be honest, knowing Kentucky players he would have jetted after his frosh year anyway) but was deemed inelligible by the NCAA because he played professionally in Turkey. He measures in at 6′11″ 259 pounds. The Jazz need a low-post presence playing in the tough Western Conference. Kanter is just that, he will crash the boards and score on the low block. I think the Jazz need a PG too, but I’m not sold on Kentucky’s Brandon Knight. The successful teams in this league build from the inside-out.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers- F Jan Vesely (Belgrade). A lot of mock drafts have the Cavs taking Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania with this pick but the Cavs would have to wait a year for him to come over. Vesely is NBA ready, standing at 6′11″ 230 and would be a great complement for Cleveland. He is more of a SF but has been working on his low post game. At 6′11″ he will provide matchup nightmares for opposing teams. NBAdraft.net compared him to Utah’s Andrei Kirlienko, who I absolutely love watching and has been a solid player in his career with the Jazz.
5. Toronto Raptors- G Brandon Knight (Kentucky). The Raptors need a PG, and Knight is the next best one available after Irving. I got to see Knight play on TV a lot this past season with the Wildcats of Kentucky and like what he can do from the point position. At 6′3″, he is a long athlete who can push the ball and post up against smaller point guards if he gets that opportunity. Explosive off the dribble.
So there you have it, my 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Hopefully I’m somewhat close. Hopefully the Wolves don’t do something stupid. And hopefully you all enjoyed reading this!
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