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06-23-2011, 07:31 PM
PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Cleveland
(via L.A. Clippers)


Kyrie Irving

Position: PG
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 191 pounds
Age: 19
School: Duke
Analysis: I know some uncertainty is still out there. There always is. But all signs continue to point to Irving as the No. 1 pick. He has a chance to be special, and in this draft, that makes him worthy of going this high.

The Cavs may not love what's left for them at No. 4, but at least they walk away feeling that they got the best player in the draft.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Minnesota


Derrick Williams

Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 249
Age: 20
School: Arizona
Analysis: The Wolves will work the phones until the last minute looking for a trade. If they keep the pick? They are considering Enes Kanter and started telling teams around the league on Wednesday that they're leaning in that direction.

I can see the appeal of Kanter. He probably fits a need more. But Williams is the second-best talent in this draft, and I think talent ultimately trumps need, so they'll take Williams and sort it out later this summer.


PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Utah
(via New Jersey)


Enes Kanter

Position: C
Height: 6-11
Weight: 260
Age: 19
Country: Turkey
Analysis: GM Kevin O'Connor is now issuing his famous "no comment" when asked about what the Jazz will do here. They are one of the most tight-lipped teams in the league. They aren't leaking who they'll take at No. 3.

So why did I change this from Brandon Knight to Kanter? Because it's hard to get legit centers in the league, especially ones with Kanter's upside. So are point guards, which is why Knight could be the pick. But as of very early Thursday, I think the Jazz will go with size and upside with Kanter.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Cleveland


Jonas Valanciunas

Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 245
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania
Analysis: We had Valanciunas in this position last week. But on Monday we reported that Valanciunas' buyout with his team in Lithuania would prohibit him from coming to the NBA next season.

The Cavs love Valanciunas, but do they love him enough to draft him even if he won't play in the NBA right away? There are growing signals that they do. Valanciunas was in Cleveland on Tuesday meeting with Cavs brass. They conducted a physical and a workout as well, which has seemingly calmed their fears.

But another serious dark horse here is Tristan Thompson. As I reported on Wednesday, Thompson met with owner Dan Gilbert in Cleveland on Monday, and the Cavs are intrigued. As I gather more info, this is one spot where the mock could change in Version 7.1.


PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Toronto

Bismack Biyombo

Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 243
Age: 18
Country: Congo
Analysis: We've had Brandon Knight here for weeks, but the word is starting to come out that the Raptors may be leaning toward Biyombo here. It could go either way, but I'm hearing a little more buzz for Biyombo right now.


PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Washington

Jan Vesely

Position: PF
Height: 6-11
Weight: 240
Age: 21
Country: Czech Republic
Analysis: The Wizards need rebounding and would love it if Kanter was still on the board. They've also been huge fans of Vesely and would jump at the chance to take him here. His ability to run the floor would be a welcome fit alongside John Wall and JaVale McGee.

Tristan Thompson is the other player to watch here. The Wizards need help on the boards, and Thompson is one of the best offensive rebounders in the draft.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Charlotte
(via Sacramento)

Tristan Thompson

Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 228
Age: 20
School: Texas
(Sources: Kings trade No. 7 pick to Bobcats)

Analysis: The Bobcats made the first big move of the draft Thursday when they pulled the trigger on a three-team trade that nabbed them Corey Maggette and this pick for Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the No. 19 pick.

I've heard they want Thompson here. But Michael Jordan did become enamored with Bismack Biyombo at a workout in Charlotte on Wednesday. I'm leaning Thompson here, but will keep digging.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Detroit

Kawhi Leonard

Position: SF
Height: 6-7
Weight: 228
Age: 19
School: San Diego State
Analysis: This isn't an ideal draw for the Pistons. But with Biyombo and Tristan Thompson and Valanciunas all off the board, we're putting Leonard here as a default.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Charlotte

Brandon Knight

Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 177
Age: 19
School: Kentucky
Analysis: It would be a surprise if Knight fell this far, but that's how it is starting to look. They like Chris Singleton and Kemba Walker a lot too, but would they really pass on Knight this far down?



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Sacramento
(via Milwaukee)

Jimmer Fredette

Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 196
Age: 22
School: Brigham Young
(Sources: Bucks trade No. 10 pick to Kings)

Analysis: When we first reported a few weeks ago that the Kings were looking seriously at Fredette, there were mostly chuckles. But it now appears to be very close to reality. With Beno Udrih gone, it becomes even more likely that the Kings will go with a point guard. Kemba Walker is another possibility here, but his lack of shooting ability -- in the absence of Udrih -- tilts things toward Jimmer.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Golden State

Klay Thompson

Position: SG
Height: 6-7
Weight: 206
Age: 21
School: Washington State
Analysis: The Warriors would be thrilled with this outcome. They've been concerned that Thompson won't be on the board when they pick. They've been high on him for weeks and feel as if he would bring them another big-time shooter to play alongside Stephen Curry and/or Monta Ellis. Chris Singleton is also a serious prospect to go here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Utah

Alec Burks

Position: SG
Height: 6-6
Weight: 193
Age: 19
School: Colorado
Analysis: There's been some slow momentum for Burks all week. But this is still a bit of surprise given that the Jazz really did value Walker all year.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Phoenix

Kemba Walker

Position: PG
Height: 6-1
Weight: 184
Age: 21
School: UConn
Analysis: I had Marcus Morris here in Mock 7.0, but I'm now hearing it's his brother, Markieff, who is higher on the Suns' board. Earlier this year, I wrote that some teams prefer Markieff to Marcus even though Marcus is more skilled.

Markieff has better size and is a better rebounder and shot-blocker. Meanwhile, Marcus is getting pegged as a tweener right now, which may cause him to slide. Iman Shumpert is also strongly in the mix here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Houston

Nikola Vucevic

Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 260
Age: 20
School: USC
Analysis: The Rockets are talking to everyone -- and I mean everyone -- about moving up in the draft. Everyone from the Wolves at 2 to the Warriors at 11 have heard the pitch. I think someone ultimately will bite, and I think it could be Detroit.

But if not, the Rockets are likely to reach a little bit for some size in the paint. They are desperate for it, and Vucevic is the biggest man in the draft. Chris Singleton and Markieff Morris are also options.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Indiana


Markieff Morris

Position: PF/C
Height: 6-9
Weight: 241
Age: 21
School: Kansas
Analysis:If Jimmer or Alec Burks slide they'd probably be the picks. But they like Morris too. Good rebounder and shoot the lights out too.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Philadelphia


Jordan Hamilton

Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 229
Age: 20
School: Texas
Analysis: The Sixers need size, but with Thompson, Vucevic and Morris all off the board, the only other big man worth taking here is Kenneth Faried. If Faried were a bit bigger, I think they'd do it. Instead, I think the Sixers will prepare for the inevitable trade of Andre Iguodala.

It may not come on draft night, but most believe it will happen sometime before the season, and that's why Hamilton is the pick. Donatas Motiejunas is another possibility here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


New York


Chris Singleton

Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 230
Age: 21
School: Florida State
Analysis: The Knicks have a bunch of scorers. What they really need are defenders. Singleton will get looks as high as No. 9 to the Bobcats, but I doubt he will slide any further than here. Not only is he the best defender in the draft, but he also has potential to be a spot-up 3-point shooter.

Iman Shumpert, Alec Burks and Marshon Brooks are also in the mix here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Washington
(via Atlanta)


Marcus Morris

Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 230
Age: 21
School: Kansas
Analysis: This would be a major slide for Marcus. But his insistence that he's not really a power forward has hurt his stock a bit. Teams don't believe he can be a 3 and now see him as somewhat of a tweener.

Still, at this point, he's a good value and could play some 3 and some 4 in Washington.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Milwaukee
(via Charlotte)


Marshon Brooks

Position: SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 195
Age: 22
School: Providence
(Sources: Bobcats trade No. 19 pick to Bucks)

Analysis: The Bucks want scoring and are looking for another wing now that John Salmons is gone. Brooks was one of the best scorers in college basketball and wouldn't be a huge risk at No. 19. He could be a steal for Milwaukee here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Minnesota
(via Memphis)


Iman Shumpert

Position: PG
Height: 6-6
Weight: 221
Age: 20
College: Georgia Tech
Analysis: The Wolves added some serious offensive pop with the arrival of Ricky Rubio and, in this mock, Derrick Williams. Shumpert would give them a major defensive presence in their backcourt.

Although he's not the most offensively gifted player in the draft, his ability to guard both backcourt positions combined with his elite athleticism make him an interesting choice at No. 20.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Portland


Kenneth Faried

Position: PF
Height: 6-8
Weight: 225
Age: 21
School: Morehead State
Analysis: The Blazers fell in love with Faried last year before he withdrew from the draft. If they are fortunate enough to get a second chance at him this year, they'll grab him. His relentlessness on the boards is a nice complement to LaMarcus Aldridge's more offensive-minded style.

Markieff Morris, Tobias Harris, Iman Shumpert and Reggie Jackson are others to watch.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Denver


Tobias Harris

Position: PF
Height: 6-8
Weight: 223
Age: 18
School: Tennessee
Analysis: I guess we can't call Harris one of the more underrated players in the draft when he hasn't moved off 22 in any of our mocks. He can play both the 3 and 4, and he has a very high basketball IQ and an NBA body. Harris doesn't do any one thing at an elite level, but he is one of the most well-rounded players in the draft.

Iman Shumpert, Chandler Parsons and Tyler Honeycutt are other possibilities here.


PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Houston
(via Orlando)


Donatas Motiejunas

Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 220
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania
Analysis: At this point in the draft, you quit worrying about draft needs and you draft according to talent. Motiejunas is a major talent. He's got flaws, but at No. 23, you live with them. If the Rockets don't trade the pick away, Jimmy Butler is a possibility here, as is Darius Morris.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Oklahoma City


Kyle Singler

Position: SF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 228
Age: 23
College: Duke
Analysis: I don't have Singler rated as a top-30 prospect. But I might be mistaken. A source said the Thunder are very high on Singler and believe he could be an Andres Nocioni-type player in the NBA.

He is tough, has a good motor and will be able to knock down open shots. If he plays that role in the NBA, he's well worth the 24th pick. Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic are other possibilities here.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Boston


Jimmy Butler

Position: G/F
Height: 6-8
Weight: 222
Age: 21
School: Marquette
Analysis: If the Celtics are going to keep competing for a title, they need players who know their roles, can play without the ball in their hands and meld in. Butler brings toughness, defense and heart.

Butler epitomizes that approach with his game and would be a great fit with the Celtics as a player who can play multiple positions off the bench. Reggie Jackson is another strong possibility here, as is Norris Cole.


PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Dallas


Nikola Mirotic

Position: SF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 226
Age: 21
Country: Serbia
Analysis: The Mavs likely will stay primarily a veteran team. So they'll work to add value wherever they can. Mirotic is a talented player who would go 10 spots higher if he weren't stuck in Europe the next two or three years with a difficult contract to escape.

But the Mavs can afford to be patient with a talent like this and hope that in a few years, he'll be ready to step in and play right away.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


New Jersey
(via L.A. Lakers)


Reggie Jackson

Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 208
Age: 21
School: Boston College
Analysis: Jackson hasn't done any workouts, has a knee injury and isn't sharing his medical records. Why would the Nets take a player like that? Well, they, along with a lot of NBA teams, believe that another team has shut down Jackson's workouts with a promise to draft him.

That shouldn't stop the Nets from grabbing Jackson anyway. Yes, they have Deron Williams. But he's not a sure thing to stay in New Jersey after next season. Even if he does, Jackson would be a terrific backup and could play off the ball in certain situations.

If Jackson hadn't suffered a knee injury just as the draft prep began, he could have gone much higher. Norris Cole, Justin Harper, Josh Selby and Chandler Parsons also are possibilities.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Chicago
(via Miami)


Justin Harper

Position: PF
Height: 6-9
Weight: 228
Age: 21
School: Richmond
Analysis: Harper was one of the best stretch 4s in college basketball last season. He also has size and is a pretty good athlete. The Bulls need perimeter shooting, and Harper should be able to give them some.

Charles Jenkins, Tyler Honeycutt and Jeremy Tyler are also possibilities.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


San Antonio


Davis Bertans

Position: SF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 210
Age: 18
Country: Latvia
Analysis: The Spurs have done a good job over the years of finding young international players and stashing them overseas for a few years until they're ready.

Bertans showed he can be a big-time shooter at the Nike Hoop Summit and adidas Eurocamp, and he's only 18 years old. So it's worth taking a flier on him and seeing what he can accomplish after another year or two in Europe.



PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


Chicago


Nolan Smith

Position: SG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 188
Age: 22
School: Duke
Analysis: The Bulls need scorers in their backcourt and ultimately need to find a backup for Derrick Rose at point guard. Smith isn't the sort of player who really wows you with one thing. But he's a winner, he's versatile and he's been a solid shooter in college. He's a perfect backup guard.


See Chad Ford's second-round projections

ESPN Insider Chad Ford
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VikingLightning
Why wouldnt Cavs take a shot on Williams at #1 and hope Kyrie drops to 4. Timberwolves wouldnt dare spend another lottery pick on a PG, Utah has Devin Harris, though he's been rumored on the move.
justin.evans05 likes this.
5 Hours Ago Like

Sureshot32
Why would the Warriors want a guy like Biz Markie who basically duplicates last year's first round pick, Epke Udoh - a long, defensive power forward who lacks offensive skill? It would make far more sense to go with someone like Klay Thomson (not available in this mock), Nikola Vucevic (a much more offensively gifted big), or Alec Burks (a slashing two guard who would allow them to trade Monta).
4 Hours Ago Like
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@chadfordinsider HEre it is ... our FINAL Mock 7.3. I just shook up the whole board. http://t.co/a69lD2B (insider) about a minute ago

@thechrispalmer Speaking of Lakers contracts Kobe Bryant is owed a total of $83,546,000 for the next three seasons. 2 minutes ago

@CSheridanESPN Latest NBA labor news: Billy Hunter says owners are trying to break the players' union. Even for him, strong words: http://t.co/qrqBwjt 6 minutes ago

@thechrispalmer Now that you mention it... RT @ESPNLandOLakers: @thechrispalmer Is there such a thing as a "happy Stephen Jackson?" AK 6 minutes ago

@NBAonESPN First pick in the 2011 NBA Draft in about 15 minutes. ESPN, ESPN Radio and ESPN.com are LIVE. 8 minutes ago

@chadfordinsider 7.3 will have Biyombo to Raptors. Leonard to Pistons. Brandon Knight to Bobcats. Alec Burks over Kemba to Jazz . I may really regret this. 9 minutes ago

@chadfordinsider Just sent in Mock 7.3 to editors. We've got 10 minutes to get it up. Go @roycewebb Go!!!!!!! 10 minutes ago

@thechrispalmer The Bucks do not want an unhappy Stephen Jackson. Because he will dog it. See his last few weeks in Golden State. 10 minutes ago

@JustinVerrier The big stage is where the draft is tonight, but the dusty back room is where the party is. http://lockerz.com/s/113488467 15 minutes ago

@JustinVerrier In the bowels of the Prudential Center tonight running the player chat on ESPN.com. Stop on by: http://es.pn/jG0Zln 21 minutes ago

@thechrispalmer Artest is owed $21.6 over the next three years. $6.7 this year and $7.2 next year. 21 minutes ago

@NBAonESPN Chat with players moments after they're drafted: http://es.pn/jG0Zln 21 minutes ago

@johnhollinger Amazingly, would relegate Kings to day's 2nd-worst trade RT @ChrisMannixSI Min still discussing possible trade of No. 2 pick for Monta Ellis 23 minutes ago

@johnhollinger My (free!) story on a head-scratching deal by the Kings and impacts on Bucks and Bobcats: http://t.co/JmSoyWv 25 minutes ago

@thechrispalmer The point about Artest is that he is worth something now. A year from now, considerably less. Two years, practically nothing. 26 minutes ago

@johnhollinger Reminded by @bobcatsbaseline : long-term awfulness needed for trade to impact Cha pick owned by Chi. Next 4 yrs protected: top 14, 12, 10, 8 28 minutes ago

@johnhollinger RT @KCJHoop: Three-team trade seems to make Bobcats worse, which potentially makes that pick Bulls received in Tyrus Thomas trade more v ... 34 minutes ago

@chadfordinsider Starting to hear pretty strong signals that Biyombo is going to Raptors at 5. 35 minutes ago

@chadfordinsider Hey @tribjazz, sounds like Jazz didn't make much progress with the Pistons. 38 minutes ago

@thechrispalmer The Lakers can still get something for Ron Artest if they act fast. 39 minutes ago