2011 NBA Mock Draft - Final Edition

I started this mock yesterday and finished today. There are already changes I would make to it but that is because I am OCD. So I will just throw out what I have. Enjoy!

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Clippers) - PG Kyrie Irving, Fr, Duke. No drama here. The Cavaliers will take Irving first overall and figure out how to trade Ramon Sessions and/or Baron Davis later. It makes sense. Irving is the best player in this class and plays the most important position on the floor. This decision is made easier due to the fact that Brandon Knight probably won't be available at #4.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - SF/PF Derrick Williams, So, Arizona. Whether it is the Wolves or some other team, Derrick Williams will be taken second overall. He is unquestionably one of the top two players in this draft, even without a defined position. The Wolves have won an average of 20 games or so the past four years, so it would be ridiculous to say they are too deep at a position to not take him. He would be an instant upgrade over Michael Beasley. Latest rumors have Kanter here, but I think that is smokescreen all the way.

3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey Nets) - PG Brandon Knight, Fr, Kentucky. This is where things start to get interesting. Most mocks have Knight going here. And that makes sense. Devin Harris is what he is at this point, and Knight does have star potential. He has great size and skills. But the Jazz also like Kanter and Vesely, so they could go any direction here. I think they will go with Knight so they don't have to worry about a much lesser point guard with pick #12.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - C Enes Kanter, Turkey. I think the Cavs would love to wind up with Jonas Valanciunas here. I had him here in a previous mock. With news breaking that he won't be playing in the NBA at all next year, he will slide and perhaps slide hard. So it comes down to Kanter and Vesely here. I think Kanter is the safer pick. The Cavs will really want to get better sooner then later. Kanter is ready to play right away, and can give the team 24 minutes of solid offense right away.

5. Toronto Raptors - SF/PF Jan Vesely, Czech Republic. I think the Raptors will pick between foreign big men Vesely and Bismack Biyombo. Vesely is obviously the better pick here, even though he is a pretty big project as well. He can play some help defense and attacks the rim ferociously. Sounds like the Anti-Andrea Bargnani, and that is just what Toronto needs.

6. Washington Wizards - SF Kawhi Leonard, So, San Diego St. The Wizards will take Leonard here by process of elimination. They would have loved to land either Kanter or Vesely, but they are gone. Leonard fills a need. He is a tough, rugged small forward who would instantly be the toughest player in their front court, next to finesse big men Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

7. Sacramento Kings - PG Jimmer Fredette, Sr, BYU. The first six picks in my mock went pretty much according to plan. First curve ball here. I think the Kings would take Leonard if he was here but if he's gone that pretty much leaves point guards Fredette and Kemba Walker, and some shooting guards. I think Fredette is the pick here. The Maloofs are desperate to generate some buzz in Sacramento and The Jimmer would do just that. But aside from that, I think he fits better with ball dominating Tyreke Evans then Kemba Walker would be. Throw in Marcus Thornton and the underrated (because he is overpaid) Beno Udrih and the Kings will have a pretty deep back court.

8. Detroit Pistons - PF Tristan Thompson, Fr, Texas. I think the Pistons would take the best player available, and that could be Kemba Walker. But Walker might not be a starter in this league. So I think they go with Thompson here. He is still a project and doesn't have a great offensive game yet, but he is a tough player who plays bigger then his size and can hit the glass. He would be a good front court compliment to Greg Monroe.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - PF/C Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania. I think Jonas Valanciunas should be the pick here. The Bobcats new GM has admitted that the team will probably be worse before they be better. It is just hard to justify taking a player in the top ten who won't even play in the NBA next year. But the Bobcats should have no problem tanking next year, saving some money and having a top five pick in a loaded 2012 draft. I just can't see a player this talented falling out of the lottery, even if he will miss a year. A possible lockout could help teams make up their mind. At the end of the day I still think Marcus Morris will be the pick, as I have had him here for a long time.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - SG Alec Burks, So, Colorado. I think this pick comes down to Alec Burks and Klay Thompson. Makes sense, since both are scoring guards and the Bucks finished dead last in points per game last season. I think Burks is the pick here because of his ability to create his own offense.

11. Golden St. Warriors - SG Klay Thompson, Jr, Washington St. I think Chris Singleton would be a better pick here, as I have had him to the Warriors for a while. But Thompson is looking like the guy here. The Warriors want to add size to their back court. And instead of shifting Dorell Wright to SG and adding a guy who can play some defense, they will instead go with someone who can shoot the ball and not do much else. But this is the Warriors.

12. Utah Jazz - SF Chris Singleton, Jr, Florida St. I think the Jazz will draft whoever the Warriors don't. Singleton does have some Andrei Kirilenko to his game, as he has the ability to defend multiple positions on the floor, and is not the best scorer in the league.

13. Phoenix Suns - SF/PF Marcus Morris, Jr, Kansas. The Suns would like to add some toughness and size to the roster. Like the other Suns forwards, he is a bit of a tweener. But unlike the other forwards, he is a tough player who can create his own offense.

14. Houston Rockets - C Nikola Vucevic, Jr, USC. Size gets you drafted in the first round. It has been that way for as long as I can remember. Vucevic is slow and lacks a great deal of upside, but would be ready to play well before Hasheem Thabeet will be. The Rockets need a center desperately. Taking Biyombo when they already have Thabeet would be redundant.

15. Indiana Pacers - PF Bismack Biyombo, Congo. Biyombo is the hardest player in this draft to figure out. How old is he really? Is he really that bad on offense? But he can play some defense, and would be a good compliment to Tyler Hansbrough at power forward. I think taking him in the top 10 is asinine, but he is worth a flyer in the middle of the first round.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - PF Markieff Morris, Jr, Kansas. I actually had Jordan Hamilton to Philly in my mock draft a few months ago, and he is heavily rumored to have a promise from the Sixers. But I still think front court toughness is by far their biggest need. Doug Collins might actually play Morris.

17. New York Knicks - PG Kemba Walker, Jr, Connecticut. Walkers slide ends here. He is a good player, but his lack of size and point guard skills will really hurt him. I just can't see him going ahead of so many big men. Teams always need size. But this could be a good fit for him. The Knicks never would have thought the Bronx native would be available here and would likely rush to the podium to take him. He could excel in an up tempo offense the way Ty Lawson has with the Nuggets.

18. Washington Wizards - PG/SG Iman Shumpert, Jr, Georgia Tech. Shumpert has been a huge riser late in this process and now looks like a first round lock. He isn't a great offensive player, but is big and strong and a good defender. With Jordan Crawford and Nick Young holding down the offense, Shumpert would be a good contrast.

19. Charlotte Bobcats - SF Jordan Hamilton, So, Texas. Name one player on the Bobcats who can create his own offense at all. If you answered anyone other then the 30+ year old Stephen Jackson, you are lying. Hamilton is one of the few players in this class who has the potential to score 20 points per game per night.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies) - SG Marshon Brooks, Sr, Providence. Brooks should be a great fit with the rest of the Timberwolves who can drop 20 points per game but play no defense. They have a huge need for a back court scorer.

21. Portland Trail Blazers - PF Kenneth Faried, Sr, Morehead St. Faried has more deficiencies then possibly any other player in the first round. But what he does he does well; rebound. And that alone will get him taken in the first round, as undersized hustle guys (Reggie Evans, Chuck Hayes, DeJuan Blair) have a pretty good track record in the NBA.

22. Denver Nuggets - PF Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania. Let it be known that I am a Nuggets fan and not a Motiejunas fan. I still have nightmares of Nikoloz Tskitishvili almost a decade later. But Motiejunas is good value here. He is a very talented scorer who has range all the way out to the three point line, and should be able to keep up with Denver's high octane offense.

23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando Magic) - SF Nikola Mirotic, Serbia. The Rockets will have quite a few players under contract, and about half of those guys are still young players they are developing. So I don't think they will want to throw two more players into the fire. Mirotic is the number one stash guy in this draft. Lottery talent but won't be over to the NBA for a few years.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder - PF/C Jeremy Tyler, USA. The Thunder would have really liked to come away with Mirotic but he is gone. Ever since their Seattle days they have taken project big men. Robert Swift, Sear Sene, Johan Petro, Byron Mullens, Cole Aldrich. None of those players were never heard of again, maybe the sixth time will be the charm.

25. Boston Celtics - PF Justin Harper, Sr, Richmond. The Celtics would do well to add some front court depth. Unfortunately for them, this is too high to reach for someone like JaJuan Johnson or Trey Thompkins, so they opt to go for the stretch 4.

26. Dallas Mavericks - SF Tyler Honeycutt, So, UCLA. Bruins often fare better in the NBA then college. In fact, they usually always do. Honeycutt is skinny but has the skills to help the world champions down the line.

27. New Jersey Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers) - SF Davis Bertans, Latvia. I think the Nets are going to try to save every dollar they can to make a run at premier free agents. Bertans would stay in Europe for a few more years.

28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami Heat) - PG Darius Morris, So, Michigan. The Bulls would probably like to upgrade their backup point guard position. Morris is even bigger and taller then Derrick Rose.

29. San Antonio Spurs - PF Jon Leuer, Sr, Wisconsin. I have had Leuer here since about December, and I won't switch my pick now. The Spurs like big men who can shoot, and Leuer is one of the best.

30. Chicago Bulls - SF Tobias Harris, Fr, Tennessee. Harris would be an absolute steal here. He falls because he is not great at anything, but is solid in every area.

Jonathan Carrano

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