2011 RTC Mock Draft: Final VersionPosted by zhayes9 on June 21st, 2011
Zach Hayes is a editor, contributor and bracketologist for Rush the Court.
One final stab at how Thursday night will play out before we finally send off some of our favorite college players to the next level:
1 ) Cleveland Cavaliers- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke. Any Derrick Williams-to-Cleveland rumor is searching for intrigue that’s simply non-existent. Irving was the pick the night the Cavaliers struck gold at the lottery and remains the pick today. Irving is a safe bet to develop into a dynamic player at such a vital position on the floor.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves- Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona. Ideally, Minnesota would be eyeing a 2-guard, but they’ll have to swing a pre-draft deal to fill that need, as no shooting guard is worth taking this high. My money’s on GM David Kahn holding on to the pick and trying to trade Michael Beasley later. Williams has all of the skills to be an eventual All-Star.
3) Utah Jazz- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. The Jazz are fairly set up front with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors waiting in the wings, so look for #3 to come down to either Knight or Kemba Walker. Given Knight’s shooting ability, size and character, I see the former Kentucky point as the most likely choice.
4) Cleveland Cavaliers- Enes Kanter, C, Turkey. Rumors are spreading that Cleveland is looking to trade #4 for more picks to fill multiple needs, but passing up on Kanter here could be a grave mistake. The young Turk has a great attitude, impressed at the Chicago combine and could mold into the best post player in the entire draft.
5) Toronto Raptors- Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic. Toronto has a major need at power forward and worked out both Vesely and Bismack Biyombo this past weekend. The Raptors have been connected with Vesley since the first draft prognostications began and we see no reason to change our minds now. Vesley is a high-level athlete with commendable versatility for his size.
6) Washington Wizards- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State. Washington could be a candidate to move up to either #4 or #5 and take Kanter or Vesely. If they hold fort here, look for Leonard to be the selection. The former Aztec is a phenomenal rebounder and athletic freak that can instantly boost a position of dire need for the Wizards.
7) Sacramento Kings- Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut. The Kings wouldn’t mind if Leonard fell to them at #7, but if Washington grabs him, point guard is the next choice with Tyreke Evans more suited as a scoring guard. This pick will come down to Walker, Alec Burks and even Jimmer Fredette. Walker could instill some character to a shaky locker room and can contribute immediately.
8) Detroit Pistons- Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas. Word out of Detroit is they’d like to boost their frontline. Thompson, a long and athletic interior force, certainly fits the bill. If the former Longhorn can develop a reliable mid-range jumper, Detroit may have a steal on their hands at #8. Biyombo is another possibility, as is Walker if he slips past Utah and Sacramento.
9) Charlotte Bobcats- Alec Burks, SG, Colorado. Charlotte could go in a number of different directions here, likely targeting a prospect that can contribute immediately. An educated guess is Burks going off the board. A slashing, athletic, late bloomer that needs to develop a consistent jumper? Sounds awfully similar to a certain Bobcats owner at a young age. It could be love at first sight.
10) Milwaukee Bucks- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State. Milwaukee at #10 most likely comes down to Burks or Thompson. The Bucks need help alongside Brandon Jennings and Thompson gives a meager scoring offense a much-appreciated boost. Thompson was one of the best collegiate shooters the last three seasons and should help the Bucks from three-point land.
11) Golden State Warriors- Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas. Burks and Thompson are both possibilities here, but another offensive-minded player that Golden State worked out is Hamilton. Although the run-and-gun Warriors aren’t the best fit for a player that needs discipline in terms of shot selection, Hamilton reminds many evaluators of a Paul Pierce-lite and can really fill it up.
12) Utah Jazz- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State. Any team with sufficient scoring options that’s looking for a shutdown perimeter defender will strike gold selecting Singleton. The best individual defender in college last season, Singleton has the length and versatility to impact any team on that end immediately, with enough room to grow into a contributor offensively.
13) Phoenix Suns- Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State. Word out of Phoenix is a search for a player that can contribute immediately on the defensive end. The Suns want to make another playoff push with Steve Nash at the helm and may be floating Marcin Gortat to various teams in trade discussions. Faried is an impact rebounder, leaper and shot-blocker that can provide the Suns help off the bench.
14) Houston Rockets- Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania. Most draft evaluators had Valanciunas locked into the top ten before rumors trickled out that he may opt to return to Lithuania. Any team that nabs this type of talent as low as #14 in the draft and lures him to the NBA has come away with a great value pick. Houston needs a future center once they move past Yao.
15) Indiana Pacers- Jimmer Fredette, SG, Brigham Young. Although Fredette certainly has his flaws, namely unimpressive athleticism and indifference defensively, he won’t slide much further than middle of the first round. Either the Kings at #7, Utah at #12 or Phoenix at #13 could snag the former BYU star before he falls here. Prospects with the scoring ability of Fredette simply don’t come around very often at this spot in the draft.
16) Philadelphia Sixers- Marcus Morris, SF, Kansas. The Philly native would be thrilled to return home and the Sixers would be equally thrilled to see Morris fall here. Morris is a stretch forward with a capable outside jumper and post skills to boot. This becomes an even more likely scenario if Philly is set on dealing Andre Igoudala at some point.
17) New York Knicks- Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence. The Knicks know they need to improve defensively, but Brooks is tantalizing because he not only has tremendous scoring instincts but also has the length to develop into an asset defensively. Iman Shumpert is a plausible pick as a shutdown perimeter defender and the Knicks could also trade up to please the hometown crowd and take Fredette.
18) Washington Wizards- Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo. Look for Washington to try to get even more help up front with the 2-guards still on the board a reach at #18. Biyombo’s potential may be too hard to pass up here. He could develop into a defensive stopper that can run the floor as well as any young big in the league.
19) Charlotte Bobcats- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas. Word is that Charlotte likes Marcus, but if he’s off the board at #19, why not nab a twin brother that possess a number of the same skills? While Marcus is more gifted offensively, Markieff is a superior post defender.
20) Minnesota Timberwolves- Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF, UCLA. With Derrick Williams more suited as a 3, Minnesota desperately needs to address their 2-guard spot so Wes Johnson can back up Williams at his more natural position. Honeycutt can play multiple positions, is a gifted passer and can really defend. He brings plenty to the table for Minnesota.
21) Portland Trail Blazers- Iman Shumpert, PG, Georgia Tech. Portland is fairly well set across the board for a playoff push in 2012, but could definitely use a capable backup for the aging Andre Miller at the point. Shumpert is an outstanding defender and can really attack the basket, but needs to develop both his shot and pure point guard skills.
22) Denver Nuggets- Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Lithuania. Motiejunas is a 20-year old raw big man from Lithuania that could contribute a few years down the road. Early returns show Motiejunas with a solid all-around game for a player of his size, with the ability to pass, run the floor and shoot from mid-range equally well.
23) Houston Rockets- Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee. Houston needs help at a swingman spot and didn’t address that with their first pick of Valanciunas. Harris can help the cause right away with his ability to play each forward position and comfort operating around the perimeter. The former Tennessee Vol could prove a better pro than collegiate player.
24) Oklahoma City Thunder- Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia. The Thunder seem pretty set across the board for another deep run next spring, so stashing a European pick overseas for a few years makes sense for a team like Oklahoma City more so than others with more immediate holes to fill.
25) Boston Celtics- Justin Harper, PF, Richmond. Harper could be a real sleeper in this draft. A stretch-4 with a tremendous floor game, Harper could really blossom in the pros. He shot the ball extremely well from range at Richmond and is a sneaky good athlete.
26) Dallas Mavericks- Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia. A similar situation to the Thunder, the defending champs may opt to take a young European player with hopeful returns down the road.
27) New Jersey Nets- Reggie Jackson, PG/SG, Boston College. Injuries and canceled workouts have resulted in more than one red flag during the pre-draft process, but Jackson has enough raw talent to warrant a first-round pick. Jackson is an improving shooter, but where he really excels is in transition as an explosive leaper with a freakish wingspan.
28) Chicago Bulls- Charles Jenkins, SG, Hofstra. Chicago is set at every position except the revolving door they employed at the 2.-guard spot They need some all-around scoring ability at that position and Jenkins fits the bill to perfection.
29) San Antonio Spurs- JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue. The Spurs probably hope to seriously contend one more season with the Parker/Ginobili/Duncan core and could target a player that can contribute immediately. A four-year starter at Purdue, Johnson has the experience to play 20 minutes from day one. He possesses a solid mid-range jumper and post skills.
30) Chicago Bulls- Jeremy Tyler, C, Japan. Some believe had Tyler opted to play in college basketball, he’d be a top-10 pick. This could be a grand slam pick or a total whiff. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Tyler and many have questioned his decision making, but he’s a true 7- footer with great size and athleticism, so some team will pounce.